Top 5 Barbecue Sides

barbecue sides

If you’re looking for ideas for the best barbecue sides, you’ve come to the right place. From cornbread and baked beans to French fries and slaw, there are plenty of options for side dishes. There’s no need to choose just two; try combining a few of them to make a complete meal. Here are some barbecue side ideas that will make your dinner a hit! You can also make your own homemade pickles!

Homemade Pickles

If you have ever enjoyed the taste of homemade pickles, you probably know just how good they are. A simple jar of pickles is a great way to enjoy this summer’s best barbecue side dishes. You can add spices like dill and garlic to your pickles or add Cool Whip or sour cream to give them a unique taste. These tasty condiments last up to three weeks in the refrigerator, and can also be served with meats and fish.

If you prefer the taste of homemade pickles, you can find fresh cucumbers at your local farmer’s market. Once you’ve made them, pack them into mason jars and give them to your friends. They’ll thank you for taking the time to make them! As a bonus, you’ll have a conversation-starter with your friends and family as they savor them. Homemade pickles are also great for party favors, too.

One classic Southern side dish is Ambrosia fruit salad. Made with mandarin, pineapple, and coconut, this refreshing salad is sure to please any guest. A bowl of this is guaranteed to disappear at any barbecue party, so make sure to plan ahead and make plenty. They make a great accompaniment to summer salads, potato salads, and pasta salads! If you’d like to have a barbecue party and want to serve your guests some delicious homemade pickles, try making your own.

Homemade Pickles Step By Step

Homemade pickles are a delightful and easy-to-make treat that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Here’s a simple recipe for making homemade pickles:


  • Cucumbers (about 4-6, depending on size)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of whole peppercorns (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of dill seeds or fresh dill (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)


1. Prepare the Cucumbers
  • Wash the cucumbers thoroughly. If you like, you can cut them into your preferred shape, such as spears, slices, or whole.
2. Make the Pickling Solution
  • In a medium saucepan, combine water, white vinegar, granulated sugar, and kosher salt. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
3. Add Flavorings (Optional)
  • You can customize your pickles by adding optional ingredients like smashed garlic cloves, whole peppercorns, dill seeds, fresh dill, or red pepper flakes to the pickling solution. These ingredients will infuse their flavors into the pickles.
4. Pack the Cucumbers
  • Place the cucumber slices or spears in a clean glass jar or container. If you’ve added flavorings, distribute them evenly among the cucumbers.
5. Pour the Pickling Solution
  • Carefully pour the cooled pickling solution over the cucumbers, making sure they are completely covered.
6. Seal and Refrigerate
  • Seal the container with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the refrigerator.
7. Allow to Rest
  • Allow the pickles to rest in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before tasting. The longer they sit, the more flavor they’ll absorb.
8. Enjoy
  • Homemade pickles will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. Enjoy them as a crunchy and tangy snack, as a topping for burgers and sandwiches, or as a side dish with your favorite meals.

Homemade pickles are a great way to enjoy the crisp, tangy goodness of pickled cucumbers customized to your liking. Experiment with different flavorings and enjoy your homemade pickles whenever you like.

Creamy Macaroni Salad

This classic American side dish is delicious served with meat. If you are grilling up some steaks or burgers for the big game, try preparing a batch of creamy macaroni salad for the occasion. Macaroni salad is one of the lightest, most flavorful dishes you can make. If you’re not sure how to make it, here are some tips to make it stand out at your barbecue party:

To make this delicious pasta salad, prepare a large pot of salted water and cook the macaroni noodles according to the package directions plus 2 minutes. Drain and rinse the pasta before adding to the salad, as it may stick together if overcooked. To serve the salad, add the grated carrot and onion to the bowl. Mix the ingredients well. Then, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Another great summertime recipe is macaroni salad. Featuring fresh summer vegetables, cheese, and a creamy dressing, macaroni salad is an excellent side dish for any barbecue or picnic. Make sure to serve this salad to the kids and vegetarians in your group! Make it ahead of time and enjoy your summer barbeque! You’ll be glad you did. There’s no better way to get the kids to eat vegetables than by bringing them to a barbecue party.

