The best side dishes for a barbecue are the kinds you make ahead–or prepare right at the grill.
Tops of the Sides
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.
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.
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.