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25 Yummy Side Dishes For Ribs You’ll Love

There are few things as satisfying as a juicy rack of ribs. Whether grilled, baked, or smoked, they always just seem to draw you in and demand your full indulgence.

Now, while you get down and dirty with the juicy ribs, your mouth slick with barbeque sauce, it’s always nice to have something delicious to dig into between bites. The great news is that many side dishes go with ribs.

So whether you’re planning a barbecue grill fiesta or simply indulging in some juicy baby back ribs for dinner, In this post, you’ll find some of the best Side Dishes For Ribs.

Read ahead, and you’ll find some truly mouth-watering options from classics like mac and cheese to flavorful salads and vegetables; this list seriously has everything needed to take your ribs to the next level.

Quick Table: Side Dishes For Ribs

RecipeCalories (Per Serving)Preparation Time
Sweet Chili Bacon Pasta Salad257 25 Min
Honey Lime Fruit Salad50 10 Min
Smoked Corn On The Cob2711 Hr 30 Min
Black Bean Salad10720 Min
Creamy Parmesan Polenta38830 Min
Corn Salad With Fritos364 15 Min
Smoked Mac And Cheese360 35 Min
Oven-Roasted West203.12 50 Min
Barbecued Green Beans1854 Hrs 10 Min
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole625 50 Min
Baked Beans458 2 Hrs 40 Min
Bacon Ranch Potato Salad56940 Min
Quinoa Salad516 30 Min
Mushroom Risotto275 30 Min
Gnocchi With Spinach65815 Min
Italian Herb Pasta421 10 Min
Garlic Butter Mashed Cauliflower129 30 Min
Cheese And Ranch Potato25745 Min
Cucumber Tomato Salad172 30 Min
Barbecued Rice3301 Hr 5 Min
Black Bean Salad10720 Min
Creamy Parmesan Polenta38830 Min
Honey Lime Fruit Salad5010 Min
Smoked Mac And Cheese36035 Min
Mushroom Risotto27530 Min

1. Sweet Chili Bacon Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is an easy side dish almost no one can resist, and its creamy yet fresh blend of veggies makes it a lovely side dish to serve with ribs during the summer when it’s grilling season. 

This sweet chili bacon variation is loaded with spicy and savory ingredients that create an amazing blend of flavors.

Calories Per Serving: 257

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

2. Honey Lime Fruits Salad

Sweet and bursting with juicy sweetness, this honey lime fruit salad is a great side dish to pair with ribs if you have a sweet tooth but still want something healthy and natural.

This sweet salad features a mix of strawberries, oranges, bananas, grapes, blue-berries, and a honey lime glaze to balance all of that sweetness.

Calories Per Serving: 50

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes 

3. Smoked Corn On The Cob

If you’re enjoying a serving of grilled ribs, then smoked corn on the cob is the perfect side dish to complement those smoke flavors, especially when you’re having a summer cookout.

This smoked corn is smothered in butter, parmesan cheese, parsley, paprika, and garlic. 

Calories Per Serving: 271

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

4. Cheesy Potatoes Bake

Potatoes and cheese always make a mouth-watering combo when combined and when served with juicy ribs, the entire combo makes a seriously drool-worthy meal.

The perfect way to get that delicious mixture? This cheesy potato bake. It is an easy side dish consisting of a mix of shredded hash browns and cheese.

Calories Per Serving: 247

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

5. Black Bean Salad

Black bean salad is a healthy and fresh salad perfect for bbq ribs which makes it the perfect side dish to whip up when you’re having a summer grill fest or party.

Flavorful and a tad bit spicy, this salad features a combination of jalapenos, sweet corn, black beans, onions,  cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, avocados, and a lemony vinaigrette.

Calories Per Serving: 107

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

6. Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Want to make an elegant dish out of your juicy ribs? Serve it over a creamy polenta like this parmesan one, and you have a meal perfect for date night or any special occasion.

This polenta requires a few basic ingredients, yet it is buttery smooth and brimming with flavors that are sure to wow any crowd.

Calories Per Serving: 388

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

RELATED: Spare Ribs Vs Baby Back Ribs – Difference Between Spare Ribs And Baby Back Ribs

7. Corn Salad With Fritos

If you’re looking for an easy side dish you can make ahead of time while you prepare to entertain a small crowd, this corn salad is the perfect side dish your you.

