When it comes to BBQ side dishes, there are so many great possibilities.
From the classic potato and macaroni salads to an assortment of dips and breads, if you build it, they will eat.
I love to have a bit of variety in my spread, putting out some sweets with savory dishes so people can pick and choose.
After all, all of those hot dogs, hamburgers, and grilled chicken need some tasty options to go along with them!
This list of 35 brilliant BBQ side dishes has you covered from noon to midnight.
No BBQ is complete without a side dish of coleslaw.
Served with charred chicken thighs or in a soft bun with a thick burger patty, it pretty much goes with everything.
This classic recipe uses cabbage, carrot, and mayonnaise for the base, seasoned with a little lemon, salt, and pepper.
If you’re looking for something a little more colorful, try out this Jalapeño-Lime Slaw.
Made with potatoes, eggs, mustard (instead of mayo), and pickles, this potato salad has a great texture to go along with the great flavor.
I love the extra kick you get from the mustard and pickles in here, though they don’t make it too overpowering.
It still works well as a side to any good BBQ side dish.
Start by adding just a small amount of mayonnaise so as not to overdo it.
Add it little by little until you get the desired consistency.
Everything about this recipe is fantastic.
Fresh corn from grilling on the BBQ, chopped jalapeños, bacon, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese combine to create a creamy, crunchy, and slightly spicy side.
Trust me when I say you’ll need to make a big batch!
Most baked bean sides need a solid couple of hours to cook.
Though they don’t need you to hover, what happens when the BBQ is last minute?
These BBQ baked beans can be made and on the table in just 40 minutes.
The cheat is the use of canned baked beans (shhh!), but you’ll be adding some great ingredients.
Not only will your beans be mixed with ground beef, molasses, and BBQ sauce, you’ll add some mesquite seasoning for a real smoky flavor.
Typically slow-cooked with bacon, this recipe is just as flavorful in a fraction of the time.
You’ll need to watch these, stirring every 30 seconds or so until they’re wilted and have soaked up the garlic and salt.
Squeeze with a little lemon juice before serving for the perfect BBQ side dish.
You might steer clear of green beans if you’ve had a bland, watery serving before. And you aren’t alone.
The trick to these fantastic green beans is to steam them rather than boil them and sautee them in heavenly garlic butter.
Feel free to go about your business while they steam, but keep an eye on them in the sautee pan.
You want them to crisp a little, but not for the garlic to burn.
What I love most about a BBQ is that you can have a big table full of food.
You can put sweet and savory side by side and nobody will judge if you grab a cupcake with your hot dog.
Using strawberry yogurt in the cupcake will add flavor and keep the crumb moist like you get when adding sour cream.
I would suggest making the frosting slightly firmer so that it holds up better while you polish off that hot dog!
I don’t know about you, but I could make a whole meal just out of the side dishes at a BBQ.
With this macaroni salad, you’ll have a hard time-saving space for a burger.
This recipe keeps it simple, with peppers and celery, but you could always add some tomatoes, cheese, or bacon.
I can’t overstate how easy these adorable pops are to make.
All you’ll need are store-bought pie dough, a can of the pie filling of your choice, melted chocolate, and sprinkles.
Cut out pairs of pastry discs – or fun shapes if you want – and put a spoon full on one side of each pairing.
Brush the sides with milk and seal them shut with a fork, placing the lollipop sticks in as you go.
Once baked and cooled, dip them in chocolate, and sprinkle them with sprinkles for a fun and portable pie.
You also need lollipop sticks, a little milk, and some sugar, but they’re little extras, not the stars of the show.
If you thought Rice Krispies treats couldn’t get any better, prepare to be amazed.
With honey and peanut butter to bind them, you’ll fill these sandwiches with chocolate and peanut butter ice cream.
Of course, you can use traditional Rice Krispies treats and fill them with whatever flavor you like.
I would go for something fresh, like a raspberry ripple.
