This article was updated on 3/8/2023 for clarity and freshness.
If you’re wondering what to serve with your brisket, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 60 of the most popular side dishes for brisket.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best side dishes to serve with brisket are pickled red cabbage, corn and avocado salad, cowboy beans, and watermelon salad. You can also try Caprese potato skins, cornbread muffins, jalapeño popper mac and cheese, or chili lime pineapple. Cheddar polenta is a great budget option.
Great flavor pairings for brisket
Brisket is a common cut of meat for barbecuing. It’s meaty and savory, with a tough texture that can be remedied by a long and slow cooking session.
- Tangy flavors: Naturally tart and acidic ingredients like vinegar, mustard, and pickles cut through the meatiness of your brisket, giving you a more balanced bite.
- Smoky flavors: Smoking is a popular way of cooking brisket because it adds a prominent smoky flavor that enhances the brisket’s meaty goodness. You can also achieve a similar effect with barbecue sauce and spices like cumin, smoked paprika, or cayenne.
- Creamy flavors: Brisket’s bold savory flavors can easily stand up to creamy ingredients like cheese, sour cream, and heavy cream. Try pairing it with a luscious pasta dish or slather it with a cream-based sauce.
I always pair my brisket with a starchy side – and you have lots to choose from. Cornbread and polenta are classic options, but you can also go with roasted potatoes or rice for something different.
Honey jalapeno cornbread muffins
These cornbread muffins are a superb addition to your barbecue spread. They boast the perfect sweet-spicy combo that’ll make your taste buds dance.
I always like to save a few bites of cornbread for the end, because then you can use it to mop up any leftover juices or sauce on your plate. It’s usually the tastiest bite!
And here’s a tip… drizzle these muffins with extra honey when serving.
Why we love this recipe: it uses brown butter, which adds a nutty note to these treats.
Caprese pesto potato skins
Jazz up your potato skins with classic Italian flavors of pesto and Caprese salad.
It’s not traditional, but it’s so darn tasty. The combination of bright, zippy pesto, juicy tomatoes, and melted mozzarella with lightly crisp potato skins is simply delightful.
Serve these with a slab of brisket for a fancy, indulgent meal.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a fun and unique way to enjoy potato skins.
This cheddar polenta is a fantastic budget-friendly side to serve with your brisket. It’s rich, creamy, and excellent for soaking up every drop of your brisket’s juices.
I like propping a couple of slices of brisket on top of the polenta and drizzling them both with barbecue sauce – yum!
Psst… you can save the leftovers for breakfast.
Why we love this recipe: it’s an easy one-pot dish.
Tired of plain old rice? Whip up this Mexican version instead. It’s as easy as making regular rice and only takes about 30 minutes, prep time included.
The key to this dish is the combination of fire-roasted tomatoes, spices, and tomato sauce, which gives the rice a zesty kick and a vibrant orange color.
Serve your brisket with this rice dish for a tasty Tex-Mex twist.
Why we love this recipe: it’s better than what you’d get at restaurants.
Grilling your brisket for a cookout? Serve it with these classics for the ultimate BBQ feast. Mac and cheese and collard greens are a must-have in my household, but you can also whip up deviled eggs.
And don’t forget about the BBQ sauce!
Bourbon honey BBQ sauce
Brisket needs sauce. That’s a fact. You can use bottled sauce, but I’m here to let you know how much better homemade sauces are.
You can adjust the ingredients endlessly, so you end up with the right flavor for you. And there are no nasties in there, since you know everything you add to your homemade sauce.
Why we love this recipe: this sauce can last up to a month in your fridge.
Also called frijoles charros, this dish involves cooking pinto beans slowly with aromatics, bacon, fire-roasted tomatoes, and jalapeños.
The resulting dish is a warm, savory stew that will fill you up nicely.
Enjoy a piping hot bowl of this stew with slices of brisket and warm bread for the ultimate comfort meal.
Why we love this recipe: it details three methods of cooking this dish – in a slow cooker, instant pot, or simply over your stove.
Southern collards and cabbage
Adding cabbage to the Southern classic collard greens helps mellow out any leftover bitterness. It’s a great dish to serve if you have guests that have never tried collard greens before.
Just remember, these greens have different cooking times – start cooking the collard greens first because they’re tougher.
Why we love this recipe: it’s packed with vitamins and nutrients.
Chili lime grilled pineapple
Take advantage of the open grill at your barbecue party and chuck some pineapples on it.
They’ll taste great plain, but to take things to the next level, try seasoning them with a mix of chaat masala, chili powder, and lime juice. This will give you smoky-sweet pineapples that remind you of being on a Caribbean island.
You can enjoy these grilled pineapples alongside your brisket or as a post-meal treat.
Why we love this recipe: you only need four ingredients.
Jalapeno popper mac and cheese
This easy recipe marries mac and cheese and jalapeno poppers into one delectable side dish for your brisket.
The addition of chopped jalapenos to the béchamel base brings a subtle smoky note and adds depth to your usual pasta dish. And the cherry on top is a buttery panko mixture that adds a delightful crunch to every bite.
This cheesy pasta dish tastes superb alongside sticky brisket, but I guarantee you’ll need a nap right after this meal.
Why we love this recipe: your guests are guaranteed to ask for second helpings of this.
No-bake key lime cheesecake
This cheesecake is delightfully light and creamy, with the right balance of sweetness and tang.
Olive and Mango keeps their version classic with a graham cracker crust, but you can use any biscuit you like. I’ve tried using gingersnaps before and they brought a zingy twist that paired superbly with the lime-flavored filling.
End your brisket cookout on a high note with a slice of this divine no-bake cheesecake.
Why we love this recipe: it’s an excellent dessert for summer, especially when you don’t want to turn on the oven and heat the kitchen up.
