Time-Saving Side Dish Recipes Perfect For A Cookout

Anyday microwave cookware with corn on the cob next to a grill with food

Time-Saving Side Dish Recipes Perfect For A Cookout

News Food Time-Saving Side Dish Recipes Perfect For A Cookout

Ever thought your microwave could be the MVP of your cookout? Check out our curated list of side salads—potato, pasta, and grain—that come together with a little microwave magic. Quick, tasty, and with a few simple tips to level them up, these sides will make your BBQ prep a breeze! (Featured Image: How to Microwave Corn)


Anyday Microwave Marble Potato SaladRecipe: Marble Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Use our basic potato salad recipe, or Level It Up! with these flavorful swaps.


  • Greek: Cut small potatoes in half and mix with Greek yogurt, diced cucumber, lemon zest, lemon juice, and chopped fresh dill.
  • Fancy French: Combine cooked potatoes with olive tapenade, quartered cherry tomatoes, cooked green beans, and chopped red onion.
  • Tangy Mustard: While the potatoes are still warm, cut cooked potatoes in half and mix with grain mustard, honey mustard dressing, and mayonnaise to taste. Top with sliced radishes and sliced scallions.
  • Italian Garlic: Combine cooked potatoes with roasted garlic, Italian dressing to taste, sliced olives, and chopped parsley or basil.
  • BLT: Roughly chop the cooked potatoes and mix with crumbled bacon, arugula, Italian dressing to taste, and chopped red onion.

More microwave potato recipes:


Anyday Microwave Alfredo PrimaveraRecipe: Pasta Alfredo Primavera

Pasta Salads

Toss cooked pasta with the dressing while it’s still warm, allowing the pasta to absorb all of the flavors! You may need to toss with extra dressing prior to serving; taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.


  • Lemony Pesto: Mix pasta with pesto, lemon zest, halved cherry tomatoes, and chopped red onions.
  • Summer Corn: Toss pasta in Italian dressing to taste. Add fire-roasted corn, mini mozzarella balls (halved), sliced fresh yellow peppers or canned roasted peppers, and fresh basil.
  • Blue Cheese: Stir in some blue cheese dressing to taste and add sliced green grapes, diced celery, and fresh dill.
  • Sun Dried Tomato: Combine pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, sliced olives, arugula, balsamic dressing, and parmesan cheese.
  • Green Goddess: Mix the pasta with some green goddess dressing to taste, crumbled feta cheese, diced cucumber, and some crispy onion topping.


Anyday Microwave Mediterranean Grain SaladRecipe: Mediterranean Grain Salad

Grain Salads

Hearty grains like quinoa, brown rice, farro, and barley hold up well to zippy vinaigrettes, making them a great option for a side salad at a cookout. Toss your favorite grain with any of the following flavor combinations:


  • Fire-Roasted: Season the grain with medium spicy salsa, quartered cherry tomatoes, some fire-roasted corn, crumbled Cotija cheese, chopped red onion, and chopped cilantro.
  • Cucumber Mint: Mix with diced cucumber, thinly sliced mint leaves, lemon zest, crumbled feta cheese, Italian dressing to taste, and some raw spinach.
  • Goat Cheese & Beet: Combine grains cooked diced beets, crumbled goat cheese, and honey mustard dressing to taste.
  • Artichoke Pesto: Add some quartered artichoke hearts, sliced olives, chopped red onion, quartered cherry tomatoes, and balsamic dressing to taste.
  • Broccoli-Cranberry: Mix the cooked grain with steamed broccoli florets, dried cranberries, pickled or sliced red onions, balsamic dressing to taste, and parmesan cheese.
  • Mandarin Chicken Crunch: Once cool, mix in some shredded chicken, mandarin oranges (canned), thinly sliced red onion, toasted almonds, sesame dressing to taste.

Check out more microwave grain salad ideas:


Looking for inspiration? Explore our collection of microwave recipes, suitable for all skill levels. Plus, with our 'Level it Up' tips, you can effortlessly customize each dish to suit your taste. Dive into creativity and make your next cookout uniquely yours.


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4-Piece Starter Set

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4-Piece Starter Set

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About the Author

Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson (she/her) is the Recipe Manager for Anyday. Her first cookbook, Unicorn Food, was published in 2018 and you can find more of her work in Cooking Light Magazine, Bon Appetit, and other outlets. She enjoys pizza, feminism, and creating joy through food.