what to serve with bbq meatballs

What to Serve with BBQ Meatballs: 13 Classic Side Dishes

Great meatballs are flavorful and juicy. But if you stick to plain recipes, it can get old and dry. Thus, check out BBQ meatball recipes! They show you that one of the simplest ways to elevate meatballs is to coat them with a sweet, savory, spicy, and tangy sauce.

These BBQ meatballs are usually served as appetizers with toothpicks, so you can pick them up quickly. However, they can also be a main course. If you have yours that way, you must wonder what to serve with BBQ meatballs! This article compiles 13 classic side dishes perfect for your BBQ meatballs.

1. Rice

If your BBQ meatballs are extra saucy, rice is the best partner. The fluffy grains absorb the sweet and savory sauce, so each spoonful is flavorful. Moreover, the carbs and warmth that rice offers provide energy and make you feel more satisfied with your meal. Although making perfectly soft and cooked rice can be intimidating, this recipe helps make the process easy-peasy.

2. Barbecue Meatball Hoagies

Juicy and flavorful meatballs nestled between golden rolls are known as meatballs subs. Although they’re often bought at fast foods like Subway, you can make them at home with BBQ meatballs, hoagies, and your chosen toppings. There’s more room for customization, and you can adjust the meatballs’ flavors. However, if you prefer following a recipe to inventing one, this recipe for barbecue meatball hoagies is an excellent place to start.

3. Toast

The previous recipe had meatballs between the bread. However, if you want to keep the two separate, replace the hoagie rolls with plainly toasted bread. It’s quick, easy, and the more convenient alternative if there are many people. This way, you can toast large batches of bread in the oven and serve them beside the meatballs. Then, people can grab and eat as many as they’d like.

4. Cornbread

Cornbread is a fantastic side dish to serve with saucy BBQ meatballs because it can soak up the sauces like rice and other bread types. More than that, it also provides pleasantly sweet flavors that complement the meatballs’ taste profile. Thus, if you’re a sweet tooth having BBQ meatballs, you should try this combination! You’ll find the sweetness you adore is better emphasized in this partnership.

5. Homemade Biscuits

Homemade biscuits taste fantastic with sauces, gravies, and jams – flavorful liquids or juices. Hence, it’s a wonderful idea to serve them with BBQ meatballs! The biscuits’ rich, buttery flavors meld harmoniously into the meatballs’ sweetness, tanginess, and spiciness. Also, you can make extra sauce to dunk the biscuits into! Moreover, the textures pair uniquely, given the meatballs’ juicy tenderness and the biscuits’ iconic flakiness.

6. Mashed Potatoes

Saucy meatballs, such as Swedish and BBQ, are classically paired with mashed potatoes. The starch takes in the delectable juices and offers creamy and savory flavors. You can serve the two dishes side-by-side or with the meatballs on a mashed potato bed. Moreover, even though those two are perfect together, there’s still room for other sides, like broccoli or green beans.

7. Potato Wedges

You can serve BBQ meatballs with classic potato snacks like chips, fries, or these potato wedges. Wedges are thicker than the first two; thus, there’s more flavor and surface for seasonings to cling to. Moreover, the contrast between tender flesh and crisp skin is impressive, which is better emphasized when you use russet potatoes. This recipe makes wedges baked or air-fried so that you can avoid the oiliness of deep-frying.

8. Buttered Noodles

The song “On Top of Spaghetti” demonstrates that meatballs and pasta are a well-loved combo. That incredible pairing extends even to BBQ meatballs; thus, you can serve it with your favorite pasta dish, classic spaghetti, or these buttered noodles. The simple, subtle flavors of buttered noodles complement the intense taste profile of the meatballs. Also, it takes only 15 minutes and four ingredients to make this tasty pasta dish!

9. Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is another pasta dish that’s highly recommended with BBQ meatballs. However, the combo only works if the mac and cheese tastes excellent, so don’t hold on to your boxed pack yet. Instead, give this easy yet homemade recipe a try! It requires a few extra steps than grocery packet instructions, but the more decadent flavors more than compensate for that effort. Moreover, it’s free from preservatives!

10. Simple Skillet Green Beans

As mentioned above, the trinity of mashed potatoes, BBQ meatballs, and green beans makes a must-try and satisfying meal. And, since you already have your BBQ meatballs and mashed potatoes recipes, here’s one for sauteed green beans! The flavors are kept simple yet tasty, so eating would be pleasant but not overwhelming. You can also opt for boiled or steamed green beans if you prefer those.

11. Coleslaw

One of people’s favorite side dishes for barbecue is coleslaw. Its creamy, cool, and light flavors contrast with BBQ meatballs’ rich, intense taste profile. The textures complement, too, with the crisp cabbage strips and juicy, tender meat. Moreover, there are two ways to serve this with meatballs. Like other typical side dishes, you can have it on the side or piled on a hoagie roll with the BBQ meatballs.

12. Potato Salad

Another cool creamy dish people love to serve with BBQ is potato salad. Unlike coleslaw, its textures lean more towards tender, soft chunks, which may better suit your preferences. There are more elements in it, too, besides the potatoes. You’ll have celery, onions, capers, radishes, and chives. The creamy dressing is also homemade, consisting of Greek yogurt, lemon juice, mayo, Dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, salt, and black pepper.

13. Pickles

Although BBQ meatballs feature tangy flavors, you can build on and emphasize those by pairing them with pickles. If you’re making one, you can also pile this on the meatball sub. Besides the tanginess, pickles also provide fresh tastes and crisp-tender textures. There may also be hints of sweetness, savoriness, saltiness, and spiciness if you pickle the cucumbers with maple syrup, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, garlic, and dill.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.