UPDATED! Get some seriously good BBQ inspiration with this epic list of Sides For BBQ!
Are you about to break out the smoker, do a dry rub on a huge trimmed brisket, and stay up all night checking your delicious food over mesquite wood??
This is one heck of a list—a newly updated itinerary of sides for BBQ that will both fulfill your need for food porn AND give you meal inspiration when it’s time to cook everything this weekend.
If you landed here, though, thinking you’d find sides for a backyard cookout, that’s not what this article is about.
(Though some of them would be mighty fine for grillin’ or cookouts too, thankyouverymuch.)
What’s the difference between grilling vs BBQ?
Grilling and barbecuing are both popular methods of cooking food outdoors over a heat source.
Plus, BBQ is both a noun that means a couple different things AND it’s a verb.
Here in the south, if you invite neighbors to grill in the backyard, you’re probably cooking hot dogs and hamburgers on the gas or charcoal grill.
If you invite them over for BBQ, you’d better have spent the night checking your smoker, a barrel-shaped unit that cooks very slowly on low heat.
If you invite someone over for barbecue and you hand them grilled hot dogs, them’s fightin’ words, and you done someone dirty.
So here are the key differences between grilling and BBQ:
Grilling is a high-heat cooking method that is typically used for cooking smaller cuts of meat, such as steaks, burgers, and hot dogs.
The food is cooked over direct heat, which means that it is exposed to the flames or hot coals.
This results in a quick cooking time and a crispy, charred exterior.
Barbecue (BBQ), on the other hand, is a low-and-slow cooking method that is typically used for cooking larger cuts of meat, such as pork shoulders, briskets, and ribs.
The food is cooked over indirect heat, which means that it is not exposed to the flames or hot coals.
This results in a longer cooking time and a more tender, juicy interior.
Barbecue is also often flavored with smoke, which is imparted to the food by cooking it over wood chips, flavored pellets, or infused charcoal.
This gives barbecue its distinctive smoky flavor, which brings me to BBQ: The Flavor, like in BBQ Baked Beans, BBQ Brisket, BBQ Sauce, etc.
In addition to the cooking method, there are also some differences in the types of food that are typically grilled or barbecued.
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to cook a small cut of meat, grilling is a good option, especially if you have a great marinade.
If you have a smoker and a LOT more time and you’re looking for turning economical cuts of meat into tender, flavorful, and juicy meals, you want BBQ!
So let’s take a look at this epic list of sides for BBQ, including:
- Smoky Grilled Peaches and Sauteed Okra
- Texas Mop Sauce and Savory Muffins
- Fried Cabbage and Sauteed Apples
- Homemade Sauerkraut and Southern Succotash
- Air Fryer Zucchini Fries and Doctored Box Mac n’ Cheese
- CopyCat Rice-A-Roni and Apple Dump Cobbler
- Garlic Pull-Apart Bread and so much more
So, strap on your feed bag and let’s get started!
Best Sides For BBQ
Mexican street corn works whether as a side dish or an appetizer.
But no matter how you serve it, it’s sure to disappear at the table quickly.
The dish is made with sweet corn, spices, mayo, lime, and cotija cheese.
Serve these with your next BBQ, and everyone will beg you to this elote time and time again.
Ingredients include: Canned corn, mayonnaise, lime juice, cotija cheese, and cayenne pepper.
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!
Ingredients include: Peaches, pepper, salt, and grapeseed oil.
3. Grilled Corn
When it comes to BBQ side dishes, grilled corn is a champion.
They’re easy to put together and only require a 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.
Ingredients include: Corn on the cob, salt, and pepper.
If you haven’t tried this dish, it features 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.
Ingredients include: Vidalia onions, bacon, butter, salt, and pepper.
You might stop eating these luscious red delights when you try them.
This Smoked Tomatoes recipe is one of those easy bbq sides that’s loved by cookout enthusiasts, including me!
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.
Ingredients include: Roma tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, pellet grill, and salt.
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, it will offset that rich BBQ any day!
Ingredients include: Cucumbers, dill, red onion, white vinegar, and paprika.
This cocktail isn’t just for the fall and winter holidays when everyone is wild for pumpkin pie spice flavored everything.
Those same spices go really well with the smokey flavor of BBQ foods.
Citrusy, puckery but lightly sweet and served cold, this over-21 cocktail is going to impress your people.
Ingredients include: Tequila, orange liqueur, turbinado sugar, pumpkin spice syrup, and lime juice.
When it comes to the best bbq sides, you can never go wrong with the salads, especially this grilled peach salad.
The peaches make the perfect pairing 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.
Because the greens will soak up a little bit of the peach juices, ensuring a crispy yet sweet bite!
Ingredients include: Peaches, honey, lemon juice, romaine lettuce, and dijon mustard.
This watermelon feta salad is a particularly side dish for BBQ because it has lots of flavor but it’s still pretty light and refreshing
The feta, cumin, cilantro, and honey make a great pairing in the dressing.
If you really don’t like arugula, pick up a box of those mixed greens and they will do just fine.
Ingredients include: Arugula, cilantro, watermelon, honey, and sea salt.
Corn is a natural bride to the smoky, delicious, garlic-forward meats you’ll pull off the smoker.
And this one you cook inside the house, in a cast iron skillet, with a mess o’ corn (canned or fresh), cream cheese, bacon, and red bell pepper.
Can you see why they called it Confetti Corn?
