If you are planning food for a summer day or BBQ, you’ve found yourself at the right place! But you can’t just serve meat to your guests and family so I’ve found a multitude of delicious side dishes for a bbq that you can make for all your summer gatherings as well.
There are 51 amazing sides that are easy to make and loaded with fresh summertime ingredients, you’re going to love trying these all summer!
What Makes Great BBQ Side Dishes?
When meal planning for your barbeque the amount of people you will be serving is the first thing you need to figure out. Some sides are simple to make in bulk, others not so much. Plus the more people you will be preparing food for at your summer shindig the more sides you’ll want to have. I’ve included 51 recipes here and most are perfect for a large crowd.
Summer salad recipes make fantastic bbq side dishes and I will include a few in this post but I’ve also got 40 summer salad recipes that range from fruit salads to easy salads, to dinner salads as well.
You should also consider including a hearty side dish or two like potato salad or macaroni salad. If you have a lot of guests expected you may want to add in a sweet side dish or two as well like sliced fruits with a sweet party dip.
One thing is for sure, you can’t have too many bbq side dishes at your gathering, even if it’s just your household enjoying a summer day outside together. The only tip that is really important is to be sure you bring covers for your sides if you are eating outside.
While sunshine is abundant in summer, and those of us who live in places where it’s dark all winter want to soak up as many rays as possible, so are the bugs. So if you are enjoying your bbq dinner and sides outside, be sure the serving dishes have covers.
QUICK AND EASY POTATO SIDE DISHES FOR A BBQ
Potatoes are a very popular side dish to serve at a barbeque. They are easy to make on the grill or to cook inside while someone else tends to the bbq. There are so many tasty ways to prepare potatoes for your bbq and here are 12 delicious ideas with just potatoes (don’t worry, there’s dozens more sides after those to try too!).
Deviled Egg Whole30 Potato Salad
This gluten free potato salad is a delicious twist on deviled eggs that are healthy and filling! The perfect side dish to serve all spring and summer long! There are endless variations to potato salad, and this one is fresh and delicious.
German Potato Salad
This authentic German Potato Salad Recipe is a hot potato salad made with tender cooked potatoes, crispy bacon, and sautéed onions in a delicious tangy mustard vinaigrette. Doesn’t that just scream BBQ side dish? It’s the ultimate warm and hearty side dish.
Olivier Salad (Russian Potato Salad)
Olivier Salad, or Russian Salad, is a traditional Russian potato salad made with diced boiled potatoes, eggs, ham, and vegetables mixed in a creamy mayo dressing. It’s super easy to make and is popular at any holiday or gathering from Christmas to a summer BBQ.
Red Skin Potato Salad
Who doesn’t love a fancy red skin potato salad? This hearty, summertime red skin potato salad side is a crowd-pleaser at cookouts, potlucks, and family dinners. The fresh dill brings the perfect flavor pop to this easy side salad.
Grilled Sweet Potato Fries
Ready to take the nutrition up a notch with an easy side dish made on the barbecue? Grilled sweet potato fries are sweet and salty, with a perfectly tender and fluff inside and crispy outside. Keep the skins on and cut them into wedges for the perfect sweet potato fry on the grill. They are the perfect side dish to go with burgers, hot dogs, or whatever you’re grilling!
Instant Pot Bacon Potato Salad
If you serve up this Instant Pot Bacon Potato Salad at your next barbeque, you will definitely be impress everyone! This recipe adapts a classic Bacon Potato Salad and makes it even easier. That’s right, you can now make this amazing Instant Pot Bacon Potato Salad recipe with out all of the hassle of boiling and straining potatoes. Talk about the perfect side dish!!
Greek Yogurt Potato Salad
This quick Greek yogurt potato salad is perfect for summer! With a bright, tangy dressing and plenty of fresh dill. If you want a healthier version of potato salad that still takes really great and creamy, try this recipe.
