20 Favorite Side Dishes to Pair with Burgers

The entire family enjoys burgers – whether they’re made of beef, lamb, turkey, or even salmon. Sometimes we go for the traditional bun, other times we opt for a lettuce wrap, but we’re always looking for more than just potato chips on the side (although we do enjoy those too). How can you elevate those burgers into a complete meal? Here are 20 of our favorite side dishes to pair with burgers, from oven-baked fries (2 kinds), green salads to hearty potato and pasta sides, even a quick stovetop mac and cheese.

Macaroni Slaw

macaroni slaw.
 Photo Credit: Dédé Wilson.

Another one of our super popular “mash-ups”. This time macaroni salad and coleslaw are combined for an all-new side-dish that might become the most requested. Bring this to a summer cookout and be prepared to be asked for the recipe. Get the recipe for Macaroni Slaw.

Eat-The-Rainbow Slaw

 Photo Credit: Dédé Wilson.

Our Eat-The-Rainbow Slaw combines yellow squash, orange carrot, red pepper, purple cabbage, blueberries and green cabbage and kale. Okay, we know blueberries aren’t as blue as the blue you will see in a real rainbow, but we gave it our best shot AND they add a lovely, slightly sweet, juicy addition. Serve with Poppy Seed Dressing. Get the recipe for Eat-The-Rainbow Slaw.

Loaded Wedge Salad

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Our Loaded Wedge Salad might be the perfect accompaniment to your burger. Or steak. Or roast chicken dinner. Heck, it is almost a meal unto itself. A big wedge of iceberg lettuce topped with our very own, homemade Blue Cheese Dressing, crisp, crumbled bacon, chopped tomatoes and chives. Get ready to dig in! Tons of texture and flavor. Don’t tell us that Iceberg lettuce is boring! Get the recipe for Loaded Wedge Salad. 

Oven Baked Fries

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If you love fries and want less fat, oven fries are the way to go. They are easy to make if you follow some simple rules. We have a foolproof recipe – and many tell us that they never go back to fried; they are that good. Crisp on the outside and tender in the middle. Perfect for ketchup dipping, or maybe in malt vinegar! Get the recipe for Oven Baked Fries.

Gluten-Free Easy Stovetop Mac ‘n Cheese

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This is our easiest mac and cheese recipe – a true classic that the family will love. Lactose-free, too! So creamy and cheesy and the perfect side for roast chicken. Get the recipe for Gluten-Free Easy Stovetop Mac ‘n Cheese

Home Fries

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We think the best Home Fries start with starchy potatoes, like russets. They will create that creamy interior and crusty exterior that we look for in a great home fries’ dish. Parboiling the potatoes first until a bit tender, but still firm and not fully cooked, also helps achieve the desired end result. You can peel the potatoes, or keep the peel on, or kind of do a combo approach. Get the recipe for Home Fries.

Grilled Vegetables

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Nothing like a platter of grilled veggies, and if you are grilling burgers outside, use the grill for your whole meal! Pick and choose what you like – but we suggest you have a little of everything: squash, peppers, eggplant, yes please! Get the recipe for Grilled Vegetables.

Orzo Salad

 Photo Credit: Dédé Wilson.

Orzo Salad might be the perfect burger side-dish. Orzo is rice shaped pasta, typically made from wheat, but in this recipe we are using a gluten-free version. This salad includes colorful, juicy, and crunchy cucumbers and tomatoes. A lemony salad dressing works beautifully with the fresh dill, parsley, and scallion greens. Get the recipe.

Smashed Potatoes

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I did say crispy SMASHED Potatoes, not mashed potatoes! Don’t know what smashed potatoes are? They’re smashed, they are crispy on the outside and creamy inside. EVERYTHING you want from a potato! Baked on a sheet pan in a high heat oven. Get the recipe for Smashed Potatoes.

Roasted & Glazed Carrots

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Rainbow carrots! The roasting part takes place in the oven set at a high temperature. The glazing happens with the addition of a little sugar, which is optional, but gives the carrots a nice sheen and a little sweetness. Fancy enough for guests, simple enough for a weeknight meal. Get the recipe for Roasted & Glazed Carrots.

