Barbecue season is finally here. If you’re getting ready to host or attend a BBQ for the 4th of July (or any occasion) keep reading! The best barbecues are simple and laid back with an emphasis on delicious food—especially side dishes.
Related: 40+ Easy Picnic Food Ideas
These recipes are perfect for a BBQ and any outdoor gathering like a picnic. We’ve included a mix of popular and unique recipes, like:
Simple Macaroni Salad
What’s not to love about macaroni salad? Everyone has their own way of making it, but this macaroni salad recipe is pretty classic with the addition of extra vegetables and chopped hard boiled eggs.
Easy Baked Beans
If you’re looking for an easy, made-from-scratch recipe for baked beans, look no further. This baked beans recipe is saucy, delicious, and super simple. Serve with hot dogs, hamburgers, or BBQ sandwiches.
Favorite Broccoli Slaw
This broccoli slaw recipe is simple, creamy, and crunchy. It’s super easy to put together because you can make it with pre-bagged slaw. It’s delicious on top of hot dogs and BBQ sandwiches.
Best Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is a barbecue staple, and this recipe is truly the best. It’s made with a honey citrus dressing that makes it sweet, slightly tart, and extra delicious. We love adding a variety of fruit to this dish.
Roast some fresh asparagus in the oven for a bright and flavorful side dish. This recipe makes asparagus that’s crunchy (never mushy) and delicious. Squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice on top before serving.
Homemade Chex Mix
Homemade Chex mix is 100% more delicious than any store-bought snack mix. This Chex mix recipe can be customized to your liking, and you can even add candy to it for a sweet and salty combination.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
What’s not to love about baked mac and cheese? This is a super easy recipe that’s made without eggs or evaporated milk. An easy, classic recipe! This baked macaroni is a crowd-favorite and a perfect side dish.
Chicken Salad with Grapes
This easy chicken salad recipe made with grapes is creamy, crunchy, and tasty. It’s perfect on its own with a side of crackers or cucumber slices, but it also makes great chicken salad sandwiches for a BBQ.
Strawberry Caprese Salad
There’s nothing better than a fresh caprese salad in the summertime. This recipe includes strawberries, tomatoes, and a homemade pesto sauce. It’s so good. Be sure to add the balsamic—it really ties everything together.
Homemade French Onion Dip
Homemade French onion dip is creamy, decadent, and the perfect blend of savory with a little sweet. Serve this French onion dip alongside fresh cut vegetables, crackers, or chips and dig in!
Bread and Butter Pickles
Bread and butter pickles can be added to burgers and sandwiches or served as an appetizer on a cheese platter. There’s so many ways to enjoy these pickles! To make them, simply put the ingredients in a mason jar and pop it in the refrigerator.
Deviled Eggs (3 Ways)
Deviled eggs are one of the first side dishes we think of for a summer BBQ. This recipe for deviled eggs includes a classic version and two additional ideas using ingredients like feta, dill, turmeric, and ginger.
Black Bean Hummus
If you like black beans, you will love this hummus recipe. The addition of black beans makes this dip extra hearty, and you can kick up the heat by adding cayenne or red pepper flakes. Serve with sliced veggies or chips.
Green Bean Casserole
This classic green bean casserole recipe is made with pepper jack cheese for added creaminess and spice. This is a wonderful side dish that can be enjoyed alongside beef, pork chops, or chicken.
Cornbread With Bacon Glaze
Mmm.. cornbread. Top it with melted butter or a bacon glaze like we did in this recipe. It’s also perfect for soaking up extra barbecue sauce. Either way, cornbread should be part of your spread!
10-Minute BBQ Sauce
Speaking of BBQ sauce, this recipe is for a thick and finger-licking-delicious sauce that you can whip up in about 10 minutes (or less). It’s so much better than store bought barbecue sauce.
Classic Potato Salad
Potato salad is one of the most popular BBQ sides, and this recipe is comforting and creamy. This classic potato salad is the perfect blend of soft potatoes and hard boiled eggs with crunchy bell peppers and onion.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
If you’re in need of a crowd-pleasing baked dip recipe for your BBQ, look no further than our buffalo chicken dip. It’s made with only 5 ingredients and similar to chicken wings (in the form of dip!).
Pigs in a Blanket
Pigs in a blanket are a great bite-sized side dish for a BBQ. And, they are super easy to prepare with only two ingredients. You can even make some homemade dipping sauces for them if you’re feeling fancy.
Duchess Sweet Potato Casserole
This duchess sweet potato casserole is equally pretty and mouthwatering. It’s rich, creamy, and a little savory with the addition of bacon. This would be an amazing side dish to serve with steak or chicken.
