Essential Summer Barbecue Sides

pulled pork barbecue sandwich

These perfect summer sides are inspired by your favorite barbecue joint, from cornbread and baked beans to French fries and slaw, I’ve got all the classics covered for your next cookout.  Best thing? You won’t have to choose just two!

barbecue pulled pork sandwich

Ever wonder why the meals from your favorite barbecue joint always tastes so amazing? It’s all those sides! One of the best things about cooking them at home is you don’t have to choose just one or two from that tempting list, you can have them all! But you’ll need the recipes, of course…

Three Ingredient Biscuits

Yep, three ingredients. This recipe makes super tender, flaky biscuits that are just begging to sop up all the extra juices and barbecue sauce on your plate.

A plate of biscuits with butter

New England Baked Beans

The sweet, smoky flavors of baked beans really complement classic barbecue dishes and help round out a summer grilling menu. This is the real deal recipe with molasses, maple syrup, and lots of spices.

New England Baked Beans in a white pot

Mac and Cheese

Those little styrofoam cups of mac and cheese can’t hold a candle to this easy homemade version, and you can heap as much as you can fit on your plate.

no-recipe mac and cheese!

Red Cabbage and Dill Slaw

I think every barbecue menu needs a little freshness and crunch to cut through all the rich, hearty meat, sweet sauce, and creamy salads. This slaw delivers on both accounts, plus it adds some much needed color to the mix. If you’re feeling more creative, go for my Rainbow or Asian slaw.

Sweet Corn Spoonbread Casserole

For a super down home side, Southern style, take a big scoop of spoponbread, made from scratch and loaded with fresh corn.

Southern spoonbread casserole just out of the oven

Dill Pickle Potato Salad

I love to riff on the classic potato salad in all sorts of ways, and this recipe is a nice balance of tradition and a little freshness from the dill pickles and fresh herbs. Not a pickle fan? Try my Deviled Egg Potato Salad

Dill Pickle Potato Salad

Homemade Hawaiian Rolls

Sure, the ones from the bag are great, but if you’re looking for a fun baking project with really satisfying results, try making your own super soft and fluffy Hawaiian rolls! They go well with pulled pork and ribs, and make great sliders.

Hawaiian rolls, stacked

Creamy Sweet Corn Salad

Fresh sweet corn is one of the joys of summer eating, and I usually don’t like to mess with it too much. Bright basil, a light creamy dressing, and a little sharpness from red onion make a heavenly combination.

creamy sweet corn salad in a glass bowl

Easy Baked Fries

When I do have to choose just two sides at the BBQ restaurant, one of them is always fries! These crunchy fries are made easily in the oven, and are perfect for dipping into barbecue sauce.

A glass filled with Tiramisu dessert, with a spoon

Honey Jalapeño Cornbread

You’ve gotta have cornbread with barbecue, it’s just a fact. So why not have cornbread with benefits? Jalapeños add a wow factor to this moist recipe.

A stack of honey jalapeño cornbread squares with honey drizzle

Asiago Pasta Salad

This simple, delicious pasta salad is great for prepping ahead, and rounds out a plate of bbq like nothing else.

Asiago pasta salad in a bowl

Onion strings

Gotta have ’em, and of course sweet Vidalia’s are the perfect choice for a spring/summer bbq. A tangle of these light-as-air strings won’t weigh down your paper plate, so you can pile them nice and high.


Extra Sauce!

You can never have enough sauce, so making extra is always smart. My Strawberry BBQ Sauce is a fresh take on the classic, made with berries, rum, raw sugar, cider vinegar, and molasses. No dry fries here!

Dipping oven fries into a pot of strawberry barbecue sauce
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