7 Ultimate BBQ Side Dishes

By Lydia Zerby

Warm-weather gatherings and backyard barbecues are synonymous with good times and great food. While the main event often steals the spotlight, it's the delectable side dishes that truly elevate the dining experience. We’ve compiled seven unique and flavor-packed side dish recipes, perfect for complementing grilled delights and thrilling your guests' taste buds. From savory salads to delicious dips and everything in between, get ready to discover side dishes that will have everyone asking for seconds.
Please note that by clicking the following links, you’ll be leaving a partially funded checkoff site.

Creamy Summer Coleslaw | Undeniably Dairy


Bring a quiet hero to your next barbecue. Creamy Summer Coleslaw has the crisp, cool texture to compliment anything off the grill. And it’s easy to make. A bonus? Once you combine the chopped-up produce with the refreshing Greek yogurt dressing, you’ll have a good source of fiber, protein, vitamin A and folate. Find the easy-to-make recipe here.
Photo credit: Undeniably Dairy

Creamy Bacon Jalapeno Corn Dip | Iowa Pork Producers Association


Indulge in the perfect blend of smoky, spicy and rich flavors with this irresistible creamy bacon jalapeno dip, the ultimate crowd-pleaser for any get-together. This zesty dip combines crisp bacon, fiery jalapenos and velvety cream cheese, creating a tantalizing fusion of savory goodness. Whether paired with crunchy tortilla chips, fresh vegetable sticks or toasted baguette slices, this dip is guaranteed to elevate your entertaining to a new level. Say goodbye to bland dips and hello to a flavor explosion that will have your guests coming back for more. Enjoy the recipe here.
Photo credit: Iowa Pork Producers Association

Bruce’s Sweet and Sassy Deviled Eggs | Iowa Egg Council


Bruce Dooyema, a third-generation egg farmer from Sioux County, is passionate about deviled eggs! This is just one of his unique takes on the cool, classic summertime favorite. Raise your side dish game with these enticing sweet and sassy deviled eggs. They’re infused with a perfect balance of sugar and spice, thanks to a “not-so-secret” blend of ingredients, including sweet honey mustard, tangy pickle relish and a hint of smoky paprika. Garnished with a dollop of flavor-packed bacon pepper jam, these deviled eggs are as visually appealing as they are delicious. Start cooking here.
Photo credit: Iowa Egg Council

Italian Pasta Salad | Iowa Turkey Federation 

Elevate your summer dining experience with this delectable Italian pasta salad featuring tantalizing turkey pepperoni. Bursting with vibrant colors and robust flavors, this refreshing salad is a delightful fusion of Italian-inspired ingredients. Al dente pasta intertwines with crisp bell peppers, juicy cherry tomatoes, mild mozzarella cheese and savory turkey pepperoni, all tossed in a zesty Italian dressing. The result? A mouthwatering medley that's both satisfying and light, perfect for picnics, barbecues or any al fresco affair. Find the recipe here.
Photo credit: Iowa Turkey Federation

Slow-Cooker Edamame Calico Beans | The Soyfoods Council


Bring the slow-cooker magic to your seasonal gatherings with these irresistible edamame calico beans. This vibrant twist on the classic calico beans recipe offers the wholesome goodness of edamame beans, adding a delightful pop of color and texture. Slow cooked to perfection with a medley of hearty beans, smoky bacon and tangy barbecue sauce, this dish will become a seasonal favorite among family and friends. Get the plant-based recipe here.
Photo credit: The Soyfoods Council

Cheesy Beef Artichoke Dip | Iowa Beef Industry Council 

Treat your taste buds to a summer sensation with this mouthwatering cheesy beef artichoke dip, a crowd-pleasing dish that will steal the show at potlucks. This decadent concoction combines tender beef pot roast, marinated artichoke hearts and gooey melted cheese, creating a symphony of flavors impossible to resist. So, fire up the grill, round up your friends and family, and get ready to savor every cheesy, beefy bite of this indulgent dish. Find the recipe here.
Photo credit: Iowa Beef Industry Council

Honey Skillet Cornbread | Iowa Corn


Add a touch of sweetness to your summer table with tempting honey skillet cornbread. This Southern-inspired classic combines the comforting flavors of cornmeal, rich buttermilk and sweet honey, baked to golden perfection in a cast-iron skillet. The result is a moist and tender cornbread with a delicate crumb and a hint of caramel from the honey. Served with a dollop of butter, this cornbread will surely be a hit at your next party. So dust off your skillet, preheat the oven and get ready to enjoy the warm goodness of homemade honey skillet cornbread all season. Find the recipe here.
Photo credit: Kelsey Byrnes, Dance Around the Kitchen