43 Tasty Side Dishes For Ribs You Can Make Easily

Ribs, the quintessential barbecue treat, often steal the show at gatherings and family get-togethers. When it comes to complementing these tender morsels of meat, the right side dish can elevate the experience. But what makes for an exceptional accompaniment? The answer lies in simplicity. With humble ingredients, you can craft a side dish that perfectly balances the rich flavors of your ribs.

While some may argue that ribs are the main attraction, I’ve witnessed families go to great lengths to perfect their rib recipes. It’s a tradition that’s passed down through generations, with each household boasting its own unique approach. And yet, it’s not just about the ribs themselves – it’s about the entire experience.

Whether you’re hosting a casual game-day gathering or indulging in a weekend treat, there’s no denying the magic of ribs. So, what are some top-notch side dishes that can help take your rib-filled soiree to the next level? The answer lies in simplicity.

Creamy Ranch Mashed Potatoes

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We’re kicking off our list with a timeless favorite – mashed potatoes, but not just any mashed potatoes. We’re talking about creamy, buttery, and indulgently delicious ones infused with the rich flavor of ranch. This comforting classic is surprisingly easy to make and has the power to elevate even the most humble dishes like sticky ribs. So, when you’re in search of a tasty side dish that’s sure to please, look no further than these delightful mashed potatoes.

Crispy Sweet Potato Wedges

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When it comes to pairing with sticky ribs, there’s no better match than a crispy potato wedge served alongside a tangy dipping sauce. Not only do they share the same finger-food convenience, but their contrasting textures and flavors create a delightful harmony.

To elevate this combination even further, don’t hold back on the seasonings! The natural sweetness of these potatoes is perfectly balanced by bold spices, which can be expertly complemented with a rich and creamy homemade dressing.

Air Fryer Potato Wedges

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For those who adore potatoes but are not a fan of the excess oil that typically accompanies them, the solution lies in air-frying potato wedges. I find myself enamored with the ease and convenience of cooking in an air fryer, as it allows for minimal effort and maximum results. Simply set the desired temperature and timer, and let the air fryer do the work while you focus on other tasks or simply wait for the perfect moment to present your dish.

DIY Seasoned Potato Chips

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Elevate the humble potato chip with a custom spice blend that combines earthy warmth and sweet depth. The harmonious union of cumin and paprika in this DIY mix imbues each crispy morsel with a satisfying kick, instantly awakening your senses as you take a bite.

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

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This mouthwatering casserole’s crowning glory is its trifecta of toppings: melted cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and oniony chives. It’s so impressive that it might even upstage your main course – like ribs – with its rich flavors. Meanwhile, a secret ingredient in the potato mixture – sour cream – lends these spuds an ultra-creamy texture and just the right amount of tanginess to prevent overpowering as a side dish.

Cheesy Swiss Chard Potato Casserole

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Looking for a healthier spin on the classic potato casserole? I’ve found a game-changer: swap out those spuds for Swiss chard and get ready to reap the nutritional rewards! This leafy green is a powerhouse of antioxidants, making it the perfect base for a cheesy, indulgent recipe that just happens to be better for you. The chunkier texture holds its own against even the heartiest of ribs, making this a satisfying side dish or main event.

Roasted Curry Sweet Potatoes

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Aromatic flavors abound in these baked curry sweet potatoes, expertly paired with the savory essence of a meaty rib dish. The harmonious balance of sweetness and warmth is nothing short of captivating, as the spices complement the natural sweetness of the potatoes. Moreover, this versatile spice blend would also beautifully enhance a variety of root vegetables, so feel free to experiment with your favorite options.

Sweet Potato Mash

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Sweet and sticky ribs are often accompanied by sweet potato mash, as the two flavors complement each other perfectly. The natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes is elevated by a subtle, buttery undertone that adds depth to the dish. In many ways, it’s surprising that these two flavors aren’t always served together, given how well they blend.

Baby Potatoes in Garlic Butter

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While some may argue that simplicity is the ultimate form of elegance, these diminutive potatoes prove that a focus on flavor can be incredibly potent. A trifecta of garlic butter, caramelized onions, and fragrant fresh dill harmonizes to create a culinary symphony in miniature form. One of the greatest benefits of this recipe is its effortless scalability – whip up a batch for a crowd with minimal fuss, making it an ideal solution for any gathering or celebration.

