16 Best Steak Side Dishes & 3 Delicious Dinner Ideas
If you’re anything like us, it’s likely that steak ranks high on your list of expensive dinner favorites. Of course, the perfect steak needs a delicious side, or sides, too. If you’re hoping to craft a restaurant-worthy steak dinner at home, you’ll want to read on. You’ll find the best side dishes for steak.
Where did the ‘steak’ originate, you ask? History books refer to the words ‘steik’, ‘steikja’, and ‘stickna’ some time in the mid-1400s.
These referred to a thick cut of meat, which was either fried, roasted, or grilled. The original side dishes were probably quite sparse and simple — which is fine, we’ll cover some of the basic sides, too.
However, we’ll also take you through a selection of the best veggie sides, best BBQ-steak sides, and more.
Best Steak Side Dishes: What to Serve with Steak
Making the perfect steak is something of an artform. If you’re cooking for guests, you’ll also need to be mindful of how they’d like their steak cooked: rare, medium rare, medium, or even well-done.
The best guidance, if nobody’s asked for specifics, is to aim for a medium-rare to medium sear. Turn your steak every minute as you’re cooking it to achieve an even finish.
Most importantly, allow the steak to rest post-cooking and add some good-quality extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper at this stage. A touch of thyme, butter, and garlic add additional mouthwatering flavors.
Once you’ve mastered the perfect steak, you’ll of course want to serve it with the best side dishes. The best side dishes complement your meat, without overpowering it.
Healthy Sides for Steak
Healthy side dishes needn’t be boring. On the contrary, a healthy, lighter side can really elevate the richness of your steak and any flavorful sauces. The sides below are perfect for both casual summer BBQs and luxurious dinner parties alike.
Get your hands on some baby potatoes and slice them thinly down the middle, but not all the way through. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and sprinkle some rosemary and sea salt. Roast until done and just browned, and enjoy for their delicious crispiness.
Oven-roasted tomatoes are super easy and their delicious savory sweetness really complements steak. You can either halve cherry tomatoes or add entire (washed) sprigs to a baking sheet.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt and roast until they’ve just split and are oozing their lovely juices.
Baked Sweet Potato Wedges
Scrub your sweet potatoes until they’re fully cleaned, then cut them into even-sized wedges. Mix with some olive oil, a sprinkling chili powder, and some sea salt flakes, then spread out on a baking sheet. Bake until soft and lightly browned.
Easy and Quick Steak Sides
If you’re already spending a lot of time on your steak and sauce, you may want a quick and easy side. Our sides don’t compromise on flavor, and are great with steak or other grilled meats.
Air Fryer Roasted Asparagus
When it comes to easy side dishes, nothing beats air fryer roasted asparagus. All you need to do is wash it and snap off any woody stems.
Coat the asparagus in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and any added spices you might like. Add it to your air fryer per the machine’s instructions, and wait about 15 minutes for delicious, crispy asparagus.
Crispy Mac and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is an American classic that goes well with plenty of dishes — including steak. You can make it in the oven and bake the pasta with its creamy sauce as well as topped with extra cheese.
Add some panko bread crumbs and shredded parmesan for a tangy, crunchy surprise.
Garlic Green Beans with Parmesan
Green beans are incredibly easy to make. All you need to do is wash and trim the beans, then stick them into the microwave for about two mins.
The short cooking time and the steam from the residual water will ensure perfectly cooked beans that are still vibrantly green. Add some butter, parmesan shavings, and a bit of garlic for cheesy, garlicky perfection.
Vegetable Sides for Steaks
Veggie sides are a popular option for steak, ensuring the meaty star of the show truly shines. Below are a few of our all time favorites, from elegant dauphinoise potatoes to quick and colorful coleslaw.
Dauphinoise Potato Gratin
Dauphinoise potatoes are essentially a fancier potato gratin. It’s made with thinly sliced raw potatoes which are cooked in cream.
Traditionally, dauphinoise potatoes do not contain any cheese, but you can cheat and add some delicious gruyere. Gruyere is a much-loved Swiss cheese that offers a sweet and nutty flavor. It melts beautifully and really enhances any gratin.
Sauteed Garlic Mushrooms
Sauteed garlic mushrooms will add plenty of umami flavor to your steak dish. Depending on your preference, you can opt for a white wine-based recipe or a soy sauce one.