It’s as pretty as it is delicious.
Ingredients include: Canned corn, bell pepper, bacon, cream cheese, and garlic.
11. Roasted Broccoli
If you’re looking for a simple side dish for BBQ your whole family will love, this simple yet tasty recipe is the answer!
Expect the non-veggie eaters in your family to fall in love with this roasted broccoli.
The roasting creates nicely charred edges and a tender stem.
Another great factor of this recipe is you can modify it to your liking with different herbs and spices.
Ingredients include: Broccoli, garlic, lemon juice, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
12. Sweet Corn Salad
This sweet corn salad is a refreshing side that pairs perfectly with almost any 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 before adding them to the mixture.
Ingredients include: Frozen sweet corn, bacon, green onions, ranch dressing, and shredded cheese.
13. 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.
Ingredients include: Pinto beans, salt, and water.
To this day, I am convinced that southerners throw around the word “salad” for any manner of high calorie, sugary dish.
Does it have ingredients? Yes! Great, it’s a salad.
This is another fine example: The southern classic Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad is clearly a fruity, crisp, and creamy dessert.
But I guess if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
Hope you love this SALAD as much as I do.
Ingredients include: Pretzels, sugar, strawberry gelatin, strawberries, and cream cheese.
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 a spoonful right after adding the salt and pepper is the best thing to do!
Ingredients include: Apples, carrots, coleslaw mix, mayonnaise, and apple cider vinegar.
This comforting spin on baked beans can be put together in just minutes, giving you more prep time for your BBQfavorite 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.
Ingredients include: Canned baked beans, bacon, chipotle chili, ketchup, and BBQ sauce.
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.
Ingredients include: Potatoes, salt, and olive oil.
The beauty of a fried green tomato lies in its thickness and the quality of the fry-up ingredients.
Use the freshest cornmeal, a new package of flour, and a brand-new can (or freshly made) breadcrumbs for this southern-style side dish for BBQ.
For a low-and-slow BBQ brisket, you’ll have plenty of time to create these as an appetizer or a side dish.
No one is going to wait on the main dish to eat them, though, just so you know now.
Ingredients include: Buttermilk, cornmeal, flour, breadcrumbs, and egg.
These come together in a snap, and the only thing that is really required is the time to slice the onions.
We used red onions but any round onion will work.
15 minutes, and you have a tasteful side dish for BBQ that helps cut and enhance all that rich BBQ flavor.
Ingredients include: Red onion, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt.
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!
Ingredients include: Elbow macaroni, bacon, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and all-purpose flour.
21. Creamed Corn
The secret to this thick and creamy 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 with crispy bacon and fresh herbs on top.
Ingredients include: Frozen sweet corn, green onions, cayenne pepper, butter, and milk.
My mom loved succotash and while I thought it was a hilarious word, it turns out that I wouldn’t fall in love with this dish until I was much older.
If you love beans but you are still on the fence about dense lima beans, the flavors that come together in this perfect side dish just may win you over.
Ingredients include: Lima beans, bacon, sweet Vidalia onion, red bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes.
23. Radish Salad
I used to dislike radishes as a child.
And the dish that’s converted me into my now radish-eating self was Radish Salad.
This recipe is very similar to the one I had that convinced me that radishes can be delicious!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Ingredients include: Radishes, dill, shallot, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice.
24. Grilled Carrots
I love grilled veggies of any kind, but for carrots in this entry.
With the right ingredients and seasoning, you can turn plain-old vegetables into vastly upgraded versions of themselves via the grill: savory, caramelized, with delicious char marks that speak of their time over the fire.
Ingredients include: Carrots, ginger, thyme, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup.
25. Grilled Halloumi
Halloumi has a special place in my heart since it’s one of the things I remember writing about for a school paper.
It’s the best cheese to grill with since it retains its shape even in high temperatures.
It has a naturally salty flavor since it was made in brine, but grilling gives it a more savory taste and a meat-like consistency, further establishing its place as the ultimate grilling cheese.
Don’t let the squeak surprise you on your first bite!
Ingredients include: Halloumi cheese, olive oil, pepper, and sea salt.
Oh, I remember when this was made in the house.
We were looking to have this cheese get that deep, smoky flavor for a cheese cream dip we were cooking up.
The smoker, unfortunately, was unavailable.
So what did we do?
We used liquid smoke and manually batted it into the cheese with a wooden spoon together with the other ingredients.
Hey, it worked!
Ingredients include: Liquid smoke, bbq rub, salt, cream cheese, and milk.
I love zucchini.
There’s just so many things you can cook up with it!
And one of those things is fries; yes, folks, you can use your air fryer to transform that bunch of zucchini strips into crispy, delicious fries in just 15 minutes.
Don’t believe me?
Then try the recipe for yourself; you’ll be amazed at the results.
Ingredients include: Zucchini, almond flour, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder.
Green beans are fun to cook with since, not only are they very versatile, but they also turn a brighter shade of green when cooked, and that helps a lot with the presentation.
They’re also crunchy, with a delicious earthy flavor when they’re done.
So if they still taste grassy, steam them up some more.
Ingredients include: Green beans, garlic, lemon, butter, and olive oil.
29. BLT Deviled Eggs
I just love versatile foods, and how you can switch cooking methods and recipes with them on a whim just to keep things from getting boring, and it works!
Take BLT for example, so what was traditionally made into a sandwich now serves as toppings for deviled eggs.
It. Just. Works.
