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The 10 Best Side Dishes for Ribs

Get ready for a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal.

Ribs will forever be worth cooking, even when the work seems a little disproportionate to the reward. (Never enough meat, amiright?) Well, never mind the bone-to-meat ratio — when you pair these sides with ribs, you’re sure to feel satisfied.

Related: Get our entire collection of rib recipes.

1. Corn Fritters

Corn and ribs just make sense together. Corn fritters and ribs make even more sense. Consider them the perfect sponges for braised rib juices. 

Corn Fritters
Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

2. Easy Apple Coleslaw

Craving crunch? This sweet slaw delivers with carrots, cabbage, red bell pepper, and apples.

Related: See our entire collection of coleslaw recipes.

Apple Coleslaw
Photo by Jennifer Baker

2. Mashed Potatoes with Horseradish

Serve these mashed potatoes with braised short ribs, and watch with delight as this side sops up the gravy. 

Mashed Potatoes with Horseradish
Photo by mommyluvs2cook

4. Southern Dill Potato Salad

This take on potato salad has a tangier taste than the original thanks to the addition of apple cider vinegar and sour cream. With mustard and dill also in the mix, this side would stand up to hefty barbequed ribs

Southern Dill Potato Salad
Photo by *Sherri*

5. Quick and Easy Kimchi Salad

Serve Korean-style short ribs alongside this spicy kimchi-inspired salad. Because it isn't fermented like traditional kimchi, this side will be ready to eat in under an hour. 

Buckwheat Queen
Photo by Buckwheat Queen

6. Perfect Polenta

Chef John's polenta won't compete with a main dish (like his Short Ribs Braised with Mushrooms and Tomatoes), and it has all the creaminess and starchiness of a comfort food.

7. Chef John's Classic Macaroni Salad

"Whether it's sitting next to some smoky ribs or just a humble hot dog, this deli-style macaroni salad will always be a crowd favorite, as long as you pay attention to a few key details," Chef John says.

Related: Get tips to make the best macaroni salads plus favorite recipes to try.

Chef John's Classic Macaroni
Photo by France C.

8. Perfect Fried Green Tomatoes

Pair classic barbequed ribs with cornmeal-coated fried green tomatoes for a Southerner-approved combo.

9. Shoepeg Corn Salad

Home cooks call this no-cook salad a tried-and-true complement to barbeque. "Very refreshing. I will definitely make this again," says Tracy McDowell Roda, who served it with barbequed ribs

Shoepeg Corn Salad
Photo by lutzflcat

10. Green Bean and Feta Salad

Doused in a vinaigrette and topped with feta, this salad of fresh, firm green beans and sweet onion would cut through even the fattiest pork spare ribs.

Green Bean and Feta Salad
Photo by LynnInHK

More: See our entire collection of side dish recipes to round out any meal.

mary claire lagroue

About Mary Claire Lagroue

Food writer who meal preps like it's her job.