These crispy, spiced potatoes are banging! Gunpowder potatoes are an absolute explosion of flavor. In this recipe, crisp roasted potatoes are coated in a fragrant spice mix and tossed with fresh chilies, spring onion, and cilantro.
Potato Salad with Bacon (no mayo!)
If you’re not a fan of mayo or want an alternative, you’re about to discover a fantastic way to enjoy your potato salad. No mayo potato salad has bacon and a tangy mustard dressing, so you won’t miss the mayonnaise. It can be made ahead and served warm, at room temperature, or cold. The perfect side dish for barbecues and potlucks.
PAN FRIED POTATOES & ONIONS
Crispy pan fried potatoes & onions are a southern classic recipe that’s great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Delicious fork-tender seasoned potato cubes are the amazing dish you need in your life. All you need is a few ingredients, your favorite skillet or veggie roasting bbq tray & 30 minutes.
Grilled Potatoes (in Foil)
These ultra-easy Grilled Potatoes rely on a clever foil packet technique to eliminate 3 common, additional cooking steps you sometimes see in similar recipes. The result is tender, fluffy potatoes with lots of yummy, golden-brown spots! These are great for a bbq or to serve while camping.
Loaded Baked Potato Salad
This Loaded Baked Potato Salad is so good, that it could easily be the star of the show. With sour cream, cheese, bacon, and fresh green onion, it’s your favorite restaurant experience turned into the perfect summery side dish.
HEALTHY VEGETABLE SIDE DISHES FOR A BBQ
Here you will find a ton of mouthwatering bbq side dishes that all have vegetables as the main ingredient. I’m including corn and legumes in this part of the list too because technically they are vegetables
I know sometimes people classify them differently so wanted to point that out in case you are looking for a perfect baked beans or roasted corn recipe… this is where to look!
Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan, Lemon and Garlic
This simple Grilled Asparagus recipe is easy and super flavorful! The perfectly crisp-tender spears cook on foil, right along with a speedy lemon-garlic “marinade” sauce. A sprinkling of parmesan is the perfect finishing touch. It’s a grilled side dish that pairs perfectly with practically any main course!
Air Fryer Corn Ribs
Indulge in a delectable twist on a classic favorite with this air fryer corn ribs recipe designed for your air fryer. These savory delights combine the sweet crunch of corn with a perfectly seasoned coating. Get ready to savor the taste of comfort food made healthier and hassle-free.
Herbed White Bean Picnic Salad
Perfect for picnics, cookouts, office parties, and potlucks, this herbed white bean picnic salad with lemon dill miso dressing is a full-flavored dish for everyone — omnivores, pescatarians, vegetarians, and vegans, plus it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free!
Grilled Corn Salad
Fun, bright, and vibrant, this easy-to-make grilled corn salad is a perfect quick and easy side to make this summer!
Mint Summer Salad
This quick salad with mint is delightful, filling, and packed with flavor. The combination of plant-based protein, veggies, fresh mint leaves, and the lovely tangy dressing is a perfect combination of summer flavors!
Orzo Pesto Salad
This easy and delicious orzo pesto salad is perfect for your next summer BBQ. With just a handful of simple ingredients, this easy side dish is full of flavor. This nutritious recipe combines lots of juicy cherry tomatoes, crisp cucumber, and fresh basil.
Baked Beans with Bacon
Baked beans are a classic comfort food that has been enjoyed for generations. This southern-style side dish is a staple at summer barbecues, potlucks, and family dinners. This recipe is a favorite for its sweet and savory flavors, featuring bacon, pinto beans, brown sugar, molasses, barbecue sauce, peppers, spices, and even your favorite dark beer – and it’s easy to make in a skillet.
Healthier Baked Beans
These healthy baked beans are a better-for-you spin on the beloved classic recipe! They are both gluten free & delicious with 3 cooking methods & smoked baked beans option.
Mixed Cabbage Coleslaw Recipe
With fresh ingredients and a tangy, creamy dressing, this classic coleslaw recipe is the perfect side dish for BBQs, camping trips, and picnics.
