30 Of The Best Summer BBQ Side Dishes

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No barbecue feast is complete without a spread of side dishes. Here’s a round-up of our favorite BBQ side dish recipes from mac and cheese and coleslaw to salad and vegetables.

A grilled veggie platter is a beautiful and efficient BBQ side dish.

This collection of make-ahead, traditional summer side dish dishes for BBQ includes all of the old standbys. While it’s great to flaunt your delightfully imaginative culinary inventions, sometimes it’s wise to stick to the classics that you know everyone will enjoy.

When you think of barbecue you probably think of Pulled Pork, Smoked Brisket, or other meat. But what really elevates a cookout from good to great is the sides. Some sweet Kansas City ribs pair perfectly with a crisp and tangy coleslaw. Your perfectly cooked beef will taste even better alongside creamy macaroni and cheese. We’ve even got a healthy assortment of veggies and greens to make mom happy.

I’ll be serving these BBQ side dishes at my dining table for the summer, and I hope you will as well. Dig in!

Coleslaw Recipes

Coleslaw is great for sandwiches or as a salad. And they belong in a category of their own. From no mayo to smoked and pickled – these are great coleslaw recipes for your summer BBQ.

Easy No Mayo Coleslaw

A super simple mayo free coleslaw made with shredded cabbage, sliced carrots and onions, salt and pepper, cumin and apple cider vinegar. Easy and delicious, with no mayo.
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Grilled Pineapple Coleslaw in a bowl
4.25 from 4 votes

Grilled Pineapple Coleslaw with Citrus Vinaigrette

Grilled Pineapple Coleslaw is an easy and delicious summer side dish and also a fantastic topping for pulled pork or chicken sliders.
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Smoked Pickled Onion No Mayo Coleslaw
5 from 4 votes

Smoked Pickled Onion Coleslaw Recipe

This no mayo coleslaw is made with smoked pickled onions and is fantastic loaded onto pulled pork or chicken sandwiches or as a great side dish for your next backyard BBQ. Fresh and completely mayo free!
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Quick and easy coleslaw in a bowl

Quick and Easy Coleslaw Recipe

This is the easiest coleslaw recipe that works for any occasion. It's great on everything, from a salad to a topping for a great sandwich or slider. This is the best coleslaw recipe you want in your recipe box.
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Salad Recipes

Cold salads during hot summer months are refreshing and a perfect pairing for rich dishes off the BBQ. These summer salad recipes are going to make any crowd excited.

Watermelon Salad
5 from 1 vote

Watermelon Salad with Basil and White Balsamic Vinegar

A simple, delicious, and savory watermelon salad tossed with basil and white balsamic vinegar.
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Creamy Cucumber Salad
5 from 1 vote

Cucumber Salad Recipe with Creamy Dill Dressing

White wine vinegar, dill, and Greek yogurt sauce balanced by fresh English cucumbers, red onions and peppers.
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close up of black bean salad
4.41 from 49 votes

Black Bean Salad Recipe With Lime and Pepper Dressing

The perfect BBQ side dish that can double as a relish and topping for a variety of dishes.
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Grilled Caesar Salad with Crispy Bacon
4.52 from 25 votes

Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad Recipe

A simple and delicious grilled romaine Caesar salad elevated with some smoky crispy pancetta (or bacon), grilled lemon, and grilled baguette slices to sub for croutons, and instructions on how to grill romaine lettuce.
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Cold Lentil Salad with Smoked Sausage in a Bowl
5 from 4 votes

Cold Sausage Lentil Salad

A delicious and refreshing cold lentil salad with smoked sausage that can be served cold or hot. 
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Grilled Beet Salad with Rosé Infused Cranberries and Smoked Bacon
5 from 3 votes

Grilled Beet Salad with Rosé Infused Cranberries and Bacon

Beets are incredible cooked on the grill, and even better topped with rosé wine infused cranberries and smoked bacon. This will be your favorite salad all summer long! 
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Grilled Romaine Lettuce on a platter topped with Tomatoes and Basil and Balsamic
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Romaine Lettuce Recipe with Tomatoes and Basil

How to grill romaine lettuce, along with an easy tomato, basil, and balsamic topping.
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Macaroni + Cheese Recipes

What backyard party isn’t complete without a good Mac and Cheese recipe. It’s easy to make in advance and warm up.

Smoked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
5 from 1 vote

Smoked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

Creamy smoked butternut squash puree mixed with smoked chicken, bacon, and cheese for a creamy and flavorful mac and cheese.
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Smoked Tri Tip Macaroni and Cheese, Cooked on the Grill
5 from 2 votes

Smoked Tri Tip Mac and Cheese Recipe

Smoked Tri Tip Mac and Cheese is made with perfectly smoked and tender tri tip, mixed with an ultra creamy cheese sauce and cooked on the grill.
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Grilled Mac and Cheese in a cast iron pan.
5 from 2 votes

Grilled Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Chicken

Creamy cheese, crispy bacon, grilled chicken, and classic macaroni cooked on the grill.
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Vegetable Side Dishes

These vegetable dishes are perfect sides for your backyard BBQ this summer. From the simple to elegant there are options for anyone.

