What to Serve With BBQ Ribs


Tender cooked sweet BBQ ribs, cooked to perfection so deliciously that they’re falling off the bone makes them taste wonderfully mouth watering. For what to serve with BBQ ribs, we’ll give you 36 quick and easy ideas that you can pull together in 30 minutes or less.

what to serve with bbq ribs 36 easy sides

Wondering What to Serve with Ribs? Here are 36 Quick and Easy Side Dishes for Your Barbecue

For what to eat with ribs, check out our list below for the best sides with BBQ ribs. It includes our need to have traditional sides along with a few bonus recommendations.

We’ve included vegetables that go with ribs, salads to go with ribs, potatoes to serve with ribs, the best breads to serve with ribs, drinks to serve with ribs, desserts to eat with ribs, and answers to frequently asked questions.

1. Baked Beans

what to serve with bbq ribs Smoked-Baked-Beans-top-down-with-spoon

If you’re having BBQ ribs, then you need to consider serving them with baked beans. After all, it’s a traditional menu item. BBQ ribs and baked beans go hand in hand.

This recipe for smoked baked beans is one that you’ll want to keep using again and again.

It includes a savory and slightly sweet flavor that will be enjoyed by people of all ages, even children. It comes as a top recommendation for what to serve with baby back ribs.

For what to serve with ribs and baked beans, keep scrolling for more great recipes.

2. Mac & Cheese

what to serve with bbq ribs Ultimate-Mac-And-Cheese-scoop-close-up

Mac and Cheese has long been a traditional side dish for ribs. If you’re thinking about what to serve with ribs and mac and cheese, we’ve got you covered.

I remember visiting Kansas City a few years ago and while we were there, we tasted BBQ ribs at popular and long-standing restaurants.

And a popular menu item as a side for BBQ ribs was always creamy mac and cheese like this recipe.

3. Coleslaw

what to serve with bbq ribs cabbage-slaw

Coleslaw is another top recommended side for BBQ ribs. It is the most widely served kind of salad traditionally that goes with BBQ ribs. And coleslaw or cabbage slaw is quite simple to make.

You can whip it up using a bag of pre-shredded slaw or by shredding your own.

Then, just add the sauce until it’s all coated. The slightly tart flavor is oh so delicious as a side for BBQ ribs.

4. Corn on the Cob

what to serve with bbq ribs corn on cob

If you’re looking for popular vegetables that go with ribs, consider corn on the cob. Especially in the summertime, corn on the cob is easy to find at local farm markets and grocery stores.

Wrap it in foil and roast it on the grill with your BBQ ribs or boil it on the stovetop for 5 minutes. We give it a thumbs up for what to serve with BBQ ribs in the summer, or anytime of the year for that matter.

Corn on the cob makes a delicious side to serve with ribs. Serve it with butter, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, pinch of salt, and freshly chopped parsley.

5. Green Beans

what to serve with bbq ribs smoked-green-beans-half-of-pan

There are a variety of ways that you can serve green beans with ribs. You can boil them, steam them, roast them, smoke them, grill them, and fry them.

This recipe for crispy green beans has been a popular one. And the delicious flavor of the zesty dip makes it one of the most delicious sides for pork ribs. With this, now you’re set for ribs, mac and cheese and green beans.

6. Broccoli with Cheese Sauce

what to serve with bbq ribs Broccoli-and-homemade-Cheese-Recipe

When thinking about what to eat with ribs, you’ll want to consider whether you’re interested in vegetable sides with ribs.

If the answer is yes, then Broccoli with homemade cheese sauce is one of the best beef rib sides.

All you need to make this one is a head of fresh broccoli and a few pantry staples for the cheese sauce. It’s classified as one of the easy side dishes for ribs.

7. Brussels Sprouts

what to serve with bbq ribs brussels sprouts

When thinking about what to cook with ribs, Brussels sprouts are a great option. You can even cook them alongside your ribs using the same cooking method.

They’re delicious roasted in the oven, smoked on the grill, or even boiled on the stovetop.

If you’re not sure about the longevity of Brussels sprouts, check out our post here about how long Brussels sprouts last.

8. Green Salad

what to serve with bbq ribs chick-fil-a-side-salad

Salad to go with BBQ ribs is another popular choice. It can be a fancy salad or something as simple and easy as this quick side salad that makes one of the delicious vegetable sides for ribs.

For your next ribs meal, you might consider whipping up a side salad using lettuce, tomato, and your favorite vegetable toppings and dressing.

9. Fruit Salad

what to serve with bbq ribs fruit salad

If you’re thinking about what to serve with BBQ ribs in the summer, a fruit salad can be a great option. It’s quick, easy, and healthy.

