10 Great Side Dishes That Pair Perfectly With Ribs

Side dishes for ribs - great ideas for what to serve with ribs (corn on the cob)
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Ribs are great, but they do not a meal make. Just as pulled pork sides make a barbecue dinner much tastier, the right sides turn ribs into a well-rounded meal. And you can call a rib dinner healthy if you include a vegetable side dish, right?

Most backyard party or cookout hosts instinctively know not to serve ribs alone. Guests will want something else to polish off the meat-heavy meal. But what else to serve, then? Fortunately, most side dishes pair well with ribs. We've rounded up 10 recipes that round out a ribs-based meal without detracting from the quality of the meat.

From veggie-based salads to bread rolls to coleslaws, these are some of the best sides for ribs. They're low-commitment, too, so you can easily whip them up while the meat cooks. (If you have picky eaters, this is also your chance to make sure there's something they'll like on the table.) When it's time to serve your full ribs spread, everyone will admire your cooking (and pairing) abilities.

RELATED: Mexican Side Dishes

01 of 10

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes
Lisa Hubbard

Take the classic route when picking sides for your ribs with these irresistible fried green tomatoes. Making them at home is easier than you might think, and you and your guests are sure to enjoy the fried indulgence.

Get the recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes

02 of 10

Honey Corn Bread Muffins

Honey Corn Bread Muffins
Jose Picayo

Nothing beats a good cornbread for a classic barbecue or cookout side dish. These muffins are already perfectly portioned for a crowd, and the addition of honey makes them a little bit sweeter—perfect for serving with a sweet rib sauce.

Get the recipe: Honey Corn Bread Muffins

03 of 10

Perfect Tomato Salad

Perfect Tomato Salad
Lisa Cohen

There's good reason summer tomatoes are so adored: They carry enough natural flavor to practically be a dish on their own. For something to serve with ribs, simply find the highest-quality tomatoes you can, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle salt on top. You'll be surprised at how delicious the humble tomato can be.

Get the recipe: Perfect Tomato Salad

04 of 10

Coleslaw With Caraway and Raisins

Coleslaw With Caraway and Raisins
Lisa Hubbard

Never tried caraway? Get ready to love it, thanks to this twist on coleslaw, which has a slightly earthier taste than your classic slaw recipe. Guests at your next rib cookout won't know what hit them—and they'll be begging for the recipe.

Get the recipe: Coleslaw With Caraway and Raisins

05 of 10

Corn on the Cob With Tarragon

Corn on the Cob With Tarragon
Kana Okada

Has anyone ever rejected corn on the cob with ribs? A messier—and tastier—food match may have never been made. A sprinkling of tarragon adds unexpected flavor.

Get the recipe: Corn on the Cob With Tarragon

06 of 10

Baby Potato and Watercress Salad

Baby Potato and Watercress Salad

Try this big side dish recipe for a larger gathering, which serves eight and is almost guaranteed to leave no leftovers. Subbing yogurt for mayonnaise, a classic in potato salads, helps keep the dish on the lighter side, and watercress adds a delicious peppery tang.

Get the recipe: Baby Potato and Watercress Salad

07 of 10

Pasta Salad With Asparagus and Lemon

Pasta Salad With Asparagus and Lemon
Dana Gallagher

Love the flavors of mac and cheese—a classic side for ribs—but seeking something lighter? Look no further than this pasta salad, which uses cooled pasta, asparagus, and lemon for a healthier noodle dish that still packs plenty of flavor (and a few veggies, too).

Get the recipe: Pasta Salad With Asparagus and Lemon

08 of 10

Grilled Zucchini Salad With Lemon and Scallions

Grilled Zucchini Salad With Lemon and Scallions
Christopher Baker

The grill's already hot: You might as well pick a side dish that takes advantage. This grilled salad combines tasty zucchini and scallions for a tangy, lightweight side dish perfect for summer cookouts and outdoor parties.

Get the recipe: Grilled Zucchini Salad With Lemon and Scallions

09 of 10

Spicy Avocado and Black Bean Salad

Spicy Avocado and Black Bean Salad
Tom Schierlitz

If you're serving up a rack of ribs with a hot barbecue sauce, you may want to turn up the heat even more. Or you might have used a mild sauce and want something extra zesty on the side. In either case, try this spicy salad with bell and jalapeño peppers for a bit of a kick.

Get the recipe: Spicy Avocado and Black Bean Salad

10 of 10

Snow Pea and Red Onion Salad With Sesame Vinaigrette

Red Onion Salad With Sesame Vinaigrette
Tom Schierlitz

This side dish for ribs comes together pretty quickly and easily, with just 10 minutes of cooking time and only six ingredients. If you need something simple to serve with ribs, this side salad is a great option, particularly when paired with bread or another starch.

Get the recipe: Snow Pea and Red Onion Salad With Sesame Vinaigrette

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