35 Best Side Dishes for Ribs with Recipes

Hey there barbecue enthusiasts! If you’re anything like me, living in Kansas City means having a deep appreciation for some finger-lickin’ good ribs. And when it comes to pairing those succulent racks of smoked perfection, the right side dish can take your BBQ experience to a whole new level and why I’ve found the absolute best side dishes for ribs.

So, join me on a mouthwatering journey as we explore the most delicious side dishes for those delectable St. Louis or Kansas City-style ribs. Whether you’re hosting a backyard cookout or just craving some comfort food, I’ve got the inside scoop on what makes these side dishes the ultimate companions to our beloved BBQ tradition. Let’s dive in and uncover the secrets to elevating your rib feast to a whole new level of deliciousness!

Best Side Dishes for Ribs with Recipes

BBQ Bean Side Dishes for Ribs

What goes with ribs? One of the most popular side dishes and one you’ll find in every bbq restaurant in Kansas City is baked beans!

Super Simple Baked Beans

Super Simple Baked Beans

These easy sweet and tangy baked beans pair perfectly with the smoky goodness of ribs! The full recipe can be found at From a Chef’s Kitchen.

Smoked Baked Beans

Smoked Baked Beans

These smoked baked beans pack a flavorful punch, meshing perfectly with the rich flavor of ribs for a match made in BBQ heaven. The full recipe can be found at Winding Creek Ranch.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Bacon

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

These slow cooker baked beans are a delicious and easy side dish. They’re super quick to prep and then the slow cooker does all the work for you. The full recipe can be found at Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish.

Baked Beans with Ground Beef

Baked Beans with Ground Beef

This fun and flavorful twist on baked beans is made with ground beef turns this classic barbecue side dish that’s perfect with bbq ribs for those who really love their meat. It’s as convenient as it is delicious, made with canned beans, seasoned beef, bell pepper, onion, and seasonings. The full recipe can be found at Cooks with Soul.

More Recipes & BBQ Articles

Mac & Cheese Side Dish Recipes for Ribs

Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked mac and cheese is the quintessential southern side dish, for family get togethers and always perfect with BBQ ribs. The full recipe can be found at The Hungry Bluebird.

Creamy Stovetop Shells Macaroni And Cheese Recipe

Creamy Stovetop Shells Macaroni And Cheese Recipe

This easy, cheesy and creamy Stovetop Shells Macaroni and Cheese recipe is made start to finish on the stovetop, and is ready in under 20 minutes! A mac and cheese the whole family will enjoy! The full recipe can be found at Jawns I Cooked.

Easy Smoked Mac And Cheese on the Grill

smoked mac and cheese on the grill

Smoked Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food and goes perfectly with BBQ ribs! The full recipe can be found at Learning to Smoke.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Homemade Mac and cheese has never been creamier or easier! Instant Pot Mac and Cheese will be your new favorite way to get your cheesy on. The full recipe can be found at Life’s Ambrosia.

Coleslaw Recipe Sides for Ribs

What to eat with ribs? One of my favorites is coleslaw. The crunchy and creamy texture perfectly complements the tender smokiness of ribs, creating a nice contrast that enhances the overall BBQ experience.

Vinegar Based Coleslaw (No Mayo Coleslaw)

Vinegar Coleslaw

A savory dish like ribs is wonderful when paired with a fresh, sweet and acidic dish like this Vinegar Coleslaw! The perfect side dish for a barbecue potluck (this recipe is my Grandmother’s who lived in Vienna, Missouri her entire life!). The full recipe can be found at Blackberry Babe.

Easy Classic Coleslaw Recipe

Classic Coleslaw

This easy and creamy classic coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to a plate of ribs! The full recipe can be found at What A Girl Eats.

Classic Southern Coleslaw

Classic Southern Coleslaw

Enjoy this crispy, cool, and smooth Coleslaw made with a few simple ingredients from your pantry. It’s perfect as an accompaniment to BBQ meats, ribs, and piled onto burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. The full recipe can be found at Diethood.

Spicy Coleslaw

spicy coleslaw

Cole slaw is the perfect accompaniment to ribs because it’s a classic. Spicy coleslaw kicks up your meal a notch or two! Everyone will rave. The full recipe can be found at Christina’s Cucina.

Salad Sides for Ribs

Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe

Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe

Looking for a delicious and classic macaroni salad recipe that’s quick and easy to make? Try this recipe made with Hellman’s mayonnaise. The al dente macaroni is tossed with a creamy macaroni salad dressing made with mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard, giving it a tangy and slightly sweet flavor. The full recipe can be found at Mommy Mouse Clubhouse.

Grilled Corn Salad Recipe

Grilled Corn Salad Recipe

This is the best grilled corn salad – absolutely perfect for summer time! This delicious salad pairs nicely with all of your favorite barbecue staples like ribs and burnt ends and brisket. The full recipe can be found at Homemade Heather.

Amish Broccoli Salad Recipe

Amish Broccoli Salad

Crunchy and creamy, this broccoli salad is packed with flavor and perfect for serving with any kind of BBQ. The full recipe can be found at Heart’s Content Farmhouse.

Zucchini Salad with Lemon & Feta

Zucchini Salad with Lemon & Feta

This easy zucchini salad has the light and refreshing flavors of lemon and feta cheese. It is the perfect light side dish to pair with ribs. The full recipe can be found at Joy Filled Eats.