Creamy Macaroni Salad Step By Step

Creamy macaroni salad is a classic side dish that’s perfect for picnics, barbecues, and gatherings. Here’s a simple recipe for making creamy macaroni salad:


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish (optional)
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)


1. Cook the Macaroni
  • Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process. Let it cool completely.
2. Prepare the Dressing
  • In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, white vinegar, sugar, salt, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
3. Combine Ingredients
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and cooled macaroni with the chopped hard-boiled eggs, celery, red onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and sweet pickle relish (if using).
4. Add the Dressing
  • Pour the dressing over the macaroni salad ingredients. Gently stir to coat everything evenly with the dressing.
5. Chill
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the macaroni salad for at least 1-2 hours before serving. This chilling time allows the flavors to meld.
6. Garnish and Serve
  • Just before serving, garnish the creamy macaroni salad with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Enjoy your creamy macaroni salad as a refreshing and flavorful side dish at your next meal. It’s a versatile dish that you can customize with your favorite ingredients, such as adding diced ham, cheese, or olives for extra flair.

German cucumber salad

Using a German cucumber salad recipe is a great way to jazz up your barbecue side dishes. Cucumbers can be thinly sliced to create this salad, and it tastes best when served chilled. Although the texture will be odd at first, it will thin out once chilled, and the cucumber juices will mix with the sour cream dressing. You can also serve this salad as a side dish for light lunches.

This German potato salad calls for cucumbers that have been thinly sliced. Fresh cucumbers are best, but you can also use a mandoline, a box grater with a slicing side, or a food processor with a thin slice attachment. If you’re using a mandoline, make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands while cutting the cucumbers. You can also use a chopping board or a sharp knife.

A German cucumber salad is a creamy and refreshing side dish that pairs well with grilled or roasted meats, fish, and other hearty foods. It’s a perfect side dish to any barbecue, deli platter, or summer picnic. The sour cream dressing is made with sugar and white vinegar. Dill adds a distinctive flavor to this salad, but dried dill works well too. It’s important to chill this salad well. It can last up to a day in the fridge. Just make sure to stir it before serving it.

German Cucumber Salad Step By Step

German cucumber salad, also known as “Gurkensalat,” is a light and refreshing salad that’s commonly served as a side dish in German cuisine. Here’s a simple recipe for making German cucumber salad:


  • 2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (such as sunflower or canola oil)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


1. Prepare the Cucumbers and Onions
  • Wash the cucumbers and peel them if desired. Thinly slice the cucumbers and red onion. You can use a mandoline slicer for even, paper-thin slices.
2. Season with Salt
  • Place the sliced cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Sprinkle them with a pinch of salt. Toss to combine. Let them sit for about 15-20 minutes to release excess moisture.
3. Prepare the Dressing
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, vegetable oil, sugar, and black pepper. Adjust the sugar and black pepper to taste. If you prefer a less tangy flavor, you can add more oil.
4. Drain and Rinse
  • After the cucumbers and onions have released some moisture, drain them in a colander. Rinse them with cold water to remove the excess salt.
5. Combine Ingredients
  • Place the drained cucumbers and onions back in the bowl. Add the chopped fresh dill.
6. Add the Dressing
  • Pour the dressing over the cucumber mixture. Gently toss everything to ensure that the cucumbers and onions are evenly coated with the dressing.
7. Chill
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the German cucumber salad for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld.
8. Serve
  • Serve the German cucumber salad chilled as a refreshing side dish. It pairs well with grilled meats, sausages, or as a light accompaniment to a variety of German dishes.

German cucumber salad is a wonderful addition to your summer menu. It’s both crisp and tangy, making it a great choice for warm weather. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your liking and customize it with variations like adding a touch of sour cream or yogurt for creaminess. Enjoy!

Ambrosia Salad

Serve an Ambrosia salad as a side dish to your next barbecue! This delicious and easy salad can be prepared in advance, and kept refrigerated overnight. This side dish is a fun summer addition to any potluck! It is traditionally served during holidays, such as the summer solstice. It is a festive side dish that can be made using pre-made ingredients. If you want to make the salad more quickly, use fruit cocktail or canned ingredients.

