Four next-level barbecue sides you need in your life

We love a good barbecue but we have to admit: these make-ahead accompaniments are so good you might decide the main event isn’t even needed.

Food producer Pollyanna Coupland’s fresh barbecue side ideas include sweet-and-sour Sicilican-inspired aubergines, a Greek-style stew with ‘fudgy’ potatoes and the ultimate sour cream dip, enhanced with burnt sweetcorn and candied jalapeños….

Best of all, each of these recipes be made in advance – so you can spend time grilling (or just enjoying yourself) at your summer get-togethers. Dig in!

Four next-level barbecue sides you need in your life

The salad

Orzo russian salad with tuna
Although russian salad is usually made with potatoes, this version uses orzo to create a delicious pasta side – and it also has a warm Spanish flavour with tuna, boiled eggs, olives and roasted red peppers. This is a great make-ahead, as it sits in the fridge without soaking up the dressing or wilting.

Orzo russian salad with tuna


The dip

Burnt sweetcorn soured cream dip with candied jalapeños
This addictive dip is excellent with nachos or dolloped on tacos. The charred corn brings an intriguing smoky sweetness to the cooling soured cream, and the candied jalapeños are as moreish as they sound.

Burnt sweetcorn soured cream dip with candied jalapeños


The stew

Greek-style green bean and potato stew
This summer stew is based on the Greek dish fasolakia: green beans and potatoes cooked down with tomatoes and olive oil. The result is melt-in-the-mouth tender beans and fudgy, tomatoey potatoes – delicious topped with feta and dill. It’s best at room temperature and tastes better after a day’s marinating, making it the perfect prep-ahead dish for a barbecue.

Greek-style green bean and potato stew


The vegetable one

Charred aubergines with caponata dressing
Inspired by Sicilian caponata, this veggie side is brought to life with a vibrant sweet- and-sour dressing spiked with capers, olives and raisins. Like caponata, it’s best left to marinate for a few hours to allow those flavours to meld. Mozzarella optional but advised! You can make this well ahead of time – the flavour gets better and better the longer it marinates.


Browse the rest of our favourite summer salads and sides, including watermelon greek salad and whipped feta…

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