Sandwiches are fantastic in so many ways. Not only are they delicious and perfect for lunch, but they’re also infinitely customizable. You can pack them with lunch meat and greens, make a full vegan version using lunch meat alternatives, rely on avocados, make a grilled cheese sandwich, prepare the classic BLT, or try something completely different.
Still, regardless of how you’re building them, you need to think about what to serve with sandwiches. After all, many versions aren’t a complete meal on their own – they need something to round them out. The right side can also make your lunch much more exciting.
That’s why we’re looking at all the sides you can put with your sandwiches – including plenty of different styles. After all, there are countless types of sandwiches, not to mention all the situations you’re serving them in. You’ll find that different sides work best for different situations.
These sides apply to non-conventional sandwiches too, like ones made using cloud bread or those that use lettuce wraps as an alternative to bread.
What To Serve With Sandwiches
If you’re sitting down to eat sandwiches, potato salad is a great addition. It’s a creamy and delicious side that can be as simple or as complex as you like.
You might run with a fairly mild potato salad if your sandwich is packed with strong flavors. If your sandwich is on the simple side instead, you might add some extra ingredients to your potato salad, like bacon pieces, to make it more exciting.
Pickles are also fantastic, either on their own or in a salad. They provide a delicious briney flavor that makes your potato salad and sandwich even more exciting.
Greek Potato Salad
This Greek Potato Salad shows just how exciting potato salad can be. It uses classic Greek ingredients, such olive oil, red onions, feta, and capers, all of which help it to stand out.
This would be a good salad for picnics, vegans, and anyone lactose intolerant, as there is no sour cream or mayo at all. The lack of sour cream and mayo also makes this a lighter and more refreshing salad.
Fresh Veggies With Dip
If you’re a veggie lover, the veggies in your sandwich mightn’t be satisfying. So, why not serve some fresh veggies with dip alongside your sandwich?
Doing so creates a nice texture contrast between the sandwich and side. This approach is particularly good if your sandwich is low in veggies – like if you’re made a French dip sandwich or some grilled cheese.
This approach is incredibly flexible too, as you can choose whatever veggies you like, along with almost any style of dip.
Sweet Potato Hummus
Speaking of delicious dips, this Sweet Potato Hummus is pretty stunning. It isn’t actually hummus in the traditional sense, as there aren’t any chickpeas. However, there are still plenty of tasty ingredients, including tahini, cumin, lemon, garlic, and sweet potato.
The dip ends up with a mild flavor, a little nuttiness, plus the sweetness from the sweet potatoes. The dip would taste fantastic with veggies and even gives you some antioxidants.
The combination of sandwiches and potato chips is a classic option at sandwich chains like Subway, so why not try the pairing at home as well? The simplest approach is to buy potato chips from the store, particularly those with salt and no other flavor.
Of course, you can easily experiment. Sometimes, you might want bold flavors from your chips to complement your sandwich. Chips don’t always need to be served as a side either. They’re also delicious within your sandwich itself.
For an even more delicious treat, why not make your own potato chips? Doing so gives you control over the flavor and texture, and helps you to avoid additives. There are also plenty of recipes to step you through the process.
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Chips
Not surprisingly, these Air Fryer Sweet Potato Chips are made using sweet potatoes rather than regular potatoes. Using sweet potatoes makes these a little sweeter than regular potato chips, but this isn’t a bad thing. You might even prefer this style.
While the recipe focuses on air frying, doing so isn’t your only option. The recipe provides details for making these potato chips in the oven instead.
Coleslaw works well with sandwiches, as it’s delicious, easy to prepare, and contains plenty of nutrients. It’s another dish that can be made in endless ways, with plenty of extra ingredients.
For example, red cabbage adds a delightful vibrancy to your salad, while ramen noodles provide an extra crunch. I’ve even seen versions that include peas in the recipe and others that use bacon.
You could look for flavors that complement your sandwiches or ones that contrast them instead. Either style works well.
Spicy & Sweet Jalapeno Coleslaw
This Spicy & Sweet Jalapeno Coleslaw is an excellent example of mixing up the flavors of coleslaw. The jalapenos are the most obvious difference here, as they provide a distinct spicy flavor tone to the salad.
Then there’s the coleslaw sauce. This relies on mayonnaise and has both sweet and tangy notes. These flavors perfectly contrast the spiciness of the jalapenos, creating a dish that’s packed with flavor.
What about pairing fruit with your salad? Doing so gives you a hit of juicy sweetness that’s a nice contrast to the savory nature of your sandwich.
This side could be as simple as eating an apple alongside your sandwich. But, that’s a bit boring, isn’t it? Why not go for exotic fruit instead or even make a fully fledged fruit salad?
Summer Fruit Caprese Salad
This Summer Fruit Caprese Salad shows that fruit salads don’t need to be boring. The fruit salad relies on cherry tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes, plus peaches, mozzarella, basil, blackberries, and a balsamic glaze.
The tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella make this much like a caprese salad, while the peaches, blackberries, and balsamic glaze make the dish much more exciting. And seriously, doesn’t the salad look amazing? It’s more interesting than most fruit salads.
