best BBQ side dishes for outdoor barbecue

Wondering what the best BBQ side dishes are for your next backyard barbecue?

In our house, sometimes more attention is given to the “main event” of our next barbecue and the side dishes get overlooked or even forgotten. Whether it’s brisket, pork shoulder, ribs, steak or even simply hamburgers and hot dogs, most people enjoy having a little something else to go along with the main dish of a meal.

We’ve rounded up our favorite and best BBQ side dishes to share with you.

1. Homemade Coleslaw

Probably one of the top 3 most popular BBQ side dishes, you can’t go wrong with a classic coleslaw recipe.

Homemade Coleslaw
Coleslaw is our go-to side dish when it comes to a classic barbecue meal. It's so easy to put together.
Check out this recipe
coleslaw dressing recipe

2. Smoked BBQ Baked Beans

We’ve made this recipe for small groups as well as huge groups of 800+ and it is always a hit. Hot tip though, more recently we’ve been substituting smoked sausage for the pulled pork in this recipe and I think we love it even more that way!

BBQ Baked Beans Recipe
This BBQ Baked Beans recipe is the perfect side dish for those days you've already got the smoke rolling for a long cook. Just mix it up and set it and forget it. The longer it cooks, the more delicious it will be.
Check out this recipe
finished baked beans

3. Smoked Mac and Cheese

There’s just something about this smoked mac and cheese recipe that’s so unique yet so comforting at the same time. Leave the brisket out if you’d like, or include it if you’ve got it, but definitely try this for your next barbecue. I think it’s one of the best BBQ side dishes out there.

Brisket Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese is just about the best comfort food out there. We take it to the next level by adding some leftover brisket and "baking" it in our offset smoker.
Check out this recipe
Smoked Mac and Cheese

4. Twice Smoked Potatoes

You guys, these twice-smoked potatoes are my favorite. In my mind, they’re a little “nicer” or “fancier” than some of our other BBQ side dishes so we tend to pull this one out when we’re serving steak or want to dress up the plate a little more than potato salad.

Twice Smoked Potatoes
Here is our smokey spin on your traditional twiced baked potatoes.
Check out this recipe
twice smoked potatoes
best bbq side dishes for outdoor barbecues

5. Grilled Corn on the Cob

I honestly don’t remember the last time I boiled corn on the cob. It just tastes better being cooked this way and my grill is already fired up, cooking other parts of the meal, so why not?

Grilled Corn on the Cob
This is one of our favorite ways to prepare sweet corn on the cob. Cooking it on the grill gives it a beautiful char flavor that you just can't achieve in a pot of boiling water.
Check out this recipe

6. Mexican Street Corn Salad

While we’re talking about grilled corn on the cob, this corn salad recipe is where it’s at. Currently, this is my favorite and by far one of the best BBQ side dishes, and I tend to make it every chance I can get.

Mexican Street Corn Salad Recipe
This dish is called many things: Grilled Esquites, Elote in a bowl, Elote Salad, Mexican Street Corn off the cob, Mexican Street Corn Salad… no matter what you call it, we call it delicious, and we've been making this dish as a side to our barbecue favorites all summer long.
Check out this recipe
Mexican street corn salad

7. Smoked Cream Cheese

Smoked cream cheese was all the rage a year or so ago, and for great reason! It’s super easy and unbelievably versatile. You can dress it up or dress it down, depending on the rest of your meal.

Smoked Cream Cheese
Just about the easiest appetizer you can make, this smoked cream cheese will be a smash wherever you serve it!
Check out this recipe
smoked cream cheese with sweet and savory glaze in front of the Traeger Ironwood

8. Pulled Pork Potato Skins

Maybe this would classify as more of an appetizer than a BBQ side dish, but it definitely belongs on your next outdoor barbecue buffet.

Pulled Pork Potato Skins
This is the perfect game day appetizer or tailgate food. Topped with barbecue pulled pork and our sour cream and onion dip, these potato skins are sure to please.
Check out this recipe
pulled pork potato skins

9. Smoked Queso

There are so many ways you can make smoked queso. In fact, we’ve shared 5 different ways we’ve personally made it here at the lab. This is our classic recipe and the version we’ve been making the longest.

Classic Smoked Queso
We make smoked queso for parties and gatherings, and we hardly ever make it the same way twice. That's the fun of smoked queso. It's a recipe that you can play with, substitute out things, add things, and it's going to taste amazing.
Check out this recipe
classic smoked queso

10. Queso Fundido with Chorizo

Speaking of queso, this queso fundido with chorizo is a hardier cheese side dish than the smoked queso above, and its addictive qualities will have your guests coming back for more and more.

Queso Fundido with Chorizo
This smoked queso fundido recipe is the perfect game day appetizer to share with your friends.
Check out this recipe
queso fundido with chorizo

11. Bacon Tot Skewers

This is a fun and unique way to serve up tater tots. While they won’t fit in your cargo pants pocket as Napoleon Dynamite might prefer, they’re easily mobile and taste even better wrapped up in bacon.

Bacon Tater Tot Skewers
Game day food doesn't get any simpler than these Bacon Tater Tot Skewers.
Check out this recipe
bacon tot skewers

12. Grilled Jalapeño Poppers

You can’t go wrong with a classic jalapeño popper recipe. It’s the perfect combination of creamy, salty and spicy that your guests will love.

Grilled Jalapeño Poppers
Grilled Jalapeño Poppers are the perfect game day food, whether you're tailgating or watching the big game from home. This is an appetizer that is easy to make and is always a crowd pleaser.
Check out this recipe
grilled jalapeno poppers

13. Guacamole

I can eat this guacamole by the bowl full. It is so fresh and delicious and a must-have for any Mexican-themed outdoor barbecue.

This quick and easy guacamole dip recipe is one of our favorite accents to any Mexican dish we prepare. It's the perfect finishing touch for our grilled steak quesadillas!
Check out this recipe

14. Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Speaking of Mexican-themed outdoor barbecue, our tomatillo salsa verde is so good! If you’re smoking up a Mexican fiesta, this is one of the best bbq side dishes you could include.

Tomatillo salsa verde
Garden fresh tomatillos roasted on the grill make this tomatillo salsa verde impossible to resist.
Check out this recipe