Key Takeaways:

  • Summer is the perfect time to eat lighter, refreshing meals like these four healthy side dishes.
  • Grilled summer vegetables with burnt scallion yogurt, corn and tomato salad with basil vinaigrette, mango-lime salsa, and strawberries with balsamic vinegar and mint are all easy-to-make, flavorful dishes that can complement your meals.
  • Using high-quality ingredients and flavorful dressings can make even the simplest dishes taste amazing.

ummer is the best time to eat lighter food. When it's hot outside, you don't want to be eating heavy things like meat and potatoes—you want something refreshing.

Here are 4 healthier side dishes that will make your summer meals more delicious than ever:

1. Grilled Summer Vegetables with Burnt Scallion Yogurt

Grilled summer vegetables are super simple and easy to make, but they can be a little bland. To kick them up a notch, try adding some charred scallions and yogurt dressing. This recipe will make your grilled veggies taste better than ever before!


  • Vegetables of your choice (we used zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced on a bias


  1. Place the vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle them with olive oil, salt, & pepper.
  2. Grill the vegetables until tender and browned on each side.
  3. Add the grilled vegetables to a large salad bowl and toss with yogurt and scallions.

2. Corn and Tomato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

This is a simple recipe that you can use to make a delicious side dish or add to your main course. It's light, fresh, and flavorful—and it's sure to please even the pickiest eaters!


  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided (or more if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or more if desired)
  • salt and pepper
  • large ear of corn (or 3-4 smaller ones)
  • cup cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes


  1. Place basil, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Grill corn on the cob over medium heat with the husk on until it's cooked through (about 15 minutes). Remove from grill and let cool slightly.
  3. Cut off kernels from cobs using a sharp knife or kitchen shears; discard cobs and set aside kernels in large bowl.
  4. Add tomatoes to bowl along with vinaigrette mixture; toss gently until everything is coated evenly. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 hour before serving - this salad gets better as it sits!

3. Mango-Lime Salsa

You can serve this salsa as a dip for vegetables, or you can use it as a topping for salads and fish dishes. The key to making it taste good is using high-quality mangoes and limes. If you have access to fresh mangos and limes, then even better!


  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

4. Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint

This strawberry dish is so easy to make, and it looks beautiful! The sweet strawberries pair well with the tart balsamic vinegar and mint. It's a nice dessert for any occasion that doesn't take too much time but tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen.


  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • ÂĽ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, chopped


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and mint.
  2. Toss to coat well.
  3. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving so the flavors can marrinate.

If you want something light and refreshing, try serving these recipes with your next meal.

They each have their own unique flavor profile that will add some excitement to your plate!

Learn More:

Jul 6, 2022
Cooking & Nutrition

Classes by:

Pam Penney

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