Who doesn’t love a good steak? It’s one of the most delicious mains, especially when cooked just right. However, there’s plenty to think about when making the perfect steak dinner, including the cut you choose, whether you use marinade, and deciding what to serve with steak.
You’ll typically be looking at a vegetable-based or carb-based side, or probably one of each. However, there is a huge amount of variation within those categories, including some exceptional side dishes and ones you might not have considered before.
The best side for you will be strongly influenced by your flavor preferences, plus the steak you’re serving. As you go through this list, think about the flavors of your steak and the overall tone of your meal. It will quickly be clear which sides are best for your needs.
If you’re still unsure, try experimenting with some of these sides. Steak pairs well with a surprising array of flavors. Honestly, it’s hard to make a bad decision. You can use some of these sides with other dishes too, including chili and even pizza.
What To Serve With Steak (15 Sides You’ll Love)
Green beans and steak is a combo that’s repeated time and time again. The ingredients work well together because the color, flavor, and texture of the beans are a perfect contrast to steak.
Fresh green beans are also very easy to cook. You can generally get them on the table in 15 minutes or less. This is perfect if you want a fast and easy dinner. Add in a few spices and you have an even tastier treat.
Have you ever prepared Air Fryer Green Beans? This unusual way of cooking the beans gives you a crunchy and salty side that’s reminiscent of perfectly cooked fries (and is also much healthier than fries!).
The recipe is also incredibly simple. You just need the beans, eggs, and typical coating ingredients like bread crumbs, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese. The parmesan cheese is what elevates these beans from average to truly exceptional.
Few ingredients are as versatile as potatoes. Seriously. There are dozens of ways to prepare them, like boiled, roasted, mashed, au gratin, stuffed, in a salad, and deep fried.
That’s just considering the broad styles. Once you get into the individual recipes and flavor combos, there’s no end to the variety.
We can’t say that all potato recipes work well with steak, but most do. The best is going to depend on the style of the meal you’re serving.
Is it a seated dinner with high quality steak? If so, mashed potato is a classic choice. Try adding some spices or parmesan to elevate the dish. If you’re serving steak at a BBQ instead, you might be offering potato salad or crisp roasted potatoes instead.
This Potatoes Dauphinoise recipe shows just how decadent potatoes can be. The dish uses thinly sliced potatoes that are cooked with heavy cream, gruyere, bay leaves, and garlic.
The simplicity of the recipe and its flavors is perfect, as this allows your steak to truly shine. Choose a vegetable side to go with it and you have a complete and delicious meal.
Macaroni And Cheese
While we’re talking about creamy dishes, how about using macaroni and cheese as a side for steak? This is hardly the most elegant combination of flavors, yet the pasta really is exceptional.
Here, you’re contrasting the rich meatiness of steak with a creamy carb-laden dish. It’s like heaven in your mouth.
This combination isn’t limited to low key events either. You could easily serve a more refined version of macaroni and cheese, like one made with truffle oil.
This White Cheddar Truffle Mac And Cheese proves that mac and cheese can be delicious and elegant. It isn’t even a complicated dish, as the recipe uses most of the ingredients you’d expect it to.
The big difference with this dish is already evident from the name – it includes truffle oil. This oil provides an earthy flavor and that makes the macaroni cheese much more complex. You can even include some broccoli to make the side dish a little healthier.
Like potatoes, mushrooms can be served in many ways. You might even sauté them with onions and serve them on top of your steak or perhaps make a mushroom sauce.
Stuffed mushrooms are another great approach to take. These are perfect if you’re serving an expensive cut of steak and want to impress your guests. You can also experiment with the type of mushroom, as each type has its own distinct flavor and nutritional profile.
It’s hard to imagine a better steak side than Drunken Mushrooms. These savory mushrooms are braised in a dark beer, which gives them a rich flavor. You can even reduce the braising sauce to create a gravy for your mushrooms and steak.
These mushrooms don’t just taste like beer. There are other flavor ingredients in the mix, including beef stock, steak sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. These create a strong flavor profile that would be fantastic with steak.
Garlic bread should be served with steak much more often, as the flavor combination is so delicious. You might even serve some fries at the same time to create a low key meal that’s still incredibly tasty.
Why not experiment with the type of garlic bread? There are plenty of variations, including pull apart bread and individually sized treats like garlic knots. You can also add other ingredients to make the bread even more enjoyable.
This Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Bread With Bacon is the perfect example of how stunning garlic bread can be. By adding cheese, bacon, and chives, Kristina has brought her garlic bread to an entirely new level.
The pull apart style means that this garlic bread would be perfect when you’re serving guests. Everyone gets to grab as much or as little garlic bread as they like. Of course, you might need to double the recipe if you’re feeding a crowd.
While you can serve any type of vegetable with steak, grilled asparagus is a particularly good choice. It offers a similar color contrast to the one you get with green beans, while providing a completely different flavor profile.
