30 Sides To Serve With Corned Beef

If you're eating corned beef this St. Patrick's Day, you probably already have an idea what side you're serving. Corned beef and cabbage go so well together that the two seem inseparable, like burgers and fries, or rice and beans. It's such an established tradition in the U.S. that it almost feels sacrilegious to separate this pairing.

As you may know, corned beef and cabbage is actually not a very common dish in Ireland. People there typically eat lamb or bacon on St. Patrick's Day, but Irish Americans started eating corned beef due to the cheaper price of beef in the United States. That doesn't make it less "authentic," but it should remind you that traditions are always open to reinterpretation, and no food combination should be set in stone.

We don't want to discourage you from making cabbage, but your sides don't need to stop there. Corned beef's well-balanced, slightly sour flavor pairs well with many different sides. Potatoes are an obvious one, and there are lots of wonderful options for sides featuring the spud.

You can also open your plate to a world of sautéed and roasted greens that can take the place of cabbage and add some much needed color. There are no wrong choices, of course. Whether these sides are a replacement or a complement to what you already planned to make, they can bring a little variety, texture, and balance — making your next corned beef dinner the start of a new tradition.

1. Traditional Irish Colcannon

Cabbage and potatoes are probably already on the menu with your corned beef, so why not combine them in this delicious Irish side? A traditional dish that can be made with a variety of greens, including cabbage or kale, colcannon gives you everything great about buttery, creamy mashed potatoes but with an extra-hearty hit of sautéed veggies. It's a great way to sneak some healthy ingredients into an indulgent meal, but the rustic, earthy flavor alone should be enough to convince you.

Recipe: Traditional Irish Colcannon

2. Buttermilk Biscuit With Cheddar & Parmesan

Soda bread is another classic Irish food that naturally goes well with corned beef, but there are some other quick bread options that have their own distinct strengths. Buttermilk biscuits with cheese are an easy and delicious choice that will add rich notes and perfectly complement the salt-cured meat.

Enjoy them on the side with a dollop of butter, or cut them open and use them as a pillowy base for the whole meal. Plus, what dinner doesn't benefit from a little extra cheese?

Recipe: Easy Buttermilk Biscuit With Cheddar & Parmesan

3. Garlic Herb Skillet Potatoes

Crispy skillet potatoes are a welcome addition to any dinner — and an easy side that can be fried while your meat boils or roasts in the oven. The garlic flavor in this recipe is good enough that the spuds could carry a meal by themselves, but pairing them with tender corned beef will take both components to the next level. A few sliced potatoes, some butter and herbs, and 30 minutes are all it takes to create this ideal side dish.

Recipe: Garlic Herb Skillet Potatoes

4. Roasted Cabbage Wedges

Normally, when making corned beef, cabbage is boiled or braised alongside the meat itself, but roasting the vegetable instead can bring a whole new dimension to this side. Instead of melding into the dish, the cabbage will stand out with its sweeter flavor and blackened, crispy edges.

It's also an excellent base for a light, citrusy marinade that can brighten up the meal and provide contrast to the savory corned beef. And like with so many great accompaniments, the simple prep means there will be very little extra work when putting together your St. Patrick's Day meal.

Recipe: Roasted Cabbage Wedges

5. Old-Fashioned Scalloped Potatoes

It's not hard to imagine this beloved steakhouse menu item on the plate with your corned beef. You probably don't need to be sold on cheese and potatoes for any meal, but it's worth mentioning that scalloped potatoes bring an added layer of indulgence and fatty goodness.

The prep may involve a little more effort than other sides do, but this recipe can be made ahead of time and reheated in the oven. If you want your corned beef dinner to be over-the-top in the best way possible, this is the way to do it.

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Scalloped Potatoes

6. Lemon Garlic Green Beans

This recipe is all about highlighting the green beans, which get a small hit of garlic and lemon to help make them pop. Blanching the green beans in salted water brings out tons of flavor before they're finished off with a quick sauté. It's a simple but delicious side with the versatility to work on almost any plate.

