Recipes, Soups, Salads & Sides

3 Easy BBQ Side Dishes

Summer is winding down and the BBQ parties are taming down, but I’ve got three easy bbq side dishes to help finish your summer off with a bang. 

Labor Day always seems to be the last big hoorah before we close down the pools and start to put the covers on the grills, so let’s make sure we do this last weekend up right. We plan on having a bunch of people over Labor Day weekend to not only hang out and BBQ but also to watch the opening of College Football, which is a holiday in my household. I’m always sad when summer comes to an end but always happy as football approaches so it balances out the emotions nicely for me.

There are tons of side dishes out there that are amazing for backyard get togethers, from cornbread, to baked beans, or to roasted vegetables on the grill - the possibilities are many! I decided to whip up a German potato salad, my world famous coleslaw, and a simple caprese salad. All are really easy to make and always delicious.  

The potato salad is incredibly easy to make. It consists of few ingredients and is impossible to mess up given the “cook the potatoes til their done” mentality leaving room for them to be a bit mushy. From there, you toss in some cooked chopped bacon, onions and a few other goodies for one tasty potato salad that’s definitely different than the mayo based version. Honestly, it was a nice little change up from the norm.

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German Potato Salad
  • 3 pounds of sliced Yukon potatoes
  • 8 strips of chopped crisp cooked bacon
  • 1 peeled and small diced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon each grainy and Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Add the potatoes to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until tender.  Strain and chill immediately. 

Transfer the chilled potatoes to a large bowl and toss with remaining ingredients.  

Chill before serving

My world famous coleslaw isn’t exactly famous but it's always a hit when I make it. There really is no secret, just a combination of cabbages, carrots, green onions and cilantro and then topped off with a creamy vinegar dressing with a touch of sweetness. If you plan on serving this up at a later time don’t dress it or season it until it’s time or else you are going to have one soggy coleslaw.

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  • 1 thinly sliced head of green cabbage
  • ¼ thinly sliced head of red cabbage
  • 2 cups of matchstick carrots
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup of sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl until combined. 

Serve immediately.

The last thing I made was a caprese salad. To make this slightly different from the norm, I used heirloom tomatoes and finished it off with a balsamic glaze. Nothing too different, but the different heirloom tomato colors really make for a pretty salad to show off to your friends.

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Caprese Salad
  • 5 assorted sliced heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 8-ounce sliced balls of mozzarella
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic glaze
  • ½ cup of fresh basil leaves
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Layer the tomatoes and mozzarella around a plate fanning them out.  

Top off with salt and pepper, balsamic glaze and basil leaves.

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