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Flavorful Combo: 12 Top Side Dishes to Serve with Short Ribs

Have you ever tried short ribs? They’re delicious.

The meat is tender, and the flavor of the barbecue sauce shines through in every bite.

They are a great meal to serve during the cold months.

What do you need to make your short ribs a complete dish? Side dishes, of course.

Here are 12 side dishes that will complement any short rib dinner.

What to Serve with Short Ribs? 12 BEST Side Dishes

Short Ribs are typically slow-cooked and served piping hot.

This means you have to provide some sides or accompaniment for your guest to enjoy their meal.

Side dishes are an essential part of any main course, and they can make or break the success of your dinner party.

The idea is to find some side dish that complements the flavor profile of your short ribs by adding a different taste dimension and one that will help fill up guests who may have overindulged in the meat.

This list should give you plenty of inspiration for what sides go with short ribs – from mashed potatoes and beans to salad dressings:.

1 – Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

creamy butternut squash soup

Let’s start with a soup that’s not only delicious but also provides some nice contrast to the richness of a short rib.

Butternut squash is a favorite winter squash in North America.

It has natural sweetness from the beta carotene and is perfect for this soup loaded with cream and cheese.

This Creamy Butternut Squash Soup is perfect for rounding out your meal and providing just enough after-dinner carbs, so guests don’t feel too full from the meat.

It’s also a nice fall soup that could work well with your Thanksgiving table settings, too.

To make this butternut squash soup recipe even more appealing, add some chopped green onions just before serving, along with crumbled bacon on top of each bowlful.

2 – Sweet and Sour Green Beans

sweet and sour green beans

Green beans are a versatile vegetable.

You can eat them raw, steamed, or roasted, and they have many nutritional benefits like lowering blood pressure levels and maintaining good eye health, to name just two.

One of the most popular green bean recipes is this sweet and sour version with a little bit of sweetness from honey, vinegar, sugar, or brown sugar.

The recipe is straightforward: you need to mix some vinegar with sugar and soy sauce (can’t forget about garlic) until it becomes nice and tangy before pouring over washed trimmed beans.

You can also add some heat to the dish by adding finely diced jalapenos with seeds for an extra kick.

3 – Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes

If you’re cooking a rib dinner, mashed potatoes are a must.

The texture of the mashed potatoes is perfect for scooping up all that juicy, flavorful meat and sauce left on your plate.

Mashed potatoes have become something of a staple side item since they can be made with different flavor profiles to complement the main dish.

For instance, by adding cream cheese, garlic, and chives to mashed potatoes, you can create a “loaded” baked potato.

Additionally, they’re easy to make with any leftovers from the week’s cooking; add butter or olive oil for flavor before mixing milk or stock and blending until smooth.

You could also mix them up by adding shredded cheese (gouda would be delicious), vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, fresh herbs like thyme and oregano – even bacon bits.

Regardless of what ingredients are added to your mashies, one thing that remains constant is the texture: creamy on the inside while maintaining a firm exterior when cooked.

4 – Creamy Polenta

creamy polenta

Polenta is a food made of ground corn or another cereal grain.

It’s often served as a porridge with milk and butter, and it’s a staple of Italian cuisine.

Polenta is a delightfully versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed in so many ways, from hot breakfast cereal to creamy side dishes at dinner time.

It has been around for centuries, and it’s no wonder why- this simple dish packs some serious flavor punch.

The creamy texture combines perfectly with the succulent flavor from slow cooking means these flavors play off each other beautifully.

There are dozens of recipes out there on how best to cook up some Creamy Polenta – give one or two quick tries before making yours just right too.

5 – Oven-Roasted Baby Carrots

Imagine you’re cooking up a delicious side dish for your family’s upcoming dinner.

You’ve grilled some tasty ribs, and now it’s time to add the perfect vegetable into the mix.

Of course, there are many different ideas of what would be best, but why not give oven-roasted baby carrots a try? They snap and crunch with every bite and are a perfect complement to the meat.

Oven-roasted baby carrots can complement just about anything you’re serving for dinner – from grilled chicken breast or roast beef to short ribs.

Now don’t be intimidated if you happen not to have one pan at hand when roasting these root vegetables.

They are often baked together in foil packets and directly on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

To give them their traditional crispy texture, toss them periodically while cooking and baste them with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

6 – Fried Plantains

fried plantains

Fried Plantains are a creamy side dish that can be eaten as an appetizer, main course, or dessert.

This versatile menu item is delicious on its own and pairs well with many dishes such as short ribs.

Fried plantains have the perfect texture for adding some much-needed crunchiness and sweetness to your meal without masking other flavors of your entrée.

They are also good by themselves, perfect for dessert, snacks, or serving alongside sandwiches – any time you want something sweet.

You can also use this versatile side dish as a base for many different types of sauces.

7 – Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad

roasted beet and quinoa salad

This side dish is a beautiful combination of flavors.

The Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad taste like a sweet, salty, tangy flavor explosion.

You’ll love the texture, too, because it has small pieces that have different textures for your tongue to explore.

