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Best BBQ recipes: grilled side dishes

Updated on August 16, 2010
Stuffed portabello mushrooms are tasty when grilled.
Stuffed portabello mushrooms are tasty when grilled.

Barbecuing is a fun and easy way to cook a casual meal for your friends and family. Anyone can prepare a simple potato salad, cole slaw or macaroni salad, and these are all great side dishes to go with a BBQ feast, but if you do a lot of grilling then you might tire of these classic sides.

For a special occasion why not pull out all the stops and really impress your friends and family? These BBQ side dishes will not only impress your friends, but they are also cooked on the BBQ so with a little advance preparation you'll be able to spend more time by the grill with your guests rather than slaving away in the kitchen.

Read on for these great grilled side dish recipes: BBQ Portabello Mushrooms, Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chilli Butter, and BBQ Stuffed Peppers.

Can't find portabello mushrooms? Try field mushrooms or any other large mushrooms instead.
Can't find portabello mushrooms? Try field mushrooms or any other large mushrooms instead.

BBQ Portabello Mushrooms

These mushrooms (pictured above) are extremely easy to prepare and cook, and are always a hit with guests. This recipe serves 4, depending on the size of the mushrooms and how many other sides you're making. I usually serve it with at least one other side dish.

  • 4 Portabello or large field mushrooms, whole, stems removed (if the mushrooms are very large you may choose to have 1 for 2 people)
  • 2 tomatoes (medium), diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried), roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Mix tomatoes, garlic, basil and 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl. Season well. Leave for up to an hour for the flavours to mingle if you have time. Drain away any extra liquid before adding to the mushrooms.
  2. Prepare your mushrooms: peel off the outer layer of the caps (if large) or wipe with a damp cloth and brush lightly with the remaining olive oil. Place the mushrooms stem side up on sheets of aluminum foil, one for each mushroom. Fill each mushroom with the tomato mixture. Seal the foil well, folding the edges to prevent the juices from escaping.
  3. Barbecue on a medium direct heat for around 15 minutes, turning every few minutes.
  4. Remove from foil and serve.

BBQ corn and ribs... yum! (photo by nttbrx on flickr)
BBQ corn and ribs... yum! (photo by nttbrx on flickr)

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chilli Butter

Cooking corn on the cob on the BBQ is nothing new, but this cooking technique and addition of spicy butter make it extra special. Leaving most of the husks on during cooking means that your corn won't dry out or become chewy, but will still gain some of that lovely BBQ flavour!

Serves 4

  • 4 ears of corn on the cob - with the husks still attached if possible
  • 1 serrano pepper or small green chilli - finely chopped (only use half if you don't like it hot, or substitute 1 tbsp paprika instead)
  • 100g butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped, if desired
  1. Prepare your chilli butter by mixing the serrano pepper and butter together. Add coriander just before serving, if using.
  2. Prepare your corn on the cob by removing several layers of the husk (leaves). If desired, peel back the remaining husks and remove as many of the silks (strings) as possible. OPTION: If you're feeling decadent, add the butter directly to the inside of your corn on the cob. Replace the husks, then wrap in foil. Otherwise just cook the corn in their husks without any foil, and save the butter for serving at the end.
  3. Barbecue the corn on a medium heat for around 15 minutes, turning frequently.
  4. Remove the husks and any remaining silks from the corn and serve with chilli butter on top.

Delicious grilled stuffed peppers. (Photo from
Delicious grilled stuffed peppers. (Photo from

BBQ Stuffed Peppers

These stuffed peppers only require a little more effort than a normal BBQ side dish but are well worth it. Based on a BBC Good Food Magazine recipe that I have adapted slightly, this recipe is always a hit with friends and family. It makes a great vegetarian dish (if you substitute vegetarian cheese).

Serves 4

  • 4 red, yellow or orange peppers
  • basmati rice, 100g (or substitute your favourite type of rice)
  • vegetable stock, 250mL
  • pine nuts, 50g
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • mozzarella and cheddar, 150g of each, chopped into small cubes
  • garlic, 1 clove, crushed
  • spring onions, 1 bunch, sliced thinly
  • cherry tomatoes, 1 handful, halved or quartered if large
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Prepare the stuffing: Heat the oil in a medium sized pot, then toast the pine nuts until light brown. Add the rice and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the rice is coated in oil. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then simmer for around 10 minutes for basmati rice (cook according to package instructions for other types of rice). Allow to cool slightly, then add tomatoes, spring onion, cheese and parsley.
  2. Prepare the peppers: Cut down one side of the pepper and remove the seeds and membranes, leaving the stem intact.
  3. Carefully fill the peppers with the stuffing.
  4. Tie up the peppers with some kitchen string, making sure to wrap the string around the stem and the body of the pepper several times.
  5. BBQ on a medium heat for around 15-20 minutes, turning the peppers every few minutes to ensure they are evenly browned. If the string burns or the peppers are becoming too charred, you can wrap the peppers in foil and continue cooking.

I would barbecue almost every day of the year if I could, and these are all dishes that I enjoy cooking, and most importantly, eating! Hopefully these grilled side dish recipes have inspired you to get out there and try something new on the BBQ. Happy grilling!


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    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 6 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      I'm hungry now. Good hub.

    • chirls profile image

      chirls 7 years ago from Indiana (for now)

      Telltale: I usually stick to barbecuing meat, too, but it's nice to have something different every now and then! Let me know how it goes.

    • telltale profile image

      telltale 7 years ago

      I normally do the Ribs BBQ, now and then... seldom do the side dishes... thanks for the recipes and tips! Now will attempt to do the side dishes too!

    • chirls profile image

      chirls 7 years ago from Indiana (for now)

      One year we managed to cook on the BBQ almost every day from April to October in the UK, but that takes some dedication even in a good British summer!

      These stuffed peppers are sooo delicious. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

    • Japemwellows profile image

      Japemwellows 7 years ago from 5ifth Dimensi0n

      I would also bbq every day of the year, but I'm in the uk so that's not too likely!!

      Your stuffed pepper recipe here sounds great, bookmarked it for future. Nice hub thanks Chirls =)