What to Serve with BBQ Ribs: 15 Best Side Dishes


In Brief: What to Serve with BBQ Ribs?

The best side dishes to pair with BBQ Ribs are- Classic Mac n Cheese, Corn Fritters, Herbed Potato Salad, French Green Bean Salad, Creamy Macaroni Salad, Cheese Grits, Fruit Salad, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Crispy Hush Puppies, Coleslaw, Cornbread Muffins, Broccoli Salad, Cucumber and Tomato Salad, Eggplant Fries and Arroz Verde.

In this post, we are going to talk about the 15 best side dishes that you can serve with those delectable BBQ Ribs.

I have personally tried my hand at these recipes and they optimally complement the ribs!

Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Classic Mac n Cheese

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 160
Total preparation time– 40 min

A Southern classic, a side of Mac n Cheese can never go wrong!

Fairly easy to make, creamy Macaroni and Cheese pairs perfectly with meaty bbq ribs and is an absolute crowd-puller.

Want to make the pasta extra creamy?

Just pour in some cream cheese or evaporated milk.

Alternatively, you can use pasta’s own starch in order to prepare a thick creamy sauce.

Once drained, let the pasta soak up some water and at the same time release a little starch into the mixture .

Plus, a generous topping of breadcrumbs will make it extra crunchy!

Watch how The Cooking Foodie makes a classic Mac n Cheese:

2. Corn Fritters

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 377
Total preparation time– 30 min

A sweet and savory snack, corn fritters are crispy and golden brown on the outside and tender and spongy on the inside.

They taste divine with that bbq sauce on your plate!

To prevent your fritters from getting all soggy, stick to fresh corn because is it dry and add some parmesan cheese to the batter, it gets super crispy upon melting .

I bet you will love the taste!

Here’s a detailed recipe by Shilpa Shetty Kundra:

3. Herbed Potato Salad

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 143
Total preparation time– 25 min

Nothing pairs as good as a rich potato salad with tender bbq ribs.

A herbed potato salad is no exception, the tangy tint and the goodness of herbs make it an incredible side to bbq ribs.

Once drained, reserve the starched potato water and then blend with it the herbs and olive oil.

Toss some fresh lemon juice instead of vinegar and you will be ready with a super-fresh herbed potato salad in no time !

Do check out a super quick recipe here:

4. French Green Bean Salad

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 92
Total preparation time – 15 min

This French Green Bean Salad is the right healthy complement you are looking for!

Equally rich and flavorful as bbq ribs, this side works like a charm and comes together in no longer than 15 minutes.

Haricots verts are the best bet for this recipe but if you can’t find them, use the thinnest green beans that are available as an alternative .

After blanching, you just need to toss the beans in a Dijon dressing.

Brace yourselves for a savory and tangy flavor which is hard to resist!

Here’s an interesting recipe with mustard dressing:

5. Creamy Macaroni Salad

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 194
Total preparation time– 35 min

A creamy macaroni salad is not only refreshing but also quite affordable to get together.

The wet and incredibly creamy texture provides a good contrast to the meaty ribs.

It is prepared with cooked macaroni pasta, capsicum, bell peppers ,carrot, red onions, chives and celery tossed in a thick creamy sauce made with mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, garlic, dijon mustard along with salt and pepper to taste .

Here’s how Food Wishes makes this creamy salad:

6. Cheese Grits

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 126
Total preparation time – 25 min

Looking for an effortless but impactful side? Go for cheese grits!

Taking less than half an hour to prepare, they will give you a both cozy and satisfying feeling when eaten along bbq ribs .

Additionally, you can throw in some fresh corn into the side for added sweetness.

More the cheese, more the goodness!

Here we have a super quick recipe for you:

7. Fruit Salad

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 50
Total preparation time – 15 min

Make this filling fruit salad an accompanying sweet treat with bbq ribs and your guests will praise you like anything.

Pick up some fresh fruits and toss in some syrupy honey, orange juice, and lemon zest to make your fruit salad reach new heights.

This is how Preppy Kitchen prepares the salad with a honey lime dressing:

8. Grilled Corn on the Cob

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 94
Total preparation time – 15 min

Classic corn on the cob slathered with butter and spices makes an ideal summery side to the fiery ribs.

No doubt, Corn on the cob tastes good with plain butter but for a fun twist, blend the butter with some fresh basil, pepper and salt .

Check out the recipe by The Domestic Geek here:

9. Crispy Hush Puppies

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 296
Total preparation time– 20 min

Southern-style Hush puppies are not only crispy but downright delicious!

