So, you’ve smoked your brisket and grilled your chicken and burgers. Now what? Delicious as they all are, they will taste better if you prepare some sides to go with them. In this article, we are going to give you our top 20 best barbecue side dishes. There is so much you can make with simple ingredients and we hope you will like and want to make some of our choices.

Cold Side Dishes

Guacamole

This is an easy dip to make and one which most people love. All you have to do is mash up some avocados and add salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro, garlic, and chili powder. Slice up some red sweet onions and tomatoes and add them to the mix. Squeeze lemon juice over it to stop it going brown too quickly. Guacamole is great served with tortilla chips or sliced peppers, carrots, and cucumber. It also gives your burgers a different flavor if you add it to the buns.

Pineapple Salsa

We’ve probably all add Mexican salsa which is comprised of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and chili, but why not ring in the changes and make pineapple salsa. The only hard bit is slicing the pineapple, but once you’ve done that, chop it into small pieces. Add sliced bell peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro. Season and squeeze some lime juice over it. Your guests won’t want to have ordinary salsa again.

Chunky Buffalo Blue Cheese Dip

If you’re looking for a dip to slather over your chicken wings, this is the one to go for. It also goes well with crudités. In a bowl whisk together sour cream, yogurt, hot sauce, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. How hot a sauce you choose is up to your taste buds and those of your guests. Into the mix, stir in crumbled blue cheese and scallions and you’re ready to serve. 

Carrot and Cashew Nut Coleslaw

Just about everybody loves coleslaw, right? We have come up with a variation which we are sure you will like. All you have to do is grate carrots and cabbage and slice onions and celery. Mix these and then add parsley, cashews, seasoning, and mayonnaise. It has an extra crunch which makes it stand out from the crowd.

Potato Salad

Potato salad is another salad that usually goes down well. A simple way to make it is to chop potatoes into small chunks and boil them until they are just done. Leave them to cool down and then add slices of egg and mayo. You could also put in small slices of apple or pickled vegetables like gherkins. For an alternative dressing make a vinaigrette out of oil, vinegar, mustard, and basil leaves. Pesto is also a good dressing.

Chili Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Mozarella

This is a delicious dish that can be made in 15 minutes. Roast some tomatoes on the vine with red chilis, garlic, and fresh thyme. Drizzle over olive oil and season with salt. Roast at 400F until the skins start to split. Leave to cool and then add the mozzarella and the juices from the roasting pan. You’ll be having people coming up for second helpings.

Summer Pesto Pasta

Pasta salads are usually extremely popular so we couldn’t leave this one out. First, cook a pasta of your choice. While it is cooking, grill sliced vegetables such as zucchini, squash, eggplant, and bell peppers. When it has all cooled down, mix them with a jar of pesto. If you really want to be appreciated, make your pesto.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

What is easier than opening a can of cooked chickpeas? Mix them up with chopped cucumber and bell peppers, sliced red onions, olives, and feta. What goes well with this salad is a lemon-parsley vinaigrette. To make this, combine olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, and red pepper flakes. It’s best to do this in a jar and shake to mix. Pour over the salad just before serving.

Caprese Salad

This is also easy to make and is very refreshing. Slice some large tomatoes and put them on a platter alternating with slices of mozzarella. Drizzle olive oil over the dish and put some basil leaves on top. For a change, you could also add slices of avocado.

Antipasto Salad

Mix salami, pepperoni, tomatoes, artichokes, mozzarella, and lettuce. Make a vinaigrette by shaking together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Season and pour over the salad.

Greek Salad

Nothing smacks of hot sunny days on the beach than a Greek salad. It’s simple to make and is entirely delicious. All you have to do is slice tomatoes, cucumber, onions, and peppers and add cubes of feta cheese to the mix. Sprinkle on dried oregano and drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

 Hot Side Dishes

Grilled Vegetables

You can grill almost any vegetable on your barbecue. Why not try asparagus, carrots, zucchini, or bell peppers. Spice them up with a harissa paste and grill until the vegetables have caramelized. They are good served with yogurt or a creamy cheese dip.

Grilled Haloumi

Halloumi is a semi-soft and salty cheese from Cyprus which doesn’t melt on the grill. All you have to do is slice it and grill it for about 30 seconds on each side. You will end up with a deliciously crisp exterior and a warm slightly gooey interior. You could serve it as a main dish with couscous and salad for vegetarians in your group, but it also makes a great starter for meat-eaters. Slice some beefeater tomatoes and grill them. Place the halloumi on top and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

The great thing about this dish is that you don’t have to par-boil the sweet potatoes before grilling them. All you have to do is cut the potatoes into ¼” rounds and top them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill them for a few minutes on each side and serve with some Greek yogurt. A fiery relish goes well with them. To make this, soak diced red onions in lemon juice and then mix in lemon zest, chili pepper, and fresh mint. It’s up to you how much chili pepper you put in.

Baked Feta

This is a simple, but delicious dish which should go down well with your family or guests. What you have to do first is fry some sliced peppers and onions until soft. Then get a large piece of feta and put it in foil with the peppers and onions and sliced tomatoes. Grill for about 15 minutes and you should have some gooey feta to enjoy. For an extra kick, add chili powder when frying the peppers and onions.

Mexican Grilled Corn

Corn on the Cob is always a good choice for a barbecue, but make sure you have plenty of serviettes as it can get a bit messy. In this recipe you will need to grill the cobs for around 10 minutes, turning them now and then. While they are grilling, make a sauce from smoked paprika, salt, chili powder, mayo, and lime juice. Pour this over the cobs in a shallow dish and sprinkle with Mexican cotija cheese.

Vegetable Kebabs

These are great as a side or a main for vegetarians so make plenty. What vegetables you use is totally up to you. Slice up eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, and bell peppers for example. Marinade them first so that they get a distinct and delicious flavor. Basil, lemon, and oregano is a good marinade. To make this, whisk up grated lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, chopped basil, and oregano. Leave in the fridge for about an hour before cooking.

Stuffed Peppers

This again makes a great side dish or a main dish for vegetarians. Vegetarians should be happy with a few side dishes to make up their meals. In this recipe, you need to slice bell peppers and fill with cooked rice, sliced mushrooms, sweetcorn, and zucchini. You could use couscous instead of rice. It’s a nice touch to sprinkle grated strong cheese on top to give a bit of a kick. Wrap the peppers in foil and put on the grill for about 20 minutes.

Campfire Baked Beans

A barbecue wouldn’t be complete without baked beans of some sort. Here we have a recipe that most meat-eaters would die for. First, fry up some bacon slices. Take them out of the pan and fry sliced onions and green pepper for 8 minutes. Stir in the bacon, with tinned baked beans, ketchup, molasses, dry mustard, and seasoning.  Heat up for a few minutes. If you have vegetarians at your gathering, do two pots, one without the bacon and one with. They’re sure to go down a storm.

Filled Jacket Potatoes

Jacket potatoes made on a barbecue are always popular as they have delicious crispy skins. If you want to save time, start them off n the microwave and then put them on the grill to crisp up. You can provide all sorts of fillings. Perhaps you could make tuna mayo, mushrooms in a spicy sauce, or egg mayo. For something quick and easy provide different flavors of grated cheese and baked beans.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article has given you food for thought and that you will be tempted to try some of our delicious recipes. Have a great summer eating al fresco.