Quinoa, Kale, and Grapefruit Salad
This summery kale salad combines red quinoa, kale, and fresh grapefruit, and topped with a bright and simple dijon dressing. It’s a filling and healthy salad option made with fresh ingredients.
Egg Salad (4 Ways)
This is our classic egg salad recipe along with 3 variation ideas using ingredients like turmeric, ginger, feta, rosemary, and thyme. Serve any of these egg salad recipes with your favorite bread or enjoy it on its own.
Simple Cucumber Salad
Our cucumber salad is similar to a quick pickled salad since vinegar is one of the main ingredients in the dressing. This recipe is bright, crunchy, and a great salad or side dish idea for a BBQ.
Creamy Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is the warm weather version of mac and cheese—the best comfort food! This recipe is full of vegetables and perfect for summer. And, it’s even better if you make it the night before and refrigerate it.
Rotel Cheese Dip
Rotel cheese dip is a classic and easy hot dip that can be made quickly in a crockpot (with only 2 ingredients!). This is an addictive dip recipe that everyone will love. Serve with veggies and chips.
Thai-Inspired Barley Salad
This Thai barley salad is both filling and delicious, and it has some unexpected flavors (like fresh mango) that you will love. This salad recipe makes a big batch, so it’s perfect for a barbecue.
Creamy Black Bean Dip
An irresistible creamy black bean dip made with black beans, cream cheese, and salsa. This is one of those dips that you won’t be able to stop eating because it’s so good! Serve chilled with lots of chips.
Deli-Style Tuna Salad
A simple, but truly delicious deli-style tuna salad recipe that is flavorful with the right amount of crunch. We love this eating this tuna salad as a dip with cucumbers and crackers or by itself on a sandwich.
A classic recipe for taco dip made with cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning. Top this cold dip with your favorite taco toppings like shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and olives and serve with chips.
Air Fryer Cauliflower
Similar to air fryer Brussels sprouts, this cauliflower can be easily made in air fryer and it turns out delicious every time. We like to put some grated Parmesan cheese on top before serving this dish. Love cauliflower? Try our recipe for roasted cauliflower, too.
Easy Corn Casserole
This savory and cheesy corn casserole is a comforting side dish that’s perfect for any summer gathering. Plus, this casserole couldn’t be easier to make—just put everything in the dish and bake!
3 Easy Pasta Salad Dressings
If pasta salad is going to be part of your BBQ spread, we have 3 homemade salad dressing recipes to choose: balsamic, Italian, and a creamy option. These dressings will elevate any pasta dish.
Spicy Avocado Hummus
We love a good hummus recipe, and this one is perfect for a BBQ. This avocado hummus is made with creamy avocado, red pepper, and jalapeños. Serve it with veggies or pita chips for a tasty side dish.
Easy Jalapeño Popper Dip
This jalapeño popper dip is one of our favorite hot dips for any occasion. Everybody loves it and it’s incredibly easy to make! Serve this savory dip with chips, pretzel bites, or bread and watch it disappear.
Air Fried French Fries
You only need a small amount of oil to get crispy, made-to-perfection french fries in an air fryer. We like to coat and season the fries before they are air fried (so good!), and they only take 15-20 minutes to make.
Classic Pea Salad with Bacon
This delicious, classic pea salad with bacon is a wonderful side dish. It’s a creamy mix of peas, mayo, and cheese, and it goes great with hot dogs and watermelon. A very nostalgic recipe to enjoy at a BBQ.
Creamy Garlic Mac & Cheese
This creamy garlic macaroni and cheese can be made a in a crockpot. That’s right!
Delicious, homemade mac and cheese without all the work. Plus, macaroni and cheese goes with basically everything!
Baked Chili Cheese Chips
These chili cheese chips are a lighter version of Fritos with all ingredients you can pronounce (but still dangerously good). Fill a bowl with this homemade bite-sized snack at your next barbecue.
Easy Broccoli Salad
This broccoli salad only has three ingredients plus a creamy dressing. Don’t let that fool you, though—it’s full of flavor and can be customized with all kinds of ingredients. It’s a great side dish for an outdoor gathering.
Beet-Dyed Deviled Eggs
Everything you love about deviled eggs with a fun and colorful twist. These hardboiled eggs are dyed with beet juice, but it doesn’t affect the taste at all! Surprise your guests with these at your next BBQ.
Easy Desserts For a BBQ:
- Potato Chip Cookies
- Jello Salad or Ambrosia Salad
- 15+ No-Bake Desserts
- Homemade Brownies
- Fruit Pizza
- Cookie Dough Dip
Easy Cocktails for a BBQ:
- Mojitos by the Pitcher
- Homemade Margarita Mix
- Pink Lemonade Jello Shots
- Frozen Sweet and Salty Dog
- Watermelon Margarita
- Pineapple Citrus Punch