These aren’t isolated to BLT though!
So experiment, and find what works for you.
Ingredients include: Hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, honey mustard, candied bacon, and cherry tomatoes.
They’re simple and elegant and will pair perfectly with anything you put beside it.
Not surprising coming from the veggie that the most popular condiment in the world is made from!
Ingredients include: Tomatoes, basil, rosemary, red onion, and salt.
Artichoke hearts are one of those vegetables I believe that, if prepped right, will be able to convince the staunchest veggie-hater into maybe a reluctant veggie eater at first.
That’s a very important first step though, unless you want your kids eating nothing but hotdogs and chicken nuggets till they turn 21.
Nonetheless, air-frying the artichoke hearts with the italian seasoning and shredded parmesan cheese turns them delicious and potato chip like.
Unleash the garlic aioli dip and it’s a done deal!
Ingredients include: Artichoke hearts, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, lemon pepper, and parmesan cheese.
This recipe for Greek Salad Skewers are among my favorite to whip out when I need to make an impression!
Not only do those row upon row of skewers look cute in their formation on your party platter, but you can bet they’ll be delicious as well.
Hope you’re wearing a thick top because your shoulder’s gonna hurt from all those pats on the back that you’re gonna be getting.
Ingredients include: Cherry tomatoes, English cucumbers, black olives, Greek seasoning, and block feta cheese.
And here we have the easiest recipe for Southern Peach Cobbler that I have ever run across!
The recipe author certainly knew what they were doing: they removed unnecessary steps, simplified the more complicated ones, and suggested store-bought alternatives for ingredients that were hard and/or time-consuming to produce.
End result: a set of instructions on how to quickly and easily whip up this sweet and delicious side dish!
Ingredients include: Canned peaches, cinnamon, baking powder, flour, and granulated sugar.
A lot of people shy away from Sauerkraut, mainly because of some misplaced belief that it’s spoiled and can’t be eaten.
But that’s just it!
Due to a process called lactofermentation, lactic acid forms sometime during the spoiling process and stops it before it can render the food inedible.
That and it creates the unique, tangy and sour flavor Sauerkraut is known for.
Nevertheless, there’s a lot to love in lactofermented food, and one of those is how well they serve as an accompaniment to meat.
This explains why it pairs superbly with your BBQ.
Ingredients include: Cabbage, sea salt, and water.
35. Sauteed Apples
I’ve only ever begun to saute apples very recently.
In fact, if anyone suggested I cook them that way a year ago I’d think they were a few marbles short of a full pouch.
But yes, sauteing does bring out the best in apples, adding a hint of savory to their refreshingly sweet flavor.
Add some sugar for caramelization and a touch vanilla for some complementary flavor and voila!
Ingredients include: Apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and vanilla extract.
This recipe is an epic tweak to the otherwise time-tested Coleslaw.
It takes away mayo, which has always been a part of coleslaw, to be replaced with Greek yogurt.
That takes care of the requirement for it to be creamy without the tang brought about by mayo; a flavor void to be filled with pineapple instead.
Ingredients include: Greek yogurt, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, coleslaw mix, and canned pineapple tidbits.
I absolutely adore Kraft Mac N Cheese.
It’s saved me from going hungry more times than I care to admit, especially when I get home late at night and need to get something to eat before exhaustion takes over.
They’re perfectly fine on their own.
But, this recipe doesn’t settle for just ‘fine’.
It aims to tweak your boxed mac and cheese and transform it from being fine to absolutely scrumptious!
Ingredients include: Kraft macaroni and cheese, hot sauce, greek yogurt, butter, and ground black pepper.
This amazing recipe for Smoke Corn On The Cob is bare-bones simple while managing to be downright delicious regardless.
Smoke up a batch and taste the difference yourself!
Ingredients include: Corn on the cob, butter, kosher salt, and coarse ground pepper.
This recipe for Apple Dump Cobbler With Cake Mix is made from thin sliced apples seasoned with a mingling of brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg baked with a cobbler topping fashioned from cake mix.
Think apple pie, without the pie.
Ingredients include: Granny Smith apples, brown sugar, nutmeg, yellow cake box mix, and milk.
Garlic Bread is near the top of my list of favorite things to eat.
But just because it’s sitting way up there doesn’t mean we’ve given up on finding ways to improve it!
Take this recipe for Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread for example.
All your favorite garlicky flavors are further enhanced with cheese and BBQ.
Ingredients include: Ciabatta bread, butter, bbq sauce, garlic, and asiago cheese.
41. Texas Mop Sauce
First up, no, this isn’t some sauce cobbled together with a base made from the drippings of a dirty cleaning implement.
Rather, it’s a sauce cowboys inadvertently invented by throwing together anything and everything remotely flavorful.
They apparently managed to make something mighty tasty since the sauce still exists today!
Ingredients include: American chili powder, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, and hot sauce.
42. Easy White Gravy
For this entry, we’re presenting one of the simplest yet tastiest gravies out there!
Featuring just 5 ingredients, this recipe isn’t going to be winning any complexity contests.
A southern staple, white gravy goes with everything BBQ related, and a spoonful on your cobbler never hurt anybody.
Ingredients include: Flour, butter, milk, salt, and pepper.
43. Sauteed Okra
Fried Okra was one of the staples we had in the house back when I was a child.
It was ever present in the fried mixed vegetables that we always had at dinner.
And with this recipe we hope to share one of the fondest things I remember growing up!