Grilled asparagus on a plate covered in BBQ hollandaise sauce.
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Asparagus Recipe with BBQ Hollandaise

An easy grilled asparagus recipe finished with a buttery BBQ inspired hollandaise sauce. Grill the asparagus over direct heat and serve with the BBQ hollandaise sauce.
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Grilled Vegetables on a platter
5 from 3 votes

Grilled Vegetables

A medley of grilled vegetables perfect for a grilled vegetable grazing platter.
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Grilled Corn on the cob with herb butter.
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Corn on the Cob Recipe with Compound Butter

This easy recipe is a great option and a summer staple as a side dish. Grilling the corn in the husk is a great way to get moist corn and a blackened husk for the perfect summer corn recipe.
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4.89 from 9 votes

Grilled Brussels Sprouts Recipe With Bacon and Balsamic

Grilled Brussels Sprouts are the ultimate vegetable side dish! When you add bacon and balsamic to your Brussels this grilled side dish is over-the-top. 
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4.37 from 38 votes

Grilled and Glazed Carrots Recipe

Grilled Carrots with a Honey Brown Sugar Glaze are a fantastic side dish to any holiday or casual meal. Perfect side dish for Easter or Christmas dinner or summer grilling season.  
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5 from 3 votes

Grilled Shishito Peppers with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Grilled or blistered shishito peppers with a cooling dipping sauce perfect for an appetizer bite.
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Grilled Green Beans on a platter with a side of grilled lemons
5 from 2 votes

Easy Grilled Green Beans Recipe with Grilled Lemon

Grilling green beans makes for an easy side dish to make on the grill. Add grilled lemon for an added twist of flavor.
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BBQ Baked Beans in a cast iron pan
4.50 from 16 votes

Smoked BBQ Baked Beans Recipe

Easy barbecued baked beans that are comforting, slightly sweet, mildly smoky, rich, meaty, and totally indulgent.
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Grilled Broccolini with Grilled Lemon and Parmesan
4.75 from 4 votes

Grilled Broccolini Recipe with Grilled Lemon and Parmesan

Grilled Broccolini is tender and delicious and grills fast and easy. Broccolini is so much better than broccoli on the grill and may just become your new go-to side dish for summer cookouts or holiday dinners!
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Steakhouse balsamic mushrooms in a cast iron pan

Steakhouse Mushrooms

These steakhouse mushrooms are even better than a restaurant! Sautéed mushrooms coated with some balsamic and garlic are incredible and so easy to make and are an impressive side dish for any steak dinner.
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Potato Recipes

Any type of potato recipe is a great option for summer BBQ season. From fries to roasted potatoes.

Grilled baked Sweet Potatoes
4.63 from 8 votes

Grilled Sweet Potato Recipe with Smoked Honey Butter

A grilled sweet potato with savory dry rub. Soft, flavorful, and easy to make on any grill. This is a great alternative cooking method for a baked sweet potato.
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top view of 3 smoked baked potatoes
4 from 1 vote

Smoked Baked Potatoes Recipe

Slowly smoked russet potato seasoned with a savory dry rub and finished with butter, bacon, and chives.
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Grilled Smashed Potatoes on a white plate
5 from 4 votes

Grilled Smashed Potatoes Recipe with Tarragon Herb Sauce

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with soft interior then doused with a tarragon herb sauce for a French fry like experience.
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Grilled Potato Wedges on a sheet pan with a bowl of fry sauce
5 from 2 votes

Grilled Potato Wedges Recipe

Perfect crispy grilled potato wedges are a perfect side dish for your BBQ menu.
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Roasted Potatoes on a Sheet Pan
4.73 from 11 votes

Perfect Oven Roasted Potatoes

Learn the secret to restaurant quality roasted potatoes. From which potatoes to use, to how to par boil them to get them creamy, and finish in a hot oven. 
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duck fat potatoes with spatula
5 from 6 votes

Roasted Duck Fat Potatoes Recipe

Slowly roasted potatoes tossed in delicious duck fat and finished with freshly shaved parmesan and fresh thyme. Soft on the inside and crispy exterior as the perfect side for a roast of brunch.
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Thank you for being part of our community. If you make any of our dishes we’d love to see them on social media using the hashtag #vindulge and give it a 5 star review.

About Vindulge

Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.

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Now on 2nd edition

Fire + Wine Cookbook

“This book is a one-stop guide for anyone truly interested in elevating their BBQ experience into a culinary work of art.”
5 out of 5 Stars
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About Mary

I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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