6 Perfect Side Dishes for Backyard BBQ

When you’re running around your backyard barbecue trying to make sure you don’t burn the steaks or drop the sausages, you deserve a little leeway to makes sure you don’t end up a frazzled and cranky and not really good company. This is where our six delicious and easy to prepare side dishes come in. They are the perfect complement for your grilled ribs, burgers and chicken, and are easy enough for your kids to handle (with a little adult supervision)!


Oven Fries

1 1/2 pounds medium-size baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher or table salt
Ketchup (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°. Rinse potatoes in cold water. Drain and pat dry. Toss together potatoes, oil, and salt in a large bowl. Place a lightly greased wire rack in a jelly-roll pan. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on wire rack. Bake at 450° for 40 to 45 minutes or until brown. Serve immediately with ketchup, if desired.

Corn on the Cob

2 teaspoons lime zest
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ears corn on the cob

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Preheat a grill. Combine the lime zest, chipotle powder, garlic, paprika, salt and sugar in a bowl and stir with a fork until combined.Mash in the butter until thoroughly mixed in with the spices.

Peel back (but don’t remove) the husks from the corn and remove the silks. Brush the corn generously with the butter and fold the husks back over the corn. Grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, until the corn is cooked through and bright yellow, 12 to 15 minutes.



1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar or pinch
Shredded red and green cabbage and carrots (1 store-bought is okay)

In a large bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Add the shredded slaw mix and toss until combined.

Buttermilk Biscuits

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk, plus additional for brushing

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender or your hands or a standmixer fixed with a dough hook until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add 1 cup buttermilk. Using your hands, quickly fold the dry ingredients into the buttermilk until a sticky dough forms. You may need to add more buttermilk.

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Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Gently fold the dough over itself 3 or 4 times to create layers. Press the dough out to 1 1/2-inches thick and cut with a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter. Lay thebiscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with buttermilk. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and golden brown.


Collard Greens

8 slices bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups collard greens, tough stems discarded, rinsed and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 cups chicken broth

In a large skillet, cook the bacon in the olive oil, until rendered but not totally crispy. Add the greens and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat in the oil. Add the broth and cook until wilted. Serve immediately.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quartcasserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.