15 Cookout-Worthy Side Dishes for Burgers

They're True Hamburger Helpers

Whether you're serving a cookout crowd or simply enjoying a special night with the family, burgers are a summer favorite food. We've rounded up these easy recipes that go with the American icon, so you can serve up winning plates every time.

  • 01 of 15

    Grilled Caesar Salad

    Grilled Caesar Salad

    Anita Schecter

    Take the classic ingredients of a Caesar salad to the grill with this inspired summer recipe that goes great with burgers and will wow your foodie friends. Charring the romaine creates a smoky edge that elevates this salad to new heights. Tips are included for making a classic Caesar dressing, but you could always use prepared as an easy shortcut.

  • 02 of 15

    Garden Pasta Salad With Rotini

    Garden Pasta Salad With Rotini
    Garden Pasta Salad With Rotini.

     Diana Rattray

    A lemony pesto and mayonnaise dressing livens up this tasty garden pasta salad with fresh chopped vegetables. Use rotini or any other similar short pasta (such as fusilli, campanelle, or farfalle), cooking it just until al dente before combining it with other ingredients. Serve either cold or at room temperature.

  • 03 of 15

    Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

    Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

    Leah Maroney

    Salty, sweet, crunchy, and creamy in every bite, Mexican street corn hits all the right flavor notes. This corn on the cob will impress a crowd, but comes together easily, grilling in just 15 minutes. Serve it beside burgers topped with ripe avocado, cheese, and pico de gallo for the ultimate Mexican-style cookout plate.

  • 04 of 15

    Jalapeno Potato Salad

    Jalapeno Potato Salad

    Debbie Smirnoff/Getty Images

    Jalapeno peppers add extra crunch, green flavor, and a nice kick of heat (particularly if you don't remove all the seeds) to a classic, mayonnaise-based potato salad. It makes a great side dish for rounding out plates at backyard cookouts and picnics.

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  • 05 of 15

    Granny Smith Apple Slaw

    Granny Smith Apple Slaw

     Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ Inc.

    Lighten up your burger with this lively Granny Smith apple and cabbage coleslaw. With a uniquely tart and creamy mayonnaise dressing that includes cilantro and caraway seeds, it makes a refreshing side dish or topping for barbecue burgers.

  • 06 of 15

    Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Salad

    Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Salad

    Adam Calaitzis/Getty Images

    This warm Mediterranean vegetable salad is the perfect side dish for Greek-style lamb burgers. Make it easily by combining tender grilled eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, and potatoes in an easy, light vinaigrette dressing. Add some crumbled feta cheese for extra zing.

  • 07 of 15

    Southern Macaroni and Pimiento Cheese

    Southern Macaroni and Pimiento Cheese

    Diana Rattray

    If your burger plate always includes mac and cheese, consider this your go-to summer recipe. Tender noodles are coated in a creamy pimiento cheese sauce and baked to perfection with a crunchy French fried onion topping. It's Southern comfort food at its absolute best.

  • 08 of 15

    Grilled Garlic Portobello Mushrooms

    Grilled Portobello Mushrooms With Garlic Butter-

    Diana Rattray

     

    Garlicky, buttery, grilled portobello mushrooms add extra savory flavor to grilled meat dishes. Slice and serve them alongside basic beef burgers, include them in grilled vegetable salads, or use them for topping blue cheese burgers.

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  • 09 of 15

    Grilled Pear and Sweet Potato Salad

    Grilled Pear and Sweet Potato Salad
    Grilled Pear and Sweet Potato Salad.

    Regarding BBQ Inc.

    Grilling brings out the natural sweetness in fresh produce. Pears and sweet potatoes combine beautifully in this elegant, warm summer salad that also includes tangy feta cheese, toasted pecans, baby greens, and a gorgeous apple jelly vinaigrette.

  • 10 of 15

    Oven-Fried Zucchini

    Oven-Fried Zucchini

    The Spruce Eats

    Looking for a healthier alternative to French fries with your burger? Oven-baked zucchini rounds with a delicious Parmesan-breadcrumb coating are a great way to use up a bumper crop of vegetables from your garden, and satisfy a fried food craving, without the calories or mess of pan-fried potatoes.

  • 11 of 15

    Tomato, Corn, and Basil Salad

    Corn Tomato Basil Salad

    Molly Watson

     

    Seasonal summer vegetables shine in this easy, no-cook salad filled with fresh, juicy tomatoes, crunchy, sweet corn, and peppery basil. It goes great with beef burgers and chicken burgers alike, and packs well for toting on picnics.

  • 12 of 15

    Spiralized Zucchini Noodle Salad

    Spiralized Zucchini Noodle Salad

    Brenda Bennett

    Use a spiralizer (or a vegetable peeler) to transform raw zucchini into long, spaghetti-style noodles for this cold summer salad that makes a nice, light side dish for chicken and turkey burgers. The recipe calls for Asiago cheese, but you could use any salty hard cheese, such as Parmesan, pecorino Romano, or dry Jack.

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  • 13 of 15

    Watermelon Salad

    Grilled Watermelon Salad with Mint
    Grilled Watermelon Salad with Mint.

     Alexandra Grablewski-Getty Images

    Cool, refreshing watermelon salad is a summer favorite. With sweet, juicy fruit, tangy feta cheese, and bright mint leaves, it's a great way to balance out a beefy burger. It makes a tasty picnic salad, or a side dish for grilled chicken and fish.

  • 14 of 15

    Panzanella Salad

    Panzanella Salad

    Anita Schecter

    Panzanella is a Tuscan bread salad that includes seasoned cubes of toasted bread, and an assortment of raw vegetables, tossed in an olive oil vinaigrette dressing. It's a great way to use up a stale baguette and can be tweaked to taste with your favorite greens, dried fruits, fresh herbs, and cheeses.

  • 15 of 15

    Grilled Asparagus

    Grilled Asparagus

    The Spruce

     

    Keep things simple at summer cookouts by serving burgers with a single grilled vegetable. Asparagus is an excellent candidate, as it grills up quickly, dressed in a little olive oil, salt, and lemon juice, and takes on a nice char that complements its fresh green taste.