50+ Easy BBQ Side Dishes for Every Kind of Cookout

updated Jul 25, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Overhead photo of bow tie pasta salad
Credit: Kelli Foster

No matter what is on the grill this summer be it baby back ribs, tequila lime chicken, French onion burgers, or mahi mahi you’re going to need a bounty of sides to feed those hungry crowds. From the tried-and-true classics like coleslaw, to fresh salads with ripe tomatoes and creamy avocados — these are of our favorite side dishes for your warm weather BBQs.

Classic Side Dishes

Pasta salad? Check! Creamy coleslaw? Check! An easy fruit salad and a classic bean salad everyone will love? Check and check.

1 / 9
Easiest Pasta Salad
This goes-anywhere, has-everything pasta salad is one we think you should know by heart.
Go to Recipe
2 / 9
Classic Buttermilk Coleslaw

Everyone needs a classic slaw recipe, and this one’s guaranteed to please. It’s the quintessential Southern side that's at once cool, creamy, and no-frills.

Go to Recipe
3 / 9
The Best Classic Potato Salad
Today, let's pare it down to the basics and talk about how to make an easy, classic, all-American potato salad.
Go to Recipe
4 / 9
Brown Sugar & Bacon Slow Cooker Baked Beans
Use the slow cooker to transform dried beans into tender, tangy-sweet baked beans. They're perfect for every summer cookout!
Go to Recipe
5 / 9
Vegetarian Baked Beans
Classic sweet and smoky baked beans without the bacon.
Go to Recipe
6 / 9
Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
Cooking corn in the air fryer results in the most tender-crisp kernel with some lightly charred edges in every sweet bite.
Go to Recipe
7 / 9
Easiest Summer Fruit Salad

This easy summer fruit salad is proof of that little effort can have high return.

Go to Recipe
8 / 9
Grilled Green Beans
Green beans love the grill. Here's how it's done.
Go to Recipe
9 / 9
Baked Potato
Here’s how to make an absolutely perfect baked potato every time, from choosing the right type of potato to how long to bake it for.
Go to Recipe

Fresh Salads

If you’re looking for a few hearty salads or just something vibrant with summer produce, these recipes are just for you.

1 / 12
Watermelon Salad
This zesty, savory watermelon salad has all the delightful, crunchy elements of a perfect summer side.
Go to Recipe
2 / 12
The Ultimate Summer Salad
A bright and fresh mix of sweet summer peaches and juicy cherry tomatoes, tossed in a tangy cilantro-lime vinaigrette.
Go to Recipe
3 / 12
Caprese Couscous Salad
This quick, almost no-cook side dish features couscous, pesto sauce, cherry tomatoes, and mini mozzarella balls.
Go to Recipe
4 / 12
Black-Eyed Pea Summer Salad
A bright summer salad with black-eyed peas, avocado, cherry tomatoes, corn, and cucumbers dressed in a punchy lime vinaigrette.
Go to Recipe
5 / 12
Smashed Shito Cucumber Salad
It’s all about big flavor and the spicy-fresh contrast between cool, crisp cucumbers and shito, a smoky Ghanian hot pepper sauce.
Go to Recipe
6 / 12
Kachumbari
This fresh tomato and onion salad is a summer staple in Kenya.
Go to Recipe
7 / 12
Mediterranean-Style Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette
This vegetarian chopped salad — packed with farro, chickpeas, and plenty of fresh veggies— gets even better as it sits.
Go to Recipe
8 / 12
Strawberry Arugula Salad
A simple 5-ingredient recipe for arugula salad with strawberries, pistachios, and fresh basil.
Go to Recipe
9 / 12
Spanakopita Kale Salad
With briny feta crumbles, crunchy toasted walnuts, and zippy herbs, this chopped kale salad tastes just like spanakopita, the iconic Greek savory pie.
Go to Recipe
10 / 12
Summer Veggie Chopped Salad
A simple summer salad with tomatoes, corn, bacon, mozzarella cheese balls, arugula, basil, and a simple lemon vinagrette.
Go to Recipe
11 / 12
Green Fruit Salad
Cubes of cool, mellow melon are tossed with sweet green grapes, star fruit, creamy avocado, and fresh mint for an easy fruit salad that looks and tastes impressive.
Go to Recipe

Potato Salads

Potato salads are great for BBQs because they can be made in advance and get even better when stored overnight.

