20 Sides For Ribs That Are Easy, Tasty & Healthy

Looking for the best side dishes to serve with ribs? Look no further than these easy recipes for simple, yet healthy sides that taste great with ribs.

Side dishes for ribs

Your savory and tender rib dinner deserves the best side dishes to amplify its lip-smacking BBQ flavor and you’ll find a collection of easy recipes right here.

These classic side dishes with a healthy twist, include potato salad, mac and cheese, cornbread, coleslaw, and more. Delicious side items like barbecue sauce, french fries, collard greens, sweet potatoes, and broccoli salad all lend their tastiness to help round out a flavorful meal of succulent ribs.

Best Sides for Ribs

Use these delicious recipes that include a variety of cooking methods such as grilling, oven roasting, air frying, and pressure cooking to help create great side dishes that will elevate your rib dinner to a barbecue delight.

Broccoli salad with bacon

Broccoli Salad With Bacon

Green and crunchy, this broccoli salad makes the perfect side dish for ribs. It’s easy to assemble and you can make it ahead and let it chill until ready to serve.

Broccoli florets are joined with crumbled bacon, sweet raisins and chopped walnuts for a nutrient-packed salad that’s equally delicious as it is healthy. A homemade onion and apple cider vinaigrette makes a zesty dressing for this flavor-packed side salad.



The crunchiness of this easy 4-ingredient coleslaw salad makes it a perfect pairing for ribs. Shredded cabbage (or even a pre-made bag from the store) gets a tangy lift from the homemade apple cider vinegar, vegan mayo and honey dressing.

This coleslaw recipe is also great for customizing with other great ingredients like celery seeds, apples, and raisins, or making it a little spicy with a chipotle-flavored dressing.

Grilled romaine salad with bacon, tomatoes and ranch dressing

Grilled Romaine Salad With Bacon And Ranch

If you’re cooking ribs on the grill, you’ll want to make this grilled Romaine salad, too. The slight charring of the hearty Romaine lettuce leaves gives it a smoky flavor that makes this salad one of the best side dishes to accompany BBQ ribs.

Char the leaves, plate them and add crumbled bacon, cucumbers and tomatoes before drizzling it all with an easy homemade ranch dressing.

Cold Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet Potato Salad

Potato salad is always a classic side dish for ribs, and here, this recipe changes it up by using sweet potatoes. The sweetness of the cubed and roasted sweet potatoes, red onion and red peppers pairs nicely with the chipotle lime dressing.

Mix in chopped cilantro for a touch of fresh herbal flavor. Make this potato salad ahead of time so it has time to chill in the fridge before serving.

Paleo cornbread

Gluten-Free Cornbread

Cornbread is a classic side item to serve with ribs. This grain-free and gluten-free recipe will give you a delicious option that’s perfect for serving with BBQ ribs.

Almond and coconut flour mix with cashew milk, eggs, apple cider vinegar and ghee for a cornbread texture and taste that mimics the real thing, without having any corn-based product in the batter. Bake it in a traditional baking pan or in a muffin tin.

Roasted cherry tomatoes

Simple Roasted Tomatoes

Fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, roasted to juicy perfection and seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs, are an easy side dish for a summer dinner of barbecue ribs.

The whole dish needs just 30 minutes or less in the oven for the tomatoes to burst with flavor. You can even make these ahead, refrigerate them and serve this side dish cold.

Garlic broccoli with lemon

Garlic Roasted Broccoli

Using fresh or frozen broccoli, roast the florets to a lightly charred tenderness in your oven. Garlic-infused olive oil will give it incredible flavor as it cooks.

A squeeze of lemon juice before serving adds a bright touch. It’s an easy side dish for ribs that can roast while you’re preparing the rest of the meal.

Instant Pot sweet potato

Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes

Pressure cook those sweet potatoes to tenderness for a delicious side item to serve with barbecue ribs. Add water to your Instant Pot, set the sweet potatoes on a trivet and pressure cook for about 25 minutes.

This is such an easy and quick way to cook sweet potatoes for the perfect texture, every time. Serve these with a pat or two of butter, ghee, or a drizzle of savory BBQ sauce.

BLT salad with avocado

BLT Salad

A classic BLT salad makes a great side dish for a rib dinner. Romaine lettuce leaves bring the crunch while crumbled bacon brings texture and flavor.

Add in tomato and avocado and it’s practically a meal itself! Dress it with tangy homemade chipotle balsamic vinaigrette which offers the perfect flavor pairing for those BBQ ribs.

