Hosting a barbecue this summer? There’s a very good chance that burgers will be on the menu—but what you should serve alongside your grilled beef, turkey, fish, or veggie patty isn’t always so clear. Sure, fries are a classic pairing, but who wants to deep fry in the summer? Plus, there are so many delicious, fresh, and crunchy options that are healthier, too—recipes that come together in the same amount of time it takes to grill burgers. From crunchy slaw and pasta salads to full-bodied pickled veggies, we’ve gathered the best companions to any burger you’re cooking on the grill.
The most obvious companion to a grilled burger is probably the humble potato, but and there are many options that go beyond French fries. You can slice potatoes and grill them alongside your burgers, or, for a super-hearty side, you can bake them and serve with a batch of warm, peppery baked beans. Spice things up by choosing a sweet potato recipe, or pick another vegetable entirely to create an even more unique batch of french fries. We’re particularly fond of zucchini, which can be tossed in panko crumbs and baked in a flash.
When we’re making burgers in the summertime, we like to enjoy them with a side of the freshest, most seasonal produce. We also give bonus points to those sides that don’t require any cooking, such as vegetable-based summer slaws and make-ahead salads, which are chock full of colorful ingredients and zesty summer flavors. If you only have a handful of vegetables from the garden, try making a quick pickled side for a piquant touch to your cheeseburger dinner. Keep these easy sides in mind the next time you fire up the grill.