bbq side dishes
Lyndsay Cordell

10 Side Dishes That Pair Perfectly with BBQ


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Summer is a time for poolside lounging, grilling, and backyard barbecues. Whether you're hosting the party or attending as a guest, you need to supply delicious food. Anyone who's attended a lackluster BBQ knows there is always some warm potato or macaroni salad, watermelon being swarmed by flies, and a veggie tray. These BBQ side dishes are far from that. I'd argue that side dishes are as important as the main course and can set the tone for the meal as a whole.

We're sharing 10 of our favorite BBQ side dishes that'll make you the hit of the party.

1. Ambrosia Salad

bbq side dishes

Ok, hear us out here: Ambrosia salad is downright delicious if it's done right. Ambrosia "salad" is a play on a salad combining fruit, marshmallows, cool whip, pecans, maraschino cherries, and shredded coconut. It's sweet, refreshing, and makes a great side dish or dessert.

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Get the recipe here.

2. Grilled Lemon Cabbage Steaks

bbq side dishes

Lyndsay Cordell

If you're attending a vegan or vegetarian BBQ, we've got the perfect side dish. Grilled cabbage steaks are simple to prepare using only 5 ingredients. Cabbage can take the strong heat and smoky flavor from the grill.

Get the recipe here.

3. Skillet Cornbread

cornbread

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Is there anything better than a warm piece of fresh bread? Cornbread is perfect for a summer barbecue because its slight sweetness goes perfectly with hearty grilled meat.

Get the recipe here.

4. Tomato Cracker Salad

bbq side dishes

Lyndsay Cordell

Fresh summer tomatoes are a gift to the world. A tomato cracker salad is a fun take on a traditional summer salad. Tomatoes are mixed with creamy mayo and tossed with salty crackers for a savory and sweet bite that is downright addictive.

Get the recipe here.

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5. Cornbread Salad

bbq side dishes

Lyndsay Cordell

This is a Texas BBQ side essential. The base recipe includes cornbread, pinto beans, ranch dressing, veggies, and bacon. The salad can be tailored to your likes and dietary needs. You can easily leave out the bacon for a vegetarian side.

Get the recipe here.

6. Grilled Sweet Potatoes

sweet potato

Lyndsay Cordell

Sweet potatoes are not just a Thanksgiving side dish. This recipe treats the potato like a piece of grilled bread, allowing you to add whatever toppings you'd like.

Get the recipe here.

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7. Pickled Corn

corn in jar

Lyndsay Cordell

Pickling is no longer reserved just for cucumbers. Corn is sweet and delicious in the peak of summer, making it the perfect vegetable to pickle. The tang from the vinegar paired with the natural sweetness of the corn makes this a perfect topping for chili dogs or nachos.

Get the recipe here.

8. Baked Hush Puppies

Hush puppies are a staple side dish in the South. They're crispy, light, fluffy, and the perfect size for snacking. The best part is you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry to make them.

Get the recipe here.

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9. Skillet-Roasted Corn

corn

This side dish is so easy to make and is available year-round. All you need is a bag of frozen corn, butter, and some seasonings. Roasting corn is one of the simplest and best ways to enhance the corn flavor. Bring a batch of roasted corn to your next BBQ and you'll be the hit of the party!

Get the recipe here.

10. Grilled Fireball Pineapple

What's a BBQ without a sweet side dish? This barbecued pineapple is extra fiery thanks to the infusion of Fireball whiskey. Pineapple is marinated in the whiskey, before being coated in a cinnamon-sugar mixture and grilled. Top it with an extra shot of whiskey for a boozy boost.

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Get the recipe here.

READ: The Roots of BBQ Are More Checkered Than Your Plaid Tablecloth

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