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80 Best BBQ Sides to Throw a Summer Backyard Cookout

Pasta salads, coleslaw, salsas, and more!

bbq sides potato salad in blue glass bowl
Will Dicky

If you're a fan of a good old-fashioned backyard cookout (and who isn't?!), you're going to love these easy summer recipes. Once you've settled on whether you're making Ree Drummond's spicy whiskey barbecue sliders or a grilled chicken recipe, you'll need some delicious BBQ sides to make the meal complete. That's why we've rounded up the best pasta salad recipes, grilled vegetables, slaws, and more to add to your list of BBQ recipes. Whether you're looking to create a classic Fourth of July menu or just come up with some new ideas for your weeknight dinner, these barbecue sides are perfect for any size cookout—big or small!

With these delicious side dishes, you'll find tried-and-true favorites inspired by classic barbecue joints, like cornbread, baked beans, and mac and cheese. Not to mention refreshing summer sides, like watermelon salad and tomato bruschetta. Looking to get creative with your bbq sides? We've got you covered! Try Ree Drummond's twist on potato salad with green goddess dressing—the fresh herbs give it a burst of freshness! Or you can kick up your corn on the cob by adding a spicy bacon butter. There are also some great zucchini recipes in the mix, plus other ways to use summer vegetables. Pick and choose a few BBQ sides to serve at your next outdoor gathering—and they might just steal the show!

bbq sides blt pasta salad in wooden bowl
Will Dicky
1 of 80
BLT Pasta Salad

We're not sure what's best about this pasta salad: the crispy bacon or the ranch dressing. But either way, it's sure to be a hit!

Get the recipe.


bbq sides grilled watermelon with limes
Will Dicky
2 of 80
Grilled Watermelon

There's something marvelous about the combination of sweet and savory. That's why this watermelon side dish is the perfect pairing for your barbecue dinner. It's juicy, refreshing, and has a hint of smokiness.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides classic coleslaw in floral bowl
Will Dicky
3 of 80
Classic Coleslaw

This traditional coleslaw is ready in just 10 minutes. It's an easy recipe you'll want to keep in your back pocket for any cookout occasion.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides mexican street corn with cheese and limes
Will Dicky
4 of 80
Mexican Street Corn

Whether you're making carne asada or grilled fish tacos, you can't go wrong with a side of corn. Especially when the corn is seasoned with chili powder and topped with Cotija cheese.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides red potato salad with bacon crumbles on top
Will Dicky
5 of 80
Red Potato Salad

This creamy, mayo-based potato salad is loaded with fun mix-ins like bits of crispy bacon, fresh dill, and crunchy celery. It's anything but boring!

Get the recipe.


bbq sides corn and black bean salsa in green bowl
Will Dicky
6 of 80
Corn and Black Bean Salsa

This zingy salsa is delicious on its own with some crunchy tortilla chips, but you can also use it as a topping for grilled fish or steak.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides southern fried okra in polka dot bowl
Will Dicky
7 of 80
Southern Fried Okra

If you're making a true southern barbecue, there's no better side dish than crispy okra. The summer vegetable is Southern comfort food at its finest.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides grilled corn on the cob on green plate
Will Dicky
8 of 80
Grilled Corn on the Cob

When sweet, fresh corn is in season, there's nothing better. Give it a light char then top it with garlic-chive butter for extra flavor.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides pasta with zucchini pesto in blue and white bowl
Ralph Smith
9 of 80
Pasta with Zucchini Pesto

This recipe combines two summertime favorites: herby pesto and fresh zucchini! It's a seasonal side dish that's delicious with any kind of grilled meats.

Get Ree's recipe.

bbq sides classic three bean salad in bowl
Will Dicky
10 of 80
Classic Three-Bean Salad

Fresh summer green beans make an appearance in this bbq side dish. It's a surprising twist to a classic salad that typically only uses canned beans.

Get the recipe.


bbq sides jalapeno popper potato salad in black bowl overhead
Ralph Smith
11 of 80
Jalapeño Popper Potato Salad

This recipe is everything you love about spicy, creamy jalapeño poppers in potato salad form! You can serve it warm or chilled depending on your preferences.

Get Ree's recipe.

bbq sides carrot salad in blue bowl
Will Dicky
12 of 80
Carrot Salad

Don't overlook this colorful side dish! The sweet and savory slaw-like mix is perfect for serving with bbq brisket or chicken, plus it only takes a few minutes to make.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides pepper parmesan biscuits on white board
Ryan Liebe
13 of 80
Pepper Parmesan Biscuits

This is not your average biscuit recipe! Instead, black pepper and grated parmesan cheese give these flaky biscuits a bold kick.

