Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (2024)

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Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (1)

As the weather warms up, our family instinctively transitions many of our inside activities to the great outdoors.

We play outside, we read outside, we work outside, we hang out outside, we entertain outside, and we eat outside.

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (2)
Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (3)
Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (4)

Yup… eating outside is one of our family’s favorite things about spring and summer — partially because the mess stays outside, but also because I think food just tastes better when we’re outside (especially if it’s fresh off the grill!)

Backyard BBQs with lots of delicious and easy side dishes are a regular occurrence this time of year — often just for our family, but also for the various neighbors, friends, and extended family members we’ve fed over the last 10 years.

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (5)
Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (6)
Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (7)

The main part of any BBQ is the meat (at least for our family) but in my opinion, side dishes make or break any meal… and our family loves having lots of side dish options.

If you’re struggling to come up with easy side dishes to serve at your own BBQ or to bring to a friend’s party… let me help!

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (8)

Click the recipe links below for our favorite easy BBQ side dishes.

DRINKS:

1. Simple Punch — there are many variations of this recipe. Feel free to mix it up.

2.Strawberry lemonade — make it from scratch, make it from a mix, or buy it from the store… you can’t go wrong with strawberry lemonade at your next BBQ.

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (9)

BREAD:

3. Cheesy Garlic Bread

4. Cornbread

5. Homemade Beer Bread

6. Homemade rolls or buns — you can make your own hamburger and hot-dog-shaped buns using your favorite bread recipe or frozen bread dough.

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (10)

SALADS:

7.Fresh fruit salad — use whatever is in-season

8. Caprese Pasta Salad

9. Layered Lettuce Salad — you can make this one ahead of time (even with the dressing)

10. Harvest Spinach Salad — this salad works any time of year

11. Coleslaw or Brocoslaw

12. Grilled Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

NOTE: here’s a link to ALL my salad posts.

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (11)

POTATOES:

13. Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes you can easily make these ahead of time in a slow cooker

14. Oven Roasted Red Skin Potatoes

15. Baked Herbed Potato Wedges — or really any type of french fries

16. Baked Potatoes — in the slow cooker or the oven, with a variety of toppings

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (12)

VEGETABLES:

17. Baked Beans

18. Grilled Veggies — these are SO easy

19.Jalapeno Poppers — not nearly as spicy as they sound

20. Sauteed Mushrooms — mushrooms + butter = delicious!

21. Grilled Corn on the Cob — the leftovers taste great

22.Raw veggies and dip — always a good “stand by” for pickier eaters.

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (13)

OTHER:

23. Finger Jell-O — a favorite with the 10-and-under crowd!

24. Cowboy Caviar — the perfect dip for almost any type of chip, cracker, pita bread, etc.

25. Guacamole and Salsa with chips or pita crackers

26. Watermelon— here’s a simple trick to quickly slice a watermelon.

27. Pickles — my kids devour these refrigerator dill pickles at almost every meal

28. Homemade BBQ sauce — a great sauce for grilled or roasted meats

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (14)
Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (15)

DESSERTS:

29. Monster Cookies

30.Brownie Kabobs — you could go “patriotic” with this dessert too!

31.Strawberry Short Cake Cups — theessenceof summer

32. S’mores — you can’t make this one ahead of time… but it’s a classic!

33.Pie — everyone loves a thick slice of homemade (or store-bought) pie

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (16)

Are you hungry yet?

Try a few of these easy side dishes for your next outdoor meal and enjoy the flavors of summer… and less mess in your kitchen!

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (17)
Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (18)
Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (19)

What are YOUR favorite easy BBQ side dishes??

Visitmy virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family-friendly, recipes!

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (20)

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Comments

  1. JJ says

    Now I’m hungry! Great ideas! Where did you get the blue bowls pictured? They look like the perfect size!

    Your kids are so precious, and you really capture them well!

    My absolute favorite side is a cold pasta salad my grandma made. She used rotini noodles, Hellman’s mayonnaise(living in the South now, Duke’s is my favorite!), any cut up raw vegetables you like(she often did celery and carrots, and green olives–perfect zing!), diced hard-boiled eggs(mixed in), and topped with sliced hard-boiled eggs. She would add extra mayo second day, since noodles absorb it. It’s really a recipe you can make your own(adding seasonings, salt and pepper, etc.).