Either way, once you have the sandwiches made up and frozen, dip them in chocolate and sprinkle them with just a pinch of sea salt.
It may be a humble BBQ side dish, but I love baked potatoes.
The brine in this recipe is genius, adding a wonderful flavor to the skin that will crisp up just right after a quick basting with olive oil at the end.
Baking at high heat for around 45 to 60 minutes will ensure you get that fluffy inside.
Just be sure to cut them right away. This lets out the steam and prevents the potato from going dense.
Have a grill full of meat and buns warming in the oven next to a pie?
A stovetop full of pasta and potatoes, using the microwave for something as simple as corn on the cob is a lifesaver.
And why not? After just a couple of minutes, you will have perfectly cooked fresh corn that slips right out of the husk.
With all that time you’ve saved, why not make extra and throw together a little Mexican street corn salad?
Or, you could throw a little cotija cheese on top for extra flavor.
How many times have you made a salad and had to throw out the wilted lettuce at the end of the day?
Too many, I’m sure.
Those days are over. This incredible salad is crunchy, sweet, savory, and the perfect light side to go with a big decked-out burger.
Filled with greens, apples, cranberries, goat cheese, and a simple mustard vinaigrette, it has a little bit of everything.
If you have a bag of frozen peas, some cheddar, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and red onion, you can make a pretty tasty side.
Make the dressing by mixing mayonnaise, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
Stir this through the mixture of peas, onion, bacon, and celery for a twist on the usual macaroni or potato salad.
If you’re not from the south, you might not think of making a batch of biscuits to go with your BBQ.
I’m here to tell you that they are the perfect addition to the table!
Soft, warm, and perfect with both chicken and fresh fruit, they are super versatile.
Be careful not to over-mix the dough and be generous with the butter at the end of the bake.
The Brits have a deep love for these babies, and it’s so clear why.
Wonderfully crispy and buttery puff pastry wrapped around pure pork sausage meat is something out of this world.
They are so much better than the pigs in blankets you’re used to, I promise. Finding the sausage meat is worth it!
For the authentic experience, serve with Heinz tomato ketchup.
Unpopular opinion time: I hate pickles!
Sorry, I know it’s controversial.
But for those of you (and I know it’s plenty) who just love pickles, this is for you.
I’m told that sometimes pickles can be too soft or not salty enough. Making your own will fix all that.
This recipe incorporates red chili flakes, dill, garlic, bay leaves, and maple syrup, but you can change things up to your preferences.
Once made, they will stay good for up to 3 weeks!
Another southern classic, this fruit salad has a couple of sweet surprises.
Canned pineapple and mandarins get mixed together with mini marshmallows, coconut, Cool Whip, and sour cream.
Yes, sour cream.
The tang works so well with the fruit that you’ll be coming back for seconds.
These sweet little tomatoes take just 5 minutes to throw together and come out soft with a great crunchy top.
I would suggest using a deep baking dish to keep the tomatoes standing upright when adding the topping.
This recipe uses breadcrumbs with parmesan, minced garlic, some herbs, and salt and pepper.
Feel free to use panko breadcrumbs and garlic salt if you prefer.
All they need is 10-15 minutes in the oven to cook the top, and they’re good to go.
When I’m having so much, as you do at a BBQ, I like to have the option of something a little healthier.
Yes, they’re fried, but these zucchini bites are still a whole lot healthier than onion rings!
They’re also pretty cheap, needing just egg and flour to form the crust.
My issue with homemade sweet potato fries is often they are too soft.
I just prefer the crispiness you get when they’re deep-fried.
The trick is to soak your cut fries in cold water for around 45 minutes to pull out any starches inside.
Once drained, be sure to pat them dry before tossing in a mixture of cornstarch, black pepper, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
When baking, try not to overcrowd the tray and flip them halfway through baking.
Though it might not work as a burger bun, cornbread is an excellent alternative to regular bread.
Best served right out of the oven, this recipe is made super simple by using Bisquick.
Everything gets mixed in one bowl before baking.
