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What sides go with ribs?

When it comes to enjoying a delicious plate of ribs, selecting the right sides can elevate your dining experience to the next level. The perfect accompaniments can complement the rich and smoky flavors of the ribs while providing a balance of textures and flavors. Whether you prefer traditional barbecue sides or something a bit more unique, there are plenty of options to choose from that will satisfy your taste buds.

Classic Barbecue Sides

Barbecue culture is deeply ingrained in the UK, and classic sides such as coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread are all-time favorites. These sides are not only popular because they pair well with ribs, but also because they offer a delicious contrast of flavors and textures.

Coleslaw is a refreshing and tangy salad made from shredded cabbage, carrots, and a creamy dressing. It adds a crisp and cool element to the meal, cutting through the richness of the ribs.

Baked beans are a staple in American barbecue. They are slow-cooked, rich, and slightly sweet, which complements the smoky flavors of the ribs perfectly.

Cornbread is a classic side dish made from cornmeal, giving it a slightly sweet and crumbly texture. It acts as a sponge for soaking up the juicy goodness of the ribs.

International Flavors

If you’re looking to venture beyond traditional barbecue sides, try incorporating international flavors into your rib feast. These sides can add a unique twist to your meal and introduce new taste sensations.

Mexican street corn is a popular side dish that adds a burst of flavor to your meal. Grilled corn on the cob is slathered with a creamy mixture of mayonnaise, cheese, lime juice, and chili powder, creating a savory and tangy delight.

Asian-inspired slaw combines fresh cabbage with soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. The vibrant flavors of this side dish offer a refreshing contrast to the richness of the ribs.


“The perfect sides can turn a good meal into an unforgettable dining experience.” – Chef John Doe

“Experimenting with different sides is a fun way to explore new flavors and create your own unique dining traditions.” – Food Critic Jane Smith

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

If you or your guests prefer a vegetarian or vegan option, there are plenty of delicious sides that can accompany your rib alternative.

Grilled vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms are a great choice. The smoky char from the grill enhances their natural flavors and adds depth to the overall meal.

Quinoa salad provides a protein-packed alternative to traditional sides. Mixed with fresh vegetables and a tangy vinaigrette, it offers a light and nutritious option without compromising on taste.

Customizing Your Ribs Experience

Ultimately, the choice of sides depends on personal preference and exploring different flavor combinations to find what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and experiment with unique and unexpected pairings.

Below is a summary table showcasing some popular sides that go well with ribs:

Sides Description
Coleslaw A tangy and refreshing salad made from shredded cabbage and carrots.
Baked beans Slow-cooked, rich, and slightly sweet beans that complement the smoky flavors of the ribs.
Cornbread A slightly sweet and crumbly side that soaks up the juicy goodness of the ribs.
Mexican street corn Grilled corn slathered with a creamy mixture of mayonnaise, cheese, lime juice, and chili powder.
Asian-inspired slaw A refreshing side dish made from fresh cabbage, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic.

Remember, the key to a memorable ribs experience is finding the perfect balance of sides that enhance the flavors and textures of the meat. Whether you opt for classic barbecue sides or decide to venture into international flavors, there are endless possibilities to create a truly satisfying meal.

What Vegetables Go Well with Ribs?

If you’re planning a delicious ribs feast, don’t overlook the importance of pairing them with the right vegetables. While ribs are undoubtedly the star of the show, the right vegetable accompaniments can enhance their flavors and create a well-rounded meal. Here are some vegetables that go exceptionally well with ribs:

Corn on the Cob

One of the classic barbecue side dishes, corn on the cob adds a delightful sweetness that complements the richness of ribs. Boil or grill the corn, and serve it with a knob of butter and a sprinkle of salt. The juicy kernels provide a nice contrast to the meaty goodness of the ribs.


A refreshing and tangy coleslaw is a great addition to any ribs meal. The crispness of cabbage and carrots, combined with a creamy dressing, offers a cool contrast to the smoky flavors of the ribs. Whether you prefer a vinegar-based slaw or a creamier version, coleslaw is a versatile and tasty choice.

Baked Beans

No barbecue is complete without a side of baked beans. The thick, sweet, and savory sauce complements the tender meatiness of the ribs perfectly. Make your own homemade barbecue baked beans or use canned ones for a quick and easy option.

Grilled Vegetables

Grilling vegetables alongside the ribs not only adds color to your plate but also provides a healthy and flavorful option. Toss some bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, or mushrooms in olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite seasoning, and grill until tender. The smoky char from the grill adds an extra layer of flavor to these veggies.

Other vegetables that can be great choices include green beans, roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, or potato salad. Remember to season your vegetables with herbs and spices that complement the ribs for a harmonious flavor profile.

The right vegetable accompaniments can enhance the flavors of ribs and create a well-rounded meal.

What is a good side dish with short ribs?

Short ribs are a popular and flavorful cut of meat that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Whether you’re cooking short ribs for a dinner party or a cozy family meal, choosing the right side dish can elevate your meal to another level. Here are some delicious side dish options that go great with short ribs:

1. Creamy Mashed Potatoes

A classic side, creamy mashed potatoes provide the perfect balance to the richness of the short ribs. Their smooth texture and buttery flavor complement the meat perfectly.

2. Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts adds a delicious caramelized flavor that contrasts nicely with the tender short ribs. The combination of savory meat and sweet roasted vegetables is truly delightful.

3. Grilled Asparagus

Grilled asparagus adds a fresh and vibrant element to the meal. Its slightly charred flavor and crisp texture pair well with the richness of the short ribs.

4. Creamed Corn

Creamed corn is a comforting and indulgent side dish that complements the robust flavors of the short ribs. Its creamy texture and sweet corn kernels add a burst of flavor to each bite.

5. Baked Mac and Cheese

Who can resist a serving of cheesy mac and cheese? This comforting side dish is the perfect accompaniment to short ribs, and its gooey goodness will have everyone coming back for seconds.

“Short ribs and creamy mashed potatoes are a match made in heaven – they’re like a cozy blanket for your taste buds!” – Food enthusiast

When serving short ribs, don’t forget to include a fresh green salad or some crusty bread to round out the meal. Experimenting with different side dishes can add variety and excitement to your dining experience. Find the combinations that you and your loved ones enjoy the most and create a memorable meal!