Maybe it’s the sunshine or the fact that we’ve been talking about BBQs a lot on Plug in over the past few weeks, but I couldn’t wait for the sun to hit so I could clean up the grill and take my kitchen outside.

I upgraded my BBQ two years ago, and as I found out when I cooked exclusively on it over last summer, there’s a lot to be said to having a BBQ with all the bells and whistles. That side grill you think you’d never use? Turns out when you have a cast iron pan and a bunch of bacon, you can make magic with the side burner on your BBQ. I have a cast iron stock pot I like to use on the side burner too, so I’ll make some great side dishes to go along with whatever’s on the grill.

There have been some amazing recipes for BBQ shared over the past few weeks, and I’m going to add a few of my favourite sides to the mix. From baked beans to corn bread, here’s some ideas for your next spring BBQ.

Shout Hallelujah Potato Saladpotato salad.jpg

I love Southern recipes. I love the spices, I love the liberal use of pickles, and I love how everything just has that southern zing to it. This potato salad hits all of the bases for Southern cooking, and if you make it for a crowd, you’ll definitely be invited back again. Photo and recipe from Myrecipes.com



5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes

4 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled

1 tablespoon table salt

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

1 cup sweet salad cube pickles, drained

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup yellow mustard

1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained

2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

1 to 2 tsp. celery salt

4 drops of hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika


Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover 20 minutes or until tender; drain and cool 15 minutes. Peel potatoes, and place in a large bowl. Add eggs, and chop mixture into bite-size pieces. Sprinkle with salt; toss to coat.

Stir together mayonnaise and next 13 ingredients; gently stir into potato mixture. Sprinkle with paprika; add black pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 2 days.





















Maple Corn Breadcornbread maple.jpg

Steak goes well with baked potatoes, corn on the cob, and cornbread, not necessarily in that order. On its own corn bread is delicious, but when you add maple syrup you get a sweet taste and a melt in your mouth texture. Recipe from realsimple.com

Ingredients: 3/4cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan

2cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

2cups cornmeal

2tablespoons baking powder

1teaspoon baking soda

1teaspoon kosher salt

2cups whole milk

4 large eggs

3/4cup pure maple syrup



Heat oven to 425° F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the milk, eggs, ½ cup of the maple syrup, and ½ cup of the butter; whisk together the wet ingredients, then incorporate the dry ingredients until just combined (do not overmix).

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup of butter and ¼ cup of maple syrup. After removing the corn bread from oven, brush with the butter mixture. Cool completely in the pan, then cut into pieces.



Peanutty Coleslawpeanutty coleslaw.jpg

Coleslaw is another BBQ side dish that’s a must-have, and I really think some people don’t like it because they don’t realize how many different things you can add to give it some life. This recipe from myrecipes.com has wasabi paste, ginger, and peanuts to give a packaged bag of coleslaw some zest, and it’s one of the best I’ve ever tasted.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chopped green onions

3 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons wasabi paste

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 (16-oz.) package shredded coleslaw mix

3/4 cup lightly salted peanuts



Whisk together first 10 ingredients in a large bowl; add coleslaw mix, stirring to coat. Cover and chill 1 hour; stir in peanuts just before serving.















BBQ Baked BeansBBQ Baked Beans

Baked beans are a Southern standard, and I’ve tried a lot of baked beans in my time; some OK, some absolutely amazing. The difference between amazing bean and beans that are just so-so is in the seasoning, and this recipe uses molasses, BBQ sauce, and a liberal dose of paprika. Photo and recipe from the foodnetwork.com.

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (28-ounce) cans baked beans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Neelys BBQ seasoning, recipe follows
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup Neelys BBQ sauce, recipe follows
3/4 cup chopped pork or beef brisket
Neelys BBQ Seasoning:
1 1/2 cups paprika
3/4 cup sugar
3 3/4 tablespoons onion powder
Neelys BBQ Sauce:
2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the red pepper, onion and garlic until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the baked beans and remaining ingredients and bring to a low simmer. Cover the beans and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes.
Neelys BBQ Seasoning:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until combined. Keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Neelys BBQ Sauce:

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

I hope that your weekend is full of sunshine and that your grill is fired up and ready to go. Here are a few BBQ and patio must-haves to kick off your BBQ season.

napoleon gas grills.jpg
Napoleon BBQs are the ultimate BBQ upgrade
grill topper.jpg
Grill toppers make your grill more versatile
For more Southern recipes, take a peek at this post on Southern BBQ sauce and rubs
Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag