41 Best Side Dishes for Ribs (Easy & Delicious)

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Looking for some of the best side dishes for ribs? Find the perfect side dish you can make with simple ingredients.

Whether you’re feeding people on game day or enjoying a weekend treat, there are few foods better than ribs. These tasty hunks of meat are the ultimate barbecue delight.

In fact, most families have their very own well-guarded rib recipe. I personally know many families who don’t take their rib days lightly. It’s a whole production!

side dishes for ribs

What to Serve with BBQ Ribs?

So, it only makes sense that the dishes you serve with ribs should be just as good. BBQ ribs have a rich, deep, and sticky flavor. They need something strong and tasty to cut through the taste.

That’s why everyone single one of the side dishes on this list has been selected. Each one can stand up to the ribs’ captivating flavor profile.

Not to mention, they’re the perfect additions to a day spent by your grill. Sun in the sky, cold drink in hand, and the smell of ribs and a good side on the air. Who could ask for more?

Potato Sides

Let’s start off with one of the best known sides to ribs: the good old potato. Potato is such a versatile vegetable.

There are hundreds of delicious ways to prepare it, so let’s look at just eleven of them and find the easy side dishes you’ll love.

1. Creamy Ranch Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Ranch Mashed Potatoes

Source: tastesofhomemade.com

We’re beginning the list with a tried-and-true classic: mashed potatoes. Creamy, buttery, and utterly delicious!

But these particular mashed potatoes have a wonderful twist: ranch.

This comforting, easy-to-make option will easily elevate those sticky ribs. So, when you looking for tasty side dishes just go with mashed potatoes.

2. Crispy Sweet Potato Wedges

Crispy Sweet Potato Wedges

Source: rosemaryandmaple.com

A crispy wedge with a dipping sauce is the perfect complement to a plate of sticky ribs. They’re both finger food!

Don’t be shy on the spices! The built-in sweetness of these potatoes loves to be challenged by plenty of seasoning. Dip these in a homemade creamy dressing for the ultimate treat.

3. Air Fryer Potato Wedges

Air Fryer Potato Wedges

Source: recipesfromapantry.com

If you love potatoes but don’t love the oil that comes with them, these air fryer potato wedges are for you.

I love making anything in an air fryer because they’re so and easy. Just set and forget, then come back when it’s time to plate up.

4. DIY Seasoned Potato Chips

DIY Seasoned Potato Chips

Source: foxeslovelemons.com

Spice up the regular, plain-old potato chip with this DIY spice mix!

This particular spice blend is warm, earthy, and sweet. Thanks to the cumin and paprika in the mix you’ll enjoy a delicious kick on these warm chips as soon as you pop one in your mouth.

5. Twice Baked Potato Casserole

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

Source: simplystacie.net

Topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, and chives, this casserole might actually steal the show from your ribs.

There’s some sour cream hiding in the potato mix. Thanks to that, these are ultra-creamy and just tangy enough to avoid being overpowering as a side dish.

6. Cheesy Swiss Chard Potato Casserole

Cheesy Swiss Chard Potato Casserole

Source: mangiabedda.com

If you’re looking for a healthier take on the potato casserole, I’ve got your back. Swiss chard is the perfect vegetable for the task. It’s packed with antioxidants and makes for a delicious cheese recipe.

This is a chunkier take on a potato casserole, so it stands up well against the hearty ribs.

7. Roasted Curry Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Curry Sweet Potatoes

Source: countrygirlcookin.com

These baked curry sweet potatoes are absolutely bursting with rich spices to accent a sticky, meaty rib dish.

The sweetness of the potatoes plays beautifully against the warm spice mix. Plus the spice mix from the recipe would be perfect on a whole range of root vegetables, so pick your favorite.

8. Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet Potato Mash

Source: greedygourmet.com

When I think of sweet, rich, sticky rib sauce, sweet potato mash is always hot on its heels. The two flavors blend together so well it’s a wonder they aren’t always served together.

The sweetness of these potatoes is accented by a rich, buttery aftertaste.

