Two Great Side Dishes for Your Barbecue Buffet

If you're planning on hosting a barbecue event of any kind, you'll want to make sure that the side dishes you provide are as fantastic as the main dish. While you're working with your local barbecue catering company to provide all of the proteins, here are a few side dishes that are sure to be a hit with your guests.

Southern-Style Coleslaw

A balanced, flavorful coleslaw recipe is a must-have for any recipe collection. The creamy consistency and the flavor balances very well with most barbecue sauces, making it a great addition to a barbecue buffet. The secret to a successful coleslaw recipe is ensuring that all of the flavors complement each other.

Start with a pound of a tricolor coleslaw mix for every four guests you're expecting to feed. Tricolor mix is the one that comes with the two types of cabbage and carrots. Put the shreds into a large bowl. You'll want plenty of room for mixing. Dice half of a small yellow onion for each pound of mix that you're preparing.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing to incorporate all of the ingredients thoroughly. For each pound of shreds, use about three-quarters of a cup of mayonnaise and the same amount of Greek yogurt. Add to that a teaspoon or two of white wine vinegar along with a teaspoon of honey. Add the dressing to the coleslaw shreds and stir it to coat everything evenly. Sprinkle the top with paprika before storing it in the refrigerator. It's best made the night before you're going to serve it because it gives time for the flavors to meld together.

Homemade Baked Beans

Baked beans are popular at barbecues as well, though making them from scratch isn't as common as it used to be. If you've always liked good baked beans but never tried to make them yourself, you're likely to be surprised at how easy they are.

Soak your dried beans for about 24 hours before you're ready to cook them. This rehydrates them a bit so that they cook more thoroughly and evenly. You'll want about a pound of dried navy beans for every six guests at the event. Sort through the dry beans to remove any errant stones, then put the beans into a large bowl. Cover them so that the water level is a few inches over the surface of the beans. Let them sit, stirring once or twice during the day so that they get mixed up. Change the water in the afternoon and again at night. The next morning, rinse them thoroughly before baking them.

Put the beans into a large, heavy-bottomed pot, like a ceramic dutch oven. Add a small chunk of salt pork to the pot. Dice a small yellow onion for each pound of beans as well and add that to the top. Combine a third of a cup of molasses with the same amount of maple syrup and tomato sauce. Include a tablespoon of tomato paste, too. Then, whisk in a tablespoon of cider vinegar and the same amount of prepared yellow mustard. Add a teaspoon of ground mustard powder and a teaspoon of garlic powder. Finally, mix in a tablespoon of light brown sugar.

Pour the sauce over the beans, then add between three and four cups of water per pound. Mix it all completely, cover the pot and bake it at 325-degrees Fahrenheit for about six or eight hours. Check the beans every couple of hours, stirring to keep them from sticking. Add more water if you need to while they cook so that they don't dry out. The beans will be finished cooking when they're fork-tender.

With recipes like these to pair with your barbecue catering foods, your event is sure to be a hit. Talk with your caterer to learn more about what types of meats will pair best with these sides.