'Que the sides!
Main dishes always get the top billing at the barbeque, but let's not ignore the side dishes. They're the supporting players that contribute to the success of the whole production — and the best barbeque sides are the ones you can make ahead or right on the grill.
I'll share some of our most popular barbeque side dishes to complement any outdoor menu, whether you're doing an easy family meal or you're bringing side dishes for picnics and potlucks.
Make-Ahead Barbeque Side Dishes
Salads top the list of popular make-ahead barbeque sides. Make them the night before and you're ahead of the game. Many summer salads taste better after sitting overnight in the refrigerator. Of course, if you're having green salad, remember to wait until just before serving to add the dressing and croutons. Here are top barbeque side dish salads to try.
Potato salads are the ultimate picnic and barbeque side dish. Most potato salad recipes can be made ahead of time and they travel easily. Get recipes for creamy potato salads, no-mayo potato salads, dairy-free potato salads, red potato salads, tangy German potato salads, and all the rest of our potato salads.
Try this recipe: Restaurant-Style Potato Salad
Video: See how to make a restaurant-worthy potato salad. It's creamy with a nice mustard and vinegar tang.
Here's another classic barbeque side dish. Like potato salads, pasta salads are simple to make in advance — and taste even better after a day or two in the fridge. Get more recipes for pasta salads, including macaroni salad, Italian pasta salad, chicken pasta salad, seafood pasta salad, tortellini pasta salad, and vegetarian pasta salad.
Try this recipe: Chicken Club Pasta Salad
Video: See how to make this hearty pasta salad that has all the elements of a classic chicken club sandwich.
It'll take you all summer to try all the different coleslaw recipes we have, including broccoli coleslaw, apple coleslaw, Asian coleslaw, coleslaw with mayo, coleslaw without mayo — and then there are all of our coleslaw dressing recipes.
Try this recipe: Nana's Southern Coleslaw
Video: See how to make this old family recipe that some say tastes like the one from that famous fried chicken take-out. You know the one.
Bean salads are always crowd-pleasers and come together quickly when you use convenient canned beans. Find your favorite bean salad recipes — including bean and corn salads, lentil salad, green bean salad, black bean salads, and more.
Try this recipe: Greek Garbanzo Bean Salad
Video: See how to make this crunchy, colorful salad with canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese with a light oil and vinegar herb dressing.
Try this recipe: Zesty Quinoa Salad
Video: See how to make this light and citrusy quinoa salad with black beans and tomatoes.
The warmer weather that invites us outside to barbeque and grill also brings a summer's worth of fresh vegetables of every kind to fill your salad bowls with the brightest, most flavorful produce. Explore our collection of vegetable salad recipes that make the most of this bounty, including corn salad, avocado salad, tomato salad, broccoli salad, cucumber salad, and so much more.
Try this recipe: Greek Zoodle Salad
Video: See how to make this 5-star summer salad brimming with zucchini "noodles", cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and thinly sliced red onions tossed with salty feta cheese in a lemon and olive oil herb dressing.
The most refreshing salads of barbeque and grilling season have to be the ones made with the juiciest summer fruits you can find. Now's the time to take your pick of our fruit salad recipes, including strawberry salads and watermelon salads.
Try this recipe: Refreshing Watermelon Salad
Video: See how to make this classic pairing of sweet watermelon, crunchy cucumber, and savory feta cheese.
Then there are side dishes you prepare right on the grill, or nestled into the coals. Most vegetables and fruits, from eggplant and corn on the cob to peaches and pineapple, are delicious when seasoned and cooked directly on the grill — or dotted with butter and herbs and wrapped in foil pouches to cook in the hot embers. Another favorite? You can't beat flatbread fresh off the grill. See our entire collection of barbequed and grilled side dishes.
Try this recipe: Grilled Bacon Potatoes
Video: See how to make a show-stopping side dish that'll make you the star of the BBQ. Whole potatoes are wrapped in bacon, brushed with olive oil and brown sugar, then wrapped again in foil and grilled until the potatoes are cooked and the bacon is crisp.
Breads and Cornbreads
Bread is another great barbeque side dish to make ahead of time. There's nothing better than mopping up extra sauce and juice with some freshly baked cornbread or savory herb bread.
Try this recipe: Cast Iron Cornbread
Video: See how to make this lightly sweetened cornbread in a cast iron skillet, guaranteed to wow 'em at the 'que.