Barbecue parties are a blast, aren’t they? The sizzling sounds of meat on the grill, the tantalizing aroma wafting through the air, and the laughter of friends and family coming together—it’s the recipe for a perfect day. But let’s not forget about the sides! While the main course may steal the show, the right side dishes can elevate your barbecue experience to a whole new level. Whether you’re hosting a potluck or attending one, here are eight mouthwatering barbecue sides that are sure to impress.
1. Classic Potato Salad
Nothing says barbecue quite like a creamy, tangy potato salad. It’s a timeless favorite that pairs perfectly with grilled meats. Simply boil some potatoes, chop them up, and mix them with mayonnaise, mustard, chopped onions, celery, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. For an extra kick, add some chopped pickles or a dash of paprika. Chill it in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors meld together, and you’re good to go!
2. Tangy Coleslaw
Coleslaw is another barbecue staple that adds a refreshing crunch to your plate. Shred some cabbage and carrots, then toss them in a tangy dressing made with mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt. You can customize your coleslaw by adding ingredients like shredded apples, raisins, or even jalapeños for a spicy twist. It’s the perfect balance of creamy and crunchy that complements any barbecue dish.
3. Grilled Corn on the Cob
Is there anything more quintessentially summer than grilled corn on the cob? This simple yet delicious side dish is a crowd-pleaser at any barbecue. Just brush some butter or olive oil onto the corn, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and throw it on the grill until it’s tender and charred. Serve it with a side of melted butter and watch it disappear in no time.
4. Baked Beans
No barbecue is complete without a hearty serving of baked beans. Whether you like them sweet, spicy, or smoky, there’s a baked beans recipe out there for everyone. You can make them from scratch using dried beans or take a shortcut with canned beans. Just mix them with barbecue sauce, brown sugar, onions, and bacon, then bake them in the oven until they’re bubbling and delicious. It’s the ultimate comfort food that pairs perfectly with grilled meats.
5. Garlic Butter Grilled Mushrooms
For the vegetarians at your barbecue, these garlic butter grilled mushrooms are a real treat. Simply marinate some mushrooms in a mixture of melted butter, minced garlic, salt, and pepper, then grill them until they’re tender and juicy. The garlic butter adds a rich flavor that pairs perfectly with the earthiness of the mushrooms. It’s a simple yet elegant side dish that’s sure to impress.
6. Caprese Salad
If you’re looking for a lighter option, you can’t go wrong with a refreshing Caprese salad. Layer slices of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves on a platter, then drizzle them with balsamic glaze and olive oil. It’s a simple yet elegant dish that showcases the flavors of summer in every bite. Plus, it adds a pop of color to your barbecue spread!
7. Watermelon Feta Salad
For a unique twist on a classic fruit salad, try this watermelon feta salad. Simply cube some fresh watermelon and toss it with crumbled feta cheese, thinly sliced red onion, and chopped mint. Drizzle it with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then season it with salt and pepper to taste. The combination of sweet watermelon, salty feta, and tangy dressing is simply irresistible.
8. Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
Last but not least, we have jalapeño cheddar cornbread—a spicy twist on a Southern classic. Simply mix together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, eggs, milk, shredded cheddar cheese, and diced jalapeños, then bake it in a cast-iron skillet until it’s golden brown and crispy. It’s the perfect accompaniment to barbecue ribs or pulled pork, and the spicy kick from the jalapeños adds an extra layer of flavor.
So there you have it—eight delicious barbecue sides that are perfect for your next potluck. Whether you’re a fan of classic comfort foods like potato salad and baked beans or you prefer lighter options like Caprese salad and grilled mushrooms, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So fire up the grill, gather your friends and family, and get ready to feast on some mouthwatering barbecue goodness!