Best Side Dishes for Burgers

For Your Best Cookout

Baked Vegan Sweet Potato Fries

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Cookouts are a fun, tasty way to bring together family and friends. This list of side dishes represents a diverse range of cultures, flavors, and techniques so when you're planning what to pair with your burgers, you'll be inspired.

  • 01 of 17


    Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

    Elote is Mexican street corn and is found in just about every region of the country. It’s a fun, freestyle way of eating since once grilled, the corn cob is rolled and sprinkled with a number of tasty toppings. If you prefer to eat your corn off the cob, esquites are your calling card.

  • 02 of 17

    Grilled Caesar Salad

    Grilled Caesar Salad

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter 

    If your grill is already fired up for your cookout, why not make your side on it too? Grilled Caesar salad is arguably even tastier than the classic recipe. Just be sure to throw your romaine lettuce on indirect heat to avoid charring it.

  • 03 of 17

    Easy Vegan Gazpacho

    Vegan gazpacho soup

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

    Gazpacho is a chilled Spanish soup principally made with tomatoes and this version blends together cucumber and bell pepper as well. Both the classic recipe and iterations like watermelon gazpacho are natural complements for burgers and are a fun way to reinvent the classic flavors of a cookout.

  • 04 of 17

    Baked Sweet Potato Fries

    Baked Vegan Sweet Potato Fries

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

    Sweet potato fries are a great foil to the savory, salty flavor of burgers. For best results, place the baking sheet in the oven as it heats. This way when your fries touch the pan, they’ll sizzle and crisp up perfectly. 

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  • 05 of 17

    Bharvaan Baingan

    Bharvaan Baingan

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

    Bharvaan baingan is an Indian dish made with eggplant and a bevy of aromatic spices. Its deep flavor stands up to savory burgers and for those looking for something different from classics like potato salad, it’s a wonderful option. 

  • 06 of 17

    Burrata Salad

    Burrata Salad

     Elaine Lemm

    Burrata is a cow milk cheese with a soft casing and a creamy center. It’s just as aesthetically beautiful as it is tasty, so if you’re looking for something extra special to accompany your burgers, burrata salad is perfect.

  • 07 of 17

    Tomato Fritters

    Tomato Fritters
    Klearchos Kapoutsis/Flickr CC 2.0

    Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these Greek tomato fritters are a staple on the island of Santorini. For the most authentic version of this recipe, use Santorini tomatoes but feel free to use any acidic, juicy, firm tomato variety available.

  • 08 of 17

    Vegan Creamed Corn

    Homemade vegan creamed corn recipe

    The Spruce / Nita West

    Using vegan margarine and soymilk, this vegan creamed corn provides a plant-based alternative to the classic recipe. That said, you can also simply make this a dairy-free dish and swap the vegan margarine for ghee, a clarified butter native to India. 

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  • 09 of 17

    Italian Pasta

    Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

    The Spruce

    This cold Italian pasta salad is a great dish to complement fresh, hot-off-the-grill burgers. It can also easily be tailored to fit your tastes by swapping out any of the vegetables with others you prefer. Don’t like cauliflower? How about zucchini? Peas, asparagus, and peppers would also work well.

  • 10 of 17



    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    Popular in Lebanon and other Middle Eastern cuisines, fattoush is a salad made with torn pieces of pita. Traditionally, the pita should be a bit stale so it can effectively soak up the dressing in the dish. Because the flavors of fattoush are fresh and simple, it helps to choose high-quality olive oil.

  • 11 of 17

    Cabbage Slaw With Bacon

    Crunchy cabbage salad

    The Spruce 

    Burgers and slaw are a classic combination, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t include this recipe for cabbage slaw with bacon. If you’re looking to substitute the bacon or simply throw a twist on the recipe, chopped apples, fennel, or slivered almonds would be tasty additions.

  • 12 of 17

    Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

    Old-fashioned potatoes

    The Spruce

    This old-fashioned potato salad skips the mayo so while it’s still creamy and satisfying, it won’t weigh you down. If you’re wondering what sort of potato to use, we recommend waxy varieties like new potatoes or fingerlings, but Yukon Gold also works well. 

    Continue to 13 of 17 below.
  • 13 of 17

    British Halloumi Salad

    Halloumi, Green Bean and Potato Salad

    Halloumi cheese is from Cyprus and is traditionally made with sheep or goat milk. It sports a firm texture, making it a natural option to throw on the grill. There’s nothing bland about this British Halloumi salad, which combines crunchy vegetables, fresh herbs, and of course, Halloumi. 

  • 14 of 17

    Falafel Spiced Couscous

    Falafel-Spiced Middle Eastern Couscous (Israeli Couscous)

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter 

    Although many pasta or grain dishes would feel heavy as a side to burgers, the light and fluffy texture of couscous defies this notion. It owes its roots to North Africa but this version for falafel spiced couscous uses the Israeli “pearl” variety, which is the largest available.

  • 15 of 17

    Hush Puppies

    Deep fried Southern hush puppies recipe

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

    Hush puppies are made by rolling cornmeal flour into balls and deep-frying them. They’re a classic side dish in Southern American cooking and can be enjoyed plain and simple or include whole corn kernels, peppers, spring onions. For dipping, try tartar sauce or aioli on for size.

  • 16 of 17

    Chinese Green Beans

    Chinese Green Beans Recipe

     The Spruce

    This recipe is inspired by Sichuan cuisine, which is known for its complex flavors and high heat cooking methods like stir-fry. Although not frequently seen at cookouts, These Chinese green beans will fit right in alongside burgers and dogs. 

    Continue to 17 of 17 below.
  • 17 of 17

    Brussels Sprouts Dill Salad

    Brussels Sprouts Dill Salad

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

    This brussels sprouts and dill salad is a slightly bitter, crunchy side dish that can balance the richness of burgers and other classic cookout sightings, like mayo and cheese. If you’re not a fan of dill but intrigued by this recipe, swap-in parsley or tarragon.