Easy Creamy Coleslaw Recipe
Southern coleslaw is a classic quick and easy side dish with crunchy veggies that are tossed with a flavorful, creamy dressing! It’s the perfect addition to sandwiches, tacos, fried fish, and so much more. But this Southern coleslaw isn’t just for the summertime, it’s great for any time you want a quick, delicious side!
Red Cabbage Coleslaw with Peanut Butter
This easy red cabbage coleslaw salad works perfectly for BBQ side dish or appetizer. Its creamy dressing is made using avocado mayonnaise and cashew yogurt with a hint of peanut butter! This is a really unique recipe but so good!
KFC Coleslaw Recipe: With A Southern Twang
This KFC Coleslaw Recipe is one of the best ones I’ve had. Think Old School KFC Coleslaw with a Southern twang! It’s perfect for every potluck, BBQ, and cookout you’ll ever attend. Even those who don’t like coleslaw will typically tell you it’s because they’ve never had it like yours with this recipe!
Radicchio Salad with Pear, Walnut & Gorgonzola Dressing
This Italian radicchio salad has the perfect marriage of color, texture, and flavor. Sweet, bitter, and salty are paired with all the crunch you could ask for. This fantastic Gorgonzola dressing is life changing stuff and applied liberally to this amazing platter of summer goodness.
Mediterranean Cucumber Salad
Mediterranean cucumber salad is a light and refreshing side salad to pair with your favorite summertime meals. This quick and easy side dish is delicious and a great way to get your veggies in!
EASY AIR FRYER ZUCCHINI FRIES WITH GARLIC AND PARMESAN
These Air Fryer Zucchini Fries are very simple to make and ready in under 30 minutes! The simple, but tasty garlic and parmesan flavors are a hit with both kids and adults.
GRILLED VEGETABLE MEDLEY
Cooked until tender in a grill basket, this colorful grilled vegetable medley is packed with amazing flavors! Coated with an easy and delicious marinade, these veggies are a perfect nutritious side dish to any summer barbecue!
MANGO AND GRILLED CORN SALSA
This delicious mango and grilled corn salsa is a must-try for your next summer barbecue! The combination of sweet mango and corn is absolutely delightful. It’s jam-packed with flavor and different textures. This recipe is perfect as a dip, on tacos, or as a side of grilled meat or fish.
Mexican Street Corn
Elote, or Mexican Street Corn, is a popular street food in Mexico and has found popularity in California and beyond. It’s easy to make at home, sweet corn is smothered in a mixture of creamy mayonnaise, chili powder, and lime juice, then topped with tangy crumbled cotija cheese. So good!
Black Eyed Peas Bean Salad
Quick and easy to make, serve this Black Eyed Peas Bean Salad as a side or it’s great to enjoy as a salsa with tortilla chips!
BUTTERMILK RANCH CUCUMBER ONION SALAD
But in the middle of the dogs days of summer,cool and creamy Buttermilk Ranch Cucumber Onion Salad hits the spot and offers variation in our cucumber eating life.It’s a cool and creamy Southern summer staple.
Sweet and Spicy Corn on the Cob with Husks
Try this sweet and spicy corn on the cob in the oven! This Korean-inspired twist elevates a classic corn on the cob recipe. The corn is roasted in the oven with husks still intact (or you could add it to the grill) making this side dish incredibly easy to make. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and savory notes.
Simply the best way to enjoy your veggies in the summer, these Grilled Vegetables are so easy to make! You can make a large platter filled with tons of mixed grilled veggies for a crowd, or grill 1-3 kinds for a simple family dinner.
Roasted Baby Eggplant with Crispy Garlic and Herbs
Roasted Baby Eggplant with Crispy Garlic and Herbs is a simple and vibrant recipe that can be made with any variety of eggplant. Sliced eggplant is combined with extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic and herbs for a surprising flavor punch!
Three Bean Salad
This three bean salad is a blend of kidney beans, green beans, and garbanzo beans, all tossed in a sweet and savory dressing. This is a classic dish that’s easy to make and is the perfect addition to almost any meal!
