25 Best Barbecue Side Dishes

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A good side dish is often worth the additional few minutes of preparation. A nice side or two will truly fill out your BBQ and make it into a full dinner without taking over the show.

However, all of the attention and work that goes into preparing your meat might lead to the side dish being an afterthought or simply forgotten.

We’ve compiled a list of 24 side dishes that will perfectly compliment your meat entrees.

You’ll discover some terrific alternatives for your next barbecue, whether you’re searching for a side dish to pair with brisket, ribs, pulled pork, or any other smoking recipe.

25 delicious side dishes to serve at your next barbecue

25 Best Barbecue Side Dishes

1) Southern Style Coleslaw (both sweet and tangy)

If you just have five minutes, you can make our perfectly balanced southern coleslaw recipe. If you purchased pre-shredded cabbage, you should just need three minutes.

It’s creamy, tangy, and just a little sweet, and it’s guaranteed to delight. It is also adaptable. For example, if you have any leftover coleslaw from the night before (which is rare since it is so delicious), use it over pulled pork tacos.

Even if it was all gone the night before, it is so delicious and simple to prepare that you could end yourself making another batch anyhow.

Recipe: Southern Style Coleslaw

2) Smoked Baked Beans

Baked beans are one of the greatest side dishes to provide with your BBQ.

They go well with smoked meats, but one of the finest aspects of baked beans with BBQ is how effectively they absorb smoke.

In this recipe, I’ll show you how to create smoked baked beans and how to make them as sweet, savory, or spicy as you prefer.

Recipe: Smoked Baked Beans with Bacon

3) Smoked Mac and Cheese

Mac & cheese is the ultimate delicious side dish to accompany your perfectly grilled BBQ.

This variation does not call for a slew of unfamiliar cheeses (but you may certainly use a variety of cheeses if you choose).

Instead, you get a nice smokey taste with some barbeque spices integrated.

While your main protein is resting, you can simply cook this in the smoker. Depending on how hot your smoker can get, you may want to finish it with a brief broil in the oven.

Recipe: Smoked Mac and cheese

4. Smoked Green Bean Casserole

This Green Bean Casserole, one of the most popular Thanksgiving sides, can serve as a supporting act for any BBQ feast.

Cooked on the smoker for added flavor, then topped with homemade fried onions for texture and taste.

Recipe: Smoked Green Bean Casserole

5) The Best Pasta Salad for BBQ

This is a very flexible side dish to keep on hand; just use homemade garlic vinaigrette and you can’t go wrong.

Choose the form of pasta you want, toss in some vegetables (if you don’t have cucumber, asparagus would do), green olives (not black) will also work, and for cheese, mozzarella, feta, or cheddar are all great.

And the best part about this pasta salad is that it can be made ahead of time and only improves with age.

Recipe: The Best Pasta Salad for BBQ

6) Garlic and Rosemary Smoked Potatoes

Potatoes, are they not the perfect side dish?

When smoked with fruit wood, this traditional mix of potatoes, garlic, rosemary, and parmesan cheese is intensified.

No more average old roast potatoes.

Recipe: Garlic and Rosemary Smoked Potatoes

7) Crisp Apple and Beets Coleslaw

Didn’t we already have a recipe for coleslaw? Yes, but this crunchy apple and beet slaw is unique enough to warrant a try.

Because of how nicely it cuts through rich, sweet, fatty meat, I believe coleslaw is the ideal side dish for any barbecue dinner.

This slaw recipe incorporates apple and beets for a unique spin on the typical creamy coleslaw.

Recipe: Apple and Beets Slaw

8) Crisp and Tender Smoked Sausage Stuffing

It’s past time for everyone to quit producing sloppy stuffing. This recipe provides a double smoke portion of smoked bread, coupled with country pig sausage and stuffing combination, and then smoked till lovely and crunchy.

This goes great with your Thanksgiving turkey, but it may also be served with roast chicken or any other protein.

Recipe: Smoked sausage stuffing

9) Herby Roasted Potato Salad (because the more potato salad the better)

We had to add this popular potato salad since it is so popular.

Potato salads are often heavy and creamy, which is excellent, but this version is a little lighter and zestier.

The potatoes in this salad are also roasted, which gives them a whole new flavor and texture that is much superior than normal boiled potatoes in our view.

Fried bacon adds a delicious rich crispness to this meal, and everything is topped with fresh herbs to keep it light and aromatic.

Recipe: Herby Roasted Potato Salad

10) Celery and Parmesan Salad

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time on your side dishes, this celery and parmesan salad is a great option since it just takes 10 minutes to cook.

While the method is straightforward, the flavor is significantly more nuanced. This salad is fresh and crisp, and it goes well with chicken, steak, and seafood (for example, cedar plank salmon).

Simply add extra mayonnaise to the mix for a creamier version, and you’ll be in salad bliss.

Recipe: Celery and Parmesan Salad

11) Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

Wrapping the jalapeo poppers with bacon and frying them indirectly over hot coals adds a smokey flavor to an already spicy side dish.

You can make these ahead of time and then throw them on the grill for a fast 30-minute cook while your meat rests.

