55+ EASY Side Dishes for Ribs (What to Serve with BBQ Ribs)

Ribs are a BBQ staple, but you need some sides! Juicy ribs smothered in delicious BBQ sauce can get a little heavy, so it’s good to have some healthy, light, fresh sides to help cut through it all.

My beef ribs look EXTRA delicious!

55 Delicious Sides for BBQ Ribs

Below are 55 side dishes for BBQ ribs that are healthy, fresh, and light! Enjoy.

Smoked Macaroni and Cheese With a Crispy Panko Top

Ribs and mac and cheese are a match made in heaven! It’s a blowout meal, but it’s 100% worth it!

Smoked Shotgun Shells

What could be better than cheesy ground beef stuffed into pasta tubes, then wrapped in bacon and smoked? Nothing I say!

These shotgun shells are 100% worth the hype! You have to try them! Plus, they are easy finger food to serve during the game and simple to prepare ahead of time.

See the smoked shotgun shells recipe here.


Hot Smoking Tip

If you want the juiciest ribs you need one of the best spritz for ribs. Pick one of the following and mix it 1:1 with water in a spray bottle, beer, apple juice, apple cider vinegar or broth. It is worth experimenting with different flavors.

Smoked Garlic Bread

Everyone loves garlic bread, and it’s even better when it’s smoked! We recommend topping it with cheese, too!

See the smoked garlic bread recipe here.


Smoked Sweet Potatoes

Recipe: Smoked Sweet Potatoes

Smoked Carrots in Brown Butter

Recipe: Smoked Carrots

Smoked Cornbread

What could be better than a classic side like cornbread?

Recipe: Smoked Cornbread

Smoked Broccoli

Recipe: Smoked Broccoli

Smoked Zucchini With Feta and Olives

Recipe: Smoked Zucchini

Smoked Baked Beans with Bacon

Recipe: Smoked Baked Beans

Grilled Brussel Sprouts 

Recipe: Traeger Brussel Sprouts


Smoked Pickles

When having a rich and heavy dish like ribs, it is good to have acidity that can cut through.

That is why I love serving pickles with my ribs! But what is even better than your traditional pickles? Once you smoke yourself at home.

See the smoked pickles recipe here.

Smoked Rotal Dip

This smoky cheese dip pairs perfectly with saucy ribs.

smoked queso dip recipe

Smoked Cheesy Potatoes

What is easier than wrapping a potato in foil and placing it on the grill, too? It makes for a simple and tasty side dish!

We take it to the next level by adding two types of cheese! The kids will love these!

SPAM Burnt Ends

Burnt ends are perfect with ribs. These are a bit different, though! These are spam burnt ends—you have to try em!

Smoked Duck Jalapeno Poppers

Everything is better wrapped in bacon! If you have tried the regular jalapeno poppers, you are in for a surprise! Stuffed with duck and cheese, these delicious morsels will be gone in (60) seconds.

See the duck jalapeno poppers recipe here.

Smoked Cream Cheese (Super Creamy and Smoky Cheese)

Cheese is a perfect contrast to saucy, vinegar ribs. Just make sure you have some napkins on hand

Smoked Mash Potatoes With Bacon and Cheese

What could be better than smoked mashed potatoes? Only one thing! Topping them with cheese and bacon! Your guests will be drooling over this side!

See the smoked mashed potatoes recipe here.


Smoked Pig Shots

These declious bacon cups filled with cheese are the perfect app. Double your batch; they will be gone before you know it.

See the recipe here


Quinoa Mango Black Bean Salad with Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette

This salad is a staple around my house when mangoes are cheap and in season.

It is full of color, flavor, and nutrients. It is also vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free – perfect for any time you have guests over who can’t eat ribs!

Berry Salad With Strawberry Dressing

This is another super fresh, vibrant fruit-based salad. It’s packed full of flavor and nutrients. It easily cuts through heavy bbq flavors and leaves you feeling full but not bloated! 

Grilled Corn with Bacon Butter and Cotija Cheese.

How Sweet Eats’ grilled corn recipe is EPIC! I mean, she does bacon butter!!! The first time I made this, my son asked me never to make corn the old way (my way) again, but I didn’t disagree!

Plus, it’s a hands-on food, perfect for eating with ribs! I mean, you are already covered in BBQ sauce!

Smoked Corn with EXTRA Butter and Gin Salt

What’s better than grilled corn? Smoked corn! When I make this, it is dripping in butter and super-duper smoky!

Corn is a perfect side for ribs. Your hands are already covered in BBQ sauce, so you can just pick up the corn and munch on it!

Fried Pickles

Pickles are the perfect way to cut through fatty, heavy dishes. What’s better than that? Crispy fried pickles are a great side dish with smoked brisket. This is the best way to get your kids to eat their veggies! 

Grilled Brie with Gin Infused Caramelized Onions

Do you know what is decadent? Dipping your ribs into gooey, oozy grilled brie!

This will blow your taste buds and pants button away!

Mediterranean Green Bean Salad

Another salad staple when I have a gathering. This recipe incorporates many ingredients and is a great ‘fridge salad’. You can swap out the ingredients for what you have; just ensure you have feta, as that really makes it. 

Grilled Watermelon and Avocado Salad

I know what you are thinking; “Grilled watermelon?? But trust me, this grilled watermelon is amazing.

If you don’t want to make the whole salad, I highly recommend grilling whole watermelon ham! 

Creamed Spinach

Greens should be a staple of any cookout; this creamed spinach recipe is easy and can be made a day or two in advance.

Cowboy Caviar or Texas Caviar

Essentially a Mexican-style corn salad, this ‘cowboy caviar’ recipe is great as a side for ribs.

It’s light, spicy, and crunchy, with a good hint of citrus to cut through heavy meats. I guarantee this will become a regular at your house. I enjoy it just by itself with corn chips. 

Grandmas Creamed Corn Casserole 

Corn is an essential side dish for barbecues. This creamed corn casserole is always one of the first dishes I empty when I have friends over.

It’s sweet, crunchy, and creamy! Everything you need in a side dish. 

Do You Need Some Dessert Recipes?

Smoked Cheesecake

Smoked Brownies with Caramel

Smoked Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Smoked Peaches

Smoke On!


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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