What Goes with BBQ Meatballs? The Best Side Dishes

“Good food is all about finding the perfect pairings.”

Finding the right accompaniments can take your meal from ordinary to extraordinary. Whether you’re hosting a backyard cookout or simply craving some comfort food, this blog post has got you covered. We’ll explore a variety of delicious side dishes that will perfectly complement your BBQ meatballs, creating a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

From classic options like coleslaw and potato salad to more adventurous choices like grilled vegetables or macaroni and cheese, we’ve curated a list of mouthwatering suggestions that will make your taste buds dance with delight. So get ready to elevate your BBQ game as we dive into the world of flavors and textures that go hand in hand with those juicy meatballs.

Classic Side Dishes: Homemade French Fries and Coleslaw

If you’re wondering what goes with BBQ meatballs, look no further than these classic side dishes: homemade French fries and coleslaw. These timeless accompaniments will elevate your barbecue experience and leave your taste buds satisfied.

Indulge in crispy homemade French fries alongside your BBQ meatballs.

There’s something irresistible about the combination of juicy meatballs and crispy fries. Making your own homemade French fries allows you to control the thickness, seasoning, and level of crispiness.


  • You can customize the seasoning to suit your taste preferences.
  • Homemade fries are fresher and more flavorful than store-bought options.
  • They add a satisfying crunch to complement the tender meatballs.


  • Preparing homemade fries can be time-consuming.
  • It requires careful attention to ensure they don’t become too greasy or soggy.

To make perfect homemade French fries, start by selecting the right potatoes. Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes work best due to their high starch content. Cut them into uniform sticks or wedges, then soak them in cold water for around 30 minutes to remove excess starch. This step helps achieve a crispy exterior while keeping the inside fluffy.

After draining and patting dry the potatoes, preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Toss the potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings like garlic powder or paprika. Spread them out on a baking sheet in a single layer for even cooking. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Add a refreshing touch to your plate with creamy coleslaw paired with meatballs.

Coleslaw is another fantastic side dish that pairs beautifully with BBQ meatballs. Its crunchy texture and creamy dressing provide a refreshing contrast to the savory flavors of the meatballs.


  • Coleslaw adds a cool and refreshing element to your plate.
  • The creamy dressing complements the richness of the meatballs.
  • It’s a versatile side that goes well with various barbecue dishes.


  • Some people may not enjoy the texture or taste of coleslaw.
  • Preparing coleslaw from scratch can be time-consuming if you choose to shred your own cabbage and carrots.

To make a delicious coleslaw, start by shredding cabbage and carrots. You can either do this manually using a knife or use a food processor for faster results. In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper to create the creamy dressing. Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots with the dressing until well-coated. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Whether you prefer tangy vinegar-based coleslaw or creamy mayo-based coleslaw, this side dish will add a burst of freshness to your BBQ meatballs.

Roasted Potatoes Trio: Rosemary, Red, and Garlic Mashed

If you’re wondering what goes with BBQ meatballs, look no further than a trio of roasted potatoes. These flavorful spuds are the perfect accompaniment to your meaty main dish. Whether you prefer the aromatic taste of rosemary, the vibrant colors of red roasted potatoes, or the creamy goodness of garlic mashed potatoes, there’s a potato side that will perfectly complement your BBQ meatballs.

Enjoy the Aromatic Flavors of Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Rosemary roasted potatoes add an extra layer of fragrance and flavor to your meal. Simply toss diced potatoes with olive oil, salt, and fresh rosemary sprigs before roasting them in the oven until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The combination of earthy rosemary and crispy potatoes creates a delightful contrast that will have your taste buds dancing.

Here are some key points about rosemary roasted potatoes:

  • Pros:
  • Fragrant and flavorful
  • Crispy exterior with a soft interior
  • Adds an elegant touch to your meal
  • Cons:
  • Some may find rosemary’s strong flavor overpowering
  • Requires prepping fresh rosemary sprigs

Delight in the Vibrant Colors and Rich Taste of Red Roasted Potatoes

Red roasted potatoes not only bring a pop of color to your plate but also offer a rich taste that pairs well with BBQ meatballs. These small-sized spuds have thin skins that become wonderfully crispy when roasted. Toss them in olive oil, sprinkle with paprika for an added kick, and roast until golden brown for a visually appealing side dish.

