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Side dishes for bbq - Tasty sides for your cookout

Updated on December 23, 2012

Looking for some delicious side dishes for bbq? Many people think it is the meat dishes that make a great and memorable barbecue or cookout however this is not the case. Sure, the meat is important but you can't just eat protein right? What about the vegetarians amongst us? If you want your barbecue to go with a bang and be one that all your guests will remember for a long time you are going to need some delicious and tasty side dishes too.

A lot of people seem to think that side dishes are dull and boring but this doesn't have to be the case at all as there are loads of delicious side dishes for bbq you can prepare for your guests. Don't believe me? Take a look at my favourite side dishes for bbq and check out this article.

Chilli con carne
Chilli con carne

Side dishes for bbq - Chilli con carne

One of the best side dishes for bbq has to be the chilli con carne. This side dish is tasty layered on top of a burger, delicious smeared over a hot dog, and great simply on its own. The chilli con carne is a versatile side dish that is tasty, nutritious and very easy to make. Many people are under the impression that a chilli con carne has to be hot and spicy however this is not the case. A chilli can be as hot or mild as you like, so it is a suitable side dish for all meat eaters.

Easy chilli con carne recipe

You will need;

1) 1 large onion, roughly chopped

2) 500g of minced beef

3) 1 can of tomatoes

4) Tomato puree

5) Cloves of garlic, crushed (the precise amount is down to taste although I find that 3 cloves work best)

6) 2 beef stock cubes

7) 1 can of red kidney beans

8) 1 tea spoon of cayenne pepper

9) 1 teaspoon of ground cummin

I use a non-stick wok for my chilli con carne therefore I don't use any oil. All the fat to fry off the meat, garlic and onions comes out of the minced beef whilst cooking it. So, the first thing to do is put the minced beef in to the non-stick pan and cook over a moderate to high heat on the hob.

As the minced beef cooks it will start to drop fat and when it does it is time to add the onion and garlic and continue to fry off until the minced beef is fully cooked. When frying off the minced beef, onions and garlic it is important not to have the heat too high otherwise the onions and garlic will burn and ruin the meat.

Once the meat is fully cooked add the ground cumin, cayenne pepper and Oxo cubes and stir in to the meat. Once the meat is coated, turn down the heat and add the kidney beans, canned tomatoes and tomato puree and gently cook for three to five minutes. Next, add the chilli powder and gently cook for at least twenty five minutes to allow all the flavours to infuse.

The amount of chilli powder depends on how hot and spicy you want the chilli con carne to be. I like my chilli to have a real "kick" and I find three heaped teaspoons is sufficient for the quantity of ingredients above, but you can obviously add more or less to suit your personal taste.

Three bean chilli
Three bean chilli

Side dishes for bbq - Three bean chilli

A three bean chilli is an alternative to the chilli con carne that is not only great for vegetarians but also meat eaters alike. I have to admit I am a true carnivore however I also really enjoy a three bean chilli as well.

When making a three bean chilli you can use whatever beans and pulses you can find in the larder. Whilst I make mine with kidney beans, chick peas and butter beans there are a countless number of other beans and pulses you can use. If you are on a budget the three bean chilli is perfect because it is so cheap to make.

In order to make the three bean chilli you will need;

1) 3 different types of beans or pulses (a can of each)

2) 1 can of chopped tomatoes

3) 1 large onion, chopped

4) Chilli powder

Add a table spoon of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan and gently heat on the hob. Add the chopped onions and gently cook for three to five minutes until the onions turn translucent. It is important not to cook the onions too hard and burn them otherwise you will have to start over again.

Once the onions are soft add the beans/pulses and the can of tomatoes and leave on a gentle heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. After five minutes add the chilli powder and stir in. The amount of chilli you use depends on your personal taste. I like a bit of a spicy "kick" and I find two heaped teaspoons of chili powder is sufficient for the quantity of ingredients above, however you can obviously add more or less as you see fit.

Once the chilli powder is in allow to cook for a further five to ten minutes or until the mixture is piping hot.

As you can see, the three bean chilli is quick, easy and very tasty and makes a great side dish for any backyard barbecue or cookout.

Barbecue beans
Barbecue beans

Side dishes for bbq - Barbecue beans

Out of all the side dishes for bbq the bbq beans has to be my favourite. I love baked beans and I love barbecue sauce and when you put them together the taste is simply awesome.

Barbecue beans are very easy to make you need very few ingredients. The basis barbecue bean recipe consists of canned baked beans (the precise amount depends on how many people you are catering for) and a bottle of shop bought barbecue sauce. You could make your own barbecue sauce but I really can't see the point, especially when the shop sauce is so tasty.

All you need to do is empty the beans in a pan and gently warm on the hob. When the beans are halfway through the cooking process squirt in as much, or as little, barbecue sauce. Continue heating the beans and the sauce and once up to temperature serve. It really is as easy as that and the taste is delicious.

