The Best Sides for Ribs



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Discover the best sides for ribs to elevate your BBQ experience! From coleslaw to baked beans, this is the complete list of the best sides!

Ribs are a BBQ classic and for good reason. Not only are they tender, saucy, and delicious, they are served with some of the most delicious side dishes that’ll make any barbecue, summer cookout or family dinner memorable.

Today I’m sharing my ultimate guide for the best sides for Ribs. We’ll be covering the classic BBQ sides, comfort food options, along with a few lighter options.

PS: Have you tried my recipe for Grilled BBQ Ribs? All of these sides would also go really well with my BBQ Chicken made on the stove.

the best sides for ribs

Classic BBQ Sides for Ribs

When I think of Ribs, the side dishes that come to mind are classic BBQ favorites:

  • Corn on the Cob – whether you grill the corn on the cob, slow cook it, make it in the microwave or boil it on the stove, you can’t go wrong with corn on the cob with ribs.
how to grill corn on the cob
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How to Grill Corn on the Cob

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corn on the cob with butter
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Slow Cooker Corn on the Cob

This slow cooker corn on the cob will become your favorite and the ONLY way you cook with corn once you try it!
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corn on the cob made in the microwave
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How to Microwave Corn on the Cob

Learn how to make corn in the microwave with this quick and easy recipe. Now you can have sweet and juicy corn in minutes with no extra dishes!
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  • Coleslaw – whether you like a creamy mayo coleslaw or a tangy vinegar based coleslaw, it’s always a great option to go with ribs!
apple cider vinegar coleslaw recipe
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Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw (without mayonnaise)

If you are a fan of coleslaw but want to skip the mayo, this Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw (without mayonnaise) is perfect for you! It's the perfect coleslaw recipe for pulled pork!
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bowl of spicy cole slaw
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Spicy Cole Slaw

Restaurant style Spicy Cole Slaw packs a bit of heat, but not too much! Perfect for summer BBQ's!
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  • Baked Beans – always a BBQ staple! You can make baked beans in the slow cooker, Instant Pot, or even in the microwave. Brown sugar, molasses, even bacon add comfort and deliciousness to a baked beans recipe.

Easy Instant Pot Baked Beans

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Sweet and Spicy Baked Beans

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Sweet and Smokey Baked Beans

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Potato Salad – one of my personal favorite comfort foods that goes with ribs. Potato salad is versatile – make it the classic way or try a fun variation like Loaded Baked Potato Salad!

classic potato salad
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Classic Potato Salad

Classic Potato Salad made with or without egg. The key ingredient to this potato salad is the Hellmann's mayo with just a little bit of mustard mixed in. Perfect for potlucks and picnics, this is the Potato Salad recipe you'll be asked to make over and over!
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old fashioned warm German potato salad
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German Potato Salad

This old fashioned hot German potato salad recipe can be made with or without bacon. 
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loaded baked potato salad

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

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  • Pasta salads and macaroni salads – pasta salads are a great side dish to serve with ribs. They are refreshing and light, versatile, and pairs well with other classic BBQ sides like potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw.
bowl of easy macaroni salad
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Easy Macaroni Salad

Easy Macaroni Salad, just like you'd get from the deli at the grocery store! Wondering how to make classic Macaroni Salad? This homemade recipe is easy and versatile. Add tuna, peas, or any of your favorite add-ins.
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bowl of creamy cheddar pasta salad
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Creamy Cheddar Pasta Salad

Creamy Cheddar Pasta Salad with a simple dressing is a fantastic side dish for a summer BBQ! It's versatile too – add in broccoli or any other veggies that you'd like!
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Comfort Sides for Ribs

Now that we’ve covered traditional BBQ side dishes, let’s talk about the best comfort sides for ribs.

  • Mashed Potatoes and Gravy – this combo is always an ideal comforting side dish for ribs!
the best mashed potatoes
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The Best Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes made with cream cheese and sour cream are fluffy, creamy and delicious!
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bowl of turkey gravy with a ladle

Perfect Turkey Gravy

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  • Cornbread – sweet, buttery cornbread is the perfect match for BBQ ribs and chicken!
old-fashioned corn bread

Old-Fashioned Corn Bread

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Lighter Ideas

Looking for something lighter? Here are a few of our best fresh and light side ideas that go with ribs.

  • Grilled Asparagus – a quick and easy side dish ready in about 10 minutes!
grilled asparagus made on the grill
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Easy Grilled Asparagus

Easy Grilled Asparagus made on the grill or on the stove is ready in under 10 minutes and is the perfect side dish for your next barbecue.
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  • Sweet Potato Fries – crispy sweet potato fries pair perfectly with ribs!
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
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Baked Sweet Potato Fries

These Baked Sweet Potato Fries are easy and delicious. Baked to crispy perfection, these sweet potato french fries require only olive oil and seasonings. Simple, healthy and packed with flavor!
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  • Pickles
  • Veggies and Dip
  • Fruit Salad

There you have it, the best sides for ribs! Whether you choose classic BBQ sides like coleslaw, baked beans, and corn on the cob or you go for classics like mashed potatoes, there are endless possibilities to suit your tastes.

Get that grill fired up, make those tangy, saucy Grilled BBQ Ribs, and enjoy any of these sides to make your meal unforgettable. Enjoy!

Hi, I’m Ashley & I’m so happy you’re here!

Ashley is the founder of CenterCutCook and a former teacher that now spends her days in the kitchen so that she can share her favorite recipes with you!