Sweet, starchy, light; heavy, cold, hot; spicy, cheesy, pickled, fried; sautéed, baked roasted; buttered, or creamed; side dishes for dinner run the gamut. Many dinner side dishes have become synonymous with certain entrées and are almost always served with them. To help you decide what sides to serve, pretend you’re eating the meal out. Ask yourself what side dishes do chefs usually prepare to go with a particular entrée.
Barbecue Side Dishes
When America’s favorite barbecue food is on the dinner menu, one, all, or a number of the following sides dutifully take their places on the table: coleslaw, baked beans, potato salad, grilled corn on the cob, fries, sliced raw onions, pickles, hot and mild peppers, cold watermelon, assorted breads, drinks and chips.
Steak Dinner Side Dishes
Ruffled mixed greens, baked potatoes tiered with sour cream and chives; crusty garlic toast, sautéed whole button mushrooms, caramelized onions and young, tender asparagus spears are suitable side dishes for a steak dinner.
Side Dishes for a Greek-style Lamb Kabob Dinner
When you’re searching for great side dishes to accompany lamb, think of Greek salads; peeled and quartered potatoes drizzled with lemon, olive oil, garlic and saffron, and then oven roasted. Also, prepare pita bread, yogurt mixed with sour cream and cucumber to dip up with baked pita chips and char-grilled vegetables. End the meal with wedges of honey-dripping, nut-filled, phyllo–crusted baklava for your dessert side dish.
Side Dishes for a Spaghetti and Meatball Dinner
Warm garlic bread is a side dish for spaghetti. Add a salad tossed with Italian dressing, or one made of green peas, scallions and cubed cheese mixed with a creamy garlic dressing.
Side Dishes for Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving dinner is another meal where tried-and-true side dishes prevail. Every American who celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday has his or her side dish favorites. For many it’s the dressing. For others, it’s the mashed potatoes. Still others prefer the green bean casserole, candied yams, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce or giblet gravy. Add other sides such as salads and desserts, and you’ve put together the traditional holiday feast.