If you’re looking for some vegetable sides to serve with barbecue sauce, consider using zucchini, tomatoes, and bell peppers. They’re all great options and can be used as a topping, a dip, or a side.
Choosing vegetables that go well with BBQ sauce is an easy task if you know which ones to look for.
Here are my top 10 that I would recommend and why.
There are plenty of vegetables that work really well.
What Vegetables Go Well with BBQ Sauce?
bbq: we love it, but which veg go best?
You don’t want to ruin a perfectly good meal by having vegetables that clash with the rest of your bbq sauce.
BBQ sauce is the best.
There are so many ways to make it, so many recipes for it, and so many ways to eat it. It’s a gift from the universe, truly.
But have you ever had the misfortune of choosing the wrong vegetable to go with your BBQ sauce?
It’s not pretty.
You don’t want to ruin a perfectly good meal by having vegetables that clash with the rest of your bbq sauce in terms of texture or taste. So what do you do?
You can try carrots!
They’re crunchy and delicious, which makes them a great pairing for a barbecue chicken sandwich.
Or maybe you’re having ribs and fried okra—it could be that carrots just don’t work with THAT kind of meal.
And maybe carrots are just too basic for you! Maybe you want something bolder—something that steps out of its comfort zone, like parsnips!
They go great with a pork tenderloin slathered in BBQ sauce.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have a rich, earthy flavor that complements BBQ sauce instead of detracting from it.
You can drizzle BBQ on a sweet potato and enjoy the combination, but they also work well in casseroles or as a side dish when paired with BBQ chicken.
3. Bok choy
You’re slathering your BBQ chicken in sauce.
You’ve got your cornbread on the side, and you’re anxiously awaiting the moment you can dig into your plate.
The only thing left to do is add a vegetable—but what?
We recommend bok choy! It’s not too sweet or too bitter, but it’s still got that crunch that makes it perfect for a hearty meal.
Think of broccoli as a blank canvas for your BBQ sauce—it will take on whatever flavor you put on it, allowing you to customize your meal to perfection.
The next time you’re grilling up some BBQ, just make sure to slice up some broccoli and lay some BBQ sauce on thick!
BBQ lovers, listen up!
We’ve got a little secret to share with you.
While BBQ sauce is amazing on its own, it’s even better with cauliflower.
Now we know what you’re thinking—isn’t cauliflower supposed to be gross?
But that’s why you have to slather it in delicious BBQ sauce and let that flavor shine.
6. Summer squash
If you’re a barbecue aficionado, you know that summer squash goes well with BBQ sauce. In fact, it’s one of the few vegetables that does!
The slight sweetness of the squash combined with the spiciness of the BBQ sauce is an unbeatable combination.
And there’s no need to worry about either flavor overpowering the other—these are two bold flavors that basically just go ahead and beat each other up for you so there’s nothing left but a harmonious blend of deliciousness.
And unlike some other vegetables, which can have a softening effect on your barbecue, summer squash keeps up its own structure and doesn’t get lost in the sauce.
Your meal stays crisp, juicy, and completely satisfying.
All it takes is a quick grill or sautee and you’re ready to go!
So, in my humble opinion, BBQ sauce and tomatoes are a match made in heaven.
I don’t know about you, but I think the juiciness of a perfectly ripe tomato really boosts the flavor of BBQ sauce.
Plus, there are so many ways to enjoy this pairing!
My favorite way to enjoy these two is in a burger.
You can either buy pre-made BBQ sauce or make your own (I recommend the latter), and then just build it into your burger as you see fit.
Another option is to grill your tomato while simultaneously grilling your steak, and then pour some BBQ sauce on top of the tomato right before serving.
Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something new, you can use this pairing as an opportunity to introduce some new flavors into your diet by combining the tomato and BBQ sauce with ingredients like avocados, onions, or even lettuce!
I’m a BBQ fanatic, and I’ve been cooking up some delicious dinners with this combo lately. I can tell you from experience: mushroomed-up BBQ sauce is the way to go.
I think one of the best things about pairing mushrooms with your BBQ sauce is that it adds a little something extra to an already tasty meal—and it’s healthier for you.
Mushrooms are low fat and a decent source of protein, and their meaty texture and robust flavor make them an excellent addition to any meal.
My favorite way to make this pairing work is by adding mushrooms when I’m making BBQ sauce from scratch, or by adding them after I’ve simmered my store-bought sauce on the stove for a little while.
The longer you let the mushrooms cook in there, the more they’re going to soak up all that amazing flavor!
The other option is to grill up some shrooms separately to use as an amazing topping for your favorite grilled meats. It’s not just healthy—it’s also super easy (and quick).
BBQ sauce and corn are the perfect pairing!
Why? Because BBQ sauce is savory and spicy, while corn is sweet and subtle.
The combination of these two flavors gives you both a delicious, flavorful kick (from the BBQ sauce) with a mild, mellow sweetness (from the corn).
Not only does this taste good, it’s also good for you! Corn is full of soluble fiber, which lowers your cholesterol and helps you maintain a steady blood sugar level.
BBQ sauce is made up of tomatoes and spices like paprika, which are great for your immune system.
Together you can enjoy the taste of this great flavor combo AND reap the rewards of its health benefits.
So how do you incorporate these two foods into your diet?
One way is to serve them together as sides with your favorite BBQ dish.
Or you could even add some corn to your favorite BBQ dish! Either way, you won’t be disappointed in this amazing combination.
The tangy sweetness of BBQ sauce goes so well with the crisp, slightly bitter bite of asparagus!
Here are some things to keep in mind about why this pairing is great:
- Asparagus has a mild taste that allows the flavors of the sauce to shine through.
- Asparagus is a great texture contrast to the smoothness of the sauce—you get a little bit of everything in one bite.
- Asparagus tastes great with any kind of meat, but it’s especially good with pork, which pairs especially well with BBQ sauce.
If you’re planning on making BBQ pork ribs and want to serve them with asparagus, here are some ideas:
- Grill your ribs and asparagus together and serve them fresh off the grill. If you have an electric grill, you can also do this indoors during winter months!
- Instead of serving your ribs hot out of the oven, try cooking them first and then refrigerating them overnight. The next day, chop them up and toss them with some chopped asparagus for a delicious cold salad that’s perfect for picnics or potlucks!
Things to Consider When Serving Vegetables with BBQ Sauce
When serving vegetables with BBQ sauce, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First and foremost, you should consider the color of your sauce.
Since the sauce will be all over your dish, it can influence how appetizing your meal looks as a whole.
A lighter colored sauce will help your veggies’ colors pop and make for a more pleasing overall appearance.
A darker sauce may make the colors look muddy, which could deter some diners from eating them.
Next, you should think about what kind of sweetener is in your sauce.
This can dramatically change how the flavor of the vegetables comes through when they’re served together with it.
A natural sweetener like honey would be ideal for this situation so that the vegetables don’t get overpowered by sweetness.
Finally, don’t forget about acidity!
Barbecue sauces tend to be pretty acidic, which can throw off a perfectly balanced dish if not accounted for and compensated when cooking up your vegetable side dishes.
10 Vegetables That Go Well with BBQ Sauce
- Sweet Potatoes
- Bok choy
- Summer squash
- Pick any of these vegetables to pair with your BBQ dish.
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Be ready to eat in less than 20 minutes!