Get ready to take your BBQ to the next level with these delicious Southern side dishes! From cheesy cornbread to creamy coleslaw, we’ve got all the mouthwatering accompaniments you need to make your backyard cookout a hit. Whether you’re hosting a casual gathering or a big family reunion, these traditional Southern favorites are sure to satisfy your guests and enhance the flavors of your grilled meats. So grab your apron and get ready to impress with these scrumptious Southern side dishes that will have everyone begging for seconds!

Classic Southern Side Dishes

If you’re looking to throw a traditional Southern barbecue, it’s essential to have some classic Southern side dishes on your menu. These dishes have been enjoyed by generations of Southerners and are sure to be a hit at your next backyard gathering. Let’s dive into some mouthwatering options!

Fried Okra

Fried okra is a staple in Southern cuisine and a must-have side dish at any BBQ. This crispy and flavorful veggie treat is made by coating sliced okra in a seasoned cornmeal mixture and then frying it until golden brown. The crispy exterior gives way to a tender and juicy interior, making every bite a delight. Fried okra pairs perfectly with grilled meats and adds a satisfying crunch to your plate.

Collard Greens

Collard greens are a classic Southern comfort food that brings an earthy, smoky flavor to your barbecue spread. These leafy greens are cooked low and slow with bacon or smoked ham hock, onions, and a touch of vinegar for a tangy kick. The result is a rich and tender dish that perfectly complements the bold flavors of your barbecued meats.

Mac and Cheese

Who doesn’t love a creamy and cheesy bowl of mac and cheese? This comforting side dish is a crowd-pleaser at any gathering, and a Southern-style mac and cheese take things to a whole new level. Made with a blend of sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, and a touch of smoky paprika, this ooey-gooey delight is the epitome of comfort food. Don’t be surprised if your guests go back for seconds (or thirds)!


No Southern BBQ is complete without a side of cornbread. This golden, slightly sweet bread is the perfect accompaniment to your smoky and savory grilled meats. Whether served in squares or muffin form, cornbread provides a delightful contrast to the rich flavors of the barbecue. Want to take it up a notch? Add some jalapenos or cheese to your cornbread batter for a little extra kick.

Black-eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are a signature Southern side dish often served on New Year’s Day for good luck. These small, ivory-colored legumes have a mild and earthy flavor that pairs well with a variety of seasonings. Cooked with onions, garlic, and smoked bacon or ham, black-eyed peas add a hearty and satisfying element to your BBQ feast. Serve them over a bed of rice or alongside your favorite grilled meats for a truly Southern experience.

Flavorful Vegetable Sides

Southern-Style Green Beans

Southern-style green beans are a delightful twist to the classic vegetable side dish. These tender green beans are slow-cooked with smoky bacon, onions, and a touch of sugar for a perfect balance of flavors. The result is a dish that’s savory, slightly sweet, and packed with Southern charm. Add some diced tomatoes or a dash of hot sauce for an extra kick of flavor.

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potatoes are a beloved ingredient in Southern cuisine, and a sweet potato casserole is a staple on any Southern table. This indulgent side dish combines mashed sweet potatoes with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a crunchy pecan topping. The creamy texture and sweet, nutty flavors make it a delicious accompaniment to your BBQ spread. Whether it’s served as a side or dessert, sweet potato casserole is sure to delight your taste buds.

Fried Green Tomatoes

If you’re looking for a unique and tangy side dish, look no further than fried green tomatoes. Crispy on the outside and tangy on the inside, these slices of unripe tomatoes are coated in a cornmeal mixture and fried to perfection. The result is a dish with a delightful combination of textures and flavors. Serve them as a side or use them as a base for a tasty sandwich.

Squash Casserole

Squash casserole is a true Southern comfort food that celebrates the abundance of summer produce. Made with yellow squash, onions, cheese, and a buttery cracker topping, this casserole is creamy, cheesy, and utterly delicious. The flavors of the squash meld together with the cheese, creating a dish that’s both hearty and comforting. Squash casserole is the perfect way to make the most of seasonal vegetables at your BBQ.

Refreshing Salads


Coleslaw is a classic Southern salad that adds a refreshing and crunchy element to your BBQ spread. Made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and a creamy dressing, coleslaw is the perfect complement to smoky and savory grilled meats. Whether you prefer a tangy vinegar-based slaw or a creamy mayo-based slaw, this versatile salad is sure to please everyone’s taste buds.

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Summer is all about fresh and vibrant flavors, and a tomato and cucumber salad captures the essence of the season. This simple salad combines juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, sliced red onions, and fresh herbs dressed in a tangy vinaigrette. The combination of flavors and textures creates a light and refreshing side dish that balances out the richness of your BBQ.

