Serve These Side Dishes With Sweet, Sticky Short Ribs

The Best Sides to Serve with Southern RibsRyan Dausch

“Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commissions or revenue from certain articles through these links.”

Even though they’re a little messy, there’s something so appealing about drooping ribs. In fact, that’s what Ree Drummond loves most about them! “Sometimes it’s just fun to relax, lean over your plate and dive in with both hands,” she says. While you’re at it, opt for some classic rib sides to round out your family meal. We’re talking Southern comfort foods, like mac and cheese, as well as shareable dishes, like deviled eggs and potato salad. So whether you’re making Ree’s Sweet and Smoky Back Ribs, Country Style Back Ribs, Grilled Back Ribs, or Dr Pepper Spicy Back Ribs, these easy sides will turn any recipe into damn good barbecue.

Saucy, spicy, and finger-licking ribs might be the star of your meal, but these delicious barbecue sides will definitely give them a run for their money. Here you’ll find crowd-pleasing classic dishes like pasta salad recipes, coleslaw, biscuits, and collard greens, as well as creative new dishes like grilled watermelon and ranch potatoes. Looking to give your barbecue a southern touch? Try crispy fried okra, baked beans and a colorful succotash to serve with your favorite ribs. There are so many great options out there that you may have to choose more than one.

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

This creamy pasta salad gets its flavor from homemade ranch dressing. But if that wasn’t enough, it also has plenty of mix-ins, like crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, veggies, and herbs. Talk about a dish full of flavor!

Get the recipe for Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad.

sides for ribs bacon ranch pasta salad

Caitlin Bensell

corn bread

Pan de elote translates to “bread” and “corn”. But it’s so much more than just your average cornbread. It contains whole corn kernels and sweetened condensed milk to make it very moist and flavorful.

Get the recipe for Pan de Elote.

side dishes for pan de elote ribs

Will Dickey

Stuffed eggs

No picnic or potluck would be complete without deviled eggs. They’re just as essential to a Southern comfort meal as the ribs themselves.

Get the deviled eggs recipe.

side dishes for ribs, deviled eggs

Caitlin Bensell

Pickled okra

If you’re looking for something sour to complement all that sweet and spicy flavor of ribs, just grab a jar of homemade pickles. Or, in this case, a pot of crispy, tangy pickled okra.

Get the recipe for pickled okra.

side dishes for ribs, marinated okra

Caitlin Bensell

Olive Cheese Bread

According to Ree Drummond, a large slice of bread is enough as a side dish for ribs. To make it even better, top this bread with melted cheese, butter and three types of olives.

Get the recipe for Ree’s Cheese and Olive Bread.


sides for ribs olive cheese bread

Antonis Achilleos

Green cabbage

These smoky greens become soft and tender with a slow-cooked braise in a mixture of homemade turkey broth, chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, sugar and water. Add a little hot pepper sauce before serving if you like it spicy.

Get the collard greens recipe.

side dishes for collard green ribs

Stacy Allen

Butter beans

Whether you use fresh or frozen butter beans, this side dish is always a hit! They have a little sugar for sweetness and thick bacon for that smoky flavor.

Get the recipe for Butter Beans.

sides for ribs butter beans

Caitlin Bensell

Hawaiian macaroni salad

This is a classic dish to cook for a reason! In the Aloha State, Hawaiian macaroni salad is served with ribs and grilled meats because it has the perfect tangy and creamy dressing!

Get the recipe for Hawaiian Macaroni Salad.

Sides for Ribs Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Will Dickey

Grilled Watermelon

Here’s one way to take your watermelon to the next level: grill it! This simple trick adds such a unique smoky flavor.

Get the Grilled Watermelon recipe.

side dishes for grilled watermelon ribs

Will Dickey

Butter cookies

What’s the quickest way to impress your guests? Make homemade buttermilk biscuits, of course! These are flaky, golden and so tender.

Get the recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits.


sides for ribs, buttermilk biscuits

Will Dickey

Southern Potato Salad

It wouldn’t be a barbecue without potato salad. This classic potluck staple is the perfect creamy accompaniment to your saucy ribs.