Consider these points about red roasted potatoes:

  • Pros:
  • Beautifully vibrant on the plate
  • Thin skins become delightfully crispy
  • Paprika adds depth to their flavor profile
  • Cons:
  • May be slightly more expensive than regular potatoes
  • Can take longer to cook due to their size

Savor the Creamy Goodness of Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic mashed potatoes are a classic and comforting side dish that pairs exceptionally well with BBQ meatballs. The creamy texture and savory garlic flavor perfectly complement the smoky flavors of the meatballs. Simply boil peeled potatoes until tender, mash them with butter, minced garlic, and sour cream, and season with salt to taste.

Grilled Corn on the Cob and Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

If you’re looking to take your BBQ meatball game to the next level, why not pair them with some mouthwatering grilled corn on the cob and savory bacon-wrapped asparagus? These two side dishes will add an extra layer of flavor and texture to your meal, creating a delightful contrast that will surprise your taste buds in the best way possible.

Enhance Your Meal with Smoky Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled corn on the cob is a classic summer staple that perfectly complements BBQ meatballs. The smoky flavors from the grill elevate the natural sweetness of the corn, creating a delicious combination that will leave you craving for more. Here’s why grilled corn on the cob is a fantastic choice:

  • Juicy and Sweet: Grilling corn on the cob brings out its natural juiciness, making each bite burst with flavor. The heat caramelizes the sugars in the corn, resulting in a slightly charred exterior and tender interior.
  • Versatile Preparation: You can prepare grilled corn on the cob in various ways to suit your preferences. Whether you slather it with butter, sprinkle it with spices, or squeeze fresh lemon juice over it, there are endless possibilities to enhance its taste.
  • Easy to Grill: Grilling corn on the cob is simple and requires minimal effort. Just remove the husks and silk, brush some oil or melted butter onto each ear of corn, season it with salt and pepper if desired, then place it directly on a preheated grill for about 10-15 minutes until lightly charred.

Treat Yourself to Savory Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

For an indulgent and flavorful pairing with BBQ meatballs, look no further than bacon-wrapped asparagus. The crispy bacon complements the earthy flavors of asparagus perfectly, creating a combination that will tantalize your taste buds. Here’s why bacon-wrapped asparagus is a winning choice:

  • Crunchy and Savory: Wrapping asparagus spears with bacon adds a delightful crunch and smoky flavor to the tender asparagus stalks. The contrast between the crispy bacon and the juicy asparagus creates an irresistible texture.
  • Easy to Prepare: Bacon-wrapped asparagus is a simple dish that doesn’t require much time or effort. Just wrap each asparagus spear with a strip of bacon, secure it with toothpicks, then bake it in the oven or grill it until the bacon is crispy and the asparagus is tender.
  • Versatile Cooking Methods: You can prepare bacon-wrapped asparagus in various ways, depending on your preference. Whether you choose to cook it in a skillet, bake it in the oven, or even try grilling it, each method will yield delicious results.

By adding grilled corn on the cob and bacon-wrapped asparagus to your BBQ meatball feast, you’ll create a well-rounded meal that offers a balance of flavors, textures, and colors. The juicy sweetness of the corn pairs beautifully with the savory meatballs, while the crunchy bacon-wrapped asparagus adds an extra layer of indulgence. So fire up that grill and get ready for a taste sensation!

Pasta Pairings: Mac and Cheese, Parmesan Pasta, and Spaghetti

If you’re looking to take your BBQ meatballs to the next level, why not pair them with some delicious pasta dishes? These three options – mac and cheese, parmesan pasta, and spaghetti – offer a range of flavors that perfectly complement the richness of meatballs.

Dive into ultimate comfort food by serving mac and cheese alongside your BBQ meatballs.

Mac and cheese is the epitome of comfort food, with its creamy, cheesy goodness. The combination of tender meatballs and gooey macaroni creates a mouthwatering duo that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. The rich flavors blend together harmoniously, creating a satisfying meal that will leave everyone craving for more.


  • Mac and cheese adds a creamy texture that complements the juicy BBQ meatballs.
  • The combination of cheesy pasta with savory meatballs creates a comforting flavor profile.
  • It’s a kid-friendly option that even adults can’t resist.


  • This pairing may be too heavy for those who prefer lighter meals.
  • If you’re watching your calorie intake or trying to eat healthier, this may not be the best choice.

