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19 amazing summery side dishes to take your Labor Day barbecue to the next level

Throw a cookout to remember with twists on classics like coleslaw, roasted corn and potato salad.
by Vidya Rao /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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It's not a cookout without the main course — from juicy burgers and succulent steaks to grilled chicken. But nothing truly wows a crowd excited quite like a sweet spread of fun sides.

Throw a Labor Day cookout to remember by adding some of these creative, colorful and crazy good options, including twists on classics like coleslaw and potato salad.

No-Mayo Potato Salad

Seriously, no matter which side of the mayo divide guests fall on, they are going to go in for seconds of this potato salad. Instead of mayonnaise, a mixture of heart-healthy tahini, apple cider vinegar and a splash of starchy potato-cooking water help bind this tangy dressing to each bite. Deceptively creamy, this filling and refreshing classic picnic side dish will be piled high on everyone's plates.

Chef Tim Love's easy vinegar-based potato salad is perfect for tailgating, picnics, cookouts and year-round entertaining. But we love how light it is for summer.

Summer Corn Succotash

Summer Corn Succotash

Sweet Potato Chronicles

With only three ingredients that may already be in the pantry, this is a sweet and simple summer side that's a great recipe to keep going back to every weekend.

Pandan, also known as screw pine or the vanilla of Southeast Asia, brings out a wonderfully smoky sweetness from the corn. It can be found in the Asian food section of some grocery stores or in many Asian specialty stores.

A tangy, white balsamic vinaigrette gives this simple salad lots of great flavor. It can be served cold or at room temperature, making it a great portable option for summer picnics and other outdoor activities.

Peppery arugula is a perfect foil to creamy feta cheese and sweet, juicy watermelon in this dish. Serve it as a side or even as a main course. Don't be surprised if this becomes a new go-to summer salad!

United in this citrus salad, Cara Cara and blood oranges, pink and yellow grapefruits and kumquats are a kaleidoscope of colors and a mouth-watering mélange of flavors.

Canned chipotle chiles in adobo not only add heat, they also add a subtle smokiness to this quick-as-lightening shrimp salad. Serve it slightly warm or chilled. It's also great on top of a bed of greens as a refreshing main salad dish.

Other kale salads require tenderizing the leafy green with a massage. There’s no need with this salad because the kale naturally softens thanks to the lemon juice in the vinaigrette. In fact, the longer the dressing settles into the kale, the better the salad becomes.

Easy Asian-Style Coleslaw

Bok choy and pea pods add extra crunch and sweetness to this gingery slaw from chef Tiffani Faison of Boston's Sweet Cheeks Q and Tiger Mama.

Flavor-Packed Asian Slaw

This colorful, crisp slaw is packed with flavor thanks to the dressing's irresistible balance of tangy lime and sweet honey — with just the right kick of chili sauce. It is perfect with just about any kind of grilled meat or fish ... or even stuffed into a wrap sandwich! But it was truly born to be served with brisket.

TIffani Thiessen tops her slow-cooker pulled pork sliders with a Brussels sprouts slaw here, but any crunchy slaw — from a creamy coleslaw to a sweet carrot slaw — would also be a great addition in warmer months.

Curry Cauliflower Slaw

Make some curry roasted cauliflower ahead of time and toss it with bagged slaw for a flavorful side or meal.

This twist on traditional slaw is the perfect lunch or dinner to make ahead of time and pack for a mobile feast. It's delicious and hearty while still being healthy, plus it's packed with a good dose of protein, grains and vegetables!

Here's a delicious and healthy take on summer rolls using savory cabbage, courtesy of chef Jeff McInnis of Root & Bone restaurant in New York City.

Al's Orzo Pasta Salad

With no mayo, this simple, healthy orzo pasta salad is perfect for eating at room temperature and taking to picnics or on road trips.

This savory tomato tart is just as delicious to eat as it is beautiful to look at.

This salad takes all the best things about the classic BLT sandwich — crisp bacon, of course, along with lettuce, juicy tomatoes and great bread — and puts them into forkable form.

3-Bean Salad

3-Bean Salad

Craig Strong

Don't feel like going grocery shopping? All the ingredients for this simple, pleasantly acidic side dish are probably already in the pantry.

This post was originally published May 25, 2016.

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