10 Delicious Middle Eastern BBQ Sides (Recipe Collection)

Barbecue is hugely popular in many countries around the world. Who doesn’t love an outdoor feast with friends and family on a sunny day? There’s hardly anything more fun and convivial than a BBQ! A good chunk of meat grilled to perfection is certainly the highlight at any barbecue. But having a variety of delicious BBQ sides truly elevates your barbecue to the next level. Salads, spreads and other small snacks keep the crowd munching for hours.

In this post, I’m going to share with you the best Middle Eastern BBQ side dishes that you should try.

Middle Eastern BBQ Sides

Red Pepper Dip (Muhammara)

Muhammara

Let’s start this list with my personal favorite side dish that I serve at any BBQ: Muhammara. Muhammara is a red pepper dip made of roasted bell peppers and a few condiments. It pairs extremely well with grilled meat, be it chicken, lamb or beef. This delicious dip is an absolute must-have at any barbecue. Depending on your personal preference, you can make your Muhammara spicy (or not).

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce (Tzatziki)

Tzatziki cucumber yoghurt sauce

Let’s continue with one of the most popular BBQ sides: cucumber yogurt sauce! Internationally, the Greek name tzatziki has become one of the most commonly used names for this dish. However, tzatziki is not only popular in Greece but throughout the Eastern Mediterranean countries. Every region has a slightly different twist to this dish.

Let me introduce you to my recipe for Middle Eastern cucumber yogurt sauce. It pairs wonderfully with grilled meat dishes, from grilled chicken, all sorts of kebab, steaks, sausages – you name it.

Parsley Salad (Tabbouleh)

Tabouleh Parsley Salad Recipe

No barbecue is complete without salads. I’m a huge fan of salads (be it as a side dish, or even as a main dish). Tabbouleh, a Middle Eastern parsley salad, is one of my favorite side dishes for a BBQ. This vibrant salad consists of parsley, bulgur, tomato, cucumber (and a few more) – all very finely chopped. It comes with an easy and light dressing which makes this salad light and perfect for summer.

Cucumber Feta Salad

Cucumber Feta Salad

Another popular BBQ side dish is cucumber feta salad. I’ve seen this Mediterranean salad at almost every barbecue I’ve attended in Europe. What’s great about this salad is that it’s probably one of the quickest and easiest options. It only has a couple of ingredients and comes together in 5 minutes. The combination of cucumber and feta pair extremely well with most other salads and anything you’ll find at a BBQ.

Mediterranean Tomato Salad

Arabic tomato salad

If you’re looking for another quick and easy salad that is full of flavors, you’re going to love this Mediterranean tomato salad. The fresh flavors of fully ripe tomatoes make a perfect barbecue side dish. This easy salad is enhanced by a few simple herbs and a fruity dressing. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Grilled Eggplant Dip (Mutabal)

Middle Eastern Mutabal Recipe

One reason why meat grilled on a (charcoal) barbecue tastes so much better than pan fried is because of the smoky flavors. If you love smoky flavors as much as I do, you’re definitely going to enjoy Mutabal. Mutabal is another Middle Eastern classic that makes a wonderful BBQ side dish. It’s made of roasted eggplant which is chopped and then mixed with a few condiments to make a wonderfully creamy spread. If you have your barbecue up and running, start off by grilling a few eggplants to make this creamy eggplant dip in a matter of minutes.

Hummus

Hummus

Not a fan of eggplant dip (Mutabal) or bell peppers (Muhammara)? Then Hummus it is. In the Middle East (where this world famous dip is from), Hummus is omnipresent. It pairs with absolutely everything. That said, no barbecue is complete without this creamy chickpea spread. If you’re looking for a barbecue side dish that everyone will love, you can’t go wrong with Hummus. And the best thing about it is that it comes together in just 10 minutes!

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon feta salad

If you’d like to bring some color and variety to your summer BBQ, you have to try this watermelon salad. It’s a very easy salad with just a handful of ingredients. Watermelon salad has a pleasant fruity and sweet taste that makes a wonderful addition to most other barbecue salad ideas and grilled meat dishes.

Mixed Green Salad (Fattoush)

Fattoush salad

In the mood for a slightly more filling salad? Be sure to check out Fattoush. Fattoush is another popular Middle Eastern salad with a pleasant fruity and herbal taste. It’s made of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber (and a few others) and is topped with crunchy roasted bread. Fattoush is somewhat similar to a classic green salad, but the roasted bread on top makes it unique.

Pita Bread

Arabic Pita Bread Recipe

Last but not least, most people will serve some bread as a side dish to a barbecue. Pita bread makes a great choice for a barbecue. It’s a type of leavened pocket bread that is particularly popular in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries. It’s a great option to eat with grilled meat and to grab some of those delicious spreads and salads that I’ve introduced you to in this article. Pita bread is available at most grocery stores (just bake off) but if you’d like to put some labor of love into your BBQ, consider making it from scratch.

Any Questions or Feedback?

If you liked this post, I’d appreciate it if you could leave a comment below (down the page). In case you’ve any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me. I’m happy to help you make delicious Middle Eastern food at home.

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Learn Middle Eastern Cooking

Are you a new to Middle Eastern cuisine? Then this Middle Eastern cookbook is what you need! In addition to a varied choice of recipes, the cookbook offers plenty of insights on ingredients, cooking techniques and Middle Eastern food culture.

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