Garlic & Herb Corn on the Cob


Make when corn is at its peak – which is our neck of the woods is actually September! Garlic-infused oil, butter, and a shower of fresh herbs. Salt and pepper and you’re done! Sometimes simple is best. Get the recipe for Garlic Herb Corn on the Cob.

Potato Salad with Blue Cheese & Bacon

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This recipe for Potato Salad with Bacon features russet-style potatoes, giving it a creamy texture. The chives add the perfect accent, but you could use scallion greens, if you like. The dressing combines olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and maple syrup. Don’t forget the black pepper seasoning! Get the recipe Potato Salad with Bacon, Chives & Blue Cheese

Oven Baked Parsnip Fries

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Parsnips are a sweet and earthy root vegetable that take well to oven roasting. Sort of like a French fry, but different! Get the recipe for Oven Baked Parsnip Fries.

Hot Potato Salad with Bacon

 Photo Credit: Dédé Wilson.

We like red-skinned potatoes in this recipe for this for the visual, but you could use a Yukon gold type, too. Purple potatoes would be dramatic. We love this as a side to simple roast meats and poultry. Don’t leave out the parsley. It is more than a garnish here and truly adds flavor and color to the dish. Get the recipe for Hot Potato Salad with Bacon.

Citrus Slaw with Creamy Grapefruit Dill Dressing

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We love fresh, crunchy cabbage-based slaws, especially during the warmer months. They go so well with all of the grilled dishes we are making, plus, they are economical and portable for picnics and potlucks. Get the recipe.

Hash Browns

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The key to making crispy hash browns is simply patience. Once you put the potatoes in the pan, wait before you move them around. You want a nice crust to form on the bottom before you flip them. You need a heavy 10-inch (25 cm) skillet for this recipe; we like using cast iron. Hash Browns are the quintessential breakfast or brunch potato dish, but they are also great alongside your dinner proteins. Get the recipe for Hash Browns.

Caprese Salad

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A classic. Soft, fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, and fresh basil. Drizzle with the best olive oil you can afford. Get the recipe for Caprese Salad. 

Light & Crunchy Carolina Slaw

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Sometimes you might like a vinegary, light slaw with no mayonnaise or creamy based dressing. This Light & Crunchy Carolina Coleslaw is just that. It is super crunchy and as colorful as a rainbow featuring both green and red cabbages, carrots, green, yellow, and red bell peppers with a light dressing of vegetable oil, vinegar, celery seed and a little tarragon, as well as sugar. Get the recipe for Light & Crunchy Carolina Slaw.

Hasselback Potatoes

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Hasselback Potatoes are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, simple to make and go with many different mains. Our version uses Garlic-Infused Oil, butter, and fresh thyme. The name, by the way, hails from a classic Swedish preparation. They look kind of fancy, but the technique is actually very easy. The scrubbed potatoes are sliced 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick crosswise, but not all the way through. This allows the potatoes to fan out a little but, exposing the flesh to the high heat. Get the recipe for Hasselback Potatoes. 

Potato Salad with Hardboiled Eggs

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This is the classic, old-fashioned potato salad found at so many church events and potlucks – potato salad made extra creamy with hard boiled eggs, a tangy yet creamy mayonnaise-based dressing, and a little crunch from celery. The hard-boiled eggs add flavor, texture, and extra protein! Get the recipe for Potato Salad with Hardboiled Eggs.

Taste The Rainbow: 45 Recipes To Boost Your Health With Every Bite

Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

Dietitians suggest that we eat across the rainbow of fruits and vegetables to maximize our nutritional intake. We have 45 recipes for you to help you along your colorful way. Get ready for Cream of Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons, Vegan Kale Pesto, Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad, Grilled Corn Salad, our beloved Eat-The-Rainbow Slaw, and so many more. CLICK FOR: Taste The Rainbow: 45 Recipes To Boost Your Health With Every Bite

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  • Dede Wilson

    Dédé Wilson is a journalist with over 17 cookbooks to her name and is the co-founder and managing partner of the digital media partnership Shift Works Partners LLC, currently publishing through two online media brands, FODMAP Everyday® and The Queen Zone.

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