If you’re looking for the best & easiest BBQ sides to make this summer, you’re in the right place! These fresh, flavorful and simple side dish recipes will help you make the most of summer produce, are fantastic for a cookout, and pair perfectly with ribs, pulled pork, and anything grilled.

A collage of the following four images: a platter of veggies with a dip in the middle, an overhead shot of potatoes in a slow cooker, an overhead shot of a quinoa salad, and an overhead shot of baked potatoes split in half with toppings.

Things are heating and backyard BBQ and cookout season is officially here. I love leaning into recipes that have minimal steps, simple ingredients, and quick clean up, year round, but summer is definitely the time for less stress and more joy when it comes to cooking!

The Best BBQ Side Dishes

Click below to got straight to the recipes!

Summer Meal Plan

BBQ Appetizers

Easy Cookout Sides

Healthy BBQ Sides

Simple Sides for Ribs

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Last Minute Side Dishes for a BBQ

I’ve gathered a few of my all-time favorite healthy summer side dishes, classic BBQ sides and more and easy BBQ side dishes for a crowd to help you make the most of summer produce. Consider this your capsule collection of recipes of light bbq sides that you can lean on when you don’t know what to make or bring to a potluck.

Make Ahead BBQ Sides

Many of these recipes can be made-ahead of time. Perfect for bringing along to a picnic, day at the beach or anytime you need to feed a crowd!

These Easy BBQ Sides Are…

BBQ Appetizers

A white plate filled with a vegetable platter with an easy 4-ingredient guacamole in the center.
5 stars (10 ratings)

4-Ingredient Guacamole

This Easy 4-Ingredient Guacamole is so simple and tastes amazing. It's the perfect party appetizer or everyday condiment; use it as a dip, a topping, or just straight out of the bowl. Everything is better with guacamole!
Ingredients: avocado, lime juice, garlic, and salt.
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Top down view of a vegetable platter with a bowl of yogurt tahini sauce in the center, on a white background with a napkin on the side.
5 stars (4 ratings)

3-Minute Yogurt Tahini Sauce

Rich, creamy, and totally dippable, this yogurt tahini sauce is perfect for serving with lamb, falafel, chicken, pita, or as the center of a vibrant vegetable platter. It’s like the fluffy, protein-packed cousin of your favorite hummus dip (trust me, you’ve got to try this one asap!).
Ingredients: Greek yogurt (traditional or plant-based), tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt.
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A chip being dipped into a crockpot bean dip.
5 stars (2 ratings)

Easiest Crockpot Taco Dip

This ultra-easy crockpot taco dip recipe is made with a short list of pantry ingredients, and will be the hit of any party or gathering.
Ingredients: lean ground beef, diced tomatoes with green chilis, cream cheese (traditional or dairy-free), shredded Mexican cheese blend (traditional or dairy-free), chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, lime juice, hot sauce and salt.
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A white bowl filled with fresh tomato salsa chipotle copycat with lime wedges and corn chips on the side.
5 stars (5 ratings)

5-Minute Fresh Tomato Salsa (Chipotle Copycat)

Inspired by Chipotle, this fresh tomato salsa recipe combines just a few simple ingredients for a quick appetizer or sauce that’s perfect for dipping or topping tacos or burrito bowls. It comes together in a matter of minutes in just one bowl, so it’s easy enough for a weeknight!
Ingredients: tomatoes, red onion, cilanto, jalapeno, lime juice, lemon juice and salt.
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An overhead shot of a food processor with a minced red paste. A hand is pouring olive oil into the paste.
5 stars (1 rating)

Pesto Rosso

Learn how 6 basic pantry ingredients transform into an easy sauce that elevates any dish with this easy pesto rosso. This back-pocket recipe is packed with flavor from sun dried tomatoes, is incredibly versatile, super easy to make, and deliciously addictive!
Ingredients: sun dried tomatoes, almonds, garlic, salt, olive oil, parmesan cheese
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5 stars (3 ratings)

Real Food 7-Layer Dip (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Simple, delicious, and naturally gluten-free & dairy-free, Real Food 7-Layer Dip will be the hit of your next party or gathering!
Need another easy dip that can feed a crowd? Look no further than this slow cooker spinach artichoke dip recipe (it's a family favorite)!
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Easy Cookout Sides

Overhead shot of a plate with pasta salad and a fork surrounded by glasses of water, tomatoes on the vine, a cloth napkin, glasses of water, and a small bowl with pepper.
5 stars (5 ratings)

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad (Quick & Easy!)