9. Baby Potatoes in Garlic Butter

baby Potatoes in Garlic Butter

Source: ruchikrandhap.com

Sometimes, simplicity is king. But don’t let the word ‘simple’ fool you, these baby potatoes are absolutely packed with flavor.

Garlic butter, onions, and fresh dill all combine to make the little vegetable sing.

These are easy to whip up in large quantities, so there’s very little hassle.

10. Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes

Source: spendwithpennies.com

Twice baked potatoes highlight everything that’s good about the humble potato. The creamy, soft inside. The crispy skin.

And the mellow, rich flavor of the potato flesh combined with its favorite companion: cheese.

Add some vegetables or a spice mix for a new flavor.

11. Potato Salad with Dill

Potato Salad with Dill

Source: sunglowkitchen.com

A cold potato salad served alongside warm, sticky ribs is the perfect way to cap off a delicious meal.

Not only can you make this in advance, I’d highly recommend it. The longer the potato can sit in the fridge to blend with the other flavors, the tastier it will be.

Healthy Sides for Ribs

With ribs being the hearty main dish they are, sometimes it’s nice to add a healthy side dish into the mix. Cut through some of that heaviness with these eleven dishes.

Each one adds a few serves of nutrient-rich vegetables to the table, so you can enjoy those ribs guilt-free! Whether you want fresh vegetables or cooked ones we include them all.

12. Honeydew Cucumber Salad

Honeydew Cucumber Salad

Source: lifeloveliz.com

This Honeydew Cucumber salad highlights the crunchy, cooling qualities of both cucumber and honeydew melon.

Some honey and olive oil add the slightest touch of rounded sweetness to this side salad. Everything is topped off by a few pieces of red onion.

13. No Mayo Coleslaw

No Mayo Coleslaw

Source: lucismorsels.com

I love this recipe for No-Mayo Coleslaw. This cooling take on a homey coleslaw is perfect for hot summer days out by the grill. You can easily satisfy the whole family with this side dish.

Instead of mayo, use Greek yoghurt with a variety of spices. You won’t even notice the difference.

14. Purple Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

Purple Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

Source: cookathomemom.com

This next coleslaw is absolutely bursting with color.

The secret to this slaw is a little bit of mustard hidden in the mayo. It combines with the earthy vegetables to make a grounded, super-tasty slaw you can’t put down.

If you want to make this even healthier, consider using Greek yoghurt instead of mayonnaise.

15. Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

Source: fedbysab.com

Raw sprouts are actually a wonderful base for a salad. They’re crunchy and filling, and the earthy flavor is the perfect foundation to build up some layers of taste.

Add craisins, apples, pears, and some creamy dressing for a salad you won’t forget.

16. Healthy Cornbread

Healthy Cornbread

Source: feastingnotfasting.com

Using whole wheat flour means the bread has more fiber, and the reduced butter content makes this easy on the heart.

Double the recipe and store this in the fridge so you can save yourself some time. Enjoy it up to five days later!

17. Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

Source: upstateramblings.com

This recipe plays a lot with texture. Raw broccoli pairs with sunflower seeds and bacon. In other words, it’s a delightfully crunchy salad!

The freshness of the salad will refresh your palette between bites of rib.

You could also serve these as a side dish with steak.

18. Roasted Maple Carrots with Stracciatella Cheese

Roasted Maple Carrots with Stracciatella Cheese

Source: thedevilwearssalad.com

Stracciatella cheese is a buttery cheese that pairs with sweet carrots perfectly.

The humble carrot is pretty good on its own, but when combined with maple syrup, it can’t be beaten. A little bit of orange zest lightens the whole affair to a whole new level.

19. Vegan Zucchini Fries

Vegan Zucchini Fries

Source: theveganlarder.com

Love potato fries, but don’t love the unhealthy oils and starches? These vegan zucchini fries are for you.

The crunchy coating on these fries gives them the perfect texture to bite into. Coated in a mild spice mix, these healthy fries go from bland to absolutely mouth-watering.

Serve with some aioli.

20. Sweet Potato Beet Salad with Feta

Sweet Potato Beet Salad with Feta

Source: sunglowkitchen.com

This salad combines two sweet root vegetables, so it’s both earthy and slightly sweet. Everything is caramelized to perfection, which adds a smokiness that ties perfectly with the ribs.

