15 BBQ Sides That Just Might Steal the Show

Vicky Wasik

Cookout season is upon us, and we couldn’t be more excited to throw just about everything on the grill—ribs, steak, veggies, you name it. But a cookout table isn’t complete without an array of sides to accompany the main event. Looking for a classic potato salad? How about some crispy and tender hush puppies? Keep reading for the best BBQ sides that just might steal the show.

Classic Potato Salad

Classic potato salad
Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

Tangy, salty, and sweet, this potato salad has a texture that’s simultaneously creamy, crunchy, and fluffy in each bite.

The Best Barbecue Beans

Joshua Bousel

Tender and creamy beans infused with a deep, complex barbecue flavor—what better to serve next to all those grilled meats?

Classic Coleslaw

Liz Clayman

This creamy, tangy slaw stays crunchy thanks to a little moisture management.

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese Casserole With Cheddar and Gruyère

Photograph: Vicky Wasik. Video: Natalie Holt

This dish is packed with cheese, both in a smooth béchamel sauce and plenty of the grated good stuff.

3-Ingredient Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Photographs: Vicky Wasik. Video: J. Kenji López-Alt

A mac and cheese recipe with fewer ingredients than the boxed version, but comes together in the same amount of time? We’ll take it!

Moist and Tender Brown Butter Cornbread

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

This recipe yields moist and tender cornbread with lots of corn flavor.

Southern-Style Unsweetened Cornbread Recipe

A slice of Southern-style unsweetened cornbread on a round white ceramic plate with a dark green rim. The cornbread is resting on a dark teal surface and there's a dishcloth in the background.
Serious Eats / Mariel De La Cruz

If you believe sugar has no place in cornbread, this recipe’s for you.

Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites)

Esquites in a green ceramic bowl with a serving spoon
Esquites is a less messy, no-grill-required way to enjoy all the flavors of Mexican elotes.Diana Chistruga

All the delights of elotes in salad form, and you don’t even have to fire up the grill to make it.

The Best Basic Grilled Corn

Vicky Wasik

Each method of grilling corn has its advantages and drawbacks, but they all come out incredibly delicious.

Buttermilk Hushpuppies

A plate of hushpuppies next to some dipping sauce.
Yvonne Ruperti

These fried nuggets of cornmeal batter are crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.

The Food Lab’s Buttermilk Biscuits

A close up of a freshly baked buttermilk biscuit
Liz Voltz

A few simple techniques and some extra folding create the flakiest biscuits.

German Potato Salad

German potato salad in a white ceramic bowl with a spoon.
Serious Eats / Diana Chistruga

The combo of salty smoked meat and tangy vinegar in this German potato salad is a perfect complement to American barbecue.

Braised Collard Greens With Ham Hocks

Vicky Wasik

A classic pot of braised collards has deep, smoky pork flavor and meltingly tender greens.

Tangy and Creamy Macaroni Salad

Vicky Wasik

This recipe, takes the standard and gives it a depth and tang that makes it stand out in a crowd.

Blistered-Tomato Pasta Salad With Basil

Daniel Gritzer

Cooked-until-bursting tomatoes make a beautiful sauce for this summery pasta salad.