Easy Side Dishes That Go Insanely Well With Your Barbecue

Summertime calls for lazy, hazy days kicking back at the beach or chilling in a poolside cabana without a care in the world, while mealtime often means relaxed barbecues and with family and friends that could go on for several blissful hours. Whether you decide to grill up some burgers and dogs or to prepare some delicious seasoned ribs, chicken kabobs, or the juiciest of steaks, we here at Mashed are here to help with that other part of the barbecue: perfect crowd-pleasing side dishes to add to the table.

From a crispy broccoli bacon salad to a refreshing, classic potato salad, you can't go wrong with these recipes to complement whatever main dish you are preparing — they all scream the easy, breezy life that comes with summertime. There's something to choose from to please everyone's taste, and each of these side dishes is easy to prepare and so much fun to have in the fridge for leftovers. (And let's be honest: What makes better leftovers than barbecue, anyway?)

The only things left to get together after using this list would be some sliced watermelon, your favorite lemonade, and of course, some summer cocktails for the adults. So, pick your favorite recipes, grab all the necessary ingredients, and get ready to put together the tastiest barbecue yet.

Summer barbecues and potato salad sides are meant to be together

Make no mistake about it — "I don't get excited to see fresh, cold potato salad on my plate along with my barbecued burger"  is something nobody has every said, ever. It's kind of a known fact that summer meals and potato salad are meant to be together. And our our potato salad recipe should absolutely be part of that relationship.

The ingredients for this classic side include white potatoes, dill, parsley, garlic cloves, red onion, mayo, Dijon mustard, white wine, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and cracked black pepper. It only takes 35 minutes to prepare, but be sure to allow yourself two hours to refrigerate it before serving — don't hesitate to make it the night before if you are pressed for time.

Choose a pretty glass platter for a great presentation, and get ready for plenty of summertime smiles at your table.

Cornbread is a must-have side for summer cookout barbecue

Cornbread is a reliable and fun addition to any outdoor cookout, especially when Southern-style barbecue ribs and chicken are on the menu. It's a nice variation from the packaged buns and rolls we all expect at barbecues, and it doesn't take that much extra time either — You can whip up this cornbread in just 10 minutes and then bake it for 40 while you're getting everything else ready to grill. 

Encourage guests to dress their cornbread up by laying honey, cheese, jalapeños, or butter on the table, or you can cut it up and place it in a basket for a great centerpiece that provides a touch of color. (Well, at least for a little while until your family or guests devour it.)

You'll only need a few ingredients to put your cornbread together, including Jiffy corn muffin mix, eggs, sour cream, melted butter, a can of creamed corn, and salt. Definitely put this on your "must make" list this summer, as it's sure to be a family favorite– who doesn't love a warm slice of freshly baked cornbread slathered in toppings?

Macaroni salad is an all-time favorite side for barbecue guests of all ages

Macaroni salad is a great choice for a side dish that everyone will love and that can be made really quickly. As a matter of fact, if you have 15 minutes to whip up a side, then you can have this macaroni salad all ready for your dinner. You will need to refrigerate it for 4 hours so it gets nice and cold, so put it together early or the night before. This scrumptious dish goes with everything that you may grill, and you probably have most of the ingredients readily available.

In addition to pasta, you'll need mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, cayenne pepper, celery, grated carrot, minced green pepper, onion (white, red or sweet), sea salt, and black pepper. Whether you serve your macaroni salad with a steak or eat it all by itself, it will absolutely be a crowd-pleaser. The only problem with choosing to make this side dish is that it's so delicious, it's possible you will not have any left over to enjoy the next day.

Switch things up at your cookout with this tasty broccoli bacon salad as a side

Our broccoli bacon salad recipe is an excellent choice for a side to prepare when you want to serve something different from the expected barbecue side dishes. It'll only take you 25 minutes to put on the table, and the salad will look almost too pretty to eat as well. This Pinterest-worthy dish that's just made for your Instagram feed goes exceptionally well with some barbecued pork tenderloin or sausages. But really, any main could benefit from some crisp and crunchy broccoli salad on the side.

For this recipe, you'll need one large head of broccoli, peppered bacon, golden raisins, sharp white cheddar, red onion, roasted and salted sunflower seeds, white vinegar, mayonnaise, agave, and black pepper.

It's summertime, which translates to living it up and trying something different! So, give this broccoli bacon salad a go, and you and your guests will not be disappointed.

This German potato salad is a bacon lover's delight, and a guaranteed side hit at the summer cookout

If you prepare this German potato salad recipe, be prepared to get so many compliments. It's hearty, tasty, and a true bacon lover's delight. Better yet, you can put together this unique twist on the standard potato salad in just 40 minutes.

All you have to pick up for this gem of a recipe is red and gold potatoes, bacon, apple cider vinegar, sugar, onion, Dijon mustard, horseradish, fresh garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. 

This is a great side to serve with anything, but consider grilling some fresh fish like a halibut or salmon to compliment the herbs and slight sweetness. Add a tossed salad for some freshness, and you have yourself a delightful summertime barbecue menu. We're pretty certain once you see the pic of this dish that your mind will be made up — yup, German potato salad is coming to dinner!

Roasted veggies are so easy to prepare, and so much fun to eat, at the summer barbecue

If your crew loves veggies, they'll really love this recipe for roasted vegetables. They truly are the best you've ever eaten, and are so simple to prepare. The best part is, any leftovers are yummy to put into sandwiches the next day or to add to an omelet. Just remember to pick up some great rolls, and maybe even some fresh hummus and feta cheese for dipping, and you'll be all set for the veggies at the barbecue.

The entire process of roasting these veggies will only take 30 minutes, and all you need are sweet peppers, carrots, broccoli, yellow and red onion, olive oil, garlic powder, kosher salt, and ground pepper. Trust us on this one — veggies have never been more fun to make and eat. They'll also go with anything you decide to barbecue.