This simple and versatile sun dried tomato pasta salad is bursting with flavor while relying on just a few ingredients.
Ingredients: pasta, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, black pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes, spinach
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close up of a black bean salad with corn in white bowl
5 stars (5 ratings)

Black Bean Salad with Corn

This Black Bean Salad with Corn recipe combines cherry tomatoes, chopped bell peppers, red onion and cilantro with an easy, healthy cumin lime dressing. Perfect for a light vegetarian dinner, colorful side dish or make-ahead lunch!
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top down view of sliced carrots in a black crockpot on white background
5 stars (12 ratings)

Slow Cooker Carrots

Elevate everyday carrots with slow cooker carrots, an incredibly easy recipe that’s packed with flavor! Makes an elegantly simple side for every day dinners, brunch, and special holiday spreads.
Ingredients: carrots, butter, lemon zest, maple syrup and salt.
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top down view of slow cooker potatoes in a black crockpot topped with fresh parsley
4.97 stars (26 ratings)

Slow Cooker Potatoes

These slow cooker potatoes are the definition of simple and delicious. All you need are a handful of pantry ingredients and a crockpot. Easy prep for weeknight dinners, but this classic, cozy recipe makes a great addition to the holiday table too!
Ingredients: small potatoes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and salt.
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close up of two shrimp stuffed avocado halves on a white plate
5 stars (8 ratings)

Easy Shrimp Salad Stuffed Avocados

These Easy Shrimp Salad Stuffed Avocados combine bell peppers, celery & shallots with a simple dressing of lemon juice, dill and mayonnaise. Use precooked shrimp for the perfect no-cook quick lunch or weeknight dinner!
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Image of 5-Ingredient Mediterranean Pasta Salad
No ratings yet

5-Ingredient Mediterranean Pasta Salad

With just five simple ingredients and 20 minutes, you can whip up this tasty and crowd-pleasing 5-Ingredient Mediterranean Pasta Salad recipe. Serve it as a side or bulk it up for a super-fast dinner!
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Close up of sliced baked sweet potatoes topped with butter in a black slow cooker.
5 stars (2 ratings)

Easiest Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

Nearly effortless to prepare, slow cooker sweet potatoes are an easy side dish for weeknight dinners, for meal prep, or for any holiday table!
Ingredients: sweet potatoes.
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Image of Honey-Mustard Green Bean Potato Salad
No ratings yet

Honey-Mustard Green Bean Potato Salad

Drizzled with a tangy and sweet dressing, this Honey-Mustard Green Bean Potato Salad is super flavorful with no mayo in sight! Perfect as a side or to bring along to your next BBQ or potluck.
Looking for a hot dish instead? Try this warm german potato salad recipe. It's paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free, and mayo-free – making it the perfect thing to bring to a potluck.
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Overhead shot of sliced, roasted Russet potatoes topped with chopped rosemary and parmesan.
4.67 stars (3 ratings)

Slow Cooker Roasted Potatoes

These super easy slow cooker roasted potatoes are made with russet potatoes and are flavored with garlic, parmesan, and fresh herbs. A simple side dish you’ll want to make on repeat!
Ingredients: Russet potatoes, olive oil, kosher sat, garlic, fresh herbs, parmesan.
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Healthy BBQ Sides

A big white bowl filled with healthy macaroni salad with two serving spoons on top, and fresh vegetables in the background.
5 stars (2 ratings)

Healthy Macaroni Salad

This healthy vegan macaroni salad is made without mayo and uses elbow pasta, carrots, celery, and a homemade Italian dressing for a perfect pasta salad for any occasion. I love that I can make this one ahead of time too!
Ingredients: cooked pasta (whole wheat or gluten-free), carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery, parsley, red onion, Italian seasoning, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, olive oil, and salt.
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Overhead shot of blue and white bowl on a white background filled with quinoa, chopped veggies, chickpeas, and basil.
5 stars (9 ratings)