Recipe: Lemon Garlic Green Beans

7. Creamy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

You knew you weren't going to get through a roundup of corned beef accompaniments without seeing mashed potatoes, but what if you could whip up everyone's favorite side even more easily? This Instant Pot version frees up stovetop space and makes cleanup a breeze, without sacrificing the taste.

The mash will be just as decadent and creamy as you want — ready to drown in a pool of gravy or stand up all on its own. After trying this recipe, using the Instant Pot might become your go-to method for preparing mashed potatoes, corned beef or not.

Recipe: Creamy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

8. Grilled Carrots With Tallow

These carrots aren't meant for vegetarians, but if you're eating corned beef, we're going to assume that's not a problem. For flavorful carrots that are going to hold up to all of your meaty main courses, ditch the sweet glaze and grab some beef tallow instead.

These are roasted with garlic oil before being brushed with the rendered fat and grilled — resulting in savory, robust carrots like you've never had before. And if beef tallow isn't readily available, lard will make a fine substitute.

Recipe: Grilled Carrots With Tallow

9. Super Slow-Cooked Loaded Baked Potato

Baked potatoes are as classic as they come, but you've never had one quite like this. Slow-cooking your potatoes for three hours may seem like a long time, but you will get perfect, fluffy potatoes encased in crispy skin — a wonderful contrast in textures. And if you're already waiting for your beef to cook, what's the rush?

Top the spuds with a cheddar and sour cream mixture, and this side might just steal the show. You could even swap out the bacon with corned beef for a true St. Paddy's Day potato.

Recipe: Super Slow-Cooked Loaded Baked Potato

10. Cabbage With Guinness

If you are going to stick with cabbage as a side for corned beef, why not go all the way with it? Simmering the cabbage in Guinness and adding in some white wine vinegar produces a sweet and sour side with more flavor than you ever thought cabbage could have.

It's ready to eat in about 20 minutes — exploding with notes ranging from bright to toasty that will add incredible depth to your meal. Just don't forget to save some of the stout for dinner too.

Recipe: Cabbage With Guinness

11. Citrus-Roasted Broccoli

This recipe is about as quick and easy as it comes, but don't let that trick you into thinking this broccoli is boring. Lemon zest is a fantastic complement to the produce's vegetal, slightly bitter flavor, and adds an extra dimension of light acidity without becoming overpowering.

This dish is also a great base for any number of other spices, whether you want to sprinkle in garlic powder or enhance the tartness with some tangy sumac. No stress — in no time at all, whip this together whenever you need some good green vegetables.

Recipe: Citrus-Roasted Broccoli

12. Crispy-Edged Smashed Potatoes

All potato preparations are beautiful in their own way, but smashing really does bring everything that's good about the spud to the table. These tubers are par-boiled first, satisfyingly crushed under a glass, and then baked for some time in the oven, leaving them perfectly cooked and extra-crispy.

You get creamy, you get crunchy, you get salty — all in perfect balance in one bite-sized package. What else could you possibly want alongside some tender corned beef?

Recipe: Crispy-Edged Smashed Potatoes

13. Garlic Butter Brussels Sprouts

What doesn't taste good with garlic butter on it? Ever since Brussels sprouts went from mocked also-ran of the vegetable world to ubiquitous star of restaurant menus everywhere, you've probably seen them prepared a hundred different ways, but from time to time, going simple is best.

This recipe forgoes all the fancy, trendy approaches for the pure goodness of garlic and butter, which balances out the vegetable's sometimes bitter flavor with a nice, mellowing richness. Don't sweat over something super demanding — keep it classic and leave that extra time for eating.

Recipe: Garlic Butter Brussels Sprouts

14. The Best Parsley Potatoes

Rather than being a mere garnish or afterthought, parsley takes center stage in this potato dish. The prep requires nothing but slicing and boiling some fingerling potatoes before they are ready to be dressed with salt, garlic, and butter.

