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The World's First Online Tell-All Competition BBQ Cooking School

It’s not a surprise that a long-time, popular favorite to pair with hearty barbecue is mac n’ cheese. But, if you have been taking the time to level up your BBQ cooking skills, why not do that with your cheesy sides as well? 

There are a lot of creative options when it comes to side dishes with cheese. So don’t be afraid to step outside of the box. If you are craving some savory, cheesy goodness to go with your outdoor cooking, you’ve come to the right place! 

Here are some delicious options of cheesy sides that we’ve put together into one handy list for you:


Traeger Smoked Chili Con Queso

Why not start the list with a delicious, cheese-packed queso that you can serve as an appetizer for your barbecue gathering. (This one is great for tailgate parties!) This recipe, from Traeger Grills, uses hickory smoke to infuse a perfectly savory flavor with the two kinds of cheeses, spicy pork sausage, and chilies. (This queso can be smoked in a cast iron dutch oven on any smoker or pellet grill that can maintain 350°F.) 


Hot Grilled Lobster Dip with Brie Cheese

lobster brie cheese dip | cheesy sides with BBQ | side dishes with cheese


Lobster doesn’t always have to be a luxury item. With this delicious, grilled dip, you can enjoy a delectable combination of rich lobster meat and savory brie cheese without breaking the bank. After grilling the lobster tails, this dip cooks directly on your grill to take on the great wood-fire flavor you love in just 15 to 20 minutes.  


Cheesy Zucchini Casserole

This cheese-packed casserole combines layers of fresh zucchini, a creamy cheese sauce, and a crunchy panko topping. It offers the perfect amount of decadence without being too heavy for a side dish, especially for a summer barbecue. This casserole makes a perfect side to serve alongside smoked brisket, grilled steak, burgers, and more.


Grilled Cheesy Loaded Potatoes

cheesy loaded potatoes | cheesy sides with BBQ | cheesy side dishes that go with barbecue


This recipe satisfies any cravings for a fully loaded baked potato packed with cheese and all the fixings but is cooked entirely on the grill. So while you’re grilling or smoking your meat, this can be cooking alongside it in a cast-iron skillet. This recipe will serve 6 people and only takes about 35 minutes to cook.


Jalapeño Popper Grilled Corn Salad

Summertime and grilled corn seem to go hand in hand quite well. This recipe takes advantage of that fact and brings several great flavors together into one fantastically cheesy side dish! Enjoy fresh grilled corn, rich cheddar cheese, bacon, and jalapeño in this creamy summer salad.


Roasted Tomato Macaroni & Cheese

macaroni and cheese | cheesy sides with BBQ | side dishes with cheese
Source: Victor Protasio


If you still want to do a delicious mac n’ cheese, why not try this elevated version that takes it from a “kid’s” side to the adult table. This macaroni and cheese combines four different deliciously savory cheeses with roasted tomatoes and perfectly-paired spices. Plus, it’s only 411 calories per serving!


Smoked Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese

Got some extra pulled pork to use? Why not bring mac n’ cheese, pulled pork, and wood-fire flavor all into one delicious combination? That’s exactly what this great recipe from Traeger Grills does. This easy, smoked mac n’ cheese uses both Gruyere and extra-sharp Cheddar cheese and cooks in your smoker for 30 to 35 minutes. You could even go crazy and throw some bacon in this hearty side.


Complement Your BBQ with a New Cheesy Side Dish Today!

With the recipes we listed above, you’ve got some great options to choose from for cheesy sides to serve with your barbecue. Feel free to tweak any of the above options to make them your own. Don’t be afraid to get creative and enjoy some cheesy deliciousness!

Make sure to check out our other blog articles for tons of ideas on other side dishes you can cook on the grill or in the smoker, as well as ideas for dessert, breakfast, or even for your vegetarian friends and family.

Do you have a favorite cheesy side to cook on the grill? Have another idea for a barbecue side dish with cheese? Are you going to try one of these recipes? If so, leave a comment below. We want to hear all about it!


If you want to really elevate your backyard cooking skills, check out the Championship Backyard Cooking Classes here at BBQ Champs Academy. You’ll learn step-by-step how to cook a wide variety of delicious recipes, straight from the pros!

Ready to master competition smoking and grilling techniques? Get your All-Access pass today and join Champion Pitmasters and Grillmasters in first-of-their-kind tell-all online BBQ classes! You can master cooking several different kinds of meats in your smoker or grill, get all the in-depth insider secrets, and more.

