Best Barbecue Side Dishes

The best side dishes for a barbecue are the kinds you make ahead — or prepare right at the grill.

Salads top the list of popular barbecue sides. Most can be made in advance, and many salads taste better after sitting overnight in the refrigerator.

Among the favorites: Potato salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, vegetable salad, bean salad, green salad, grain salad, layered salad, gelatin salad, and coleslaw. Make them the night before and you’re ahead of the game.

Tip: If you’re having green salad, remember to wait until the last minute to add the dressing and croutons.

Potato Salad Recipes

Potato salads are the ultimate picnic and barbeque side dish.

Bacon and Eggs Potato Salad

Bacon and Eggs Potato Salad | Photo by Baking Nana

How to Make Restaurant-Style Potato Salad

See how to make a restaurant-worthy potato salad. It’s creamy with a nice mustard and vinegar tang.

Get the recipe for Restaurant-Style Potato Salad.

Pasta Salad Side Dishes

Here’s another classic. Like potato salads, easy macaroni salads are simple to make in advance — and taste even better after a day or two in the fridge.

Greek Pasta Salad I

Greek Pasta Salad I | Photo by Allrecipes

Summer Slaws

Delicious classic restaurant-style coleslaw is only one of many types of slaw to choose from.

Spicy Peach Coleslaw

Spicy Peach Coleslaw | Photo by lutzflcat

Bean Salads

Fabulous Hot Five Bean Salad

Fabulous Hot Five Bean Salad | Photo by lutzflcat

Grain Salads

Cranberry Lentil and Quinoa Salad

Cranberry Lentil and Quinoa Salad | Photo by Buckwheat Queen

Cold Veggie Salads

Quick Cucumber Salad

Quick Cucumber Salad | Photo by lutzflcat

Find more Summer Salad Recipes.

Grilled Sides

Then there are side dishes you prepare right on the grill, or nestled into the coals. Most vegetables and fruits, from bell peppers and corn to bananas and cantaloupe, 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.

Breads and Cornbreads

Bread is another great barbecue 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. Next time somebody says, “What can I bring?” ask them to bring their favorite salad or bread.

Skinny Cornbread

Skinny Cornbread | Photo by lutzflcat

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