Ribs are an all-time meal. From charred, to light grilling, to steak like cooking or slow roast ribs, it is a meal that is enjoyed by everyone, even kids. But rib meals should not be served alone. Although they are filling on their own, it hits differently when it is served with equally delectable sides.
So, what are the best side dishes for ribs? In this post, we will rundown all the best side dishes for ribs for you to try on your next BBQ or spareribs galore.
What are good side dishes for ribs?
The best side dishes for ribs are those with added grit, crunch, and texture. As such, good rib side dishes would be salads, fruit skewers, roasted vegetables. For BBQ ribs, other savory dishes are good sides too. Of course, there are classic side dishes like mashed potato and sweet corn. With all of these, one can say that ribs are a versatile dish in its own right.
Healthy side dishes for ribs
1. Rainbow slaw
This crunchy mix is one of the healthiest classic sides out there. It is made of purple cabbage, carrots, snow peas, red and yellow bell peppers and of course, Asian vinaigrette.
French fries is a classic side to ribs but if you want to go for something healthier, you should try eggplant fries. Just deep fry it in vegetable oil and serve with marinara sauce or aioli dip along with some roasted ribs.
This is such an underrated healthy side for meat especially BBQ ribs and roast short ribs. It is naturally sweet, tender, and crunchy. It is a healthy pair for your rib meal during summer cookouts.
Salad side dishes for ribs
4. Wedge salad
This is a classic side to steaks and rib meals. In a bowl, just assemble iceberg lettuce, bacon bits, pickled onions, chopped tomatoes and blue cheese as dressing. This is a good choice if you want to add acidity to your ribs.
This easy mix salad is composed of apples, red bell peppers, carrots, and white cabbage. You can dress it with kewpie or apple cider vinaigrette. It is perfect for braised ribs or lightly grilled short ribs.
If you want a refreshing salad mix, this is the one that should go with your braised short ribs. Just mix in slices of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and red bell pepper. Top it with herb dressing and you are good to go.
Corn side dishes for ribs
The Mexican street corn called elote is a perfect side for BBQ ribs. It is a fusion of flavor with the saltiness of cheese and butter on the corn, crunchy because the corn is lightly grilled, with a tang of sourness because it is drizzled with lime juice.
If you have a surplus of corn right now, give this baked corn pudding a go for your BBQ ribs. Just bake it until golden brown, glaze with butter, and add green garnish of your choice.
This easy mix salad does not require much. Just mix fresh corn from the cob, chopped potatoes, and basil on a bowl. Garnish with shallots and you are good to go. A no-cook side for roasted ribs.
Rice side dishes for ribs
Steamed white rice is already enough but fried rice with bacon bits, egg, scallions, and scallops on top can take your roast rib or braised short ribs experience into another level.
11. Arroz verde
For a sophisticated, Mexican take on rice to be served with ribs, you should try the arroz verde. It is only cooked for 15mins with finely diced spinach and chopped cilantro to give it a green hue as it is simmering down.
For a southern flair to your southern style ribs, you should whip up some southern fried ham rice. Cook long grain rice and then stir-fry it in ham chunks and lima beans.
Gluten-free side dishes for ribs
This festive looking, low carb and gluten-free side is very tasty for spareribs and short ribs. It is made of mango chunks, canned black beans, bell peppers, and garnished with cilantro, jalapeno, and scallions.
For this one, you have to slow roast chunks of butternut squash in packets. After that, caramelize the butternut squash, garnish with scallions and then dress with cider vinaigrette.
If you have an adult BBQ ribs night, all you need is a bowl of cranberries and apples mixed with a small amount of brandy and cranberry apple sauce. Festive and gluten-free bowl on the works.
Potato side dishes for ribs
If you have spareribs or BBQ ribs, grilled potatoes with olive oil, dill, seasoned with salt and pepper and slowly roasted on foil packets. You would love the crunchy exterior of the potatoes and their fluffy flesh as you bite on them.
For a healthier take on potato salad, drop the mayo and replace it with oil and vinegar dressing. And then, add garlic, olive oil and garnish the potato salad with parsley to be served with rib dishes.
You can always elevate the classic mashed potato side with this dish. So, assemble those potatoes in the casserole, layer with your choice of cheese, and bake in the oven for an hour. Serve with BBQ ribs that kids will love.
Vegetable side dishes for ribs
You would love this vegetable side for your BBQ ribs or roast ribs. It is composed of baby lima beans, sweet corn, okra, and red tomatoes. It is then sauteed in bacon bits and splashed with apple cider vinegar.
