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27 Best BBQ Side Dishes

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When it comes to BBQ side dishes, I like a variety of options.

I want the classics like potato salad and baked beans but also like to mix in twists and newer dishes whether it be slaws or salads.

You can’t forget the sweet stuff either and for you sauce lovers you gotta have a fe options there too!

This super-list of 27 delicious BBQ sides is your one-stop shop for all your side dish BBQ needs.

  1. mac and cheese

A classic Mac and Cheese baked Southern style which means it’s comforting & creamy with a scrumptious cheesy crust. This is that Mac and cheese recipe that will get you invited to the cookout all the time!

mac and cheese in blue pan
  1. braised cabbage

This braised cabbage is probably the best cabbage you'll probably eat. The hyperbole is legit. The cabbage is braised to delicious tenderness and flavored primarily with the fat cap from leftover smoked brisket. So go ahead and make that brisket ahead of time. But don’t get rid of that fat cap. Save it to flavor this cabbage.

braised cabbage in a white bowl
  1. potato salad

This is a proper recipe for real deal Southern potato salad, the one that with gets you branded as the potato salad guy or lady. It’s a step by step breakdown of the preparation with details on the main ingredients.

potato salad in green bowl
  1. stewed okra

Stewed okra and tomatoes is the quintessential Southern side dish. Simple, made with fresh ingredients, and cooked slowly until all the flavors meld.

stewed okra and tomatoes in a white bowl

  1. baked beans

If you want a classic bbq side dish that’s full of convenience this baked beans recipe is for you. It’s instant pot ready and in a just a few steps you’re good to go with a side dish that will fill bellies and smell up a room with the good smells!

  1. avocado salad

This is a classic Cuban appetizer/side salad known as “Ensalada de Aguacate” or avocado salad. It is the ultimate triple threat - flavor, easy, and healthy. Just slice, mix, and serve this vegetable side dish.

avocado salad on white plate

Beats and Eats (music playlist for your next BBQ)

You can't have a bbq without music. This soundtrack is heavy on the blues and tracks that have a bluesy vibe but still pretty electic.

  1. grilled sweet potato wedges

Quick grilled sweet potato wedges with chili-lime sauce; easy enough for a quick weeknight side yet fancy enough for Sunday dinner. These sweet potato wedges are soft, pillowy interior & charred, crisp exterior. Topped w/ chili-lime sauce for a sweet heat.

grilled sweet potato wedges on a plate topped with chili lime sauce
  1. corn on the cob

Nothing screams family barbecue side dish like a juicy batch of buttery corn on the cob. This air fryer corn on the cob recipe nets slightly charred and juicy kernels flavored with a delicious Jamaican jerk compound butter.

corn on the cob topped with fresh herbs and compound butter
  1. cucumber salad

Sometime when you’re putting in crazy time and effort on those main dish smoked meats, you want a side or two to be super easy, no-cook. That’s where this tangy but crunchy cucumber salad comes in. It takes less than 5 ingredients to make and requires no cooking.

cucumber salad on a white plate
  1. okra salad

If you want to change things up with a few unique ingredients then go with this okra salad with collard greens recipe. It can be prepared quickly for an easy weeknight summer barbecue side dish.

collard greens recipe with okra, cucumbers, and lima beans
  1. collard greens slaw

Slaws are a classic side dish item for any cookout. This one is leveled up with collard greens and feta cheese. It’s simple, quick and versatile making It the perfect stand-alone side dish that can double as an enhancer to a sandwich.

collard greens slaw in a bowl
  1. yuca fries

Fries are always a good idea for a side to go with your favorite bbq. Add an international element to your next batch of fries by using yuca instead of potatoes. Yuca fries are a Latin American treat that’s a great alternative to French fries.

yuca fries with green dipping sauce on a platter
  1. jerk bbq sauce

You want to slather some sauce on those ribs while you grill? You want to enhance that smoked chicken? Go with this chipotle bbq sauce. It’s versatile, complex, and tasty adding big robust flavor to any dish. Pineapple BBQ Sauce is another good option.

jerk bbq sauce in a bottle
  1. fried cabbage

Comforting pan of Southern fried cabbage. Cabbage is fried in smoky bacon fat infused with caramelized onions and peppers for a perfect your barbecue or as a traditional Sunday dinner side.