    Reply

    • Andrea says

      I actually got the blue bowls from the thrift store, but I linked to similar bowls under the picture — they are handy for larger picnics and gatherings.
      I’ve never liked cold pasta salads (or really mayo) so I’m not sure I’ll try your recipe… but I’ll believe you that it’s good 🙂

      Reply

  2. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles says

    That lemon pound cake and a few of those jalapenos would sure help me through today – yum! Thanks so much for including a couple of my recipes in your BBQ roundup – I appreciate it!

    Reply

  3. Sherri @ The Kitchen Prescription says

    Andrea,
    Thanks for sharing my Kabob recipe. This is a great article. Certainly applicable to summer fun and eating. I love grilling and summer they go hand in hand.

    Reply

  4. Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) says

    My daughter is obsessed with pickled jalapenos. Will have to try your jalapeno poppers. If for not other reason than that the name is so much fun to say! 🙂

    Reply

  5. Shari Brooks says

    my favorite is a version of coleslaw called the Venezuelan Coleslaw salad. Also, a nice tall pitcher of chilled sangria goes a long way and is always a welcomed addition. Check out these recipes and more at: http://www.myjudythefoodie.com

    happy cooking!

    Reply

    • Andrea says

      Yum…sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing the link Shari!

      Reply

  6. Lori says

    Andrea, Thanks for a great blog and congrats to you and your hubby on your pregnancy! I have a question. Love the post on 30 BBQ sides, but my question is, with SO MANY cookbooks and web recipes, do you just stick with those 30 sides and rotate, or are you constantly looking for new recipes? I find the choices overwhelming and I am trying to “narrow down” my recipes to just my few favorites and choose from those. How do you handle this? Are you continuously looking for “better” recipes or when you need a fruit salad, do you just go with the one you have?

    Thanks for your time and love your blog!

    Lori M.

    Reply

    • Andrea says

      Thanks Lori — and GREAT questions!

      I definitely do NOT always stick to one specific recipe forever and ever. I’m always looking to try new things and experiment. However, if I’m in a hurry or pressed for time, I usually resort back to my “tried and true” family favorites because I know they will turn out!

      Also, it might be worth mentioning that I obviously do NOT make all of these things for every BBQ we have. I try to keep the menu as simple as possible and usually have one potato dish, one salad, one veggie, one fruit, one dessert, and one extra.

      When we host BBQ’s we often provide the drinks, buns, side dishes, and paper products and then ask our guests to “bring their own meat”. This significantly cuts down on the cost and assure everyone will get what they want.

      Backyard BBQ’s should not be stressful. Just keep things simple, be organized, make a few delicious side dishes, and your party will be a success!

      Reply

  7. Tara @ Unsophisticook says

    Thanks for sharing my Guacamole Salad, Andrea! I see some other recipes I’m gonna have to try.

    Reply

  8. Marci@OvercomingBusy says

    I have been looking for some new side dishes to throw in the mix. We grill almost daily in the summer. These are great! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

Easy BBQ Side Dishes -- 30+ Delicious Recipe Ideas! | Andrea Dekker (2024)

FAQs

What is the most popular side dish at a BBQ? ›

Most cookouts feature an assortment of a few essential BBQ sides: Corn on the cob, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, and pasta salad. We're not about to mess with perfection; because this barbecue side lineup is just that: perfect.

What is best dish to bring to a cookout? ›

Get the Classic Coleslaw recipe.
  • Carne Asada. ...
  • Antipasto Potato Salad. ...
  • Hawaiian Macaroni Salad. ...
  • Baked Beans. ...
  • Grilled Beer Brats. ...
  • Grilled Chicken Kebabs. ...
  • Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs. ...
  • Corn & Tomato Gnocchi Foil Packets.
Jun 7, 2023

What do you have at a BBQ potluck? ›

Easy summer potluck sides, mains and desserts to bring to your next barbecue
  1. Bob Armstrong Chili con Queso. ...
  2. Pimento potato salad. ...
  3. Old-fashioned macaroni pie. ...
  4. Carolina Gold rice pudding with strawberries. ...
  5. Classic deviled eggs. ...
  6. Buffalo chicken dip. ...
  7. Bourbon and Coke baked beans. ...
  8. Classic corn casserole with a kick.
Jul 10, 2022