Top it all off with some light feta and a few leafy greens for a refreshing element to this tasty dish.

21. Grilled Caesar Salad

Grilled Caesar Salad

Source: theartoffoodandwine.com

If you love the traditional Caesar salad, then you’ll love this version with a sophisticated twist.

Top your charred romaine lettuce wedges with a quick Caesar dressing and crunchy croutons, and you’re all set!  If you want some additional flavor, feel free to customize it.

Serve with fresh herbs for the best flavor!

22. Sauteed Asparagus with Mushrooms

Sauteed Asparagus with Mushrooms

Source: delightfulplate.com

Sweet and crunchy asparagus pairs with earthy mushrooms for a tasty addition to any meal.

If you’re serving up ribs, this side dish is just robust enough to stand up against the hearty meat flavors.

Sprinkle it with some crispy shallots for a crunchy element that’s to die for!

Keto Sides for Ribs

Going keto can be a tough ask. Especially when you’re looking for delicious side dishes that feel at home beside a plate of delicious ribs.

Luckily, there are geniuses all across the internet who have come up with some truly tasty ketogenic options. You’ll get a ton of different flavors that will make your low carb lifestyle more exciting.

23. Slow Cooker Garlicky Herbed Cauliflower Mash

Slow Cooker Garlicky Herbed Cauliflower Mash

Source: wholefoodbellies.com

Cauliflower is a wonderful substitute for mashed potatoes. It has the same mellow, somewhat starchy flavor, without all the carbohydrates!

Top with cheese or leave as is; it’s delicious either way.

This recipe delivers on a garlic and herb version. Vegetable broth adds a depth of flavor that can’t be beaten.

24. Zucchini in Air Fryer

Zucchini in Air Fryer

Source: thebellyrulesthemind.net

Air Fryer Zucchini is so easy to pull together. Chop the zucchini like fries or chop it into rounds like little potato chips.

While this recipe only uses simple seasonings, I highly recommend trying out some new spice mixes. Serve these up with some homemade ranch or a Greek yoghurt dip.

25. Sauteed Radishes

Sauteed Radishes

Source: wholesomeyum.com

Thanks to the natural sugars in radishes, they caramelize and tenderize just like a potato. When you add butter, herbs, and a sprinkling of salt, you’ll happily wave goodbye to potatoes forever.

Even if you’re not on keto, this is a great way to change up some of your favorite potato dishes

26. Air Fryer Frozen Onion Rings

Air Fryer Frozen Onion Rings

Source: summeryule.com

These frozen onion rings have a low-carb breading made from crushed-up pork rinds

Keep in mind that you need to allow at least four hours for the onion rings to freeze all the way through. This helps them retain their shape while air frying.

This is also an amazing side dish for pork chops.

27. Sauteed Mushrooms in Garlic Butter

Sauteed Mushrooms in Garlic Butter

Source: wholesomeyum.com

Mushrooms are packed so full of natural flavor that they often only need a small boost to become amazing.

That’s where a heaping helping of delicious garlic butter comes in.

This side dish will be a wonderful addition to the table when ribs are involved. Both are warm, hearty, and flavorful.

Best Sides for Ribs

Now, we’ve come to the best part of the list… see what I did there? These recipes are the utterly indulgent, completely scrumptious side dishes everyone dreams of when they think of ribs.

Creamy, cheesy, and not shy on the sauce. These are all the elements that make these dishes the best thing to serve next to a plate of smoky, sticky ribs.

Whether it’s a classic side dish or something light for your savory ribs, you can find a recipe for it all.

28. Classic Macaroni Salad

Classic Macaroni Salad

Source: bellyfull.net

The creaminess in this macaroni salad is the perfect way to highlight a hearty meat main. So, what’s the key to a fantastic version of this recipe? Dressing, dressing, dressing!

This recipe sports a well-seasoned dressing that’s just bursting with spice, vinegar, and creamy ranch.

29. Spicy Coleslaw

Spicy Coleslaw

Source: christinascucina.com

This spicy coleslaw is the perfect way to use up leftover veggies.

