When it comes to barbecuing, the main attraction is often the meat. However, to truly elevate your barbecue experience, you need to pay equal attention to the side dishes. With a pellet grill, you have the perfect tool to create mouthwatering side dishes that complement your grilled meats. In this article, we will explore some delicious pellet grill side dish ideas that are sure to impress your guests.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Nothing screams summer like grilled corn on the cob. With a pellet grill, you can achieve the perfect char and smoky flavor that takes this classic side dish to the next level. Start by soaking the corn in water for about 30 minutes. Then, place the corn directly on the grill grates and cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally. Once the corn is tender and has some grill marks, remove from the grill and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and your favorite seasonings, such as chili powder or paprika, for an extra kick.
Smoked Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is a crowd-pleasing side dish that never disappoints. Give it a smoky twist by making it on your pellet grill. Start by cooking the pasta according to the package instructions. In the meantime, prepare a cheese sauce by melting butter in a saucepan and whisking in flour. Gradually add milk and bring to a simmer. Stir in your favorite cheeses until melted and smooth. Once the pasta is cooked, combine it with the cheese sauce and transfer to a heat-resistant dish. Place the dish on the pellet grill and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly. The smoky flavor from the grill will take this classic dish to new heights.
Grilled Vegetable Skewers
Vegetable skewers are a great way to incorporate more veggies into your barbecue spread. The pellet grill adds a delicious smoky flavor to the vegetables, making them even more irresistible. Start by choosing your favorite vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and thread them onto skewers. Brush the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs. Place the skewers directly on the grill grates and cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and slightly charred. Serve these flavorful skewers as a healthy and colorful side dish.
Grilled Watermelon Salad
Watermelon is a refreshing summer fruit that can be transformed into a delicious salad on the pellet grill. Start by slicing the watermelon into thick wedges and removing the rind. Brush the watermelon wedges with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the wedges directly on the grill grates and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until grill marks appear. Remove from the grill and cut the watermelon into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, combine the grilled watermelon with fresh mint leaves, crumbled feta cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Toss gently to combine and serve this unique and flavorful salad alongside your grilled meats.
Pellet Grilled Cornbread
No barbecue is complete without some cornbread. Take it up a notch by making it on your pellet grill. Start by preheating your grill to 350°F (175°C). In a mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and your desired spices, such as chili powder or smoked paprika. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into a greased cast iron skillet and place it on the grill grates. Close the lid and cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The pellet grill will infuse the cornbread with a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with your barbecue feast.
Grilled Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is a classic side dish that can be easily made on your pellet grill. Start by slicing a baguette diagonally into thick slices, without cutting all the way through. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, minced garlic, and your favorite herbs, such as parsley or rosemary. Brush the garlic butter mixture generously onto both sides of each bread slice. Wrap the bread in aluminum foil and place it on the grill grates. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the bread is toasted and has a slight char. Remove from the grill, unwrap the foil, and serve this flavorful bread alongside your grilled meats.
Pellet Grilled Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a versatile vegetable that can be transformed into a delicious side dish on your pellet grill. Start by trimming the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cutting them in half. Toss them in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite seasonings, such as garlic powder or smoked paprika. Place the Brussels sprouts directly on the grill grates and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are tender and slightly charred. The pellet grill will add a smoky flavor that enhances the natural sweetness of the Brussels sprouts. Serve them as a healthy and flavorful side dish that will impress even the most skeptical vegetable eaters.
Grilled Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are a delicious and healthier alternative to regular fries. Take them to the next level by making them on your pellet grill. Start by preheating your grill to 450°F (230°C). Cut sweet potatoes into thin fries and toss them in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite spices, such as paprika or cumin. Place the fries directly on the grill grates and cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are crispy and golden brown. The pellet grill will give the sweet potato fries a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with their natural sweetness. Serve them as a tasty and nutritious side dish that will have everyone asking for seconds.
Grilled Pineapple Salsa
Add a tropical twist to your barbecue with a refreshing grilled pineapple salsa. Start by slicing a pineapple into thick rings. Brush the pineapple rings with olive oil and place them directly on the grill grates. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until grill marks appear. Remove from the grill and chop the grilled pineapple into small pieces. In a bowl, combine the grilled pineapple with diced tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Mix well and let the flavors meld together for a few minutes before serving. This tangy and slightly sweet salsa is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats and will transport you to a tropical paradise.
Grilled Caesar Salad
Give your Caesar salad a smoky twist by grilling the romaine lettuce on your pellet grill. Start by cutting a romaine lettuce heart in half lengthwise, keeping the core intact so that the leaves stay together. Brush the cut side of the lettuce with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the lettuce directly on the grill grates, cut side down, and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until grill marks appear and the lettuce is slightly wilted. Remove from the grill and drizzle with Caesar dressing. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese and croutons for added crunch. This grilled Caesar salad will impress your guests with its unique smoky flavor and elevated presentation.
With these pellet grill side dish ideas, you can take your barbecue experience to new heights. From grilled corn on the cob to smoky mac and cheese, these dishes will complement your grilled meats and impress your guests. Fire up your pellet grill and get ready to create a feast that will have everyone coming back for seconds.