1 / 10
Lemony Greek Potato Salad
Inspired by Greek potatoes, this easy potato salad is packed with bright, tangy flavors.
Go to Recipe
2 / 10
Loaded Potato Salad
A homey potato salad loaded with bacon, cheese, and green onion/scallions in a sour cream and mayo dressing. It’s all the flavors you love transformed into the perfect summer side dish.
Go to Recipe
3 / 10
Buffalo Potato Salad
This spicy, crunchy potato salad takes the BBQ staple to a whole new level.
Go to Recipe
5 / 10
Potato Salad with Yogurt, Arugula, and Dill
A fresh and simple potato salad recipe for spring.
Go to Recipe
6 / 10
Bacon-Lovers' Potato Salad
This tangy German-inspired potato salad has bacon-y goodness infused into every single bite.
Go to Recipe
7 / 10
Mixed New Potato Salad with Sweet Basil and Shallots
Toss tiny new potatoes with tangy buttermilk and sour cream along with handfuls of fresh sweet basil and crunchy shallots. It's the new summer classic.
Go to Recipe
9 / 10
Instant Pot Potato Salad
This basic potato salad has just 5-ingredients and can be served warm or chilled.
Go to Recipe
10 / 10
French-Inspired Potato Salad
An easy recipe for a mayo-free potato salad that's light and tangy thanks to Dijon mustard and fresh herbs.
Go to Recipe

Corn Sides

Corn is peak summer, meaning it tastes its very best but is also cheap and easy to come by. These recipes include raw and baked variations.

1 / 9
Avocado-Corn Salad
Fresh sweet corn, creamy avocado, and juicy tomatoes shine in this flavorful summer side dish.
Go to Recipe
2 / 9
Corn Salad
This fresh corn salad is mixed with juicy tomatoes, sweet basil, and salty feta for a simple, refreshing salad that tastes like summer.
Go to Recipe
3 / 9
Succotash
A big platter of succotash is a celebration of all the vibrant vegetables coming into season: sweet corn, baby lima beans, ripe red tomatoes, and tender okra.
Go to Recipe
4 / 9
Cheesy Corn Garlic Bread

Meet your sumer garlic bread. It’s buttery, fragrant, incredibly cheesy, and loaded with corn.

Go to Recipe
5 / 9
Charred Corn and Halloumi Salad
From the sweet corn, salty halloumi cheese, and jammy pickled Peppadew peppers, this easy salad is a trifecta of flavors.
Go to Recipe
6 / 9
Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)
Sweet, charred corn is partnered with a slew of ingredients for a salad that's just the right balance of smoky, spicy, tangy.
Go to Recipe
7 / 9
Baked Corn Pudding Casserole
It's soft and tender on the inside with just a touch of texture from sweet corn and cornmeal, and blanketed with a delicate golden crust.
Go to Recipe
8 / 9
Korean Corn Cheese Dip
This cheesy, flavor-packed dip comes together in less than 30 minutes.
Go to Recipe
9 / 9
Smoky Corn and Shrimp Fritters

Sure, corn is great tossed into salads and folded into cheesy bakes and casseroles. But it can shine just as bright when paired with succulent shrimp. Case in point: these crispy, smoky fritters.

Go to Recipe

Pasta Salads

The best thing about pasta salad is how it mingles with so many different kinds of vegetables, meats, herbs, and cheese. It’s a barbecue side dish stunner.