The classic Ambrosia salad includes coconut. Choose unsweetened coconut, and shred it into small pieces. Dry coconut will obstruct the salad’s texture. If you can’t find fresh coconut, you can use canned coconut. This option is not widely available, but you can use it if you like the texture of canned coconut. It will work just as well as fresh coconut. Ambrosia salads make delicious barbecue sides, and are a great no-bake dessert as well!

Ambrosia salad is best served fresh, although it can be refrigerated for up to a few days. You should keep leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container. It is best eaten within a day or two, but leftovers can be frozen and kept for up to a week in the fridge. If you don’t plan on serving the salad immediately after preparation, serve it chilled and enjoy.

Ambrosia Salad Step By Step

Ambrosia salad is a classic American fruit salad that combines a mix of fruit, usually with a tropical flair, and often includes marshmallows and coconut. Here’s a simple recipe for making ambrosia salad:


  • 2 cups canned pineapple chunks, drained
  • 2 cups mandarin orange segments, drained
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries, drained and halved
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • A pinch of salt (optional)


1. Prepare the Fruit
  • Drain the canned pineapple chunks and mandarin orange segments. You can also use fresh fruit if preferred, but canned fruit is more traditional for ambrosia salad.
2. Combine Ingredients
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the pineapple chunks, mandarin orange segments, mini marshmallows, shredded sweetened coconut, and maraschino cherries. If you’re using pecans, add them as well.
3. Add the Creamy Mixture
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the sour cream and whipped topping. You can add a pinch of salt if you like to balance the sweetness.
4. Combine and Chill
  • Gently fold the creamy mixture into the fruit mixture, ensuring all the ingredients are well coated with the cream. Be careful not to crush the fruit or deflate the marshmallows.
5. Chill
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the ambrosia salad for at least 2 hours or until it’s well chilled. This allows the flavors to meld.
6. Serve
  • Before serving, you can garnish the ambrosia salad with additional coconut, maraschino cherries, or a sprinkle of chopped pecans, if desired.

Ambrosia salad is a sweet, creamy, and fruity delight that’s perfect for potlucks, picnics, and as a side dish for holiday meals. It’s a flexible recipe, so feel free to customize it with your favorite fruits and extras like crushed pineapple, bananas, or even a dash of fruit juice for extra flavor. Enjoy!

Collard Greens

Cooking collard greens is a great way to include a traditional Southern staple in your barbecue spread. This quick recipe takes just 30 minutes to prepare and is a great side dish for any barbeque. Try it with bacon for even more flavor! To make this barbecue side dish even better, use bacon! You can also add scallions to the mix for a little extra flair. And if you’re not a big fan of bacon, you can always use another type of meat to serve along with the greens.

Collard greens can be eaten raw, cooked or roasted. If you’re serving them to guests, make sure they’re cooked thoroughly and without excessively adding salt. Using a barbecue sauce like King’s Delight can help make your side dish a hit! You can also marinate collard greens in a variety of different flavors before grilling them. The most important thing to remember is to cook them for a minimum of one hour, so they don’t break down in the barbecue.

To prepare collard greens for grilling, you need to wash them and wipe them dry. Heat a pan over medium heat. Add the bacon, onion, and garlic and cook until tender and fragrant. After that, add the collard greens and grill them for a few minutes on each side. Remove the collard greens from the grill and allow them to cool. Season them with salt to taste and serve.

