Focaccia bread is a common Italian staple with a rich history.
Focaccia bread is most commonly enjoyed eating by itself as a modern appetizer, side dish, or even a snack, but it has many uses outside of the kitchen as well.
Focaccia bread gets its name from the process of originally made – cooked in a “focaccia” pan.
This would make the bread more flatbread-like than a loaf baked in a more traditional shape.
Focaccia bread has since evolved into many different varieties, including whole wheat and even pizza varieties of focaccia bread.
Regardless of the variety, you choose though, focaccia bread is delicious and almost universally liked.
The crispy, flatbread-like pieces of bread serve as an excellent vessel for any number of accompaniments – from classic toppings like tomatoes and basil to more modern options such as pesto or even cheese.
In this article, we will list eight great ways to enjoy focaccia bread in a variety of different styles.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Focaccia?
Just because focaccia is a flatbread doesn’t mean that it should always be served as just an appetizer – it can easily become the main course for dinner or lunch.
Focaccia, which originates from Italy, is also known as flatbread and comes in many different forms.
One of the most popular ways to eat focaccia in North America is topped with garlic and white sauce.
However, focaccia can also be served as an accompaniment to any meat or fish dish, which makes it very versatile for dinner side dishes.
The best thing about focaccia is that it can be altered to fit different tastes.
One popular way to change the flavor of basic white sauce focaccia is by adding fresh basil or rosemary, which are very flavorful herbs.
Garlic powder, chives, and black pepper are also common ingredients for focaccia toppings.
It’s important to remember that focaccia is meant to accompany the main dish, so it should not be too filling.
For example, when served with a Mediterranean-style dish such as baked salmon and vegetables, focaccia would be best served fresh from the oven with just a pat of butter on top.
So if you are looking for a delicious alternative to bread or potatoes, then focaccia is the perfect side dish to make your next meal complete.
What to Serve with Focaccia? 8 BEST Side Dishes
Here are 8 of the best side dishes that go well with focaccia:
1 – Mashed Potatoes
A classic side dish that never fails, there is a reason why mashed potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to everything from beef to seafood.
First of all, they’re creamy and smooth.
The consistency might not be as thick as gravy itself, but they go down quite easily.
Then, mashed potatoes soak up the flavor of other ingredients and sauce easily.
That, and they’re so versatile: garlic, herbs, or spices can be added to bring out a different flavor profile.
Finally, mashed potatoes are the perfect vehicle for gravy.
The soft texture allows you to scoop up as much gravy as you want without worrying about breaking your dish underneath.
2 – Sauteed Broccoli
This vegetable is all about balance.
It has a soft yet crunchy consistency that goes perfectly with the subtly sweet flavor of white sauce-topped focaccia.
Broccoli can be cooked in many ways, but it’s best to take advantage of its natural crispness by sauteeing it with butter and seasoning.
The perfect side dish to enjoy along with your Mediterranean-inspired main course, broccoli, will work especially well if you like garlic bread or bread baked with herbs and spices.
Since this vegetable has a subtle flavor, it can be seasoned in different ways.
For example, adding black pepper will bring out the broccoli flavor, while salt complements its natural taste.
Finally, bulk up your dish with healthy vegetables.
You can either serve this side dish on top of it or mixed with mashed potatoes.
3 – Steamed Shellfish
Shellfish is a great side dish to enjoy with focaccia because it can be served either hot or cold.
First of all, shellfish is very low in calories and fat.
Like most seafood, it’s high in protein but doesn’t have too much sodium, making it the perfect accompaniment for people watching their salt intake.
Second, shellfish is the perfect dish to eat during dinner or lunch if you try to maintain a healthy weight.
Since it’s low in calories and carbs but high in protein, it can be part of any meal without making you too full.
Finally, steamed shellfish tastes great with garlic bread.
Whether you are eating seafood or not, garlic brings out the dish’s flavor so well that it’s always worth adding to your meal.
4 – Braised Greens
This side dish is perfect for those who want a healthy alternative to mashed potatoes but don’t feel like having too much starch with their meal.
Technically, there are two braised greens: those made entirely from greens such as kale and spinach, and those that include just a little bit of vegetables or meat.
If you’re serving focaccia with a dish that doesn’t have any vegetables in it, then go for the second option.
It’s better to mix some veggies into your meal than none at all. Braised greens are very tasty and easy to eat.
They can be eaten on their own, too. They’re rich in fiber and also contain antioxidants, which are good for your health.
5 – Vegetable Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
A great side dish to accompany any meal, you can experiment with endless types of vegetables when making this dish.
The best part about vegetable salad is that you can prepare it in advance.
If you’re eating with friends or family, then you can prepare this dish ahead of time and bring it along to the dinner table.
You can even make a few changes to the amount of dressing you use.
If you like your salad to be on the drier side, then go easy on the vinaigrette; and vice versa if you prefer it moist and juicy.
6 – Fried Eggs
If you want to serve a classic American dish with your focaccia, then go for fried eggs.
Eating scrambled eggs doesn’t exactly fit the Mediterranean theme of the meal.
However, if you’re serving this side dish with bread that has herbs and spices added to it or garlic butter spread on top, then you can easily turn it into a delicious meal.
Complement the richness of the egg by serving it with fresh vegetables and whole-grain bread as a side dish.
If you want to make your meal more filling but still healthy, go for wild rice or quinoa as part of your main course.
This is also one of those dishes that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
7 – Dried Fruits and Nuts
A healthier substitute for after-dinner chocolates, dried fruits, and nuts can be eaten as a dessert or in between meals.
This side dish is so healthy that doctors recommend it: according to them, humans originally ate mostly fruit and vegetables in their diet.
So, if you want to go back to nature and eat the way we did before processed foods were introduced, this is a great option.
You can eat this side dish with focaccia, but you can also put it in salads.
Nuts are very high in fiber and protein, so they do a great job of satisfying your hunger.
8 – The Classic Hummus Dip
Hummus is one of the best side dishes to accompany any bread. Also, it’s so easy to make at home.
All you need is chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini paste.
Of course, you can always buy hummus in a jar or a can, but the taste of homemade hummus is very different.
Plus, you’ll know exactly what goes into it, and you won’t have to worry about any other ingredients that might be added in addition to those listed.
This dish can also be eaten as a snack or appetizer before the main course.
It works well for people who want to avoid the heaviness of bread and focaccia.
Focaccia is best served with side dishes that are simple yet delicious.
Don’t worry about any rules – if you’re serving focaccia, then it means you want your guests to feel comfortable and at home.
You can skip the fancy side dish or hummus, but never forget to serve some fresh vegetables.
Truthfully good food isn’t good because it tastes good. It’s good because it makes you feel good, inside and out.
Making a meal that is too complicated can also ruin the experience for your guests.
Any side dish you serve should be something that goes well with focaccia or can be eaten as a stand-alone dish if necessary by itself.