It is creamy and loaded with corn, bell peppers, onions, mayo, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and Fritos chips for a surprise crunch you don’t see coming but appreciate as soon as you taste it.

Calories Per Serving: 364

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

8. Smoked Mac And Cheese

We can’t think of a more classic dish for ribs than mac and cheese, and if you’re looking to go the traditional route, this smoked mac and cheese is sure to be appreciated by any crowd.

It is creamy and gooey as expected of mac and cheese, but the addition of bacon gives it a meaty crunch that just takes it to the next level.

Calories Per Serving: 360

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes

9. Oven-Roasted Vegetables

Ribs can be an indulgent meal but if you’re on a keto diet and looking to stick to your diet, pairing it with well-roasted vegetables is a great way to do just that.

These delicious oven-roasted ones feature a blend of lemony, fresh herbs and a lovely aroma of garlic.

The vegetables used here include potatoes, onions, carrots, butternut squash, and Brussel sprouts, but feel free to include any other veggies you prefer.

Calories Per Serving: 203

Preparation Time: 50 Minutes 

10. Barbecued Green Beans

As you can probably tell by now, ribs go really well with dishes that have a smoky flavor. These barbecued green beans are another smoky-flavored side dish perfect for fans of green beans.

Although they are actually prepared in a slow cooker, these beans are coated in a mixture of bbq sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar, all of which give it a sweet and tangy smoked barbecue flavor.

Calories Per Serving: 185

Preparation Time: 4 Hours 10 Minutes 

11. Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

There’s no denying that mashed potatoes are a common side dish for meats like ribs, but after multiple servings of the same plain creamy mush, it can get boring. The best way to fix that? This loaded mashed potato casserole.

As the name implies, this casserole is loaded with goodies like crispy bacon, green onions, and cheese. Baking it casserole style also gives it a nice crisp and brown topping that looks and tastes incredible.

Calories Per Serving: 625

Preparation Time: 50 Minutes

12. Baked Beans

Baked beans make a great side dish for ribs are their savory, and creamy texture only further elevates the taste of juicy ribs.

This easy version starts with a base of canned pork and beans and is then baked with bacon, beef hot dogs, mustard, ketchup, onions, and brown sugar.

Calories Per Serving: 458

Preparation Time: 2 Hours 40 Minutes

RELATED: 20 Leftover Ribs Recipes You Will Truly Enjoy

13. Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a creamy all-time classic that you can never go wrong with, and if you’re hosting a picnic or summer barbecue, it makes a perfect pair when served with ribs.

This low FODMAP version features the classic base of cabbage, red onions, and carrots, but it also contains a creamy dairy-free mayo dressing.

Calories Per Serving: 152

Preparation Time: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

14. Bacon Ranch Sweet Potatoes Salad

If you’re looking for a paleo side dish packed full of flavor, this sweet potato salad is a great dish to try.

It is sweet and tart while also being crunchy and tender at the same time. Honestly, Who could resist such a combination? 

All it requires is a combination of cooked sweet potatoes, bacon, celery, onions, and ranch. You can use store-bought ranch or make a homemade version to get more bold flavors.

Calories Per Serving: 569

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes 

15. Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a great healthy alternative if you want a filling side dish for ribs but don’t want to fill yourself with carb-heavy options like rice or pasta. However, serving it plain can be pretty boring. 

This savory and hearty salad is the ideal way to take things up a notch when eating quinoa. It features a mix of sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, lentils, shallots, and a basil pesto dressing.

Calories Per Serving: 516

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

16. Mushroom Risotto

Looking for a one-pan side dish that’ll save you the stress of having to wash multiple pots and pans after cooking? This mushroom risotto is the ideal side dish for you.

It is flavorful and buttery and consists of a mixture of chicken stock, arborio rice, mushrooms, garlic, onions, white wine, butter, thyme, and lemon juice.

Calories Per Serving: 275

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes 

17. Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire pudding is a savory baked pudding made from a flour, milk, and egg batter, so it isn’t technically a pudding in the traditional sense.

However, it is a classic side dish well loved by the British, and they call it pudding, so we’re going to go with it.

Odd name aside, this Yorkshire pudding has a crispy exterior and moist, flavorful insides that oozes flavor and pair really well with ribs. 

A key ingredient used in making these puddings are pan drippings, so this is really the best way to use up any drippings you have left over from baking your ribs.

