Skip to Content

25 Sides for Ribs: Delicious Companions for BBQ Nights

I’ve attached a video for every recipe below from my favorite home cooks. I know some of you prefer watching a quick video over reading, so I thought that might be helpful.

When it comes to enjoying a plate of ribs, the sides can truly make the meal unforgettable. From classic baked beans and creamy coleslaw to unique dishes like grilled watermelon and corn fritters, these sides will elevate your barbecue experience. Imagine a table laden with crispy fried okra, mac & cheese, and tangy pasta salad, all perfectly complementing the rich, smoky flavor of your ribs.

Whether you’re hosting a family feast or a summer cookout, these side dishes are sure to please. Dive into this collection to find your next favorite recipe that your guests will love.

Coleslaw

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions


  1. In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, grated carrot, and sliced red onion.



  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper until smooth.



  3. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture.



  4. Toss everything well to coat all the vegetables with the dressing.



  5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the coleslaw for at least one hour to let the flavors combine.



  6. Before serving, give the coleslaw another good toss.


Enjoy your coleslaw as a refreshing side dish with those delicious ribs!

Baked Beans

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).



  2. Cook the chopped bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove and set aside.



  3. In the same skillet, sauté the chopped onion in the bacon fat until soft.



  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the drained navy beans, cooked bacon, sautéed onions, ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper.



  5. Mix all the ingredients well until fully combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.



  6. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil.



  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until bubbly and hot.



  8. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to thicken the sauce.



  9. Allow it to cool slightly before serving with your ribs.


Your baked beans are ready to enjoy!

Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter (for topping)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain well.
  2. In a saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat.
  3. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute until bubbly.
  4. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook and stir until mixture thickens and bubbles.
  5. Add cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Stir until melted.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add cooked macaroni and mix well.
  8. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish.
  9. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and combine with bread crumbs.
  10. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over the top of the mac and cheese.
  11. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Enjoy your delicious mac and cheese with ribs!

Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup diced pickles
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Bacon bits, crumbled blue cheese

Instructions:

  1. Boil the diced potatoes in salted water until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and let them cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooled potatoes, chopped eggs, pickles, onion, and celery.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the potato mixture. Toss gently to combine.
  5. Add optional bacon bits or crumbled blue cheese if desired.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Enjoy your potato salad with ribs!

Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease a 9-inch square baking pan or a cast-iron skillet.



  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.



  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, vegetable oil, and eggs.



  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Avoid overmixing.



  5. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan or skillet. Spread evenly.



  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.



  7. Let cool for a few minutes before slicing. Enjoy warm!


Grilled Vegetables

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Instructions:


  1. Wash all the vegetables thoroughly.



  2. Cut the zucchini and yellow squash into thin slices.



  3. Slice the bell peppers into strips, removing the seeds.



  4. Cut the red onion into thick rings.



  5. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried oregano.



  6. Add the sliced vegetables to the bowl and toss them until they’re well-coated with the seasoning mix.



  7. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.



  8. Place the vegetables on the grill in a single layer.



  9. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until the vegetables are tender and have grill marks.



  10. Remove the vegetables from the grill and serve immediately with your ribs.


Garlic Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of French bread
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).



  2. Cut the French bread in half, lengthwise.



  3. In a small bowl, mix the butter, minced garlic, chopped parsley, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper until well combined.



  4. Spread the garlic butter mixture evenly over the cut sides of the bread.



  5. Place the halves on a baking sheet, buttered side up.



  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden and crispy.



  7. Slice and serve warm. Enjoy!


Corn on the Cob

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (or air fryer to 380°F).



  2. Cut each ear of corn crosswise, then stand upright and cut into quarters.



  3. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, sea salt, paprika, and black pepper.



  4. Brush the corn pieces with the olive oil mixture.



  5. Place seasoned corn in a single layer on a baking sheet or in an air fryer basket.



  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes (air fry for 13-14 minutes) or until tender and slightly charred.



