Side Ideas for Your Next BBQ

July 9, 2021 11:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s summertime, and that means it’s BBQ season. While meat is often the star of the show, you’re going to need some BBQ side dishes to go with it. Not only will these side dishes be a nice complement to the burgers, steaks, chicken, fish, chops or ribs you’re grilling up over an open flame, but a side dish can be a substantial main dish for vegetarians or vegans at a BBQ as well, since they often focus on vegetables or other meat-free ingredients.

Here are some cookout side dish ideas for BBQ season.

Pasta salad

One thing vegetarians often have their eyes peeled for at a BBQ is pasta salad. There are many variations of this much-loved BBQ side dish, and they can range from pedestrian to spectacular. Since they’re usually served cold, these can be made beforehand—even a day in advance. A basic pasta salad consists of pasta, some kind of dressing (often Italian) and chunks of soft cheese and vegetables. But if you really want to impress at your next BBQ, try giving that pasta salad an upgrade.

To elevate a pasta salad, consider what kind of pasta will work best with the texture of the dish. Spiral noodles like fusilli are often a good choice with chunky ingredients common in pasta salad, but bowtie pasta and penne can also work well. Fresh cheese and fresh herbs can go a long way toward making a dish to remember here. For example, try a caprese pasta salad with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil leaves and ripe, halved cherry tomatoes.

Watermelon salad

If there’s one fruit that’s made to be eaten at a BBQ, it’s watermelon. It’s big, delicious and versatile. Watermelon is good enough on its own to just cut it into slices like a pizza or cube it up and fill a big bowl and call it a day. Most guests would be happy with this on its own—but you can do a little extra and make it a memorable dish that will have friends asking you to bring it to the next BBQ.

For example, try a watermelon and feta salad. This simple recipe is refreshing and delicious. It includes bite-sized watermelon cubes, chunks of Persian cucumber (because it’s seedless, it’s better for salads like this), feta cheese and fresh mint leaves. You can also use thin slices of red onion for more contrast, if desired. The saltiness and richness of the feta gives this cooling dish some filling heft.

Grilled corn on the cob

Simple things done well can be memorable, too—take corn on the cob, for example. For great grilled corn, leave the husk intact (tear off the hairs at the top), and soak it in water for a few minutes. Grilling it in the husk after a brief soak will steam the corn while also giving it some grilled flavor. If you want to go the extra mile, you can make elote: Carefully peel the cooked corn; lightly brush it with mayo; thoroughly dust it with crumbly Mexican cotija cheese; add chili powder or Tajin seasoning as desired; and top with your favorite hot sauce.

For more cookout side dish ideas, visit Tony’s Delicatessen & Fresh Meats today.

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