Barbecued ribs are a popular American dish usually relished by several.
The juicy, tender meat, fused with the smoky, rich flavors of the barbecue sauce, makes for a delicious and pleasing meal.
However, serving barbecued ribs independently can leave your meal feeling incomplete.
That’s why it’s vital to contemplate serving side dishes to round off the main dish.
Side dishes can add a collection of flavors, textures, and colors to the meal, making it feel more well-rounded and gratifying.
In this article, we will review some of the best side dishes to serve with barbecued ribs.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Barbecued Ribs?
Serving side dishes with barbecued ribs is a great way to add variation and balance to the meal.
Side dishes can contribute a distinction to the rich, smoky flavors of the ribs, as well as complement them.
Side dishes can also help round out the meal, making it more detailed and satisfying.
Also, serving side dishes can help stretch the meal, making it more cost-effective and allowing you to feed more people with the same food.
Whether you are looking to add freshness, crunchiness, or hue to the meal, there is a side dish that will meet your desires.
What to Serve with Barbecued Ribs? 10 BEST Side Dishes
1 – Coleslaw
Coleslaw is a traditional side dish that is frequently served with barbecued ribs.
This dish is made by blending shredded cabbage and carrots with a tangy dressing.
The dressing is usually made with mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar.
The creamy, zingy flavor of coleslaw generates a delicious distinction from the rich, smoky flavors of the ribs, rendering it a favorable side dish.
Coleslaw is also an exceptional source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a nutritious addition to the meal.
To make coleslaw, simply shred cabbage and carrots, and fuse them with a tangy dressing.
For a creamy coleslaw, add some mayonnaise to the dressing.
For a lighter coleslaw, use a vinegar-based dressing.
2 – Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled corn on the cob is another delectable side dish to serve with barbecued ribs.
The sweet, juicy cores of corn are the perfect complement to the smoky flavors of the ribs, and the grill marks add an irresistible smoky flavor.
Grilled corn on the cob is also a fantastic source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a nutritious extension of the meal.
To grill corn on the cob, you just have to peel off the husks and silk and position the corn directly on the grill.
Grill for 10-15 minutes, occasionally twirling until the cores are tender and charred.
3 – Baked Beans
Baked beans are a popular side dish that is frequently served with barbecued ribs.
This dish is made by cooking navy beans in a savory sauce, chiefly made with ketchup, brown sugar, and seasonings.
The sweet, zingy flavors of the baked beans deliver a luscious contrast to the smoky flavors of the ribs, rendering it a definitive side dish.
Baked beans are also a noteworthy source of protein and fiber, making them a nutritious extension of the meal.
To prepare baked beans, cook navy beans in a savory sauce, then bake in the oven until heated and bubbly.
4 – Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a creamy, comforting side dish that is often served with barbecued ribs.
This dish is made by simmering elbow macroni in a rich, cheesy sauce, often made with cheddar cheese, milk, and butter.
The creamy, comforting flavors of the macaroni and cheese render a nice contrast to the smoky zest of the ribs, making it a favorable side dish.
Macaroni and cheese is also prominent source of protein, calcium, and vitamins, making them a nutritious addition to the meal.
To concoct macaroni and cheese, cook elbow macaroni, then mix it with a rich, cheesy sauce and bake in the oven until it is thoroughly charred.
5 – Cornbread
Cornbread is a must-try side dish for fine barbecued ribs.
This conventional side dish complements barbecue ribs perfectly.
This Southern delicacy is made from cornmeal, flour, eggs, milk, and sugar.
It’s generally baked in a cast iron skillet, which provides a crispy, golden-brown exterior and a tender, crumbly texture.
Cornbread is often served warm with a slather of butter, making it the ideal carrier for soaking up the rich, luscious sauce from the ribs.
To add some diversity, mix a little jalapeño pepper or cheddar cheese to your cornbread batter.
6 – Potato Salad
Potato is a highly adaptable dish that is also a select choice among many people.
Potato salad is another distinguished side dish that pairs perfectly with barbecue ribs.
Made from boiled potatoes, mayonnaise, and a variation of seasonings, it delivers a cool and creamy contrast to the spicy, smoky flavors of the ribs.
A standard potato salad encompasses ingredients like diced celery, hard-boiled eggs, and pickles, but feel free to add your own spin by tossing in some diced onion, dill, or even bacon.
For a lighter version, try using Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise.
7 – Fried Okra
Fried okra is a staple of Southern cuisine, and it makes a great side dish for barbecue ribs.
Fresh okra pods are battered and fried until crispy and golden, then seasoned with salt and pepper for a delicious crunch.
The mild, earthy flavor of the okra is a great complement to the bold spices in the ribs, and the crispy texture provides a satisfying contrast to the tender meat.
To make sure your fried okra comes out perfectly, be sure to use a high-heat oil, such as canola or peanut oil, and cook the okra in small batches to prevent overcrowding.
8 – Grilled Vegetables
Grilled vegetables are a nutritious and flavorful side dish that can be served alongside barbecue ribs.
Grilling magnifies the natural sweetness and smoky flavor of the vegetables, making them a delicious complement to the savory ribs.
Try grilling a mix of vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms, for an assortment of textures and flavors.
To make it more straightforward, you can spike the vegetables and grill them alongside the ribs or simply set them in a grill basket.
To add distinct flavor, smear the vegetables with a mix of olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs and spices before grilling.
9 – Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Baked macaroni and cheese is one of the most famous side dishes to accentuate barbecue ribs.
This creamy and delicious dish is effortless to make and can be customized with distinct cheeses, spices, and ingredients to suit your taste preferences.
The combination of tender macaroni noodles, gooey melted cheese, and a crispy breadcrumb topping establishes a perfect contrast to the smoky, meaty flavor of the ribs.
To make this side dish, simply cook the macaroni according to the package instructions, add a mixture of milk, cheese, and seasonings, and bake in the oven until golden and bubbly.
10 – Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is another popular side dish to serve with barbecue ribs.
This savory and crusty bread is perfect for mopping up any sauce that is left on your plate.
The bread is typically made by toasting a baguette or French bread, brushing with melted butter, and sprinkling with minced garlic.
You can also add other seasonings, such as parsley or basil, to enhance the flavor of the bread.
Garlic bread can be served warm or at room temperature, making it a versatile option for barbecues or any other outdoor gatherings.
Serving side dishes with barbecued ribs is a great way to add variety and balance to the meal.
These are the top ten best side dishes that you can serve with barbecued ribs.
Each dish adds a unique flavor, texture, and color to the meal, making it feel more well-rounded and satisfying.
Whether you are looking to complement the smoky flavors of the ribs, add some freshness and color, or simply round out the meal, there is a side dish that will meet your needs.
So, next time you are enjoying a delicious plate of barbecued ribs, be sure to consider serving one or more of these top ten side dishes for an even more satisfying meal.