Our Best Barbecue Side Dishes
Don’t miss these 20 recipes for staff-approved barbecue side dishes to round out your next low-and-slow gathering.
This is the best of both worlds – deviled eggs kissed with smoky chopped pork. One of our favorite make-ahead tips: place yolk filling in a zip-top plastic bag, and the egg white halves in another container (especially handy if taking to barbecue). When you’re ready to fill egg white halves, simply snip a corner of the zip-top plastic bag and pipe away.
Recipe: Barbecue Deviled Eggs
We love this recipe for its simple, summer pleasure. Fresh sliced tomatoes paired with sweet Vidalia onions and a little chopped fresh, fragrant basil. This recipe is actually better if prepped a few hours ahead, which allows all the flavors to get cozy.
- Recipe: Tomato-and-Onion Salad
This zesty Asian twist on classic slaw is wonderful with smoked chicken and pork. Wasbi paste and fresh grated ginger give this colorful mix a delightful eye-opening kick. And the surprising peanutty crunch takes it right over the edge. Don’t worry about leftovers, it’s even better the next day piled high on a leftover pulled pork sandwich.
- Recipe: Peanutty Coleslaw
Take two Southern icons, watermelon and toasted pecans, and combine them with slightly sweet, nutty mâche (a tender lettuce), and you have one out-of-this-world salad. And crumbled Gorgonzola adds an unexpected layer of creamy richness. Feel free to substitute your favorite baby lettuce for mâche – it’ll work just fine.
Jazz up your presentation by serving this salad in paprika-rimmed glasses. (Simply dip the rims in lemon or lime juice, then into paprika.) We found this recipe works best with round white potatoes. You can reduce calories from fat by using light mayo and light sour cream.
- Recipe: Bacon Potato Salad
One of the staff’s all-time favorite potato salads. The secret to this 6-ingredient star is Duke’s Mayonnaise (a Greenville, SC culinary institution), a touch of spicy brown mustard, and boiled eggs, which are grated on the largest holes of a cheese grater. The recipe calls for baking potatoes, but we also love it with red-skinned potatoes.
- Recipe: Fipps Family Potato Salad
The key to this sensational slaw is the dressing. The combo of milk, buttermilk, lemon juice, and a little white vinegar elevate humble shredded cabbage to something truly spectacular. This recipe’s creamy sweetness is the perfect partner to smoky barbecue.
- Recipe: Best Barbecue Coleslaw
While these golden deep-fried gems are often paired with fried fish, Kentuckians and Carolinians think of them as natural partners to any plate of barbecue. These light-as-feather balls start with a combo of self-rising cornmeal and flour (for extra fluffiness) and a chopped jalapeno for a spirited, but not too hot, kick.
- Recipe: Mississippi Hush Puppies
This Tex-Mex twist on traditional barbecue sauce combines tangy green tomatoes and crisp tomatillos for a tongue-tingling flavor sensation. You have to try this over your favorite recipe for barbecue chicken or shrimp. Better still, you can make this up to 1 week ahead.
- Recipe: Green Barbecue Sauce
This tasty twist on baked beans stirs together in minutes, then bakes just until bubbly and thick. We love the convenience of canned pork and beans, which are kicked up to the next level with a touch of barbecue sauce, dry mustard, and hot sauce, before getting a sweet kiss of flavor from good ol’ root beer.
- Recipe: Root Beer Baked Beans
Grilling the potatoes in an easy-to-fold aluminum foil packet adds a subtle note of smoky flavor–plus it makes cleanup a breeze.
Make your summer corn about more than just salt and butter. Give it a new spin by smoking over hickory chips and season with thyme butter.
- Recipe: Smoked Corn
Who says veggies have to be boring? Balsamic vinegar and honey make these a sweet and tangy complement to your main dish.
- Recipe: Easy Vegetable Kabobs
Add south-of-the-border flavor to buttery grilled corn with jalapeño peppers, cilantro, and lime juice.