Fried cabbage and bacon on a white plate
  1. blackeyed peas salad

Black eyed Pea Salad is the perfect summer salad and healthy soul food fare. It's got it all - texture, crunch, bite, tanginess, sweetness, and savory. This version is crunchy, refreshing & delicious. Also it's quick and easy to make using only a few ingredients.

blackeyed pea salad in clear bowls
  1. pinto beans

This Southern pinto beans recipe represents comfort food at its finest. Dry pinto beans are slow simmered in a big ole pot along with smoky, thick ham hocks for creamy, hella flavored goodness.

pinto beans with ham hocks in white bowl
  1. smothered green beans and potatoes

Wildly delicious green beans and potatoes recipe featuring fresh vegetables smothered in ground andouille sausage & Haitian epis seasoning for a hearty side.

green beans and potatoes in white square bowl
  1. roasted mini potatoes with chili sauce

A super duper bbq side dish that’s easy to make. Tasty and quick roasted mini potatoes are topped with a sweet and spicy chili-lime sauce.

quick Roasted Potatoes with Chili Lime Sauce
  1. peach cobbler

This is your old-school classic Grandmother’s Southern peach cobbler amped up with even mo’ flavor. Bring this one out for the holidays, any holiday especially the Sumer cookouts!

peach cobbler on a tri-color plate
  1. key lime pie

Tart Key Lime Pie recipe made with a slightly salted ginger snap cookie crust and topped with a mezcal infused whipped cream. This is the goto dessert for those Summer hot days/

key lime pie with ginger snap crust
  1. couscous salad

This is a fun side dish. It’s highly flavorful and adds color to any serving plate. For this simple Israeli couscous recipe for vegan baby pearl pasta salad the couscous is cooked in an orange juice broth & topped w/ pickled onions & grilled asparagus. You talk about a side dish that will blow you away, this is the one!

citrus israeli couscous with asparagus and cranberries on a plate
  1. Charred asparagus with harissa sauce

The best bbq side dishes are the ones that require very little of your time but bursts with flavor when cooked. That’s what this charred asparagus is - an easy asparagus recipe that can be ready in less than 10 minutes and wow your family or guests.

easy asparagus recipe for charred asparagus with harissa sauce
  1. southern lima beans

This lima beans recipe is a much-elevated version of your traditional Southern-style lima beans or butter beans depending on where you're from. These beans have that comforting smoky flavor and creamy texture. Lima beans are slowly simmered, drained, and sauteed in smoked butter sauce.

lima beans in green bowl topped with pickled red onions
  1. collard greens salad

Collard greens are as versatile a vegetable as they come,; people just don’t realize it. For this recipe, they are featured in this delicious collard greens salad where the greens tossed in a smoky and tangy bacon vinaigrette for an easy dinner side salad.

collard greens salad on a white plate
  1. carrot salad

Simple is underrated. Simple and good is not common enough. Don’t sleep on this carrot side salad. The homemade buttermilk dressing puts this over the top.

shedded carrot salad on black plate
  1. tomato and basil salad

This tomato and basil salad is the perfect summer salad. It's just a few ingredients, but packed with a clean and fresh taste thanks to the ripe cherry tomatoes and just picked basil.

tomatoes and basil in a yellow bowl
  1. stewed eggplant

This is not your average bowl of eggplant stew. It's delicious, made with just a few ingredients, and seasoned with a South African Braai spice rub. Simple, no fuss but an extremely flavorful recipe for eggplant stew. A smokey and sweet heat South African Braai spice rub elevates the flavor in the dish.

Stewed Eggplant with South African Braai Spice Rub

Pair any of the side dishes in this roundup with any of these popular soul food meat dishes. For other great guides for side dishes checkout this guide on what to serve with jerk chicken or ways to cook cabbage.

Author: Marwin Brown


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Recipe Rating


Thursday 14th of July 2022

this list is unbelievable!

some are my staples but have never considered for this purpose, thank you!

Marwin Brown

Thursday 14th of July 2022

You're welcome!