sides for ribs

23 Best Side Dishes for Ribs | What Goes With BBQ Ribs

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Since the sun is up and the summer season is finally here, I am sure you are excited to start hosting your family backyard bbq get-togethers! Sure, you can simply just serve some juicy ribs along with a few bottles of beer, but if you are looking for more food to serve your guests, then here are the 23 best sides perfect for bbq ribs! 

sides for ribs

What Goes with Ribs?

You can’t imagine how much I love that melt-in-your-mouth, succulent ribs!

But what really makes the whole rib experience even better? The sides, of course! (Besides a stack of napkins, obviously!)

You’d be surprised at the variety of flavorful side dishes you can pair with ribs. Think crispy fries or some good ol’ baked beans – the options are endless!

Anyway, here are my absolute favorite delicious side dishes to have with ribs. Give ’em a try and let me know which one steals your heart.

23. Grandma’s Macaroni Salad (Quick & Easy Pasta Salad Recipe)

Numerous methods exist for preparing macaroni salad, yet nothing compares to the version crafted by your grandmother!

This timeless accompaniment is ideal for pairing with barbecued dishes, roasted meats, or even as a standalone snack. If you’re eager to indulge in the quintessential macaroni salad, sample this uncomplicated yet exceptionally easy recipe.

22. Honey Lime Grilled Corn

The aroma of corn grilling epitomizes the essence of summer. Moreover, it’s the most effortless side dish you’ll prepare all season. After achieving a nice char on a hot grill, succulent corn ears are coated with an enticing honey-lime butter that pairs wonderfully with grilled sweet potatoes, cornbread, or even grilled skirt steak.

You can also transform this recipe into skillet corn. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter in a sizable skillet and incorporate freshly shucked or frozen corn (roughly 3 cups). Cook over medium-high heat until the corn kernels begin to char, taking approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and mix in a few tablespoons of honey-lime butter.

Opting for shucked corn is undoubtedly more convenient, but if you have unshucked corn at hand, explore our viral hack for the simplest corn shucking method.

21. Lolita’s Mac and Cheese

In addition to their Creamy Kale Salad, we were eager to obtain Lolita’s spectacular and indulgent Mac & Cheese recipe. The dish’s irresistible quality is attributed to several factors, including four distinct cheeses, cream, and caramelized garlic and onion. (While the restaurant caramelizes the onion separately, we’ve simplified the procedure a bit.)

Although 8 oz. of pasta might initially appear meager, it enables the other components to truly stand out. You’ll understand once you’ve experienced it for yourself. Also, kindly grate the cheese freshly! Pre-shredded store-bought cheese simply won’t provide this dish with the justice it deserves.

20. Easy Tropical Fruit Salad Recipe – Serve with Ribs!

This Hawaiian Tropical Fruit Salad Recipe is truly incredible! It’s the finest fruit salad, featuring a delightful honey-lime glaze that keeps you craving more. This effortless, fresh fruit salad will be a hit at your next summertime barbecue.

This Hawaiian Fruit Salad Recipe is one of those dishes that, once prepared, becomes a staple! The honey and lime infuse the fruit with an additional burst of exceptional flavor.

Whenever I attend a potluck or cookout, I never fail to bring this delectable fruit salad and potato salad. It consistently receives rave reviews, and guests can’t help but scrape the bowl clean.

The taste is the essence of summer! The honey-lime dressing imparts the perfect touch of sweetness. This salad boasts unparalleled flavor and is a simple recipe to execute.

19. Easy Twice Baked Potatoes in only 4 steps!

Double-Baked Potatoes are incredibly straightforward and serve as an excellent accompaniment to any meal. If you’re capable of making mashed potatoes, you can effortlessly whip up these speedy double-baked potatoes.

Despite their sophisticated appearance, Double-Baked Potatoes are quite simple to prepare. They demand minimal effort and can be created in a short amount of time.

If you have experience making mashed potatoes or pan-fried potatoes, then crafting double-baked potatoes will be a breeze. Garnish them with all your preferred toppings for a satisfying and scrumptious side dish.

18. Yellow Squash Casserole – Amazing Side Dish for BBQ Ribs

Brimming with delicate summer squash and interspersed with crunchy crackers and gooey cheese, this yellow squash casserole is the epitome of comfort food! Ideal for utilizing an abundance of tender summer squash, it’s certain to be a crowd-pleaser at any outdoor gathering or barbecue. Paired with an assortment of summer vegetable dishes, it makes the perfect companion to fried chicken, grilled pork chops, or succulent barbecue ribs!

Which squash is the optimal choice for squash casserole? This particular casserole recipe shines with summer squash, specifically yellow crookneck squash. Nonetheless, the recipe is also compatible with zucchini, a close relative of the yellow crookneck squash that shares its tenderness. This recipe is not designed for denser winter squash varieties like butternut or acorn. Should you have winter squash available, consider trying our butternut squash casserole recipe as an alternative.

17. Southern Potato Salad – Great Side Dish for BBQ

Potatoes hold a significant place in our culinary repertoire. Be it fried, baked, mashed, or roasted, they all find a spot on our plates. However, this Southern potato salad earns exceptional praise for its velvety dressing, delightful add-ins (hello, hard-boiled eggs!), and scrumptious consistency. It is undoubtedly an ideal side dish to bring to a cookout.

First and foremost, you need not be Southern to create this potato salad, and no two Southerners prepare it identically! This rendition incorporates the quintessential array of ingredients, featuring a smooth, mayo-based dressing enlivened with apple cider vinegar and a substantial helping of sweet pickle relish to harmonize the tastes.

Which potatoes are most suitable for potato salad? The answer relies on the specific potato salad you aim to prepare! Distinct potato varieties lead to varying consistencies: Waxy potatoes like new potatoes maintain their form better when cooked, making them ideal for German and French-style potato salads tossed in a lighter, vinaigrette-style dressing; Yukon Gold and russet potatoes yield a more delicate and fluffy result. Combined with a mayo-based dressing, they’ll crumble, culminating in an all-encompassing creamy potato salad.

16. Green Bean Fries (with 3 Dipping Sauce Options!)

Savor the delightful taste of Crispy Green Bean Fries, baked in the oven or air fried for a wholesome and tasty treat. Enjoy them with three delectable dipping sauces – green goddess, honey mustard, and creamy sriracha. A concealed ingredient enhances their flavor!

Green Bean Fries have gained popularity as a starter dish in numerous eateries. I believe one could easily indulge in these delightful bites and become satisfied before the main dish arrives.

Thus, I embarked on a journey to create a healthier version of these crunchy green beans at home. To achieve this, I opted for the oven instead of a deep fryer and incorporated a covert ingredient for that extra touch – Ritz crackers.

Encasing the beans in crumbled crackers yields an irresistible crispy texture that makes the original version pale in comparison. To elevate their taste further, I’ve added savory parmesan cheese and garlic to the blend.

This green bean finger food appetizer is bound to become a cherished favorite in your household!

15. Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

Discover the ultimate technique to prepare the most delicious Instant Pot Corn on the Cob. This innovative corn recipe employs a distinctive, hidden component to ensure your corn is delectable, soft, and scrumptious!

In my childhood, my mother would consistently include a small amount of sugar in the water while cooking corn on the cob. She claimed it enhanced the corn’s sweetness and taste. Now, I am adapting that approach and bringing it up to date with the Instant Pot.

Utilizing a pressure cooker for corn on the cob preparation is the most effortless method to achieve consistently flawless corn. Additionally, it requires no constant attention, so you don’t have to keep an eye on the pot of water to prevent it from overflowing. Moreover, you can cook as many corn ears simultaneously as your Instant Pot can accommodate. The cooking duration will be constant, regardless of the quantity.

Preparing a meal for two? Simply place two corn ears in your cooker. Expecting a large gathering? My 6-quart Instant Pot can comfortably hold at least six corn ears.

14. The BEST Homemade Cowboy Baked Beans Recipe

The BEST Homemade Cowboy baked beans recipe with step by step instructions for baking in the oven, in your crock pot, or over the campfire.

