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30 summery side dishes to take your Labor Day spread to the next level

Throw a cookout to remember with twists on classics like coleslaw, corn on the cob and potato salad.
/ Source: TODAY

It's not a cookout without the main course — from juicy burgers and succulent steaks to grilled chicken. But nothing wows a crowd quite like a massive spread of summery 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, corn on the cob and potato salad.

Using steamed potatoes from the bag saves time and makes prep quick and easy. Then just toss them with a simple dressing, charred onions for a sweet and smoky flavor and you'll be on your way to the barbecue (or relaxing at your own!).

Chef Bryant Terry's family has found multiple uses for this tangy condiment: stuffing it into tacos, serving it atop beans and simply sautéing it to serve as a side dish. Try one serving option or all three, but definitely try it!

Loaded with sweet and spicy pickled vegetables to go along with the herby and briny feta dip, this platter requires only a few minutes of cooking, which means you'll have a cool kitchen while preparing a veggie-packed dish that is light, fresh and robust in flavor.

Peach Baked Beans

Combine of summer's favorites fruits to sweeten up a barbecue staple. This version of the beloved side dish, which can be devoured by the spoonful or ladled onto hot dogs and tender pulled pork sandwiches, has a lively, balanced flavor profile with canned peach filling, pimiento peppers for a subtle kick and some acidity from cider vinegar.

According to chef Pati Jinich, summertime salads work best with a pop of refreshing fruit, a little heat, something creamy and salty, all tossed lightly in a bright, citrusy vinaigrette. Her watermelon-tomatillo salad shows off all her best summer salad-making tips in one gorgeous recipe.

The avocado cream sauce is both light and refreshing — qualities rarely found in creamy sauces. It also maintains an amazing brightness with the addition of fresh basil and lemon and is extremely versatile.

When it's hot outside and you don't want to turn on your stove, this light, bright salad is the perfect antidote. Use a grater or your food processor to get the broccoli as small as possible, then combine with the fresh zing of lemon and the brininess of feta to get the perfect summer slaw.

Cool as a cucumber, this herby salad features bright and refreshing flavors that will woo your taste buds. You're the boss of your toss — throw in parsley, mint, dill, basil or cilantro — most fresh garden herbs will work. This is best enjoyed the same day since the cukes are the crunchiest, but it will last up to three days in the fridge. Scoop up a hearty serving and enjoy the taste of summer.

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.

Southern-style mac and cheese is cheesy, hearty and sturdy. It's basically a custard-style baked macaroni and cheese with eggs, heavy cream and sharp cheddar cheese, and it pairs perfectly with barbecue.

Perfect Potato Salad

The key to a perfect potato salad — as with all cooking — is having the best ingredients. When you stumble upon the most precious baby potatoes, it's time to make potato salad. Then, instead of making a heavy, mayonnaise-y salad, toss just-tender potatoes with olive oil, shallot vinaigrette and whatever fresh, green herbs you can get your hands on.

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.

Imagine smoky-sweet grilled corn with sizzling garlic butter and fragrant basil — aka what summer food dreams are made of.

Roasted Tomatoes with Strawberries

A fruit salad masquerading as a fun summer side dish? Sign us up! You can roast the tomatoes in advance and assemble the dish just before serving. It's an unexpected flavor pairing, but it just works.

This dish reminds Laura Vitale of her best summer days on the Amalfi coast. It's so light, bright and flavorful — not to mention quick to prepare!

Al's Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Al's grilled vegetable skewers will disappear even faster than the burgers, ribs or chicken at your cookout.

Tomatoes are at their peak right now, and so is sweet and juicy corn. It couldn't be a better time to throw all these seasonal vegetables together to make a delicious salad. And grilled halloumi adds a little Middle Eastern flair to it.

Burrata Caprese Salad

Burrata Caprese Salad

Valerie Bertinelli

This is Valerie Bertinelli's go-to recipe for warm-weather entertaining. It's no-cook, full of flavor, only requires a few ingredients and so refreshing. All the elements pair so well together and make for an easy and impressive starter.

This simple salad is filled with crisp veggies and fresh herbs, easy to prepare and can be made ahead. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

Honey-Jalapeño Coleslaw

The grated jalapeño and hint of honey give this slaw a delicious balance of sweet and heat, which makes this classic side dish more exciting and dynamic.

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.

Icebox Pasta Salad

Icebox Pasta Salad

Elizabeth Heiskell

This recipe uses everything in the icebox. If you have red onion, a little piece of squash or zucchini, leftover chicken, berries, peaches, apples or one random tomato, throw it in there. This is also amazing for lunchboxes the next day and delicious at room temperature.

This is Dylan's go-to recipe for summer barbecues because it's super easy, she usually has all the ingredients on hand and it can sit out for a while without spoiling.

Curry Cauliflower Slaw

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

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

Grilled Caesar Salad

Have you ever grilled lettuce? If not, you're missing out — get ready for a delicious surprise!

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.