14 Mouthwatering BBQ Side Dishes for Pulled Pork, Brisket, and More

BBQ side dishes - barbecue sides for pulled pork, brisket, and more (collards)
Photo: Jonny Valiant

You never need an excuse to barbecue. Sure, a good cookout and backyard party (with all those irresistible BBQ sides) are a great way to celebrate a graduation or summer birthday, but eating BBQ is also something you can do any night of the week, for any reason—including just craving some good pulled pork.

Whether you know how to grill and cook your brisket or pulled pork at home or you order a cooked Boston butt from your local BBQ joint, there's no way to BBQ wrong—as long as you have plenty of BBQ sides, of course. Barbeque-friendly side dishes can include everything from the classic mac and cheese or potato salad to creative takes on slaws, such as a carrot and apple slaw.

The key is to pick and prepare side dishes that go with your meat of choice, whether that's pulled pork, brisket, or BBQ chicken. Fortunately, these dishes go with all of them; some even serve as good sides for ribs, though they may be best as sides for pulled pork or brisket.

For the best BBQ in recent memory, pick your meat base, then add on all the sides you and your family love and crave: Any of these BBQ side dish recipes will pair nicely with your favorite smoker-cooked meat. Best of all, most make great leftovers, so you can enjoy the flavors of your BBQ after the smoker is cool. Need something to pair with that smoky brisket or tangy pulled pork? Try one of the following recipes.

01 of 14

Creamy Potato Salad With Bacon

Creamy Potato Salad With Bacon
Con Poulos

Fresh herbs brighten up the flavor, while white wine vinegar adds a tang that balances out the rich mayonnaise and sour cream in this BBQ side.

Get the recipe: Creamy Potato Salad With Bacon

02 of 14

Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese
Sang An

Use a mixture of Gruyère and Cheddar cheeses for more complex flavors.

Get the recipe: Macaroni and Cheese

03 of 14

Creamy Corn Pudding

Creamy Corn Pudding
Chris Court

This sweet and savory pudding with the perfect just-set custard can be made up to 1 day in advance.

Get the recipe: Creamy Corn Pudding

04 of 14

Herb Potato Salad

Herb Potato Salad
Anna Williams

Toss the potatoes with the dressing while they're still hot to help them absorb the flavors.

Get the recipe: Herb Potato Salad

05 of 14

Maple Corn Bread

Maple Corn Bread
Con Poulos

Moist, fluffy corn bread gets its sweetness from pure maple syrup.

Get the recipe: Maple Corn Bread

06 of 14

Collard Greens With Bacon

Collard Greens With Bacon
Jonny Valiant

Cook the sliced shallots and greens in the bacon drippings to infuse this side dish with savory richness.

Get the recipe: Collard Greens With Bacon

07 of 14

Mexican Grilled Corn With Cilantro

Mexican Grilled Corn With Cilantro
Sang An

Spruce up grilled corn-on-the-cob for your next barbecue with fresh lime juice and cilantro.

Get the recipe: Mexican Grilled Corn With Cilantro

08 of 14

Tomato, Corn, and Red Cabbage Salad

Tomato, Corn, and Red Cabbage Salad
Paul Sirisalee

Use fresh raw corn kernels to add a juicy, sweet pop to this BBQ side.

Get the recipe: Tomato, Corn, and Red Cabbage Salad

09 of 14

Sliced-Tomato Salad With Dill Pickle Relish Vinaigrette

Tomato Salad with Pickle Relish Vinaigrette
Caitlin Bensel

Use a variety of colorful, ripe tomatoes for the prettiest (and most delicious) results.

Get the recipe: Sliced-Tomato Salad With Dill Pickle Relish Vinaigrette

10 of 14

Carrot-Apple Slaw

Carrot-Apple Slaw Recipe
Antonis Achilleos

You can prep this slaw (without the cilantro) up to a day in advance.

Get the recipe: Carrot-Apple Slaw

11 of 14

Minted Watermelon Salad

Spicy Beef Kebabs With Watermelon Salad
Christopher Baker

Torn mint leaves give this salad a refreshing taste.

Get the recipe: Minted Watermelon Salad

12 of 14

Wilted Sesame Spinach

Wilted Sesame Spinach
Greg DuPree

This quick and easy method also works well with Swiss chard, kale, or mustard greens.

Get the recipe: Wilted Sesame Spinach

13 of 14

Southwestern Pasta Salad

Southwestern Pasta Salad
Greg DuPree

Toss cherry tomatoes, avocado, black beans, and corn with cooked campanelle pasta for a delicious side that can be made up to two hours in advance.

Get the recipe: Southwestern Pasta Salad

14 of 14

Smashed Cucumber Salad With Spicy Feta and Olives

Smashed Cucumber Salad With Spicy Feta and Olives
Jennifer Causey

This simple no-cook salad with spicy feta and olives makes an excellent side for a summer BBQ.

Get the recipe: Smashed Cucumber Salad With Spicy Feta and Olives

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