Pasta salads are another classic side. They work well with plenty of dishes, including steak and sandwiches. The basic idea is that you’re serving cold pasta alongside a variety of other ingredients, like cherry tomatoes, spinach, pine nuts, and feta cheese.
This is another side that can be varied in endless ways. This makes it easy to match the pasta salad to whichever sandwich you’re serving.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad
This Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad Recipe is a great example of how you can take a simple pasta salad recipe and make it much more exciting. The dish is a little like a caprese salad, as it features mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil. However, there’s also a variety of other ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, and the pasta.
Beyond that, there’s an engaging olive oil and vinegar dressing that pulls the whole salad together. You could even make the pasta salad more exciting by using some of the recommended add-ins, such as pine nuts or grilled veggies. Why not experiment?
Sandwich sides can be as simple as a single pickle or perhaps a bowl of pickle slices. After all, you’ve got plenty of flavors and nutrients in the sandwich itself – you might not need much elsewhere.
Pickles are also fantastic because of their briny flavor. This is an excellent contrast to most types of sandwiches.
You don’t need to stick with pickled cucumbers here. Any other type of pickled vegetable is going to be delicious as well.
Instead of going with a familiar recipe, like pickled cucumbers or pickled beets, why not try these Pickled Cucamelons instead? Cucamelons are an unusual green fruit that look like miniature watermelons and taste similar to cucumbers.
The cucumber flavor means that pickled cucamelons will taste instantly familiar. Why not serve these if you’re making sandwiches at an event? Their unusual appearance is sure to be a hit.
Pita Chips With Dip
We already talked about serving vegetables and dip as a side, but what about turning to pita chips and dip instead? This combo is perfect if there are plenty of vegetables in your sandwich already.
Pita chips are easy enough to buy or you can make your own. Homemade versions tend to be healthier and give you much more control over the flavor profile. You might even match the spices to the ones that feature in your sandwich.
Garlic Rosemary Pita Chips
These Buttery Garlic Rosemary Pita Chips are a great example of the flavors you can add to your own pita chips. The combination of garlic and rosemary always works well and will complement almost any sandwich filling under the sun.
Then there’s the butter. This helps to stick the herbs onto your pita chips, while also adding an amazing flavor to them.
Soup and sandwiches. That’s such a classic combo, isn’t it? Plus, because there are so many different types of soups, it shouldn’t be hard to find one that matches the flavor profile of your sandwich.
Pairing a grilled cheese sandwich tomato soup is the classic combo, but honestly, the sky is the limit. You’re not even limited to creamy soups either. Broth-based soups and those heavy in vegetables can be amazing too.
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
Speaking of exciting soups, what about this Vegetarian French Onion Soup? It’s a delicious and comforting dish that provides plenty of flavor.
French onion soup normally relies on beef broth, but this recipe swaps that out for veggie broth, plus a little Worcestershire sauce and red wine for flavor. There’s also plenty of herbs, salt, sugar, and butter, all of which make the soup even tastier.
We can’t forget about deviled eggs, can we? This classic party side works well in many different situations. They’re also a type of finger food, which is great if you are serving sandwiches at an event or are eating on the go.
There are countless ways to vary the classic deviled egg recipe as well, such as by adding bacon or perhaps some pickle juice. Of course, if you have a favorite recipe already, why not go with that? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
Air Fryer Deviled Eggs
These Air Fryer Deviled Eggs are a very unusual twist on the idea of deviled eggs. The initial steps are similar to making regular deviled eggs, including hard boiling the eggs, cutting them in half, and removing the yolks. Then, you crumb the egg whites and cook them in the air fryer.
Once the egg halves have been air fried, you can add the classic deviled egg filling on top. Air frying the eggs makes them crispy and delicious, creating a texture contrast that isn’t normally seen with deviled eggs. The recipe also provides some ideas for variations, in case you’re not satisfied with the conventional deviled egg filling.
Now we come to onion rings. These are normally deep fried, so they’re certainly not the healthiest treat. Still… they’re delicious and are a great complement to sandwiches.
You can make healthier onion rings by baking them in the oven rather than deep frying them. Some people use the air fryer as well, which gives you a similar crispness to deep fried onion rings.
Homemade Crispy Onion Strings
These Homemade Crispy Onion Strings give you the same flavor and crunch as regular onion rings, while being easier to eat and great for dipping.
The recipe also includes seasoning ingredients like garlic powder, paprika, pepper, and even cayenne. These seasoning ingredients make the onion strings taste much better.
It might be possible to make these onion strings in the oven or air fryer rather than deep fryer, but the recipe doesn’t cover that approach. You’d need to experiment with times and temperatures. Still, doing so would make the onion strings healthier, so the idea is worth trying.
Macaroni And Cheese
What about pairing macaroni and cheese with sandwiches? This combo is perfect in the cooler months when you’re sitting down to eat and want something comforting.
Any style of macaroni and cheese would work well here, including unusual options like deep fried mac and cheese balls. Small ramekins of baked macaroni cheese could be particularly good, as these normally have a crisp topping that creates a fantastic texture contrast.
