50 Best BBQ Side Dishes

Serve up these popular dishes at your next cookout

Smoked Corn on the Cob

The Spruce

 

No great barbecue is complete without a set of great sides! From the traditional saucy baked beans to potato and pasta salads to a fantastic grilled pizza, these BBQ side dishes are all top-notch options. So whether you're hosting the cookout or are a guest at someone else's, you can't go wrong with these essential recipes.

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Watch Now: How to Make Easy Smoked Corn on the Cob

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    Vegan Potato Salad

    Vegan Potato Salad

    The Spruce

     

    Vegan mayonnaise gives this cookout favorite potato salad its creamy—but still egg-free—texture, with diced onion and celery adding crunch. Make it a day ahead and store in the fridge, for a BBQ side dish that everyone can enjoy.

  • 02 of 50

    Creamy Southern Succotash

    Creamy Southern Succotash

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

     

    Succotash is a popular Southern side that traditionally accompanies grilled chicken and fish. Lima beans, corn, and chopped bell pepper are sauteed in seasoned butter and finished with heavy cream.

  • 03 of 50

    Kansas City Baked Beans

    Kansas Baked Beans

    Lew Robertson / Getty Images

    Kansas baked beans are the ideal accompaniment to a barbecued brisket since they're flavored with bits of the cooked meat. They're also infused with bacon, onions, and peppers for richness, and cook in a heavenly cider-molasses barbecue sauce.

  • 04 of 50

    Mexican Street Corn

    Mexican Street Corn

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

     

    Grilled Mexican street corn is salty, sweet, crunchy, and creamy in every bite. Lime juice, Mexican cheese, fresh cilantro, and chili powder add south of the border flair to the amped up mayonnaise dressing.

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  • 05 of 50

    Simple Coleslaw

    Coleslaw Recipe

     The Spruce

    Perfect for the traditionalist, this easy coleslaw requires just a few ingredients, including a simple mayo and cider vinegar dressing. Use it for topping pulled pork sandwiches and fish tacos.

  • 06 of 50

    Grilled Potato Skins

    Grilled potato skins
    Foodcollection / Getty Images

    Set up a self-serve potato skins bar with toppings for guests to enjoy at their leisure. After prepping the potato halves and cooking them briefly in the microwave, they're ready to crisp up on the grill.

  • 07 of 50

    Vegetarian and Vegan Quinoa Salad

    Vegetarian and Vegan Quinoa Salad

    The Spruce

     

    Nutty cooked quinoa is tossed with plenty of diced raw vegetables in a bright and tangy vinaigrette for a vibrant summer salad that's both vegan and gluten-free. Cooking the quinoa in vegetable broth infuses it with extra flavor and is a step worth doing.

  • 08 of 50

    Creamy Dill Potato Salad

    Potato Salad

    Ina Peters / Stocksy United

    If you love pickles, this is the potato salad for you! The creamy dish gets tons of tangy flavor from chopped dill pickles and juice, with fresh dill adding a nice herbal aroma.

    Continue to 9 of 50 below.
  • 09 of 50

    Beer Batter Hush Puppies

    Beer Batter Hush Puppies

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

     

    Beer in the batter makes these hush puppies crisp and light in texture. Jalapeno peppers and onion give these bite, but you can also a little Tabasco to the batter if you like for extra heat.

  • 10 of 50

    Classic Macaroni Salad

    Classic Macaroni Salad

    The Spruce

     

    Classic macaroni salad is made with hard-boiled eggs, chopped vegetables, and a seasoned mayonnaise dressing with a bit of mustard added for tang. Go ahead and add cooked chopped bacon for an extra umami punch.

  • 11 of 50

    Fresh Grilled Corn on the Cob

    Fresh grilled corn on the cob

    Gareth Morgans / Getty Images

     

    This essential recipe for grilled corn on the cob could not be simpler or more delicious. All you need is fresh ears of summer corn, some butter, fresh herbs, and a hot grill to serve up this cookout favorite.

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    Grilled Watermelon Salad With Mint

    Grilled Watermelon Salad with Mint

    Alexandra Grablewski / Getty Images

     

    Everyone expects watermelon at a cookout, and this must-try recipe takes the fruit to the grill for a fun new way to enjoy it. Watermelon quarters get a quick sear before they're tossed in a flavorful syrup with chopped fresh mint leaves.