If you want to deliver a taste bomb to your spice-loving visitors at your next barbeque, these nuggets will do the trick.

Recipe: Bacon Wrapped Jalapeo Poppers

12) BBQ Corn Ribs

If you like the tastes of Mexican Esquite, you’ll enjoy these curly smoked corn ribs.

These corn ribs will be a great addition to your BBQ arsenal, cooked with a mix of melted butter and spices and topped with cilantro, fresh lime juice, and cotija cheese.

Also, these corn ribs are fantastic since you can smoke them with other recipes to save time.

Recipe: BBQ Corn Ribs

13) Mexican Grilled Corn

This is one of the easiest side dishes to prepare. And once you’ve experienced grilled corn, you’ll never go back.

Butter your corn and season it with cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, and paprika before grilling it. Once done, add a generous grating of parmesan and a spritz of lime juice.

Sweet, juicy corn just got even better.

Recipe: Mexican Grilled Corn

14) Loaded Potato Salad

This is what a potato salad and a loaded baked potato would look like if they had a love child!

Pillowy potatoes topped with wham, shredded cheddar, crispy bacon, and green onions in a creamy mayo sauce.

A match made in potato heaven.

Recipe: Loaded Potato Salad

15) Loaded Smoked Potato Skins

Throw these potato skins on the barbecue next time you’re cooking a steak.

Crispy skin, creamy potato, melting cheese, and bacon filling. It all sounds like a dream!

Serve with your preferred dipping sauce, such as sour cream, although ranch or blue cheese dressing would also be delicious.

Recipe: Loaded Smoked Potato Skins

16) Savoury Corn Pudding – a classic southern side dish

This creamy, comforting dish qualifies as an oldie but a goodie.

This recipe incorporates thyme and onions for an additional flavorful bite, making it ideal for serving with sausages or steak.

If you want something light and crunchy to go with your dinner, this is not the recipe for you. It is best prepared thick and rich with heavy cream. This is total comfort food.

Check it by inserting the tip of your knife into the center. Even if it’s a touch jiggly, the knife should still come out clean.

Recipe: Savoury Corn Pudding

17) Smoked Chantilly Potatoes

Potatoes are simple to adore. However, with the addition of cream, cheese, and a smokiness, they become utterly delicious.

You’ll need to fire up your smoker to make these extremely addicting potatoes. But if you’ve already got it out for the remainder of your dinner, why not put it to good use?

This meal requires few ingredients, and the most of the labor is in slicing the potatoes into rounds. Even better if you have a device that can perform the cutting for you!

If you’re looking for creamy, carb-y, cheesy, buttery pleasure, this is the recipe for you.

Recipe: Smoked Chantilly Potatoes

18) Collard Greens (these are packed with flavor)

For many people, a bowl of collard greens evokes recollections of family meals. A traditional southern meal, the addition of turkey, onion, and garlic enhances the taste.

This sure is one tasty way of eating your greens.

Pour some spicy sauce or vinegar over your serving for an extra kick of flavor. However, for others, nothing is required to make this meal a success.

This dish’s components are neither sophisticated or mysterious; rather, it is the way they all fit together so perfectly that makes it such a pleasant supper.

Recipe: Soul Food Collard Greens

19) Meathead Goldwyn’s Fire Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fennel and Prosciutto

Let us not be childish and dismiss brussels sprouts. Sure, if they’re cooked incorrectly, they’re bitter and nasty, but we can do better. Much improved.

In truth, brussels sprouts are delicious when cooked properly.

In this recipe, Meathead Goldwyn demonstrates how to properly prepare brussels sprouts. The sprouts are licked by the flame to bring out their greatest flavor, prosciutto provides richness and warmth, and fennel gives a touch of X factor.

Overall, this is a really mature dish that brings new life to the modest sprout and will do the same at your next BBQ.

Fire Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fennel and Prosciutto Recipe

20) Southern Potato Salad (because potato salad is always a winner!)

When you see potato salad on the table, you know you won’t be searching for a place to put the leftovers in the fridge; it’s a crowd favorite.

If you’re still seeking for your go-to potato salad recipe, I think you’ve found it.

This is a well-balanced dish that is creamy yet has the crunch of celery, salty but with a tinge of sweet relish.

Of course, the beauty of potato salad is that you can make little changes to suit your tastes, but beginning with a recipe that contains everything is undoubtedly the best place to start.

Recipe: Southern Potato Salad

21) Grilled Watermelon & Fennel Salad with Charred Lemon Vinaigrette

Watermelon grilled? You can bet on it! This salad is an excellent method to counteract the stronger tastes of grilled or smoked meats.

However, this salad is good and distinctive enough that you could serve it at almost any occasion, resulting in delighted guests and a bit of a wow factor.

All of the ingredients and tastes in this recipe have been well studied and matched, so as bizarre as it may seem, it will taste delicious.

Salad with Grilled Watermelon and Fennel with Charred Lemon Vinaigrette

22) Thanksgiving Stuffing Balls

The idea behind these delectable morsels is similar to that of cookie dough.

