When it comes to hosting a barbecue or heading to a potluck, the side dishes play just as crucial a role as the main grilling stars. They complement the smoky flavors, add diversity to the meal, and often, become the talk of the table for their delicious innovation. From traditional favorites to refreshing salads, here are seven barbecue sides that are not only perfect for your next potluck but also easy to prepare and guaranteed to impress.
Southern Potato Salad
No barbecue is complete without a classic Southern Potato Salad. This traditional creamy dish, with its blend of potatoes, mayonnaise, mustard, and crisp vegetables, offers the perfect comfort food side. Its creamy texture and savory flavors make it a beloved staple at any Southern-style BBQ, though its appeal is universal.
For a lighter touch, the mild and refreshing Cucumber Salad is an ideal counterbalance to the array of heavy, saucy meats typically found at a barbecue. Its crisp freshness can be enhanced with vinegar or yogurt dressing, and it’s even better when prepared a day ahead, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully.
Crock-Pot Mac and Cheese
Ease and convenience meet creamy, cheesy goodness in the Crock-Pot Mac and Cheese. This no-fuss recipe spares you from heating the oven during those warm summer months, utilizing your slow cooker to create a rich, comforting side that’s a hit with guests of all ages.
Strawberry Arugula Salad
Introduce a burst of freshness with the Strawberry Arugula Salad, a delightful combination of sweet strawberries and peppery arugula leaves. Topped with salty feta cheese and perhaps a balsamic glaze, this salad brings a refreshing and sophisticated edge to your barbecue spread.
Add a little kick to the table with Jalapeño Cornbread, baked to perfection in a cast iron skillet for those trademark golden brown edges. The spicy jalapeños mixed into the batter infuse this classic side with a warm, inviting heat that complements any BBQ dish.
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
Combine pickles, pasta, and cheese for an irresistibly zesty side dish with the Dill Pickle Pasta Salad. This unique twist on traditional pasta salad is often one of the first dishes to disappear at a barbecue, thanks to its bold flavors and satisfying crunch.
Celebrate the essence of summer with Creamed Corn, a side that showcases the season’s best flavors. Fresh corn kernels, creamy sauce, and a hint of basil come together to create a side dish that’s rich, sweet, and incredibly fresh—perfect for any summer gathering.
These seven barbecue sides offer a range of flavors and textures that are sure to complement any potluck or barbecue. Whether you’re in the mood for something creamy and comforting or fresh and zesty, these recipes are easy to make and sure to please a crowd. So next time you’re planning a barbecue, consider adding these delightful sides to your menu for a meal that’s as memorable as it is delicious.