Collard Greens Step By Step

Collard greens are a hearty and nutritious leafy green vegetable that is often associated with Southern cuisine. They are known for their slightly bitter flavor and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Here’s a basic recipe for cooking collard greens:


  • 1 bunch of collard greens (approximately 1 to 1.5 pounds)
  • 4-6 cups of water
  • 2-3 slices of bacon or ham hock (optional)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or hot sauce (optional, for heat)


1. Prepare the Collard Greens
  • Wash the collard greens thoroughly under cold running water. Remove the tough stems and ribs by folding the leaf in half and cutting along the center vein. Discard the stems and chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
2. Boil the Collard Greens
  • In a large pot, bring 4-6 cups of water to a boil. If desired, you can add bacon or a ham hock for extra flavor. Boil the collard greens in the water for about 10-15 minutes until they are tender. The exact cooking time may vary based on the size and age of the collard greens.
3. Drain and Cool
  • Drain the boiled collard greens in a colander and rinse them with cold water. This stops the cooking process and helps retain their vibrant green color.
4. Sauté the Onion and Garlic
  • In a large skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté until they become translucent and fragrant.
5. Add the Collard Greens
  • Add the boiled and cooled collard greens to the skillet with the sautéed onions and garlic. Stir to combine.
6. Season
  • Season the collard greens with salt and black pepper to taste. You can also add red pepper flakes or hot sauce for extra heat, depending on your preference.
7. Sauté and Serve
  • Sauté the collard greens for about 10-15 minutes or until they are tender and flavorful. Continue to stir occasionally.
  • Taste the collard greens and adjust the seasoning if needed. Remove them from heat and serve hot.

Collard greens make a delicious and nutritious side dish, often served with traditional Southern dishes like fried chicken, cornbread, and black-eyed peas. You can also customize this basic recipe by adding additional ingredients like bacon, onions, or vinegar for a unique flavor twist. Enjoy your collard greens as a hearty and healthy addition to your meal!

Caprese Salad

You can make a delicious and simple recipe for a Caprese salad as a side dish for your next barbecue. This salad is perfect for summer and features bright flavors, a hearty pasta base, and a sweet and tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Best of all, this salad does not require any on-site preparation and is sure to please everyone. Just remember to keep the dressing to a minimum so you don’t waste it.

To get a truly authentic Caprese salad experience, you can use extra virgin olive oil. Make sure you buy the best quality olive oil. You want it to be bright green with a peppery flavor, so look for an oil that is extra virgin. Olive oil is more than just empty calories, and will give the salad a more savory flavor. In addition, you should also use large grain salt for an extra kick of flavor.

When grilling tomatoes, don’t forget to season them with salt and pepper. They can be grilled on a grill pan or barbecue. Slice the tomatoes 1/4″ thick or leave them whole if you prefer. Brush the tomatoes with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve the Caprese salad hot or cold, alongside your favorite barbecue entree. It’s the perfect summertime side dish!

Caprese Salad Step By Step

Caprese salad is a classic Italian dish that’s simple, elegant, and bursting with fresh flavors. It’s traditionally made with ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar (optional), and seasoned with salt and black pepper. Here’s how to make a basic Caprese salad:


  • 2-3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (mozzarella di bufala or Fior di Latte)
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper


1. Slice the Tomatoes and Mozzarella
  • Wash and dry the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese. Slice the tomatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Slice the mozzarella cheese into similar-sized rounds.
2. Assemble the Salad
  • On a large platter, arrange the tomato and mozzarella slices in an alternating pattern. You can also stack them for a more visually appealing presentation.
3. Add Fresh Basil
  • Place fresh basil leaves on top of each tomato and mozzarella slice. You can use whole leaves or chiffonade the basil by stacking the leaves, rolling them tightly, and slicing thinly.
4. Drizzle with Olive Oil
  • Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the salad. Use a good-quality olive oil for the best flavor.
5. Season with Salt and Pepper
  • Sprinkle the salad with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
6. Optional Balsamic Drizzle
  • If desired, you can drizzle balsamic vinegar over the salad. This adds a sweet and tangy element. A balsamic reduction or glaze is another option for a thicker, more concentrated balsamic flavor.
7. Serve
  • Serve the Caprese salad immediately. It’s best enjoyed fresh, when the ingredients are at their peak flavor.

Caprese salad is a delightful appetizer or side dish that celebrates the flavors of fresh, ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fragrant basil. It’s perfect for summer and pairs well with a variety of Italian dishes. Feel free to customize the salad with variations like adding a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, drizzling with pesto, or garnishing with pine nuts. Enjoy!

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