Watermelon Salad

When the weather gets hot, there’s nothing more refreshing than a watermelon salad. This colorful salad combines juicy watermelon chunks, creamy feta cheese, crisp cucumber slices, and fresh mint for a burst of flavors. The sweetness of the watermelon pairs perfectly with the tanginess of the feta, while the cucumber adds a refreshing crunch. Watermelon salad is a refreshing and hydrating side dish that’s perfect for a hot summer BBQ.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Black-eyed pea salad is a flavorful and nutritious side dish that’s packed with Southern flair. This salad combines cooked black-eyed peas with colorful bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and a tangy dressing. The combination of textures and flavors creates a vibrant salad that’s both satisfying and refreshing. Serve it alongside your grilled meats for a complete Southern meal.

Hearty and Creamy Dishes

If you’re looking for rich and comforting side dishes to accompany your BBQ, these hearty and creamy options are bound to impress.

Baked Beans

Baked beans are a BBQ classic and a staple at Southern gatherings. These slow-cooked beans are sweet, tangy, and smoky, thanks to the addition of molasses, brown sugar, mustard, and bacon. Baked beans are the ultimate comfort food that pairs perfectly with grilled meats and adds a touch of sweetness to your plate.

Cheesy Grits

Grits are a Southern staple, and cheesy grits take this humble dish to a whole new level. Made from ground corn, grits are cooked until creamy and then mixed with butter and cheese for a rich and satisfying side dish. Cheesy grits serve as a perfect base for sautéed shrimp, grilled vegetables, or even a fried egg. Whether served as a side or a main course, cheesy grits are sure to please.

Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are a rich and indulgent side dish that’s perfect for special occasions or a backyard BBQ. Thinly sliced potatoes are layered with a creamy sauce made from milk, cheese, and spices, and baked until golden brown and bubbly. The result is a dish that’s creamy, cheesy, and irresistibly delicious. Scalloped potatoes are the ultimate comfort food that pairs well with any grilled meat.

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Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach is a classic side dish that adds a touch of elegance to your BBQ spread. Fresh spinach leaves are wilted and then cooked in a creamy sauce made with butter, garlic, and heavy cream. The creamy and velvety texture of the spinach pairs beautifully with grilled steak or chicken. Creamed spinach is a versatile and decadent side dish that’s sure to impress your guests.

Savory Southern Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits

Is there anything more comforting than a warm and flaky buttermilk biscuit? These quintessential Southern delicacies are easy to make and taste heavenly when served alongside your BBQ. Whether slathered with butter and jam or used as a base for a biscuit sandwich, buttermilk biscuits are a crowd favorite that brings a taste of Southern hospitality to your table.

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

Cheesy garlic biscuits are a delicious twist on the classic buttermilk biscuit. These biscuits are loaded with sharp cheddar cheese, garlic powder, and butter, resulting in a cheesy and flavorful delight. Serve them warm and watch as they disappear from the table in no time. Cheesy garlic biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to your BBQ, adding a savory and garlicky kick.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Sweet potato biscuits infuse a touch of Southern sweetness into your meal. Made with mashed sweet potatoes, flour, and a hint of cinnamon, these biscuits are soft, moist, and full of flavor. They make a delightful addition to any BBQ spread and are best enjoyed warm, straight from the oven. The subtle sweetness of the sweet potatoes pairs well with both savory and sweet accompaniments.

Delicious Corn Creations

Corn Pudding

Corn pudding is a classic Southern side dish that’s a cross between a custard and a casserole. Made with fresh corn kernels, eggs, milk, and a touch of sugar, this dish is sweet, creamy, and full of corn flavor. The corn pudding is baked until golden and slightly caramelized on top, creating a dish that’s rich, comforting, and irresistibly delicious. It’s the perfect side dish to serve alongside your barbecued meats.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilling corn on the cob is a Southern tradition that adds a smoky and charred flavor to this beloved summertime staple. Simply soak the corn in water, remove the husks, and grill them over medium heat until they’re tender and slightly charred. Serve the grilled corn with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of salt, and you’ll have a side dish that’s bursting with juicy sweetness and a hint of smokiness.

Corn Fritters

Corn fritters are a delightful way to incorporate corn into your BBQ menu. These crispy and golden fritters are made by combining fresh corn kernels with a savory batter and frying until they’re perfectly golden brown. The result is a snack-sized treat that’s packed with sweet corn flavor and has a satisfying crunch. Serve them as a side dish or as an appetizer with a dipping sauce of your choice.

Tangy and Spicy Pickles

Bread and Butter Pickles

Bread and butter pickles are a Southern favorite that adds a tangy and sweet element to your BBQ spread. These pickles are made by thinly slicing cucumbers, onions, and peppers, and then marinating them in a sweet and tangy brine made from vinegar, sugar, and spices. The result is a pickle that’s tangy, slightly sweet, and utterly addictive. Bread and butter pickles are the perfect accompaniment to burgers, pulled pork, or sandwiches.