Get the Southern Potato Salad recipe.

Sides for Ribs Southern Potato Salad

Will Dickey


This classic Southern dish features brightly colored summer vegetables, like corn, lima beans, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes. It will add a touch of color to your BBQ plate.

Get the Succotash recipe.

side dishes for succotash ribs

Caitlin Bensell

Ranch Potatoes

These extra crispy roasted potatoes are seasoned with everyone’s favorite kitchen hack: Ranch Seasoning Blend! They are herbaceous and delicious.

Get the ranch potato recipe.

side dishes for ribs potatoes ranch

Caitlin Bensell


Making your own homemade coleslaw is definitely worth it! It only takes 10 minutes to make and you can customize it with different herbs from your garden.

Get the coleslaw recipe.

side dishes for ribs, coleslaw

Will Dickey

Crock-Pot Mac and Cheese

If you’re cooking ribs outside, the last thing you want to worry about is standing over the stove to make macaroni and cheese. Luckily, this one cooks right in your Crock-Pot, so it’s completely hands-free.

Get the Crock-Pot Mac and Cheese recipe.


sides for ribs, slow cooker mac and cheese

Caitlin Bensell

Southern Fried Okra

If you’re skeptical about okra, then you’ve never tried it fried! This crispy, crunchy vegetable is a real treat.

Get the recipe for Southern Fried Okra.

sides for ribs southern fried okra

Will Dickey

Jalapeño Cornbread

This southern-style cornbread has jalapeño slices and just a tablespoon of sugar, so it’s the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.

Get Ree’s Jalapeño Cornbread recipe.

side dishes for ribs jalapeno cornbread

David Malosh

Cucumber salad

Brighten up your barbecue dinner by adding this refreshing cucumber salad to the spread. This will help you eliminate all other healthy dishes from your plate.

Get the recipe for Cucumber Salad.

sides for ribs cucumber salad

Caitlin Bensell

Creamed corn

Sweet summer corn is the star of this comforting side dish. It is best made when fresh corn is in season.

Get the Creamed Corn recipe.

side dishes for creamed corn ribs

Caitlin Bensell

Beans with bacon

Just like your ribs, these beans cook low and slow to achieve the best flavor possible. A layer of bacon on top doesn’t hurt either!

Get the recipe for Ree’s Baked Beans.


sides for ribs baked beans

Danielle Daly

Red potato salad

It may be a creamy mayonnaise potato salad, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t loaded with texture. There are crunchy celery pieces and crispy bacon everywhere!

Get the Red Potato Salad recipe.

side dishes for ribs red potato salad

Will Dickey

grilled corn on the cob

Have you ever wondered how to make the perfect cob of corn? We have the answer ! And it’s so simple.

Get the Grilled Corn on the Cob recipe.

sides for ribs grilled corn on the cob

Will Dickey

Hush puppies

These cute morsels are basically cornbread dough that has been fried – yum! Plus, there’s cheddar cheese and jalapeño for heat.

Get the Hushpuppies recipe.

side dishes for hushpuppies ribs

Caitlin Bensell

Yellow Squash Casserole

This comforting side layers summer squash slices with a creamy sauce and buttery cracker topping that we just can’t get enough of!

Get the recipe for Yellow Squash Casserole.

Sides for Ribs Yellow Squash Casserole

Will Dickey

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

There’s so much pickle flavor in this hearty pasta salad, from the fresh dill and pickle juice to the chopped pickle pieces.

Get the Dill Pickle Pasta Salad recipe.


sides for ribs dill pickle pasta salad

Caitlin Bensell

grilled asparagus

Add something green to your menu with this quick and easy vegetable side dish. It’s a no-brainer for any occasion.

Get the recipe for grilled asparagus.

side dishes for grilled asparagus ribs

Caitlin Bensell

Cheese macaroni

This is a smooth, velvety, and heavenly rich mac and cheese. But if you ask us, it’s the crunchy cheese layer that’s the best part!

Get Ree’s mac and cheese recipe.

side dishes for ribs

Ralph Smith

You might also like

Leave a Reply