Serving salads with a main dish as savory and rich as brisket is a no-brainer. Even a simple combination of crisp vegetables and a tangy vinaigrette is great for offsetting the fattiness of your brisket.
Fiesta corn and avocado salad
This vibrant salad is the ultimate accompaniment for barbecued meat. It’s a medley of sweet corn, creamy avocado, spicy jalapeños, and salty cheese.
And the ‘fiesta’ part comes from the sumac in the dressing which lends a tartness to the whole dish.
And here’s a tip… if you can’t find sumac, you can sub it for paprika.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a nourishing and delicious salad with no leafy greens.
Cucumber jicama slaw
Coleslaws are a go-to for cookouts, but they can get quite heavy with the mayo dressing. If you’re looking for something lighter, try this cucumber jicama slaw.
The julienned cucumber and jicama slices are tossed with a spritz of lime, a dash of salt, and chopped cilantro, infusing them with a refreshingly acidic kick that will cut right through your fatty brisket.
Pro-tip: Perry’s Plate uses a mandoline slicer to easily prep the cucumber and jicama.
Why we love this recipe: it’s ideal for a hot summer’s day.
Watermelon arugula and feta salad
This watermelon arugula salad is the ultimate summer salad. It’s loaded with peppery, sweet, and salty flavors tied together by a tangy balsamic dressing – exactly what you need for a cookout with barbecued meat.
And the juicy watermelon with your tender brisket… it’s a match made in heaven.
Pro-tip: not an arugula fan? Swap it for your favorite greens instead.
Why we love this recipe: it looks as good as it tastes.
Ranch pasta salad
There’s a reason you always see creamy side dishes served with barbecued meats like brisket – they just work together.
And this pasta salad is guaranteed to be a winner, thanks to its ranch-flavored mayo dressing. It’s extra tangy and herby, which is exactly what your meaty brisket needs.
Psst… this salad tastes best once you’ve let it rest for 1-2 hours so all the flavors can meld together.
Why we love this recipe: you can use any pasta and veggies you have on hand to make this salad.
German potato salad
Classic potato salads typically involve a creamy mayo-based dressing, but this German version uses a bacon-based vinaigrette instead. It makes the potato salad lighter and adds a layer of tangy-savory goodness that cuts through your savory brisket.
This potato salad is best enjoyed warm, but you can also prep it ahead of time and reheat it before serving.
Why we love this recipe: it’s great for cookouts and picnics.
Brisket is a huge hunk of protein and you need a veggie side to add more nutrients to your meal. You don’t need to get fancy – even sautéed green beans or grilled vegetables will get the job done. But you can also add indulgence with a cheesy veggie casserole or creamed spinach.
Pickled red cabbage
My favorite side dish for brisket is pickled red cabbage. It has a satisfying crunch and a bright, tangy flavor that contrasts perfectly with your meaty brisket.
For best results, let your cabbage rest in the pickling solution for three days before digging in. But if you can’t resist, you can crack the jar open and start snacking on this after 24 hours.
Why we love this recipe: it’s a breeze to make – aside from heating the pickling liquid, you don’t have to do any cooking.
Balsamic marinated grilled vegetables
Grilled veggies are a fantastic healthy side to serve with brisket. They’re all charred and tasty, and you can season them with whatever you want.
Modern Farmhouse Eats goes with a zesty balsamic marinade, but you can also try drizzling them with melted garlic butter too.
And the best part? You can grill any veggies you like – take a look and see what’s in your fridge.
Why we love this recipe: it doesn’t require too much prep time.
Broccoli and cheese casserole
Want something warm and comforting to go with your brisket? You can’t go wrong with this casserole – or any cheesy casserole really. Think corn casserole, creamed peas, or spinach gratin.
It’s rich and filling, plus, who doesn’t like cheese? Dinner at the Zoo uses cheddar cheese for this broccoli casserole, but you can swap it for any good-melting cheese. Try Pepper jack cheese for a lightly spicy kick.
Pro-tip: you can use frozen broccoli for this casserole, but it will be mushier.
Why we love this recipe: you can make it the day before to save you time.
Skillet garlic green beans
Want a quick but nourishing side dish for your brisket? These skillet green beans have your back.
They’re first sautéed and then steamed, allowing them to retain their vibrant green color and to develop a pleasant crisp-tender texture.
I love using fresh green beans, but you can also use frozen ones in a pinch – simply adjust the cooking time to avoid soggy green beans.
Why we love this recipe: these are great for busy weeknights.
Creamed spinach may not be super healthy, but it’s still a tasty veggie side you can serve with your brisket.
Most recipes call for either fresh or frozen spinach, but I Wash You Dry’s version is specifically made for the latter.
The amount of cream this recipe calls for, combined with the extra moisture from the frozen greens makes for the perfect silky, cheesy cream sauce.
Why we love this recipe: it’s budget-friendly.
What To Serve With Brisket [60 Ideas]
- 1 portion honey jalapeno cornbread muffins
- 1 portion southern collards and cabbage
- 1 portion cucumber jicama slaw
- 1 portion creamed spinach
- 1 portion german potato salad
- 1 portion jalapeno popper mac and cheese … and more
- Prepare your brisket according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: honey jalapeno cornbread muffins, caprese pesto potato skins, cheddar polenta, mexican rice, bourbon honey bbq sauce, cowboy beans, southern collards and cabbage, chili lime grilled pineapple, jalapeno popper mac and cheese, fiesta corn and avocado salad, cucumber jicama slaw, watermelon arugula and feta salad, ranch pasta salad, german potato salad, pickled red cabbage, balsamic marinated grilled vegetables, broccoli and cheese casserole, skillet garlic green bean, and creamed spinach.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!