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Best Side Dish Recipes for Hamburgers: Elevate Your BBQ Game

Best Side Dish Recipes for Hamburgers: Elevate Your BBQ Game

Feb 20th 2024

When enjoying a hearty hamburger, typical sides like crispy fries, tangy coleslaw, and creamy macaroni cheese enhance the richness of your meal. These classic choices present a pleasing mix of textures and flavors that harmonize with your burger's savory taste. However, if you want to lighten up your barbecue spread, there's a refreshing world of quinoa salads, grilled vegetables, and Greek yogurt-based dips waiting to adorn your plate. These bright, health-focused sides offer a vibrant contrast against the deep, luscious notes of your hamburger. Now, let's explore these options in more detail.

A fantastic option to pair with hamburgers is a fresh corn salad. This tangy and appealing side dish brings out the flavors of the burger. Additionally, crispy baked onion rings provide a healthier alternative to deep-fried ones, adding a delightful crunch to your meal.

Best Traditional Sides for Hamburgers

When it comes to traditional sides for hamburgers, there are timeless choices that never fail to satisfy and elevate the overall experience. Let's take a closer look at some of these classic options and why they are such popular accompaniments to the juicy flavors of a delicious hamburger.

Crispy French Fries

French fries are an all-time favorite. They're versatile, crispy, and simply irresistible. These golden slices of potato goodness offer a delightful crunch and pair perfectly with the savory flavors of a juicy hamburger. While some enjoy classic straight-cut fries, others prefer crinkle-cut or steak fries for their thicker texture. Sweet potato fries also offer a flavorful twist to this classic side, adding a touch of sweetness to contrast with the savory burger.

Onion Rings

Onion rings are another classic choice that provides a satisfyingly crunchy exterior and a sweet, tender onion interior. The combination of fried batter and the natural sweetness of onions creates a delectable contrast that complements the rich flavor of a burger. Some prefer thick-cut onion rings, while others opt for thin, crispy onion strings. Regardless of the style, the satisfying crunch makes them a perfect match for hamburgers.


Coleslaw presents a refreshing contrast to the hearty flavors of a hamburger. Its crisp, tangy taste and crunchy texture provide a palate-cleansing effect that cuts through the burger's richness. Many enjoy the creamy, slightly sweet dressing and the crispness of shredded cabbage and carrots.

Macaroni and Cheese

A comforting favorite for many, macaroni and cheese offers creamy goodness that pairs well with the satisfying flavors of a burger. The warm, rich, and cheesy pasta is a delightful counterpart to the meaty essence of a hamburger.

Potato Salad

Potato salad is creamy and refreshing, making it an ideal choice alongside hamburgers. The salad's cool creaminess and mild tanginess balance the robust taste of a juicy burger.

Baked Beans

The savory sweetness of baked beans makes them an excellent side dish for hamburgers. Their hearty flavor profile enhances the overall dining experience by providing a subtle sweetness that complements the savory flavors of the burger.

Each of these traditional sides brings unique appeal to your meal, adding layers of flavor and texture to elevate your barbecue game.

Read More About Top 7 Sides for Your Grilled Chicken Feast: Guide to Perfect Pairings

Healthier Sides Options for BBQ

When it comes to side dishes for hamburgers, sometimes we crave something lighter and healthier to complement the hearty flavors of the main dish. Here are some delicious and nutritious alternatives that you can consider for your next barbecue.

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a protein-packed grain served cold in a refreshing salad. Combine it with fresh ingredients like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and a zesty vinaigrette dressing for a vibrant and satisfying meal.

Grilled Vegetables

Grilled vegetables provide a burst of smoky flavor and vibrant colors. You can grill various veggies such as zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, and asparagus. These nutrient-rich sides taste great and contribute to a balanced diet.

Kale Chips

Kale chips are a crunchy, guilt-free alternative to regular potato chips. Tossed with olive oil and seasoned to perfection, they satisfy the craving for something crispy while offering a healthy dose of fiber and essential nutrients.

Greek Yogurt-Based Dips

Opting for dips made with Greek yogurt instead of regular sour cream can significantly reduce the fat content while adding a creamy texture and tangy flavor. They are versatile and can be infused with various herbs and spices to create various delicious options, such as tzatziki or dill dip.

Mixed Green Salad

A mixed green salad featuring a variety of fresh greens, alongside colorful additions like cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, and bell peppers, offers a light and hydrating accompaniment to the meal. Finish it off with a homemade vinaigrette for an extra burst of flavor.

By incorporating these healthier side dish options into your barbecue menu, you not only enhance the nutritional value of your meal but also cater to your guests' dietary preferences. These choices offer a wonderful array of flavors, textures, and colors that elevate the dining experience.

Exciting International Side Dishes for Hamburgers

Be bold and think outside the box when choosing side dishes to accompany your hamburgers. Adding a global flair to your BBQ by exploring international side dishes can introduce diverse and adventurous flavors that perfectly complement the hearty taste of a succulent burger.