Ingredients include: Okra, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil.
Corn Casserole and Jiffy Cornbread Mix are also two other childhood favorites!
So it wasn’t long before we started to ask ourselves what would happen if we combined them?
And thus the recipe for Jiffy Corn Casserole was born.
Oh, and we leave you with a gentle reminder that this entry is intended to be eaten with a spoon.
The final product has a consistency akin to pudding.
Ingredients include: Jiffy cornbread box mix, canned corn, canned cream corn, canned green chilis, and butter.
45. Two BBQ Sauces
BBQ sauce is a constant; a standard: something that will never fade as long as BBQ exists in the world.
In commemoration of this, we’re presenting you with two recipes for barbecue sauce: homemade and delicious!
Ingredients include: Tomato paste, chili powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder.
Think KFC’s seasoned potato wedges but better.
These are soft on the inside and crisp outside.
Seasoned and then roasted to a golden brown, it’s a wonder these haven’t replaced fries as the favorite side dish yet.
Ingredients include: Russet potatoes, vegetable oil, cornstarch, chili powder, and paprika.
This salad is a great option for a quick and easy meal.
It’s also perfect for potlucks or picnics.
Here are some tips for making the best Fritos Corn Salad:
- Use fresh corn if you can. It will give the salad a better flavor and texture.
- Don’t over-mix the salad. You want the corn and cheese to stay in chunks.
- Serve the salad immediately for the best flavor and texture.
- If you’re not a fan of Fritos, you can substitute another type of corn chip, such as tortilla chips or potato chips.
- You can also add other ingredients to the salad, such as chopped tomatoes, black beans, or diced avocado.
Ingredients include: Canned corn, chili cheese Fritos, Mexican blend cheese, mayo, and cilantro.
These are so much better than bagged, store-bought chips.
The only downside is that the air fryer only holds so many at once, and you have to wait for them to be done.
You’ll be tempted to double-stack them but they won’t get crisp if you do.
Ingredients include: Potatoes, salt, and olive oil.
I am a big fan of mushrooms.
They have a delicious, earthy flavor that can be easily enhanced by the flavors of other ingredients.
Portobello mushrooms are a great choice for grilling.
They are large and meaty, and they hold up well to the heat of the grill.
When cooked properly, they develop a nice char on the outside and a tender, juicy interior.
They can be served on their own, or topped with your favorite sauce or toppings.
Ingredients include: Large portobello mushrooms, liquid smoke, tamari, balsamic vinegar, and grapeseed oil.
Sweet potatoes of all kinds are a match made in heaven with smoky foods, grilled foods, and all things picnic, potluck, and BBQ
These sweet potato fries get nice and crisp with a tender center, just remember to keep them in one layer or they end up steaming instead of getting a nice crunch to them.
Ingredients include: Sweet potatoes, smoked paprika, sea salt, and olive oil.
Some people might think that cooking cabbage with bacon is a strange combination, but it’s actually a delicious and flavorful dish.
The bacon adds a smoky and salty flavor to the cabbage, and the two ingredients complement each other perfectly.
Southern Fried Cabbage is a great side dish to serve with BBQ, and it’s sure to please everyone at the table.
Ingredients include: Cabbage, chicken stock, bacon, yellow onion, and paprika.
Fried pickles are a popular appetizer or snack, but I’m not a big fan.
I find them to be too greasy and heavy.
However, I know that many people love them, and I can see why.
The combination of the crispy fried pickle with the creamy ranch dressing is pretty irresistible.
If you’re a fried pickle fan, I highly recommend trying this recipe.
The seasonings are simple but delicious, and they really make the dish.
Plus, it’s so easy to make at home—just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time, and you’ll have a delicious appetizer that everyone will love.
Ingredients include: Dill pickles, oregano, horseradish, all-purpose flour, and cayenne pepper.
I was skeptical about this recipe at first, but it turned out to be delicious!
The charred corn has a sweet and smoky flavor that is perfect for pairing with ribs.
It’s also a great way to use up leftover corn on the cob.
This recipe is a great way to add flavor and texture to your next rib dinner.
It’s also a versatile dish that can be served as a side or an appetizer.
So next time you have leftover corn on the cob, be sure to give this recipe a try.
Ingredients include: Canned sweet corn, ground black pepper, salt, olive oil, and butter.
Did you know that Texas is so huge that it has FOUR different kinds and styles of barbecue?
And that of course means there are a lot of different sauces to go with ‘em.
This one has tons of flavor leans into tomato and brown sugar flavors.
All that to say, you’ll find even more tried-and-true BBQ styles throughout the rest of the country too.
Ingredients include: Canned tomato sauce, apple juice, dark brown sugar, molasses, and Worcestershire sauce.
Clearly it works harder than just a caffeine boost in the mornings.
Some deep flavors here, enough to support a sauce that envelops pulled pork into a beautiful, saucy sandwich or slathered onto a potato.
I’d bookmark this one.
Ingredients include: Beef broth, soy sauce, ketchup, onion powder, and coffee.
A heavy on the mustard version of bbq sauce, which deviates somewhat from the rich, thick, and super sweet style of Texan sauce I’m used to.
So it’s lightly sweet, which you can make even less sweet if you desire.
It’s not honey-mustard sauce, after all, it’s a BBQ sauce, and this one, straight out of North Carolina, means business.
Ingredients include: Honey, mustard, brown sugar, smoked paprika, and apple cider vinegar.
Brown sugar is a theme in BBQ sauce by its nature, but the other flavor profiles here point toward the Asian-style flavor you may know and love.
Sriracha gives that kick in the pants, with sesame oil, ginger, rice wine vin, and of course soy sauce all bringing up the rear.
No tomato at all in this one.
That gorgeous color is coming from cooking down all the browns.
Ingredients include: Soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, ginger, and rice wine vinegar.
I saw a short video about this once years ago and I still haven’t had a chance to try it but I’m STILL enamored by the idea.
It looks like red meat inside, with a bold sear on this bad boy.
It’s got flavor too, so if you’ve got the smoker already going, may as well throw this on and treat the fam to something a little different.
Ingredients include: Watermelon, coriander, oregano, kosher salt, and olive oil.
We made this right before the fall holidays in 2022, and boy, it knocked me for a loop.
And I LOVED it.
That cinnamon sugar rim gets me every time, and I wish I had another right now.
Apples and apple cider are a natural match (hence Applewood on so many packages of smoky everything, right, bacon and whatnot) for BBQ meats and vegetables, so if you’re having grownups over to the house, this is going to be a treat.
Ingredients include: Irish whiskey, apple cider, cinnamon, honey, and sugar.
Acorn squash is so rich, for a vegetable, it’s nearly dessert-level decadence.
In the smoker, this transforms into a flavorful side dish that you just may need to make more often.
Ingredients include: Acorn squash, chipotle, maple syrup, cinnamon, and butter.
61. Smoked Bacon
Bacon often starts out smoked while it’s still a raw pork butt or pork belly, so double up on that smoky flavor and you’ve got a face-punch of flavor.
Featuring some delicious sweetness to it and a little peppery kick, too.
Mm, bacon times eleventy-billion.
Ingredients include: Pork belly, black pepper, brown sugar, maple syrup, and red pepper flakes.
I’ve always been one to tell anyone who will listen that it doesn’t matter how much fat sturdy greens are cooked in because they are still greens.
Turnip greens, collards, cabbage, whatever, if you want that flavor you need salt and fat.
And this recipe really dials up the flavor.
Ingredients include: Collard greens, ham hock, chicken broth, red pepper flakes, and apple cider vinegar.
This is terrible, honestly.
But I’m the kind of person who really likes a sweet, or at least semi-sweet drink, if I’m going to drink at all.
If you love bitter alcohols, this drink is definitely for you.
It is barely tempered by the light flavor of prosecco, but it really needs it in order to be drinkable.
Ingredients include: Aperol, prosecco, tonic water, lemon, and orange.
While we finally gave in and got one of those soft-serve ice cream machines, I was making ice cream with my bare hands for years.
This is the kind of thing you can make in the kitchen with kids and say you made something homemade with the best of ingredients.
Make this the night before your cobbler (#33, #39, #71) is ready so you can give everyone a big scoop.
Ingredients include: Sweet condensed milk, vanilla extract, salt, and heavy whipping cream.
Not every muffin needs to be bran, blueberry or banana.
Give up on those sweet muffins for a sec and think about how delicious a savory cheddar muffin would be on your plate with collard greens, corn casserole, green beans, baked beans, and a slice of brisket with a perfectly seared bark.
Man o’ man.
Reminiscent of those Cheddar Bay Biscuits from that seafood restaurant, I tell you hwat.
Ingredients include: All-purpose flour, cheddar cheese, baking powder, basil, and sour cream.
These garlic mashed potatoes can go as light or heavy-handed as you want.
It’s a standard mashed potato recipe that takes some minced garlic, but you can also roast garlic cloves or even toast garlic slices and mix in at the end.
It’s up to you.
Ingredients include: Potatoes, garlic, butter, milk, and salt.
Cauliflower is such an acquired taste for some people, but it’s so versatile.
It’s like denim jeans of the food world—it goes with everything.
Your smoker is already set to stun, so you may as well prep a vegetable like cauliflower and make it smoky and delicious alongside all the other luscious meats you are about to put on the table.
It’s the perfect unsung hero of sides for bbq, seriously.
Ingredients include: Cauliflower, garlic, onion powder, parsley, and black pepper.
68. Fiesta Pinwheels
I like the name a lot: Fiesta Pinwheels.
Fun and ready to party, this side dish slash appetizer slash finger food is filled with savory cream cheese, shredded cheese, and red salsa.
You can add chopped chicken or ham, or layer it all on super thick.
This pinwheel is your oyster.
Not really; it’s a pinwheel, but you know what I mean.
Ingredients include: Salsa, flour tortillas, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and cream cheese.
These smashed red potatoes are so easy to get done in record time with an air fryer.
Whether you are adding these as sides for bbq or a starter finger food, I think you’ll be impressed by this delicious little number.
No small potatoes here.
Ingredients include: Red potatoes, garlic, lemon pepper, olive oil, and salt.
70. Mexican Martini
Drinky drink time!
This is citrusy AND olive juicy and it sounds like a combination dredged up from a nightmare hangover.
But it works, and you won’t really know why until you taste it!
It’s not too sweet and not that briney, but balanced perfectly in a memorable martini.
Ingredients include: Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, olive juice, and olives.
My maternal grandmother made a KILLER blackberry cobbler; its only flaw was that the blackberries growing on her property had massive seeds.
As you can imagine, the 12-year-old foodie in me powered through those trying times.