Now that you’re an adult, you can transform all those things your parents warned you you couldn’t eat by the spoon into a full-fledged meal, such as turkey stuffing for mains (or a hefty side) and undercooked cookies for dessert.

Even better, the ingredients for these balls can be prepared ahead of time and frozen, allowing you to enjoy the salty, bready deliciousness whenever you want; just defrost the mix and you’re ready to go.

Savoury, nutty, salty, with a hint of sweetness, these balls may be baked to perfection, resulting in a crispy outer layer that opens up to a steaming, moist inside.

Recipe: Thanksgiving Stuffing Balls

23) Creamed Corn with Smoked Sausage

This versatile meal not only complements smoked meats but would also go well with tacos or nachos.

This dish is unique in that it is not too sweet. This signifies that the taste is perfectly balanced. The only problem with this is that you can end up filling up on the side dish and not having space for the main course.

Don’t be scared to make a double batch and eat it the following day.

Recipe: Creamed Corn with Smoked Sausage

24) Carolina Hush Puppies

Crispy, golden, and delicious hush puppies are a North Carolina barbecue classic. But you don’t have to reside in North Carolina to enjoy a few of hush puppies the next time you fire up the grill.

This recipe is quite simple to prepare, but you will need a piping bag, so make sure you have one before you start mixing everything together.

Recipe: Carolina Hush Puppies

25) Tomato Salad with Pickled Onion (quick and easy)

If you don’t have much time and don’t have any fancy ingredients, this recipe will come in handy.

This dish is insanely simple to prepare and is the ideal fresh and zesty salad to cut through the richness of the meat.

Set aside some time to allow the onion to pickle in the juices, so start on this salad a few of hours before you want to consume it.

Apart from planning ahead of time, there isn’t much more you need to do besides cut up some onions and tomatoes. When you have a few things on the go at the same time, this is the salad to eat.

Recipe: Tomato Salad with Pickled Onion

Wrapping it up

A delicious side dish completes a barbeque by adding brightness and shadow to an otherwise meat-heavy dinner. Most side dishes are fast and simple to prepare, and the ones on our list will compliment any barbecue nicely.

We hope you liked our list of the top 15 BBQ side dishes. If you have any additional suggestions, please leave them in the comments area below, and please share this post if you find it useful!


What is the most popular BBQ side dishes?

Which BBQ sides are the most popular?
Coleslaw with vinegar.
Salad with tomatoes and cucumbers.
Salad with potatoes.
Macaroni with cheese.
Beans that have been baked.

What to have at a BBQ for sides?

75 Best BBQ Sides for a Traditional Cookout
Caitlin Bensel is a woman.
Salad with cucumbers.
Macaroni and Cheese in the Crock-Pot.
Salad with strawberries and arugula.
Cornbread with Jalapeo.
Salad with Dill Pickle Pasta.
Corn with cream.
Salad with Italian Pasta.

What is the most popular side dish at a BBQ in America?

According to a survey, this is the most popular BBQ side dish.

There’s little question that baked beans are a great addition to any potluck or picnic, but their flexibility elevates them to a BBQ classic.

What to serve 50 people BBQ?

Ideas for Delicious BBQ Food for Large Groups
Kebabs with cheeseburgers.
BBQ chicken baked in the oven.
Chicken Wings with Honey Glaze.
Skewers of grilled shrimp.
Mac ‘n’ Cheese.
Fajitas de Steak.
Brioche Buns with Pulled Pork.
BBQ Salmon with a Sweet and Sticky Sauce.

What is a good dish to bring to a cookout?

10 Last-Minute Summer Side Dishes to Bring to Any BBQ
Cowboy Beans are a kind of bean.
Salad with Orzo.
Grilled corn with BBQ butter.
Potato Salad in the manner of the South.
Simple and quick Baked Beans in the Style of New England.
Salad of Fusilli Pasta with Artichoke.
Slaw with lime vinaigrette and tortilla strips.
Caviar from Texas.

What should I bring to a BBQ to impress?

These suggestions are fast, simple, and certain to please.
Salsa with chips.
Salad with apples and fennel with blue cheese.
Simple antipasto platter.
Salad with watermelon, cucumber, and feta.
Cheese that has been marinated.
Spiced syrup with tropical fruit.
Syracuse potatoes with salt.

What is traditionally served at a BBQ?

Although hamburgers and steaks are the most often grilled foods, there are many more alternatives for what to offer at a barbecue. Take some inspiration from our list of BBQ meal ideas, which includes anything from steak to oysters to vegan salad.

What is America’s favorite side dish?

Potatoes, America’s favorite side dish.

What are the most popular side dishes?

Which side dishes are the most popular?
Asparagus roasted.
Brussels sprouts roasted.
Fries with steak.
Cauliflower mashed.

How do you feed 20 people on a BBQ?

Keep it to 5-8 side dishes for a 20-30 person outdoor BBQ. Keep it to 10 side dishes or less for 30-50 people. This will allow you to simplify your preparation while yet providing enough diversity for your visitors. Then, to ensure that you have enough for everyone, double or quadruple your recipes.


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