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41 Best BBQ Side Dishes Recipes To Complement Your Dinner Meal

Quick Answer: What Are The Best BBQ Side Dishes?

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Sides Dishes are an essential part of a meal, as they help complete the meal and provide a balance to the main dish. Many BBQ sides are savory, but there are also many sweet side dishes, such as dessert cobbler, bread pudding, and corn pudding. When planning a barbecue, side dishes are a must which includes lemon orzo salad, pasta salad, broccoli slaw, coleslaw, cilantro-lime roasted vegetables, smoked stuffed peppers, cornbread, etc.

The entire experience is just wholesome, filled with delicious goodies, and super satisfying.

There’s nothing more fun than a barbecue or cookout with friends and family. From the sweet, tangy taste of barbecue sauce to tasty grilled meats and the lovely smoky aroma that fills the air while you’re having a good time.

However, while you give the grilled meat all the TLC it needs, it’s also essential to have some delicious side dishes ready to go with it because grilled meats really shine when paired with other veggies and carbs.

Plus, not everyone wants to just keep chewing only a slab of meat the whole time.

Up Ahead, you’ll find the best BBQ side dishes to serve at a barbecue or summer cookout.

Whether you like veggies, potatoes, or even pasta, no matter your preference, we’ve got everything you need to give your barbecued meat dish the upgrade it deserves.

Quick Table: BBQ Side Dishes

RecipeCalories Per ServingPreparation Time
Cowboy Caviar195 21 Minutes
Mexican Street Corn Salad166 20 Minutes
Broccoli Slaw231 15 Minutes
Cilantro-Lime Roasted Vegetables110 40 Minutes
Pasta Salad283 25 Minutes
Mediterranean Chickpea  Salad143 45 Minutes
Maple Orange Sweet Potatoes229 20 Minutes
Watermelon Salad13520 Minutes
Strawberry Spinach Salad493 15 Minutes
Hawaiian Coleslaw5315 Minutes
Lemon Orzo Salad270 30 Minutes
Balsamic Grilled Mushrooms  Skewers 62 20 Minutes
Grilled Balsamic Peaches24540 Minutes
Roasted Parmesan Green Beans11020 Minutes
Smoked Jalapeno Poppers143 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Baked Beans5302 Hours 15 Minutes
Three Pepper Salad11360 Minutes
Roasted Zucchini Squash And Tomatoes168 40 Minutes
Fruit Salad21520 Minutes
Grilled Pineapple24510 Minutes
Italian Style Rice Salad361 20 Minutes
Bacon-Wrapped Corn On The Cob30630 Minutes
Strawberry Cucumber Salad23410 Minutes
Smoked Stuffed Peppers2201 Hour 20 Minutes
Twice Baked Potato Casserole414 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Spinach And Tortellini Salad54320 Minutes
Roasted Parmesan Broccoli12140 Minutes
Blooming Onion78750 Minutes
Grilled Caesar Salad31230 Minutes
Cornbread19845 Minutes
Smoked Mac And Cheese455 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Pita Bread1653 Hours 5 Minutes
Roasted Cauliflower Rice10040 Minutes
Pineapple Mango Salsa9011 Minutes
Korean Cucumber Salad9410 Minutes
Marinated Tomatoes14110 Minutes
Potato Salad43830 Minutes
Fritos Chili Cheese Salad56420 Minutes
Succotash285 26 Minutes
Coleslaw1205 Minutes
Sweet Potato Fries1821 Hour 5 Minutes

1. Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy caviar is a flavorful and hearty dip loaded with ingredients sure to tempt anyone to take a bite.

It is also fairly easy to whip up, so if you’re a guest going to a barbecue party or simply need a last-minute side to make when hosting a barbecue, this is the perfect side dish to try.

It features a colorful mix of corn, avocados, tomatoes, bell peppers., onions, cilantro, and beans, all combined with a flavor-filled vinaigrette.

Calories Per Serving: 195

Preparation Time: 21 Minutes 

2. Mexican Street Corn Salad

There’s no doubt that corn is a staple at any barbecue, but if you really want to serve it in a unique way, then a dish like Mexican street corn salad might just be what you need.

This flavorful salad is a Mexican classic, also known as esquites. It is packed with jalapenos, cotija cheese, onions, bell peppers, and a creamy mayo dressing.

Calories Per Serving: 166

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

3. Broccoli Slaw

While we all enjoy a serving of broccoli with our dinner every now and then, they’re not exactly the most fun vegetable for everyone to consume.

However, with this broccoli slaw, you can change that and transform your broccoli into a delicious side dish well suited to any BBQ.

It features a flavorful mix of broccoli, carrots, apples, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries, all tossed in a tangy and creamy dressing.

