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Cool Off your Cookout

When paired with a grilled entrée, a cool side and dessert can make entertaining more manageable…and delicious!

What’s a picnic without potato salad or a cookout without coleslaw? One reason we love these traditional side dishes: We can whip them up ahead of time, then stick them in the fridge to chill until it’s time to eat. For better-for-you versions of these and other popular cookout foods, use the search feature on this website. (We like the Creamy Potato Salad Made Over, Apple Coleslaw, Crunchy Bacon Coleslaw, and Garden-Fresh Pasta Salad.) And check out these stay-cool options you (and your guests) will love.

Try Speed-Scratch Baked Beans Off-the-shelf canned beans come in plenty of flavors, and they heat up right in the microwave so your kitchen will stay cool. To make them feel more party-worthy, add easy extras like OSCAR MAYER Turkey Bacon and KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce. (See our No-Bake BBQ Beans recipe for more ideas.)

Use the Foil Method Skewers of grilled veggies make for a super-easy side dish—especially when you’ve already got the grill going. Even easier: wrapping sliced veggies in a foil packet and placing them on the grill to cook. Our Yellow Squash, Tomato & Onion Packets get a flavor boost from fresh basil and KRAFT Shredded Parmesan Cheese.

Fire Up the Side Burner If your grill has a stove burner, use it to prepare your side dish so it’s easier to keep an eye on the meat that’s grilling. For Green Beans and Tomatoes Italian, for instance, you can cook the fresh snap beans on the grill’s burner. Then toss them with chopped tomatoes, snipped basil, and KRAFT Light House Italian Dressing when the meat is done.

Serve a Simple Salad Summertime means a bigger, better selection of fresh veggies than just about any other time of year. So think beyond the usual lettuce-and-tomato, and impress your guests with Tangy Broccoli Salad or Garden Vegetable Chopped Salad. You can even let the salad be the star of the show by serving it as a main meal. Our pick: Quick & Easy Steak Salad.

Make things Jell Jell-O Sugar Free Gelatin is a great go-to treat for summer get-togethers, especially if there are kids around! Want a prettier presentation? Scoop out a watermelon half and fill it with a mixture of Jell-O Sugar Free Gelatin and sliced summer fruits. Check out our Watermelon Fruit Bowl recipe for tips on prepping your melon just right.

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