They are made with a deep-fried cornmeal dough and they go really well with barbecue ribs.

Both white and yellow cornmeal work well for making crispy hush puppies but the white one is a bit sweeter.

Alternatively, if you fancy a sweet side, add a little more sugar and you are good to go .

Here is a quick and simple recipe:

10. Coleslaw

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 169
Total preparation time– 25 min

A bright, vivid and fresh as ever coleslaw is the perfect partner to meat bbq ribs.

Packed with the richness of colorful cabbage, fresh corn, tomatoes and tart it is finished with a fine dressing of lemon juice, garlic, fresh coriander leaves and mustard.

While coleslaw once prepared tastes sweet in itself due to the cabbage and carrots, you can eliminate sugar from the recipe .

Check out this salad recipe by Kunal Kapur:

11. Cornbread Muffins

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 280
Total preparation time– 30 min

Creamy and moist, Cornbread Muffins are a terrific side to savory barbecue ribs that soak up all the sauce at once.

What’s even better is that the recipe gets together in 30 minutes and the delish muffins can be stored for days!

Remember not to bake for more than 17 minutes and serve them warm with butter and syrupy honey.

Do have a look at this amazing recipe by Bon Appétit:

12. Broccoli Salad

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 160
Total preparation time– 25 min

A light and fresh bowl of broccoli combines the richness and deliciousness just the right way.

The traditional salad recipe consists of sugar, mayonnaise, bacon, and cheese.

But if you fancy a healthier version of the same, mix the sugar, cheese and meat altogether .

It also includes a creamy and tangy dressing which adds manifold to the fresh flavor.

Here’s an awesome recipe for you:

13. Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 18
Total preparation time– 10 min

This is a delightful summer salad that packs loads of fresh flavor.

Super easy to prepare, it comes together in less than 15 minutes and gives a healthy and refreshing complement to the barbeque ribs.

All you have to do is slice a couple of fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and onions and finish with a bright and light dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and herbs.

Grape tomatoes tend to be sweeter and have a meatier texture that makes them perfect for salads and English cucumbers being seedless, tender and crunchy make a good fit too .

Check how The Stay At Home Chef makes this summer salad:

14. Eggplant Fries

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 106
Total preparation time– 20 min

Unlike the classic french fries, eggplant fries is a healthier and unique option to pair those ribs with.

You just need to deep fry them in vegetable oil and serve with either aioli dip or marinara sauce.

Subsequently, you can coat the fries with garlic salt, italian seasoning or parmesan cheese for a tantalizing flavor altogether !

Check out this effortless recipe by Diet Doctor:

15. Arroz Verde

Total calories (per 100 gm) – 110
Total preparation time– 40 min

Arroz Verde, or Green Rice makes a superb side dish to any Mexican or protein rich meal.

Strikingly delicious, it is a good change from traditional rice dishes.

Healthy as it is, a huge chunk of the rice’s colour comes from fresh spinach.

It is only cooked for 12-15 minutes with finely chopped spinach and fresh coriander leaves or cilantro to give it a green hue upon simmering down.

To make it even more appealing, throw in other fresh green ingredients like chiles and fresh herbs.

Here’s an incredibly simple recipe by Sweet y Salado:


What do we eat with short ribs?

Short ribs can be served alongside noodles, macaroni, potato salad or cornbread. All of them go just about fine with the meaty ribs.

Can we use frozen fruits for the salad?

No, you cannot use frozen fruits for the recipe as their components tend to alter when frozen. Frozen fruits when brought to room temperature look mushy and deflated.

How to grill the corn? With husk or without husk?

It is entirely your choice. If you want, you can grill the corn with the husk but we would recommend pulling them back a little before grilling. This helps make the corn kernels a bit tenderer.

What drinks pair well with Bbq ribs?

Beer is an all-time favorite pairing with any bbq meal whereas Red and White Wine as well pair incredibly with light meat.

Bottom Line

We hope this ultimate guide on what to pair with bbq ribs has been conducive for you.

If you have any queries regarding the process, do let us know. Also, we would be elated to hear your tips and suggestions we can add to our guide to make it even better!

Don’t forget to share these delectable and easy recipes with your near and dear ones.

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About Nancy Miller

Nancy is a foodie by heart and loves experimenting with food. She likes to experiment not only as part of academics but also as a cook at home, sometimes she does not get the desired outcome of these experiments though! But that doesn't stop her from trying more out-of-the-box things. When Nancy entered college, it became clear to her that food was going to be an important part of her life.

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