The Kitchen's Easy Side Dish Recipes for a Summer Cookout

Round out your alfresco feast with these go-to sides and salads featured on The Kitchen.

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Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Todd Plitt

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Todd Plitt

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2014,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Colorful Veggie Pasta Salad

Ideal for potlucks and picnics alike, Katie Lee's big-batch pasta salad lets in-season produce like fresh corn, squash and zucchini shine. When it comes to the dressing, it's as simple as combining store-bought pesto and lemon juice for brightness.

Get the Recipe: Colorful Veggie Pasta Salad

Grilled Corn and Poblano Potato Salad

Together with the grilled corn, charred poblano peppers add a subtle smoky flavor to Marcela Valladolid's top-rated potato salad. Bonus: Marcela notes that you can prep this salad the day before you want to eat it, so it's an ideal make-ahead pick for potlucks and cookouts.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Corn and Poblano Potato Salad

Creamy Greek Orzo Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Jeff Mauro's next-level take on a Greek salad features classic fixings like crumbly feta, cool cucumbers and briny Kalamata olives, but instead of using a lettuce base, he opts for rice-shaped orzo pasta.

Sunny's Easy Grilled Ratatouille

Sunny Anderson updates this classic tomato-pepper-eggplant mixture by grilling the veggies to impart a subtle smoky flavor. This dish comes together in a throwaway foil packet, making cleanup a cinch.

Get the Recipe: Sunny's Easy Grilled Ratatouille

Tomato and Bocconcini Caprese

Five minutes and a handful of ingredients are all it takes to make GZ's simple tomato-mozzarella salad. Instead of starting with a big ball of mozzarella and cutting it into manageable slices, Geoffrey opts for bite-size mozzarella balls, called bocconcini.

Get the Recipe: Tomato and Bocconcini Caprese

Cilantro Pesto Pasta Salad

Think beyond basil the next time you're craving pesto, and opt for Marcela's cilantro-based blend instead. She whirls it in a food processor with pine nuts and Parmesan just like a traditional recipe, then uses it to dress her big-batch pasta salad, studded with ready-to-go chicken and sweet roasted tomatoes.

Get the Recipe: Cilantro Pesto Pasta Salad

Succotash Salad

To give her succotash a bold punch of spice, Katie adds a single jalapeno to her mixture of green beans, lima beans and tomatoes, but she tames the heat of the pepper with cool, creamy avocado and a honey-laced vinaigrette. 

Get the Recipe: Succotash Salad

Sunny's Warm German Potato Salad

Most traditional German potato salads use a vinaigrette as opposed to a creamy dressing with mayonnaise, and Sunny's recipe is no exception. She tops tender red potatoes with a mustard-laced vinaigrette, then adds salty bacon, charred red pepper and fresh scallions to round out the salad.

Get the Recipe: Sunny's Warm German Potato Salad

Sunny's Quick Corn and Pico Salad

Hot sauce-spiked corn is the base of Sunny's five-minute salad, which she turns into a party-ready pleaser with the help of ready-to-go pico de gallo, plus black beans for heartiness and texture. 

Get the Recipe: Sunny's Quick Corn and Pico Salad

Grilled Corn with Ancho Chile Butter

Buttered corn on the cob is a summertime staple, and here Marcela takes that classic to a whole new level of flavor by adding roasted garlic and ancho chiles to the butter for a warm, smoky taste that pairs well with charred corn.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Corn with Ancho Chile Butter

Jicama Coleslaw

Follow Marcela's lead and put jicama to work in place of cabbage to make a bright slaw side dish in a hurry. Her recipe features candied pecans for subtle sweetness, while a yogurt-mayonnaise dressing offers the beloved creaminess of the classic version.

Get the Recipe: Jicama Cole Slaw

Nunya Business Instant Rice and Pesto

Prepared rice saves the day in Sunny's 10-minute side, which she dresses up with bell pepper and prepared basil pesto for a wow-worthy presentation that is shockingly simple to prepare.

Get the Recipe: Sunny's Nunya Business Instant Rice and Pesto

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

By toasting the bread before tossing it with the rest of the ingredients, Geoffrey Zakarian guarantees that it will be able to sop up the flavors of the juicy, seasonal tomatoes, briny olives and fragrant basil.

Get the Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

Accordion Potatoes

Just like a musical accordion, these spuds feature deep slits in them, which makes it easier for the garlic butter to seep inside and flavor the potato. After baking the Idahos for a bit, wedge cheddar between those slits, then cook until the cheese is gooey, and top with cool sour cream and bacon for over-the-top indulgence.  

Get the Recipe: Accordion Potatoes

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

It's all about the veggies in Marcela's vibrant salad, featuring carrots, beets and bok choy that are roasted until caramelized. While a cup of quinoa adds heft to the dish, dried cranberries promise a chewy bite and the crumbled goat cheese a rich tang. 

Get the Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

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