Crunchy Curry Quinoa Salad

This Crunchy Curry Quinoa Salad makes a perfect lunch, dinner side, or vibrant addition to any brunch table.
Ingredients: quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, green apple, red bell peppers, basil, sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds), garlic, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, mild curry powder and salt.
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Image of Warm German Potato Salad
No ratings yet

Warm German Potato Salad

All the taste of the traditional, but with a healthy upgrade, Warm German Potato Salad is perfect for your next barbecue or potluck and is so simple to make. Paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free, and mayo-free.
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Overhead shot of turmeric chicken salad with vegetables on a white background.
5 stars (11 ratings)

Turmeric Tahini Loaded Chicken Salad

Packed with nourishing ingredients, Turmeric Tahini Loaded Chicken Salad is perfect for lunch at home or to make ahead and take on-the-go!
Ingredients: cooked shredded chicken, shredded carrots, slaw mix (or shredded cabbage), green onion, sulfite-free raisins, turmeric, tahini, garlic, honey (optional), apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt.
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Image of Tomato, Avocado and Basil Salad
No ratings yet

Tomato, Avocado and Basil Salad

Bursting with gorgeous ripe tomatoes and creamy avocado, this Tomato, Avocado & Basil Salad makes the perfect stunning side dish for any meal.
Obsessed with all-things avocado? You won't wanna miss my recipe for the easiest 4-ingredient guacamole! Delicious on tacos or just straight out of the bowl.
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shot of a plate with corkscrew pasta garnished with parsley, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest. The plate sits on a blue and white striped kitchen towel and has lemon halves and parsley leaves around it.
5 stars (3 ratings)

Tahini Pasta

This quick and easy vegan tahini pasta sauce comes together in under 30 minutes, creating a satisfying, healthy, and comforting dairy-free sauce that’s perfect for pasta and more!
Ingredients: pasta, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, black pepper, nutritional yeast
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5 stars (3 ratings)

20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad

Bright, colorful, and super tasty, 20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad is just the thing for picnics, potlucks, or as a side any night of the week.
Craving another vibrant summer pasta recipe? You'll love this grilled corn loaded guacamole pasta!
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Image of Red, White and Blue Potato Salad (No-Mayo)
No ratings yet

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad (No-Mayo)

Red, White & Blue Potato Salad (No-Mayo) is the perfect make-ahead side. Made with a tangy-sweet dressing and tons of dill, it’s fantastic for barbecues, potlucks, or as a side for anything grilled.
Looking for more festive make-ahead dishes? You've gotta try these naturally red white and blue popsicles. They're refined sugar free and dye free too!
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glass jar of green salad dressing with sliced lemons and cut avocados on a white background
5 stars (3 ratings)

5-Minute Creamy Avocado Dressing

The base for this simple 5-minute vegan dressing is one ripe avocado. It creates a creamy base that pairs perfectly with lemon, garlic and olive oil. 
Ingredients: avocado, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, water and salt
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spoon full of hummus dressing in a small glass mason jar with salad in the background
5 stars (3 ratings)

3-Ingredient Hummus Dressing

Incredibly simple to make, 3-ingredient hummus dressing uses premade hummus, lemon juice and olive oil for an easy dressing that will liven up any dish!
Ingredients: premade hummus, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt
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spoon full of miso tahini dressing with a glass mason jar on white background board
5 stars (1 rating)

Miso Tahini Dressing

Incredibly simple to make, this healthy miso tahini dressing uses white miso paste, tahini, lemon juice, coconut aminos and maple syrup (or honey) for an easy dressing that will liven up any dish. Includes simple swaps to for a soy-free option, too!
Ingredients: tahini, white miso paste (or soy-free chickpea miso paste), coconut aminos, garlic, maple syrup, water, fresh lemon juice and salt
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spoon dipping into a small glass jar of pesto vinaigrette with salad in the background
5 stars (3 ratings)

3-Ingredient Pesto Vinaigrette

Incredibly simple to make, 3-ingredient pesto vinaigrette uses pre-made pesto, lemon juice and olive oil for an easy dressing that will liven up any dish!
Ingredients: prepared pesto (traditional or vegan), lemon juice, olive oil and salt
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spoon dipping into a glass jar of salad dressing
5 stars (2 ratings)

Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette

This easy 5-minute chipotle honey vinaigrette combines chipotles, honey, lime juice, and oil for a flavorful dressing perfect for salads, burrito bowls, and more. Includes simple modifications to make this vegan & whole30 friendly!
Ingredients: lime juice, chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic, oil, pepper, salt and honey (use maple syrup if vegan or omit for whole30)
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spoon full of easy balsamic vinaigrette dipping into a glass jar
5 stars (3 ratings)

5-Ingredient Balsamic Vinaigrette (Easiest!)

