Grilled Side Dishes for Summer Picnics

grilled sides corn on the cobSummer is the perfect time for gathering the family together and grilling out. But in addition to the mains, you need some tasty treats to accompany the highlight. These grilled side dishes are ideal for feeding your friends and complementing your primary dish.

June is National Fruits and Vegetables Month, so we’ve found four grilled sides utilizing seasonal produce. Check them out, choose your favorite, and cook up a batch!

1. Grilled Corn on the Cob

Bursting with flavor, summer sweet corn is delicious and one of the very best grilled side dishes. Plus, it’s easy as can be!

Borrowed from our friends at Martha Stewart.


  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into four pats
  • Chili powder or paprika


  1. Peel back husks, leaving them attached at the base of the ear. Discard silk and pull husks back over corn. Place corn in a large bowl or pot and cover with cold water. Let soak for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat grill to high and lightly oil grates with vegetable oil. Drain corn and arrange ears on grill. Cover and cook, turning occasionally, using tongs, until husks are slightly charred and corn is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove ears from grill, use one pat of butter per ear, and season corn with salt, pepper, and chili powder or paprika.

2. Quick Barbecued Beans

Yee-haw! There’s nothing like some Texas-style BBQ beans to liven up your summer picnic. You’ll want to add this smoky staple to your lineup of grilled sides for a great cookout every year.

Borrowed from our friends at Taste of Home.


  • 16 ounces kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15-1/2 ounces great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounces canned pork and beans
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard


  1. In an 8-inch square disposable foil pan, combine all ingredients.
  2. Grill, covered, over medium heat until heated through, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

grilled sides zucchini3. Grilled Lemon Garlic Zucchini

Lemon and butter is one of those classic combos that works with so many foods. Fresh zucchini is the key to this grilled side dish. Check out your local farmer’s market or food co-op for the best veggies.

Borrowed from our friends at Damn Delicious.


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • (Optional) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together butter, garlic, Italian seasoning, and lemon juice. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Brush zucchini slices with butter mixture.
  2. Heat grill to medium high heat. Add zucchini in a single layer and grill until charred on both sides and just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes per side.
  3. Garnish with parsley and serve.

grilled peaches4. Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Sugar Butter

Turn this sweet summer fruit into one of the best grilled side dishes. Grilled peaches are incredible on their own, but Bobby Flay’s addition of cinnamon sugar butter takes this dish to a whole new level. Search for Southern peaches for the best flavor.

Borrowed from our friends at Food Network.


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • Canola oil
  • (Optional) Mint leaves, for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, add the softened butter and stir until smooth. Add the cinnamon sugar, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt and mix until combined.
  2. Heat grill to high. Brush peaches with oil and grill until golden brown and just cooked through. Top each peach half with a few teaspoons of the butter and garnish with mint leaves.


These grilled side dishes are perfect for family reunions, picnics, pool parties, and more. Share them with your friends to make summer better for everyone!


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