You don’t need a recipe for fruit salad to go with pork ribs, just wash and prepare your favorite fruits and serve them together on a platter or in a bowl.

If you like to use mango in your fruit salads, you might like to read this post about how to tell if a mango is ripe.

10. Classic Wedge Salad

what to serve with bbq ribs wedge salad on wood

What goes with spareribs for dinner? Why not choose one of the easiest side dishes for ribs, a classic wedge salad. And you might come away saying, that’s the best salad with ribs.

A classic wedge salad is typically served in steakhouse settings and a BBQ ribs meals fits the bill.

So, if you’re looking for rib dinner ideas, pick up the few ingredients for this salad at the grocery store. It’s one you can have ready in 10 minutes.

11. Junk Yard Salad

what to serve with bbq ribs Junk-Yard-Salad-in-sundae-dishes-topped-with-cherry

Junk yard salad is a sweet salad that can be served as either a salad or a dessert, depending on your preference. But for a ribs and salad kind of meal, we’d give it a recommendation to add to your list of considerations of sides for BBQ ribs.

Junk yard salad is made with cherry pie filling, pineapple, milk, marshmallows, and cool whip. It can be what helps to complete your BBQ rib dinner.

12. Tequilaberry Salad

what to serve with bbq ribs tequilaberry-salad-with-bacon

What goes with BBQ ribs? If you’ve decided on BBQ ribs, mac and cheese, Tequilaberry Salad will help round out the food groups on your menu.

This is a salad that has a bit of the sweet and tart aspects just like coleslaw does, but it’s made with iceberg lettuce and cauliflower.

And once you try it, you’re probably going to want to go back for more. The sauce is addicting.

Add this salad to your list of beef ribs sides.

13. Broccoli Salad

what to serve with bbq ribs Broccoli-Salad

What side dishes go good with ribs? Broccoli salad made with a fresh head of broccoli has delicious flavor that melds well as one of our recommended sides for smoked ribs.

There are several broccoli salad recipes available on our website, but this one’s a favorite. The color and tangy aspects make broccoli salad delicious as eaters of spare ribs sides dishes enjoy its flavor.

14. Creamy Macaroni Salad

what to serve with bbq ribs Ruby-Tuesday-Pasta-Salad

What goes with smoked ribs? Creamy macaroni salad can be a summertime favorite and it’s one of the popular side dishes with BBQ pork ribs.

Creamy macaroni salad is a quick and easy dish. Just cook the pasta, add the sauce, add the add-ins and mix together. It can be made in less than 30 minutes and is one of the common side dishes with BBQ pork ribs.

15. Cucumber Tomato Salad

what to serve with bbq ribs Tomato-Basil-Cucumber-Salad-top-and-yellow

What goes with fried ribs?  Cucumber tomato salad is a delicious combination. This salad is a healthy taste of summer no matter the time of year.

One of the great side ideas for ribs, cucumber tomato salad is perfect for any occasion, no matter the time of year. Plus, the salad only takes a handful of ingredients. Let’s look at what you need to make this delicious salad.

16. Carrot and Mint Salad

what to serve with bbq ribs carrot-mint-salad

What side dish goes good with ribs? A shredded carrot mint salad as an option if you’re looking for a salad other than a green salad to go with ribs.

It can be a good option if you’re thinking about what to serve with ribs in winter. Carrots are generally available year-round which makes this an option any season. 

It can be one of your sides for beef ribs or the perfect idea for rib meal sides.

17. Sweet Potato Casserole

what to serve with bbq ribs Sweet-Potato-Cassarole-close-up

Sweet potato casserole makes a good side dish for BBQ pork ribs. You might not think of it as one of your veggie sides for ribs, but it’s delicious and traditional.

Sweet Potato Casserole is a delicious twist on a basic root vegetable. Sweet potatoes are the perfect complement to any main dish.

This sweet potato casserole is very easy to prepare and tastes amazing.

18. Potato Salad

what to serve with bbq ribs potato-salad

Potato salad is another one of those traditional sides for pork or beef ribs. Imagine you walk into a popular ribs restaurant in the Midwest and you study the menu, potato salad will most likely be listed as one of the side dishes to go with ribs.

What’s better than homemade potato salad! Now, what goes with ribs and potato salad? Choose any vegetable, bread, or green salad and you’ll be all set.

19. Mexican Potato Chips

what to serve with bbq ribs mexican-potato-chips-seasoned

Mexican potato chips are a non-traditional side for ribs. They can be classified as what goes well with barbecue ribs. And they only take a few minutes of preparation.

Kids and adults alike love to eat these as a side dish with ribs.