For something extra fun, try this Jalapeño Bacon Cheddar Cornbread.
Let’s be honest, the rules go out the window at a BBQ.
The kids will fill up on watermelon and chips while the grown-ups graze and try to keep the dog away from the food.
With these great little pizza rolls, at least you know the kids have more than just s’mores in their systems!
Use store-bought dough for the quickest method, and fill it with your favorite pizza toppings.
These skewers are light, flavorful, and simple to throw together.
They don’t need to be cooked and can be ready in under 10 minutes. Of course, a light grilling wouldn’t hurt anybody!
Don’t go too crazy with the balsamic as it’s pretty powerful. Be sure to rest them in their juices to serve.
Chips and dip are a must-have BBQ side dish, and this buffalo chicken option is dangerously good.
Just five store-bought ingredients are needed for this, including rotisserie chicken, cream cheese, and blue cheese dressing.
Mix these with hot sauce and cheddar cheese before cooking until the whole thing starts to bubble.
This is great served hot or cold.
Why buy expensive popsicles when you can just make your own?
You’ll need to blend milk, yogurt, strawberries, bananas, and a touch of honey for these sweet treats.
Once everything is smooth, pour into popsicle molds and leave to freeze.
Once you see how easy and delicious these are, you want to try out a bunch of different flavors.
How about mango puree and coconut milk?
Real cannoli filling is smooth, not too sweet, and addictive.
Made with sweetened ricotta cheese, this dip is exactly like the filling you would expect from a classic Italian bakery.
Be sure you drain the ricotta and whip everything together until perfectly smooth.
Serve it with cookies or sliced fruits.
Made with just pureed fruit and a simple syrup of water and sugar, you won’t believe how good these are.
You can try raspberry, mango, pineapple, peach, or more with this simple little recipe.
Start with frozen chopped fruits and blend with simple syrup. That’s it.
Freeze it until you’re ready, and enjoy!
The ‘crust’ of this faux-cheesecake is made with pretzels instead of graham crackers and, once baked, gets folded through the filling.
Crushed pineapples, Cool Whip, and cream cheese make up a filling that will leave you licking the bowl.
You can serve this alongside the cannoli dip with cookies and fruit to dip, or in little dishes as a faux-cheesecake dessert.
Either way, make double!
Having a big pitcher full of homemade lemonade just screams summer in the south.
Tangy, sweet, and cold, it’s the best way to stay refreshed on a hot day.
Since you’ll mash the lemons with sugar, make sure to clean them with soapy water.
Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar. Some lemons might be more or less sweet depending on the time of year.
Besides coleslaw, I don’t think there’s anything you have to have as a side to a BBQ.
But it’s safe to say that garlic bread makes a great side at any meal.
Unlike the frozen stuff, this is packed with flavor and soft when baked.
For the garlic butter, be sure to taste it before baking. You want it to be pretty garlicky since the flavor will mellow as it cooks.
An excellent alternative would be to add in some blue cheese!
Not only does this bread have just five ingredients, but it needs no proofing or resting.
Once mixed, you can pour the batter right into a greased loaf pan and bake it like banana bread.
If you use a light beer, the flavor will be less pronounced. Feel free to try something with a bigger kick if you want more.
No BBQ is complete without a nice, heaping scoop of pasta salad! And this Barefoot Contessa recipe can’t be topped.
Made with tomatoes, feta, and olives, it’s light, refreshing, and so tasty.
Bring this side dish to your next cookout, and everyone will ask for the recipe!
34. Caprese Salad
With all of the meat and heavy carbs at a barbecue, a colorful Caprese salad is the perfect way to balance out the meal.
This particular recipe has all the classic components, including fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil.
The olive oil, salt, and pepper tie it all together wonderfully, for a winning BBQ side dish.
Upgrade your French fries with these tasty air-fried potato wedges!
You’ll have to cook them before you head to the barbecue, but they’re so easy.
They’re crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and so full of delicious flavor.
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