Calories Per Serving: 231

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

4. Cilantro-Lime Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are an easy side dish you can never go wrong with.

However, if you really want to elevate them in terms of taste, then toss them with some fresh cilantro and a tangy lime dressing before roasting, and you’ll be floored by the taste.

These vegetables are roasted in an air-fryer, giving them a longer-lasting crisp texture on the exterior.

Calories Per Serving: 110

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

5. Pasta Salad

When it comes to barbecues, who could ever say to a classic pasta salad? This creamy and filling mix of cooked pasta, cheese, peppers, tomatoes, and onions is a tried and true side dish you can be sure any crowd will appreciate.

Be sure to use tri-colored pasta to give the salad a fun and colorful appearance that is sure to attract attention.

Calories Per Serving: 283

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

6. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

If you’re looking for a healthy side dish with unique flavors, chickpea salad is one that is sure to knock your socks off.

It is hearty and loaded with Mediterranean flavors from a mix of chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, and a tasty red wine vinaigrette.

Calories Per Serving: 143

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

7. Maple Orange Sweet Potatoes

While potatoes often get all the notoriety and love at summer barbecues, sweet potatoes are actually an underrated side that is super delicious and easy to prepare.

These orangey maple versions are smokey and candied with a glaze made from a mixture of maple syrup, cinnamon, and orange zest.

Calories Per Serving: 229

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

8. Watermelon Salad

Nothing is more satisfying and refreshing than a serving of juicy watermelons in the summer, which is why they are a common staple at most barbecues. 

However, you don’t have to serve the watermelons plain, toss them with some cucumbers, feta cheese, and a light mint dressing, and you’ve got a color combo that is sure to add some juice and sweetness to your plate. 

Calories Per Serving: 135

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

9. Strawberry Spinach Salad

Strawberry spinach salad is another fruity salad but with a flavorful combination of spinach, strawberries, feta, onions, bacon, and candied nuts. 

It is equally sweet, crunchy, and flavorful and will go great with barbecued chicken or beef.

Calories Per Serving: 493

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

10. Hawaiian Coleslaw

Coleslaw is always a welcome addition to any plate at a barbecue. However, if you want to wow your guests and switch things up with some tropical flavors, this Hawaiian coleslaw might just be the perfect side dish you need.

It features a combination of pineapples, cabbage, carrots, sesame seed, and a zesty soy ginger dressing that is out of this world with deliciousness.

Calories Per Serving: 53

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

11. Lemon Orzo Salad

Orzo is a light rice-shaped pasta that goes really well with barbecued meats. If you’re piling on more than one side dish on your plate, this pasta salad isn’t too filling and allows you to enjoy the other goodie on your plate.

It is tangy, flavorful, and features a mix of orzo, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, arugulas, basil, and parmesan.

Calories Per Serving: 270

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

12. Balsamic Grilled Mushrooms Skewers

Want a side dish you can toss on the grill while also looking after the main meat dish at the barbecue? These balsamic mushroom skewers are the way to go.

They are garlicky and marinated in a mix of soy sauce, thyme, balsamic vinegar, and garlic before being grilled into lightly charred and caramelized perfection.

Calories Per Serving: 62

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

13. Grilled Balsamic Peaches

Peaches are a delicious fruit common in the summer and if you’ve got loads of them that you don’t know what to do with, turn them into these smoky sweet grilled peaches.

Once grilled, they are topped with a slightly peppery balsamic glaze that is quite easy to make. This is a quick side dish perfect for those looking for something with very few ingredients.

Calories Per Serving: 245

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

14. Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

Green beans are a favorite vegetable side dish that goes well with all kinds of meats and main dishes, but to serve them at a barbecue, you’ve really got to give them a nice smoky flavor.

The best way to do that? These roasted parmesan green beans.

They are tender yet have a crunchy coating of parmesan and panko bread crumbs that is super tasty and hard to resist.

Calories Per Serving: 110

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

15. Smoked Jalapeno Poppers

Though delicious side dishes at a barbecue can often look unimpressive once piled on the plate with all the other meats.

However, if you want an elegant side dish to impress your guests at a barbecue party, smoke jalapeno poppers are definitely what you need.

They are crispy and creamy and feature jalapeno peppers stuffed with loads of cream cheese and spicy seasoning and wrapped with crispy fried bacon.

Calories Per Serving: 143

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

16. Baked Beans

Baked beans are arguably one of the best ways to incorporate healthy beans into your plate at a barbecue. 

They are rich, tender, and often savory sweet, but this version takes things up a notch with the addition of bacon for a meaty crunch and jalapenos for a spicy kick.

