If you’re wondering what to serve with your BBQ ribs, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 45 of the most popular side dishes for BBQ ribs.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best side dishes to serve with BBQ ribs are potato salad, broccoli slaw, fried okra, smoked mac and cheese, and sweet and spicy cornbread. You can also serve pineapple fried rice, avocado pasta salad, and bourbon baked beans. For a surf-and-turf meal, go for margarita grilled shrimp.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Roasted cauliflower and potato salad
Trade in your usual potato salad recipe for this healthy mayo-free version.
It’s got fresh arugula, roasted potatoes, and cauliflower florets, all tossed in a luscious tahini tarragon dressing.
You still get that familiar creamy texture, except it’s lighter.
Why we love this recipe: you won’t feel guilty asking for seconds.
Quick cucumber kimchi
Standard kimchi takes a long time to make, but you can have this quick version ready to serve in 20 minutes.
The spicy sauce – made with gochugaru – gives your cucumber slices a tangy flavor that will cut right through your rich BBQ ribs.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a different but delicious way to enjoy cucumbers.
Bring a tasty Southern twist to your barbecue spread with a platter of fried okra.
They’re extra crispy, with a hint of heat, thanks to seasoned flour and cornmeal coating.
Pro tip: avoid slimy okra by soaking it in vinegar for 30 minutes.
Why we love this recipe: these addicting morsels are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Tomato and cucumber salad
This salad is a must-have at summer cookouts and barbecue parties.
It’s juicy, cooling, and refreshing – just what you need with smoky barbecued meat like ribs.
Psst… give this salad time to rest before serving for better flavor.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a no-cook dish that takes 10 minutes to make.
Pineapple fried rice
This isn’t traditional, but I love serving pineapple fried rice with BBQ ribs.
It has a blend of fruity sweet, earthy, and umami flavors that you wouldn’t expect from a rice dish.
For best results, use fresh pineapple.
And if you want to get really fancy, serve the rice IN the hollowed out pineapple (like the picture).
Why we love this recipe: it’s detailed and even shows you the best way to break down a pineapple.
Sweet and spicy cornbread
A barbecue party won’t be complete without cornbread on the menu.
And this recipe is one of my favorites.
It yields soft, moist cornbread with the right balance of heat and sweetness thanks to the diced jalapenos and the addition of condensed milk.
Why we love this recipe: it’ll make your kitchen smell amazing.
Grilled vegetables with chimichurri sauce
To get the most out of your grilled veggies, grill them and then marinade them after.
Grilled vegetables are better at absorbing the flavors from a sauce than raw ones!
And with a delicious sauce like chimichurri, you want to taste as much of it as possible.
Why we love this recipe: you can grill any vegetables you have on hand.
Creamed spinach is usually served with steak, but it’s fantastic with BBQ ribs too.
The creamy cheese sauce coating the tender spinach leaves will help mellow out your BBQ ribs’ savory, smoky flavors.
And don’t leave out the nutmeg, it really rounds the dish out.
Why we love this recipe: it has a nice festive feel to it.
Watermelon arugula salad
Add a fresh bite to your BBQ ribs by serving them alongside this watermelon arugula salad.
Worried about it being too sweet? Fret not – the combination of peppery arugula, fresh mint, and basil will offset this sweetness.
And everything is tied together by a zesty chili honey lime dressing that’ll perk up your taste buds.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a refreshing dish, perfect for warm days.
Watermelon arugula salad with chili honey lime dressing
Fire up the grill
Spicy grilled watermelon
Change the flavor
Watermelon feta skewers
Grilled bacon-wrapped corn on the cob
Anything wrapped in bacon is always fabulous, like this jazzed-up corn on the cob.
As the side cooks, the bacon crisps up, and your naturally sweet corn gets infused with its smoky, umami flavors.
And the cherry on top is the finger-licking-ly good honey chipotle glaze.
Why we love this recipe: it’s Insta-worthy.
Sweet and spicy grilled bacon-wrapped corn on the cob
Make it fun
Grilled Mexican street corn
Make it trendy
Air fryer corn ribs
Feeling adventurous? Skip your usual coleslaw recipe and give this version a try.
It trades in the standard cabbage with crisp broccoli and apples, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds.
An interesting but delicious mix!
Why we love this recipe: it’s a tasty, nourishing addition to your spread.
Smoked mac and cheese
You’re missing out big time if you’ve never tried smoking your mac and cheese. It’s a game changer.
It’s a bit more effort, and you’ll need to be patient. But I promise you it’s worth it.
Especially once you throw some fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs into the mix.
Why we love this recipe: it’s the result of lots of tests and trials.
Margarita grilled shrimp
Turn your simple BBQ ribs meal into a fun surf-and-turf by serving them with these grilled shrimp.
They’re delightfully juicy, with a citrusy, zesty flavor reminiscent of margaritas.
The recipe includes optional tequila, but using it could give you an impressive flare up when you first place the shrimp on the grill.
Why we love this recipe: most of the ingredients needed are basic pantry staples (yes, that includes tequila in my house).
Cajun sweet potato wedges
Fries are tasty, but I’m more of a wedges king of gal.
You still get a crisp exterior, but with lots more potato-ey goodness.
These sweet potato wedges are flavored with a bold Cajun spice blend to give you an addictive sweet and savory flavor combo.
Psst… don’t forget the dipping sauce.
Why we love this recipe: the oven does all the work for you.
Creamy avocado pasta salad
Not in the mood for a decadent pasta dish? How about this vibrant pasta salad instead?
It boasts a creamy, but light, and citrusy avocado dressing – a perfect contrast to the sticky BBQ ribs.
There’s also spinach blended in the avocado dressing, so you can sneak some into any green haters!
Why we love this recipe: it’s loaded with flavors reminiscent of summer.
Apple butter bourbon baked beans
You didn’t think the list would end without mentioned baked beans did you?!
But these aren’t any old baked beans.
They use apple butter to bring a sweet, fruity note you can’t get with just molasses or sugar.
Why we love this recipe: the leftovers are great for breakfast with some toast and eggs.
Country ranch green beans and potatoes
This recipe transforms a can of plain green beans into a delicious and hearty side dish in under 20 minutes.
The potatoes and onions are first sauteed in bacon grease, giving them maximum flavor, before the green beans are added.
But the highlight of this dish is the ranch seasoning – no explanation needed.
Why we love this recipe: it’s an excellent dish for when you’re in a rush.
What dessert goes well with bbq ribs?
A rustic peach cobbler is my go-to dessert to serve after a meal of BBQ ribs. For a show-stopping dessert, go for a pineapple upside-down cake. You can also try lemon bars or key lime meringue pie for a dose of citrus.
The best desserts to serve with BBQ ribs:
What To Serve With BBQ Ribs
- 1 portion BBQ Ribs
- Prepare your BBQ ribs according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: roasted cauliflower and potato salad, quick cucumber kimchi, fried okra, tomato and cucumber salad, pineapple fried rice, sweet and spicy cornbread, grilled vegetables with chimichurri sauce, creamed spinach, watermelon arugula salad, grilled bacon-wrapped corn on the cob., broccoli slaw, smoked mac and cheese, margarita grilled shrimp, cajun sweet potato wedges, creamy avocado pasta salad, and apple butter bourbon baked beans.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!