The best vegetable side dishes for a barbecue are always going to be ones that can be served as a meal in their own right. They should be prepared ahead of time so that you have time to grill or bake them and make sure they’re served at the perfect temperature.
One of the most popular vegetable side dishes for a barbecue is grilled corn on the cob. Corn is one of the easiest vegetables to cook and the grill gives it a delicious smoky flavor. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, you can prepare a vegetable medley that includes cauliflower, peppers, mushrooms, and more.
When I think about side dishes for barbecue, I always think of vegetables.
They add a nice burst of color, crunchy texture, and flavor. They also go well with most barbecue sauces, especially tomato-based ones.
And don’t worry — you don’t have to cook these vegetable side dishes before serving. The great thing about them is that they can be prepared in advance!
So grab your bbq tongs and get cooking. Here is a list of the best vegetable side dishes for a BBQ!
Why Consider Serving Vegetable Side Dishes for A BBQ?
Cooking meat with vegetables makes for a great meal.
There is something appealing about a meat dish that includes veggies.
Not only are they easy on the budget, but they’re also more nutritious than their meat counterparts.
One thing that many people don’t realize is that vegetables actually benefit the meat that they cook with.
This means that by pairing the two together, you’ll be able to save money and improve the nutritional value of your food.
However, vegetables don’t always have to be paired with meat.
For example, you can serve them alongside the meat as a side dish.
There are lots of different vegetable side dishes that can complement a barbecue.
A few of the most popular options include potato salad, coleslaw, and bean dip.
Many of these side dishes are easy to make, so you won’t have to worry about spending too much time in the kitchen.
If you want to make sure that your side dish is as tasty as possible, then use the right flavorings.
You can add some lemon or lime juice for a bit of zing, and you can also go for a different flavor every now and again by using a bit of a different spice.
For example, if you’re serving potato salad, try adding a few dashes of onion powder.
This will add some flavor without overpowering the taste of the other vegetables.
35 Vegetable Side Dishes for A BBQ
I think the secret to a great barbecue is lots of sides. Not only does it make the whole meal more enjoyable, it means everyone gets a different thing. This is a good thing!
There are a lot of vegetable sides that are great when you’re throwing a barbecue.
So, I decided to create a list of all the vegetable side dishes that can easily be made ahead of time and frozen, allowing you to have an easy meal for your next barbecue.
Here are 35 easy vegetable side dishes for a BBQ:
If you’re planning on serving up a side dish alongside a barbecue, coleslaw is the way to go. I always make mine with shredded cabbage, carrot, and red onion, and I top it with a dollop of plain yoghurt for some tangy flavour.
You can also include slices of cucumber, apple, and tomato, and serve it with homemade mayonnaise, if you want to get extra creative.
2. Potato Salad
I love potato salad. It can be a little messy to make, but it is so incredibly delicious that I would rather eat a little mess than not have it at all! Potato salad doesn’t need much in the way of ingredients – you just need some potatoes, boiled or fried, a bit of oil, vinegar, seasoning, and maybe a dash of mustard too.
You can also add some bacon, ham, or chicken here, and serve it with a selection of fresh fruit.
3. Jalapeño Popper Grilled Corn Salad
You don’t need to have any special ingredients or a recipe to serve this one! All you need is a bag of corn on the cob and some red, jalapeños! Serve it alongside a barbecue with lots of sides including potato salad, slaw, and coleslaw. They’ll really love it!
4. Quick Collard Greens
Collards are a staple of my diet, and I often make them in advance so that I can enjoy them later in the week. It’s a great option for side dishes to serve alongside a barbecue, and they’re also delicious on their own!
5. Green Beans
Serve a recipe using canned green beans when cooking outdoors because they really do hold up well in the heat and humidity!
I recommend buying them ready peeled and pre-cut so that they’re easier to cook quickly. You can also serve them as a side dish to accompany your barbecue or as a starter alongside a roast dinner.
