Are there appropriate sides for beef stew? There are certain dishes that I always struggle to find a pair for – and one of those is beef stew. Does it really need a side? This is a dish I mostly make in the winter months when it is cold and I need something hearty to warm me up.
It uses simple ingredients that aren’t heavy, but the resulting stew is quite heavy. It already has quite a few vegetables in it, has meat, and even has a gravy texture to it, so what could I possibly add?
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What Goes WIth Beef Stew?
Over the years, I’ve tried a few different side dishes for beef stew that work extremely well. Even better, because I make enough beef stew to have leftovers, I found sides that reheat just as well.
1. Traditional Mashed Potatoes
As beef stew has a gravy base, the best side dish for it a traditional mashed potato dish. This means made out of cream, butter, and potatoes. Don’t use that instant stuff when you are making a meal such as this. You can put them in a dish separate from the stew or, you can do what I do which is make a little well in your well in your mashed potatoes and keep spooning in beef stew.
Truly, it is the perfect comfort meal for those days when you need something filling and hearty.
2. Green Salad
Another great option for your side dish is a simple green salad. Beef stew is hearty and heavy on its own, so why not add something that is lighter? I tend to eat this first and then eat my beef stew, but you can eat them together or the other way, if you wish.
I like to add vegetables that you don’t get in my beef stew recipe, but you can make your salad as you wish. It is easy to cut up a ton of vegetables for both.
To make a green salad, following this formula:
Pick Your Greens (I like dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale)
Tear your greens into bite-size pieces and use them as your base.
Add Some Vegetables That You Like
With beef stew, I like to add in some cucumber, celery, and onions.
Dress Your Salad
As beef stew is so hearty, I choose a light vinegarette
Add Salt & Pepper To Your Liking
Seriously, if you aren’t adding salt and pepper, you are doing it wrong
This may seem like a really simple salad, but that’s because it is. As a side for a soup with this much taste, you don’t want something that is too overpowering. I also won’t add any meat to my salad because of the meat in the stew.
Cornbread, truly good cornbread, is really hard to find. It needs to be fluffy but dense, corny but not crunchy. It’s really hard to find a recipe that fits into the cornbread I remember my mom and grandmother making. This recipe comes really close:
- 1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2/3 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/4 Cups Half And Half
- 2 Eggs, (Lightly Beaten)
- 1/3 Cup Oil Of Choice
- 4 Tablespoons Butter, (Melted And Cooled Slightly)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
- Combine the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Combine the half and half, eggs, oil, and butter into a medium bowl and mix it extremely well.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and use a spatula to stir until it is just blended. Do not overmix.
- Pour into your prepared dish.
- Bake for 25 minutes until it is golden brown. Your toothpick should come out just barely clean.
I like to serve this with cinnamon butter, but you can serve it with regular butter, jam, or even apple butter.
4. Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorite things in this world to eat. As most recipes for beef stew don’t include cauliflower, it makes a great side dish for the hearty stew. If you don’t know how to roast cauliflower, here is my ultimate recipe:
- ¼ Cup Butter, Softened
- 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
- 1 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Zest
- ½ Teaspoon Ground Cumin
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Large Head Cauliflower, Leaves Trimmed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix the butter, garlic, lemon zest, cumin, salt, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Be sure to mix well.
- Cut your cauliflower so that it will sit upright in a casserole dish. You should leave a bit of the stem so that the florets don’t weaken and break off.
- Spread the butter mixture evenly over the top and sides of the cauliflower, filling in any gaps in the head.
- Place the cauliflower in a casserole dish and cover it with foil.
- Roast until tender. This will take at least an hour. It should poke easily with a spoon when done.
This is a great dish and it even reheats well, just save the juices from the casserole so that you can drizzle them over it.
5. Steamed Asparagus
Another vegetable that is light and easy to make that you don’t often find in beef stew? Asparagus.
You can make asparagus in so many different ways, but I just like to steam mine and maybe add some almond slivers at the very end. With beef stew, I won’t always add the almonds because I like to watch the fat content of my meals.
6. Fluffy Biscuits
Some people aren’t cornbread people, and that’s okay. However, those people are often biscuit people. Make some fluffy biscuits or even some crescent rolls to serve with your beef stew.
A lot of people don’t think that frozen or store-bought biscuits compare to homemade ones, but I think they are just as good, if not better in many cases. Just make sure to brown them in your oven and no one will know the difference.
7. Buttered Egg Noodles
My grandmother served her beef stew with buttered egg noodles, and it was one of my favorite meals of all time. Her egg noodles are legendary amongst my family.
- 2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
- 1 1⁄2 Cups Water
- 1⁄2 Cup Real Butter
- 8 Ounces Egg Noodles
- Handful Of Croutons
- Add 2 boullion cubes, half a stick of butter, and the water to a boil using medium to high heat.
- Add your egg noodles
- Cook noodles until they are your desired texture.
- Right before they reach perfect, add the rest of the butter.
- Once you put them in your serving dish, add a handful of croutons on the top. Allow your croutons to soften slightly.
Beef stew is such a great dish and it deserves sides that won’t take away from the different flavors. What is your favorite thing to serve with beef stew?