Who can go past a pot pie? They’re pretty much an entire meal in one go, complete with meat, vegetables, and pastry. Not only are the pies satisfying, but they’re also delicious and the ultimate comfort food.
Of course, like any meal, some care is needed to ensure the pie turns out right. Overworking the dough is a common issue and makes it much tougher than it should be, which can completely ruin your pie. Pre-baking the bottom crust can make a huge difference too. Skipping this step could leave you with a base that’s soggy rather than crispy.
Perhaps the most important matter is what to serve with pot pies. This is more difficult than working out what to serve with shrimp, steak, or the like, as pot pie already includes protein, carbs and veggies. What can you add? Thankfully, there are some excellent sides for a pot pie, including a vibrant salad, a light soup, cranberry sauce, or even kimchi.
You might default to a fresh salad, as this is the most obvious side. Yet, the others have their appealing features as well. Read on. You might discover an entirely new combo.
A Fresh Salad
A fresh green salad is the most natural complement to a pot pie. You’re getting an excellent texture contrast and often some some sharpness from the salad dressing.
This combo works partly because your salad relies on raw vegetables, while the pie uses cooked vegetables instead. The differences between cooked and raw mean it shouldn’t feel like you’re consuming too many veggies.
The other great thing is that there’s so much variation. Seriously, there’s an almost endless number of salad types, not to mention all the possible changes of ingredients and dressings for each type. This gives you plenty of chances to experiment.
This Romaine Salad with Honey Lime Dressing is an excellent place to begin. It relies on a lime vinaigrette, which provides a contrasting hit of citrus.
The ingredients are all salad classics, including lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, feta cheese, and kalamata olives. Romaine lettuce is the lettuce of choice and provides the perfect texture. Of course, you could easily turn to a different type of lettuce if you wished.
The other ingredients are exceptional too, providing plenty of flavor and nutrients. For many, the avocado will be an especially attractive ingredient because of its delicious creaminess.
Soups are another interesting choice. These would mostly be served as an entree rather than a side, but you could serve one next to your pie if you really wanted to.
We’re not talking about just any type of soup here. Some will be a much better match than others, so you’ll need to think carefully. In particular, a high fat creamy soup is likely to be too rich alongside your pie, while a high protein soup is going to leave you full before the main course.
Look for a light soup instead, ideally one designed as an entree. These are essential for pot pies that are comprehensive and packed with fillings.
Lemon Coriander Soup
This Lemon Coriander Soup is clear and vibrant, so it’s a clear winner with your pot pie. It’s also a much more complex soup than the name suggests. Other ingredients include ginger, garlic, toasted sesame oil, mushrooms, and green chiles. That’s not even all of them!
The combo creates a stunningly complex flavor profile. The citrus and chiles are ideal as a contrast to your pot pie, making your meal even more interesting.
Gazpacho is interesting. The soup is traditionally made from pureed tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, and a collection of other ingredients.
Notably, the soup is served cold rather than hot. This isn’t such a strange idea, as it originally came from a hot region in Spain. Who wants warm soup when the sun is beating down?
Now, cool soup and a hot pie mightn’t work well together during winter. But, in summer, the combo could be perfect. Even the temperature contrast would be enjoyable. It’s also nice to have a meal that’s just a little bit different.
This Cucumber Gazpacho plays around with the traditional recipe by relying on cucumbers instead of tomatoes as the base ingredient. Swapping to cucumbers is a genius move, as this makes the soup even more refreshing.
You also get creaminess from Greek yogurt, plus some engaging flavor notes from lemon, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and fresh dill. Using high quality fresh ingredients will make all the difference for this soup. You might even find yourself serving it for other occasions as well.
Instead of serving a salad or soup, what about a simple side of green beans? Beans are a great last-minute choice, as there’s barely any prep work and they cook fast.
You could serve the beans as-is or include an extra ingredient or two for flavor. Garlic is a popular choice here, as is parmesan. Don’t forget about butter. This complements your green beans, while adding the perfect amount of richness.
Speaking of butter, what do you think of these Herb Buttered Corn and Green Beans? The fresh herbs bring plenty of flavor, but the butter is still the star ingredient.
