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Unique Twists on Traditional BBQ Side Dishes

Don’t let the Cooler Weather disrupt your fond memories of Outdoor Barbecues with friends and family.  Although you’re probably anticipating the return of some classic favorites, now is a great time to experiment with fun new flavors.  You may be happily surprised to discover a recipe that will become your new go-to every year.

Baked Beans
Beans are a healthy source of protein and fiber.  They are also cheap to buy and guaranteed to fill you up.  Everyone loves them when cooked with bacon and adding a dash of sweetness makes them even better.  These recipes bring them to the next level with unique flavors and indulgent ingredients.

Maple Bourbon Baked Beans
With an entire cup of bourbon in this recipe, healthy beans become a naughty treat.  Maple, molasses, and brown sugar bring plenty of sweetness and the best part is they are made in the slow cooker to save time.

Pineapple Bacon Baked Beans
Everyone loves a little bit of sweet with their baked beans, but pineapple might not be something you would have thought to use.  In this recipe, it is dusted with chili powder and caramelized in bacon fat to sticky, tangy perfection.

Mac and Cheese

This classic dish is easy to make from a box but can easily be made differently by combining different types of cheese, baking it, or adding unique ingredients.  Here are a few to try out this summer:

Cajun Mac and Cheese
Spice lovers will rejoice when they bite into this decadent casserole which features andouille sausage, shrimp, red peppers, and cajun spices.

Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
Ditch the packet of powdered yellow cheese and opt for a rich Gruyere and sharp cheddar instead to make this extra rich.  Bake it ahead of time for the ultimate cheesy and delicious dish.

French Fries
Who doesn’t love fries?!  They are so easy to make and will disappear in no time at any barbecue or picnic.  While it’s hard to improve on a classic like this, there are ways to reinvent them for a modern and healthy twist.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index and will be low-fat when baked in the oven.  Sprinkle them with pepper and garlic powder for a bit of zing or add all your other favorite spices and customize them to your preferred heat level.

Dipping Sauces
Move over ketchup, there’s a new Sheriff in town!  Even if you make plain fries, you can get creative with sauces by dipping them in barbecue sauce, honey, hot sauce, sriracha mayo, and much more.  This article outlines 23 different sauce ideas that are sure to please.

There are few things better than cutting into cornbread fresh from the oven and watching the butter melt into the steamy, soft loaf.  It is so simple but so deliciously comforting that it has to be a part of every barbecue.  Introduce this quintessential dish to a new generation by making it in a different way.

Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Cupcakes
These savory cupcakes are individual sized portions of cornbread with a kick of jalapeno and cheddar.  The “icing” is made from cream cheese and hot sauce, then sprinkled with cheese.

Sweet Cornbread
Cornbread can sometimes be dry and crumbly but this recipe is soft, moist, and on the sweeter side like a cake.  The secret is adding in a few tablespoons of honey which can also be drizzled on top after adding butter once it comes out of the oven.


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