Nothing says comfort food like a steaming plate of dumplings, but if you want your meal to be the true star of the show, it’s important to pair them with some delicious side dishes.
Choosing what goes best with dumplings can seem intimidating, but we’re here to make things easier for you.
From pickled vegetables and green salads to classic sesame pancakes and warm vegetable dishes—we’ve rounded up 12 must-try side dish recipes that are sure to take your next dumpling feast up a notch!
What to Serve with Dumplings? 12 Must-try Side Dishes
1. Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon is a simple yet delicious dish that can be enjoyed any time of year.
This dish is packed with flavor and texture and is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
The key to making this dish great is the quality of the ingredients.
Be sure to use fresh Brussels sprouts, and cook them until they are tender but still have a bit of crunch.
The bacon should also be cooked until it is crisp.
To elevate this dish, try adding a bit of grated Parmesan cheese on top.
You can also add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt for an extra creamy element.
2. Roasted Sweet Potatoes
These roasted sweet potatoes are the perfect side dish for any meal.
They’re packed with flavor and have a great texture. And they’re so easy to make.
Just follow these simple tips, and you’ll have the perfect dish every time.
First, start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.
Then, cut your sweet potatoes into thin slices.
Next, toss them in olive oil and season them with salt, pepper, and any other spices you like.
Then, bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. That’s it.
These roasted sweet potatoes are so simple to make, but they’re so delicious.
The key is to get them nice and crispy on the outside while keeping them soft on the inside.
3. Kale Salad with Cranberries and Feta
This kale salad is the perfect side dish for any meal, but it especially goes well with dumplings.
The kale provides a nice hearty and crunchy texture, while the cranberries and feta add some sweetness and creaminess.
This dish can be easily elevated by adding in some roasted nuts or seeds for an extra crunch or even some grilled chicken or shrimp for some protein.
If you’re looking for a dish that is both healthy and delicious, look no further than this kale salad.
Kale is packed with vitamins and minerals and is a great source of fiber.
The cranberries and feta add a touch of sweetness and creaminess, while the roasted nuts or seeds provide an extra crunch.
This dish can be easily elevated by adding in some grilled chicken or shrimp for some protein.
4. Garlic Green Beans
If you’re looking for a tasty and easy side dish to accompany your dumplings, look no further than green garlic beans.
These beans are simple to make and only require a few ingredients, but they’re packed with flavor.
The key is to cook the beans until they’re just tender so they retain their bright green color and don’t get mushy.
Then, all you need to do is toss them with some garlic and olive oil.
The taste of these garlic green beans is both fresh and savory.
The beans are slightly crunchy and have a slight bitterness that is offset by the sweetness of the garlic.
The dish is also very fragrant, thanks to the garlic.
There are a few tips that will help you elevate this dish and make it even more delicious.
- Don’t be afraid to add more garlic if you really love the flavor. .
- You can also add other herbs or spices to the dish, such as crushed red pepper flakes or thyme.
- If you want a little bit of extra richness, you can add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top before serving.
5. Quinoa Pilaf with Almonds and Dried Cranberries
This Quinoa Pilaf with Almonds and Dried Cranberries is a simple yet flavorful dish that makes a great side to any meal.
The quinoa is fluffy and light, while the almonds add a nice crunch.
The dried cranberries add a pop of sweetness and color.
To make this dish even more special, try toasting the almonds before adding them in.
This will give them a deeper flavor and aroma.
You can also substitute the dried cranberries for raisins or other dried fruit.
This dish can be served warm or cold, making it versatile for any season.
6. Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan
This roasted cauliflower dish is a great side to any meal, but especially dumplings.
The cauliflower is roasted to perfection with a crispy exterior and a soft, fluffy interior.
The Parmesan adds a nice savory flavor, and the dish is finished with a drizzle of olive oil.
The taste and texture of this dish are incredible.
The roasted cauliflower is so flavorful, and the Parmesan really elevates it to the next level.
The tips below will help you get the most out of this dish:
- Be sure to use good quality Parmesan cheese for this recipe. A cheaper cheese will not taste as good and will not melt as well.
- If you want an extra crispy exterior on your cauliflower, you can bread it before roasting. Just dip it in some beaten eggs, then coat it in bread crumbs.
- This dish can be served as is, or you can top it with some fresh parsley or basil for extra flavor.
7. Creamy Mashed Potatoes
There’s nothing quite like a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes.
They’re smooth, they’re rich, and they pair perfectly with just about any main dish.
While mashed potatoes are pretty delicious on their own, there are a few things you can do to elevate them even further.
First, let’s talk about taste.
If you want your mashed potatoes to be extra flavorful, try adding some shredded cheese, garlic, or green onions.
You could also add a dollop of sour cream on top for an extra bit of richness.