This simple 5-ingredient homemade balsamic vinaigrette is easy and quick to make at home, and brings a terrific flavor lift to any dish!
Ingredients: balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil, and honey (or maple syrup)
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Simple Sides for Ribs

Overhead shot of baked potatoes with various toppings including broccoli, cheese, bacon, tomatoes, and chives.
5 stars (2 ratings)

Russet Baked Potato Bar & Toppings: 30+ Ideas

Create the ultimate baked potato bar for your next dinner party with this simple guide! PLUS, I include over 30 unique and flavor-packed topping ideas.
Ingredients: baked potatoes, bacon, sour cream, chives.
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close up of slow cooker baked potatoes in a black crockpot with chives and sour cream on top
5 stars (2 ratings)

Easy Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

Yes, you can make perfect baked potatoes in the slow cooker! The easiest hands-off way to feed a crowd, create an effortless baked potato bar, or an easy side dish for weeknight dinners or special occasions.
Ingredients: Russet potatoes, olive oil and salt.
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Overhead shot of cooked green beans in a slow cooker.
5 stars (1 rating)

Crock Pot Green Beans

Silky, savory, and packed with flavor, these super easy Crock Pot green beans are a simple side dish that are perfect for weeknight dinners and festive holiday spreads.
Key ingredients: Green beans, bacon, chicken stock, garlic, smoked paprika, butter.
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Overhead shot of cooked collard greens with a ham hock in a black slow cooker.
5 stars (3 ratings)

Slow Cooker Collard Greens

This easy slow cooker collard greens recipe combines humble collard greens with simple spices for a lusciously tender and delicious side dish you’ll want to make on repeat.
Key ingredients: collard greens, chicken stock, ham hock, apple cider vinegar.
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Thinly sliced purple cabbage slaw with carrots in a bowl with a striped blue napkin on the side.
5 stars (7 ratings)

Purple Cabbage Slaw

This creamy purple cabbage slaw is made with thinly sliced red and green cabbage, carrots, and with a creamy and healthy dressing. It comes together in 15 minutes, making it the perfect quick and easy side dish for any meal!
Ingredients: red and green cabbage, carrots, mayonnaise (traditional, vegan mayo or Greek yogurt), honey (optional), lime juice, and salt.
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Image of Honey-Mustard Green Bean Potato Salad
No ratings yet

Honey-Mustard Green Bean Potato Salad

Drizzled with a tangy and sweet dressing, this Honey-Mustard Green Bean Potato Salad is super flavorful with no mayo in sight! Perfect as a side or to bring along to your next BBQ or potluck.
Looking for a hot dish instead? Try this warm german potato salad recipe. It's paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free, and mayo-free – making it the perfect thing to bring to a potluck.
go to recipe
Thinly sliced purple cabbage slaw with carrots in a bowl with a striped blue napkin on the side.
5 stars (1 rating)

30+ Best Easy BBQ Sides for Summer, Plus Creamy Cabbage Slaw

This crunchy cabbage slaw recipe mixes green and purple cabbage, grated carrots, together with a creamy and healthy dressing. It comes together in just 15 minutes. Plus 30+ more easy bbq sides for summer that I know you'll love!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
  • 6 cups very thinly sliced cabbage, green, purple, or a combination
  • 2 large carrots, grated (optional)

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, combine the lime juice, honey, salt and mayonnaise or yogurt, stirring until well combined.
  • Add the cabbage and carrots if using, stirring until the cabbage is well coated.
  • Let sit at least 5 minutes for the flavors to combine. Toss again and serve.

Notes

Use white balsamic or white wine vinegar in place of the lime juice.
Skip the honey if you’re watching your sugar intake or want to make this recipe vegan or Whole30 compliant.
Use vegan mayo if you want to make this recipe egg-free.

Nutrition Information:

Nutrition disclaimer
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