Calories Per Serving: 150

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

18. Gnocchi With Spinach

This gnocchi with spinach is a lovely side dish with the perfect blend of crispy and tender textures that are sure to go well with ribs.

It is pan-fried to create a crisp golden exterior, but with each bite, you get a soft fluffy interior along with a flavorful mix of sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parmesan cheese, and spinach.

Calories Per Serving: 658

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

RELATED: Food Recipes – How To Cook Ribs In The Oven At 400

19. Italian Herb Pasta

If you’re looking for a light pasta dish to go with ribs smothered in a rich sauce, this Italian herb pasta is the perfect base to pile the ribs.

It contains no cream but oozes with flavor from the light herb sauce the cooked pasta is coated in.

Calories Per Serving: 421

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

20. Garlic Butter Mashed Cauliflower

Now, we’ve already established that ribs and mashed potatoes are a match made in heaven, but if you’re on a low-carb diet, that might not be something you can indulge in.

This garlic butter mashed cauliflower is the perfect healthy alternative. It is creamy, easy to make, and does not skim on flavor at all.

Calories Per Serving: 129

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes 

21. Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

Want to indulge in a fun southern food fiesta? Then you have got to try these delicious jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins with your ribs.

These savory sweet muffins are quite easy to make and start with an easy batter consisting of cornmeal, flour, sugar, buttermilk, and baking powder.

Calories Per Serving: 150

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

22. Cheese And Ranch Potatoes

If there’s one thing a crowd of hungry rib eaters can’t say no to, it’s cheesy potatoes. And with this cheese and ranch combo, you’ll have anyone who gets a taste begging you for the recipe.

It is mind-blowingly delicious, but this side dish is actually very easy to make. All you need is a combination of red potatoes, cheddar cheese, ranch seasoning mix, olive oil, and pepper.

Calories Per Serving: 257

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes 

23. Cucumber Tomato Salad

This cucumber tomato salad is an easy side dish you can whip up at the last minute, so if you’re pressed for time and maybe simply need something to serve leftover ribs from last night’s dinner, this is a great option for you.

It is crunchy and juicy and requires just a few basic ingredients. However, the main star attraction of this salad is the flavorful dill vinaigrette. 

Calories Per Serving: 172

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes 

24. Brown Sugar-Glazed Carrots

Glazed carrots are a fun side dish with a glistening shine that is sure to tempt anyone, but once you get a taste of these baked carrots, you’ll fall even more in love with the taste.

They are tender and sweet but not overly sugary, making them a lovely dish with savory ribs.

Calories Per Serving: 80

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes 

RELATED: 9 Best And Amazing Substitutes For Short Ribs

25. Barbecue Rice

Rice always makes a great side dish for ribs, but if you’re looking for a slightly healthier alternative to white rice, these barbecued rice might just the what you need.

They are made with brown rice and feature bold ingredients like liquid smoke, barbecue sauce, garlic chicken broth, and jalapenos, all of which give the entire dish a robust smoky flavor.

Calories Per Serving: 330

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do You Serve With Ribs For A Summer Barbecue?

When you’re serving ribs for a summer barbecue, there are many dishes you can pair them with. Some great options include macaroni and cheese, collard green, grilled corn on the cob, cole slaw, potato salad, or roasted vegetables. 

Most of the side dishes we have highlighted in this post are also great dishes to serve with ribs for a summer barbeque.

What Vegetables Go With Ribs?

Ribs go well with many different vegetables, many of which are easily accessible and easy to prepare.

Some great vegetables you can serve with ribs include cabbage, collard greens, spinach, green beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, asparagus, lettuce, and kale.

What Healthy Side Dishes Can Your Serve With Ribs?

If you’re looking for healthy side dishes to pair with ribs, there are many options to choose from. You can opt for fresh salads with leafy green like arugula, kale, lettuce, or baby spinach. 

If you’re a fan of roasted vegetables, then you can also serve roasted veggies like Brussel sprouts, broccoli, or carrot with your ribs.

Cauliflower rice and quinoa are also great grains to serve with ribs if you’re craving a carb-heavy dish like rice or pasta and don’t want any of the extra carbs.

25 Yummy Side Dishes For Ribs

Some great vegetables you can serve with ribs include cabbage, collard greens, spinach, green beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, asparagus, lettuce, and kale.


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Jess Smith

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