Tomato Basil Pasta Salad with Mozzarella & Fontina

Tomato Basil Pasta Salad with Mozzarella & Fontina

This tasty pasta salad recipe has all the flavors of the classic Caprese salad: Fresh basil, tomatoes and mozzarella. The full recipe can be found at That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad 

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad 

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad is a perfect side dish for ribs. It’s full of crunchy tangy pickles and has a creamy tangy dill sauce. The full recipe can be found at Amanda’s Easy Recipes.

Marinated Green Bean Salad

Marinated Green Bean Salad

Marinated Green Bean Salad is the perfect make-ahead chilled side salad, with green beans marinated for 4 hours to create a tangy and savory bowl of colorful vegetables with grated parmesan. This salad is a perfect side dish for barbecues. The full recipe can be found at Flavor Mosaic.

Potato Salad & Other Potato Recipe Sides for Ribs

One of my top choices as sides for ribs is potato salad. Here are a few great recipes for potato salad and other potato sides that work well with BBQ ribs.

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Salad is a delicious side dish everyone loves with ribs. Lots of bacon, shredded cheese and sour cream make this a delicious side dish. The full recipe can be found at Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch.

Chimichurri Potato Salad

Chimichurri Potato Salad

This flavorful chimichurri potato salad recipe only requires fresh herbs, olive oil, a little spice from red pepper flakes and aromatic shallots and garlic, and a hit of acidity with those baby potatoes. It’s the perfect side to lighten up a plate of ribs! The full recipe can be found at Sweet Tea And Thyme.

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

This warm and wonderful German Potato Salad is a nice change of pace from traditional potato salads usually served with ribs. The full recipe can be found at From A Chef’s Kitchen.

Blue Cheese Potato Salad

Blue Cheese Potato Salad

Not your average potato salad, these red skin potatoes are loaded with blue cheese, bacon and green onion. The full recipe can be found at Peel With Zeal.

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

Baby potatoes are roasted with butter and dry ranch mix until tender, then sprinkled with parmesan cheese and served up to your hungry family. The full recipe can be found at Dash for Dinner.

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries are easy to make and seasoned to perfection. Healthier than the fried version and so delicious, these crunchy fries are perfect for a simple snack or side dish! The full recipe can be found at Pumpkin ‘N Spice.

Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes

If you are looking for a hearty side that works well in colder months, these garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan are THE best mashed potatoes to serve with BBQ ribs. The cream cheese, heavy cream, and butter make them super smooth and creamy, and the fresh garlic and Parmesan cheese add rich flavor.  The full recipe can be found at Midwestern Homelife.

Vegi Sides for Ribs

Smoked Sweet Potatoes

Smoked Sweet Potatoes

Cooking sweet potatoes on the smoker gives them a wonderful smokiness to balance their natural sweetness. They pair perfectly with ribs! The full recipe can be found at A Grill for All Seasons.

Fun fact: the potato and sweet potato are actually not related. The potato is from the nightshade family and the sweet potato is from the morning glory family.

Easy Chipotle Corn Salsa Recipe

Chipotle Corn Salsa Recipe

This easy and delicious copycat corn salsa is a great addition to your favorite barbecue. Here is how to make it from Two Kids and a Coupon.

Mexican Grilled Street Corn

Mexican Grilled Street Corn

Corn on the cob that is primed with butter and seasoning for grilling and then slathered in creamy mayo, crumbled salty Cotija cheese, and a sprinkle of chili powder! The full recipe can be found at Flavor Mosaic.

Corn Pudding

corn pudding

This southern corn pudding is similar to corn bread, but more flavorful and moist. Thats why it’s a match made in heaven when paired with bbq ribs! The full recipe can be found at Couple in the Kitchen.

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Carrots

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Carrots

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Carrots are an easy and flavorful side dish. Loaded with a savory garlic parmesan mixture, these carrots are perfect for just about any meal. The full recipe can be found at Pumpkin ‘N Spice.

Fruit Sides That Go Well With Ribs

Chili Lime Grilled Pineapple

Chili Lime Grilled Pineapple

These pineapples are rubbed with a lime and an Indian street-style spice mix of chili, chaat masala, and salt to make a spicy, tangy, yet sweet vibrant dish. It’s the perfect side dish to balance any bbq main course! The full recipe can be found at Masala & Chai.

Bread

What to serve with ribs? You can’t go wrong with homemade bread!

Homemade Cornbread Recipe

Homemade Cornbread Recipe

This Homemade Cornbread Recipe is unbeatable! Pair it with ribs, bbq chicken, and more. Friends and family will adore its buttery, golden perfection, topped with a light honey glaze. The full recipe can be found at Easy Weeknight Recipes.

Sourdough Honey Cornbread

Sourdough Honey Cornbread

This easy sourdough honey cornbread recipe is the perfect side for bbq ribs made with crispy edges in a cast iron skillet! The full recipe can be found at Sourdough Brandon.

Easy Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread With Bacon

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

Nothing better than some spicy jalapeño cornbread to serve alongside bbq ribs. The sweet & richness of the ribs is balanced out by the spicy, savory cornbread for the perfect combination. The full recipe can be found at Grilling 24×7.


I hope these simple and tasty side dishes will make your BBQ ribs shine at any gathering!

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