I remember the first time I ever ate ribs. It was at a summer cookout with my family and friends. My uncle was the grill master, and he made the most AMAZING ribs I had ever tasted. They were juicy, tender, and full of flavor.
I couldn’t believe that something so delicious could feel so natural in my mouth. I was hooked from that moment on.
Fast forward to my healthy living phase and I thought I had to give up ribs. They are, after all, full of fat and calories.
What’s to do when you want your ribs fix but also want to eat healthily? The answer is simple: add vegetables!
Now, I’m not talking about any old vegetable. I’m talking about the BEST vegetables that go with ribs. The ones that complement the flavors and textures of ribs perfectly. Vegetables that will make your mouth water and your taste buds dance.
So, do you want to know what vegetables go best with ribs? Keep reading to find out!
Vegetable Sides With Ribs:
- Summer Squash Medley
- Corn and tomato coleslaw
- Slow-cooker Collard Greens
- Roasted Asparagus
- French Green Bean Salad
- Caesar Salad
- Spicy jicama, grapefruit, and mango salad
- Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts
- Kale Chips
- Baked Parsnip Fries
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Cabbage Salad
- Spicy Slaw
- Beet Salad
No surprise here, coleslaw is a classic side dish that goes with just about anything. But, it’s especially delicious with ribs. The cool, creamy dressing pairs perfectly with the juicy, flavorful meat. Plus, the crunch of the cabbage adds an amazing texture contrast.
Summer Squash Medley
This is one of my personal favorite side dishes to serve with ribs. It’s light, fresh, and has the perfect balance of flavors. The sweetness of the summer squash pairs perfectly with the smokiness of the ribs, the herbs add a nice touch of flavor, and the balsamic vinegar ties it all together.
Corn and tomato coleslaw
If you’re looking for a coleslaw recipe that will really wow your guests, try the corn and tomato coleslaw. It’s fresh, flavorful, and super easy to make. Trust me, it’ll be a hit!
Slow-cooker Collard Greens
This is the perfect side dish for ribs if you’re short on time. Just throw all of the ingredients in your slow cooker and let it do its thing. You’ll end up with tender, flavorful collard greens that are the perfect complement to your ribs.
Asparagus is one of those vegetables that goes with just about everything. It’s healthy, flavorful, and pairs well with both sweet and savory dishes. When paired with ribs, the asparagus takes on a slightly sweet flavor that is absolutely delicious.
French Green Bean Salad
This salad is the perfect blend of fresh and decadent flavors. The green beans are crispy and flavorful, the bacon adds a nice smoky element, and the creamy dressing ties it all together.
I know many people don’t consider salad a “real” side dish, but this one definitely is. It’s hearty enough to stand up to the ribs and it’s packed with flavor.
Who doesn’t love a good Caesar salad? The crispy lettuce, the creamy dressing, the Parmesan cheese… it’s all so good. And it just so happens to be an excellent side dish for ribs. The salty cheese pairs perfectly with the juicy meat, and the dressing adds a nice creaminess.
Spicy jicama, grapefruit, and mango salad
This is a unique and flavorful salad that is perfect for summertime cookouts. The sweetness of the mango, the tartness of the grapefruit, and the spiciness of the jicama all come together to create a dish that is truly amazing.
Often times, this combination of flavors can be a bit too sweet. But, the spiciness of the jicama helps to balance it out and makes it the perfect side for ribs.
Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts
These Brussels sprouts are roasted to perfection and then glazed with a delicious maple syrup. They’re sweet, savory, and downright addictive. And, they pair perfectly with ribs. In other words, the sweetness of the sprouts pairs perfectly with the smoky flavors of the meat.
If you’re looking for a healthy side dish to serve with ribs, look no further than kale chips. They’re packed with nutrients, they’re crispy and delicious, and they go great with ribs. The smokiness of the meat pairs perfectly with the bitterness of the kale.
Baked Parsnip Fries
Parsnips are a root vegetable that is often overlooked. But, they’re actually really delicious. When roasted, they take on a slightly sweet and nutty flavor that is absolutely amazing. And, when paired with ribs, they make the perfect side dish.
Let me tell you something I haven’t told anyone. This dish is how I cheat on my ribs. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. These parsnip fries are just too good.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
This dish is the perfect combination of savory and sweet. The Brussels sprouts are roasted to perfection and then topped with crispy bacon. It’s an irresistible side dish that goes great with ribs.
The key to this dish is to make sure the bacon is nice and crispy. Otherwise, it will just be a mushy mess. No one wants that.
I love cabbage salad because it’s so simple and flavorful. The secret to this meal is fresh, crisp cabbage. And, of course, don’t skimp on the dressing. A good quality vinegar and oil dressing will really make this dish shine.
This is the perfect side dish for ribs because it’s light and refreshing. The acidity
This is how to bring on the HEAT. This slaw is packed with jalapenos, habaneros, and serranos. It’s spicy, crunchy, and absolutely delicious.
And, it pairs perfectly with ribs. The spice level will really help to cut through the fat of the meat.
If you can’t handle the heat, feel free to tone down the peppers. But, I would suggest starting with just one or two and then working your way up.
Last but not least, we have beet salad. This is a hearty and earthy salad that is perfect for wintertime cookouts. The beets are roasted and then tossed with a simple vinaigrette.
The result is a salad that is both sweet and savory. And, it pairs perfectly with ribs. The sweetness of the beets helps to balance out the smokiness of the meat.
A List of Other Options
- Corn with basil butter and flaky salt
- Stuffed Peppers
- Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
- Balsamic Grilled Vegetables
- Broccoli Salad
- Green Beans with Garlic
- Creamed Spinach
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted Zucchini
- Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
- Summer Squash Gratin
- Spinach Salad
- Sauteed Spinach
- Tomato Salad
- Fried Green Tomatoes
Frequently Asked Questions
What goes with ribs for dinner?
There are many different side dishes that go well with ribs. Some of my favorites include Mexican street corn (Elote), Italian pasta salad, crockpot baked beans, macaroni and cheese casserole and a classic wedge salad.
What are some good summertime side dishes?
Some great summertime side dishes include corn with basil butter and flaky salt, tomato and mozzarella salad, balsamic grilled vegetables, broccoli salad, and green beans with garlic.
What are some side dishes to serve with ribs in winter?
Some great wintertime side dishes include roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, cabbage salad, beet salad, and roasted cauliflower.
What to serve with baby back ribs?
If you’re looking for a side dish to serve with baby back ribs, I would recommend roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon. It’s a simple and delicious dish that goes great with ribs.
There’s nothing like a good rack of ribs. Smoking them low and slow gives the meat a succulent, fall-off-the-bone texture that is hard to beat. Ribs are perfect, but they can be difficult to pair with a side dish.
The good news is that there are plenty of vegetables that go great with ribs. So, whether you’re looking for a summertime side or a wintertime dish, you’ll be sure to find something on this list that pairs perfectly with your next rib dinner.