  • One enticing option is Mexican street corn, also known as elote. This vibrant dish features grilled corn on the cob, slathered with a creamy layer of mayonnaise or sour cream, sprinkled with chili powder and grated cheese, and finished with a squeeze of lime. The smoky sweetness of the corn, paired with the tangy and spicy flavors of the condiments, creates a harmonious combination that will transport your taste buds south of the border.
  • Another delightful addition to your BBQ spread is a refreshing Japanese-style cucumber salad. This light and crisp salad is made with thinly sliced cucumbers and dressed in a delicate blend of rice vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. This salad's clean, refreshing taste perfectly contrasts the rich flavors of a juicy hamburger.
  • Let's not forget about the zesty Spanish patatas bravas. These crisp yet tender potatoes are typically topped with a boldly flavored tomato-based sauce and a drizzle of creamy aioli. The robust flavors of this dish offer an exciting departure from traditional potato sides and make for an impressive addition to any BBQ feast.
  • The Italian Caprese salad is an excellent choice for those who appreciate fresh and simple flavors. This classic Italian salad brings a burst of Mediterranean freshness to the table with ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fragrant basil leaves, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze or olive oil.
  • If you want a more substantial offering with an aromatic kick, consider serving Indian spiced potato wedges. Tossed in a compelling blend of Indian spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili powder before being roasted to golden perfection, these flavorful wedges will surely add intrigue and depth to your BBQ menu.

Read More About 5 Secrets to the Perfect Carrot Raisin Salad

Easy and Quick Side Dishes

Quick and easy side dishes are a lifesaver when you rush to get your backyard barbecue going. After all, these gatherings are all about spending more time with family and friends instead of being stuck in the kitchen. Here are some lightning-fast ideas that will leave everyone satisfied:

Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato fries are flavorful and take considerably less time than regular ones. Preheat your oven, slice the sweet potatoes into sticks, toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake them until they're crispy.

Pro Tip: For an extra kick, sprinkle some paprika or cayenne pepper before tossing them into the oven.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled corn on the cob is a classic choice that’s incredibly easy to prepare. Simply husk the corn, brush it with butter, sprinkle some salt and pepper, then grill it until the kernels start charing.

Pro Tip: Add different seasonings such as garlic powder, chili powder, or parmesan cheese for various flavors.

Three-Bean Salad

A three-bean salad is an excellent make-ahead dish that's quick to assemble. Combine kidney beans, green beans, and chickpeas in a bowl, then toss them with a simple vinaigrette made from olive oil, vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and some salt and pepper.

Pro Tip: Add some diced red onion and fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro for extra freshness.

Fresh Fruit Skewers

Fresh fruit skewers are not only healthy but also visually appealing. Cut up various fruits such as strawberries, pineapple chunks, melon cubes, and grapes. Thread them onto skewers for a colorful and refreshing side dish.

Pro Tip: Serve the skewers with a yogurt-based dip for an added touch of creaminess.

Simple Mixed Vegetable Slaw

A mixed vegetable slaw is quickly mixed using shredded cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, and red onions. Toss them in a light dressing made of mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt for a healthier option), apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.

Pro Tip: Add sliced apples or raisins for some sweetness and crunch.

By choosing any of these quick and easy side dishes, you can spend less time preparing food and more time enjoying the company of your guests. These simple yet flavorful additions will surely make your barbecue gathering a hit!

Guide to Pairing Side Dishes with Different Burger Styles

When we think of a classic cheeseburger, enjoying it with crispy and savory onion rings often comes to mind. The contrast between the juicy burger and the crunchy onion rings creates a delightful harmony in our taste buds. Similarly, when indulging in a spicy black bean burger, avocado salsa's cool and creamy texture can balance the heat and elevate the dining experience.

  • Different burger styles offer unique flavor profiles that can be enhanced or complemented by specific side dishes. Consider pairing a barbecue bacon burger with rich and smoky baked beans—they add a hearty, comforting element to your meal. On the other hand, a buffalo chicken burger can be balanced well with crisp carrots and celery sticks, offering freshness and a satisfying crunch.
  • For instance, an edamame succotash can be the perfect accompaniment even when preparing a teriyaki salmon burger. The succotash's mix of flavors and textures harmonize with salmon's delicate and savory nature, creating a well-rounded dining experience.

Understanding what side dishes pair well with different burger styles is essential for creating a memorable culinary adventure. The synergy between the main dish and its accompanying sides can enhance the overall dining experience by creating pleasing contrasts or harmonious complements of taste, texture, and flavor.

Consider using high-quality kitchen tools to prepare your side dishes precisely and easily. Our aluminum pans and kitchen tools are designed to make cooking efficient and fuss-free, guaranteeing a seamless cooking experience for any barbecue occasion.

The preparation of delectable side dishes becomes effortless when you have reliable tools, allowing you to focus on delighting your guests with an array of perfectly paired flavors.

Elevate your barbecue game by exploring new side dish recipes that perfectly complement your favorite burger styles at KitchenDance. Happy cooking!