20 Hearty Sides to Serve with Beef Stew for Dinner

Beef stew is a beloved comfort food dish that warms the soul on chilly nights. This hearty stew, loaded with tender beef, carrots, potatoes and savory seasonings, makes for a satisfying meal on its own. However, serving beef stew alongside a few complementary side dishes can round out the meal and add extra flavors and textures to please a crowd.

When planning sides for beef stew, aim for a mix of starchy, crunchy, fresh and savory. Here are 20 delicious side dish ideas to serve with beef stew:

Bread and Rolls

A loaf of crusty bread or warm rolls are natural pairings with beef stew. Tear off a piece of bread to soak up the rich juices from the stew or dip soft rolls right into the bowl. Some excellent breads and rolls to serve include:

  • Cloverleaf Rolls – Fluffy and tender rolls, great for soaking up stew broth.

  • No-Knead Buttermilk Bread – Easy Dutch oven bread with a delightfully airy crumb.

  • Make-Ahead Yeast Rolls – Soft, pillowy rolls that can be prepared ahead of time.

  • Garlic Bread – For added flavor, spread sliced bread with butter and minced garlic before toasting.

  • Parker House Rolls – Classic, buttery rolls perfect to pass around the dinner table.

Potatoes and Starches

Hearty beef stew calls for an equally hearty starch side. Potatoes and other starches complement stew’s richness. Consider making:

  • Creamy Mashed Potatoes – Smooth and creamy, great for soaking up stew juices.

  • Roasted Potatoes – Crispy roasted potatoes provide texture contrast to the stew.

  • Twice-Baked Potatoes – Potato halves baked twice for ultimate creaminess.

  • Potato Pancakes – Made from mashed potato leftovers for a crunchy exterior.

  • Mac and Cheese – A family favorite cheesy pasta bake.

  • Skillet Cornbread – Golden cornbread with a crispy edge.

Salads and Veggies

For lighter contrast to beef stew’s heaviness, serve a salad or extra veggies on the side. Crunchy, fresh and colorful sides balance out the meal.

  • Kale Salad with Toasted Breadcrumbs – Massaged kale with a tasty caesar dressing.

  • Wedge Salad – Iceberg lettuce wedge drizzled with a tangy blue cheese dressing.

  • Apple and Goat Cheese Salad – Mixed greens with sweet apple and tart goat cheese.

  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts – Caramelized and crunchy roasted sprouts.

  • Sauteed Green Beans – Quick sauteed green beans boosted with garlic.

Savory Sides

Finally, complement beef stew with small plates of savory sides like:

  • Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole – Cheesy and irresistible cauliflower bake.

  • Tennessee Onions – Sweet onions baked in a rich, gooey cheese sauce.

  • Jalapeño Cornbread – Spiced up cornbread muffins with a little heat.

  • Cabbage Wedges – Roasted cabbage wedges drizzled with a hot bacon vinaigrette.

With a few of these hearty side dishes included, beef stew becomes a well-rounded, satisfying supper. Bread and potatoes provide the starchy filler, fresh salads add crunch, and savory sides like cheesy cauliflower or spicy cornbread mix up the flavors. Set out a couple of these beef stew side dish recipes along with the stew itself, and you have an easy, crowd-pleasing dinner perfect for chilly nights.

Here is a detailed look at 20 delicious sides to serve with beef stew:

1. Cloverleaf Rolls

Fluffy, pillowy cloverleaf rolls are a perfect accompaniment to soak up the rich juices of beef stew. These cute little rolls are easy to make. The dough can be prepared in a stand mixer then divided into portions. Shape each portion into a ball then cluster three balls together to form the clover shape. Let the rolls proof then bake until golden brown. Serve the tender, warm rolls alongside bowls of beef stew for dipping and soaking.

2. Apple-Cranberry Salad

For a fresh, crunchy salad pairing, toss together a mix of apples, dried cranberries, pecans and poppyseed dressing. The sweetness of the apples and cranberries balances out beef stew’s savory richness. Serve a scoop of this sweet salad alongside each bowl of hearty stew for contrasting flavors and textures.

3. Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Creamy mashed potatoes are a natural side for beef stew. For extra flavor, mix in soft, tangy goat cheese as you mash the potatoes. The goat cheese adds a distinctive tartness that complements the stew. Top the mashed potato side with extra crumbles of goat cheese and chopped chives for a pretty presentation.

4. Southern Skillet Cornbread

Cast iron skillet cornbread is a staple alongside beef stew. The cornbread soaks up the stew’s juices and adds warm, crumbly goodness to every bite. For authentic Southern flavor, use white cornmeal and buttermilk to make the cornbread batter. Bake the cornbread in a preheated, well-greased cast iron skillet for the signature crispy edges.

5. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

While beef stew simmers, roast up some Brussels sprouts as a side. Brussels sprouts caramelize beautifully when roasted, developing crunchy, browned exterior leaves encasing a tender interior. Toss the sprouts with olive oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic before roasting. The crunchy texture and bright flavor balances the stew.

