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5 easy cookout sides, including broccoli salad, baked lentils and more

(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post/food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Summer is here and cookout season is in full swing! While most of the event’s attention is often focused on meats and other mains thrown on a grill or smoker, side dishes can become an afterthought or delegated to guests. Should you find yourself in the position of the host with little time on your hands, or the guest looking to bring something to impress, here’s a collection of side dishes — aside from the coleslaws, pasta salads and potato salads you typically find — that come together with minimal effort and/or time to bring to all manner of cookouts, barbecues, picnics and more this summer. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, head to the Recipe Finder for more options.

Creamy Broccoli and Bacon Salad, above. This creamy broccoli salad includes walnuts and sunflower seeds for extra crunch.

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Corn Salad With Avocado, Pickled Jalapeño and Cilantro. This salad from Nourish columnist Ellie Krieger is a bright and flavorful confetti of yellow, green and red in one bowl.

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Barbecue “Baked” Lentils. Inspired by baked beans, this recipe comes together with ease thanks to the Instant Pot. Basically just put the ingredients in the appliance and you’re good to go.

Tomato and Stone Fruit Salad With Seeds. When produce is in season, you don’t need to do much to it for a delicious dish, and this recipe proves just that by featuring ripe tomatoes and stone fruit drizzled with fragrant spices bloomed in oil.

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Feta Yogurt With Charred Squash, Hazelnuts and Cilantro. If you’re in search of what to do with all of the summer squash available right now, this recipe is full of texture and flavor with a delightful mix of creamy, crunchy, sweet, sour and spicy ingredients.

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