6. Baked Potatoes
Baked potatoes are a great option if you’re looking for a quick and easy side dish to go with your barbecued meat. You can make them yourself in the oven or microwave, so it won’t take up too much time to prepare.
Just make sure you use a good quality potato though, as they can be surprisingly bland on their own.
7. Microwave Corn on the Cob
Microwave cooking is great for getting veggies like corn on the cob super crispy without using a lot of oil. You just need a microwave safe container and a little bit of salt and water to create a steamy environment that gives you perfectly cooked corn.
You can serve the corn on its own as a side dish, or you could add it to a salad for a little extra crunch.
8. Green Salad with Apples and Cranberries
A green salad is a really nice accompaniment to a BBQ, and this one has plenty going for it. It’s packed full of goodness, with lots of fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Make sure you choose a combination of greens that’s fresh, and avoid adding any dressings or sauces that contain high levels of salt. You can always leave out the bacon if you want, or replace it with a little bit of smoked salmon or chorizo.
9. Pea Salad With Bacon Bits
If you’re going to be cooking up a barbecue on a hot day, a pea salad with bacon bits is an ideal accompaniment! Peas are a fantastic source of iron, vitamin C, and protein. They also contain folate, which helps protect against heart disease.
It’s not too late to prepare one for your next BBQ – just be sure to cook the peas well and rinse them thoroughly before serving. Try adding some crumbled feta cheese to the salad as well if you want to add extra flavour and nutrition!
A jar of pickles in the fridge will definitely come in handy when you’re hosting a barbecue, especially if you have any vegetarians in your party. They’ll really appreciate the crunch and acidity they can get from these tasty treats.
If you don’t have time to make your own, you could always go for a jar of pre-prepared mixed pickles, but be careful not to add vinegar to them as it will make them soggy and unappealing.
11. Broccoli Salad
One of my favourite ways to eat broccoli is as a salad! It’s incredibly versatile and really easy to prepare. Simply cut up your broccoli into bite sized florets, add some sliced or chopped red onion and a couple of handfuls of fresh, whole spinach leaves, and combine.
Add a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds and your salad is complete. You can also add any other vegies that you like, like peppers and tomatoes.
12. Oven-Baked Tomatoes
I love how quick and easy it is to make oven-baked tomatoes, and they’re great for serving at a BBQ or potluck because they can be prepared in advance. Simply scoop the insides of ripe, over-ripe, and unripe tomatoes and add some tomato sauce.
To make things easy, just keep them in the fridge until you need them, then pop them straight into the oven for a few minutes before serving!
13. Pan-Fried Zucchini
A zucchini is a versatile veg that goes really well with a variety of dishes, so it’s a great vegetable for a BBQ. Simply slice it into thick, bite sized pieces, and add some extra flavour with some spices. I love grilling my zucchini on a barbecue, and it works particularly well with a sweet rub.
14. Sweet Potato Fries
If you’re going to be eating a lot of meat at your next BBQ, try making Sweet Potato Fries as a side dish! These are so simple to prepare and they taste amazing. Just boil the potatoes until tender, then drain them well and cut into fries.
Bake in the oven, or fry them up on the stove top. The sky’s the limit with the toppings that you can use here too, so feel free to get creative!
15. Parmesan Potato Wedges
Parmesan cheese is one of the tastiest ingredients you can add to potatoes to make them extra tasty.
You’ll find that wedges are especially handy when you’re cooking in the oven as they don’t take up too much space and can easily be served with your main meal if you’re having a BBQ. They’re also really quick to prepare, so they’re great to have on hand for busy days!
16. Pan-Fried Broccoli
A tasty vegetable side dish to serve for friends and family is broccoli, as it’s delicious, healthy, and easy to make.
To cook broccoli, just steam it for three to five minutes until tender, then sauté it in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. It’s that simple!
17. Steamed Green Beans with Lemon
Green beans are one of my favourite vegetables, and I love nothing more than a side serving of fresh steamed green beans with lemon. They’re quick and easy to prepare, and are packed full of antioxidants thanks to the folate they contain.
