Side Dish Recipes

"He looked at me as if I were a side dish he hadn't ordered."Ring Lardner

Sometimes the appetizers and side dishes are the best things on a restaurant menu. You know, the killer crispy French fries at a good burger place. The amazing warm bread at a fine dining restaurant. And the mac and cheese that'll blow your socks off at a barbecue joint.

For most folks, meat's the thing when you're going for barbecue. Give me the brisket, pork and sausage…maybe a slice of white bread on the side. That's it! No sauce. No nuthin'. Just meat! For others, the beans, the cornbread, the taters, the mac and cheese…these are what make the meat taste even better. Side dishes are like the intermission. You get a break from the action, then when you go back to the main event, it's even more delicious than before!

Here are some of our favorite go-withs for classic American barbecue like sliced brisket, pulled or chopped pork, smoked ribs, and smoked sausage. You'll see all the standards here, including potato salad, cole slaw, cornbread, baked beans, and mac and cheese. Plus sides like guacamole and spicy cucumber salad for international barbecue. Mix it up and serve your barbecue with whatever floats your boat!

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Beans are an important part of American culinary heritage. This section contains the canon of American bean dishes, always found accompanying local versions of barbecue. Their roots are often in other cultures, but the recipes have been thoroughly Americanized. read more
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Make mom proud with this recipe for the perfect potato salad. No backyard BBQ is complete without potato salad but often times it can be lacking in flavor. The secret to this delicious potato salad recipe is the dressing, a simple blend of mayonnaise and sour cream that perfectly complements the other ingredients. read more
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German potato salad is sweet and sour, spicy, savory, rich, meaty, and warm all the way down. It's perfect for those chilly fall tailgates. Some folks think that the concept of potato salad originated in Germany, though this version isn't common in Germany, so it most likely was developed by German American immigrants. read more
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If you’re a fan of sweet potato fries then you’ll do backflips over this grill fried recipe featuring perfectly deep fried sweet potato sticks coated with smoked honey and garnished with deep fried sage. Even better, deep frying is done on the grill, doing away with the mess and lingering odor of deep frying indoors. read more
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Add some sweet heat to sandwiches, favorite side dishes, cornbread, and much more for this recipe for Cowboy Candy, a.k.a. candied jalapenos. This recipe is a refrigerator pickle, so all jars must be stored in the fridge. When you are done, save the syrup for us in DC Mumbo sauce, barbecue sauce, cocktails, and more. read more
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Looking for the perfect side dish for your next cookout? Nothing screams BBQ more than a sticky and smoky bowl of Boston baked beans. It was in Beantown that the notion of mixing dried beans with molasses was conceived. This flavorful recipe is an ode to the original while offering suggestions for amping them up. read more
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Texas pinto beans are served at almost every barbecue joint in Texas. Here's the recipe for this classic Texas comfort food. You can use just about any bean, but butter beans, pintos, or black-eyed beans (a.k.a. black-eyed peas) are the most common in Texas. read more
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Step up your next cookout with this recipe for the ultimate BBQ baked beans featuring a kiss of Bourbon. This will arguably result in the best baked beans you've ever had, certain to wow your guests. While there are a lot of ingredients, it's actually quick and easy to assemble then stew to perfection. read more
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Just say no to bland store bought coleslaw and hello to this delicious homemade recipe. This classic simple creamy coleslaw recipe is not only the perfect side dish for your next BBQ and grilling cookout but is also amazing on a Memphis and South Carolina style pulled pork sandwich or on a West Virginia style hot dog. read more
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Looking to step up your coleslaw game? Here is a simple recipe that is sure to impress your guests. In the South there are two kinds of slaw: Sweet-sour and creamy. Sweet-sour is vinegar and sugar based. Creamy is mayo or sour cream or buttermilk based (or a blend of them). This sweet-sour recipe is super easy to make. read more
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Here's the recipe for that great creamy cole slaw they sell in the delis, and the secret ingredient is sour cream mixed with mayonnaise. read more
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You will never look at corn the same way again after trying this recipe for the ultimate grill roasted corn on the cob recipe. While boiling and steaming are popular methods of cooking corn, the smokiness and caramelization achieved by grilling it directly over live fire. Butter and tarragon help round out the flavor. read more
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Add a delicious smokiness to your favorite party dip with this recipe for grilled guacamole. Grilled avocados, grilled limes, and grilled onion take ordinary guacamole and make it extraordinary for any backyard cookout, tailgating party, or couchgating gathering. Grilled guacamole is a perfect dip or burger topping. read more
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This griddle grilled corn cakes recipe is the perfect side dish for any backyard cookout. The recipe begins with fire roasting fresh ears of corn. The kernels are then removed and added to a light and airy batter that is grilled on a griddle until fluffy and golden brown. You can even customize your corn cakes! read more
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Southern biscuits are not as hard as some folks want to make them. These biscuits can be served nekkid, with butter and/or jam, with turkey and the fixins, with ham, smothered in sausage gravy, and as sandwiches. They can be used as a topping for fruit cobblers, pot pies, or chili baked in a Dutch oven. read more

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Dave Joachim

AmazingRibs.com Editor David Joachim has authored, edited, or collaborated on more than 45 cookbooks including four on barbecue and grilling, making him a perfect match for a website dedicated to the “Science of Barbecue and Grilling.” His Food Science column has appeared in "Fine Cooking" magazine since 2011. 

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