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Side dish for a bbq?

Am hosting a bbq this weekend for several families. Nothing fancy...new grill so hubby will be grilling chicken and steak. Burgers and dogs for the kids. Making a corn, tomato and basil salad and need another good side--something relatively simple--make-ahead is a plus--maybe a starch? Any ideas??

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  1. Potato salad? couscous salad? macaroni salad? All taste better when made a day ahead anyway.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dagwood

      Also love a potato salad that's mixed while still warm to soak in the cider vinegar, or sometimes I use dill pickle brine ;).

      Orzo salad is another option. We like ours with roasted peppers, feta & olives. And if you have some ripe avocados, add them to your tomato/corn salad and dress with lime juice. Out of this world, simple!

      Also, if you have fresh baby veggies from the farmer's market, they're nice and pretty when pickled. Or just steam them and serve with an aioli or your favorite dip.

      1. re: Phurstluv

        Agreed! Mixing while warm is the key. I add to mine: mayo, pickle brine, spicy mustard (like Guldens), boiled egg, vinegar, sweet relish, diced pickles, salt, pepper, and a dash of sugar....mmmmmmm.......

    2. we have 2 standards that I have to make by popular request at family bbq's - neither is fancy, both are easy & better the second day.
      One is baked beans the easy way - fry a pound of bacon, crumble into a large pot of a couple cans of baked beans. Add one or two diced onions fried in a little bacon fat. Cook on low to med-low, stirring now & then, for at least 1/2 hr, until it is reduced down. Reheat on stove or in crock pot the next day. Not good for you, but a pound of bacon is a wonderful thing!
      #2 is MIL's potato salad - red potato boiled, then de-skinned ( I leave some skins on), mixed with mayo WHILE HOT and seasoned with celery salt. Excellent the next day, may need to add some mayo before serving. Again, sounds simple, but is very tasty.
      My kids & nephews love them, too, which is always a plus.

      2 Replies
      1. re: elfcook

        Baked beans are a bbq staple for us. There's something called hobo beans (or settler's beans) that is good too. A trio of beans (Kidney, cannellini and pork n' beans) mixed with onions, browned ground beef, chopped bacon, ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, mustard and worcestshire. They are always a hit among varying tastes. http://www.grouprecipes.com/sr/15140/...

        For the more sophisticated palettes, I'd make baked beans from scratch. Soak beans overnight, mix up and let cook all days, low & slow, with lots of bacon. Mmmmm

        Oh yea, don't forget the deviled eggs!!!

        1. re: lynnlato

          Oooh, yes! Deviled eggs are a must!

      2. I'd go with an orzo salad or a macaroni salad. Also, baked beans.

        I've made this recipe many times for potluck gatherings (despite the recipe title saying "not for potluck" <g>) at former places of employment, and it's gotten rave reviews. (this was copied/pasted directly from an old AOL message board I had posted it on by the person who submitted it to cookingcache.com - the notes at the bottom are mine - another note I have on it does say I used molasses as a thickener). It's an oven-baked recipe, but you could probably also do it in a crockpot.


        1 Reply
        1. re: LindaWhit

          They sound good, Linda. I may have to put them on my "to try" list. I love me some baked beans. :)

        2. Grilled Pineapple Spears....
          Grilled Corn on the Cob........
          Tangy Mustard Potato Salad.....
          Cole Slaw.......
          Tri-Color Rotini Salad.....

          1. You could take some mushrooms, wrap in bacon, skewer, baste with bbq sauce and grill 'em.

            Or take some mushroom caps, and stuff with a mixture of ricotta, pesto, garlic, and sprinkle with parmasan and broil or grill.

            I second the macaroni/pasta salad too, something nice and cool that tastes better the day after anyway.

            1. Coleslaw - fresh cut, tart and tangy sauced coleslaw or maybe jicama cole slaw, to offset all the greasy good flavors.

              1. I made a grilled vegetable salad a few weeks ago- was able to make ahead and serve with dinner. Just grilled up some ears of corn, zucchini, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and some half heads of romaine lettuce-cut the corn off the years, chop the lettuce, and mix it all together with a light citrus-y dressing. It got rave reviews- and I ate the leftovers for a couple of days.

                1. I think corn muffins, a three-bean salad, coleslaw, a potato salad, a pasta salad, or a cold sesame noodle salad would all be good. You can make any of these things ahead of time.

                  This is a really moist sweet cornbread:

                  Coyotes Blue (Or Yellow) Cornmeal Bread

                  If you want a starchy salad:

                  Garlic Bread, Green Bean and Tomato Salad


                  Three-Bean Salad with Edamame, Black Beans & Black-Eyed Peas

                  Other yummy salads:

                  Green Beans With Sweet Onion Vinaigrette

                  Cucumber and Feta Salad

                  Cooking Light's Citrus-Marinated Mushrooms

                  1. Thanks for all the suggestions!! I now have some great ideas not only for this weekend but for many bbq's to come!!

                    1. Corn Avocado Salad

                      ¼ C lime juice
                      1 T red wine vinegar
                      1 T Olive Oil
                      1 ½ t salt
                      ½ t. pepper
                      ¼ t ground cumin
                      1/8 t cayene
                      1 bag frozen corn
                      1 red bell pepper – seeded and diced
                      ½ C. red onion - diced
                      ¼ C Cilantro – finely chopped
                      3 firm, ripe avocados – pittled and cut into 1” chunks

                      1. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup lime juice, 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne.
                      2. Rinse corn under cold water until thawed. Add to bowl and mix gently.
                      3. Add bell pepper, 1/2 cup red onion, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro to bowl; stir into dressing.
                      4. Add avocado to bowl and gently mix, taking care not to smash the avocado too much.
                      5. Garnish with a few Cilantro leaves.
                      6. Chill or serve immediately.