  7. Melt the butter in a small pan and add minced garlic. Cook for 20 seconds.



  8. Mix mayonnaise, sriracha, honey, and a pinch of salt in another small bowl to make the dip.



  9. Once the corn is cooked, brush with the garlic butter and serve with the dip.


Enjoy your delicious corn on the cob as a perfect side for ribs!

Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes into large chunks.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover them with water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Drain the water from the pot.
  6. Mash the potatoes until smooth.
  7. Add the minced garlic, milk, and butter.
  8. Mix until the ingredients are well combined.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve warm with your ribs.

Green Salad

Ingredients needed:

  • Fresh lettuce (1 head)
  • Cherry tomatoes (1 cup)
  • Cucumber (1, sliced)
  • Red onion (1/2, thinly sliced)
  • Feta cheese (1/2 cup, crumbled)
  • Black olives (1/4 cup, pitted)
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Lemon juice (1 tablespoon)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Wash and dry the lettuce. Tear it into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise.
  3. Slice the cucumber and red onion thinly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion.
  5. Add the crumbled feta cheese and black olives on top.
  6. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over the salad.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Toss the ingredients together until evenly coated.
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly and pat them dry with a towel.
  3. Pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork.
  4. Rub each sweet potato with olive oil until fully coated.
  5. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  6. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  8. Let them cool for a few minutes, then slice them open and enjoy!

Collard Greens

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound collard greens, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 smoked ham hock or 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until softened.
  3. Add the smoked ham hock or chopped bacon. Cook until browned.
  4. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Add collard greens to the pot. Stir to combine.
  6. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  7. Reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender.

Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Smoked paprika (for garnish)

Instructions:


  1. Boil the Eggs: Place the eggs in a pot and cover them with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, cover the pot, remove from heat, and let sit for 12 minutes.



  2. Cool the Eggs: Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool for about 5 minutes. Peel the eggs once they are cool.



  3. Prepare the Yolks: Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and scoop out the yolks into a bowl. Place the egg whites on a serving platter.



  4. Mix the Filling: Mash the yolks with a fork and add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, white vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mix until smooth.



  5. Fill the Egg Whites: Spoon or pipe the yolk mixture back into the egg white halves.



  6. Garnish and Serve: Lightly sprinkle smoked paprika over the filled eggs for garnish. Enjoy!


Potato Chips

Ingredients:

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Optional: spices like paprika, garlic powder, or onion powder

Instructions:

  1. Wash and peel the potatoes.
  2. Slice the potatoes thinly using a mandolin or sharp knife.
  3. Soak the slices in cold water for 30 minutes.
  4. Drain and pat the slices dry with paper towels.
  5. Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 350°F (175°C).
  6. Fry the potato slices in small batches until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and optional spices.
  8. Serve warm and enjoy!

Onion Rings

Onion rings are a great side for ribs. They are crunchy, sweet, and taste great with the savory ribs. Plus, they are easy to make at home. Here’s how you can make them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large onions
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying

Instructions:


  1. Slice the onions into 1/4-inch rings and separate them.



  2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.



  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg and milk together.



  4. Dip each onion ring into the flour mixture, then into the egg mixture, and coat with bread crumbs.



  5. Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 365°F (185°C).



  6. Fry the onion rings in small batches until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes.



  7. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.


Corn Fritters

Corn fritters are a great side dish for BBQ ribs. They are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Here’s how you can make them at home:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions (optional)
  • Oil for frying

Instructions:


  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and sugar.



  2. In another bowl, whisk together the milk and egg.



  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until smooth.



  4. Fold in the corn kernels and green onions (if using).



  5. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.



  6. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil, flattening them slightly with the back of the spoon.



  7. Fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.



  8. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve hot.


Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 small Vidalia onion
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Peel and slice the cucumbers thinly.
  2. Thinly slice the onion.
  3. Place cucumber and onion slices in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and let sit for 30 minutes to draw out excess water.
  4. Drain and pat dry the cucumber and onion slices.
  5. In another bowl, mix the sour cream, dill, salt, and pepper.
  6. Add the cucumber and onion slices to the sour cream mixture and stir well to combine.
  7. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy your refreshing cucumber salad!

