Potlucks really are the best, aren’t they? You only have to make one dish and then end up tasting a fantastic variety of other dishes. Minimal effort with maximum rewards!
You know what's fun? Bringing new dishes to potlucks! There’s just something so satisfying about having people come up to you after they’ve enjoyed every last bite of your side dish and ask you for the recipe.
In choosing the recipes for this round-up, we wanted sides that go beyond the traditional and get everyone’s taste buds buzzing. Each one of these sides really is meant for summer potlucks because they’re quick and easy to make.
Not to sound like a broken record, but it’s all about minimal effort in making the sides and maximum rewards with flavor, right? The hardest thing for you will be deciding which one to make!
Mom's Easy Macaroni Salad
It seems that every potluck/BBQ/picnic needs some sort of macaroni salad... so what exactly sets this apart? The chopped red pepper, of course! It brings in a fabulous crunch that ties the whole salad together.
Pasta and Bean Picnic Salad
The name certainly says it all, but what it’s not telling you is that this salad is made without mayo! It has a light vinaigrette so you don’t have to worry about it feeling too heavy.
Caprese Corn Salad
I think we can all agree that we adore a good caprese salad...so let’s take it to the next level with grilled corn, shall we? It’s an easy way to use up all that garden bounty, but in a new way!
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
Do watermelon and salty cheese really go together? Yes, yes they do – especially when you throw a little mint into the mix. It’s one side salad that people will notice.Continue to 5 of 21 below.
Greek Pasta Salad
This has all the bright and zesty flavors of your favorite Greek salad but is way better suited for potlucks because of the pasta. You can even make this gluten-free by subbing a legume-based pasta.
It technically may not be Asian, but versions of this slaw are a staple of American cookouts and potlucks. Our features a zesty dressing of peanut butter and rice wine vinegar. Serve it with burgers or alongside fish and shrimp.
Panzanella Bread Salad
First of all, a salad with bread?! Gimme all of it, please! This is a fabulous recipe to keep in your back pocket during the summer months because it uses up all that bounteous garden produce in a fun way.
Grape and Walnut Side Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
This salad features hearty greens so they won’t be prone to wilting easily, and it has only a handful of ingredients so you can throw it together in no time at all!Continue to 9 of 21 below.
Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad
Cherry tomatoes are summer’s candy, and this salad uses them up in all the right ways. If you don’t have orzo on hand, you could substitute quinoa or even couscous!
Cucumber Mint Quinoa Salad
You’ve heard the expression, “Cool as a cucumber,” right? This salad is sure to produce double the coolness thanks to the cucumbers AND mint.
Cold Pea Salad
Here's something a little different—a cold pea salad with smoked almonds, green onions, water chestnuts, and a hint of curry in the mayonnaise dressing. Make it ahead, but leave the almonds out until just before serving to retain their crunchiness.
Blanching broccoli florets for just a minute or two makes them vibrant green and crisp-tender. They're the perfect base for this salad with almonds, red onion, bacon, and peas. A mayo-based dressing brings it all together. It goes particularly well with chicken, steak, or salmon.Continue to 13 of 21 below.
Kale Salad With Balsamic Dressing
Unlike some other greens, kale doesn't wilt easily so it's great for summer get-togethers. Made with dried cranberries, pine nuts, Parmesan, and a balsamic vinaigrette, the kale becomes more tender while it sits and the dressing softens the tough kale leaves.
Three Bean Salad
Packed with protein, this three bean salad is full of canned cannellini, kidney, and garbanzo beans plus red onion and celery. Fresh herbs and a sweet and sour dressing help to meld all the flavors together.
Tuna Macaroni Salad
Macaroni pasta combines canned tuna, bell peppers, celery, and mayonnaise. The celery and peppers add some crunch. Use tuna packed in oil or water, but if you add the packed in water variety, add a little olive oil for flavor. It's a budget-friendly salad for a picnic or potluck.
Classic Potato Salad
Is it even a potluck or a party if there isn't potato salad? This classic version—made with boiled potatoes, sour cream, mayo, green onions, celery, parsley, pickles, and bacon—will please everyone. It's the ultimate accompaniment to a grilled burger.Continue to 17 of 21 below.
Classic Carrot Salad
Grated carrots, raisins, mayo, and a crunchy apple. That's all you need to make this slightly sweet salad that's a cousin to coleslaw. For extra eye appeal, use a variety of colored carrots.
Easy Cucumber Salad
Cucumbers are bountiful in the summer, and this easy salad is a great way to share the bounty at the next barbecue or potluck. Cucumbers, fresh herbs, and seasoned rice vinegar (plus a little salt and pepper) are all it takes to make this crunchy, healthy salad that's a side for just about anything at the party.
Stone Fruit, Tomato and Cucumber Salad
We've got your explosion of summer fruits and veggies here. Peaches, plums, cherry tomatoes, celery, cucumber, cherries, and Serrano pepper (the combination works, trust us), plus a simple vinaigrette combine to make a beautiful summer salad.
Grilled Corn Salad
This easy grilled corn salad goes great with burgers or juicy grilled chicken. With red bell pepper, zucchini, red onion, chili pepper, and a cider vinaigrette, it's simple and flavorful. Top with feta or cotija and watch it disappear.Continue to 21 of 21 below.
Did we save the best for last? Maybe. Classic, simple, and screaming of summer, heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil should end up on your seasonal table many, many times before fresh tomatoes disappear in the fall. Drizzle with good olive oil and balsamic, lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper, let it sit for a few minutes and you have heaven on a plate.