Most of the ingredients need to be fresh for this recipe, including the green beans, garlic, and herbs. Dried herbs or frozen beans will mess with the flavor and texture profile and make the side dish much less delicious.
Corn is the big exception, as you can easily use frozen corn. The recipe creator even recommends frozen corn over fresh, partly because frozen corn is so easy to use.
What about fruit? Sure, it’s more of a dessert than a side, but it’s still a viable option. The sweetness of fruit is also much needed after a rich and heavy meal like pot pie.
There’s no shortage of options here either. You could run with a single type of fruit, like apple or pear, perhaps sliced and sprinkled with cinnamon. Or, you could rely on a few types. Perhaps even a full fruit salad.
The best choice will be influenced by your meal and the number of people you’re serving. After all, a fruit salad is a decent amount of work for just yourself, but it’s well worth the effort if you’re serving a crowd.
I love the combination of ingredients in this Winter Fruit Salad. The color contrast between the bright kiwis and pomegranate arils is especially fun, and the mandarin oranges complement these ingredients nicely.
The recipe name is accurate too, as these fruits are easy to find in winter. Then, there’s a simple poppy seed dressing that ties the entire salad together. You could even use this dressing for other types of fruit salad.
Coleslaw is another great addition. As with regular green salads, the idea is that you probably don’t need a starchy side. There’s more than enough starch in your pot pie.
Besides, coleslaw is creamy, crunchy, comforting, and delicious. That’s a hard combination to pass up, especially as pot pie is a comfort food in its own right.
You could also experiment with variations on coleslaw. Some skip the mayo to give you a different flavor profile and texture. Others use different vegetables, like broccoli. There are even unexpected ingredients, like Brussels sprouts.
This Asian Ramen Noodle Broccoli Slaw is best considered broccoli slaw rather than coleslaw, as there isn’t any cabbage present at all. Still, that’s not a bad thing, as not everyone is a fan of cabbage.
The flavor profile here is also quite different than regular coleslaw. For one thing, there’s no creamy dressing. The recipe relies on white wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and the like instead.
There are also raw ramen noodles. These provide a fantastic crunch and make the whole dish even more stunning.
We’re still on the salad theme – this time with an arugula salad. The benefit here is that arugula has distinct peppery and even spicy notes. As such, arugula salads are much more exciting than simple lettuce ones, even before you add any dressings.
You can influence the flavor profile by choosing your arugula carefully. In particular, young arugula leaves have a fairly mild flavor, while mature ones have much more of a kick.
Because arugula has a distinct flavor of its own, you don’t need many extra ingredients to bring your salad to life. Many recipes just rely on parmesan cheese and some type of vinaigrette. It’s easy to see how such a salad would go well with your pot pie.
This Lemon Vinaigrette and Arugula Salad couldn’t be more perfect. The only ingredients are arugula and parmesan, plus white wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper for the vinaigrette.
The lemon notes in the vinaigrette are perfect for cutting through the richness of your pot pie while also complementing the arugula. Plus, the recipe has just a handful of ingredients, so it’s very easy to make.
Let’s move away from salads for a little. You know what else is excellent with pot pie? Cranberry sauce!
Well… okay, this addition is mostly for chicken pot pie, given that chicken and cranberry is such a classic flavor combo. Still, you could easily pick a different type of sauce for a beef pot pie.
The attraction here is that you’re getting a burst of flavor to contrast your pie without needing to make and serve an entire side dish.
Instead of a traditional recipe, why not try this Honey Bourbon Cranberry Sauce? The sauce does indeed use bourbon as an ingredient (a full 1/3 cup of it!), plus honey, brown sugar, various herbs and spices, an orange, and the cranberries.
The ingredient selection creates a more complex flavor profile than normal. Plus, you don’t need fresh cranberries. Frozen cranberries will still give you a delicious sauce.
Because pot pies are so filling, you often just need a small side, perhaps one with an interesting flavor or texture. Pickles certainly fit the bill.
The appeal here is that distinct briny, salty, and sour flavor that lingers on your tongue. This strongly contrasts the flavor of your pot pie and even acts as a palate cleanser.