1 / 11
Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad
Tuna salad meets pasta salad in this light and creamy mash-up that's the perfect side for a picnic or cookout.
Go to Recipe
2 / 11
Bow Tie Pasta Salad
Your cookout isn’t complete with a big-batch of pasta salad dressed in zesty vinaigrette and tossed together with a rainbow of fresh vegetables.
Go to Recipe
3 / 11
Caesar Pasta Salad

Inspired by the beloved salad, tendrils of spiral pasta are partnered with bite-size pieces of juicy chicken breast, crisp romaine, ruby-red tomatoes, buttery croutons, and shards of salty Parmesan, all tossed together with creamy Caesar dressing.

Go to Recipe
4 / 11
BLT Pasta Salad
This pasta salad takes everything you love about that classic sandwich, then folds it into a summery side that's sure to be a hit at your next potluck.
Go to Recipe
5 / 11
Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad
A recipe for pasta salad filled with broccoli, feta, and Kalamata olives, which can be made ahead.
Go to Recipe
6 / 11
Shrimp Pasta Salad
This shrimp pasta salad recipe is laced with tiny succulent shrimp, crunchy celery, colorful red onion, bell pepper, juicy cherry tomatoes and feta crumbles.
Go to Recipe
7 / 11
Ranch Pasta Salad
This ranch pasta salad is packed with veggies and texture, but still delivers classic creamy macaroni salad vibes.
Go to Recipe
8 / 11
Caprese Pasta Salad
All the classic components of caprese salad — juicy tomatoes, sweet basil, and milky mozzarella, come together in this crowd-pleasing pasta salad.
Go to Recipe
9 / 11
Corn and Avocado Pasta Salad with Cilantro and Lime
Every forkful of this colorful pasta salad is packed with fresh corn, creamy avocado, and plenty of cilantro and lime.
Go to Recipe
10 / 11
Asparagus & Prosciutto Pasta Salad
Grilled asparagus, prosciutto ribbons, and baby spinach star in a fast and fancy pasta salad.
Go to Recipe
11 / 11
Grilled Zucchini Pasta Salad

With no time to overthink the food, make this easy pasta salad with summer’s freshest farmers market veggies.

Go to Recipe

Slaws

Your BBQ cannot have too many slaws — especially when they vary in vegetables, dressings, and crunch factor.

1 / 10
No-Mayo Coleslaw
This vinegar-based, entirely dairy-free coleslaw is a refreshing summertime side.
Go to Recipe
2 / 10
Creamy 3-Ingredient Cilantro-Lime Slaw
This creamy, BBQ-ready cilantro slaw can be made at a moment's notice, and does not skimp on flavor.
Go to Recipe
3 / 10
Cilantro Lime Coleslaw
Classic tricolor slaw updated with fresh cilantro and a punchy lime-mayonnaise dressing.
Go to Recipe
4 / 10
Ginger Cabbage Slaw
Whip up this quick & simple slaw for your next veggie burger or salad.
Go to Recipe
5 / 10
Kale Slaw
An easy slaw using shredded cruciferous vegetables, almonds, and dried cherries in a tangy honey-mustard dressing.
Go to Recipe
6 / 10
Easy Taco Slaw
A simple recipe for red cabbage and carrot coleslaw that's tossed in a spicy and creamy dressing — perfect for serving alongside tacos.
Go to Recipe
7 / 10
Broccoli Slaw
As a salad base, julienned broccoli stems and other crunchy vegetables stand up to creamy dressings like a dream and stay firm for days.
Go to Recipe
8 / 10
Tangy Carrot Slaw
A recipe for easy carrot slaw tossed with a tangy Dijon mustard dressing.
Go to Recipe
9 / 10
Tri-Color Slaw with Lime Dressing

Sticky sauce barbecue meat pull chicken of all kind beg to have a bright, fresh slaw to go alongside. This colorful salad features a dressing made of fresh lime juice and just a touch of sweetness from sugar.

Go to Recipe
10 / 10
Cilantro-Jalapeño Jicama Slaw

Here, refreshing jicama and beautiful red cabbage get tossed together with tangy lime juice, spicy jalapeños, and cilantro for a great slaw to serve with tacos or tamales.

Go to Recipe