And while this one has a sleeker recipe with a less-dry biscuit top, it’s reminiscent of that pure blackberry flavor that you are going to LOVE.
My nanny would approve.
Ingredients include: Blackberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and baking powder.
So there are a metric ton of potato salad recipes out there, but this kind is the first potato salad I ate at a true Texas barbecue back in the day.
I thought someone had added relish to cold mashed potatoes.
It’s the kind of perfectly ice-cream-scoopable Texas potato salad that is hard to explain to people unless you are from here or at least live here.
It tastes like many other mustard-forward potato salads, but the texture is the thing that makes it so different.
Tiny dices of potato and onion, for starters.
This recipe is straight from Texas Monthly because it takes one to know one.
Ingredients include: Yukon gold potatoes, red wine vinegar, red onion, mustard, and mayonnaise.
73. Dirty Rice
I love dirty rice.
And while not all recipes for it have meat (like pork sausage), this one has ground sirloin and cajun spices and all the stuffing fixin’s: celery, onion, etc.
Pile it all over my bbq sausage links and brisket or turkey and I’m a happy camper.
Ingredients include: Ground sirloin, onion, rice, cajun seasoning, and beef broth.
There is a fine line between working too hard in the kitchen and not working hard enough.
But get the right ingredients together and this sweet BBQ beans recipe will save you time and no one will be the wiser.
Ingredients include: Canned pork and beans, canned pineapple chunks, bbq sauce, brown sugar, and honey.
I don’t know how, but the folks over at Razzle Dazzle fit everything I love into a big bowl of awesomeness.
Creamy, buttery grits will grace a little side dish next to your turnip greens, quick pickled onions, smoked tomatoes, maybe a slice of smoked watermelon, and whatever beef or pork you’ve put in the smoker.
Good eatin’, y’all.
Ingredients include: Grits, half and half, milk, unsalted butter, and salt.
76. Turnip Greens
Greens were not a thing for my family growing up, but I grew up in the northeast.
We are Italian, and so the greens were … hm, I will need to get back with you on what the green things were.
That said, southern-style foods are rich with flavor (read: fat and salt) and so turnip greens are a great example of a vegetable that is as delicious as the carbs and meat that are on the table too.
Add these to your smoker BBQ delights.
Ingredients include: Turnip greens, olive oil, sweet onion, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar.
77. BBQ Chili
Chili does SO go great with smoked meats, especially if you are parked out by the smoker waiting in the cold, impatiently.
Chili has all the good things that come together in a big bowl of BBQ flavors, and this recipe is a showstopper.
Ingredients include: Ground beef, barbecue sauce, black beans, kidney beans, and chili powder.
78. Cinnamon Apples
This one is very similar to our Sauteed Apples but with heavier cinnamon.
Ingredients include: Apples, cinnamon, butter, cornstarch, ginger, and lemon juice.
Something that should be understood by most is that your Thanksgiving dressing need not be restricted to a serving once a year!
Good soul-food restaurants are spooning this out by the pan-load alongside beautiful bbq ribs, bbq chicken, and bbq brisket.
It’s a natural fit with some of the finest smoked meats you can make.
Ingredients include: Cornbred, onion, celery, chicken broth, and poultry seasoning.
80. Fried Okra
Crispy fried okra grace the tables of southern families and have for decades.
This recipe uses flour and cornmeal dredge, so it’s not batter-dipped.
Still got that goo that all okra has, so love it or hate it, at least it’s pan fried!
Ingredients include: Okra, cornmeal, buttermilk, oil, and all-purpose flour.
I picked this one because it really is a pretty presentation.
It’s not the classic mayo-filled pea salad you grew up with.
It’s a fresh and crisp addition to a large table filled with all of the rich sides for BBQ we all know and love.
If you have a clear trifle bowl, this one is going to be really eye-catching, too.
Ingredients include: Grape tomatoes, frozen green peas, green onions, cheddar cheese, and sour cream.
I’ve never heard of this as a side for bbq until today, but it was originally cooked with pork and chicken, lima beans and lots of seasoning.
Serve this up as a warming appetizer pre-dinner or as one of your sides for bbq instead of chili.
Or leave out the meat entirely in case you want it less rich.
Goes great with hush puppies (#84) or cornbread (#86) or savory muffins (#65).
Ingredients include: Pulled BBQ pork, baby lima beans, frozen corn, frozen okra, and red potatoes.
If you’re wondering what to serve with Carolina pulled pork, this one’s for you.
We didn’t get a lot of processed foods when I was a kid.
If I got a box of Apple Jacks for my birthday it was a big deal.
So when Rice-A-Roni was on the menu at a friend’s house, I was all over it.
This recipe’s got all that great flavor and less salt (add more if you must), and the turmeric adds the color of a proper boxed side dish without the preservatives.
Ingredients include: Chicken stock, basmati rice, vermicelli, chicken bouillon, and turmeric.
Gluten free flour and ingredients have come LIGHT YEARS in the last ten years, and you can eat pretty darn good with foods that parallel the traditional.
Deep fried and golden, these hush puppies are divine.
I can almost guarantee this recipe is going to pass at your picky eater’s dinner table.
Ingredients include: Cornmeal, eggs, onion, corn flour, and sugar.
Black Bean & Corn Salad is one of the most refreshing sides you can serve together with meat!
Who knew black beans would go so well with corn?
Well, you’ve got the recipe!
Go forth and make thy salad!
