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20 Must-Try Hot Weather Side Dishes

Once the weather starts to warm up, we all start craving light, summery sides. Preferably ones that don’t have us firing up the oven. We collected our favorite warm weather dishes when you need something light yet filling, and pairs perfectly with hearty summer main dishes.

Need inspiration for other fruits and vegetables? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add them to our list!

Mediterranean-Inspired Chickpea Salad

When it’s just too hot to turn on the oven, there’s nothing better than a refreshing, chilled salad that can be made in minutes. This Mediterranean-style salad is the perfect side dish to your warm-weather staples—or it can be served as the main event.

Creamy Vegan Cashew Primavera

Here’s one recipe that always has an invite to our summer picnics and cookouts: vegan pasta salad. It’s not overloaded with ingredients. Nope, we kept it simple with mixed peppers and onion. Instead of heavy mayo, though, we made a creamy cashew sauce to coat everything.

Quinoa, Mint, and Apple Salad

Perfectly crisp, sweet, and picked at peak perfection, the apple is the most popular fruit for a reason. Perhaps that’s why we are drawn to simple salads with fresh ingredients that truly let the crunchy apple shine. This iteration calls for spicy arugula, fresh mint, and a sweet-yet-tangy dressing that complements sweet apples perfectly, but you could go with pretty much any green and herb you like.

Fennel, Apple, Celery, and Walnut Slaw

Sweet apples, fresh celery, and anise-like fennel come together in a refreshingly crisp salad that can be prepared in just minutes. The flavors would also pair nicely with spicy arugula and crunchy jicama.

Warm, Garlicky Kale Salad

Yes, you need to turn on the stove for this one, but we promise it’ll be worth it. Because kale can be bitter and a little tough, it often needs a simple sauté in garlic and oil to help to cut some the sharp taste and soften the leaves. You’ll be left with garlic-infused kale, the perfect flavorful base for any salad. We like this one with thinly-sliced beets and onions.

Mexican-Inspired Street Corn

There are too many things to name that we love about Mexican food but may be just a little bit partial to one of Mexico’s most recognizable street dishes: elotes. And you don’t need a street corner to make this flavorful side dish at home.

Grilled Zucchini with Lemon Tahini Sauce

Slender spears of squash are the perfect vehicle for this garlicky sauce that, frankly, you’ll want to slather on every seasonal veggie.

Roasted Asparagus and Radishes

Warmer weather is synonymous with vibrant, herbaceous, and crunchy veggies like asparagus and radishes, which is why you’ll find them in a number of salads, frittatas, and quiches all season long. Simply roasting your spring veggies with oil, salt, and pepper is good enough, but this dish takes them to the next level with a bright, lemony miso dressing.

Curried Potato Salad

There’s no better way to use leftover roasted potatoes than to add them with fragrant spices and a creamy sauce for a chilled potato salad. It’s a classic side dish at outdoor gatherings for a reason!

Chilled Sesame Beet Salad

This dish is less about the beet base and more about the delicious sesame dressing drizzled on top. If you aren’t a fan of chilled beets, follow the recipe for the dressing and pour it over carrots, potatoes, or even salads.

Simple Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing

One of the easiest ways to use a lot of veggies is in a salad, but plain salads are, well, plain. Thankfully, this sweet homemade carrot ginger dressing brings it all together. Top your leafy greens with crunchy veg like radishes and cucumbers, add in some acid with tomatoes and orange segments, some spice from fresh scallions, and then drizzle everything with generous amounts of carrot ginger dressing.

Cumin-Spiced Carrot, Cabbage, and Radish Slaw

You’d think that combining earthy carrots with spicy radish, sweet dried cranberries, and smoky cumin would make for an overpowering dish. Think again! Though this crunchy slaw is full of strong flavors, they harmonize together.

Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade

A mezze platter is the perfect warm weather dish, but it isn’t complete without homemade tapenade served alongside seasonal fresh veggies and crunchy crackers. While your classic tapenade includes Italian olives, our favorite way to make the spread is by quick roasting sweet red bell peppers and blending them with rich pine nuts and a bunch of fresh basil. It’s a cool dish for warming and waning summer days.

Cherry Tomato Confit Hummus

Like a mezze platter, which often includes hummus, serving raw veggies alongside cool and creamy hummus is a delicious dish when it’s just too hot to cook anything else. This version is topped with sweet tomato confit for an outstanding twist on homemade hummus.

Blistered Shishito Peppers

If you absolutely must turn on the stove, stick with dishes that take just minutes to make. Enter: simply seasoned and pan-roasted shishito peppers. They need just a few minutes on the stovetop to be blistered to delicious perfection.

