If you’re wondering what to serve with rib dinners to round out the meal, know that there are so many delicious options. You can never go wrong with any of the summer classics, like baked beans, corn on the cob, pasta salad, or potato salad; they’re some of the very best side dishes for ribs. Here are 25 of my absolute favorite sides to fill your plate.
Potato salad is the ultimate summer side, and a favorite paired with meaty, sticky ribs. The new potato salad below is one of our family favorites, and you can never go wrong with the classic version.
Baked Beans and Bean Salads
Baked beans are a classic rib side because their tangy tomato base complements most rib rubs. Don’t skip on cold bean and vegetables salads either, as they can be prepped and chilled ahead, much like the ribs themselves.
Pasta salad tossed with a tangy dressing and loaded with veggies is an excellent partner to a rack of ribs. Especially because it’s a side that’s even better when it’s made in advance.
When we lived in the South, we often chose our favorite BBQ places based on their macaroni and cheese alone. It doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside, it’s impossible to make ribs and not consider a side of mac and cheese. And whether you make it in the Instant Pot, go for our five-ingredient version, or the one-pot recipe, you can be sure each recipe is fuss-free and leaves you with an incredibly creamy and delicious result.
Corn on the Cob (and More)
There’s hardly a summer meal that isn’t made better by corn on the cob, whether it’s boiled on the stove, charred on the grill, or cooked in your Instant Pot, and that most definitely includes ribs. Although if you want to change things up a little, a corn pudding casserole is just the ticket.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell
Other Vegetable Favorites
Mixed with lima beans, tomatoes, okra, and corn, succotash is a nice side to balance out your plate. For a more traditional veggie side dish, try collard greens or greens beans.