Beef stew ranks as one of our best-loved comfort foods.
Many cooks have recipes with ingredients tailored to match the tastes of family and friends. But nearly all cooks share the pleasure of watching a pot filled with beef, vegetables, and spices slowly simmer and meld into a savory blend of flavors and textures.
Although it’s a meal in a bowl, you can enhance your beef stew dinner and brighten your table with side dishes that complement the main event.
Best Side Dishes To Serve With Beef Stew
What goes with beef stew?
- Roasted vegetables
- Buttery noodles
- Mashed potatoes
What bread goes with beef stew? Lots of them. Our 3 favorites include cornbread, garlic bread, and buttered crusty baguettes.
Beef stew is made for dipping! Whether your stew has a light broth or a thick, rich sauce with a sprig of rosemary, dipping into the bowl and soaking up all the flavor on a bite of bread is one of the pleasures of this dish.
1. Cornbread Muffins
Many beef stew recipes mention cornbread as a traditional side dish. But slices of a pan-baked loaf of cornbread can be crumbly, and that defies dipping. Individual cornbread muffins, with a tender crust, stand up better to stews.
Cornbread muffins are an easy and fast beef stew side, and you can bake a batch while your stew is simmering. Bon Appetit’s recipe for cornbread muffins is incredibly rich and easy to make.
2. Toasted Garlic Bread
Good garlic bread is a welcomed side dish for any meal, and beef stew is no exception.
Start with a baguette sliced down the middle and cut into 2-inch sections. Lightly sauté several cloves of chopped garlic in a mixture of butter and olive oil. Dip the open side of each section of bread in the mixture and toast in the oven.
The toasted bread will work well for anyone dipping into the stew, and the garlic brings an additional flavor to the dish.
3. Fresh Crusty Baguette
Whether you bake it yourself or pick it up at a local bakery, slices or sections of fresh crusty bread are an excellent side for a hearty beef stew.
You can dip a piece into your stew to soak up the taste or break the bread up to make dumplings in your dish.
4. Roasted Corn on the Cob
A platter of roasted vegetables can transform a hearty beef stew meal into a beef stew feast. Since most beef stew recipes call for chopped onions, celery, potatoes, and carrots, many cooks turn to other roasted vegetables as a beef stew side.
Quick and easy to prepare, roasted corn on the cob adds variety to your meal and color to your table.
All you need is some softened butter flavored with salt and pepper. Cover the corn with the mixture and wrap the ears in aluminum foil. Roast the ears for about 40 minutes and serve together with the stew.
5. Roasted Acorn Squash
Oven-roasted acorn squash is another colorful side dish that blends with beef stew. You might even try substituting squash for potatoes in your stew.
Although this sweet version is popular, there are many ways to roast squash.
Martha Stewart has a list of savory recipes and techniques.
6. Creamy Mashed Potatoes
A stew’s broth or sauce is loaded with flavor. To make the most of this tasty liquid, you can serve various starchy side dishes that soak up every drop.
One of the most popular beef stew sides, mashed potatoes, is served under, alongside, and on top of beef stew helpings.
SEE ALSO: How Long Are Potatoes Good For?
Recipes usually recommend Yukon Gold potatoes boiled and passed through a ricer instead of mashing.
Butter and heavy or sour cream are added to give potatoes a creamy texture. Sea salt and ground pepper bump up the flavor of this side dish.
7. Buttery Egg Noodles
Egg noodles are another starch-based side dish that soaks up the flavors of beef stew.
Egg noodles cook in about 7 or 8 minutes, so they should go in the pot when your stew is almost ready to serve. When the noodles are cooked, drain them, return them to the pot and add enough butter to coat the batch evenly.
8. Beef Stew On A Bed Of Rice
For some, beef stew is at its best when it’s served on a bed of rice.
Many recipes call for a simple side dish of plain white rice. Not a fan? Rice side dishes cooked in beef stock offer another flavor level that can support the taste of your stew.
Other cooks favor basmati rice as a side for beef stew because of its fluffy texture and nutty aroma.
9. Romaine with Vinaigrette Dressing
A crisp green salad differs dramatically from a hot and hearty bowl of beef stew.
Still, a lot of cooks agree salads not only offer a cooling complement to beef stew, but salads also provide a refreshing end to a big meal.
But they also recommend that you keep salads simple. Limit the ingredients and keep the dish light.
A salad with chopped Romaine lettuce, thin slices of purple onion, and a few sprigs of arugula is the type of simple dish often recommended as a side for beef stew.
A drizzle of vinaigrette dressing made with olive oil, crushed garlic, and lemon juice keeps the flavor light and fresh.
10. Cucumber Salad
Many cooks serve cucumber salads as a cool and refreshing contrast to a bowl of beef stew.
One way to make cucumber salad is to slice three or four cucumbers and one sweet Spanish onion thinly. You then toss the vegetables with a mixture of sour cream, white vinegar, sugar, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and dill.
11. Tomato Salad
What goes good with beef stew? Tomato salad!
Consider thinly slicing different varieties and sizes of tomatoes and combining them with fresh spinach. Toss the mix with a vinaigrette dressing made with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.