What sides do you bring to a cookout? ›

10 Last Minute Summer Sides to Bring to Any Cookout
  1. Cowboy Beans. ...
  2. Easy Orzo Salad. ...
  3. Grilled Corn on the Cob with BBQ Butter. ...
  4. Southern-style Potato Salad. ...
  5. Quick and Easy New England-style Baked Beans. ...
  6. Fusilli Pasta Salad with Artichokes. ...
  7. Slaw with Lime Vinaigrette and Tortilla Strips. ...
  8. Texas Caviar.

What to bring to a BBQ easy? ›

7 Things to Bring to a Summer BBQ (That Are Way Better Than Chips!)
  • Fresh Fruit Platter. ...
  • Tasty Skewers With Fresh Veggies & Produce. ...
  • Margarita Pitchers. ...
  • Desserts From Yours Truly. ...
  • Quebrada Corn Muffins. ...
  • A Refreshing Salad (with or without pasta) ...
  • A Keg, or a Few Six Packs.

What can I take to a BBQ as a guest? ›

1. The Meat
  • Grilling the Perfect Steak. When you think about a BBQ, the first thing that comes to mind is a nice juicy steak. ...
  • Honey BBQ Chicken Bits. ...
  • Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewers. ...
  • Frozen Margarita. ...
  • Fresh Strawberry Wine Punch. ...
  • Beer. ...
  • Wine. ...
  • Crispy Fresh Coleslaw.

What side should I bring to a BBQ? ›

Classic Coleslaw: Creamy coleslaw with cabbage, carrots, and a tangy dressing is a BBQ staple. Potato Salad: A creamy or tangy potato salad with diced potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and a flavorful dressing. Baked Beans: Sweet and smoky baked beans with bacon or sausage are a BBQ favorite.

What do you bring the host at a barbecue? ›

Fresh flowers are the pretty much the be-all hostess gift for barbecues and backyard parties. If you're a little leery about bringing along flowers to a food gathering, enjoy this little story: Last year was my 22nd year to enjoy a lovely summer.

What to bring to BBQ last minute? ›

11 procrastinator-friendly last-minute foods to bring to a...
  1. Great garlic bread. Garlic bread is a simple side dish if you'll already be using the grill. ...
  2. A perfect pitcher of iced tea. ...
  3. Compound butter and cornbread. ...
  4. Baller baked beans. ...
  5. Easy sangria. ...
  6. Marinated cheese. ...
  7. Easy antipasto platter. ...
  8. Pie à la mode.
Jul 4, 2016

What do you bring to a BBQ party? ›

Here's our list of 7 things to bring to a summer BBQ (that are WAY better than chips!):
  • Fresh Fruit Platter. ...
  • Tasty Skewers With Fresh Veggies & Produce. ...
  • Margarita Pitchers. ...
  • Desserts From Yours Truly. ...
  • Quebrada Corn Muffins. ...
  • A Refreshing Salad (with or without pasta) ...
  • A Keg, or a Few Six Packs.

What is the most ordered side dish? ›

Probably the most popular side dish in America, French fries are a staple item on fast food menus and are often served with burgers, sandwiches, and hot dogs.

What appetizer to bring to a BBQ? ›

BBQ Appetizer Recipes
  • Smoked Cream Cheese Dip.
  • Cranberry Jalapeño Poppers.
  • Carne Guisada and Cheddar Empanadas.
  • Pulled Pork Empanadas.
  • Bacon Jam Pizza from Christie Vanover.
  • Bloody Mary Smoked Deviled Eggs from Jacqueline Duffin.
  • Bacon-Wrapped Sausage Poppers from Brad Prose.

What sides can you have at a BBQ? ›

BBQ side dishes
  • Quick coriander flatbreads. ...
  • BBQ cauliflower steaks and herb sauce. ...
  • Panzanella. ...
  • Corn with Parmesan and basil butter. ...
  • Courgette and asparagus ladders. ...
  • Chargrilled potato salad. ...
  • Garlic pesto bread. ...
  • BBQ onion steaks.

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