Also, make sure to subscribe to the BBQ Champs YouTube channel today to stay on top of all of the latest competition BBQ news and insider info straight from the pros!


** Feature image from Traeger Grills

It’s that time of the year again. Football is back,
Nascar and NHRA drag racing is coming into the final stretch of their seasons, and you can smell the BBQ’s going through parking lots across America. It’s time to take your backyard BBQ cooking to the tailgate and master your BBQ game and race day tailgate party.

But a great bbq tailgate get-together is more than just the different kinds of BBQ meat you may be grilling or smoking. If you can also nail the sides to compliment your BBQ, you are sure to create the best tailgate BBQ meal of the season. 

Top BBQ pitmasters know that using side dishes to play off of and compliment the flavors of the meat can actually do wonders to even further enhance the meat’s flavor profiles. Let’s take a look at some top outdoor eating sides for your BBQ tailgate party:


Calico Bean Bake


baked beans | bean bake | backyard bbq | tailgate BBQ | bbq tailgate food | bbq cooking school
Midwest Living Magazine

One hearty and warm side that pairs very well with BBQ is baked beans. But to leave a lasting impression you should skip canned baked beans. Go for a delicious elevated version like this Calico Bean Bake from Midwest Living. 

Looking for something to feed a large group? This easy to make recipe, part baked beans, part chili, is ready in 45 to 50 minutes and feeds 12 people.


Fall Grilled Pineapple


grilled pineapple | backyard bbq | tailgate BBQ | bbq tailgate food | bbq cooking school

Pineapple isn’t just for dessert anymore. This popular sweet and juicy fruit can take on completely different flavor profiles when grilled. This is another easy-to-make side that can be cooked on the grill at the same time your BBQ meat is cooking. 

Prepare it the night before so it can marinate and it’s ready in 2 to 3 minutes of cooking. This tailgate side makes for a perfect appetizer while waiting on the rest of the meal. With a mixture of sweetness and hot sauce to give it an interesting kick, this grilled pineapple recipe from Allrecipes.com will have everyone’s taste buds dancing.


Chargrilled Corn Guacamole

corn guacamole | backyard bbq | tailgate BBQ | bbq tailgate food | bbq cooking school

Source: Food Network

It’s always a good bet to balance off tailgate BBQ with a cold appetizer. Another fan favorite often is guacamole. Elevate the normal everyday guacamole with this great recipe from Bobby Flay for Food Network

By mixing in some chargrilled corn, the guacamole gets an added sweet and smoky flavor. With just a few ingredients, this recipe can be made very quickly and easily.


Tangy Cabbage & Collard Slaw

tailgate slaw | backyard bbq | tailgate BBQ | bbq tailgate food | bbq cooking school

Source: Country Living

You might hear many people say that you can’t have a great tailgate party, or any BBQ for that matter, without some great slaw. This staple side can come in a variety of different flavor profiles, with different types of cabbage, or additions. 

This particular recipe from Country Living will help you create a tangy slaw with a mix of two different crunchy greens. Another easy-to-make side, it pairs great with BBQ and is a sure crowd-pleaser. It can be enjoyed on its own as a side or on top of grilled brats or other meats.


Jack Cheese & Smoky Chipotle Fondue


tailgate fondue | backyard bbq | bbq cooking school

Source: Midwest Living

Dips are always a great option for a side at a tailgate party. They are easy to prepare and can often be done the night before or alongside your meat on the grill. And usually, everyone loves cheese! This creamy fondue dip from Country Living is another side that pairs well with sweet or smoky BBQ flavors and is sure to go fast.

With a serving size of 16, you can keep everyone fed and enjoying a blend of savory and smoky flavors in this fondue with just a little kick of spice. Just make sure to have enough bread cubes or tortilla chips to go around.


Wrapping It All Up

Remember, a great tailgate BBQ party isn’t just about the meat. Great complimentary sides like the ones above can help leave an even greater lasting impression for your friends and family. Try some of these easy to make sides to kick your BBG cooking up a notch.

Here at BBQ Champs Academy, through our first of its kind online BBQ cooking school, we, along with our World Champion pitmasters and grillmasters, aim to teach you everything you need to know to enhance your backyard BBQ techniques. Learn from the pros and make competition quality BBQ and sides. 

Have you mastered any of these sides of above already? Do you know of more great sides that you love with your tailgate BBQ? Leave a comment below, we want to hear from you!


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