    Continue to 13 of 50 below.
  • 13 of 50

    Vegan Cole Slaw

    Vegan Cole Slaw

    Ansel Olson / Getty Images

     

    This colorful, crunchy slaw with cabbage and carrots is completely egg-free and gluten-free, with a bright and tangy flavor from a simple vinaigrette dressing. Make it a few hours ahead of serving and store in the fridge if you can to allow time for flavors to meld.

  • 14 of 50

    Greek Salad

    Greek Salad

    Image Source / Getty Images
     

     

    In this classic Greek salad, chopped fresh veggies and crunchy romaine lettuce are tossed with creamy feta cheese and a lovely dressing made from lemon, oregano, and olive oil.

  • 15 of 50

    Corn Tomato Basil Salad

    Corn Tomato Basil Salad

    The Spruce / Molly Watson

     

    Sweet summer corn meets its match in a seasonal salad that pairs the kernels with bright, acidic tomatoes. Thinly-sliced fresh basil leaves add color and even more summer flavor.

  • 16 of 50

    French Fries on the Grill

    French Fries on the Grill

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

     

    Everyone loves French fries, which make a perfect pairing for juicy hamburgers and veggie burgers at your backyard BBQ. This recipe starts with placing frozen fries into foil packets on the grill and combining them with bacon, American cheese, and chives before serving.

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  • 17 of 50

    Grilled Portobello Mushrooms With Garlic Butter

    Grilled Portobello Mushrooms With Garlic Butter-

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

     

    The earthy flavor and firm texture of portobello mushrooms make them a satisfying meat alternative for your vegetarian guests. Here, they're grilled in a buttery, garlicky marinade that adds tons of extra flavor.

  • 18 of 50

    Southern-Style Cornbread

    Southern-Style Cornbread

    The Spruce

     

    Skillet cornbread is a staple in the South and makes a fantastic side dish for barbecued beef and pork mains. This version is a bit richer than most and very tasty.

  • 19 of 50

    Corn Gratin With Cracker Crumb Topping

    Corn Gratin With Cracker Crumb Topping

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

     

    Classic corn casserole with a buttery saltine cracker crumb topping makes a tasty side for hamburgers, sausages, and grilled fish. Fresh, frozen, or canned corn all work for this oven-baked dish.

  • 20 of 50

    Watermelon Fruit Party Basket

    Watermelon Fruit Party Basket

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

     

    Watermelon fruit bowls are perfect for summer barbecue parties because they're easy to make and look impressive. Simply follow our step-by-step carving instructions, fill with your favorite fruit salad mixture, and enjoy!

    Continue to 21 of 50 below.
  • 21 of 50

    Fresh Tomato Gazpacho

    Fresh Tomato Gazpacho

    Getty Images

     

    Chilled gazpacho makes a refreshing starter at cookouts and is easily served in plastic cups. Ripe tomatoes are blended with cucumber, bell and jalapeno peppers, onion, and garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and a little vinegar to form a refreshing soup.

  • 22 of 50

    Smoked Corn on the Cob

    Smoked Corn on the Cob

    The Spruce

     

    Coated ears of corn in an easy homemade spice rub and cooking them in the smoker brings out all the natural sweetness of this essential summer vegetable. Be sure to follow the tips for soaking ears of corn before adding to the smoker.

  • 23 of 50

    Chimichurri

    Chimichurri Sauce

    Debbi Smirnoff / E+ / Getty Images

     

    Chimichurri is a South American salsa that's similar in texture to pesto and is used to add flavor to grilled meats, fish, and shellfish. Whip up a batch easily in the food processor with a few fresh herbs, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and hot pepper flakes to taste.

  • 24 of 50

    Black Bean and Mango Salad Recipe

    Black Bean and Mango Salad Recipe

    nata_vkusidey / Getty Images

     

    Black beans and sweet juicy mangoes combine with fresh cilantro and chopped bell and jalapeno peppers in this colorful side salad that's completely vegan, high in protein, and gluten-free.

    Continue to 25 of 50 below.
  • 25 of 50

    Garden Pasta Salad With Rotini

    Garden Pasta Salad With Rotini

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This garden pasta salad is loaded with freshly chopped vegetables and ripe olives. The spiral noodles are fun to eat and the lemony pesto and mayonnaise dressing flavors the salad perfectly.