Elevate your meal with flavorful parmesan pasta that complements the richness of meatballs.

Parmesan pasta brings a burst of flavor to your plate. The nutty taste of parmesan cheese pairs beautifully with the savory BBQ meatballs. Whether you opt for fettuccine or penne noodles tossed in buttery parmesan sauce, this combination will have your taste buds dancing with delight.


  • Parmesan pasta adds an extra layer of depth to the dish with its distinct flavor.
  • The saltiness of parmesan enhances the taste of the meatballs.
  • It’s an easy-to-make option that requires minimal ingredients but delivers maximum flavor.


  • If you’re not a fan of strong cheese flavors, this pairing may not be your cup of tea.
  • Be cautious with the amount of parmesan you use, as it can overpower the other flavors if too much is added.

Enjoy a classic pairing by serving spaghetti topped with tangy tomato sauce along with your delicious meatballs.

Spaghetti and meatballs are a classic combination that never fails to please. The tanginess of the tomato sauce complements the smoky flavor of BBQ meatballs, creating a harmonious balance on your plate. Whether you prefer a spicy marinara or a milder tomato sauce, this pairing is always a crowd-pleaser.


  • Spaghetti and meatballs offer a timeless combination that appeals to everyone.
  • The acidity of the tomato sauce cuts through the richness of the meatballs.
  • It’s an easy-to-make option that requires minimal prep but delivers maximum satisfaction.


  • If you’re not a fan of tomato-based dishes, this pairing may not be for you.
  • Spaghetti can sometimes overpower the taste of the meatballs if not balanced properly.

Veggie Varieties: Skillet Green Beans, Grilled Veggies, and Fried Cabbage

Looking to add some veggie goodness to your BBQ meatballs? There are plenty of delicious options that pair perfectly with those mouthwatering meatballs. Let’s explore three fantastic veggie varieties that will take your BBQ meatball meal to the next level: skillet green beans, grilled veggies, and fried cabbage.

Skillet Green Beans

Add a touch of freshness and crunch to your plate with skillet green beans. These vibrant green beans are cooked quickly in a hot skillet, preserving their natural color and nutrients. They provide a perfect balance to the rich flavors of BBQ meatballs.


  • Quick and easy to prepare.
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals.
  • Adds a pop of color to your plate.


  • Some may find them too crunchy or prefer softer vegetables.
  • Requires frequent stirring while cooking.

Grilled Veggies

Embrace the smoky flavors of grilled veggies as an ideal side dish for your meatballs. Grilling vegetables brings out their natural sweetness while imparting a delicious charred flavor. Bell peppers, onions, zucchini, and eggplant are all excellent choices for grilling alongside your BBQ meatballs.


  • Intense smoky flavors complement the savory taste of meatballs.
  • Versatile – you can mix and match different veggies based on personal preference.
  • Adds a delightful charred texture to the meal.


  • Requires access to a grill or grill pan.
  • Cooking times may vary depending on vegetable type and thickness.

Fried Cabbage

Looking for a unique twist? Serve fried cabbage alongside your flavorful BBQ meatballs. This unexpected combination offers contrasting textures and flavors that will surprise your taste buds. The cabbage becomes tender yet slightly crispy when fried, providing an interesting contrast to the juicy meatballs.


  • Adds a satisfying crunch to your meal.
  • Budget-friendly and readily available.
  • Can be seasoned with various spices for added flavor.


  • May not appeal to those who aren’t fans of cabbage.
  • Requires careful monitoring while frying to avoid overcooking.

By incorporating these veggie varieties into your BBQ meatball meal, you’ll create a well-rounded and satisfying plate. Whether you choose skillet green beans for freshness, grilled veggies for smoky goodness, or fried cabbage for a unique twist, each option brings its own distinct flavor profile to complement the savory taste of BBQ meatballs.

So go ahead and get creative with your side dishes! Experiment with different vegetables like coleslaw, broccoli salad, baked beans, or even spinach. The possibilities are endless.

Carb Alternatives: Yellow Rice, Cauliflower Kebabs, and Zucchini Noodles

If you’re looking to switch up your usual carb accompaniments for BBQ meatballs, there are some tasty alternatives that can add a new dimension to your meal. Let’s explore three options: fragrant yellow rice, grilled cauliflower kebabs, and zucchini noodles.

