Summer is the prime time for cookouts and barbecues! While you may have already planned for the main meal months in advance (ribs, anyone?!), your idea for sides may have fallen to the sidelines. Don’t worry! We have you covered with these creative recipes from sweet cucumber melon salad to savory bacon potato salad—all under 300 calories per serving.
1. Mashed Avocado Egg Salad | 24 Carrot Life
This simple egg salad recipe can be served as an entrée or as a side. The marriage of creamy avocado and mashed eggs is spiced up with zesty lemon and Dijon mustard, so chances are you won’t miss the mayonnaise! Recipe yields 2 servings for entrée-size portions. We suggest doubling the serving size to 4 to serve it as a side. Nutrition information is for 1/4 of the recipe.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 103; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 185mg; Sodium: 174mg; Carbohydrate: 3g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 7g
2. Summertime Caprese Salad | Eating Bird Food
We’re spicing up a classic with this summertime caprese salad recipe. It’s perfect for a light lunch or as a side salad for your dinner main course. Dig in! Tomatoes deliver lots of nutrients and inflammation-reducing antioxidants, including lycopene and folic acid. Recipe makes 16 servings at 1 ounce cheese plus 2 slices tomatoes plus toppings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 124; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 18mg; Sodium: 236mg; Carbohydrate: 2g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 7g
3. Honey-Mustard Green Bean Potato Salad | Real Food Whole Life
Do you turn your nose up at mayo? Check out this zesty potato salad featuring a sweet mustard dressing. It’s full of high-fiber snappy green beans and tender potatoes. Recipe makes 8 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 177; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 182mg; Carbohydrate: 22g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 3g
4. Bacon Potato Salad | The Roasted Root
In the heat of summer, bacon and potatoes can feel too rich in a main meal. Instead, serve this classic combo as a summer side with this recipe for German-style potato salad. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 277; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 739mg; Carbohydrate: 51g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 6g
5. Cool Cucumber Melon Salad | The Nutritional Epiphany
Nothing says summer quite like melons! This cucumber melon salad comes together using just five ingredients and no added sugar. Just slice, dice, toss and enjoy, in that order. The recipe doesn’t specify the number of servings, but we suggest you share this salad with 20 people. Nutrition information is for 20 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 157; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 14mg; Carbohydrate: 39g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 32g; Protein: 3g
6. Oven-Fried Okra | Love & Zest
Ready for a crispy fix? You had me at oven-fried okra. This recipe turns a traditionally deep-fried treat into a healthy side you can freely indulge in. Thick-cut okra is baked in a crispy coating of egg and whole-wheat bread crumbs for added protein and fiber. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 cup each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 84; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g ; Cholesterol: 46mg; Sodium: 72mg; Carbohydrate: 14g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 5g
7. Tangy Vinaigrette Coleslaw | The Honour System
If you love coleslaw but don’t want to be weighed down by excess creaminess, check out this tangy coleslaw recipe featuring fresh cabbage marinaded in vinegar, honey, salt and mustard. The recipe is friendly for gluten-free eaters and a breeze to make. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 41; Total Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 218mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 2g
8. Southwestern Black Bean Salad | Skinnytaste
This colorful Southwestern black bean salad tosses together corn, beans, tomatoes and avocado for a festive summer side. The refreshing side pairs well with just about any lean protein that makes its way off your grill. Recipe makes 13 servings at 1/2 cup each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 80; Total Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 127mg; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 3g
9. Lighter Chicken Salad | Averie Cooks
Chicken salad is a cool alternative (literally) to barbecue meats hot off the grill. This recipe features a lighter version using Greek yogurt instead of traditional mayonnaise. If you want to enjoy this as a full meal, follow recipe suggestions and serve with a toasted bagel. Nutrition information leaves out the bagels, assuming you’re serving this salad as a side. Recipe makes 4 servings for entrée-size chicken salad, but we suggest doubling the number of servings to 8 for sides; nutrition information reflects this.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 149; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 46mg; Sodium: 511mg; Carbohydrate: 4g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 19g
10. Green Bean & Cherry Tomato | Smitten Kitchen
Take advantage of your summer veggies while they’re at their ripest! It doesn’t take much to make this fresh summer side featuring green beans, cherry tomatoes, shallots, oil and vinegar. This dish’s bright, pretty colors will look great on a picnic table. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 152; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 63mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 2g