The soy sauce adds plenty of salty goodness and pairs particularly nicely with garlic and lashings of butter. Make sure you cook your mushrooms so they’re just done but still have bite to them.
There’s nothing quite like a classic Southern coleslaw with its tangy, cooling flavors. It’s perfect for BBQ-ed steak and adds plenty of vibrant color to your plates.
Our favorite recipe mixes mayo, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, lemon juice, and freshly ground pepper. Add to your preferred coleslaw mix and give everything a good stir. Couldn’t be easier.
The Most Popular Steak Sides
It would be wrong to write this type of article without mentioning the top steak sides we’ve ever come across. As such, here they are. Top tip: mix and match some of these sides with ones from our other lists.
Triple-cooked fries are the ultimate fries. They were created by infamous English chef Heston Blumenthal, who first boils his fries, before removing as much moisture as possible.
They’re then deep fat-fried on a relatively low setting, cooled again, and fried at a higher temperature. This makes them deliciously fluffy on the inside yet super crunchy on the outside. Perfect for mopping up steak sauce.
Onion rings should ideally be coated in buttermilk or beer-based batter, before being fried. The best onion rings are crunchy on the outside and melt in your mouth on the inside.
The onions come out tasting just a little bit sweet, which pairs beautifully with steak. Onion rings pair well with a huge variety of other sides, so get ready to experiment a little.
Buttery Mashed Potato
Buttery mashed potato is one of the easiest side dishes you can ever make, yet so worth it. You’ll want a starchy potato, such as Yukon Gold or Russet, which will yield the fluffiest, most flavorful mash.
Once your potatoes are fully cooked, mash them up with a potato ricer or masher. Gently whip in some milk (or cream) and salted butter. Take care not to over-mix your potatoes, as this will yield a horrible, sticky mess.
Sweet Potato with Marshmallows
There’s really nothing quite like a loaded sweet potato with marshmallows from Texas Roadhouse.
You’ll find plenty of copycat recipes online, but the easiest way is to really just oven-bake a sweet potato, then top it with some mini marshmallows and blast it briefly with a torch. Trust us, this pairing is worth it.
Sides for Grilled Steak and BBQ
What could be better than a thick-cut steak grilled on a BBQ at the height of summer? Not much if you ask us. These aren’t your fancy, restaurant-style steaks, but rather proper meat served with lashings of BBQ sauce and some mouthwatering sides.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
There’s nothing quite like freshly grilled, buttery corn on the cob. Top tip: unless you’re worried about cross-contamination with other foods, always grill your corn without the husk.
This adds more flavorful charring, and beautiful coloring to the actual kernels. Lather on salted butter after, and you’re done.
Grilled peaches are delicious on their own, with ice cream… and with steak. The sweet and tart flavors along with their sumptuous juiciness make grilled peaches perfect.
They’re particularly good with BBQ pork ribs, too, but that’s for another day. If you’re pairing grilled peaches with steak you’ll want to add a similarly sweet, fruity BBQ sauce to tie everything together.
To grill the peaches, all you need to do is cut them in half and remove the stones, then sling them on the BBQ.
Colorful Bean Salad
Bean salad is easy to make, tasty, and vibrant.
It’s one of the quickest side dishes you can make, and all you need to do is throw together the following: corn, a selection of beans, some sliced olives, chunks of bell pepper, red onion, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and some spices.
There are plenty of different recipes out there, some spicy, some mellow. Choose what works best with your steak seasoning.
Best Appetizers Before Serving Steak
If you’re serving a full meal, you’ll want to start with a delicious appetizer. Our favorites range from simple to luxurious and work best with a fancy sit down meal. If you’d rather serve a more casual dinner, you could repurpose one of the sides above to make a great appetizer.
Bruschetta is a great appetizer that’s easy and quick to make. It looks fancy without being pretentious. All you need is some toasted baguette slices and a tomato-based topping.
Most recipes call for a mixture of juicy chopped tomatoes, shavings of parmesan cheese, garlic, fresh basil leaves, and some freshly ground pepper. That’s all you need. Top tip: add the bruschetta topping just before serving to avoid soggy bread.
Crab Cakes with Horseradish Cream
Crab cakes are hugely popular in the US and for good reason: they’re delicious yet easy to make. All you need is some eggs, mayo, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning, diced celery, fresh parsley, crab meat, and panko bread crumbs.