Twice Baked Potatoes

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The allure of twice-baked potatoes lies in their ability to perfectly balance the contrasting textures and flavors that make potatoes so beloved. The fluffy, creamy interior is a perfect complement to the satisfying crunch of the crispy skin. Meanwhile, the rich, mellow flavor of the potato flesh is elevated by its harmonious pairing with melted cheese. But what truly sets twice-baked potatoes apart is their adaptability – simply add some sautéed vegetables or a pinch of spice for an entirely new and exciting flavor profile.

Potato Salad with Dill

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A mouthwatering combination is formed when a cold and creamy potato salad is paired with warm, sticky ribs – the ideal finale to a satisfying meal. This dish also boasts the advantage of being easily prepared in advance, with its flavor profile only improving as the potato salad sits in the refrigerator, allowing the various components to meld together harmoniously.

Healthy Sides for Ribs

When it comes to indulging in hearty main courses like ribs, it’s refreshing to balance things out with a nutritious side dish. To help you do just that, we’ve curated eleven delicious options that incorporate nutrient-dense vegetables into the mix. These dishes cater to a variety of preferences, featuring both fresh and cooked vegetable variations. By incorporating these sides into your meal, you can savor those ribs without the guilt!

Honeydew Cucumber Salad

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The Honeydew Cucumber salad masterfully combines the refreshing crunch of cucumbers with the sweet, succulent qualities of honeydew melon. A subtle harmony of flavors is achieved through the addition of a hint of sweetness from honey and olive oil, while thin slices of red onion add a pop of color and a touch of pungency to this delightful side dish.

No Mayo Coleslaw

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This No-Mayo Coleslaw recipe is a refreshing twist on the classic summer side dish. Its cooling properties make it perfect for hot days spent grilling in the backyard, and its versatility means you can easily please the whole family with this tasty treat. What sets it apart from traditional coleslaw recipes is the use of Greek yoghurt instead of mayonnaise – a swap that’s so seamless, you’ll barely notice the difference.

Purple Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

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This vibrant coleslaw recipe boasts an explosion of color, thanks to a clever combination of ingredients. The game-changer is the subtle addition of mustard to the traditional mayo base, which harmonizes beautifully with the earthy flavors of the vegetables. The result is a slaw that’s both grounded and tantalizingly tasty – you won’t be able to stop at just one serving! For an added layer of nutrition, consider swapping mayonnaise for Greek yoghurt, further elevating this slaw’s health benefits.

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

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The humble raw sprout is often overlooked as a key component in creating a memorable salad experience. However, when used as the foundation, their satisfying crunch and subtle earthy flavor provide an ideal backdrop for building layers of taste and texture. To take it to the next level, incorporate sweet and tangy elements like craisins, crisp apples and pears, and a generous dollop of creamy dressing.

Healthy Cornbread

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With whole wheat flour, the bread boasts increased fiber content, making it a healthier option for those looking to incorporate more nutrients into their diet. Furthermore, reducing the butter content has the added benefit of making this bread more heart-friendly. For added convenience and to save time in the long run, consider doubling the recipe and storing the leftover loaves in the fridge. This way, you can enjoy freshly baked bread up to five days later, with no compromise on taste or quality.

Broccoli Salad

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This recipe cleverly combines textures to create a delightful crunch. The raw broccoli is perfectly complemented by the nutty flavor and satisfying bite of sunflower seeds, while the crispy bacon adds a smoky depth to the mix. The result is a refreshing salad that will cleanse your palate between bites of rich rib or steak.

Roasted Maple Carrots with Stracciatella Cheese

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When it comes to pairing ingredients, few combinations are as delightfully unexpected as the union between stracciatella cheese and sweet carrots. The buttery richness of this Italian cheese is a perfect match for the natural sweetness of the carrot, creating a harmonious balance that will leave you wanting more. But what truly elevates this combination is the addition of maple syrup, which brings a depth of flavor and a touch of sophistication. A sprinkle of orange zest adds a bright, citrusy note that cuts through the richness of the cheese and takes the dish to new heights.

Vegan Zucchini Fries

Indulge in crispy, flavorful vegan zucchini fries that ditch the unhealthy fats and carbs found in traditional potato fries. The satisfying crunch of these guilt-free snacks is achieved through a clever coating process, while a hint of mild spice adds depth to their otherwise bland taste profile. Pair them with a creamy aioli for an irresistible snacking experience.