6. Caesar Salad with Garlicky Croutons

A bright, fresh Caesar salad adds welcome contrast to rich beef stew. Chopped romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, croutons and a creamy garlic dressing make a classic salad combo. Make your own croutons for maximum crunch by toasting garlic-rubbed bread cubes until crisp. The cool crispness and zingy garlic flavors complement the hearty stew.

7. Garlic Bread

Warm, crunchy garlic bread is an easy addition to serve with beef stew. Simply spread slices of crusty bread with butter or olive oil mixed with minced raw garlic. Toast the bread until golden brown and serve immediately. The garlicky flavor and crispy texture pairs wonderfully with beef stew’s richness.

8. Tennessee Onions

These sweet, caramelized onions baked in a cheese sauce make a savory, decadent side for serving with beef stew. Thinly slice sweet onions like Vidalias then bake low and slow in a creamy sauce of egg, milk and cheddar cheese until tender. The rich, gooey onions complement beef stew’s heartiness.

9. Chopped Kale Salad

Liven up beef stew with a fresh chopped kale salad on the side. Kale offers great texture contrast to the stew’s tender bites. Massage the chopped kale with lemon juice, olive oil and Parmesan cheese until tender. Top with croutons and a zesty Caesar dressing for a salad that can stand up to the stew’s bold flavors.

10. Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes offer the ultimate creaminess alongside hearty beef stew. Bake Russet potatoes until tender all the way through. Scoop out the insides and mash with butter, milk, cheese and seasonings. Stuff the mashed potatoes back into the potato skins and bake again until tops are browned. Twice baked potatoes are indulgent paired with rich stew.

11. Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

If you like a little heat, make spicy jalapeño cheddar cornbread to serve with beef stew. The peppers bring just the right kick to balance the stew’s richness. Stir pickled jalapeño slices into cornbread batter along with shredded cheddar for a flavorful bread. The spicy cornbread cuts through the stew’s boldness.

12. Mashed Potato Cakes

Put leftover mashed potatoes to use by forming them into crunchy potato cakes. Just mix mashed potatoes with an egg, flour and some seasoning. Form into patties and pan fry until browned. The crispy potato cakes offer great texture contrast to accompany tender beef stew.

13. Grilled Wedge Salad

A grilled wedge salad is fun twist on a classic. Halve a head of iceberg lettuce and brush with oil. Grill the lettuce wedges just until slightly charred. Top with chunky blue cheese dressing, bacon bits and tomatoes for a smoky-sweet salad pairing for your beef stew.

14. Mom’s Mac and Cheese

Creamy, cheesy macaroni and cheese is hard to beat as a comforting side dish for beef stew. Boil and drain elbow macaroni then stir together with a cheesy sauce of milk, cheddar and Parmesan. Top with more cheese and breadcrumbs and bake until bubbly and browned. The classic flavors pair perfectly with stew.

15. Cornbread Muffins

Quick cornbread muffins are an easy alternative to cast iron skillet cornbread with beef stew. Stir together a cornbread batter with cornmeal, flour, buttermilk and egg then divide among a muffin tin. The individual cornbread muffins bake up with crispy edges encasing a moist, crumbly interior.

16. Mashed Potatoes and Rutabaga

For a twist on standard mashed potatoes, add rutabaga to the mix. Peel and cube russet potatoes and rutabaga then boil until tender. Drain and mash together with butter, cream and seasonings for a fluffy, flavorful side to accompany beef stew.

17. Cabbage Wedges with Hot Bacon Dressing

Oven roasted cabbage wedges drizzled with a sweet and smoky hot bacon dressing are sensational alongside hearty beef stew. Cut a head of cabbage into thick wedges and roast until caramelized and tender. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, crumbled bacon and seasonings for the zesty dressing.

18. Easy Cauliflower Casserole

Cauliflower florets baked in a cheesy cream sauce make for an irresistible side dish with beef stew. Simply stir together chopped raw cauliflower with buttered breadcrumbs, cream of mushroom soup and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake until bubbling and browned for a savory casserole.

19. Apple and Goat Cheese Salad

For a fall-flavored salad, toss mixed greens with sliced apples, goat cheese crumbles and candied pecans. Drizzle with a maple vinaigrette. The sweet apples, tart cheese and crunchy pecans complement hearty beef stew beautifully.

20. Parker House Rolls

Fluffy, tender Parker House rolls deserve a spot at the table when serving beef stew. These little rolls involve a simple dough of flour, butter, sugar and milk. Roll out the dough into rounds, brush with butter then fold in half to create the signature Parker House shape before baking.

With rich and savory beef stew as the centerpiece, select 2-3 sides from breads, potatoes, salads and other veggie and savory sides to round out the meal for family or guests. Hearty, comforting beef stew paired with complementary sides makes for a wholly satisfying supper on chilly nights.

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What to add to beef stew to make it amazing?

I almost always add some beef bouillon crystals to my stew, it helps oomph (yes, a technical term) the beefiness of the stock. Sometimes also use a few shots of worcestershire sauce or soy sauce – both will also add some oomph to the flavor.

What is the best bread to eat with stew?

Best breads for stew Choose a bread that complements the flavors and ingredients in your stew. Pumpernickel and rye breads are delicious with stews made with beer. Cornbread is always great with chili and vegetarian bean based stews. And, biscuits are necessary with chicken stews of all kinds.

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