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21 hearty sides for bbq that can outshine your main meal!

When the weather is nice enough to eat and cook outside, I always gather the gang to do some grilling.

Though I have many grilling recipes on hand, serving grilled sirloin steak is always my best choice. This is especially true when I have a crowd to feed and impress. It’s a tender, succulent, and melt-in-your-mouth dish that shouldn’t be missed!

Whether you serve barbecue beef, pork, chicken, or a combination of all, the best way to make them extra special is partnering the meats with hearty bbq side dishes.

From Mexican street corn, grilled peaches, down to carrot slaw (yes, please!), we’ve got you covered. Warning: These fifteen bbq sides might finally outshine your main grilled dish!

2. Grilled peaches

Peaches are delicious snacks on their own, but if you want to turn them into something spectacular, all you need is a grill!

Grilling them brings its natural to the surface, making every bite juicier and sweeter! The best part? You’ll need a little bit of heat and some simple salt and pepper to create this knock-out side!

Find out more about this recipe here.

3. Grilled corn

When it comes to cookout side dishes, grilled corn is a champion. They’re easy to put together and only require few ingredients. 

Whether you grill the corn fully shucked, in husks, silked removed, or grilled in foil, you’ll end up with a tasty charred flavor. 

If you’re bored with simple salt and butter, try seasoning your corn with basil, cayenne, paprika, and turmeric.

Check out this recipe.

4. Grilled Vidalia onions

If you haven’t tried this dish, it features grilled real sweet Viladia onions wrapped in crispy and smokey bacon. 

The recipe won’t achieve its interesting flavors without the butter and garlic cloves inside the onion. 

Quick tip: Don’t move or adjust the onions on the foil. If your bacon is burning, shift the aluminum foil on the grate.

Unlock this recipe here.

5. Grilled tomatoes

You might stop eating these luscious red delights when you try them. This grilled tomato recipe is one of those easy bbq sides that’s loved by cookout enthusiasts, including me!

The dish combines tomatoes, fresh rosemary, olive oil, balsamic, and vinegar for a tangy flavor note.

While fresh herbs are always the tastiest option, dried do just fine too. Adding freshly ground pepper to the mixture improves the overall flavor of the recipe. So don’t forget a dash of them!

Learn how to make this recipe here.

6. German cucumber salad

Among those bbq chicken sides, this is my favorite!

German cucumber salad is a delightful salad packed with cucumber, sour cream, vinegar, and various spices. It’s ridiculously easy to make and cheap as well.

Every bite is so light and refreshing. This salad is perfect for serving at your next family reunion, along with the braised chicken

Check out this recipe.

7. Hawaiian macaroni salad

If you’re confused about what barbecue side dishes to serve at your next gathering, then include this Hawaiian macaroni salad in your list!

Preferably served cold, this simple salad is so creamy that it might convince your friends and family to eat more.

Add pineapple chunks, green peas, pancetta, diced celery, or crab meats if you want to shake things up.

Get more details about this recipe here.

8. Grilled peach salad

When it comes to bbq chicken sides, you can never go wrong with the salads, especially this grilled peach salad.

The peaches make the perfect foil for the moist, succulent meat, and the champagne vinaigrette will brighten up your palette!

Also, making the salad ahead of time and sliding them into the fridge before the big day makes them more enjoyable to eat. Why? Because the greens will soak up a little bit of the peach juices, ensuring a crispy yet sweet bite!

Here’s the recipe.

9. Watermelon feta salad

This watermelon feta salad is a beautiful summer lunch or a fantastic side dish for a summer grill session. 

The impressive part of this dish is that it can only consume a few minutes of your day to make it. Plus, it’s effortless to whip up. Just create the dressing, make the salad, then toss all the ingredients to combine!

Unlock this recipe.

10. Broccoli rice casserole

This dish features tender, crispy, and fluffy rice, topped with creamy and sweet homemade cheese-based sauce. 

What I like about this casserole is it comes with different variations. You can lighten the recipe up a little bit by adding light cheese and low-fat milk. You can opt for more veggies like cauliflower or whatever you have on hand. 

If you really want to impress your guests, you can also serve it with prime rib

Here’s everything you need for this recipe.

11. Roasted broccoli

If you’re looking for a simple side dish your whole family will love, this simple yet tasty recipe is the answer! 

Expect your non-veggie eaters in your family to fall in love with this roasted broccoli. The dish is coated in olive oil, lemon juice, then drizzled with parmesan cheese, making them so tempting! 

Another great factor of this recipe is you can modify it to your liking with different herbs and spices. 

Check out this recipe here.

12. Sweet corn salad

This sweet corn salad is a refreshing side that pairs perfectly with the savory main dish. It has delicious bacon and ranch flavors that are even more improved with shredded cheese and green onions. 

