I’m sure your barbecues and picnics have the standard side dishes like potato salad, cole slaw and baked beans. Those are favorites for a reason, but there are so many other interesting and special side dishes out there to try. I’ve rounded up 8 unique side dishes that I’m sure will be a hit at your next barbecue, picnic or outdoor party.
I’m not a potato salad person, at least the mayo version. It’s a weird texture/cold food issue I have. Plus, it’s so obvious. I recently had the most delicious cold sweet potato salad from Whole Foods, and loved it. This roasted sweet potato salad recipe sounds very similar to the one I’ve had, featuring poblano peppers and black beans.
Rather than your standard rotini pasta salad, a Mediterranean orzo salad makes for an interesting and less expected option. Artichokes, feta, olives and sun dried tomatoes give this dish a fancier feeling, while still being super easy to make.
Roasted asparagus is one of my favorite cooked vegetables. But wrap it in prosciutto and grill it? You had me at prosciutto. Super simple, but I know your family will be impressed when you serve them grilled prosciutto wrapped asparagus.
Cole slaw is another BBQ staple. Why not change it up with a broccoli slaw? Even more crunch and texture, and you may even sneak this healthy green past your kids.
I recently made this grilled corn fregola recipe, which is a super simple but seemingly fancier version of a pasta salad. People will surely ask you what that tiny grain is and you can impart your new knowledge while you enjoy this really fresh, lemony and sweet dish.
No BBQ is complete without rolls or corn bread. Since everything is better with cheddar, make these corn bread biscuits special with cheddar, honey and jalapeno.
Grilled corn on the cob is a delicious picnic staple, but Elote, Mexican grilled corn is even better. It’s spicy, cheesy and full of lime flavor, all of which work so well with the sweet summer corn.
I really like chickpeas. I love them drained out of the can and tossed on top of a salad. When I roast them in the oven, I can eat the whole bunch, but I’ve never used them as the base for a salad. This avocado lime chickpea salad is genius because of just how simple it is. This is definitely a recipe I can’t wait to try.
What is your favorite unique bbq side dish?