On top of the standard creamy dressing, this coleslaw uses a green Tabasco hot sauce that knocks it out of the park. You can customize the level of spice to suit you, so experiment as you will.

30. Mac and Cheese Muffins

30. Mac and Cheese Muffins

Source: lifeloveliz.com

These macaroni and cheese muffins are the perfect way to get the kids in on the fun.

Make sure to use a generous amount of cheese on these babies. The cheese acts as a glue and holds the macaroni in the muffin shape.

31. BBQ Creamed Corn

BBQ Creamed Corn

Source: twopinkpeonies.com

This recipe is particularly great because all you need is a crock pot, slow cooker, or Instant Pot. This side dish has minimal ingredients and maximum taste. Set and forget while you focus on grilling!

32. Scalloped Corn

Scalloped Corn

Source: recipesfromapantry.com

With a sweet corn base and a savory sauce, this scalloped corn bake is perfect balance of flavors. The unique thing about this recipe is that it uses cornflakes instead of the traditional saltine crackers.

The cornflakes add the same lovely crunch without the sodium.

33. Crispy Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Crispy Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Source: anediblemosaic.com

Topped with crispy bacon and cheese, these brussels sprouts are easy to whip up and just as easy to nosh on.

Brussels sprouts are sponges for flavor. So these caramelized balls of greenery are bursting with tasty bacon and balsamic notes. Serve with fresh-grated Parmesan for the ultimate taste sensation.

34. Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts

Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts

Source: taoofspice.com

These sweet and spicy treats are incredibly easy to make. You only need five ingredients and a single baking sheet.

Served up beside ribs, these spicy sweet delights will elevate the heart flavor of your main. I highly recommend putting some ranch or aioli on the table for a creamy element.

35. Creamy Garlic Roasted Parsnip Puree

Creamy Garlic Roasted Parsnip Puree

Source: wholefoodbellies.com

This creamy roasted parsnip puree has mellow notes of garlic that will absolutely make your mouth water.

This puree is the perfect base for any rib sauce, whether you’ve gone spicy, sticky, or sweet. You can also make it ahead of time and reheat so you can focus on getting your ribs perfect.

36. BBQ Braised Cabbage with Bacon

BBQ Braised Cabbage with Bacon

Source: taoofspice.com

Featuring bacon, barbecue sauce, and chicken broth, this is a punchy side dish.

Braising cabbage makes it taste about a million times better than it does raw. You’re still getting those nutrients, but it’ll almost feel like you’re cheating because of how tasty this is!

37. Apple Slaw

Apple Slaw

Source: saltandlavender.com

Add a sweet and refreshing kick to the table with this apple slaw. An excellent choice if you’re looking for a great side dish.

It’s so easy to make and takes barely any time at all.

The sweet and crunchy slaw is the perfect balance to a rich and meaty rib dish.

38. Corn Riblets with Smoky Dipping Sauce

Corn Riblets with Smoky Dipping Sauce

Source: yuminthekitchen.com

These sweet, crunchy, and smoky delights are an out-of-this-world side dish for any rib recipe.

Despite their depth of flavor, these are actually super easy to make.

Serve with a dipping sauce or just use them to mop up the rib sauce.

39. Savory Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Pudding

Savory Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Pudding

Source: saporitokitchen.com

This is such a clever recipe! It plays on the tried-and-true bread and butter pudding. But instead of making it sweet and creamy, this is a cheesy and spicy treat that goes perfectly with a plate of ribs.

40. Orzo Mac and Cheese

Orzo Mac and Cheese

Source: sunglowkitchen.com

This recipe replaces the larger elbows with a tiny pasta shape called ‘orzo’.

These tiny pieces of pasta are almost rice-sized, which means each mouthful of this mac and cheese is smooth as butter.

Top with some crispy bacon for a mouth-watering crunch.

41. Ranch Pasta Salad

Ranch Pasta Salad

Source: thekitchenandalatte.com

This cold salad is perfect for making ahead of time, plus it’s a tried-and-true companion for almost all meaty mains.

While you can make this using store-bought ranch dressing, I recommend making it from scratch. That extra depth of flavor will set your salad above the rest for sure.

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