Black-Eyed Peas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: smoked ham hock or bacon

Instructions


  1. Rinse and soak peas: Rinse your dried black-eyed peas under cold water. Soak them in water for at least 4 hours or overnight.



  2. Heat olive oil: In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.



  3. Sauté vegetables: Add the chopped onion, garlic, and celery. Cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes.



  4. Add tomatoes and stock: Stir in the diced tomatoes and chicken stock.



  5. Add peas: Drain the soaked peas and add them to the pot.



  6. Optional meat: If using, add the smoked ham hock or bacon.



  7. Simmer: Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the peas are tender.



  8. Season: Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the ham hock or bacon if used, chop the meat, and return it to the pot.



  9. Serve: Ladle into bowls and serve hot. Enjoy!


Green Beans

Green beans are a classic side dish for BBQ ribs. You can prepare them in many ways, but a simple and tasty method is to make green beans with crispy bacon. This dish is easy and complements the rich flavors of the ribs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fresh green beans
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:


  1. Prep the green beans: Wash and trim the ends off the green beans.



  2. Cook the bacon: In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until it’s crispy. Remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel to drain. Crumble it once it’s cool.



  3. Sauté the onion and garlic: In the same skillet, add the diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté until they are softened and fragrant.



  4. Add the green beans: Stir in the green beans with the onion and garlic. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.



  5. Cook the green beans: Cover the skillet and cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, until the beans are tender but still a bit crisp.



  6. Combine and serve: Add the crumbled bacon back into the skillet. Mix well and serve hot.


Enjoy your green beans as a tasty, savory side for your barbecue ribs!

Creamed Corn

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.



  2. Add corn kernels and cook for about 5 minutes until tender.



  3. Sprinkle flour over the corn and stir well to combine.



  4. Pour in heavy cream and milk, stirring constantly.



  5. Add sugar, salt, and pepper to taste.



  6. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens.



  7. Serve warm with your favorite ribs.


Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup milk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add the cold, cubed butter. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to combine until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  4. Pour in the milk and stir just until the dough comes together.
  5. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently about 10 times.
  6. Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thick.
  7. Use a round cutter to cut out the biscuits.
  8. Place them on a baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy your fresh, warm biscuits with your BBQ ribs!

Corn Pudding

Ingredients

  • 5 ears of fresh corn (or 3 cups of thawed frozen corn)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).



  2. Grease a baking dish with a bit of butter or cooking spray.



  3. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs. Otherwise, use thawed frozen corn.



  4. In a large bowl, combine the corn, heavy cream, sugar, and melted butter.



  5. Add the beaten eggs and stir well.



  6. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.



  7. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until combined.



  8. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish.



  9. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.



  10. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!


Zucchini Fries

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray

Instructions:


  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray.



  2. Cut zucchinis into sticks about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch thick.



  3. In one bowl, mix panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.



  4. In another bowl, beat the eggs.



  5. Place the flour in a third bowl.



  6. Coat each zucchini stick in flour, dip in egg, and roll in the breadcrumb mixture.



  7. Place the coated zucchini sticks on the baking sheet.



  8. Lightly spray the zucchini sticks with cooking spray.



  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.



  10. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.


Vinegar Coleslaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Coleslaw Mix
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions:


  1. In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, bell pepper, and onion.



  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and black pepper until the sugar dissolves.



  3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat everything evenly.



  4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, stirring occasionally.



  5. Serve chilled and enjoy!


Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn on the cob
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Butter (optional)
  • Salt (optional)

Instructions:


  1. Husk the corn and remove the silk. Rinse to ensure no silk remains.



  2. Pour 1 cup of cold water into the Instant Pot.



  3. Place a trivet or steamer basket in the Instant Pot.



  4. Arrange the ears of corn on the trivet. You can stack them in layers if needed.



  5. Close the lid and set the steam release knob to the sealing position.



  6. Select the Pressure Cook or Manual button. Set to high pressure for 2 minutes for firm corn or 3-4 minutes for softer corn.



  7. Once the cooking time is done, use a quick release to release the pressure.



  8. Carefully remove the lid. If desired, you can brush the corn with butter and sprinkle with salt before serving.


Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.