The BEST BBQ Side Dishes For Your Next Summer Cookout


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From BBQ baked beans to pasta salad to fruit salad, dips, slaws, and MORE! We have all the side dishes you need to make your next Summer BBQ a huge success!

Collage of tasty BBQ side dishes

Best BBQ Side Dishes

If it hasn’t happened already, you know it is inevitable… You are going to be invited to some kind of BBQ or Summer gathering and you will be asked to bring a side dish. Of course, you will say “yes” but in your mind you are thinking “Oh no! What am I going to bring?!” Well, you have a couple options here. You can bring a bag of chips. You know the drill… pop open the chips, slap the bag on the table and walk away slowly while looking around, hoping no one realized your lazy “side dish” attempt (don’t worry, we have all done it. I have done it more times than I would care to admit).

OR you can bring a side that will really impress the crowd… that is what this post is all about. All of these barbecue side dishes are tried and true crowd pleasers. They are all super easy and your friends and family will love them! Next time someone asks you to bring a side, be excited knowing that you can come here to get the recipe that will be the perfect side dish for your party!

Types of BBQ Side Dishes:

What is your favorite side dish to bring to BBQs? Do you like bringing warm side dishes that you can serve in a Crock Pot? Or cold sides that you can make ahead of time? Or perhaps an easy dip that you can serve with chips? We are going to make this really easy and break down all our favorite side dishes into categories so you can scroll down and find your favorite type and then choose from there.

Pasta Salad

Collage of pasta salads including macaroni salad, shrimp salad, and pizza salad

The nice thing about pasta salads at BBQs is they are generally very cheap to make. They are also easy to double or triple so you can feed a crowd. I also love how you can choose your add-ins to your liking. So easy to adjust for picky eaters or for allergies!

Potato Salad (and Other Potato Side Dishes)

Potato Side dishes for a BBQ including potato salad, grilled potatoes, and foil wrapped potatoes

Since we are from Idaho, we decided that “potatoes” needed to have their own category. You can’t have a BBQ in Idaho without some kind of potato side dish! Our homestyle potato salad is a side dish that is NEVER absent at our family BBQs. It has been a favorite in our family for generations!

Fruit Salad (and Other Fruit Side Dishes)

Collage with different fruit salads including yellow salad, waldorf salad, and grape salad

No BBQ is complete without some kind of fruit salad. You’ve gotta have something sweet to offset all those savory BBQ foods! We are also including some “borderline” fruit salads below that are really more like dessert than a salad. We will let you decide which category it falls into!

Collage of dessert salads including cookie salad, Snickers salad, and strawberry pretzel salad

Dessert Salad

Veggie Side Dishes

Collage of veggie side dishes including pea salad, cucumber salad, and broccoli salad

If you are feeling the need to bring a healthy side dish to your next BBQ (well… healthiER) you can always try one of these veggie sides! A few of them include bacon or a little bit of chicken so they aren’t necessarily “vegetarian” but they are mostly vegetables so we are still going to count it. If you are looking for a more traditional green salad you can check out our salad category HERE.


Collage of dips to bring to a barbecue

You can never go wrong with bringing a tasty dip to a BBQ, especially one of these dips! Make one or make em’ all. They are all super easy to make and can all be made ahead of time. Consider even making them a day ahead (I think most dips taste better the next day anyway)!

Warm BBQ Side Dishes

If you aren’t into the cold side dishes, try one of these hot side dishes instead! All of these can be kept warm in a Crock Pot for your next backyard BBQ. It’s always nice to have at least one hot side dish to complement grilled or barbecued food. We love all of these recipes but our favorite has gotta be the BBQ Baked Beans! I mean, come on, you can’t have a BBQ without BBQ Baked Beans!

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. 5 stars
    Love this collection so much. I’ve already made the mac and cheese and it’s amazing! Thank you!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!

  3. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures
    on this blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s
    the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  4. You guys seriously have the best recipes. All of these sides are totally speaking to me (especially that Pai Mai…)!