  • 26 of 50

    Miso Barbecue Eggplant

    Miso Barbecue Eggplant

    Giovanni Lo Turco / EyeEm / Getty Images

     

    Miso adds a deep nutty flavor to Japanese eggplant in this gourmet BBQ recipe. The slices are brushed with a mixture of the paste, sake, red wine, sugar, and mayonnaise, then they're grilled until tender and topped with sesame seeds for serving.

  • 27 of 50

    Greek Grilled Pizza

    Greek Grilled Pizza

    Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

     

    There is no better way to cook a pizza than on the grill. A Greek-inspired pie with a crispy crust is loaded with cheese, olives, and summer veggies, and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

  • 28 of 50

    Solterito Corn and Lima Bean Salad

    Solterito Corn and Lima Bean Salad

    The Spruce / Marian Blazes

     

    Solterito is a Peruvian vegetable salad traditionally made with lima beans and corn. This cookout version adds chunks of queso fresco, spicy chile pepper, fresh tomatoes, ripe olives, and red onion, for a salad bursting with flavor and color.

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  • 29 of 50

    Grilled Ratatouille

    Grilled Ratatouille

    The Picture Pantry / Lisovskaya Natalia

     

    Ratatouille is a classic French recipe made with fresh garden veggies. This BBQ-friendly version gives the vegetables a turn on the grill to give them a good char.

  • 30 of 50

    Indian Spiced Couscous Salad

    Indian Spiced Couscous Salad

    Westend61 / Getty Images

     

    Your guests will enjoy the nutty taste of this Indian-spiced couscous salad. It's high in protein and fiber from couscous with plenty of nutrition from the veggies.

  • 31 of 50

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

     

    Southern-style baked macaroni and cheese includes an easy, homemade cheese sauce with plenty of sharp cheddar and a crunchy, golden brown breadcrumb topping.

  • 32 of 50

    Tuscan Bread Salad (Panzanella)

    Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad)

    Carrie Anne Castillo / Getty Images

     

    Panzanella is a colorful Italian summer salad that combines crusty cubes with fresh veggies in a simple basil vinaigrette dressing. Because the bread gets softer as it soaks in the vinaigrette, it's a wonderful way to use up old loaves.

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  • 33 of 50

    Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad

    Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

     

    Here's a potato salad you can be proud to serve at 4th of July parties. Small, colorful potatoes and chopped hard-boiled eggs are tossed in a creamy dressing, with chopped fresh dill and dill relish adding loads of tangy flavor.

  • 34 of 50

    Pineapple Salsa

    Pineapple Salsa

    Faithklefever / Flickr / CC BY ND 2.0

     

    Sweet and tangy pineapple salsa makes a tropical accompaniment to grilled fish, chicken, or pork. It's best made with fresh fruit, plus cilantro, chopped purple and green onions, honey, and lime juice.

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    BBQ Dill Potatoes

    BBQ Dill Potatoes

    ivanmareev / Getty Images

     

    Grilled baby potatoes in a packet are easy to make and fun for guests to open and eat. They're tossed with olive oil, melted butter, garlic, fresh dill, salt, and pepper, then wrapped in an aluminum foil and placed on the grill to cook 'til tender.

  • 36 of 50

    Grilled Corn Salad Recipe

    Grilled Corn Salad Recipe

    The Spruce / Molly Watson

     

    Grilling corn adds texture and brings out a smoky flavor in the naturally sweet vegetable. Here, the kernels are combined with fresh mint and cilantro, chopped tomatoes, red onion, and optional avocado and cheese, in a summer salad that is a little bit spicy and overall very tasty.

    Continue to 37 of 50 below.
  • 37 of 50

    Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado Salad

    Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado Salad

    Westend61 / Getty Images

     

    If you're grilling chicken, serve this crunchy and creamy vegetable salad that tastes especially good with poultry. Cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, fresh herbs, and red onion are dressed in a light balsamic vinaigrette.

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    Grilled Romaine Hearts

    Grilled Romaine Hearts

    Carin Krasner / Getty Images

    Foodies love this preparation for lightly dressed romaine lettuce hearts. It puts them right on the grill, creating a fabulously smoky flavor that tastes great on top of burgers.