Finish everything off with a generous downpour of parsley, creating a tender, herbal side that will serve as a great complement to any comfort food — corned beef first among them.

Recipe: The Best Parsley Potatoes

15. Fresh Green Bean Almondine

One thing that's often lacking in a corned beef dinner is some satisfying crunch. Green bean almondine is a classic French recipe that delivers the textural contrast you're looking for, thanks to the slivered almonds and firm green beans.

In this version, the inclusion of a little lemon juice and grated Parmesan lends both acidity and some savory umami depth. This side brings a lot more to the table than the straightforward preparation would suggest. Fresh, bright, and crunchy, it's everything your corned beef needs.

Recipe: Fresh Green Bean Almondine

16. Easy Mashed Potato Rolls

In a best-sides competition between mashed potatoes and nice, fresh rolls, the winning choice is clear: Just combine the two. The mash helps produce a wonderfully soft and yummy dough that is just begging for a pat of soft butter. That potato taste you love is infused into every bite of these rolls for a flavor that's above and beyond your standard bread. It's not just one of the best rolls you'll ever make — it might be one of the best holiday sides, period.

Recipe: Easy Mashed Potato Rolls

17. Sautéed Garlic Swiss Chard

Swiss chard doesn't get the attention that green beans or Brussels sprouts do, but it has an earthy, slightly bitter depth of flavor that few other vegetables can match. If you want some hearty greens on your St. Patrick's Day plate, this chard may be the way to go. It only needs some salt, garlic, and lemon juice to balance itself out, and a quick sauté brings out a hint of sweetness. These are the kind of greens that comforting meals like corned beef were made for.

Recipe: Sautéed Garlic Swiss Chard

18. Ultimate Twice-Baked Potatoes

With quicker, more popular methods like roasting and mashing, it's easy to forget about twice-baking, but this way of cooking potatoes may yield one of the most decadent sides you can make. Your filling gets taken to the next level when the insides of the spuds are mashed with butter, sour cream, and milk, then mixed with cheese, salty bits of bacon, and chopped green onions.

The potatoes are topped with even more of these add-ins before being baked to an enticing golden-brown crisp. It's a knockout side dish that can stand on its own as a meal too.

Recipe: Ultimate Twice-Baked Potatoes

19. Grilled Cabbage

St. Patrick's Day may not seem like a grill holiday, but it will become one once you make this cabbage. The smokiness from roasting the vegetable complements the sweetness that comes out. The whole thing is finished off with an herbal chimichurri, creating a warm salad side that's more than welcome on a chilly, late-winter day. Breaking out the grill may seem like a big extra step, but you shouldn't settle for soggy cabbage when you could have this charred yet tender dish instead.

Recipe: Grilled Cabbage

20. Smashed Potatoes

Smashed potatoes are mashed potatoes with all the flavor but less leg work. For people who prefer their mash with more texture, this is the way to go. Using baby red potatoes means you get plenty of extra skin for a contrast in consistency, and leaving the spuds more chunky gives the finished dish a more rustic feel. We will never speak poorly of mashed potatoes, but if you want a little extra bite with your corned beef, try smashing instead. 

Recipe: Smashed Potatoes

21. Irish Potato Cakes

The Irish have come up with a lot of different ways to cook potatoes, and one of the best is this recipe that uses leftover mashed potatoes to craft a fantastic griddled pancake. Potato pancakes in any form are always a welcome sight, but this version keeps it simple and fluffy.

The mash gets combined with flour, salt, pepper, chives, and an egg, then this mixture is molded into patties and pan-fried in butter. It's a delicious way to reinvent mashed potatoes — with hearty flavor and a crispy finish.

Recipe: Irish Potato Cakes

22. Pan Fried Okra

Okra might not be your first thought when it comes to corned beef sides, but that's why you should try new things. The ingredient has a unique flavor that straddles the line between green beans and meatier veggies like eggplant, but you really need to taste it to get a full understanding.