The recipe above is simply a "base" and there are loads of other ingredients you may want to include. I am partial to cooking up some small pieces of bacon and adding them in the barbecue beans as well.

The best pan for cooking side dishes for bbq

I use a non-stick pan when I cook all my barbecue side dishes. With a non-stick pan I don't need to add any oil, which means my side dishes are healthier. I appreciate barbecues and cookouts are notoriously oily and greasy, but every little helps, right? Non-stick pans are also easier to clean than conventional pans and since they are ideal for cooking many other meals they are great value for money as well.

Ozeri Green Earth Non Stick Pan

If you want a tough, durable and long lasting non-stick pan the Ozeri Green Earth is the product for you. This pan is simply awesome and it has the best non-stick coating I have

ever used. Trying to use butter or oil in this pan is a total waste of time because it simply beads up and won't coat it. I give my pans a bit of stick when I cook but the Ozeri has withstood the test of time nad is still going strong many months after first use.

I appreciate the green color may not be to everyone's taste but it does grow on you. When I first got the Ozeri I was a bit apprehensive about the color but I now rather like it.

If you want a non-stick pan that is going to last, and doesn't cost a fortune either I highly recommend the Ozeri.


Side dishes for bbq - Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a cold side dish that is very popular and very easy to make, therefore it is ideal for a barbecue or cookout. There are loads of different coleslaw recipes, some of which are very easy and some of which are more complex and I have to say that my favourite recipe is one of the easy ones.

For my coleslaw you will need a cabbage, some carrots, some onions and some mayonnaise. It is not possible to give exact quantities as the amount of you need depends on a number of difference factors, including how many people you are catering for, whether you like a higher ratio of cabbage to carrot or carrot to onion etc. and how, for want of a better word, sloppy you like it.

All you need to do to make the coleslaw is to shred the cabbage, carrots and onions and then mix in lashings of mayonnaise. Some people like to make their own mayonnaise and would never dream of using some readymade and out of a jar, however I always use readymade mayonnaise. I have never managed to get homemade mayonnaise right, besides the readymade mayonnaise tastes really good so I always use it.

The ratio of vegetables to mayonnaise is totally down to personal preference. There are no hard and fast rules so it is up to you to let your creative juices flow and make it exactly how you like it.

I always season my coleslaw with cracked black pepper as I think it really finishes off the side dish, however not everyone likes to do this.

Green salad
Green salad

Side dishes for bbq - Green salad

A barbecue would not be complete without a side dish of green salad. Despite its name, a green salad doesn't only have to consist of green leaves, such as lettuce and rocket, oh no there are loads of different vegetables you can put in a green salad.

When I make a green salad I like to go all out and include loads of different things including red onion, red pepper, orange pepper, jalapenos, cherry tomatoes off the vine, cucumber, gherkins, shredded lettuce leaves, sweetcorn and mushrooms. As you can imagine, my green salads are never just green.

I like a dressing on my green salad although I appreciate there are many people that don't like it. Because of this I never pour salad dressing over a green salad however I will always leave a jug of salad dressing for people to help themselves.

Green salad is very versatile and you can add as many or few vegetables as you like. A green salad is a side dish where you can let your imagination and taste buds run wild.

Side dishes for bbq - Green salad preparation

A blunt knife will tear and rip salad ingredients which makes the green salad look like a dog's dinner. If you want an attractive and appetising green salad you need to cleanly slice and dice or cut each ingredient, and this requires using sharp knives. Compared to other food stuffs salad ingredients are fragile and don't require much chopping, slicing and dicing however you still need to use a sharp knife.

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Presto Saladshooter Electric Slicer/Shredder

I find slicing and dicing salad ingredients mundane and boring, even with sharp knives therefore I tend to use a kitchen gadget to make it a quicker, easier and more fun. There are loads of salad preparation machines on the market but my gadget of choice is the Presto Saladshooter.

The Presto Saladshooter is an awesome machine and does everything I need it to. It slices, it dices, it chops, it shreds and all of this at a flick of a switch. If you want a genuine time saving machine the Saladshooter is it.

When it comes to cleaning kitchen gadgets there are some instances when you can spend longer cleaning the machine after use than you would have if doing the task by hand. This is not the case with the Presto Saladshooter at all. The Presto Saladshooter is quick and easy to pull apart and after a quick rinse the machine is spotlessly clean.

The Presto Saladshooter is supplied with all the attachments you will ever need so once you have purchased the machine there is no further expense, which is great.

Overall the Presto Saladshooter is a great kitchen gadget and one that is well worth a purchase.

If you have any commens, rants or raves please feel free to note them there. Similarly, if you have any other tasty side dishes you wish to share please feel free to do so here. Thanks.

Your comments are welcome

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      5 years ago

      It seems that i am the first person to like you lens....Great post!!!


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