20. Cast iron beans
If you want an impressive veggie side for the guests, bring out that cast iron and lightly charr filet beans. Top with red pepper sauce, parmesan, and serve with any rib dish.
This one is a refreshing vegetable side for ribs. Roast some red and yellow bell peppers, drizzle with lime juice, and dress it with cashew vinaigrette. Garnish with green onions and that is it.
Keto side dishes for ribs
This keto salad is made by roasting cauliflower florets and adding it in a bowl of quinoa. For extra grit and protein, you can add feta cheese, almonds, and pistachios to this salad. It is perfect for roasted ribs.
This low carb grain salad is everything you need for a keto side to your rib dish. Mix quinoa, farro, and add crunch using spinach and snow peas to that bowl. It is a protein bowl like no other.
Ditch the potatoes and go for high-protein veggies like kale and some refreshing balance from cucumber. Dip them in keto tempura batter and deep fry in coconut oil. Serve with your BBQ ribs and keto gravy.
What goes with country style ribs?
Two country style dishes in one meal are indeed a powerful combo. Hush puppies are made of cornmeal dough, deep fried, with a crunchy exterior and moist and soft interior. Adding buttermilk to the batter is key to make perfect Southern hush puppies.
Cajun ribs is perfect with baked sweet potato fries. Aside from being a healthy sidekick, you would love the crispiness and natural sweetness of this fries to contrast the spicy kick of country style ribs.
27. Corn fritters
Country style ribs scream deep fried sides and corn fritters is a prime choice. So, bring out that cornmeal flour, corn from the cob, seasoning, and start frying corn fritters to be served with country style BBQ ribs or braised short ribs.
What goes with ribs for dinner?
28. Cheese grits
Spare the cheese cuts for dinner ribs and try this cheese grits bowl. Just combine milk, eggs, cheddar cheese bits, and a bit of hot sauce then bake them all in a casserole for this side.
29. Fruit salad
This is a classic dessert for rib dinners. It offers sweetness, crunch, and chewy ingredients in one bowl. It is really refreshing to the palate especially after you finish a platter of BBQ ribs for dinner.
If you are looking for a light side for that BBQ rib dinner, toss in those extra canned white beans, mix the cherry tomatoes, feta, oregano, and parsley. Dress with shallot vinaigrette and you are ready.
What do you eat with short ribs?
For a scrumptious side to short ribs, there is nothing that will beat this short rib side. Just roast peeled baby carrots in packets along with seasoning, olive oil and herbs.
32. French bread
Short ribs often come with gravy, right? What better way to sop all of those extra gravy on the plate than the crisp, nutty, buttery, and slightly sweet French bread.
33. Creamy polenta
This Italian porridge is another classic side to short ribs. It is a light dish, with all the flavors that you need for a side on a savory meal.
What goes with Chinese spareribs?
The saucy Chinese spareribs on soy sauce fried rice are a savory combo that you would not forget for a long time. Stir-fry some leftover rice with eggs, scallions, and soy sauce plus the tidbits of spareribs in the pan and you are good to go.
For this, lightly steam some baby bok choy and then stir-fry in a wok along with salt, Kikkoman sauce and sesame seeds. Serve with Chinese spareribs.
Soup pairs with spareribs never go out of style. For Chinese spareribs, you should give egg drop soup a go. It is flavorful, adds texture to your ribs and it is so easy to make.
There is no denying that rib dishes are indeed versatile meals. There are a lot of side dishes that you can serve it with, from simple roast veggies, easy mix salad bowls, baked savory dishes, pastries, and breads. With these, it should not be a wonder why rib dishes are go to meals for family affairs and parties with friends.
- 16oz macaroni noodles (cooked in salt and water)
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1 ½ cup milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1/4tsp garlic powder
- 1/4tsp onion powder
- 1tbsp parsley (chopped)
- 4 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 8oz American cheese (shredded)
- Cooking spray
- Start by pre-heating the oven at 350F. Prepare the casserole or baking dish and coat with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, milk, heavy cream, cheddar cheese and American cheese. Stir until everything is combined.
- Now, toss in the pre-cooked macaroni noodles. Make sure that the noodles are evenly coated.
- Pour the mixture in the baking dish and then cover with foil.
- Bake it for 25mins. After this, bring it out and sprinkle with the remaining cup of shredded cheese.
- Bake for another 20mins. Let cool for at least 10mins, remove the foil, garnish with parsley, and serve with a plate of BBQ ribs.
You can also add bacon bits if you want to.
Nutrition InformationServing Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 609Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 22gCholesterol 154mgSodium 760mgCarbohydrates 47gFiber 2gSugar 5gProtein 33g