Fragrant Yellow Rice

One delicious way to complement your BBQ meatballs is by substituting traditional carbs with fragrant yellow rice. This flavorful side dish adds a pop of color and a hint of exotic spices to your plate. The vibrant yellow hue comes from turmeric, which not only gives the rice its distinctive color but also provides numerous health benefits. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidants. It pairs perfectly with the smoky flavors of BBQ meatballs, creating a mouthwatering combination.


  • Adds vibrant color to your plate.
  • Offers a unique flavor profile with exotic spices.
  • Provides health benefits due to the presence of turmeric.


  • May not be suitable for those following a low-carb or keto diet.

Grilled Cauliflower Kebabs

For a healthier option that still packs plenty of flavor, consider grilling cauliflower kebabs as a side dish with your meatballs. Cauliflower is incredibly versatile and can be transformed into various dishes. By marinating cauliflower florets in a flavorful sauce and then grilling them until tender and slightly charred, you create a delicious alternative to traditional carbs. The smokiness from the grill enhances the natural sweetness of the cauliflower while adding depth to its taste.


  • Provides a healthy alternative to traditional carbs.
  • Offers smoky flavors that complement BBQ meatballs.
  • Adds variety and texture to your meal.


  • Requires additional preparation time compared to simple carb options like rice or noodles.

Zucchini Noodles

If you’re looking for a lighter alternative, zucchini noodles are an excellent choice to serve alongside BBQ meatballs. Also known as “zoodles,” these spiralized zucchini strands mimic the texture of traditional pasta while being low in carbs and calories. Zucchini noodles can be enjoyed raw or lightly sautéed, depending on your preference. Their mild flavor allows them to absorb the flavors of the BBQ sauce, creating a harmonious blend with the meatballs.


  • Low in carbs and calories.
  • Provides a light and refreshing option.
  • Easy to prepare using a spiralizer or julienne peeler.


  • May not satisfy those craving traditional pasta textures.

By exploring these carb alternatives like fragrant yellow rice, grilled cauliflower kebabs, and zucchini noodles, you can elevate your BBQ meatball experience. Each option offers its own unique flavors and benefits, allowing you to customize your meal according to your preferences and dietary needs. So go ahead and get creative with your side dishes to make your next BBQ feast even more memorable!

Best Side Dishes to Serve with BBQ Meatballs

Now that you know the best side dishes to serve with BBQ meatballs, you’re ready to take your next cookout or family gathering to the next level. Whether you prefer classic sides like homemade French fries and coleslaw, or want to get adventurous with roasted potatoes trio or pasta pairings, there’s something for everyone.

To make your meal even more memorable, don’t forget to experiment with different flavor combinations. Why not try pairing your BBQ meatballs with skillet green beans for a burst of freshness, or bacon-wrapped asparagus for an indulgent twist? The possibilities are endless!

So go ahead and fire up that grill, gather your loved ones around, and prepare for a feast that will leave everyone asking for seconds. With these mouthwatering side dishes by your side, your BBQ meatball extravaganza is sure to be a hit!


Can I make these side dishes ahead of time?

Absolutely! Many of these side dishes can be prepared in advance. For example, you can make coleslaw the day before and store it in the refrigerator until serving. Roasted potatoes can also be cooked ahead of time and reheated just before serving.

Can I substitute regular pasta with gluten-free alternatives?

Yes! If you have dietary restrictions or simply prefer gluten-free options, feel free to substitute regular pasta with gluten-free alternatives like rice noodles or quinoa pasta. These alternatives can still provide a delicious pairing with your BBQ meatballs.

Are there any vegetarian options among these side dishes?

Certainly! Several of the suggested side dishes are vegetarian-friendly. Skillet green beans, grilled veggies, fried cabbage, and cauliflower kebabs are all great choices for vegetarians who want to enjoy their BBQ meatballs alongside flavorful accompaniments.

Can I use frozen corn instead of fresh corn on the cob?

Absolutely! While fresh corn on the cob is fantastic, using frozen corn can be a convenient and equally delicious alternative. Simply follow the cooking instructions on the package to prepare your frozen corn before serving.

Can I make these side dishes for a large crowd?

Definitely! Most of these side dishes can easily be scaled up to serve a larger group. Just adjust the quantities accordingly and make sure you have enough ingredients on hand. Your guests will appreciate the variety and abundance of delicious options at their fingertips.

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