The Fourth of July is pretty much the Thanksgiving of the summer. Let's all be honest and admit that we stuff our faces on the holiday like the true American eating champions that we are. And God bless us! We love our barbecues, we love our beers, we love our illegally imported fireworks that have enough ammo to blow up a small town ... ah, Independence Day. But for me, the Fourth isn't entirely about the grilled meats, it's also about the side dishes.
Anyone can throw a hot dog or burger on the grill and serve up something delish, but the sides are what I'm all about. From bacon mac 'n' cheese to grilled corn with manchego to beersicles, here's a list of my favorite top 10 barbecue must-have sides, starting with a recipe for killer German potato salad.
German Potato Salad via the Food Network
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon
- 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons minced chives, for garnish
Place the potatoes in a medium-size pot and cover them with enough water to extend 2 inches above the surface of the potatoes. Salt the water and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and slice into 1/4-inch rounds.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once crisp, place on a paper towel-lined plate and crumble into small pieces. Pour off the rendered fat, reserving 1/4 cup in the pan. Turn the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook until translucent and just beginning to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Whisk in the vinegar, sugar, mustard, and salt and stir until thick and bubbly. Add the sliced, cooked potatoes and toss to coat. Top with the crumbled bacon and garnish with the chives. Serve warm.
More amazing sides recipes!
Simple Baked Beans -- A timeless crowd pleaser, this recipe is on the sweeter side.
Grilled Corn With Chili and Manchego Cheese -- You'll feel fancy serving this, I just know it.
Broccoli Raisin Salad -- My personal favorite salad, the crunch of the broccoli and the sweetness of the raisins really do go together!
Seven Layer Taco Dip -- Guac, cheese, sour cream ... what's not to love?
North Carolina Coleslaw -- I'm a fan of vinegar, this slaw recipe has my vote.
Beersicles -- For the adults only, please.
Watermelon & Feta Salad -- Light, tasty, and only 6 ingredients!
Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese -- Because calories don't count on a holiday.
Thai Noodle Salad -- Goes will with hot dogs, for real.
Easy, Classic Deviled Eggs -- Don't be caught at a BBQ without this classic.
Berry & Goat Cheese Summer Salad -- If I'm going to have greens on the Fourth, there has to be cheese involved. This green salad covers that base.
What sides do you like at your BBQs?