Pan-frying okra with cornmeal gives it a better crunch and cuts down on the slime — making for a satisfying side that's also healthier than the typical deep-fried version. If you're an okra skeptic or just curious about it, this is a good place to start.

Recipe: Pan Fried Okra Recipe

23. Lemony Roasted Potatoes

Just because you're eating corned beef doesn't mean you can't bring some Mediterranean flavors to the party. The combination of lemon juice and zest with an assortment of herbs gives these potatoes a sunny flavor that will lighten up your meal. Though the wedges take a while to roast, it's all time spent unattended, leaving you to work on the rest of your meal or kick back with a beer and wait for dinnertime.

Recipe: Lemony Roasted Potatoes

24. Cabbage Au Gratin

This cabbage-based twist on the classic potato gratin is sure to satisfy the appetite of any guest. Roasting the vegetable first helps to crisp it up and dry it out, preventing the cream sauce from making the dish soggy. What's left is crunchy and cheesy, rich and creamy, and everything else that's good in the world. Your palate won't know what hit it, but it will be happy, and your corned beef will be all the better for it.

Recipe: Cabbage Au Gratin

25. Grilled Artichokes

Artichokes are always welcomed as part of a dip or marinated and served on a charcuterie board, but their whole fresh form doesn't always get its due. That's too bad because this vegetable is packed with unique, nutty flavors.

Tender and a little sweet, artichokes are the comforting side you didn't know you needed. This version gets a lot of its extra flavor from grilling, with just a squeeze of charred lemon and salt to bring it on home.

Recipe: Grilled Artichokes

26. Easy Fondant Potatoes

This is a less well-known preparation in the states, but this beautiful side will turn your corned beef dinner into a five-star meal. Buttery and tender, these rich potatoes hail from France (where else) and require a little extra effort, but they are worth the fuss.

Peeled spuds are browned, and then basted in butter and stock before being finished in the oven. It's not a complicated process; it just takes time, and you'll get picture-perfect potatoes soaked in flavor that will give way to your fork more easily than the butter they were drenched with.

Recipe: Easy Fondant Potatoes

27. Fluffy Southern Biscuits

You know biscuits, you love them (almost everybody does), but you never thought of them as a corned beef side, did you? That should change because biscuits are technically a type of quick bread, as are some of Ireland's most famous baked goods. Plus, their fluffy, flaky texture is welcome at any table.

Biscuits come together fast and cook almost as quickly, making them a great side option for a meaty meal in need of a light and pillowy partner. Serve them up on St. Patrick's Day and you'll never count them out again.

Recipe: Fluffy Southern Biscuits

28. Easy Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Balsamic as a flavor was verging on overdone for a few years there, but that's just because it's a classic that's so darn good. Syrupy and tangy, it's a fantastic upgrade to almost every vegetable, but Brussels sprouts take to it especially well.

Their bitterness melds with the vinegar perfectly, and the sugar elevates the crispy char that the veggies get when they're roasted. Mustard, hot sauce, and maple syrup round out the flavors, helping this side play all the hits — from spicy to sour to sweet.

Recipe: Easy Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

29. Irish Brown Soda Bread

Look, we've given you a lot of options here, but there is no reason why you can't just stick to the basics. Irish soda bread is a go-to for a good reason — giving you a hearty, soft loaf without the wait that's required for yeasted dough. Its tender, crumbly texture feels rough and homemade in the best way possible. This bread will be right at home alongside your corned beef.

Recipe: Irish Brown Soda Bread

30. Potato Gratin

When scalloped potatoes want to get fancy, they dress up and become potato gratin. This is as much a cheese dish as a potato dish — and there is nothing wrong with that. Boasting cream, milk, and butter with heaping amounts of Gruyère, it's the ultimate comfort food.

This recipe takes some work, but you won't care when you start spooning out servings with strings of gooey cheese running off the side. Your corned beef won't be overshadowed, but it will have met its match.

Recipe: Potato Gratin