Canned corn works great in this dish too. Just don’t forget to drain and rinse them before adding them to the mixture.

Get the recipe here.

13. Instant pot pinto beans

This pinto beans recipe is a perfect side dish if you’re in a hurry. You only need an instant pot to do the cooking!

However, the pinto beans aren’t just the highlight of this recipe. The combination of chopped onion, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper creates a nice burst of interesting flavors in the dish. 

Quick tip: Soak the dry pinto beans for several hours before cooking them.

Here’s what you need to do.

14. Oven-roasted radishes

Oven-roasted radishes are probably uncommon for you, but it’s a delicious way to prep and serve this veggie. Roasting them brings out their sweet flavor and mellows that peppery bite a bit.

If you’re wondering how to roast radishes in an oven, then check out this recipe! You’ll need a few ingredients to make them, such as olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and ground rosemary. 

Full details about this recipe here.

15. Carrot slaw

This carrot slaw has the right balance of sweet and tangy crunch, thanks to sugar, apple cider vinegar, sour cream, mayo, apples, and carrots. 

They’re good when served chilled but if you can’t wait, then eating them right after adding the salt and pepper is the best thing to do!

Follow this recipe.

16. Baked beans

This comforting spin on baked beans can be put together in just minutes, giving you more prep time for your BBQ favorite entrees. 

Baked beans are such a favorite of mine as it adds a savory and filling side to any summer get-together. The taste of beans really shines with the blend of paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Then mix with savory sauces, giving the dish a glorious mouthfeel. 

Here’s the recipe.

17. Baked potatoes

This simplified version of baked potatoes is the perfect match for barbecue sides, so whip up a large batch for the huge crowd. The recipe features three essential ingredients: baking potatoes, olive oil, and coarse salt. 

Once you’ve baked the potatoes to perfection, garnish them with cheese, bacon, or chili for an ultimate side dish – one that’s far from boring. 

Get the recipe here.

18. Sausage rolls

These impressive rolls might very well become your new favorite way to enjoy sausages. And once you bring them to a summer potluck or BBQ get-together, you’ll be asked to bring these treats again and again. 

Spices and fresh herbs such as garlic and onion powder, parsley, and thyme add an unexpected yet pungent aroma and taste to the pork sausage. 

Here’s the recipe.

19. Sweet potato fries

A generous dose of paprika, olive oil, and salt transforms sweet potatoes into an addicting finger food that no one can resist. 

Preparing it from scratch is also simple. Peel the potatoes, cut them into a french fry shape, sprinkle the condiments, then bake! Once you sample the taste of these fries, you’ll want them on the table in every meal!

Here’s the recipe.

20. Baked macaroni and cheese

Sure, classic macaroni and cheese is great, and all, but have you tried donning this comfort food with a ton of crumbled bacon and tomato? (Yes, please!) The combination of milk and cheddar cheese mix makes the dish exceptionally rich and creamy. It’s made to serve a hungry crowd, and it’s bound to go quickly. So be sure to secure a large batch!

Read more to unlock this recipe here.

21. Creamed corn

Don’t fret if you’re somewhat unfamiliar with cooking corn — this recipe is one vital baby step! 

The secret to the thickness and creaminess of the dish is the inclusion of cream cheese and whole milk into the mix. The velvety sauce then creates a wonderful fusion with pulped corn kernels and remaining ingredients. Elevate this palatable BBQ staple even more by garnishing crispy bacon and fresh herbs on top. 

More details here.

The bottom line

Pairing your barbecue main dishes with sides doesn’t mean they aren’t tasty. Including them in your spread means making sure that everyone in the gathering is satisfied and full. 

So the next time you plan on firing up the grill, consider adding these bbq side ideas to your menu. And oh…don’t forget the passion fruit tea, lemonade, and sun tea too!

Sides for bbq

Sides for bbq

From Mexican street corn, grilled peaches down to carrot slaw, these fifteen hearty bbq sides might outshine your main grilled dish!


  • Mexican street corn
  • Grilled peaches
  • Grilled corn
  • Grilled Vidalia onions
  • Grilled tomatoes
  • German cucumber salad
  • Hawaiian macaroni salad
  • Grilled peach salad
  • Watermelon feta salad
  • Broccoli rice casserole
  • Roasted broccoli
  • Sweet corn salad
  • Instant pot pinto beans
  • Oven-roasted radishes
  • Carrot slaw
  • Baked beans
  • Baked potatoes
  • Sausage rolls
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Baked macaroni and cheese
  • Creamed corn


  1. Pick five sides for bbq in the list
  2. Gather the ingredients 
  3. Create the recipes for your next BBQ party
  4. Serve them with your favorite barbecue dish.

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