Bacon Mac And Cheese
This Bacon Mac And Cheese is a simple recipe that takes your regular macaroni cheese and kicks it up a few notches. The inclusion of bacon makes all the difference in the world, creating a flavorful meal that you won’t want to miss.
The rest of the ingredients are as expected, including plenty of cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, milk, butter, and the like. Panko bread crumbs and melted butter are used to create the crispy topping for the dish.
Sometimes you don’t need a specialized side at all, just another sandwich. After all, sandwiches often include plenty of vegetables, protein, and carbs on their own. Many also taste amazing.
So, why not simply have a second sandwich if you’re still hungry after the first? These two sandwiches could be the same or they might contrast each other – like having one veggie laden sandwich alongside a grilled cheese sandwich.
Blackberry Balsamic And Brie Grilled Cheese
Speaking of grilled cheese, what do you think of this Blackberry Balsamic and Brie Grilled Cheese? The inclusion of blackberries and balsamic vinegar creates a truly unexpected flavor profile, one that works extremely well.
The first part of making it is to prepare your own blackberry balsamic jam. This step doesn’t take as long as you might expect, just half an hour or so. Once you’ve made it, you have a delicious ingredient that can be used in many other treats as well.
The remaining steps for assembling your grilled cheese sandwiches are exactly what you would expect. Why not give the recipe a try for yourself?
Best Sides For Specific Sandwiches
The sides we’ve featured on this list pair well with most sandwiches. They can be varied too, so it’s easy to find the right fit. But, what if you want a more specific pairing? No worries, we have you covered.
Crispy Chicken Sandwiches
The crispy chicken dominates this sandwich, so this is the ingredient that you’ll want to pair with. Coleslaw or mac and cheese are both fantastic options, as their creamy texture is a perfect contrast to the crunchiness of the chicken.
You might also go for a light salad or perhaps some grilled veggies to balance the heaviness and greasiness of the crispy chicken. Or, if you want to double down on the grease, try serving fries as a side to the sandwich.
Italian Beef Sandwiches
Italian beef sandwiches are always amazing. They’re also meat-heavy and intense, so you mightn’t need a side at all. If you do go with a side, something light could work well, like a salad (you certainly don’t need any more protein).
Some pickles or a potato salad could work too. Both would give you an interesting flavor contrast and start to balance out your meal.
Veggies win again for the Cuban sandwich, as the sandwich is normally fairly light on the veggies. Coleslaw would be excellent here because of its crunch and you can easily get creative with the ingredients and flavors.
Any sides that work with a toastie are viable here too, particularly rich tomato soup. You could also go in a different direction and experiment with fruit as a side. Even just a fresh apple would be an excellent contrast to the flavors of your sandwich.
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Veggies work well here too, as they’re generally missing in an egg salad sandwich. This doesn’t mean you need to stick to the traditional options, like coleslaw and a leafy green salad. Why not use zucchini noodles as the base for a salad or bake up some zucchini chips?
Avocados work well with the flavor of egg salads as well. You could simply serve sliced avocados here or perhaps guacamole. If you’re willing to do a little more work, baked avocados are always delicious, especially when they’re stuffed with cheese.
French Dip Sandwiches
French dip sandwiches are unusual and delicious. They already have French onion soup as a side, so you won’t need any soup here.
Something light is in order instead, given that the sandwiches are fairly intense. You could even just turn to some pickles or pita chips and dip. Veggie sticks with hummus work well too, as they’re refreshing and have a delicious crunch.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Tomato soup remains the single best side for grilled cheese sandwiches, especially if you’re dipping your sandwiches in the soup itself. Sliced fruits work well too or even sliced vegetables.
Don’t forget about other types of soup either. Tomato soup might be the classic option for grilled cheese, but other soups are also delicious and have many of the same properties.
For reubens, we’re looking at many of the classic sides, like a leafy green salad, coleslaw, and potato salad. You could also turn to soup, in which case any creamy soup recipe will do the trick.
Those combos might sound boring, but there are endless ways to vary them. For example, you might make a broccoli salad or one that relies on radishes, rather than using lettuce as the base ingredient. There’s also the classic caprese salad, which is surprisingly delicious with a Reuben.
Crack Chicken Sandwiches
Crack chicken sandwiches combine cream cheese, chicken breasts, and ranch dressing mix to create an incredibly tasty meal that’s hard to put down. You’re looking for veggie-based sides here too, like a salad, roasted tomatoes, or even mini veggie wraps.
You might also try potato chips, simply because they pair well with any type of sandwich imaginable. They’re also one of the easiest go-tos if you get stuck.
Vegetable Laden Sandwiches
If your sandwich already contains plenty of veggies, you won’t need more of them in your side. This is the time you might consider the less healthy sandwich sides instead, like fries, onion rings, or macaroni and cheese.
If none of those appeal to you, why not try fresh fruit or a fruit salad? Fruit is a healthier option and gives you more variety than simply serving vegetables with a vegetable-based sandwich.