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12 Easy Summer Picnic Salads and Side Dishes

It’s not a picnic without all those yummy salads and sides, so here are 12 Easy Summer Picnic Salads and Side Dishes that’ll have everyone coming back for more!

From Memorial Day to the 4th of July to Labor Day and everything in between, these summer salads and sides go perfectly with grilled burgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs, steaks, or whatever else is on your menu!

All of these salad and side dish recipes are my favorites from right here on the blog that I make all summer long, whether it’s for a holiday picnic or barbecue with family and friends or a simple weeknight cookout for just the two of us.

There’s something for everyone on this list. I’ve got macaroni salad, pasta salad, potato salad, coleslaw, veggie salads, corn on the cob, and more. And the best part is they’re all simple to make and taste absolutely delicious!

So without any further ado, here they are!

Classic Creamy Macaroni Salad

This easy Classic Creamy Macaroni Salad has tender pasta, crunchy veggies, and chopped eggs tossed with a mayonnaise-based dressing. It's a must-have, crowd-pleasing side dish for all your summertime picnics, potlucks, and barbecues!

a bowl of cheesy bacon ranch potato salad with a spoon in it

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potato Salad

Tired of the same old potato salad? Change things up with this delicious Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potato Salad that tastes like a loaded baked potato! It's the perfect addition to your next barbecue or potluck.

broccoli and cauliflower salad in a white bowl with a fork

Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

This Broccoli and Cauliflower salad has fresh broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, onion, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries tossed in a creamy poppy seed dressing. It's one of my favorite summer salads!

cucumber and onion salad in a white bowl with a spoon

Cucumber and Onion Salad

Nothing says summer like this cool, crisp, sweet and tangy Cucumber and Onion Salad! It's super quick and easy to put together, and it goes great with all things grilled!

Easy Ramen Noodle Salad

This Easy Ramen Noodle Salad is sweet, tangy, crunchy, colorful, quick to make, and so delicious that everyone will be asking for seconds (and maybe even thirds)!

sweet and tangy no mayo coleslaw on a white plate with a bowl of slaw in the background

Sweet and Tangy No-Mayo Coleslaw

This Sweet and Tangy No-Mayo Coleslaw is a delicious and refreshing alternative to traditional coleslaw. It's great as a side dish or piled on top of sandwiches or tacos!

a bowl of chickpea salad with a serving spoon on the side

Italian Chickpea Salad

This quick and easy Italian Chickpea Salad is fresh, crisp, colorful, full of good-for-you veggies and mozzarella cheese, and tossed with a balsamic dressing. It's great for lunch, a light supper, or as a side dish

ambrosia salad in a dessert bowl with a spoon

Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad is a quick and easy classic dessert or side dish that's popular for holidays and potlucks, but it's too good not to enjoy more often!

antipasto pasta salad in a white bowl with a fork

Antipasto Pasta Salad

This Antipasto Pasta Salad is full of pasta, veggies, meats, and cheese all tossed with a homemade red wine vinegar dressing. It's super easy to make and is absolutely packed with flavor!

cucumber tomato and onion salad in a white bowl

Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad

This Cucumber, Onion and Tomato Salad is so easy and so out-of-this-world delicious, you will want to make it again and again and again! It's the perfect side dish salad for your summer picnics and potlucks!

caprese salad with balsamic drizzle on a white plate with a serving fork

Caprese Salad With Balsamic Drizzle

Caprese Salad With Balsamic Drizzle has ripe, juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, fresh basil, and a sweet and tangy balsamic reduction for an extra punch of flavor in every bite! This classic Italian appetizer is summer on a plate!

Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

Once you try Instant Pot Corn on the Cob, you may never want to cook fresh corn any other way. It's quick, easy, and the corn is perfectly crisp-tender and delicious every time!

I hope you found a few you’d like to try. You really can’t go wrong with any of them!

Also, check out my recipes for Cold Brew Iced Tea and Easy Homemade Lime Lemonade for some cold and refreshing drinks to serve alongside all of that delicious food, as well as the list below for some easy summertime dessert ideas.

Happy summer cooking (and eating), everyone! Thanks for visiting today!

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