Ribs and Sides: Perfect Pairings for Your Next BBQ!

Updated on 
21 April, 2023

What To Serve With Ribs

If you're looking for the perfect side to serve with your ribs, look no further! As a barbecue expert and grill master, I can tell you that the right sides can really make or break your meal.

What To Serve With Ribs

With so many options out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed. But fear not – I'm here to share my top picks for sides that pair perfectly with ribs.

Read on to learn what sides you should be serving up next time you fire up the grill!


It is a widely held belief that there is nothing better than a plate of ribs than a classic coleslaw.

As a barbecue expert and grill master, I can tell you this theory is true!

The crunchy cabbage, creamy dressing and zing of the herbs make for the perfect companion to ribs.

Not to mention, it's easy to switch up with different ingredients such as fruit or nuts to turn it into something new and exciting like fruity slaw.

Whether you stick with the classic version or get creative, there's no doubt that your ribs will be in good company when you serve them with coleslaw.

To keep things interesting though, why not try adding potato salad too?

Potato Salad

Potato salad is the perfect companion for ribs. It's easy to make and pairs perfectly with the sweet and smoky flavor of cooked ribs.

For a classic potato salad, start by boiling red potatoes until tender. Once cooked, add a creamy dressing made from mayonnaise, mustard and pickles for a sweet-sour taste. Serve it chilled or at room temperature - either way it's delicious!

This dish is sure to be a hit at your next barbecue and will have everyone asking for seconds. To add even more flavor to the meal, let's move on to grilled vegetables!

Potato Salad

Grilled Vegetables

Now that we've discussed the perfect potato salad to go with your ribs, let's talk about grilled vegetables.

Sure, potatoes are delicious and filling, but you can't forget about some of the flavors and aromas that come from grilling up some fresh vegetables.

Stuffed peppers with a hint of spicy salsa add a great kick to any backyard barbecue.

Not to mention, it's a great way to lighten up the meal and make sure everyone is getting their veggies!

And don't worry, you won't have to sacrifice any of that classic barbecued flavor.

Corn on the cob is an absolute must for any summertime cookout.

Corn On The Cob

Nothing pairs better with a rack of ribs than a side of perfectly cooked corn on the cob. To give it that special touch, brushing it with your favorite barbecue sauce before grilling will bring out its sweet and smoky flavors. And don't forget to serve it with plenty of melted butter!

For a refreshing contrast, you can also pair your ribs with a chilled pasta salad. The creamy dressing and crunchy veggies in the dish will provide an excellent balance to the hearty flavor of the ribs.

Now, let’s move onto something else to complete this delicious feast: baked beans.

Baked Beans

Baked beans are like an indispensable sidekick to ribs. Without them, the meal is incomplete and lacks flavor.

For a true barbecue experience, the beans should be slow cooked in your favorite BBQ sauces and smoked with classic grilling techniques.

The result is a smokey and sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the succulent ribs.

To finish off this tantalizing duo, add a pinch of salt and pepper for a savory kick that will leave you wanting more.

All in all, baked beans are a must-have side to any plate of ribs - setting up the perfect stage for macaroni and cheese to shine.

Baked Beans

Macaroni And Cheese

Moving right along, let's talk about macaroni and cheese.

This classic comfort food is a great way to round out the meal. To really make it special, you can use creamy sauces like béchamel and BBQ sauces for extra flavor.

It's an excellent choice for anyone who wants a dish that won't take too long to prepare and cook. Plus, it's always a hit with the kids!

The only thing left to do now is add some light, flaky biscuits to the mix.


Nothing completes the perfect BBQ meal like a delicious side dish.

Buttermilk biscuits are an absolute must-have, as they provide a light and fluffy accompaniment to your meal.

For a bit of sweetness, consider baking some apples with brown sugar and cinnamon - it's sure to be a hit with the whole family!

With these two classic side dishes, you can rest assured that your ribs will be perfectly complemented.

And if you're looking for something slightly heartier, why not try out some cornbread?


Moving on from biscuits, a great side to serve alongside ribs is cornbread.

Perfectly baked cornbread can be a real showstopper at any barbecue or gathering.

You can choose to make your cornbread from scratch with homemade recipes or pick up a mix from the store if you're short on time.

Cornbread goes really well with traditional sweet sauces and it's sure to please everyone at the table!



As a barbecue expert, I know that the perfect meal is not complete without the perfect sides. My go-tos for ribs are coleslaw, potato salad, grilled vegetables, corn on the cob, and baked beans. These classic sides will bring out the flavor of your lip-smackin' ribs like no other!

I also recommend macaroni and cheese, biscuits and cornbread to put the finishing touches on your meal. The creamy macaroni and cheese will pair perfectly with the smoky taste of your ribs.

The fluffy texture of the biscuits and crunchy cornbread will give you a variety of textures to enjoy as you savor every bite. So don't forget these sides when serving up a delicious plate of ribs!

Jennifer is a certified nutritionist and weight loss coach with a Master's in Nutrition from Cambridge. With over 10 years experience, she shares healthy recipes and science-backed slimming tips on SheCooksSheEats to help people reach their wellness goals. Jennifer stays up-to-date by regularly attending conferences and continuing her nutrition education. She aims to provide research-backed advice to inspire balanced, happy living.
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