If you’re wondering what to serve with turkey in the summer, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 39 of the most popular side dishes for turkey in the summer.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with turkey in the summer are peach and arugula salad, vegetable tian, pistachio pesto salad, and succotash. You can also serve coconut lime rice, Greek potato salad, red cabbage slaw, and quinoa Caprese stuffed peppers. For a refreshing condiment, go with mango salsa.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Great flavor pairings for turkey
Turkey meat is often compared to chicken, but the only similarity they actually share is the texture. Instead, it has a deeper, richer flavor than chicken that Discover Magazine says is closer to pork.
Turkey pairs well with:
- Sweet flavors – ingredients like brown sugar, maple, cranberries, pomegranates, and apples perfectly complements turkey meat’s richness.
- Fall flavors – turkey meat’s strong flavors can stand up to warm, cozy spices like ginger, cayenne, cardamom, and cinnamon.
- Citrusy flavors – these fresh, zesty notes cut through the richness of your turkey meat to give you a more balanced bite.
Starchy sides are the way to go if you want a filling meal.
Coconut lime rice’s light and fresh taste is just what you need for the summer, but you can also go with herby potato wedges or a hearty sweet potato casserole.
Coconut lime rice
Pasta is always accompanied by a sauce, so why stick to plain rice? Enjoy your grilled turkey with this coconut lime rice instead.
Worried about this dish being too sweet?
Don’t worry – the acidity from your lime juice and citrusy cilantro will offset the nutty coconut, leaving you with a perfectly balanced bite.
Why we love this recipe: making this takes almost the same time as plain white rice.
Quinoa Caprese stuffed peppers
If you love warm, juicy tomatoes and melted cheese, this recipe is for you!
Each bell pepper half is stuffed with a mixture of sauteed tomatoes, quinoa, and cubes of mozzarella cheese, then baked.
30 minutes later, you’ll have a gooey dish loaded with delicious flavors of the classic Caprese salad.
Just don’t forget that drizzle of balsamic vinegar to seal the deal!
Why we love this recipe: they’re great for family meal and fancy enough for a dinner party.
Grilled sweet potatoes
You’re missing out if you haven’t tried grilling your sweet potatoes.
The open heat makes them tender and infuses them with a delightful smoky twist that makes every bite interesting.
They’re fabulous with just minimal seasoning, but I like Simply Recipes’ method of tossing the grilled spuds in a cilantro lime dressing.
It adds a fresh, zesty kick that makes these even tastier.
Why we love this recipe: these only require six ingredients
This couscous dish is the perfect way to add a delicious Moroccan flair to your turkey meal.
Aside from roasted veggies, it’s studded with raisins and almonds that add a contrasting texture to your tender turkey.
Plus, it’s seasoned with warming spices like turmeric and cumin that works superbly with your turkey’s rich meat.
Why we love this recipe: it’s great for meal preps.
Salads are an excellent side whether you’re grilling or baking your turkey during the summer.
Potato salads are the epitome of sunny days, but why not try a creamy slaw for something lighter but still satisfying?
Or you can try a grilled peach and arugula salad for a sweet-savory combo.
Grilled peach and arugula salad
You can’t let summer pass by without making this grilled peach salad.
Grilling the peaches brings a lovely smoky sweetness that perfectly pairs with the peppery arugula and tangy blue cheese.
And the walnuts add a satisfying crunch to every bite.
Then everything is tied together with a simple balsamic vinaigrette.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a flavor and texture party for your taste buds.
This mango salsa isn’t just for tortilla chips and tacos – it’s a fabulous accompaniment for grilled turkey too!
It adds a splash of color that will instantly make your plate more special.
But most importantly, it has the perfect combination of sweet, sour, savory, and spicy flavors that’ll perk up your plain old turkey.
Why we love this recipe: leftovers can be enjoyed for up to 4 days.
Red cabbage slaw with tangy carrot dressing
Instead of basic mayo, this slaw involves crisp cabbage and carrots drenched in a deliciously creamy and zesty ginger dressing that’ll make your taste buds tingle.