Just blanch them in boiling water for two minutes and then drain and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
18. Roasted Cauliflower
Cauliflower is another super healthy vegetable that you can really enjoy as part of your BBQ. It’s one of those veggies that takes very little preparation time, but still looks beautiful when served.
Simply place it in a roasting tin and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. You can top it with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt, if you like.
19. Parmesan Baked Asparagus
If you love the crunch of a baked asparagus, then this is the recipe for you! The cheesy topping is absolutely delicious and makes this side dish a complete winner!
You can vary the flavour by using any type of cheese that you enjoy, but I think Parmesan is the best! You can even use a mixture of different cheeses.
20. Sauteed Spinach
Spinach is such a versatile vegetable. It’s delicious steamed or sautéed, and makes a great base for pasta, lasagne, and pizza. I love using this recipe for sauteed spinach as it means that the flavour of the cooked spinach can be retained, while the spinach remains perfectly green and fresh.
The trick with sauteing spinach is to cook it for just the right amount of time so that the greens remain bright and fresh, but you don’t let them overcook and turn brown.
21. Sauteed Mushrooms
Mushrooms are such a versatile vegetable, and they can be eaten raw or cooked. They’re also great to serve as a side dish alongside a barbecue, as the smoky flavour really makes them stand out.
Try serving sauteed mushrooms in a salad, in a stir fry, or simply sauteed with salt and pepper on their own in a pan. It’s also a great option to use in pasta sauces!
22. Sauteed Kale
If you’re eating a barbecue, I think it’s really important to have a side serving of sauteed kale! It works really well with any BBQ chicken recipe and can be served alongside beef, pork, lamb, and even vegetarian options!
Cook the kale in batches, as it tends to steam up and get soggy if you’re cooking too much at once.
You can either cut them into strips, or roughly chop them into large pieces. Toss them with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Just make sure you don’t leave them too long on the heat though, as they can easily overcook.
23. Sauteed Cabbage
One of the easiest ways to cook a side dish of vegetables is to saute them in some oil in a pan. You can use a range of vegetables here, so you can mix it up and try different flavours. Some ideas include cabbage, sweet potato, capsicum, and carrot.
You can even add other herbs like rosemary and thyme if you want. Just keep an eye on them as they can easily burn.
24. Crispy Brussels Sprouts
This one is great fun to make, and works really well with barbecue food! Just prepare your brussels sprouts as you normally would, then place them on a baking tray, spray with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and pop them under the grill for about five minutes.
They’ll turn crispy and delicious, and they’re the perfect accompaniment to barbecued meats and sausages.
25. Roasted Vegetables
A side serving of roasted vegetables makes the most of any leftover vegetables that you might have in the fridge, as it’s easy to prepare and they’ll keep fresh in the fridge for a few days. Try adding some sweet potatoes, courgettes, or butternut squash to the mix.
26. Roasted Delicata Squash “Fries”
side serving of crunchy roasted delicata squash makes for a fun and interesting option. If you don’t have access to a roasting tin at home, you can still make them, just use a baking tray instead!
You can get lots of flavour into these by rubbing them with some lemon juice, then seasoning with salt, black pepper, and a pinch of garlic powder.
27. Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese
The goat cheese also adds a lovely richness to the dish, which is a bonus if you’re trying to keep your cholesterol levels down!
28. Sauteed Zucchini
It’s nice to serve something light at the end of a meal, but it’s even better when it makes your guests feel fuller and more satisfied for longer. Just chop up some zucchini into slices and toss them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.
This is also a great choice if you’re in the middle of cooking your main course, as the zucchini will cook really quickly.
29. Sauteed Rainbow Chard
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy a delicious side dish of sautéed rainbow chard! This green leafy vegetable is rich in iron, calcium, folate, and vitamin C, making it a good choice if you’re watching your weight.
It also contains lutein, a phytochemical which is believed to help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Sauté some finely chopped chard leaves in a generous amount of butter until soft, before adding some finely sliced onions and some freshly ground black pepper.