As for texture, if you like your mashed potatoes to be extra smooth, you’ll want to use a ricer or food processor.
If you prefer them to be a little bit more rustic, you can simply mash them by hand.
As far as tips go, one of the best ways to make sure your mashed potatoes are super creamy is to cook them in chicken broth instead of water.
You could also use half milk and half water for an even richer flavor.
And last but not least, make sure you add plenty of butter.
This will ensure that your mashed potatoes are nice and creamy.
8. Cheesy Grits
Grits are a Southern classic, and there’s no better way to enjoy them than smothered in cheese.
This rich and savory dish is flavorful and satisfying, and it’s easy to see why it’s become a breakfast staple.
The key to making the perfect cheesy grits is to use high-quality cheese.
Sharp cheddar is a good option, but feel free to experiment with other types of cheese until you find one that you like.
In terms of texture, grits should be cooked until they’re creamy and smooth.
If they’re too thick, add a little water or milk to thin them out.
When they’re finished cooking, add the cheese and stir until it’s fully melted.
Serve hot with a sprinkle of green onion for extra flavor.
9. Cornbread Stuffing
Cornbread stuffing is a Thanksgiving staple in many households.
It’s popular for its distinct taste and texture – the cornbread itself is usually fluffy and moist, while the stuffing is savory and slightly crispy.
Making cornbread stuffing is relatively simple, but there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure that it turns out perfectly.
First, be sure to use stale or day-old cornbread – fresh cornbread is too moist and will make the stuffing mushy.
Second, add plenty of seasonings to taste – sage, thyme, and parsley all complement the flavor of the cornbread nicely.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your ingredients – adding chopped apples, dried cranberries, or even a bit of sausage can give your stuffing an extra depth of flavor.
10. Cranberry Sauce
Looking for a unique side dish to serve with your dumplings? Why not try cranberry sauce? This tart and sweet sauce is the perfect complement to savory dumplings.
Plus, it’s super easy to make. Cranberry sauce is all about balance.
You want a sauce that is both tart and sweet, with a smooth texture.
The key to achieving this balance is to cook the cranberries until they just begin to pop.
This will help release their natural sweetness and create a sauce that is not too sweet.
You can then add a bit of sugar to taste.
If you want to elevate your cranberry sauce, try adding a splash of orange juice or Grand Marnier.
These additions will give the sauce a lovely flavor and make it even more special.
11. Turkey Gravy
Turkey gravy is a staple of Thanksgiving dinner, but it can be so much more than that.
This dish is all about elevating the flavors of your turkey to create a truly unique and delicious experience.
The key to great turkey gravy is all in the taste and texture.
You want gravy that is rich and flavorful, with a smooth consistency.
The best way to achieve this is by using a good quality stock, like chicken or beef.
Then, you’ll want to add some aromatic vegetables, like onions and carrots, to really boost the flavor.
Finally, thicken your gravy with a roux or cornstarch until it reaches the perfect consistency.
Once you have your gravy tasting great, there are plenty of ways to elevate it even further.
Try adding some freshly chopped herbs, like thyme or rosemary, for an extra bit of flavor.
If you really want to get creative, try adding some unexpected ingredients like cranberries or even chocolate.
Just be sure to taste as you go so you don’t end up with something that’s too sweet or too savory.
12. Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin pie is one of the most classic Thanksgiving desserts.
And for a good reason – it’s delicious.
The perfect pumpkin pie has a rich, creamy filling with just the right amount of sweetness.
The crust is flaky and buttery, and the whole thing is topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
Whether you’re making your own pumpkin puree or using canned, make sure to use a recipe that calls for sweetened condensed milk.
This will give your pie the perfect texture and flavor.
If you want to really elevate your pumpkin pie, try adding a layer of dulce de leche or caramel on top of the filling before adding the whipped cream.
You can also switch up the crust by using a graham cracker crust or an almond flour crust.
There are many delicious side dishes that go great with dumplings.
From sauteed vegetables to roasted potatoes, there is something for everyone.
I hope this blog post has inspired you to try something new the next time you make dumplings.
If you are looking for more recipe ideas, be sure to check out our website.
We have a huge selection of recipes for you to try.
Let us know what your favorite dumpling dish is in the comments below.
What to Serve with Dumplings? 12 Must-try Side Dishes
- 1. Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- 2. Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 3. Kale Salad with Cranberries and Feta
- 4. Garlic Green Beans
- 5. Quinoa Pilaf with Almonds and Dried Cranberries
- 6. Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan
- 7. Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- 8. Cheesy Grits
- 9. Cornbread Stuffing
- 10. Cranberry Sauce
- 11. Turkey Gravy
- 12. Pumpkin Pie
- Select your favorite sides from the list above.
- Prepare the side dish according to the recipe instructions.
- If you’re short on time, some of these can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!