18 Light Side Dishes for Summer - Clean Eating Magazine

Summer's Best Sides

The gang’s all here! From clean, creative takes on potatoes to all kinds of salads and crispy counterparts, you’re sure to find a summer’s worth of sides in this collection. Plus, get two bonus desserts!
Author:
Publish date:
Blue cheese dressing salad recipe

Seven Layer Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Seven Layer Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

This recipe yields a generous amount of dressing – either toss the desired amount of dressing to coat the salad lightly right before serving, or serve the dressing alongside so your guests can dress it themselves. Or, you can go the route that many traditionalists take in the Midwest – they pour on enough dressing to lightly coat the salad (we suggest using about half of the dressing) and set it in the fridge to allow the dressing to trickle down and coat the veggies.

Get the recipe.

Southwestern Cheddar Steak Fries

Southwestern Cheddar Steak Fries

Southwestern Cheddar Steak Fries

If you’re tossing steaks or chops on the barbecue, pair them with these chunky, lightened-up steak fries. We promise you won’t end up in a steak house-style food coma!

Get the recipe.

Blue Cheese Apple Slaw

Blue Cheese Apple Slaw

Blue Cheese Apple Slaw with Tangy Garlic Dressing

Sweet apple, crunchy celery and pungent blue cheese make for the perfect combination in this 25-minute slaw.

Get the recipe.

Red, White & Blue Cheese Cobb Salad

Red, White & Blue Cheese Cobb Salad

Red, White & Blue Cheese Cobb Salad

Cobb salad is an American favorite, but clean eaters usually steer clear of its heavy, fatty dressing. Our version has all the same great taste of a traditional chopped salad, but with a lightened-up dressing that won’t disappoint!

Get the recipe.

Papaya salad recipe

Shredded Papaya Salad

Shredded Papaya Salad

All over Thailand, you’ll see cooks in makeshift sidewalk food carts working huge mortars and pestles, pounding together the ingredients for this spicy, refreshing salad. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, chop and smash the chiles and garlic with the side of a chef’s knife before mixing them with the remaining dressing ingredients. 

Get the recipe.

Summery Green Bean Casserole

Summery Green Bean Casserole

Summery Green Bean Casserole

Why not let a winter favorite soak up some summer sun? We’ve got the beans, the mushroom sauce and the crunchy bits, and a few extra additions to boot!

Get the recipe.

Roasted Vegetables & Goat Cheese Salad

Roasted Vegetables & Goat Cheese Pasta Salad

Roasted Vegetables & Goat Cheese Pasta Salad

While this cheesy, veggie-laden pasta salad can be a meal all on its own, we suggest pairing it with grilled tofu or chicken (and keeping leftovers for lunch the next day!).
TIP: Use whatever vegetables are lying around in your fridge!

Get the recipe.

Honeydew & Blackberry Bowl with Basil & Lime Drizzle

Honeydew and Blackberry Bowl with Basil Lime Drizzle

Honeydew and Blackberry Bowl with Basil Lime Drizzle

The herbal taste of basil with lime juice and a touch of salt and pepper make the fruits in this bowl taste even sweeter. Mix and match with your favorite melons and berries.

Get the recipe.

The Laguna Green With Asparagus, Strawberies & Orange Tarragon Vinaigrette

The Laguna Green With Asparagus, Strawberries & Orange Tarragon Vinaigrette

The Laguna Green with Asparagus, Strawberries & Orange Tarragon Vinaigrette

Peak-season asparagus is lightly grilled then tossed with arugula, roasted beets and strawberries in this colorful, warm-weather salad.

Get the recipe.

Oven-Fried Squash Spears

Oven-Fried Squash Spears

Oven-Fried Squash Spears

While your oven gets to work crisping up these 80-calorie, bread crumb-coated spears of zucchini and summer squash, you can whip up a garlicky dip and work the barbecue!

Get the recipe.

Grilled Watermelon Skewers with Feta and White Bean Salad

Grilled Watermelon Skewers with Feta and White Bean Salad

Grilled Watermelon Skewers with Feta and White Bean Salad

Smoky flavor of fresh watermelon over tasty greens, feta cheese and white beans makes an antioxidant powerhouse of a salad.

Get the recipe.

Jicama Guacamole Recipe

Jicama Guacamole

Jicama Guacamole

Jicama gives this guacamole a unique and refreshing crunch – everyone will be trying to guess your secret ingredient!

Get the recipe.

Salsa-Style Corn Fusilli Salad

Salsa-Style Corn Fusilli Salad

Salsa-Style Corn Fusilli Salad

Fresh and sweet-tart, this Mexican inspired salad with its light, tropical and citrus flavors pairs beautifully with delicate grilled shrimp or other mild seafood. This recipe doubles as an amazing burger topper – simply omit the pasta!

Get the recipe.

Purple potato egg salad recipe

Purple Potato Egg Salad

Purple Potato Egg Salad

This purple potato salad is given a protein boost with hard-boiled eggs and all-natural turkey bacon to give you 12 grams of protein per serving. Protein combined with slow-burning carbs like purple potatoes can provide you with sustained energy throughout the day.

Get the recipe.

Middle Eastern Chicken and Rice Salad with Tahini Dill Dressing

Middle Eastern Chicken and Rice Salad with Tahini Dill Dressing

Middle Eastern Chicken and Rice Salad with Tahini Dill Dressing

A key ingredient in many Middle Eastern salads, mint gives this recipe a wonderful freshness. Simply seasoned chicken bumps up the protein content, making this a filling main dish. Using leftover cooked rice speeds up dinner prep — just make extra the night before.

Get the recipe.

Basil Lime Sorbet

Basil Lime Sorbet

BONUS: Basil Lime Sorbet

We don’t typically think of them in desserts, but herbs go really well with all kinds of fruit flavors. Here, basil complements lime for a sweet-tart treat.

Get the recipe.

Grilled Berry Cobbler

Grilled Berry Cobbler

BONUS: Grilled Berry Cobbler

If you’re lucky enough to grow fresh berries in your backyard, this super-simple recipe is sure to become your go-to summer dessert! Sprinkle with additional lemon zest and serve with a generous dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of sweet honey.

Get the recipe.