26 Make-Ahead BBQ Side Dishes to Bring to Your Next Cookout

Summer is officially here which means the arrival of backyard potluck season! Whether a pool party, friends’ barbecue, neighborhood block party, or family reunion it seems like every weekend is an opportunity for someone to play host. This also means you likely have been tasked with bringing some sort of side dish to compliment the group meal. While a trip to the prepared foods aisle may be a last minute option, it is always nice to have some easy make-ahead recipes in your back pocket to really impress your friends. Whether it’s a salad that gets better with time in the fridge to let the flavours comingle or a prepped dish that just needs a quick cook the day of, these super tasty recipes are your answer to the busy summer entertaining season ahead.

Appetizers & Sides

Chilled Soups – make ahead and chill until ready to serve:

Zesty Lentil Gazpacho

Cantaloupe Gazpacho with Split Red Lentils

A spin on baked beans – reheat when ready to serve, or serve at room temp:

Sweet & Smoky Lentils

Maple Espresso Baked Lentils

Other summer barbecue musts:

Twice Baked Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Spicy Pickled Cucumbers & Lentils

Curried Lentil Cauliflower Hand Pies

Lentil Zucchini Tomato Tart with Feta & Dill


Most of these salads are without traditional salad greens, making them easy to prepare ahead of time fully dressed – the ingredients, particularly the lentils, will hold up and soak in the flavours without getting soggy making them even tastier the next day

Zesty Lentil Coleslaw with Buttermilk Dressing

Cabbage & Lentil Slaw

Tomato & Lentil Salad with Feta & Herbs

Summer Lentil Salad

Garden Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Lentil Pasta Salad

Watermelon Lentil Salad

Roasted Baby Potato & Lentil Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Lentil & BBQ Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Creamy Lentil Garden Cucumber Salad

Charred Vegetable & Lentil Antipasto Salad

Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Salad with Lentils

Greek Lentil Salad


You can’t forget a sweet finish to a meal – everyone will save room for these delish endings that can be made ahead and reheated, finished before serving, or even grilled on the barbecue to really add a wow factor

Raspberry & Blueberry Cobbler

Summer Peach & Lentil Crostata

Cranberry & White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Strawberry Cardamom Scones

Grilled Lemon Pound Cake with Grilled Mango