10 Easy Breezy Summer Side Dishes

07/30/2017 07:35 am ET Updated Jul 30, 2017

Summer cooking should be simple, fresh, and fuss-free. From cilantro lime sweet corn to couscous salad with apricot vinaigrette, you can throw together these delicious, seasonal recipes together in no time.

This recipe comes from Vivian Howard’s much-acclaimed cookbook, Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South (Little, Brown and Company, 2016). It’s the perfect make-ahead side dish for summer. GET THE RECIPE

Perfect for a backyard BBQ, these baby potatoes are boldly flavored with a thick Dijon mustard marinade, then grilled until crispy and charred. GET THE RECIPE

This easy summer side of crisp zucchini, burst cherry tomatoes and meltingly sweet red onions is one of those dishes where the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. GET THE RECIPE

Often referred to as “veggie crack” because it’s so addictive, this is one of my most requested recipes. Whether I serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken or a dip with tortilla chips (highly recommend!), the bowl is always empty and the plates are always full. GET THE RECIPE

Refreshing and light, this tangy and sweet cucumber salad is perfect for a picnic lunch. Guarantee: you’ll want to drink the cucumber-infused dressing straight from the bowl. GET THE RECIPE

These tender and sweet cornbread muffins are the perfect accompaniment to any Southern barbecue or Southwestern-style dish. My kids love them so much that I’m constantly swatting their little hands away from the bread basket so they don’t fill up. GET THE RECIPE

Imagine creamed spinach, only with zucchini. This delicate yet rich dish is easy to prepare — and it’s great for entertaining because you can make it ahead of time. GET THE RECIPE

This salad is a healthy eater’s dream: flavorful, chock-full of protein and veggies, and low in fat. Make it a meal unto itself by adding cooked shrimp, crab or lobster. GET THE RECIPE

An exotic twist on the classic carrot-raisin combo, this fragrant and bright Moroccan-style salad is a feast for the senses. GET THE RECIPE

Made with couscous, scallions, fresh herbs, crunchy almonds and a tangy-sweet apricot vinaigrette, this is the perfect side dish for summer. It’s light, takes mere minutes to make, travels well to a picnic or BBQ, and can be served warm or room temperature. GET THE RECIPE

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