Thanks to these easy and delicious sides for ribs, you can turn those meaty wonders into a family feast in no time – they’re even kid-approved!
So stop wondering what to serve with ribs, and let’s get cooking!
What to Serve with BBQ Ribs
Just the thought of juicy and tender fall off the bone ribs makes my mouth water.
But what goes good with ribs? Other than napkins, that is!
Well, I think you can serve all kinds of side dish recipes. From fries to baked beans, they’re more versatile than you think!
That said, these are my go-to sides for ribs. Try them and let me know which is your fave.
So, what goes with BBQ ribs (or short ribs or baby back ribs, for that matter)? BBQ baked beans, of course!
They’re lightly sweet, wonderfully smoky, and have the best texture.
And thanks to a mix of molasses, brown sugar, mustard powder, and cayenne, they’re just the right amount of sweet and savory.
2. Mac & Cheese
Ahh, mac & cheese. This cheesy and filling pasta dish is a classic side for everything from burgers to fish.
But it’s especially tasty with baby back ribs!
That creamy sauce helps to cut through the tang of the BBQ. And everything’s better with cheese, right?
Red ripe cherry tomatoes or heirlooms are the most popular, but you haven’t lived until you’ve tried fried green tomatoes.
They may be firm and kind of sour, but when you coat them in cornmeal and fry them to perfection, they’re impossible to resist.
BBQ ribs, burgers, or chicken – it’s all made better with a side of slaw!
Like all good coleslaw recipes, this is super rich, with plenty of shredded cabbage for crunch and a nice creamy dressing.
But you can easily lighten it up and use a vinegarette dressing instead. Add some thinly sliced fruit, and it’ll be one helluva slaw!
Cornbread with ribs is comfort food at its best.
One is fluffy and lightly sweet, where the other is tangy and robust. Together, they’re a match made in dinner heaven.
Add some cheese and bacon to make it pop, or throw in some sliced jalapeños and Parmesan cheese for a nice kick of salty spice!
BBQ ribs are a messy dinner. So why not go all out with a bowl of buttery corn on the cob?
Grilled corn, but you can easily take it to a whole new level by slathering it with garlic butter and sprinkling sea salt over the top.
Or better yet, smother it in mayo, cotija cheese, spices, and fresh herbs to make Mexican street corn.
Here’s another terrific side dish for ribs, and it’s got corn in the mix too!
But instead of being messy, these corn fritters are ideal for picking up and dipping in BBQ sauce.
They’re crisp and brown on the outside and sweet, fluffy, and tender on the inside.
Fry them or bake them – either way, make extra!
Pickles are zippy and pretty strong. And that tang is just what you need on the side of rich ribs.
But rather than serving plain old spears, try this county fair fave!
They’re bite-sized, crunchy, and pretty much to die for.
Want a healthy side dish to serve with your indulgent ribs? How about a salad?
You could go for a simple green salad if you like. But I think this 1905 salad is so much better!
The dressing is bright and zippy, and the mix of tomatoes, Swiss cheese, and sliced ham is irresistible.
10. Cheese Grits
If you want an easy but satisfying side, go for baked cheese grits.
The combination of cheddar cheese, milk, eggs, and hot sauce makes the casserole ooze with wonderful flavors.
If you have any on hand, add some corn kernels for pops of yummy crunch.
Dessert with barbeque ribs? Why not?
It may surprise you, but this mix of sour cream, Cool Whip, and crushed pineapple pairs incredibly well with barbeque.
I mean, we like candied yams with turkey. So why not mini marshmallows and orange slices in a sweet and creamy dressing?
French fries are undoubtedly yummy and a super delicious side dish for most things.
But when you’re wondering what to eat with rib, it has to be sweet and crispy sweet potato fries.
Bake them in the oven and toss them in rosemary and Parmesan before serving. Delish!
Cucumber and tomato salad is one of the best, most refreshing summer salad recipes around.
It’s brimming with flavors and textures, and it’s nice and light – just what you need with heavy, saucy ribs.
Not only is it refreshing and nutritious, but it’s also super affordable and easy to prepare.
14. Broccoli Salad
Here’s another sweet and savory way to give a light contrast to your heavy rib dinner.
Broccoli is a powerhouse vegetable, and it’s wonderfully crunchy.
And when you toss it with crispy bacon, chewy raisins, peppery red onion, and a sweet-savory dressing, even the kids will ask for seconds!
If you have a hungry crowd, you’ll want to serve something tasty, filling, and affordable.
Thankfully, there is one side dish that fits all these requirements: pretty much any pasta salad recipe.
With a creamy and flavorful pasta salad, you can easily fill your guests’ tummies without breaking the bank.
16. Mashed Potatoes
When you’re planning a backyard bash, you’re better off with fries, onion rings, and finger foods.
But if you’re enjoying ribs at the table with the family, why not serve smooth and buttery mashed potatoes?
They’re a hit with kids and adults alike. And the soft, salty spuds will pair perfectly with the tender meat.
What’s better than a baked potato? A tray of twice baked potatoes, of course!
Of all the side dishes for ribs, this is probably the best.
I mean, how can you beat fluffy baked potato with perfectly seasoned sour cream, ooey-gooey cheese, and bacon?
Want something crunchy, cheesy, and healthy? Try these Parmesan crusted Brussels sprouts.
Seriously, they’re impossible to resist. And you get a portion of veggies to boot!
Now that’s an easy side I can get behind.
I know, I know. It’s another corn recipe.
But this one is different! It’s soft and loaded with sweet corn. But thanks to the eggs, it’s pudding-like with crispy edges.
Sounds fantastic, huh?
Brussels sprouts not your thing? What about zucchini?
Zucchini fries are such a terrific french fry alternative. They’re crunchy, salty, and ideal for dipping.
And you’ll love how they taste with a big plate of ribs.
Green beans aren’t the most exciting vegetable. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t enjoy eating them.
But when you wrap them in bacon? Oh man, I’ll take extra!
They’re the perfect accompaniment to pork ribs and offer a nice balance of veggie goodness and bacon flavor.
You can call it carrot slaw or shredded carrot salad. Either way, this is a must-make this summer.
Carrots are just the right amount of sweet and savory, and they’re beautifully vibrant too.
Add a tangy honey mustard dressing, and this will outshine all the other sides for ribs.
Dinner rolls are a staple with most meals. But they’re especially good with messy, saucy ribs.
You can pull some of the meat off the bones and make a tasty sandwich (add some slaw for a cool crunch).
And then use those rolls to mop up the juices when the bones are clean!
If you’re still deep frying your onion rings, check out this Air Fryer recipe!
They’re just as tasty, crunchy, and addictive – only there’s less oil and calories in the mix.
Just be sure to use sweet onions and panko breadcrumbs! That’ll give you the best taste and texture.
Risotto is a sensational side dish (though it’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own!).
And this creamy garlic recipe made in the Instant Pot is about as good as it gets.
Serve the saucy ribs on top and let those flavors meld. Yum!
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