Stress free BBQ side dishes

Who doesn't love a BBQ? As you may have seen on instagram and possibly even on my new periscope account last week, we just had a mid-week BBQ. My friend Patrick came to stay for a few days and the weather was due to be nice so we thought why not?

BBQ table for four people

We've been house-sitting for Dave's folks while they're away.  We're loving spending time with the cats (who now live here) and also making use of the garden.  Living in a city centre flat with no outside space, I hadn't realised just how much I was missing it!

I've always loved a good BBQ (see a previous post here), and casual eating alfresco with friends. It shouldn't be stressful; for the meaty element we usually go with some pre-made high quality burgers or sausages - in this case, sweet cider, sage & mustard porkies from the glorious Gloucester Services.

When it comes to your side dishes, move away from packet mixed coleslaw and bagged salad and try something bit more exciting. It doesn't have to be anything hard or time consuming and lots of it can be made ahead of time. Here are my suggestions, all measured up for four people:

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad 
  • Quarter 1 large juicy salad tomato
  • Rip up a ball of mozzarella 
  • Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
  • Season with freshly picked thyme, sea salt & black pepper.

Veggie kebabs and potato salad for a BBQ

Veggie Kebabs 
  • Thickly slice red onion, courgette & peppers
  • Thread them onto metal skewers with whole chestnut mushrooms
  • Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with peri peri spice mix (we like the Aldi version) 
  • Cook on the BBQ for around 15 mins until the onion is cooked through and the peppers are showing charred bits.

Potato Salad
  • Boil 500g (1 small bag) of jersey royal new potatoes for 10 minutes (until they slip off a knife)
  • Drain and pour into a large bowl
  • Mix in 2 finely sliced spring onions & 1/2 a small red onion
  • Season with snipped chives, sea salt & black pepper.

Stuffed romano peppers griddled on the BBQ

Stuffed Romano Peppers
  • Cut the ends off 2 long romano peppers and slice in half, removing the inside seeds and membrane.
  • Mix garlic & herb cream cheese with 2 finely sliced spring onions & black pepper
  • Stuff the pepper halves with the cream cheese and wrap in foil
  • Cook on the BBQ for five mins until the peppers have softened, then remove them from foil and place straight onto the grill bars to blacken on the outside for a few minutes.  

chilli marinaded halloumi ready for the bbq

Chilli Halloumi  
Because everyone loves Halloumi, be a bit naughty and go for two packets.
  • Thickly slice two packs of halloumi
  • Put into a bowl with 2 tbsp tomato ketchup, 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 finely diced red chilli (seeds removed) 
  • Gently mix and leave to marinate for up to 1 hour. 
  • Cook straight on the BBQ grill bars and turn after a couple of minutes. Once both sides are charred, take off and eat immediately!
Once you've done your prep and your friends have arrived, all that's left is to get the pimms loaded up with mint, cucumber, lemons and oranges, sit back on your deck chair and enjoy. After all, a BBQ is the one occassion when everyone wants to help with the cooking! Enjoy! 

pimms time in the garden!

Want some more ideas? Try these additional BBQ side dishes from some of my favourite food bloggers: 


  1. Love these stress free sides Alex, I usually throw some veggie kebabs on our BBQ as they are so quick and easy:-) Thanks for including my coleslaw:-)

    1. You absolutely cannot have a BBQ without coleslaw! It was a well needed extra :-)

  2. I usually go a bit overboard with BBQ side dishes, but you definitely can't go wrong with potato salad.

    1. At least if you go overboard, you can always pick at things the next day!

  3. Those stuffed peppers look gorgeous! I'm definitely going to give them a go if we ever get BBQ weather :-)

  4. Such good ideas, I am sucker for potato salad, so I know what I'm going for!!

  5. Wow, what a spread - thanks for all the ideas Alex, these look amazing!! Love Jersey Royals in a potato salad - I'm from Jersey and my Dad grows them - they are SO good when eaten just a few hours old! Your chilli halloumi looks awesome too. Yum!

    1. Oh how jealous am I! Jersey Royals freshly grown and cooked! I bet that's delicious!

  6. Ooooh you're making me so hungry! Why is it not lunch time yet?! Also super jealous of you enjoying the summer weather and having a BBQ. Can't wait until we have a garden all to ourselves and can BBQ again. In the meantime I'll have to whip up some of these side dishes when I go to other people's BBQs :)

  7. Oh! I miss so much BBQing... You have such lovery recipes to be inspired from, but my favorite is the ''Stuffed Romano Peppers''!

    1. The picture of the romano peppers isn't very good but they taste great!

  8. Love the stress free idea. I am big on BBQ's anmd their casual aspect so why not have simple, stress sides as well. These sides look great.

    1. Thanks Mark, I love casual dining too and am also a big BBQ fan!

  9. Yes for stress free! BBQ's should be fun, not stressful. Love all these side ideas!

  10. Great dishes! They all sound easy and delicious. :) I've never heard of halloumi before, though. I'll have to keep my eyes open for it!

    1. Thanks Raia - if you like salty cheese like feta you'll love halloumi. It's really tasty and lovely done on the BBQ.

  11. I love finding new ideas for sides. They are my favorite part


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