20. Cheesy Potato Casserole

what to serve with bbq ribs Hashbrown-casserole-scoop-out

Have you tasted cheesy potato casserole? It’s a one of our favorite potatoes to serve with ribs.

And when you use a bag of frozen hash brown potatoes it cuts off a lot of preparation time to make it one of the best easy sides for BBQ ribs.  Just mix the ingredients together, bake, and serve.

21. Baked Potatoes

what to serve with bbq ribs Smoked-Baked-Potato-long-way

Baked potatoes are one of the best potatoes to go with pork ribs. And if you’re wanting to know what to serve with ribs and chicken, we’d recommend these.

Load them up with all your favorite loaded potato toppings, or bake and serve them simply with butter and salt. Either way it’s a win and an easy side for your ribs dinner.

22. Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes

what to serve with bbq ribs Twice-Baked-Potato-Casserole-close-up

For a potato dish to serve with ribs that’s a bit richer in flavor, use this recipe for cheesy twice baked potatoes. It’s one of the more ooey gooey cheesy potato sides for ribs.

Bake your potatoes once, then slice them and add all the ingredients and bake them again for a spare rib dinner.

23. Homemade French Onion Dip & Chips

what to serve with bbq ribs french onion dip

French onion dip and chips can add a rich aspect to your pork ribs meal. Imagine delicious, caramelized onions that are slowly cooked and then let them cool and mix them with the creamy ingredients to make a wonderful and tasty homemade French onion dip that’s perfect with potato chips.

24. Red Robin Garlic Parmesan Fries

what to serve with bbq ribs Red-Robin-Garlic-Parmesan-Fries-Recipe

Garlic fries are a version of plain fries but they add extra flavor and seasonings. These fries are easy to make, and they taste absolutely delicious. It’s hard to go wrong with garlic fries.

25. Cornbread

what to serve with bbq ribs cornbread

What should you serve with ribs? If you’re thinking about what sides to serve with Greek ribs, sticky ribs, country style spareribs, consider cornbread. Cornbread is so versatile, and you can add all kinds of add-ins until your heart’s content.

Cornbread is one of the traditional menu items of what to serve with ribs.

Need to make Jiffy cornbread without eggs? See our post here for how to do it.

26. Focaccia Bread

what to serve with bbq ribs Focaccia-bread

Focaccia bread is what to eat with sticky pork ribs, or any kind of ribs for that matter. Just plan ahead a few hours to mix it all up and allow time for it to rise before it bakes.

Fresh bread is a delicious side for beef or pork ribs. Check out this recipe for some of the best focaccia bread you’ve tasted in your rib dinner menu.

27. Brown Bread

what to serve with bbq ribs cheesecake-factory-brown-bread-sliced

For what to serve with BBQ ribs for dinner, we’d recommend brown bread for your menu. Since it’s a yeast bread, you’ll want to plan a few hours ahead to mix it all up so it can rise before it’s baked.

It’s great served warm with butter as a part of your rib menu ideas.

28. Raspberry Shortcake

what to serve with bbq ribs raspberry-shortcake-recipe-with-raspberries

If it’s summertime you might be thinking about what to serve with ribs in summer.

And there’s nothing like using fresh raspberries to make a delicious raspberry shortcake. It makes your BBQ rib dinner menu complete and finishes off the meal with a tasty treat.

Just make homemade biscuits using our recipe, add some fresh raspberries and top it all off with whipped cream.

29. Big ‘Ol Brownie

what to serve with bbq ribs Big-Ol-Brownie-Texas-Roadhouse

Big ‘Ol Brownies are a great way to delight those who gather around your table and are perfect for any pork ribs menu ideas.

These brownies come together in a matter of a few minutes and are delicious when served fresh with toppings like hot fudge or warm caramel sauce.

30. Tiramisu Cake

what to serve with bbq ribs slice-of-tiramisu-cake

If you like the flavor of coffee for dessert, you’re going to want to add Tiramisu cake to your BBQ rib menu. This recipe is deliciously creamy because of the use of a homemade pastry like custard filling.

It can be the perfect answer to your question of what to have with ribs.

31. Rich Chocolate Cake

what to serve with bbq ribs Snoop-Dogg-Chocolate-Cake-Recipe-close-up

If you’re thinking, wonderful I’ve got my answer to the question, what should I serve with ribs, but now I need to figure out dessert. Rich chocolate cake is one of our top excellent choices.

This recipe makes a deliciously moist cake that’s made from scratch. And made from scratch cakes aren’t often that way, but we give this one two thumbs up.

32. Smoked Cheesecake

what to serve with bbq ribs Smoked-Cheesecake-close-up

Smoked cheesecake makes the perfect dessert or the perfect smoked sides for ribs.