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts that are air fried to crispy perfection are a quick 15 minute side item to serve with ribs. These baby cabbages are tossed with olive oil and just a dash of sea salt and black pepper.

Cook them in a single layer to ensure even cooking on all sides. Before serving, give them a drizzle of zesty balsamic vinegar which will pair perfectly with barbecue ribs.

Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Chives – Cook Eat Paleo

Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are an easy side dish for a rib dinner because you can make them ahead of time and let them chill in the fridge until ready to serve. This recipe offers a quick and mayo-free way to mix the cooked yolks to creamy perfection.

Once you’ve added the seasoned yolk filling back in the cooked egg whites, top them with crumbled bacon and chopped chives. Easy and delish!

Tomato cucumber salad

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Crisp and refreshing, this tomato and cucumber salad makes a simple side dish using fresh seasonal vegetables for a summer item to pair with ribs.

Thinly sliced cucumbers join with sliced onion and plump, juicy tomatoes before being dressed with an olive oil and red wine vinaigrette. Fresh basil adds a touch of spicy herbal flavor to this side salad.

Zucchini pasta pesto

Zucchini Pasta Pesto

Pasta salad made with spiralized zucchini gets a homemade dairy-free, paleo pesto topping that makes an easy side dish to serve with BBQ ribs. Add on fresh tomatoes for a garnish.

Or, skip the pesto, make the zoodles and add in an array of freshly chopped veggies like cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes and herbs for a pasta-inspired salad that’s full of summertime freshness.

Sugar-free BBQ sauce

Peach Barbecue Sauce

Once you make this easy sugar-free BBQ sauce, you’ll keep a jar of it in your fridge for pork, chicken, and burgers. It uses peaches as a natural sweetener along with tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, bacon fat, shallots and chipotle pepper flakes.

And best of all, it takes just 10 minutes to make! Serve your ribs with a jar of this peach barbecue sauce on the side for an extra tasty experience.

Chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri Sauce

This homemade recipe for chimichurri sauce offers a robust herbal flavor thanks to parsley and oregano. Blend these fresh herbs with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and chipotle chili flakes for a chunky sauce that’s an easy side item to serve with ribs.

Chimichurri sauce is also tasty drizzled over a green salad or over baked sweet potato.

Green beans, fries, salad

Bacon Blistered Green Beans

Sizzle up some sugar-free bacon in a skillet before removing it to drain on paper towels. Leave a tablespoon of the bacon fat in the skillet and add fresh green beans for a short cooking session or until they begin to blister.

Serve them up with crumbled bacon on top for a delicious vegetable side item with your rib dinner.
Recipe by Hungry By Nature

Crispy Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries

Peel and cut your sweet potatoes into thin fry shapes and season them with olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook them, in batches, in your air fryer, turning halfway through for even cooking.

Sweet potato fries make a delicious side dish for ribs, and you can dunk them in any leftover BBQ sauce, too!
Recipe by Skinny Taste

Broccoli salad, onion rings, sweet potato

Air Fryer Onion Rings

Onion rings make a delicious side item for your rib dinner. This paleo and gluten-free recipe dunks the raw onion rings in an egg mixture before coating them with seasoned almond flour.

They’ll cook in about 10 minutes in an air fryer and come out crunchy and zesty every time.
Recipe by Wholesome Delicious

Roasted tomatoes, cornbread, collard greens

Collard Greens

A classic southern side dish that pairs wonderfully with BBQ ribs is collard greens. Cooking the greens slowly in bone broth that’s seasoned with red pepper flakes, onions and garlic makes them extra tasty and tender.

Crumbled bacon adds to the flavor as they take their rightful place next to your barbecue ribs.
Recipe by Tasty Yummies

Loaded Cauliflower Mac And Cheese

You’ll appreciate this paleo mac and cheese recipe that subs in steamed cauliflower florets for the pasta component and uses nutritional yeast for that classic cheese flavor in the coconut milk-based sauce.

Take it over the top with crumbled bacon and finely chopped chives as a garnish. It’s a healthy twist on a traditional side dish for ribs.
Loaded Cauliflower Mac And Cheese by Fake Ginger

BBQ sauce, salad, coleslaw

If you love ribs, this recipe round-up is for you. Make the meatiest dish around even better by pairing it with sides that are not only delicious but healthy, too.

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