You could also experiment with different types of asparagus, like grilling white or even purple asparagus. These unusual colors make your meal that much more exciting.
Why stick with regular asparagus when you can make Balsamic Grilled Asparagus instead? The recipe lives up to its name – using balsamic vinegar as one of the main ingredients. There’s also some olive oil, parmesan cheese, and seasonings.
This is an unusual recipe in that quantities aren’t given. You’ll need to season by taste instead. Still, this isn’t necessarily a problem, as we all have different flavor preferences.
The inclusion of creamed spinach on this list shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, it already features on the menus of many steakhouses.
This is also a great recipe for using up leftovers, as you don’t need fresh spinach at all. You can also make it using frozen spinach. While it’s often not a very healthy recipe, it is a way to increase your spinach intake.
Regular creamed spinach can get a bit boring. Why not try a variation on the recipe, like this Indian Style Creamed Spinach?
The recipe lives up to its name by including ground cumin, garam masala, turmeric, and coconut milk as ingredients. These choices give the spinach a distinct Indian flavor and make the whole meal exciting.
The use of coconut milk rather than cream and butter makes this a healthier recipe than normal. The recipe also happens to be dairy free and vegan, so it’s more accessible than regular creamed spinach.
Risotto should be much more common as a steak side, as it is so perfect with steak. This is partly because it’s typically a creamy and starchy side dish. Many versions also aren’t flavor rich, so the steak has a chance to truly shine.
The combination of risotto, steak, and veggies also gives you a pretty balanced meal. After all, rice isn’t filling on its own. You’re going to need some source of protein.
Remember how we talked about asparagus earlier? Well… this Asparagus Lemon Risotto recipe allows you to enjoy asparagus and lemon in the same dish. As such, it’s a delicious all-in-one side that’s hard to pass up.
The inclusion of lemon in this dish makes it even more exciting, providing a hit of vibrancy. Other ingredients are also used to create the right texture and flavor, such as dry white wine, vegetable stock, and parmesan.
The flavor combo in this recipe is so good that you could serve the side with almost any type of steak. You might even cut the steak into pieces and stir it through the risotto.
Do any vegetables that spark more controversy than Brussels sprouts? Many of us have at least a few bad memories of the vegetable. Some people even avoid Brussels sprouts entirely, even as adults, which is a testament to their reputation.
Yet, Brussels sprouts really can taste good, as long as they’re cooked well. Roasting the sprouts is a popular approach, especially if you also use delicious ingredients, like bacon, cheese, or a drizzle of lemon juice.
Adding extra flavor like that is one of the best ways to make sure your Brussels sprouts are as good as they could be. Just don’t overcook them. Overcooked Brussels sprouts are awful and why so many people can’t stand the vegetable.
This Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Goat Cheese recipe makes Brussels sprouts taste truly amazing – every single time. The balsamic glaze and goat cheese nicely complement the flavor of the sprouts, making them much more engaging.
This is a great recipe for beginners, as Nicole steps readers through everything you need to know. You get details about choosing the best Brussels sprouts, powerful preparation approaches, and some tips for getting the right results. She even recommends sous vide steak as a perfect accompaniment to the Brussels sprouts.
Salads made with lettuce or dark leafy greens can seem a bit boring. Yet, they’re also an excellent side dish for steak. This is partly because a salad is typically light and refreshing, while a steak tends to be fairly dense instead.
There are also so many different ways to make a salad. You might rely on some unusual greens, like rocket, to mix up the flavor profile. Or, might focus more heavily on other ingredients, like fruit or nuts. Most types of salad will work well with steak, so why not pick your favorite?
There’s another benefit too. If you serve a salad with steak, then the flavors of your steak can take center stage. This is particularly helpful if you’re serving expensive steak or if your steak has a flavorful glaze.
Malfouf Salad is an exciting side for steak, as it’s familiar and unusual at the same time. It’s basically a Lebanese salad that uses cabbage, parsley, and mint as the main ingredients. These are complemented by olive oil and lemon juice to create a light and refreshing flavor profile.
The salad can be made using any type of cabbage, but you’ll need to chop it finely. Otherwise, it ends up too chewy to work well in a salad.
Corn On The Cob
Have you served corn on the cob with steak before? It’s an unusual side choice, given that you eat steak with a knife and a fork, but corn is normally eaten with your hands instead.
Yet, the bright sweetness of corn is an excellent contrast to the rich meaty flavors of your steak. This combo is even better if you serve coleslaw as part of the same meal.
This Elote recipe shows you how to make Mexican street food at home. The dish is a variation of corn on the cob, one that’s so much more exciting and flavorful than the original.
The dish itself starts with corn on the cob, which is then seared on the grill, covered with sauce, and topped with cheese. There are spices and lime juice too, which make the flavor profile even more impressive.
Steamed vegetables might seem simple, but they’re also delicious and very good for you. The steaming process makes the vegetables tender and easy to eat without compromising their flavor.
