What to Serve With Ribs?

What to Serve with Ribs
Photo by dolvita108

Wondering what to serve with ribs? Well, worry no more! We have compiled a list of the 19 best side dishes to pair with ribs. Some you may not have thought of, but you still have so many options to choose from.

Regardless of how you prepare your ribs – grill, smoke, or BBQ, it’s important to pair them with something. This will produce a well-balanced meal that includes more than just sauce and meat. 

Here are some tasty side dishes that will take your ribs to the next level and make each bite as satisfying and tasty as the first. Let’s go!

1. Baked Beans

You should think about serving baked beans with your BBQ ribs. Baked beans taste great with bbq ribs.

You’ll want to keep using this smoked baked beans recipe over and over again.

It has a savory flavor and is just a bit sweet, which will appeal to individuals of all ages, even kids.

2. Cornbread

When eating a platter of ribs, there is usually a lot of sauce and liquid to mop up, but cornbread ensures you won’t lose out on any of the flavors.

Even though this may appear to be a simple or even boring side dish to some, it’s a great way to absorb leftover flavors and make dishes taste even better.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your cornbread; you can even add more ingredients to it to make it tastier!

3. Potato Salad

Another dish on our list of what to serve with ribs is potato salad. Potato salad is a versatile side dish that can be readily customized by adding herbs or other ingredients to add flavor and texture.

The potato salad dish can also serve as a wonderful foundation for other sauces, providing a fantastic method to serve additional sauces with your ribs.

Adding herbs like parsley, dill, or chive to your salad is a wonderful way to enhance it, especially with salad dressing on top.

4. Fried Pickles

Fried pickles are delicious as an individual snack, but they can also easily be used as a side dish to other finger foods like ribs.

Their salty flavor truly brings out the umami notes in the delicate rib meat, and it perfectly balances the sweetness of the barbecue sauce. 

In addition, deep-frying the pickles gives them a lovely crisp texture that contrasts nicely with the softer, more tender mouthfeel of the ribs.

5. Broccoli Salad

For what to serve with ribs, broccoli salad is a great option! It is the best option if you want to add extra crunch and nutritional benefits to your salad.

Brocolli is a superfood that is packed with beneficial nutrients and has a great flavor that works well with ribs.

In addition, a wonderful creamy dressing can help add more flavor to a broccoli salad. This works well since broccoli has a wide surface area, which makes it cling onto sauce well and offers amazing taste with every bite.

6. Rainbow Slaw

A rainbow slaw is a great option if you want to prepare a side dish that is both aesthetically pleasing and flavorful.

It features tasty ingredients, including diced avocado, red and yellow peppers, snow peas, purple cabbage, and shredded carrots.

One of the most aromatic, savory, and satisfying salads you can prepare is by mixing olive oil, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, sesame oil, and soy sauce.

It’s also quite simple, requiring only a few inexpensive, readily available blended ingredients to provide a mix of tastes and textures.

7. Hush Puppies

Another option on what to serve with ribs is hush puppies. They’re made of cornmeal, deep-fried into tasty bite-sized balls, and ideal for soaking up sauce and juices.

They are simple to make and easy to experiment with because they are made of cornmeal and flour. This means that you can add extras to spice them up and seasonings to bring out different flavors in the ribs.

8. Honeydew Cucumber Salad

This salad of cucumber and honeydew melon showcases the crisp, refreshing properties of both fruits. 

This side salad gets the slightest hint of balanced sweetness from some honey and olive oil.

A few red onion slices serve as the final garnish. It gives each bite a kick and pairs well with the ribs.

9. Creamy Pasta Salad

Ranch dressing is what sets this pasta salad apart from the other recipes. 

The meal offers countless options as well. For a richer, creamier flavor, add peas, carrots, chopped tomatoes, bacon, or cheese.

After some time, this salad becomes even more delicious. Refrigerate it and give it a few stirs before serving. To avoid having a mushy salad, be careful not to overcook the pasta.

10. Firecracker Fried Okra

For what to serve with ribs, you can try firecracker fried okra. Even though these fried okras are delicious on their own, combining them with your favorite dipping sauce will really upgrade this dish. 

Buttermilk and a cornmeal-flour mixture are the main components that give this finger food its golden color and crunchy texture.

In addition, the buttermilk mixture has a nice touch of spiciness from the cayenne and black pepper.

11. Mac & Cheese

Mac & cheese is so delicious that it may outshine your BBQ ribs. Everyone enjoys the rich, soothing flavors of mac and cheese, which complement the intensity of barbecued or smoked meat. 

To make the cheese sauce for this smoked macaroni and cheese, start with a roux, then add milk and stir it together.

Next, add cooked elbow macaroni and cook on your backyard smoker over high heat for a crisp finish.

12. Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes have a tart, slightly acidic flavor that is slightly mellowed by the coating and serves to cut through the richness of the ribs. 

To prepare fried green tomatoes, simply cut unripe tomatoes into thin slices, then dip in a batter consisting of cornmeal and seasonings. The tomatoes should be shallow-fried until crisp and golden.

13. French Green Bean Salad

The most overlooked vegetable is green beans. But if you’re looking for what to serve with ribs, you should definitely try them out.

Since you can always count on having some on hand, and they’re really simple to make, they make the ideal side dish for when you realize at the last minute that you are out of vegetables.

All you need to do to prepare this really easy French green bean salad is quickly blanch the green beans to keep their crispness.

Then, combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and olive oil to produce a tangy dressing. If you love spice, add some chili flakes for a kick.

14. Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is a common vegetable that pairs well with ribs. It is often available at neighborhood farm markets and grocery stores, particularly in the summer.

You can boil it on the stovetop for 5 minutes or roast it on the grill with your BBQ ribs after wrapping it in foil.

It’s a delicious meal that you and your family can enjoy at any time of the year.

15. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a wonderful option when considering what to serve with ribs. Even better, you can prepare them using the same method as your ribs.

They taste great whether grilled, roasted in the oven, or simply boiled on the stovetop.

16. Tequilaberry Salad

What dish pairs well with bbq ribs? Tequilaberry Salad will help complete the food groups on your menu if you’ve already opted to serve mac and cheese and BBQ ribs.

This salad, made with iceberg lettuce and cauliflower, has a few of the same sweet and sour qualities as coleslaw. And once you give it a try, you’ll probably want more. The sauce is really addictive.

17. Carrot and Mint Salad

Still, wondering what to serve with ribs? If you want something other than a green salad to accompany your ribs, try a shredded carrot and mint salad.

Since carrots are typically accessible all year round, this is a choice for any season.

18. Sweet Potato Casserole

A tasty side dish to serve with barbecued pork ribs is sweet potato casserole. Even though you would not consider it a vegetable side for ribs, it is both delicious and popular.

Sweet Potato Casserole is a tasty twist on a traditional root dish. Sweet potatoes are an excellent side dish for any main course. This sweet potato casserole is simple to make and delicious.

19. Focaccia Bread

If you want to eat any kind of ribs, you should pair them with focaccia bread.

Just set aside a few hours to combine everything together and give it time to rise before baking. Of course, a fantastic side dish for beef or pork ribs is fresh bread.


We hope by now that you have no problems deciding what to serve with ribs. Each recipe has a unique flavor, which significantly impacts your rib-eating experience. So enjoy!

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