17 Sides for Brisket (From Coleslaw to Creamed Corn)

December 5, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

If you ask me what pairs up well with brisket, I’d say go for some creamy coleslaw, corn salad, baked beans, or grilled corn on the cob. There’s nothing bad in having more than one of these as your brisket side dish. You may even throw in some potato salad or roasted sweet potatoes.

Now, let’s be real here. I can finish off a whole brisket on my own without blinking. But when I’ve got guests, I like to add some sides to this delicious dish so it can go around and also amp up the meal. Without further ado, here’s a list of 17 delectable side dishes that’ll take your brisket from great to unforgettable.

sides for brisket

Best Side Dishes for Brisket 

You’ve got that smoked brisket ready. And now it’s time to assemble the ultimate squad of brisket side dishes that’ll kick your barbecue experience up a notch. Our culinary adventure starts with a real classic: the coleslaw. 


Coleslaw, for me, is one of the best side dishes for brisket. And guess what? It’s quite an easy recipe to whip up. First things first, you’re going to need a bunch of green cabbage. Chop it up into tiny bits, then sprinkle a pinch of salt to give it some taste.

Coleslaw is a people-pleaser, always has been, and always will be. You can try it with some creamy mayo or with apple cider vinaigrette.

Make sure you whip up this classic side dish at least four hours ahead of showtime to let those veggies cozy up with the dressing. So you can start preparing this when your brisket is halfway done. 

Freshly Made Coleslaw on the Bowl

Baked Beans

Baked beans also go particularly well with brisket. If you want to make something particularly easy, you can buy the baked beans already prepared in a can and simply warm them up.

However, they taste much better if you prepare them yourself. To do this, first fry onions in the pan until they become translucent. Then you add some canned white cooked beans. Finely chopped ginger and pureed tomatoes are also added. A bay leaf as well as salt and pepper provide the necessary seasoning.

After the entire mixture has been fried in the pan for some time, you pour it into a pot and then place it in the oven.

The mixture should now be baked at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for half an hour and the baked beans are ready.

Baked Beans on the Ceramic Bowl

Mexican Street Corn

Also called elotes, this street corn originates from Central America among the Aztecs and Mayans and was made popular in Mexico. It is the name given to the ears of sweet corn that are still moist and slightly tender. 

The street corn is an amazing side dish that features corn on the cob, roasted to perfection. It’s then smothered in a creamy mix of mayo, cotija cheese, chili powder, and a little lime squeeze. It’s smoky, it’s spicy, and it’s got that zing too – like a quick trip to the lively streets of Mexico without leaving your backyard.

Spicy Elote Mexican Street Corn

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Roasted sweet potatoes are like nature’s candy, all dressed up for your barbecue bash.

It’s all about chunks of sweet potato, roasted to perfection, crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. They are versatile as heck. You can keep it simple with a pinch of salt and pepper, or get fancy with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey for that sweet-savory taste.

Not only do these add a pop of color to your plate, but they also bring that natural sweetness that’s a perfect match for your smoky brisket.  They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, so you can chow down guilt-free.

Whether you’re throwing a backyard bash or just hankering for some comfort food, roasted sweet potatoes are the brisket’s BFF. So, crank that oven to the right setting (350°F) and toss in those delicious potatoes.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Wedges on the Wooden Board

Mac and Cheese

A smoked mac and cheese recipe is the perfect way to add some flavor to a savory brisket meal. It is ideally suitable for barbecues. You’ve got that savory, sweet, and smoky brisket, and then you pair it up with some rich, starchy, and oh-so-cheesy macaroni dish. 

Then you can sprinkle some bacon crumbs on top of that mac and cheese. When I smell that smokiness from the bacon, it is always like it was born to hang out with brisket.

Now, if you’re feeling a bit Southern, here’s another trick. Give your mac and cheese a crunchy and hearty breadcrumb topping.

Gourmet Mac and Cheese with Breadcrumbs on the Black Pot


When freshly steamed, carrots are tender, slightly sweet, and ready to go with your brisket. They bring this natural sweetness to the smoky meat. 

You can go all fancy with buttery glazed carrot coins or keep it real with those crisp, garden-fresh carrot sticks.

You may also add some Jerusalem artichokes and thinly sliced potatoes with the carrot. Blanch the Jerusalem artichokes for 10 minutes in salted water to peel them easily. Peel and cut the carrots and other vegetables into thick sticks. Dry well and fry them in the air fryer for 10 to 15 minutes at 360 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t need to boil the carrots before frying. 

Steamed Carrots in Broth with Roasted Walnuts

Corn Salad

Corn salad also goes well with brisket as it rounds the dish off perfectly. Of course, this primarily requires cooked corn kernels. You can perfectly combine onions with the corn salad. So, make sure you chop some onions into small pieces and mix them with the corn kernels. Fresh herbs are also common ingredients in this recipe.