Just a heads up – you’ll need a powerful blender to achieve this silky dressing.
Enjoy this vibrant, zippy slaw as is, or toss in some cooked turkey to make this a complete meal.
Why we love this recipe: it’s excellent especially for those in paleo and Whole 30 diets.
Pistachio pesto salad
There are many pasta salad recipes, but this version has to be my favorite.
It’s light but highly satisfying and boasts a refreshingly zesty flavor that pairs superbly with your turkey meat, thanks to the homemade pistachio pesto.
Don’t think about taking a shortcut and using jarred pesto – it won’t taste the same!
Why we love this recipe: you’re guaranteed no leftovers with this pasta salad.
Greek potato salad
Leave the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving – during the summer, potato salads are the ultimate spud dish, and this Greek-inspired version is my favorite!
It has a tangy and creamy dressing that’s lighter than your usual recipes, thanks to the addition of Greek yogurt.
But what really sets this apart is the chopped cucumbers that add a crunchy, cooling bite.
Why we love this recipe: it’s super refreshing, making it perfect for the summer.
Keep your turkey meal lean and healthy with a side of veggies!
Succotash is a mainstay in our rotation to highlight fresh summer produce.
But you can also keep it simple with steamed green beans if you don’t want to spend too much time in your sweltering kitchen.
Provençal vegetable tian
Casseroles made with fall and winter veggies are a classic turkey side dish during Thanksgiving, so why not make a version that’s fit for the summer?
This vegetable tian has your back – it’s made with a medley of sliced tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplants over a bed of sauteed onions.
And this dish has no creamy sauce, making it a lighter and healthier casserole option.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a head-turner.
Succotash is a classic dish made with a medley of summer veggies.
This recipe features sweet corn, juicy cherry tomatoes, lima beans, and okra, but you can easily add or swap them for whatever summer veggies you have.
Adding bacon gives this dish a smoky, savory bite, while the basil adds a hint of freshness to round out the dish.
Serve alongside your grilled turkey for a healthy, low-carb meal.
Why we love this recipe: you can easily customize it to suit your preferences.
Grilled zucchini with garlic and herbs
If you’re firing up the grill for your turkey, make some space for grilling zucchini and squash too!
You can simply add a dash of salt and pepper before grilling them, but this recipe goes the extra mile by brushing them with a garlic-rosemary marinade.
Once grilled, these quintessential summer veggies become delightfully charred and infused with an additional smoky flavor.
Why we love this recipe: it’s super tasty and nourishing.
Bourbon peach BBQ baked beans
Peaches and baked beans may be an odd combination, but hear me out – the work SO WELL together.
And making these baked beans is a breeze. After your bacon crisps up, you just toss the rest of the ingredients in, including chopped peaches.
Serve a hefty helping of these jazzed-up baked beans alongside your barbecued turkey for the ultimate comfort meal.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a tasty, no-fuss, one-pot dish.
The best side dishes for turkey in the summer
- Coconut lime rice
- Quinoa Caprese stuffed peppers
- Grilled sweet potatoes
- Moroccan couscous
- Grilled peach and arugula salad
- Mango salsa
- Red cabbage slaw with tangy carrot dressing
- Pistachio pesto salad
- Greek potato salad
- Provencal vegetable tian
- Grilled zucchini with garlic and herbs
- Bourbon peach BBQ baked beans
What To Serve With Turkey In The Summer [39 Ideas]
- 1 portion Mango salsa
- 1 portion Pistachio pesto salad
- 1 portion Greek potato salad
- 1 portion Succotash
- 1 portion Vegetable tart
- 1 portion Coconut lime rice
- Prepare your turkey according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: coconut lime rice, quinoa caprese stuffed peppers, grilled sweet potatoes, moroccan couscous, grilled peach and arugula salad, mango salsa, red cabbage slaw with tangy carrot dressing, pistachio pesto salad, greek potato salad, provencal vegetable tian, succotash, grilled zucchini with garlic and herbs, and bourbon peach bbq baked beans
- Serve immediately and enjoy!