It’s so yummy. The roasting process turns beets into an addicting mix of softness with chunks and slices for variety in crunchiness.

This salad also includes quinoa which gives this delicious taste a new dimension while adding protein levels.

The recipe is so easy to make.

It’s only a matter of assembling all the ingredients and roasting them for an hour in your oven.

This salad will be ready faster than you can say “Mmmmm”.

8 – Caprese Quinoa Salad

caprese quinoa salad

For those looking for a side dish to serve with your ribs, the Caprese Quinoa Salad is just what you need.

It’s light and refreshing yet still filling enough that it will keep anyone from leaving hungry after their meal.

It features fresh ingredients and an easy-to-make dressing made of balsamic vinegar mixed with olive oil.

The quinoa makes the dish filling yet nutritious enough to offer a great side dish for your ribs.

The fresh mozzarella cheese and tomatoes improve the flavor of this salad, which is otherwise rather bland in taste.

The basil adds an extra burst of flavor along with some color to make it more visually appealing.

You can use any balsamic vinegar you like, from expensive aged varieties to those that are less pricey but still flavorful.

If you prefer not to use quinoa or can’t find it at your local grocery store, feel free to substitute another grain instead, such as brown rice or couscous.

9 – Sautéed Mushrooms in Garlic Butter

sauted mushrooms in garlic butter

Mushrooms are one of the most underrated vegetables in cooking.

Onions, garlic, and butter are the critical ingredients for this fantastic side dish to accompany any pot roast or ribs.

The mushrooms are perfectly sautéed in these three simple components, which create a tasty combination of textures that is sure to be popular with your guests.

The taste of sautéed mushrooms is often described as “earthy”. The texture, on the other hand, has been compared to that of oysters.

Cooking them in garlic butter adds an extra dimension that will make any meal shine.

The beauty of this dish is how simple it is to make, but you can also dress up the mushrooms by adding some cheese and fresh herbs such as chives, thyme, or rosemary.

What’s more, they are perfect for vegetarians who might be your guests.

One final tip on cooking these deliciously browned mushrooms, don’t overcrowd the pan when sautéing them so that each piece gets its turn in contact with the hot butter.

This will result in better texture and color than if you just mixed all of them at once.

10 – Corn on the Cob

corn on the cob

There is nothing like the taste of fresh sweet corn, which should never be compromised by overcooking.

The natural sugar in corn will caramelize when heated to a high temperature-so try steaming or boiling your ears before shucking them from their husks for that perfect balance of sweetness and a crunchy texture on the cob.

You can grill or roast your ears of corn if you’re short on time – but the caramelization won’t be as intense.

When it comes to toppings, there are plenty of options.

While butter is a classic option, have fun and experiment with different flavor combinations such as chili garlic sauce mixed with lime juice or dill weed for added freshness.

Add grated Parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon pieces-or use both.

Just make sure not to add too many flavors because they can overpower each other instead of complementing one another-unless that’s what you want.

The most important thing when cooking corn on the cob? Keep an eye on it.

Corn will take between 20 minutes at medium heat to over 30 minutes at low heat, depending on the size of your ears.

11 – Italian Parmesan Potatoes

italian parmesan potatoes

Every short rib lover knows that a meal is not complete without potatoes.

But what about those side dishes? The Italian Parmesan Potatoes are the perfect match for your steak dinner, and they’re so easy to make.

A creamy blend of cornstarch, butter or margarine, grated parmesan cheese (or any other hardened type), salt, and pepper – these ingredients will be all you need to serve up some delicious spuds with an added punch from cheesy goodness.

The result is crispy browned potato wedges dusted with cheddar-type flavorings like garlic powder or onion powder and finished off with a sprinkle of grated cheddar or parmesan cheese.

12 – Butternut Squash Risotto

butternut squash risotto

Butternut squash risotto is a warm, buttery dish that pairs well with the rich flavors of short ribs.

One bite into this side dish will transport you to Europe and make your mouth water for more.

The butternut flavor mixes perfectly with the thyme in this delicious recipe.

Its texture is smooth and silky, with just enough crunch from its pumpkin seeds for added interest.

Suppose you’re looking for something new and different this holiday season, consider serving your guests this delicious butternut squash risotto topped off with caramelized onions or bacon crumbles.

In that case, it will leave them wanting more.

You can make this dish vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken and beef stock.


If you’re looking for a side dish to serve with short ribs, consider these 12 options.

They range from simple and light to hearty dishes that will satisfy your guests after the main course is finished.

Some of them are vegan or vegetarian-friendly as well.

You can even try some new ones next time you make red meat at home.

Have any other favorite sides? Let us know in the comments below.

braised short ribs

What to Serve with Short Ribs? 12 BEST Side Dishes

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
  • Sweet and Sour Green Beans
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Creamy Polenta
  • Oven-Roasted Baby Carrots
  • Fried Plantains
  • Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad
  • Caprese Quinoa Salad
  • Sautéed Mushrooms in Garlic Butter
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Italian Parmesan Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash Risotto


  • Choose your favorite recipe from the list of options.
  • Organize all required ingredients and prepare a delicious meal in 30 minutes or less!
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