Ingredients include: Corn, canned black beans, red onion, red bell pepper, and lime juice.
Sometimes when you think something’s already good, good, you got to make it better.
Take for example: Cornbread.
It’s the staple of generations and is as solid as bedrock.
And just when you think it can’t be improved, out comes a recipe for Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread.
Spicy, cheesy and grounded in familiarity!
Ingredients include: Cornmeal, frozen corn, jalapenos, buttermilk, and cheddar cheese.
If you grew up on Wonderbread, then maybe the question of how to make it has crossed your mind once or twice.
It’s just that good (and steeped in nostalgia)!
Wonder no more as we have the recipe here for you.
Ingredients include: All-purpose flour, instant yeast, coconut oil, malted milk, and granulated sugar.
88. Corn Nuggets
Homecooked always trumps store-bought is what I say!
The same holds true for this entry for Corn Nuggets.
Why buy them if you can make these soft on the inside, crispy on the outside morsels in less than 15 minutes?
Don’t believe you can do it?
Try cooking up a batch!
Ingredients include: Canned corn, shortening, oil, milk, and flour.
Here we have the iconic Banana Pudding!
Famous for its use of cream cheese and condensed milk, pudding is making a comeback!
Here we have Paula Deen’s version.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Ingredients include: Bananas, instant French vanilla pudding mix, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and Pepperidge Farm chessmen cookies
90. Popcorn Salad
I’m not sure how far this trendy salad went, but as someone who loves popcorn, I could see how this would add a nice crunch to a dressed salad.
It’s probably similar to other salad toppings, but if you add flavored popcorn it adds and even more pizzazz.
Personally, I would add more greens and vegetables than is pictured, but I think you can tweak to make it your own.
As is, this recipe comes together very mayonnaise-y, like a macaroni salad, and heavy on the popcorn.
Ingredients include: Popcorn, arugula, red onion, baby carrots, and bacon.
This one is a southern special.
Considered an Easter staple, this one is not dessert, but it is both sweet and savory.
Once considered a way to use up leftover crackers, Pineapple Casserole is made with a simple combination of canned pineapple chunks, sugar, flour, Ritz crackers, butter, and cheese.
The ingredients are layered in a casserole dish and baked until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
The dish is often served with ham or chicken.
Pineapple casserole is a sweet and savory side dish for BBQ that is sure to please everyone at your table.
It is a great option for a potluck or a holiday gathering where the barbecue is catered or you’re the pitmaster.
Ingredients include: Canned pineapple chunks, canned chiles, flour, Ritz crackers, and cheddar cheese.
Whenever yeast is in a recipe, I debate on calling it easy.
I’m not a confident bread-baker, though I’ve improved over the years.
That said, there are excellent instructions here by The Pioneer Woman even for newbs like me if you want to add this to your next BBQ meal.
Reviewers say it called for too much butter as is, but you can take your chances.
(I always take a chance on butter, thank you.)
It’s a beautiful loaf of pull-apart bread, though, so see if this one will work for you.
Ingredients include: Active dry yeast, bread flour, whole milk, eggs, and unsalted butter.
Kroger has been a mostly southern grocery store chain, but I think there are some in Ohio now.
This isn’t a bad recipe but it is fairly simple.
If you want more flavor, you’ll need to add some onion powder and garlic powder.
The goat cheese adds a nice tang to the overall flavor of the dish without adding a ton of fat.
Make sure you add the black pepper at least, in case you are watching your salt intake.
Ingredients include: Russet potatoes, summer squash, basil, goat cheese, and olive oil.
94. Jello Salad
I never thought gelatin would go so well with pineapple until we actually took the plunge and whipped up a batch of this refreshing salad!
This sweet “salad” will look good and serve as a tasty appetizer for everyone to enjoy while you pass out the BBQ!
Ingredients include: Orange gelatin box mix, canned mandarin oranges, canned pineapple chunks, mini marshmallows, and canned fruit cocktail.
The recipe author avers that the recipe for Cucumber Salad here was actually inspired by Mexican Street Corn itself.
Not surprising, as Mexican Street Corn is so good!
All that sweet and spicy Mexican flavors needs more exposure out in the world.
Ingredients include: Frozen corn, cucumbers, red onion, cilantro, and chili powder.
If you’ve ever been to Texas Roadhouse and tried all their side dishes, you’re bound to agree that their Green Beans is ranked way up there!
And that’s why we’ve come up with a way for everyone to enjoy them in their very own homes.
Ingredients include: Canned green beans, bacon, garlic, onion, and pepper.
They’re called butter swim biscuits because they’re literally swimming in butter!
On the plus side though, they’re quick and super easy to make.
And yes, they’re also very delicious, we all just need to make a mental note not to eat them that often!
Ingredients include: All-purpose flour, buttermilk, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
98. Hot Honey Sauce
I love this recipe for Hot Honey Sauce.
The first time we made this, we were dribbling it over everything for weeks.
It has the perfect blend of sweet and spicy that is just so addictive.
And you whip up a batch in less than 2 minutes too!
Ingredients include: Honey, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, butter, and garlic.
This recipe is a unique twist on the ever-popular mac and cheese!
White truffle oil, baby bella mushrooms, and gruyere cheese combine to transform your old mac and cheese into something new.
Ingredients include: White truffle oil, pasta, milk, gruyere cheese, and baby bella mushrooms.
If you’re looking for a drink to serve with BBQ, then it’s hard to beat Cranberry and Gin Cocktails.