Sweet Potato Beet Salad with Feta

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This recipe seamlessly blends two natural sweethearts – root vegetables – offering an earthy, slightly sweet flavor profile. The caramelization process adds a rich, smoky depth that beautifully complements the ribs. To balance out the heartiness of the dish, a sprinkle of crumbly feta and some peppery greens provide a delightful contrast, making this salad a true showstopper.

Grilled Caesar Salad

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Indulge in a refined take on the classic Caesar salad by elevating its humble components. Charred romaine lettuce wedges form the foundation, topped with a zesty Caesar dressing and satisfying croutons. For an added layer of complexity, feel free to experiment with unique flavor combinations. To truly bring out the best flavors, serve your creation garnished with fresh herbs.

Sauteed Asparagus with Mushrooms

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When it comes to pairing vegetables with rich and savory meats, asparagus and mushrooms make a match made in heaven. The sweetness of the asparagus beautifully complements the earthy flavors of the mushrooms, creating a well-rounded and satisfying side dish. This dynamic duo is particularly impressive when served alongside robust meat options like ribs, where its bold flavors can hold their own against the hearty meat. To take it to the next level, top with crispy shallots for a delightful textural contrast that’s sure to delight even the most discerning palates.

Keto Sides for Ribs

Embracing the keto lifestyle can be challenging, particularly when seeking side dishes that harmonize with rich and flavorful ribs. Fear not, as innovative thinkers across the internet have created an array of mouthwatering ketogenic options. This diversity of flavors will undoubtedly elevate your low-carb experience.

Slow Cooker Garlicky Herbed Cauliflower Mash

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Cauliflower’s subtle, starchy taste makes it an excellent substitute for mashed potatoes, minus the carb-heavy calories. Its versatility allows for both cheesy toppings and au naturel presentation, each yielding a delightful outcome.
The garlic and herb-infused recipe presented here excels in delivering a rich, savory flavor profile. The addition of vegetable broth takes this dish to new heights, imbuing it with an unmistakable depth that’s hard to match.

Zucchini in Air Fryer

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Prepared in no time, Air Fryer Zucchini is an effortless treat to whip up. You can cut the zucchini into fry-like strips or slice it into rounds reminiscent of potato chips. The recipe itself relies on straightforward seasonings, yet I highly encourage experimenting with innovative spice blends to elevate the dish. Pair these crispy delights with a refreshing homemade ranch dressing or a tangy Greek yoghurt dip for an added layer of flavor and satisfaction.

Sauteed Radishes

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Radishes offer a sweet surprise when cooked, transforming their natural sugars into a caramelized flavor profile that rivals even the most tenderized potatoes. When paired with butter, herbs, and a pinch of salt, the result is nothing short of a game-changing alternative to the humble spud. And while this recipe may be particularly well-suited for keto enthusiasts, its versatility ensures it’ll become a staple in your kitchen regardless of dietary persuasion.

Air Fryer Frozen Onion Rings

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When it comes to these crispy, flavorful frozen onion rings, what sets them apart is the unique low-carb breading made from crushed pork rinds. To achieve optimal results, allow at least four hours for the onion rings to fully freeze beforehand. This ensures they maintain their shape during air frying and retain their delightful crunch. Not only do these onion rings make a great accompaniment to grilled or pan-seared pork chops, but they’re also a fantastic addition to any meal.

Sauteed Mushrooms in Garlic Butter

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Mushrooms are often the perfect canvas for showcasing their natural flavors, requiring only a subtle enhancement to truly shine. And what better accompaniment than a rich, aromatic garlic butter? This delectable side dish is sure to complement ribs perfectly, as both share a warm, comforting quality that’s hard to resist.

Best Sides for Ribs

The pièce de résistance of our list is finally here – and we couldn’t help but get a little creative with the puns. These indulgent side dishes are the perfect accompaniment to a plate of fall-off-the-bone ribs, with their rich, creamy textures and generous servings of sauce. From classic comfort foods to lighter options that won’t overpower your savory ribs, our recipe selection has got you covered.

Classic Macaroni Salad

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To elevate a satisfying meat dish, the rich creaminess in this macaroni salad is the perfect accompaniment. The secret to crafting an exceptional version of this classic recipe lies in the art of creating a well-balanced dressing that harmoniously blends flavors of spice, vinegar, and creamy ranch. By doing so, you’ll unlock the true potential of your dish and create a memorable culinary experience.

