Everyone’s been to a picnic or cookout where there’s one standout side dish people can’t stop raving about. Burgers are great and all, but the competition is really on when it comes to sides. But coming up with something that’s healthy, delicious, and portable (because no one wants their dish spilling all over the subway or backseat) isn’t easy. Well, you can stop the frantic Googling and consider this your cheat sheet.
Not only do all the dishes here taste amazing, they also pack well, don’t need to be eaten immediately, and can handle a little time outside of a refrigerator. With everything from mayo-less potato salad to refined sugar-free cornbread, you’ll be racking up invites faster than you can slice into another watermelon.
Originally published July 25, 2016. Updated May 15, 2018.
Keep reading for seven healthy sides to bring to any cookout, picnic or al fresco lunch session.
1. Plantain Chips and Salsa
A bag of store-bought tortilla chips and salsa will look downright pitiful next to this easy side. Baked plantains make for a grain-free alternative to traditional dip scoopers, while this tropical-inspired salsa is full of vitamin-C rich kiwis and oranges. (Pairing with an avocado margarita is optional, but highly recommended.)
Looking to bring something sweet instead? How about Danielle Walker’s gluten-free, dairy-free strawberry shortcake? Or if you’re heading to a cookout straight from the farmers’ market, these greens would taste great grilled.
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