If you’ve already got ribs on your smoker, why not add dessert too. Smoked cheesecake is a delicious and tasty end to a wonder meal of ribs.

33. Red, White, and Blue Float

what to serve with bbq ribs red-white-and-blue-sonic-float

Since grilling BBQ ribs is often associated with summertime holidays, why not serve your rib dinner recipe with our red, white, and blue float recipe. It will only add about 10 minutes of time to your meal preparation.

Red, white, and blue floats are what to serve with St. Louis Ribs, country style ribs, sticky pork ribs, or whatever favorite rib recipe you choose to use.

34. Mango Pineapple Smoothie

what to serve with bbq ribs Pineapple-Mango-Smoothie

Serving the most delicious drink or beverage can provide the perfect addition to your ribs meal and sides.

When thinking about the question of what you can make with ribs, you’ll not want to leave out beverages.

35. Grape Smoothie

what to serve with bbq ribs grape-smoothie

Wondering what to serve with spare ribs? Why not try a grape smoothie!

Whether it’s summertime or wintertime, those who gather around your table will enjoy the refreshing aspects of a grape smoothie.

36. Cantaloupe Smoothie

what to serve with bbq ribs Cantalope-Smoothie

Cantaloupe smoothie is a refreshing smoothie made with fresh cantaloupe. It’s great for rib dinner ideas because it can go alongside ribs as the drink has a complementary flavor. Or it can be served as a refreshing dessert.

How to Serve Ribs

The best way to serve ribs is with your favorite sides. Like we’ve mentioned above, traditional sides for rib dinners typically include mac and cheese, baked beans, corn bread, or coleslaw. But why not try some non-traditional sides too.

Since ribs are typically served with the bone in, it is proper for them to be picked up and eaten with your fingers.

When serving ribs remember that they’re messy and those who gather around your table will appreciate both a place to put the rib bones as well as a method to wash their fingers.

Having a moist towel available, some napkins, or some form of finger wipes are appropriate. 

what to serve with ribs

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are some frequently asked questions that relate to what to serve with BBQ ribs. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.

1. What are some healthy sides for ribs?

Some healthy sides for ribs include vegetables and green salads. We’ve given links above to several options for healthy sides for ribs.

2. What to serve with ribs in winter?

People often associate BBQ ribs with grilling out in the summertime. But that’s not always the case. Ribs make a delicious meal in the dead of winter and can be cooked in a crockpot or a conventional oven too.

Ribs in the winter go great with a side salad of lettuce and your favorite vegetables along with a baked potato. And finish them off with a big ‘ol brownie.

3. What to serve with ribs and rice?

To create a well-balanced meal, we would recommend serving ribs and rice with a vegetable or green salad. You could use a vegetable like green beans, roasted Brussels sprouts, or broccoli.

Green salads such as broccoli salad or any kind of lettuce salad such as the ones mentioned above also pair well as a side to serve with BBQ ribs.

4. How can I tell if my BBQ ribs are done?

The internal temperature of your BBQ ribs should reach 165F degrees. Use an instant read meat thermometer like this one to confirm that your ribs have reached this point.

5. How to serve ribs at a party?

The best way to serve ribs at a party is to provide bowls where the bone can be disposed of and to supply proper hand washing options such as moist towelettes or finger bowls.

For more information about what to serve with baby back ribs, consider our list of sides for ribs above.

6. Is a rice side dish for ribs one of the best sides?

You can absolutely serve rice as one of your side dishes to serve with ribs.  Consider adding a vegetable or salad to make your menu complete.

What are some of the most popular side dishes to go with BBQ ribs?

Some of the best side dishes for summertime include sweet corn that will whet your taste buds. Collard greens roasted in olive oil, fried green tomatoes, cheese grits made with cheddar cheese, hush puppies, and corn fritters are considered a southern classic. 

Traditional favorites to go with your main course include a classic side dish like french fries, crispy sweet potato fries, onion rings, pasta salad topped with fresh dill or a creamy dressing made with simple ingredients. 

Other tasty side dishes that compliment that smoky flavor are somewhat healthy dishes like watermelon salad, your favorite coleslaw recipe, a fresh cucumber salad made with sour cream and enhanced with the flavor of fresh herbs. And don’t overlook your fresh salads, loaded with fresh vegetables including cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, black bean, fresh corn, and topped with crispy bacon. 

When enjoying a summer cookout, the key is to make sure your saucy ribs are accompanied with delicious side dishes. They can be simple sides since you want your tasty ribs and bbq sauce to be the star of the show. It’s all about finding the perfect balance.  

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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