Beans, coleslaw, and potato salad are the champions of the barbecue side dish world. But if you already have your grill a-blazin’, why not use it to turn out some charred, flavorful vegetable sides too? Half the work will be done for you flavor-wise thanks to the magic of the open flame, so you can stick to basic seasonings like a few herbs or a crumble of feta. These recipes are fast, easy, and can hold their own next to any grilled beef, pork, lamb, or chicken dish.
Oh, and don’t forget about grilled dessert.
Grilled corn on the cob is classic, but switch it up a bit with soy and mirin instead of plain old butter and salt. These flavors pair really well with ribs, especially if they have an Asian-inspired sauce on them, but even regular old BBQ sauce will be in harmony. Get our Grilled Corn with Soy Sauce and Mirin recipe.
Eating Spanish padrón peppers is a game of chance: while most of the peppers are fairly mild and sweet, some are super spicy—but you won’t know which ones until you bite into them. The smoky layer of flavor they get from the grill is delicious either way. Get our Grilled Padrón Peppers recipe. (And try our Grilled Shishito Peppers recipe too.)
Pleasantly chewy Israeli couscous plus sweet, tender, charred pieces of pepper and eggplant, and a dressing with tahini and garlic adds up to a delicious side salad you could happily eat on its own for lunch (but pairs wonderfully with Oregano Grilled Chicken or Lamb Kebabs). Get our Grilled Eggplant and Red Pepper with Israeli Couscous recipe.
Blistered summer squash perked up with salty feta and herbal mint is a simple yet stunning combo. A little olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper is all the dressing it needs. Get our Grilled Summer Squash with Feta and Mint recipe. (For a sweeter spin, try our Grilled Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad recipe too.)
You needn’t stick to the usual vegetable suspects when it comes to the grill; try grilling romaine too. It’s great as the base of a smoky salad, like this deconstructed Greek salad on a stick (well, everything but the lettuce is on a stick, including the grilled halloumi cheese). Get our Grilled Greek Salad recipe.
Smoky grilled sweet potato wedges are a fresh alternative to fries, perfect for all your backyard burgers (and good with grilled fish too, especially salmon). The lime and cilantro-spiked sour cream is a fabulous dipping sauce, but try these with curried ketchup, tzatziki, or whatever goes best with your main course flavors. Get our Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Sour Cream and Lime recipe.
7. Grilled Okra
You may think you don’t like okra, but we suggest trying it grilled before passing final judgment. The smoky char lends delicious flavor, naturally, but the quick, high-heat cooking method also means there’s no slimy texture—just crisp-tender green veg, with a lemony basil dipping sauce on the side (but you could also toss the okra in a little Cajun seasoning instead). Get our Grilled Okra recipe.