Chili Lime Grilled Pineapple
These Chili Lime Grilled Pineapple spears are going to be the best side dish at your next barbecue this summer! They are rubbed with a lime and an Indian street-style spice mix of chili, chaat masala, and salt to make a spicy, tangy, yet sweet vibrant dish.
Roasted Cabbage Steaks
These roasted cabbage steaks are a quick and delicious side dish made by slicing cabbage into slices, topping it with olive oil and spices, and baking it to a perfect golden brown.
OTHER BBQ SIDE DISHES
There are a lot of other fun and tasty ideas to serve as side dishes with your barbeque. Things like rolls, fruit salads, and more. Try adding some of these side dishes at your next bbq too!
Strawberry Watermelon Salad
Looking to make a refreshing snack to help cool down in this summer heat? This watermelon basil salad is cold and crisp, sweet and juicy, and exactly what you need on your plate this summer!
Tropical Mango Salad with Coconut
This colorful summer mango salad recipe is bursting with fresh, vibrant tropical flavors. It’s effortless to put together and the combination of sweet mangoes and toasted coconut flakes with a tangy lime dressing is utterly delicious.
Buratta Caprese Salad
Burrata Caprese! This amazing summer salad features juicy heirloom tomatoes, creamy burrata cheese. and fresh basil topped with a generous drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar (or glaze) and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and coarsely ground pepper. It’s a delicious twist on a classic caprese salad that you are going to want to eat on repeat all summer long!
Whole Grain Cornbread
This whole grain cornbread recipe is made with white whole wheat flour, and has just the right amount of sweetness to balance out a spicy chili.
Air Fryer Pull Apart Bread Rolls
Air Fryer Pull Apart Bread Rolls. Delicious homemade air fryer bread rolls that are easy to prep and bake perfectly in the air fryer. These are simple to make and nice and hit the spot.
Easy Southern Macaroni Salad (With Shortcuts)
Easy Southern Macaroni Salad is a classic side dish made with elbow macaroni and a creamy, tangy dressing. Although this make-ahead pasta salad is already simple, I give you plenty of shortcuts to make it even easier to serve at summer barbeques, cookouts, potlucks and picnics.
Creamy Brie & Gouda Mac and Cheese (No-Bake!)
What’s the best cheese combo for homemade mac and cheese? Brie and gouda! This no-bake mac and cheese is a different, delicious twist on the classic.
Easy Peasy and Cheesy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
This easy peasy mac n’ cheese is so tasty! You can make it in the instant pot so it’s a perfect side to have cooking indoors while you tend to the grill that doesn’t heat up the house.
Classic Pasta Salad
The best Classic Pasta Salad is made with Italian meats, creamy cheeses, fresh vegetables, and all tossed in a creamy homemade Italian dressing. The perfect pasta salad recipe!
The Best Ambrosia Salad is a fluffy salad made with fresh pineapple, mandarin oranges, maraschino cherries, coconut, marshmallows, fresh whipped cream, a touch of sour cream, and sugar. This is a nostalgic, classic side dish or dessert recipe.
Smooth, sweet, and creamy cheesecake atop a perfect, graham crust that has been piled high with fresh peaches, a summer staple. With just one bite, you’ll know why this family favorite dessert is called “peach delight”! It’s simple, dreamy, and perfectly delicious!
Strawberry Salad With Cherries and Blueberries
This Strawberry Salad With Cherries and Blueberries is a perfect dish to bring to a picnic in the summer! Everyone will love this delicious and colorful berry salad, and will be asking you for the recipe!
Homemade Potato Chips
Homemade potato chips: why make them when you can buy so many varieties? Well, it’s fun to make your own and they are SO GOOD. It’s always rewarding to make something that you could buy and it turns out even better than the store-bought version. These chips are flavorful, crispy, salty, and oh so delicious. You’ll never need to buy chips again after you try these!