This is also a flexible dish, as you can use whatever combination of vegetables you feel like. Don’t be afraid to experiment. There are no wrong answers.
Seasonal vegetables are a great option here. Ones you’ve grown yourself are particularly good, as their freshness is guaranteed and they’ll always taste amazing.
This Chinese Steamed Broccoli recipe proves that steamed vegetables don’t need to be complicated. The dish just focuses on steamed broccoli, plus a sauce that provides extra flavor.
Sarah even provides readers with multiple ways to steam their broccoli, including a bamboo steamer, a metal steamer, and using a steamer basket. She even offers an approach that doesn’t require any special equipment.
Iceberg Wedge Salad
We’ve already talked about salads, but wedge salads deserve a special mention, as they’re incredibly unusual. The idea is that you’re cutting a wedge from an iceberg lettuce, then drizzling it with sauce and an array of toppings.
The approach works surprisingly well, especially as iceberg lettuces are very crisp and every bite is refreshing. These salads are very easy to make at home and can taste amazing, making them an obvious side dish for your steak dinner.
This Mediterranean Wedge Salad takes the idea of a wedge salad and gives it a Mediterranean twist. In particular, the recipe features Greek olives, feta, pickled red onions, and cherry tomatoes, which aren’t common in regular wedge salads.
The feta is a particularly nice touch. This adds tangy notes to the salad and excellently contrasts your steak.
The biggest catch is that the pickled onions need to be made a day or two ahead of time. Still, these add a fantastic flavor to your meal and aren’t too difficult to prepare.
A Pasta Dish
Steak and pasta might sound odd, yet the combo has been made time and time again. There’s a certain logic to the idea too, as you’re getting plenty of protein from the steak and carbs from the pasta.
Most pasta dishes can actually work as a side for steak. You might focus on a creamy rich pasta dish, like alfredo or carbonara. Or, you might try a different direction, like noodles with an Asian-style sauce.
The best dish will partly depend on your flavor preferences and the seasoning on your steak. For example, if you used an Asian steak marinade, you might want to include similar flavors in your steak side.
It’s hard to get better than this Creamy Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake. The mushrooms nicely complement the rich meatiness of your steak, while you’re getting plenty of contrast from the creamy sauce.
The ingredients are what you might expect, including plenty of cheese, cream, dry white wine, salt, and pepper. These all come together beautifully, especially with the baked style of the meal.
Fried rice is another carb heavy meal that pairs excellently with steak. Plus, because rice is such a mild ingredient, you can flavor it however you like.
You might go as simple as stir frying rice with onions, then serving it next to your steak. Or, you might make a much more complex dish, perhaps one that includes some vegetables plus spices for seasoning.
This Garlic Butter Fried Rice takes a simple idea and makes it truly stunning. The main ingredients are obvious from the title alone: basmati rice, plenty of garlic, butter, salt, and pepper. There is some oil and soy sauce in the mix too, but not much else.
The basic ingredients list is a good thing. It means your fried rice should complement your steak without any overpowering flavors.
Which Sides Pair Best With Different Steak Cuts?
You’ll often be matching your sides to the priciness of the steak, where more expensive steaks need more ‘upper class’ sides. The type of occasion also matters, along with whether you’ve used any marinades or sauces that change your steak’s flavor profile.
Below are recommendations for sides to consider with different types of steak. Still… steak is pretty forgiving. It will be delicious regardless of the side you put with it.
Expensive steaks like ribeye, filet mignon, and tenderloin are often served on special occasions, so the sides should reflect this. You’re also looking for sides that don’t drown out the flavor of your steak.
Vegetables are a popular choice here, like the grilled asparagus, roasted Brussels sprouts, or steamed vegetables that we’ve talked about already. You could also try a salad, especially one with a touch of elegance.
Roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes would work well as a source of carbs or perhaps some risotto.
Skirt steak and flank steak are both cheap cuts of steak. They’re also fairly tough, so they’re often marinated, which often introduces some extra flavors.
Sides like macaroni cheese, coleslaw, and sautéed vegetables all work well here. You can also turn to dishes with plenty of oomph, like a rich mushroom dish or cheesy garlic bread.
Because we’re talking about cheap cuts of meat, the quality of your sides doesn’t matter too much. You can simply turn to whatever sounds appealing.
Honestly, steak bites work well with pretty much anything, including all the sides we’ve already featured.
They’re also a great choice at parties due to their small size. This means you could get creative, perhaps even serving the steak bites with a collection of finger foods.
T-bone steak, porterhouse steak, and other bone-in steaks are normally served as part of a seated dinner. As such, you’ll typically serve them with enough sides to make a full meal.
This often means you’ll be looking for a vegetable-based side and one that’s more carb heavy (if you’re following a keto diet, you’d skip the carbs and simply focus on a vegetable-based side). Potatoes are a popular starting point for the carb aspect, although you could turn to sweet potatoes or pumpkin instead.