Calories Per Serving: 530

Preparation Time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

17. Three Pepper Salad

Three pepper salad is a healthy, easy-to-make side dish with a zesty flavor that goes well with grilled barbecue meats.

It may sound intimidating and overly spicy from the name, but don’t let that scare you. This salad uses bell peppers combined with feta cheese and marinated with vinegar and sesame oil. Hence, the taste is mild and not actually too hot.

Calories Per Serving: 113

Preparation Time: 1 Hour

18. Roasted Zucchini Squash And Tomatoes

This roasted combo of zucchini, squash, and tomatoes is an easy yet highly deliciously side dish with rich flavors that are sure to please any crowd at a BBQ.

They are filled with a rich garlic aroma and parmesan cheese, giving them an irresistible cheesy taste that’ll make you want multiple servings..

Calories Per Serving: 168

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

19. Fruit Salad

There’s no better time to enjoy a serving of delicious fruits combined in a salad than at a barbecue in the summer.

This delicious blend of strawberries, blueberries, and grapes makes a great refresher for the palate while you devour smoky grilled meat. Feel free to use any other fruits you like, as this salad is very customizable.

Calories Per Serving: 215

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

20. Grilled Pineapple

As you can probably tell by now, we’re big fans of serving juicy fruits as a refreshing side dish for BBQ, and this grilled pineapple is another one you can try.

This juicy and smoky pineapple side dish is smothered in a mix of brown sugar, both enhancing the taste and giving it a light sweet glaze.

Calories Per Serving: 245

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

21. Italian Style Rice Salad

Looking for a way to incorporate rice into your barbecue email? Try this Italian-style rice salad.

The cooked rice is combined with tomatoes, orange peppers, cucumbers, corn, olives, onions, fresh herbs, and Italian dressing. It is a colorful mixture that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Calories Per Serving: 361

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

22. Bacon-Wrapped Corn On The Cob

Corn on the cob is a side dish that probably most people associate with barbecues, and with their sweet chewy taste, we absolutely get why they’re a classic favorite.

However, if you really want to make them stand out and tempt anyone to take a bite, cover them in crispy bacon and BBQ seasoning, and you’ll be stunned by how incredible they turn out.

Calories Per Serving: 306

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

23. Strawberry Cucumber Salad

If you’re looking for an easy and affordable side to serve at a barbecue, this delicious strawberry cucumber salad might just be what you need.

It is crunchy, juicy, and mildly sweet and features a white vinegar and honey dressing that fills each bite with a whole lot of flavor.

Calories Per Serving: 234

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

24. Smoked Stuffed Peppers

Smoked stuff peppers are a delicious side dish with a spicy kick that is sure to delight fans of Mexican food.

These poblano peppers are crispy on the exterior yet tender on the inside. They contain a filling of ground beef, chipotle corn, cauliflower rice, cheese, tomatoes, and taco seasoning.

Calories Per Serving: 220

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

25. Twice Baked Potato Casserole

Potato casseroles are one the easiest side dishes you can make for a BBQ because all you need to do is throw a few ingredients together and bake them while you focus on preparing the meats and other dishes.

This twice bakes variation features onions, fresh herbs, cheese, sour cream, and a crumbly coating that is seriously mouth-watering.

Calories Per Serving: 414

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

26. Spinach And Tortellini Salad

Spinach tortellini salad is a rich pasta salad that’s great for barbecues. 

It features a mix of cheese tortellini, salami, onions, tomatoes, basil, and a rich Italian dressing that add so much flavor to each bite.

Calories Per Serving: 543

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

27. Roasted Parmesan Broccoli

Roasted parmesan broccoli is a delicious way to elevate the taste of your broccoli, and its smoky, crispy texture is delicious enough to satisfy any crowd.

They are flavorful, cheesy, and only require a few basic ingredients you likely already have, so they make are a great last-minute option.

Calories Per Serving: 121

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

28. Blooming Onion

Blooming onions are a fun and elegant way to transform a humble vegetable like onions into a side dish that gets attention and compliments.

These onions are coated in panko bread crumbs and cajun seasoning and then baked till crispy.

It may look hard to make but rest assured, these blossoms are quite easy to make. The main secret to them is simply cutting the onion into small sections and using your fingers to spread them apart to create the petals.

Calories Per Serving: 787

Preparation Time: 50 Minutes

29. Grilled Caesar Salad

Caesar salad is a restaurant favorite we all know and love. However, adding a smoky grilled flavor to that crunchy mix of romaine lettuce, croutons and parmesan creates a unique salad that is sure to wow any crowd.

Calories Per Serving: 312

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

30. Cornbread

If you’re looking for a southern side dish that goes great with BBQ and can be enjoyed the morning after, cornbread is a classic you can never go wrong with.