Spicy Pickled Okra

If you’re looking to add a bit of spice to your BBQ, spicy pickled okra is the way to go. Okra pods are pickled in a spicy brine made from vinegar, garlic, chili peppers, and spices, resulting in a pickle that’s tangy, crunchy, and fiery. The vibrant green color and unique texture of okra make it a standout addition to any plate. Whether you enjoy it as a snack or as a side, spicy pickled okra adds a kick of flavor to your barbecue feast.

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Pickled Watermelon Rind

Southern cooks have long embraced the art of pickling, and pickled watermelon rind is a testament to their creativity. Instead of discarding the rind, it’s transformed into a tangy and sweet pickle that’s packed with flavor. The watermelon rind is sliced, soaked in a brine of vinegar, sugar, and spices, and left to pickle until it’s tender and delicious. While it may sound unconventional, pickled watermelon rind is a Southern delicacy that’s worth trying.

Satisfying Casseroles

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken and rice casserole is a hearty and satisfying dish that’s perfect for feeding a hungry crowd at your BBQ. This classic Southern casserole combines cooked chicken, rice, vegetables, and a creamy sauce into a one-dish wonder. The casserole is baked until bubbly and golden, resulting in a comfort food masterpiece that’s both filling and delicious. Serve it as a main course or as a hearty side dish.

Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Casserole

Sweet potato and marshmallow casserole is a quintessential Southern dish that adds a touch of indulgence to your BBQ spread. This casserole combines mashed sweet potatoes with butter, sugar, spices, and a generous topping of gooey marshmallows. The combination of sweet, creamy potatoes and toasted marshmallows creates a dish that’s both comforting and decadent. Whether served alongside your grilled meats or as a dessert, this casserole is sure to wow your guests.

Sausage and Cheese Grits Casserole

Grits take center stage once again in this flavorful and satisfying casserole. Sausage and cheese grits casserole combines creamy grits with savory sausage, sharp cheddar cheese, and a touch of spice. The casserole is baked until golden and bubbly, resulting in a dish that’s packed with flavor and perfect for any time of the day. Serve it as a brunch item or as an indulgent side dish at your BBQ.

Southern-Style Sauces and Dips

Barbecue Sauce

No Southern BBQ is complete without a delicious barbecue sauce to slather over your meats. Southern barbecue sauces come in various styles, from thick and sweet molasses-based sauces to tangy and vinegar-based ones. The combination of spices, tang, and sweetness in these sauces elevates the flavors of your barbecued meats and adds a whole new level of deliciousness.

Pimento Cheese Dip

Pimento cheese dip is a creamy and tangy Southern delicacy that’s perfect for dipping your favorite BBQ meats or veggies. Made from sharp cheddar cheese, mayo, diced pimentos, and a hint of spice, this dip is a true crowd-pleaser. Serve it with crackers, tortilla chips, or celery sticks for a tasty and addictive snack that’ll keep your guests coming back for more.

Honey Mustard Sauce

Honey mustard sauce is a versatile condiment that adds a touch of sweetness and tang to your BBQ feast. This sauce combines the flavors of honey, mustard, mayonnaise, and spices to create a creamy and flavorful dip. Use it as a dipping sauce for chicken tenders, drizzle it over grilled sausages, or spread it on burgers or sandwiches. The possibilities are endless, and the deliciousness is guaranteed.

Decadent Southern Desserts

Peach Cobbler

Peach cobbler is a beloved Southern dessert that showcases the flavors of juicy peaches in all their glory. This dessert features sweet and tender peaches topped with a buttery crust or a crumble topping, then baked to perfection. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, peach cobbler is the epitome of Southern comfort and a delightful way to end any BBQ feast.

Sweet Tea Pie

Sweet tea is revered in the South, and sweet tea pie puts a unique spin on this iconic beverage. This pie is made by infusing sweet tea flavors into a custard-like filling, then pouring it into a flaky pie crust and baking until set. The result is a creamy and subtly sweet pie that’s reminiscent of sipping a glass of ice-cold sweet tea on a warm summer day. Serve it chilled for a refreshing and delectable dessert.

Banana Pudding

Banana pudding is a classic Southern dessert that’s as comforting as it is delicious. Layers of sliced bananas, vanilla pudding, and vanilla wafers are stacked to create a creamy and indulgent treat. This dessert is typically topped with a generous swirl of whipped cream or meringue and chilled until it’s ready to be devoured. Banana pudding is the perfect way to end your BBQ on a sweet note.

With this comprehensive list of Southern side dishes, you’ll be well-equipped to create a memorable and flavorful BBQ feast. Whether you’re a fan of the classics or looking to try something new, there’s a side dish on this list to suit every palate. So fire up the grill, gather your friends and family, and get ready to enjoy a Southern-style BBQ feast filled with delicious sides that will leave everyone wanting more!

Jenny Jones

By Jenny Jones

Jenny Jones is a passionate culinary enthusiast hailing from the heart of the South. Born and raised in a small town known for its rich culinary traditions, she developed an unwavering love for Southern cooking from an early age.