Check it here.

13. Mexican Macaroni Salad – Side Dish for Ribs Recipe

This Mexican Macaroni Salad recipe is a very versatile summer salad perfect for picnics and barbecues as a tasty side dish.

Check it here.

12. Mac & Cheese Muffins – Best Side for Ribs

Basically every kid loves Mac & cheese, and these Mac & Cheese muffins are a fun twist on the classic macaroni and cheese recipe to make an even more kid friendly meal.

Check it here.

11. Honeydew Cucumber Salad – Healthy Side Dish for Ribs

This Honeydew Cucumber Salad is the perfect summer side salad – cool and refreshing it pairs well with so mean meals!

Check it here.

10. Crispy Sweet Potato Wedges with Herbed Yogurt Dip

These crispy sweet potato wedges are crisp outside and soft on the inside, making them perfect for dipping in a delicious herbed yogurt dip.

Check it here.

9. Rudy’s BBQ Creamed Corn {In The Crockpot} 

Skip the canned creamed corn and make this delicious copycat Rudy’s BBQ creamed corn instead! This creamed corn is so easy to make in your crockpot or slow cooker.

Check it here.

8. Crockpot Baked Beans with Canned Beans – Vegetable Ribs Side Dish

These crockpot baked beans are so easy to make with canned beans. They’re perfect for a summer barbecue or a potluck!

Check it here.

7. KFC Coleslaw Recipe – Easy Side Dish for Ribs

This KFC Coleslaw Recipe is as close as you can get without actually ordering it from the restaurant directly. The taste is simply perfect. Great dinner side dish or potluck recipe for summer gatherings, or brunches and luncheons all year round. It’s so good!

Check it here.

6. Classic Macaroni Salad

With simple ingredients and a homemade creamy dressing, this Macaroni Salad with Egg is truly a tried and true recipe. Perfect for summer potlucks and great for making in advance.

Check it here.

5. Creamy Ranch Mashed Potatoes – Quick and Easy Side Dish Recipe for Ribs

These creamy ranch mashed potatoes with real butter and fresh herbs are just what you’ve been looking for. With minimal ingredients and prep time, this side dish comes together quickly and leaves you reaching for more.

Check it here.

4. Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese – Macaroni and Cheese Side Dish fro BBQ Ribs 

This creamy instant pot mac and cheese is easy to prepare and on the table quickly. Ready in less than 30 minutes, it’s a one pot meal that is creamy, cheesy and absolutely delicious. A dish the whole family will love!

Check it here.

3. Spicy Cole Slaw – Best Side Dish for BBQ Pork Ribs

Spicy cole slaw. Why is this not a thing? Why just have the boring, standard cole slaw when you can make this spicy number for a change? I honestly couldn’t stop eating it the first time I made it!

Check it here.

2. Easy Homemade Crispy Air Fryer Potato Wedges

Crispy Air Fryer Potato Wedges are a tasty and easy side dish and appetizer. Tender on the inside and golden and crunchy on the outside, kids and adults will love these potatoes that can be seasoned with your favorite flavors.

Check it here.

1. Scalloped Corn Recipe – Easy Side for Ribs

Scalloped Corn is a delicious southern recipe that is a true family favorite. Perfect for holiday gatherings, Sunday suppers, and bringing to potlucks.

Check it here.BBQ ribs sides

sides for ribs

23 Best Side Dishes for Ribs | What Goes With BBQ Ribs

Elevate your BBQ game with our ultimate guide to the best side dishes for ribs! Discover 23 mouthwatering options to take your ribs to the next level!


  • Homemade Cowboy Baked Beans Recipe
  • Mexican Macaroni Salad Recipe
  • Mac & Cheese Muffins
  • Honeydew Cucumber Salad


  1. Choose any Sides for BBQ Ribs from the post that you like
  2. Click on the link below the photo to get the full recipes and instructions.
  3. Try the best Sides for BBQ Ribs and share your photo under my pin on Pinterest!

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