Now prepare the dressing for the corn salad. To do this, mix together sour cream, mayonnaise, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. The creamy dressing is then mixed with the kernels and onions and you can serve the corn salad.

Mexican Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime and Cheese

Baked or Scalloped Potatoes 

Baked potato rounds off a brisket dish perfectly and can also be prepared in a simple way. First, get some large potatoes. Half them when raw and then wrap them in aluminum foil. 

Bake the potatoes until they are soft and cooked. As soon as you take the baked potatoes out of the oven, you can now garnish them with sour cream or a filling of your choice. But sour cream is particularly suitable as a sauce for smoked beef brisket. 

This recipe is similar to scalloped potatoes. It’s just that the potatoes in this case are sliced and baked in a rich and creamy sauce. This can be a mix of butter, green onions, garlic, stock, milk, salt, pepper, thyme, and shredded sharp cheddar cheese. 

Flavorful Tender scalloped Potatoes

Potato Salad

Potato salad is a side dish I first tried with grilled chicken. But trust me, it is a true American side dish when it comes to teaming up with brisket. Its creamy, tangy goodness is a match made in barbecue heaven, perfectly balancing out the rich, smoky flavor of that meaty marvel. Potato salad involves tender potato chunks, coated in a heavenly blend of mayo, mustard, and a medley of spices.  

Bowl of Potato Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing

Corn on the Cob

Grilled corn on the cob is also a side dish recipe that goes perfectly with brisket. You need some large ears of corn which should first be washed thoroughly and freed from their greens.

The corn cobs are then skewered and cooked over the grill for a few minutes until the individual corn kernels become softer. You may brown the corn cobs if you want. This contributes to an even better taste.

Boiled Corn Cobs with Butter and Herbs

Steamed Asparagus

As a side dish for beef brisket, green asparagus shines when it’s steamed. Start by washing the green asparagus and then trim off the ends. Next, steam the green asparagus until it’s perfectly cooked, and serve it alongside your delicious savory brisket.

Steamed Asparagus with Boiled Eggs and Sour Cream

Brazilian Tomato Slaw

Brazilian tomato slaw may not be a classic side for a smoked brisket. But the slaw is a tropical twist that’ll jazz up your brisket bash. It features fresh juicy tomatoes, vibrant peppers, and zesty cilantro, all soaked in tangy vinaigrette. 

It’s a good side dish for brisket and offers a fresh kick to balance out the meaty richness. Every bite is a burst of bright, South American-inspired flavors that’ll keep your taste buds grooving. 

Tomato Coleslaw Salad with Cooking Ingredients

Grilled Potato Skins

Grilled potato skins are like golden brown boats loaded with cheese, bacon bits, and sour cream. Crunchy outside, hearty inside – they’re a perfect side to your brisket. With each bite, you’ll get a mouthful of smoky, cheesy, and perfectly crispy bacon goodness. Now you can serve it with brisket.

Potato Skins with Bacon, Cheese and Scallions

Tomato Salad

Tomato salad is also one of the best side dishes for brisket feast. You may start with big tomatoes like the beefsteak tomatoes. Make sure it’s washed thoroughly. Then dice and slice it.

Feel free to mix the tomatoes with finely chopped green onions, garlic, and other fresh veggies of your choice to make it a complete salad. However, you can skip these ingredients if you prefer.

For a tangy dressing, opt for vinegar and olive oil. You may also go for the simple and delicious choice of balsamic vinegar. 

Summer Tomato Salad with Onions and Herbs

Buttery Dinner Rolls

Dinner rolls are soft, fluffy, and ready to be the brisket’s saucy partner-in-crime. Fresh out of the oven, they’re like warm, pillowy clouds of comfort. Slather them with butter, and you’ve got the ultimate sidekick for soaking up all those brisket juices and barbecue sauce. 

Basket of Dinner Rolls Wrapped in a Napkin

Creamed Corn

Creamed corn is the ultimate snug-up-to-your-brisket side dish. A bit similar to corn pudding, it’s all about the use of sweet corn kernels in a creamy, buttery pool. This creates a creamy, sweet, and rich dish. Pair it with brisket’s smoky, savory vibes, and you’ve got yourself a heartwarming combo that’s pure comfort.

Fresh Creamed Corn in a Bowl

Brussels Sprouts

Fried Brussels sprouts are a perfect accompaniment for smoked beef brisket. 

They are particularly easy and quick to prepare. All you have to do is cut them into small slices and then fry them in the pan with a little butter for around 10 minutes. You can then season with salt and pepper and serve with brisket.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts in a White Bowl


When it comes to pairing up the perfect sides for your brisket, you’ve got a world of delicious options. From the classic coleslaw to creamy mac and cheese; from smoky grilled corn to buttery dinner rolls, there’s a side dish to suit every taste. So, whether you’re hosting a backyard bash or simply indulging in comfort food, these side dishes will take your brisket from great to unforgettable. 

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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