Blueberry Mango Salsa

Haven’t strayed beyond the plain-old tomato, pepper, and onion salsa yet? We’ve got a challenge for you. Whip up this fruity version next time, which combines soft, fruity mango with a spicy kick in the form of onion and jalapeño. It’s spicy and sweet!

Potato Salad with Honey Dijon Yogurt and Herbs

This potato salad has got a bit of tang that separates it from bland, mushy potato salads of cookouts past, and the herby notes and smoked paprika give it surprising depth. It’s meant to be served warm but can most definitely be served cold, too.

Gently Pickled Watermelon Radish Salad

This pickled Misfit Market salad takes the beauty and flavor of the watermelon radish to the next level.

Zucchini Noodles with Toasted Sesame Dressing

Whether you peel, slice, or Spiralize your squash into luscious strands, zoodles are a great low-carb alternative when you want to pack more veggies on your plate. But, let’s be honest: A plate of zoodles is only as good as the sauce it’s tossed in.

Roasted Beet Hummus

With just a little knife work and some roasting, you’ll find that fresh beets are not only gorgeous inside but they’re a pretty amazing root veggie.They’re an ideal partner for hummus, which can sometimes take on a bit of a bitter tinge if you use canned chickpeas as most people do. Roasting the beets brings this crowd-pleasing dip a caramelized note, not to mention a brilliant hue.

Comments (16)

I wish you would put a list in box of vegetables included so we know what’s in it

Hi Marie, great suggestion! Because we are sending rescued food across the states we deliver in, each box varies and we can’t always predict what will be in your box from week to week! At the beginning of each month we do include a list of potential produce that may show up in your box each month (you can see the May version here:, as well as update our website each week with a list and images of what might be in your box. You can review that here:

If you ever receive something and still can’t figure out exactly what it is, you can send us a photo to and we’ll do our best to identify it for you. Thanks!

I received two humungous red onions in this week’s box–they are the size of softballs. Do you have any recipes that can possibly use that much onion? These were in addition to four small yellow onions i received last week.

Hi Donna! Great question and lucky you! Onions are one of our favorite veggies and add a lot of delicious flavor to any dish they’re added to. The best part is that most onions are interchangeable, so whether you have red, white, or yellow, you can use whatever onion you have on hand. However, red onions are particularly great for pickling — and you can do a big batch at once so you’ll have lots of tangy, sour onions to add to burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches.

Here’s a roundup of our favorite onion recipes:


I am wondering why misfits market responds here, but has yet to respond to my email from over a week ago, about the horrible condition of my first and only, and late box?? Is this how you expect to retain customers?? Is this what to expect if staying a customer??

Hi Diana, we’re sorry to hear about a delayed response and we know how frustrating that can be. Our customer service team can only reply to complaints via email as they have access to your account information and we are unable to handle requests via a public forum like blog comments. If you reached out to CS via, please rest assured that your email is in our queue and we will reply as soon as we are able to. We appreciate your patience—we take all order issues very seriously and will do our best to reply to you via email ASAP. Thank you!

I received two bunches in my box today from C&B farms of celery leaves. Any ideas for what to do with them?
Thanks so much for all the delicious produce!

Wow, lucky you! Celery leaves are really special. We love them in a simple homemade soup with celery leaves and leeks, or if you have garlic and nuts or seeds, you can make a celery leaf pesto! You can use celery leaves in place of garnishes like pesto, add them to homemade stock, or even add some green herbaceous flavor to smoothies. Here’s a great resource we’ve bookmarked from The Kitchn:

Happy cooking!

I know they are really heavy, but I just love watermelon. Will you ever have watermelon or cantaloupes available? Thanks, I really love your service and I’m so glad to be a member!

Hi Beth, great news! We currently have both watermelon and cantaloupe available in our Marketplace as premium add-on items. Due to the price and weight of those melons, and in order to keep our base boxes affordable, we charge extra for premium produce. You can choose to add these to your box on Thursdays starting at 4pm EST through Saturday 8 pm EST. Enjoy!

Diana, Thanks for asking your question. I was wondering the same thing. My last box of produce I had to throw away 1/3 of everything. My green beans were moldy and slimy. Tomatoes were cracked and leaking smelly juice. Kale was brown, etc. I will give Misfits 1 more try, but they have not responded to my question yet on this problem.

Hi Debi, we’re so sorry to hear about the quality of your box and we want to make this right. Rest assured that if you’ve emailed our customer success team at that your email is in our queue and we will reply as soon as we are able to. This can sometimes take a few business days depending on the number of emails. Thank you!

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