  • 39 of 50

    Grilled Pear and Sweet Potato Salad

    Grilled Pear and Sweet Potato Salad

    Regarding BBQ Inc

     

    Serve up a truly special grilled salad using this recipe. The combination of sweet potato, juicy pears, tangy feta, and toasted pecans marry beautifully with peppery arugula, all in a tangy apple jelly dressing.

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    Heirloom Tomato Salad With Goat Cheese and Arugula

    Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula

    The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

     

    Fresh heirloom tomatoes from the farmer's market combine with spicy arugula and creamy goat cheese in this tasty summer salad. The honey-basil vinaigrette dressing is outstanding, too.

    Continue to 41 of 50 below.
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    Tabbouleh Salad

    Tabbouleh Salad

    The Spruce

    Tabbouleh is a refreshing Middle Eastern salad made with cracked wheat bulgur, parsley, tomatoes, and a bright garlic-mint dressing. Serve it on its own or to accompany grilled chicken or lamb.

  • 42 of 50

    BBQ Corn with Honey-Dijon Baste

    BBQ Corn with Honey-Dijon Baste

    Brian Leatart / Getty Images

     

    Whole grilled corn with a sweet honey mustard glaze makes an outstanding side for burgers and hot dogs. Add the baste near the end of the grilling time to create a rich, caramelized outer layer on the charred ears.

  • 43 of 50

    Grilled Vegetable Kebabs

    Grilled Vegetable Kebabs

    Jonathan Kantor / The Image Bank / Getty Images

     

    Grilled vegetable kebabs are a healthy, colorful idea for summer cookouts. Serve them over couscous for vegetarians to enjoy as a main or with grilled meats for everyone else. The Dijon-herb marinade adds tons of flavor.

  • 44 of 50

    Cheese and Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

    Cheese and Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

    HighImpactPhotography / Getty Images

     

    Stuffed mushrooms are a must at grilling parties. With a filling of crunchy breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, pimentos, fresh herbs and spices, this recipe is a real crowd-pleaser.

    Continue to 45 of 50 below.
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    Grilled Zucchini

    Grilled Zucchini

    Barry Wong / Photodisc / Getty Images

     

    Zucchinis are cut lengthwise, coated with seasoned olive oil, and grilled to tender perfection in this simple summer recipe that goes great with beer can chicken. Top the grilled squash with grated Parmesan or crumbled feta for serving.

  • 46 of 50

    Tex-Mex Macaroni and Black Bean Salad

    Tex-Mex Macaroni and Black Bean Salad

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

     

    Surprise your friends with this Tex-Mex style macaroni salad that dials up the flavor on a classic BBQ side. Cilantro, corn, black beans, and diced tomatoes mingle in a kicked-up, creamy chili-lime mayonnaise dressing.

  • 47 of 50

    Grilled Caponata

    Grilled Caponata

    Philip Wilkins / Getty Images

     

    Caponata vegetable salad has plenty of nutrition and a great smoky aroma. Eggplants and onions are seared on the grill, then combined with sauteed tomatoes, eggplant, onions, raisins, and olives, and tossed with dressing. Make it the night before your cookout to give the flavors time to blend.

  • 48 of 50

    Grilled Sweet Potato Skewers With Honey Mustard

    Grilled Sweet Potato Skewers with Honey Mustard

    uniquely india / Getty Images

    Sweet potato lovers will gobble up these vegetable kabobs with sweet potatoes, red and green bell peppers, and onion glazed in honey mustard. Vegetarians can enjoy them as a main dish served over greens or couscous.

    Continue to 49 of 50 below.
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    Grilled Endives With Herb and Balsamic

    Grilled Endives With Herb and Balsamic

    Regarding BBQ Inc

    Endives marinated in a garlicky vinaigrette and seared on the grill make a lovely, mild side dish for serving with grilled fish. You may also want to try them in a salad tossed with green goddess or blue cheese dressing.

  • 50 of 50

    Grilled Cabbage

    Grilled Cabbage

    The Spruce / Molly Watson

     

    Grilling cabbage adds a lovely sweetness and crunch that transforms the humble vegetable. Dressed with a little olive oil and sea salt, you can serve it alongside steaks, on top of pulled pork sandwiches, or as a side for grilled fish.