The best summer barbecue side dishes reflect the casual vibe of the season. After all, there’s nothing worse than fussing in the kitchen when you’d rather be hanging out with friends, walking beside a lake, or just taking a long nap.

The three barbecue side dishes below meet my outdoor entertaining requirements. They’re wonderful complements to grilling steak and go nicely with some barbecue corn recipes we love.

They’re also easy to make and generously accept last minute “inspirational” additions or subtractions.

The next time you’re going to a barbecue or throwing one of your own, why not choose one of these?

Barbecue Side Dishes: Guacamole

Time to admit the truth and get my biases out in the open. I’m an avocado fanatic and happily add them to salads, sandwiches, and even scrambled eggs.

But my favorite way to eat an avocado by far is in guacamole. The simplest “recipe” is just an avocado, lime juice and salt, but why stop there? There are so many guacamole recipes to try! You can eat it with chips or dab it on hamburgers and hot dogs… Yum!

barbecue side dishes, fresh avocado

Fresh Avocado (Image: ©depositphotos | kbuntu)

Queso Fresco

I first had queso fresco (Spanish for “fresh cheese”) in guacamole when my cousin’s wife, Claudia, who is from El Salvador, brought it to a party.

As I gobbled up the guacamole, I kept trying to figure out the “secret’ ingredient that made her guacamole extra creamy but not too rich. It turns out she adds queso fresco, a soft Mexican cheese.

queso fresco, barbecue side dishes

Queso Fresco: Claudia’s secret ingredient! (Image: Geoff | CC BY-SA 3.0)

Claudia’s (Excellent) Guacamole with Queso Fresco

4 ripe Hass avocados
½ red jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, seeds discarded
The juice of 1-1/2 limes
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2/3 cup queso fresco crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel the avocados, cut into ½ inch cubes and put into a bowl. Add and mash all the ingredients together except salt and pepper. Taste and then season. Enjoy!

For those of you who prefer the taste of lemons to limes, here’s a super easy recipe from Ina Garten that uses lemon juice and a tomato.

guacamole, tomato, barbecue side dishes

Guacamole with Tomato and Lime (Image: ©depositphotos | Enigmangels)

This next guacamole recipe intrigues me as it incorporates goat cheese and pistachios, ingredients I’ve never used in guacamole but am definitely willing to try, especially since I like guacamole with queso fresco so much.

Much to my delight, has set up “Guacamole Central” with a slew of recipes, including some with bacon, poblano peppers, and pecans. Plus they’ve got nutritional information and facts about their farmers. It will take me a long time to make all of the different guacamole on their website, but I’m more than willing to do it!

Barbecue Side Dishes: Beans

For me, beans and barbecue go together like chips and guacamole, and I can’t imagine summer entertaining without some sort of bean dish.

Thankfully, beans are taste great served hot and cold, so I’m always finding new recipes and coming back to old favorites when we entertain in the backyard.

These first three are “classic” bean recipes for barbecue side dishes. The first two, from and, contain meat but the third is vegetarian.

This Barbecued Baked Beans recipe from makes a “sweet” batch of beans, so if you want you can cut some of the sugar or add a little instant coffee to the recipe.

barbecued baked beans, barbecue side dishes

Barbecued Baked Beans (Image: ©depositphotos | bhofack2)

I like to see how things are supposed to look, so I appreciate the way each step in this recipe for The Best Baked Beans Ever is shown.

Vegetarians and carnivores alike will enjoy this recipe for Boston Baked Beans from the

Hummus, made with garbanzo beans, is a versatile, Middle Eastern dip which is extremely high in protein. Use it with Pita Chips or vegetables. This Easy and Smooth Hummus recipe from has great pictures and shows you each step.

hummus, barbecue side dishes

Hummus at a Barbecue (Image: ©depositphotos | martiapunts)

Where I live, fresh corn isn’t available until late summer, but that doesn’t mean I have to wait until then for one of my favorite summertime combos, black beans and corn.  This Sweet Corn and Black Bean Salad is from Whole Food Market. I like mine with extra garlic.

Edamame, black beans and black-eyed peas are the stars in this light and tasty Three Bean Salad from

three bean salad, barbecue side dishes

A Three-Bean Salad (Image: ©depositphotos | denio109)

Barbecue Side Dishes: Deviled Eggs

I’ve heard deviled eggs are served more in the South and Midwest than other parts of the United States, so maybe only some of you will understand me when I say, “Deviled eggs are the bomb.” They’re not only delicious but look like sunshine on a plate, which makes perfect barbecue side dishes for summer entertaining!

deviled eggs, barbecue side dishes

Deviled Eggs with Parsley and Paprika (Image: ©depositphotos | zigzagmtart)

Before making or bringing them to a party, be sure to read these “deviled egg mistakes,” so yours will be perfect every time.

This first recipe is for Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs, just like those I had when I visited my college roommate’s family in Virginia.

Sometimes, you want barbecue side dishes that break from tradition. Here’s a deviled egg recipe that includes avocados! Who knew such a mavelous appetizer existed!

Some like it hot! This recipe originally appeared in Food and Wine magazine, includes sriracha and wasabi, and provides an “eggsellent” kick.

creative deviled eggs, barbecue side dishes

Feeling Adventurous? (Image: ©depositphotos | intiso)

Just reading the title of the last recipe, Caesar Salad Deviled Eggs, from makes me hungry.

Feeling creative? Check out more adventurous deviled egg recipes here.

What about you? What kinds of barbecue side dishes do you enjoy during the summer? Let us know (especially if they have avocados)!