Continue to cook over medium heat for a further 5-10 minutes or until the onions are caramelised, before stirring through some grated Parmesan cheese.
30. Roasted Fennel
Fennel has an intense licorice flavour, and a little bit goes a long way. It works well as a side dish to accompany chicken dishes, and can be served hot, cold, or pickled, depending on your preference. It’s also a fantastic ingredient to use when making your own homemade stock.
Simply cut off the bulb and leave the stalks intact, then roast in the oven at 220°C for around 20 minutes or until tender. Let the fennel cool, then remove the core and seeds, chop the flesh into large chunks, and store in the fridge for up to a week.
31. Sauteed Carrots
I love a nice big serving of sauteed carrots with my ribs or chicken at the barbecue, because they’re so delicious and add a burst of sweetness to my meal. Choose a bag of baby carrots for this one, as they’re super easy to prep, but you could use normal carrots too if you prefer.
Simply slice them into batons and steam them in some lightly salted water. They’ll take around 20 minutes to cook, so don’t rush them! Once they’ve been steaming away, just drain and toss in some olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and serve alongside your main course.
32. Glazed Carrots
The great thing about glazed carrots is that they go with almost anything. They’re a great alternative to plain steamed vegetables if you want something a little different, and they can also work well with a spicy curry, or even a creamy dip like guacamole.
It’s also really handy if you’re making a vegetarian or vegan meal.
Simply slice the whole carrots into batons and toss them in some butter or oil, then coat them in a simple mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. You can let the carrots sit out for around 30 minutes for maximum caramelisation before serving.
33. Celery Salad with Apples and Nuts
I think it’s important to add something crunchy to your side dish to offset the heaviness of a juicy barbecue, so I usually go for something like celery salad. It’s packed with lots of fibre, and the crunchy texture works well with the other flavours.
For this, cut up some apples, pears, and nuts into bite-sized chunks, and toss them in with some fresh herbs and some good quality extra virgin olive oil.
34. White Beans
If you’ve got a big group of people coming over, you might want to make enough white beans to fill a large serving bowl.
A simple white bean salad like this will provide all the fresh vegetables you need for a healthy side dish, plus protein, fibre, and essential vitamins and minerals. Mix some chopped tomatoes and feta into the beans, and you’re sure to be pleased with the result.
35. Sauteed Mixed Vegetables
This is one of the easiest side dishes to prepare and can be made in less than 30 minutes. Simply heat up a bit of oil in a pan, add some chopped veggies (I love to use a mix of mushrooms, peppers, and beans), and stir fry them until they start to caramelise.
You’re looking for soft veggies that don’t take much time to cook through, so it’s good to stick to those that are easy to chop up and cook quickly. For more of a flavourful accompaniment, try serving this with some brown sugar or honey, as well as freshly squeezed lemon juice.
35 Vegetable Side Dishes for A BBQ
- Potato Salad
- Jalapeño Popper Grilled Corn Salad
- Quick Collard Greens
- Green Beans
- Baked Potatoes
- Microwave Corn on the Cob
- Green Salad with Apples and Cranberries
- Pea Salad With Bacon Bits
- Broccoli Salad
- Oven-Baked Tomatoes
- Pan-Fried Zucchini
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Parmesan Potato Wedges
- Pan-Fried Broccoli
- Steamed Green Beans with Lemon
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Parmesan Baked Asparagus
- Sauteed Spinach
- Sauteed Mushrooms
- Sauteed Kale
- Sauteed Cabbage
- Crispy Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Vegetables
- Roasted Delicata Squash "Fries"
- Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese
- Sauteed Zucchini
- Sauteed Rainbow Chard
- Roasted Fennel
- Sauteed Carrots
- Glazed Carrots
- Celery Salad with Apples and Nuts
- White Beans
- Sauteed Mixed Vegetables
- Pick any of these easy veggie sides for your next BBQ.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Enjoy your food in no time!