Equal parts sweet and moist, this cornbread is made in a skillet, making it much easier to prepare and serve.

Calories Per Serving: 198

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

31. Smoked Mac And Cheese

Mac and cheese is another well-loved BBQ side dish that almost no one can resist. 

However, while everyone knows how to whip up mac and cheese, this smoked version features a creamy bechamel sauce and a crunchy cheese topping that makes it so much more delicious.

Calories Per Serving: 455

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

32. Pita Bread

The best bread for that task is pita bread, which is easy to make and cooked on a hot skillet, giving it a subtle smoky exterior. 

The best bread for that task is pita bread as it is not only easy to make but also cooked on a hot skillet which gives it a subtle smoky exterior.

Calories Per Serving: 165

Preparation Time: 3 Hours 5 Minutes

33. Roasted Cauliflower Rice

If you’re on a keto diet and looking for a tasty alternative to pasta, this roasted cauliflower rice is the perfect side dish to go with your barbecue.

This healthy side starts with a base of riced cauliflower seasoned and roasted until golden brown and slightly nutty.

Calories Per Serving: 100

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

34. Pineapple Mango Salsa

Pineapple mango salsa is a flavorful and colorful side dish you can serve with barbecued meats to create a blend of sweet and savory flavors

Plus, this mix of onions, cilantro, jalapenos, pineapple, lime juice, and mangoes is sure to be a favorite with fans of Mexican food.

Calories Per Serving: 90

Preparation Time: 11 Minutes

35. Korean Cucumber Salad

If you’re looking for a unique side dish with Asian flavors or need something to go with Korean barbecue, this Korean cucumber salad is the perfect side to try.

These cucumbers are refreshing, garlicky, and made tastier with the addition of a dressing consisting of soy sauce, sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar, gochugaru, and sugar.

Calories Per Serving: 94

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

36. Marinated Tomatoes

Looking for an easy side you can make ahead of time? Then, marinated onions are the ideal side dish for you.

These cherry tomatoes are juicy and bursting with flavor from a marinade made with basic ingredients.

Calories Per Serving: 141

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

37. Potato Salad

Potato salad is a creamy and tasty side dish that you can be sure everyone will devour with satisfaction when served at a barbecue.

It starts with a base of cooked potatoes combined with other ingredients like eggs, celery, mustard, mayo, and relish, all of which give it a creamy and tangy taste.

Calories Per Serving: 438

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

38. Fritos Chili Cheese Salad

If you want an indulgent salad to go with your barbecue, then you’ve got to try Fritos chili cheese salad.

It features a simple mix of corn, onions, bell peppers, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and Fritos chips but once combined, the end result is seriously addictive.

Calories Per Serving: 564

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

39. Succotash

Succotash is a cherished southern side dish often loaded with a mix of hearty vegetables.

This version features tomatoes, edamame, scallions, chives, and grilled corn which gives it a smoky flavor well suited to any barbecue dish.

Calories Per Serving: 285

Preparation Time: 26 Minutes

40. Cole Slaw

If there’s on side dish you can be guaranteed any crowd at a barbecue will appreciate its creamy cole slaw, and we totally get why. It is creamy, crunchy, and quite easy to whip up.

Calories Per Serving: 120

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes

41. Sweet Potato Fries

Crispy sweet potato fries are an easy side you can be sure both kids and adults will happily eat. They are fairly easy to make, and their sweet taste makes them a great side to go with BBQ.

Calories Per Serving: 182

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Good Side Dish To Bring To A BBQ?

If you’re attending a BBQ, it is always best to bring a side dish you know everyone will appreciate, and there are many options of such dishes.

These can include classics like pasta salad or potato salad, coleslaw, cucumber salad, corn salad, or even bread like cornbread.

Since most barbecue gatherings are often held in the summer, you can also bring refreshing fruit-based sides like fruit salads which are sweet and juicy.  

What Is The Most Popular BBQ Food?

Beef, pork, and chicken are the most popular barbecue food. They can often be made in different cuts like chicken thighs, pork tenderloin, or beef patties, but these three meats are the most common main dishes you’ll find at any barbecue.

What Vegetables Can You Serve At A BBQ?

When it comes to vegetables for BBQ, there is really no shortage of options. Many vegetables are grill friendly or pair nicely with grilled meats, so you can serve a BBQ with just about any veggie.

Some vegetables you can grill and serve at a BBQ include squash, zucchini, peppers, green beans, asparagus, onions, eggplants, and broccoli. You can also serve leafy greens like spinach or kale made into a fresh salad.

41 Best BBQ Side Dishes Recipes To Know

5 from 3 votes

Find the perfect side to accompany your barbecue this summer. From potato salad to macaroni salad, we have everything you need to make your grill out complete.

Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith