I love ribs.
I really do.
But let’s be honest here: they’re not necessarily the healthiest thing to eat.
See Also: What Salad Goes with Ribs? 10 Best Salads
They’re full of fat, and they come from animals, which means they have cholesterol.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your ribs and feel good about it!
The key is to pair them with vegetables that will help make up for the less-than-healthy parts of the meal.
That way, you get all the flavor of the ribs without feeling like you’ve just eaten a brick.
Just try these 21 vegetables with your next rib dinner, and I promise you’ll feel better about yourself (and maybe even have room left over for dessert).
21 Vegetables that Go with Ribs
The thing about ribs is that they’re so good, that you don’t want to mess them up.
And the thing about veggies is that they’re so good, that you don’t want to mess them up.
But what if I told you that the two could be friends?
I know—it seems too good to be true.
But it’s not!
Ribs and veggies are a match made in heaven, and these 15 vegetables are just the start of the possibilities.
Let’s take a look at 21 vegetables that go with ribs:
1. Corn on The Cob
Corn on the cob is a delicious, nutritious vegetable that can help turn your meal into a complete one.
It’s also easy to cook, and it pairs well with many different types of meat.
Corn on the cob is a great vegetable to have on hand when you’re making ribs.
It’s a great side dish, and it also pairs well with other vegetables.
Here’s how I like to turn this into a complete meal:
- I start by getting my corn ready For my favorite way of doing this, I coat the corn in melted butter and then sprinkle salt on it.
- Once that’s done, I’ll set it aside while I cook my ribs.
- Then, once they’re done, I’ll add some more butter or oil to a pan and throw in the corn.
- Once it gets nice and crispy—about five minutes—I’ll mix in some sugar for sweetness and toss it all together until the sugar melts into the corn kernels (and caramelizes).
You can also make side dishes with your corn on the cob, or even use it as part of an appetizer spread—just cut off the kernels from one end of each ear of corn after cooking it according to your preferred method (you can keep them whole or slice them).
Green beans are one of those vegetables that is hard to mess up.
They’re versatile, easy to prepare, and they look great on the plate.
They’re also a great way to turn a meal into a complete meal.
When I’m cooking with ribs, green beans are one of my favorite things to include in the mix.
Here are some ideas for recipes that you can make with this veggie:
Carrots are a great vegetable to cook with ribs.
They’re sweet, they’re easy to prepare, and they complement the meaty flavor of your grilled ribs.
If you’re looking for something really simple, try pairing carrots with your favorite barbecue sauce.
Just toss them in with the ribs when you grill them and brush on some sauce once they’re done.
You’ll get a sweet and spicy flavor that will complement the meaty taste of your ribs.
You can also use carrots as part of a side dish that goes well with your ribs.
Try making a carrot salad by combining shredded carrots, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice.
Add salt and pepper to taste, then top it off with some shredded cabbage for crunch.
Radishes are another great addition to a meal with ribs!
I like to buy a bunch of radishes, cut them into bite-sized pieces, and serve them alongside my ribs.
Then I can add some red wine vinegar for extra sweetness and spicy heat.
If you want to make it into an even more complete meal, you can add some greens on the side.
A little bit of spinach or arugula will make it feel like you’re really treating yourself while still having all your veggies covered in one delicious dish!
Cucumbers are a great addition to any meal, especially when you’re making something that includes ribs.
The rib is a meaty and hearty dish, so adding some freshness from cucumbers will give your meal a nice contrast.
I like to turn my cucumber into a complete meal by pairing it with a side of white rice.
I’ll make the rice ahead of time and then add the cucumber right before serving.
This gives me plenty of time to season the ribs and get them ready for the grill without worrying about getting my rice done at the same time!
Once you’ve got your rice made, there are so many great recipes that you can make with this veggie!
Here are just a few ideas:
6. Peppers (Any Kind!)
Peppers offer a nice crunch, and they’re super flavorful.
Plus, they’re not too heavy—they’re just right for a light dinner or lunch.
I like to grill my peppers in the summertime, and then throw them on top of some ribs (or any other meat) when they’re done cooking.
It’s quick, easy, and delicious!
If you want to get even fancier, try grilling up some corn and adding it to the mix.
You’ll end up with some amazing barbecue-style cornbread that goes perfectly with those ribs!
7. Onions (Any Kind!)
Onions can be used in so many different ways, and they make any meal feel complete.
You can bake them with your ribs, sauté them alongside your meat; or even add them to a salad if you want a lighter option!
Whatever way you choose to cook them, they’ll be delicious!
You can also use onions in different recipes like soups and stews.
I love cooking with asparagus.
It’s super versatile, and one of my favorite ways to use it is to pair it with ribs.
Here’s how I like to turn this into a complete meal:
- Start by marinating the ribs in barbecue sauce and brown sugar for at least an hour before grilling them.
- While the ribs are grilling, I’ll steam the asparagus on the stovetop for about 10 minutes until tender.
- When the ribs are ready, I’ll take them off the grill and brush them with more barbecue sauce. Then I’ll serve them with steamed asparagus and some fresh baked cornbread!
9. Bok Choy
If you’re going to be cooking ribs, and you want to add a vegetable to your meal, why not try bok choy?
It’s a Chinese cabbage that comes in two varieties: Shanghai and baby.
Both are delicious, and they’re great for making soups, stir-fries and salads.
My favorite way to use bok choy is in a salad with lots of other veggies. I’ll chop up some tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and onions—and then throw in some leftover grilled chicken or steak if I have it on hand.
Then I’ll mix in some diced avocado for creaminess and toss everything together with a vinaigrette dressing for an easy weekday dinner that’s packed with flavor!
Bok choy goes well with other Asian flavors like soy sauce (which can be used as a marinade), ginger root (which pairs well with pork or beef) and scallions (they’re delicious sprinkled over any kind of meat).
I like to turn cauliflower into a complete meal by adding it to my ribs.
I just cut up the cauliflower into bite-sized chunks and roast them in the oven with the ribs for about forty-five minutes.
This usually dries out the cauliflower, so I’ll add a little bit of olive oil and salt before roasting it.
This is a great way to make sure that you get your vegetables in for the day—and it tastes delicious!
If you don’t have time to roast the cauliflower, you can also use it as a side dish for your ribs.
Just slice up some onions or bell peppers and sauté them along with your cauliflower until they’re all soft.
You could even add some garlic if you want!
Here are some more ideas for recipes that you can make with this veggie:
11. Broccoli Florets
Broccoli florets are great to add to your meal if you’re making ribs.
They are easy to cook and they go well with the flavor of the ribs.
I like to turn this into a full meal by adding some garlic and onion powder as well as olive oil and salt.
I then mix it all together in a bowl and throw it on top of my ribs.
This makes for a delicious dinner!
You can also make broccoli florets into a side dish by adding them to your favorite pasta recipe or potato dish!
I love to add kale to all of my meals, especially ones with ribs.
Kale is a superfood that’s full of vitamins and nutrients, so it’s great for your body.
It also has a nice crunchy texture that pairs well with the tenderness of the ribs.
If you’re looking for a fast meal idea, try roasting your kale with olive oil and lemon juice.
This makes it super crispy and adds an amazing flavor that goes great with almost any protein!
13. Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables.
They’re so versatile and easy to cook, and they have such a wonderful flavor that goes well with just about anything.
I love to make a big batch of them, and then serve them as part of a meal that includes ribs or chicken.
The key is cooking them until they’re crispy on the outside, but still tender on the inside.
You can also use brussels sprouts in other recipes!
Try adding them to your pasta sauce or a simple salad for an extra boost of nutrients.
Sometimes, I just want a quick meal that doesn’t require a lot of prep and is delicious.
That’s where parsnips come in!
They’re super easy to prepare, and they add just the right amount of sweetness to any meal.
If you’re looking for something that’s both delicious and easy to make, try this recipe:
- Heat up your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place your parsnips in a baking dish and drizzle them with olive oil or butter. You can also add other herbs or seasonings if you’d like!
- Bake them for about 20 minutes, until they start to brown around the edges.
15. Lettuce (for Garnish)
This is going to be a quick one!
I love lettuce as a garnish for ribs because it adds a nice crunch and freshness that’s hard to get from anything else. It’s also a great way to add some more color to your meal.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try making some kind of vinaigrette or dressing with it—it’ll give the lettuce a nice flavor boost with minimal effort.
16. Collard Greens
Collard greens are a great vegetable to add to your dinner with ribs.
They have a mild flavor, so they can easily be paired with other vegetables, like sweet potatoes or corn.
If you want to turn this into an amazing meal, try roasting the collard greens in the oven with some salt and garlic powder.
Then you can serve them alongside your ribs.
Celery is a great vegetable to use with ribs because it has a mild flavor, but it also provides an interesting texture that compliments the meatiness of the ribs.
I personally like to roast the celery and then serve it with some grilled corn on the cob and some sautéed mushrooms.
This makes for a great side dish that’s perfect for summer barbecues!
Here are two recipes that you can make with this veggie:
Tomatoes are a great addition to any meal.
They’re especially good with ribs, which is why I like to turn them into a meal by adding some other ingredients to the mix.
For example, you could add some broccoli and serve it over rice or pasta.
Or you could make a tomato sauce with onion and garlic, then use it as a base for spaghetti or lasagna.
Or you can make a side dish of roasted vegetables like potatoes and carrots with tomatoes baked on top!
Cabbage is a great vegetable to cook with ribs.
It’s hearty, filling, and it goes well with the smoky flavor of the meat.
If you want to make a satisfying meal out of these two ingredients, I would suggest pairing them with some mashed potatoes and gravy.
The creamy texture of the potatoes will balance out the crunchy cabbage, and the gravy will add an extra layer of flavor to both.
Another option is to make coleslaw!
I like this option because it’s easy: just dice up your cabbage, mix it with mayonnaise (and maybe some vinegar if you want), then add any other veggies that you like—carrots and onions are classic additions.
Coleslaw is a classic side dish in barbecue restaurants everywhere because it’s so versatile: It can go on burgers or hot dogs as well as alongside meaty dishes like ribs or brisket.
20. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great addition to your meals.
They can be used as a side dish or added to recipes that you make with other vegetables.
Here’s how I like to prepare them:
- First, I cut the sweet potatoes into cubes and roast them in the oven until they’re nice and soft.
- Then I sautee some mushrooms in olive oil and add them to the potatoes for about 5 minutes.
- Finally, I add some cilantro for freshness, then serve over rice with some ribs!
Here are some other ideas for recipes that you can make with this vegetable:
21. Baked Potatoes
I love to pair baked potatoes with ribs!
They’re both so hearty and filling, but they also have a lot of flavor for their size.
It’s not too hard to find ways to make them work together well.
You could also serve them together as a side dish for your ribs.
Here are two other ideas for recipes that you can make with this veggie:
What Vegetables Go with Short Ribs?
Short ribs are a great option for dinner parties because they’re easy to make and can be cooked in advance, so you can focus on other things while they’re in the oven.
Here are some vegetables that go well with short ribs:
- Carrots: These are classic accompaniments to short ribs because they add color, texture, and sweetness to the dish. Carrots also help balance out the fat content of the meat.
- Bok choy: Bok choy is a mild-flavored vegetable that absorbs flavors well and pairs well with strong-tasting foods like short ribs. It’s also super healthy!
- Cauliflower: Cauliflower is another mild vegetable that pairs well with strong foods like short ribs. It also has a similar texture to celery root (which we’ll talk about next), which means it’ll absorb some of the fat from your food—so if you’re watching your weight or have high cholesterol or blood sugar levels, this is a good choice for you!
- Celery root: Cauliflower’s cousin, celery root has a similar texture but different flavor profile—it’s sweeter and less bitter than cauliflower, so if you find yourself craving something sweeter rather than more bitter on your plate, try adding some celery root!
Vegetables that Go with Pork Ribs
When it comes to cooking pork ribs, you might be wondering: what vegetables go with them?
Well, here are some of my favorites:
- Carrots: Sweet and crunchy, carrots add great texture and color to this classic pairing. I usually cut them into coins or half-moons before grilling them alongside the ribs.
- Onions: You can never go wrong with onions in my book! They add a bit of sweetness and flavor to the dish. I like to slice them into strips for a nice presentation.
- Potatoes: Potatoes are a great addition because they soak up all that delicious meaty goodness from the grill—and you can never have enough carbs! Just make sure not to burn them!
Vegetables that Go with Baby Back Ribs
There’s no better pairing than baby back ribs and vegetables.
Baby back ribs are a great choice for a summer barbecue because they’re super easy to make and take no time at all to cook.
The meat gets nice and tender when you cook it low and slow, which means that you can use the same oven temperature as you would for cookies or bread.
Vegetables are also super easy to make—you can just throw them in a pot with some water and cook them until they’re soft. That’s it!
Here are some of my favorite vegetables to pair with baby back ribs:
- Carrots: Carrots add a sweetness that complements the salty flavor of the ribs. I also love them because they’re easy to prepare and cook quickly. You can use baby carrots or regular-sized ones—it’s up to you!
- Mushrooms: The earthy flavor of mushrooms pairs perfectly with sweet and savory foods like ribs. Mushrooms also absorb flavors well, so they’ll soak up the delicious smoky taste of your ribs while they cook.
- Cauliflower: As long as you roast it well (and not too long), cauliflower will be crispy and flavorful when you serve it with your baby back ribs. Plus, cauliflower has a great texture when cooked—it’s soft on the inside but still crunchy on the outside!
Vegetables that Go with Prime Rib
There are lots of ways you can cook prime rib and make it taste amazing, but one thing you might not think about is what vegetables go with prime rib.
There are actually quite a few options for items that will add flavor (not just color) to your meal.
Here are some ideas:
- Parsnips: These roots have a sweet flavor but also have a bit of an earthy taste as well. They go nicely with meat dishes like prime rib because they’re mild enough to complement but still tasty on their own. You can even use parsnips as a side dish instead of potatoes!
- Carrots: Carrots are another root vegetable that goes well with meat dishes like prime rib because they add sweetness and crunchiness without being overpowering. If you’re looking for something more unique than just steamed carrots or roasted carrots, try roasting them with olive oil and garlic! It’ll give them an extra kick.
- Potatoes: Of course, I had to include these since they’re one of the most popular sides at any dinner party! Potatoes are great because they’re filling but also light enough not to weigh down your stomach before you get to dessert (and maybe even some coffee). If you’re looking for something different than just fries or mashed potatoes, try baking them until they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside!
21 Vegetables that Go with Ribs
- Corn on The Cob
- Green Beans
- Peppers (Any Kind!)
- Onions (Any Kind!)
- Bok Choy
- Broccoli Florets
- Brussel Sprouts
- Collard Greens
- Sweet Potatoes
- Baked Potatoes
- Pick your favorite vegetable from this list to use with your ribs.
- Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
- Be ready to munch in no time!