You could go with regular pickles here or experiment with something quite different. What about pickled beets or jalapeno infused pickles? There’s no shortage of other flavors and styles to try.
These Korean Style Quick Pickles showcase how easy it is to make flavorful pickles. Notably, these are quick pickles, which means they aren’t canned. Such pickles are fast to make and still last around a month in the fridge.
This recipe takes the traditional quick pickling approach and includes some unusual ingredients for flavoring, including a spicy Korean powder known as gochugaru. That powder adds a distinctive flavor to the recipe, although you can use red pepper flakes instead if you prefer.
Kimchi is a little like sauerkraut in that it is a dish made using salted and fermented cabbage. However, kimchi tends to be much more vibrant and spicier than sauerkraut, largely because there are more seasonings and spices.
As with pickles, kimchi provides a refreshing and distinctive flavor that contrasts your pot pie. Because kimchi has recently become more well-known in the United States, you can now find it in many grocery stores, as well as Asian food markets.
Or, you can make your own. Doing so gives you control over the ingredients and fermentation type, meaning you can determine the final flavor of your kimchi.
While kimchi is a vegetable-based dish, it’s often flavored using salted shrimp or fish sauce, making it unsuitable for vegans. This Easy Vegan Kimchi recipe gets around the issue by dropping out any non-vegan ingredients.
Don’t worry. Changing the ingredients like this doesn’t compromise the dish. It’s still delicious and packed with flavor. You might even decide that you prefer this version.
The recipe is also fantastic for beginners, as it provides details about every step, along with plenty of images. Ingredient variations as provided as well, giving you the chance to tweak the kimchi to your heart’s content.
Sliced Tomatoes With Salt
Simple sides are the best option with pot pies, and what could be simpler than sliced tomatoes with salt (and perhaps freshly ground pepper)? You’re getting a great flavor contrast here too, plus plenty of freshness from the tomatoes.
This is also a great way to fully appreciate tomatoes, especially if you are growing interesting varieties in your home garden.
This Marinated Tomato Salad is a brilliant step up from sliced tomatoes on their own. The tomatoes here have been marinated in a mixture of vinegar, herbs, spices, and garlic, which infuses them with plenty of flavor.
This is also an easy recipe to vary. You could mix some vegetables in with the tomatoes or use a different balance of herbs. Why not play around and create your own version?
Wilting spinach involves cooking it gently with heat, so that most of the flavor and texture is retained. You end up with a delicious side that works well with many meals, including pot pies.
A similar practice can be done with other types of dark leafy green as well, including kale and Swiss chard. You can also experiment with using herbs or spices with the greens. This improves the flavor profile without requiring much effort at all.
This Wilted Garlic Spinach is an excellent example of the style. There are only five ingredients in the recipe – garlic, butter, spinach, salt, and pepper. But honestly, this is all you need.
As the author points out, you’ll should focus on low and slow cooking when preparing the dish. This ensures your spinach cooks perfectly without burning.
Corn is another popular side to consider and offers a beautiful fresh vibrancy to any meal. Grilling corn is one of the best approaches, as you’re adding a delicious smoky flavor to corn, without compromising its natural flavors.
It’s easy to see how well such flavors would go with a heavy pie. You could use butter or herbs to add to the corn and make it even more exciting.
The Fresh Summer Corn Salad features grilled corn along with purple onion, avocado, and red bell pepper. A simple dressing is used to tie the flavors together and make the salad even tastier.
With few ingredients and a simple dressing, the flavor of corn shines through with this recipe. However, the recipe creator does include suggestions for extra ingredients, in case you want a more complex salad.
Nothing At All
Finally, we have the most common pot pie side of them all – no side. Many people argue that pot pie already has everything it needs. It’s a complete meal with many wonderful flavors. So, why not just stick to the pie itself?
This idea is perfect if you’re trying to keep dinner simple. Why go to all the work of a side if one isn’t needed?
Some Reddit commenters also suggested simply serving the pot pie with a beer. The flavors should work together well, regardless of your chosen type of beer.