Season with some sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and serve with dollops of homemade horseradish cream — which by the way also goes very well with steak.
This may sound counterintuitive, but steak tartare is great before a fancy steak meal. It’s the perfect introduction to a true steak feast.
Go to a reputable butcher and tell him you’re going to use the steak for a raw dish. Make sure you also get the freshest possible eggs, as steak tartare is usually topped with a raw yolk.
The best tartare recipes mix finely-chopped steak with shallots, cornichons, and capers. If you’ve never had it before, trust us, this is a must-try.
Best Desserts After Steak Dishes
The perfect steak dinner should be rounded off with a beautiful dessert. While fish or seafood dinners tend to pair beautifully with lighter, fruitier desserts, steak seems to scream for something rich and lavish. Here are some of our favorites.
Tiramisu is one of the easiest Italian desserts you can make at home. This decadent, tasty dessert only requires ladyfingers, which you dip in espresso, and layers of whipped mascarpone with egg yolks and sugar. It’s dusted with some good quality cocoa and served on a plate or in a pretty serving glass. Some tiramisu recipes add in Marsala wine, which is a good option if you like a boozy kick.
Chocolate Lava Cake
Chocolate lava cake is very simple to make. In fact, it only contains five ingredients: flour, chocolate, butter, eggs, and sugar. The trick is to make your cake batter in advance, then bake them to perfection.
The upended cakes should stand up beautifully on your plates, but ooze molten chocolate when cut into. These are the perfect decadent dessert after a tasty steak dinner.
One of the most popular desserts in America: Cheesecake. The most-loved kind, the New York-style cheesecake, is made with just a few ingredients before being baked.
Make your own cheesecake at home as a finale for a luxurious steak dinner, and your guests will be talking about it for years to come.
Best Drinks to Serve with Steak Dishes
Nothing quite ruins a meal as much as a poorly chosen drink. Think steak dinner with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee — it’d be strange at best. Here is a list of the best drinks pairings for your steak dinner. These are perfect for complementing red meat-based dishes.
Heavier wines such as Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon are especially good for more heavily marbled, fattier cuts such as strip steak or ribeye. Meanwhile leaner cuts of beef such as top sirloin or filet mignon will benefit from a lighter red wine, such as a Syrah or Pinot Noir.
If you’re hosting guests who favor a more traditional alcoholic cocktail, a classic dry martini may suit. Martinis are made with a mix of gin and vermouth, garnished with lemon peel or an olive.
We also think a dirty martini is worth mentioning here, as this includes a little bit of olive brine. This adds some lovely savory flavors to the drink.
Cranberry or Pomegranate Juice-Based Drinks
If you’re looking for an alcohol-free drink option, mocktails made with pomegranate or cranberry juices are very good.
These fruit juices are great for cutting through the strong flavors of the red meat, while also cleansing your palate and adding a touch of sweetness.
You can add some club soda and a touch of lemon or lime to make them a bit more special.
Easy Steak Dinner Ideas
Steak doesn’t have to be the standard big cut of meat alongside some sides. You can add steak to other dishes, too, to make the perfect, simple steak dinner. Here are a few of our favorites you should definitely try at home.
Steak Salad Bowl
A steak salad bowl is incredibly easy to make, but well-worth it. Simply fry up your favorite cut of steak and, while it’s resting, put together a simple green salad with some sliced red onion and sweet cherry tomatoes.
Slice the steak over the top of it and add a dressing of your choice. Steak makes a great alternative for chicken over a basic Caesar salad, too. It’s delicious with shaved parmesan and croutons.
Steak with Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo
A creamy fettuccine Alfredo is buttery, creamy, and rich. It’s made with a simple seasoning of garlic, pepper, and salt over a creamy cheese sauce base. This makes it an ideal accompaniment for steak.
Just do as above, fry and rest your steak while dishing up the fettuccine. Then slice up the steak thinly over the pasta, and serve.
Air Fryer Pepper Steak
Air fryers have gotten a lot of love in recent years, and their loyal fanbase continues to grow steadily. Aficionados love making steak in their air fryer for the steady temperature, perfect sear, and even cooking.
You’ll get a juicy steak with minimal effort. A pepper-based rub or marinade is ideal for this, and will yield plenty of flavor. Pair this steak with some delicious air fryer French fries and a pepper sauce.