Get Ree's recipe.

bbq sides chipotle corn salsa with chips
Will Dicky
14 of 80
Chipotle Corn Salsa

Zesty, fresh, and a little bit spicy—this corn salsa is perfect for any backyard cookout. Serve it over grilled steak, fish, or even burgers. You can't go wrong.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides instant pot potato salad in blue glass bowl with wooden spoon
Nicole DuBois
15 of 80
Instant Pot Potato Salad

This quick potato salad is a real time saver. Not only are the potatoes cooked in an Instant Pot but the eggs are cooked in there too!

Get the recipe.


bbq sides greek pasta salad with bowties
Will Dicky
16 of 80
Greek Pasta Salad

This pasta salad uses classic bowtie noodles, but you can switch it up with any short pasta shape. Try a hearty pasta like penne, fusilli, or shells which can stand up to all the veggie mix-ins.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides green bean casserole on teal checkered background
Ralph Smith
17 of 80
Green Bean Casserole

This homemade green bean casserole is made with pimentos and cheddar cheese, so it's perfect for a Southern-style barbecue. Best of all—you can make it ahead!

Get Ree's recipe.

bbq sides spiced up potato chips overhead with red lace
Con Poulos
18 of 80
Spiced-Up Potato Chips

Transform a simple bag of potato chips into a bold and flavorful bbq side. These crunchy chips are perfect for potlucks, bbq chicken sandwiches, or any time the craving strikes.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides cheesy zucchini casserole in red baking dish
Will Dicky
19 of 80
Cheesy Zucchini Casserole

Put seasonal zucchini to good use with this comforting casserole recipe. It has a creamy cheese sauce and crunchy panko topping that everyone in the family will love.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides air fryer french fries in blue basket
Will Dicky
20 of 80
Air Fryer French Fries

Whether you're serving hot dogs, hamburgers, or grilled steak, these crispy French fries are a must-try. Best of all, you don't need to stand in front of a hot pot of oil to make them!

Get the recipe.


macaroni salad overhead on blue checkered background
Ralph Smith
21 of 80
Macaroni Salad

This macaroni salad is sweet and tangy at the same time. Make it ahead for an easy summer potluck or barbecue cookout.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides skillet cornbread overhead red background
Ryan Liebe
22 of 80
Skillet Cornbread

It's not a proper barbecue without some tasty cornbread. Bake it in a cast iron skillet for those delicious crispy edges, then don't forget to slather it with lots of butter.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides instant pot refried beans in bowl with tomatoes and avocado
Will Dicky
23 of 80
Instant Pot Refried Beans

Instead of baked beans, serve some easy refried beans for a change. You can make them in your Instant Pot for a hands-free side dish that everyone will love.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides pea salad overhead in yellow bowl
Ralph Smith
24 of 80
Pea Salad

This pea salad is one of Ree's favorite childhood side dishes. Big chunks of sharp cheddar and crispy bacon make it one to remember.

Get the recipe.

bbq sides baked beans with bacon in red casserole dish with spoon
Danielle Daly
25 of 80
The Best Baked Beans Ever

Before you're done with these beans, cover the top in thick slabs of bacon and bake before serving. It's the reason these are called "The Best Ever."

Get Ree's recipe.


bbq sides air fryer sweet potato fries on blue plate
Will Dicky
26 of 80
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries

Nothing goes better with a burger than some crispy fries. Try these sweet potato beauties that are made in an air fryer!

Get the recipe.

bbq sides rigatoni with summer vegetables
Ryan Dausch
27 of 80
Rigatoni with Summer Vegetables

Fresh summer veggies like corn, squash, and sugar snap peas give this pasta dish its bright color. Add flavorful herbs for an extra pop.

Get Ree's recipe.

ranch chopped salad
Ralph Smith
28 of 80
Ranch Chopped Salad

This salad is ready for a cookout, thanks to thick pieces of crispy bacon, shredded cheddar, and a rich homemade buttermilk dressing.

Get Ree's recipe.

green goddess potato salad
Ralph Smith
29 of 80
Green Goddess Potato Salad

There are so many fresh herbs packed into this flavorful potato salad. It'll pop among the variety of other sides at your barbecue.

Get Ree's recipe.

greek pesto pasta salad
Ryan Dausch
30 of 80
Greek Pesto Pasta Salad

With artichokes, kalamata olives, feta, and homemade pesto, this pasta will be an instant summer favorite.

Get Ree's recipe.


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