They’re fun, refreshing, and just the thing to enjoy your BBQ with on a hot summer afternoon.
They have egg whites in them though, but don’t worry!
They’ll turn out fantastic!
Ingredients include: Gin, cranberry juice, simple syrup, lime juice, and egg white.
101. Hangover Bundt Cake
Legend has it that Hangover Bundt Cakes can cure what’s certainly ailing you after a night of heavy drinking.
We made up this recipe after seeing a reviewer rave about a New York restaurant’s version of Italian Hangover Cake.
So we decided to make ours up too.
This one starts out with a boxed cake mix and runs rampant from there.
Think rum cake with no nuts and a lovely citrus and almond flavor instead of rum.
Ingredients include: Disaronno, Grand Marnier, french vanilla cake mix, vanilla extract, and butter.
This Grapefruit and Avocado Salad is a wonder of balance.
The sharp, tangy flavor of the grapefruit is complemented and toned down by the more earthy and sweet avocado.
Find your own balance while you prep this yin and yang of salads!
Ingredients include: Hass avocado, red grapefruits, sea salt, olive oil, and lime.
The bottom line
Barbecue is a delicious and popular range of smoked foods enjoyed around the nation.
But what would barbecue be without its delicious sides?
From macaroni salad to baked beans, there are endless possibilities when it comes to sides for barbecue.
No matter what your taste, there’s a side out there that’s perfect for your barbecue.
So next time you’re planning to smoke a brisket, offer smoked chicken and smoked sausage or anything else you can throw on the smoker, be sure to include some delicious sides for bbq.
Your guests will thank you for it!
More About BBQ
- 4th Of July BBQ Ideas
- What To Serve With BBQ Chicken
- Homemade Spice BBQ Sauce
- BBQ Appetizers
- Does BBQ Sauce Go Bad
- What To Serve With BBQ Meatballs
- How To Thicken BBQ Sauce
- Mexican Street Corn
- Smoky Grilled Peaches
- Grilled Corn
- Grilled Vidalia Onions
- Smoked Tomatoes
- German Cucumber Salad
- Pumpkin Spice Margarita
- Grilled Peach Salad
- Watermelon Feta Salad
- Skillet Confetti Corn
- Roasted Broccoli
- Sweet Corn Salad
- Pinto Beans
- Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad
- Apple Carrot Slaw
- Smokey Baked Beans
- Baked Potatoes
- Fried Green Tomatoes
- Quick Pickled Onions
- Bacon & Tomato Macaroni N’ Cheese
- Creamed Corn
- Southern Succotash
- Radish Salad
- Grilled Carrots
- Grilled Halloumi
- Smoked Cream Cheese Spread
- Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
- Steamed Green Beans With Lemon
- BLT Deviled Eggs
- Easy Marinated Tomatoes
- Air Fryer Artichoke Heart
- Greek Salad Skewers
- Southern Peach Cobbler
- Homemade Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar
- Sauteed Apples
- Sweet Pineapple Coleslaw (No-Mayo!)
- Doctored Box Mac N Cheese
- Smoked Corn On The Cob
- Apple Dump Cobbler With Cake Mix
- Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread
- Texas Mop Sauce
- Easy White Gravy
- Sauteed Okra
- Jiffy Corn Casserole
- Two BBQ Sauces
- Seasoned Baked Potato Wedges
- Fritos Corn Salad
- Air Fryer Potato Chips
- Grilled Portobello Mushroom Steaks
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Southern Fried Cabbage
- Fried Pickles (Texas Roadhouse Copycat)
- Skillet Fried Corn
- Texas-Style BBQ Sauce
- Bold Pulled Pork BBQ Sauce
- Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce
- Korean BBQ Dippin’ Sauce
- Smoked Watermelon
- Honey Cider Cocktail
- Smoked Acorn Squash
- Smoked Bacon
- Southern Collard Greens
- Easy Aperol Spritz Cocktail
- No-Churn Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream
- Savory Cheddar Muffins
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Smoked Cauliflower With Parmesan
- Fiesta Pinwheels
- Smashed Red Potatoes
- Mexican Martini
- Iron Skillet Blackberry Cobbler
- Texas Potato Salad
- Dirty Rice
- Pineapple BBQ Beans
- Buttery & Creamy Grits
- Turnip Greens
- BBQ Chili
- Cinnamon Apples
- Cornbread Dressing
- Fried Okra
- 7-Layer Pea Salad
- Slow-Cooker Brunswick Stew
- Rice Pilaf (Homemade Rice-A-Roni Copycat)
- Gluten-Free Hush Puppies
- Black Bean & Corn Salad
- Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
- Copycat Wonder Bread
- Corn Nuggets
- Paula Deen’s Banana Pudding
- Popcorn Salad
- Pineapple Casserole
- Easy Pull-Apart Garlic Bread
- Potato, Squash & Goat Cheese Casserole
- Jello Salad
- Mexican Corn & Cucumber Salad
- Texas Roadhouse Slow Cooker Green Beans
- Butter Swim Biscuits
- Hot Honey Sauce
- Skillet Truffle Mac & Cheese
- Cranberry & Gin Cocktail
- Hangover Bundt Cake
- Grapefruit & Avocado Salad
- Pick one or more options from our list of Sides For BBQ here!
- Start creating your new favorite side dish.
- Did you make any changes to make it even better?
- Share this list with your friends and see what they think!