Spicy Coleslaw

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Transforming leftover vegetables into a mouth-watering treat is now possible with this spicy coleslaw recipe. By incorporating a creamy dressing and a boost from green Tabasco hot sauce, the dish takes on an entirely new dimension. The best part? You can easily adjust the level of spiciness to suit your taste buds, so feel free to experiment and find the perfect balance for you.

Mac and Cheese Muffins

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Indulge your little ones in the delightful process of creating scrumptious macaroni and cheese muffins, where they can take an active role in the cooking experience. A key consideration is ensuring a sufficient quantity of melted cheese is incorporated into the mixture, as its binding properties allow it to effectively hold the pasta in place within the muffin structure.

BBQ Creamed Corn

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What makes this recipe stand out is its incredible versatility – it’s perfect for use with any of your favorite cooking vessels, including crock pots, slow cookers, or Instant Pots. With only a few simple ingredients required, the end result is a flavorful and satisfying side dish that’s sure to please. And the best part? Simply set it and forget it while you focus on grilling up some delicious main courses.

Scalloped Corn

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This scalloped corn bake strikes a delightful equilibrium between sweet and savory, thanks to its foundation of succulent corn and rich sauce. What sets this recipe apart is the substitution of cornflakes for traditional saltine crackers, introducing a satisfying crunch without the excessive sodium.

Crispy Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

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These caramelized Brussels sprouts, topped with crispy bacon and melted cheese, make for a delightful snack that’s surprisingly easy to prepare. And what’s more, their sponge-like nature allows them to absorb an array of flavors, resulting in a mouthwatering combination of smoky bacon, tangy balsamic notes, and savory Parmesan. Serve them fresh from the oven with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan for a truly indulgent experience.

Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts

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Indulge in these scrumptious sweet and spicy treats that require only five ingredients and a single baking sheet – talk about simplicity! As an added bonus, they pair perfectly with ribs, taking the flavor of your main dish to new heights. To round out the experience, consider serving them alongside some creamy accompaniments like ranch or aioli.

Creamy Garlic Roasted Parsnip Puree

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Savory notes of garlic mingle harmoniously with the rich creaminess of roasted parsnip puree, a culinary combination that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds. This versatile puree serves as an excellent foundation for crafting a wide range of rib sauces – from spicy and bold to sweet and tangy. Plus, its ability to be prepared ahead of time and reheated allows you to devote your full attention to perfecting the art of slow-cooked ribs.

BBQ Braised Cabbage with Bacon

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This flavorful side dish gets its boldness from the combination of crispy bacon, sweet barbecue sauce, and savory chicken broth. The real magic happens when cabbage is slow-cooked in these ingredients, elevating its natural taste to a level that’s almost indulgent. Despite being packed with nutrients, this braised cabbage dish feels like a culinary treat, rather than a healthy option.

Apple Slaw

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Transform your meals with a delightful and revitalizing apple slaw that’s sure to please. This versatile side dish is an excellent option for those seeking a flavorful accompaniment to their favorite dishes. What’s more, it’s incredibly easy to prepare and requires minimal effort, making it perfect for even the busiest of schedules. The harmonious blend of sweet and crunchy textures provides the ideal counterbalance to rich and savory rib dishes, elevating your dining experience to new heights.

Corn Riblets with Smoky Dipping Sauce

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Indulge in the celestial combination of sweet, crunchy, and smoky flavors that these heavenly accompaniments bring to any rib recipe. Unbeknownst to many, they boast an impressive depth of flavor despite their simplicity. Enjoy them as a side dish, paired with your favorite dipping sauce or use them to soak up the rich flavors of the rib sauce.

Savory Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Pudding

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This innovative recipe puts a twist on the classic bread and butter pudding by infusing it with bold flavors. By substituting traditional sweetness with savory elements like cheese and spice, the dish takes on a whole new identity – one that’s perfectly suited for pairing with a plate of tender ribs.

Orzo Mac and Cheese

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In this recipe, the traditional elbow pasta shape is swapped out for orzo, a diminutive pasta size that yields a silky, rice-like consistency in each bite. This unique substitution ensures a creamy and uniform macaroni and cheese experience. For added texture and a satisfying crunch, top with crispy bacon.

Ranch Pasta Salad

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When preparing this refreshing cold salad, its versatility is one of its greatest strengths – it’s ideal for making ahead of time and pairs well with a wide variety of meat-based main courses. For an added layer of complexity and a truly authentic taste, I highly recommend crafting the ranch dressing from scratch rather than relying on store-bought alternatives.

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