46 Easy Sides That Make Soup a Meal

updated Apr 10, 2024
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Overhead shot of tomato soup in a white bowl, and  a hand dipping a grilled cheese into the soup.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

Warm and comforting soup is my favorite thing to eat this time of year, but it’s not always enough to make a complete meal. Your side dish of choice is going to depend on the type of soup you’re making. If you have a relatively smooth soup, like creamy tomato soup, you might want garlic bread or a soft milk bread bun for dunking. If you have a creamy mushroom soup, then maybe you want a side of roasted potatoes. That’s where these 46 sides for soup come into play. The choice is yours, dear friend.

Garlic Bread, Rolls, and Biscuits

There are few things more satisfying on a cold winter night than mopping up a hot bowl of soup with fresh-from-the-oven garlic bread, rolls, or biscuits.

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Garlic Bread
Use both fresh and powdered garlic for the ultimate homemade garlic bread.
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Soft & Tender Dinner Rolls
A step-by-step guide to foolproof dinner rolls.
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Copycat Red Lobster Biscuits
You can make these iconic biscuits at home with pantry staples, without picking up a store-bought box mix or stepping foot in the restaurant.
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Buttermilk Biscuits
In addition to the flaky layers, the best thing about these biscuits is that they're sturdy - which means they're perfect for soup dunking.
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Pull-Apart Challah Rolls
Don’t be deceived by their pretty appearance; there’s actually no braiding involved when forming the rolls. In fact, if you can tie a knot, you can make these soft and pillowy rolls.
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Cheesy Garlic Bread
The secret to better garlic bread? Lots of cheese, a little bit of mayo (yes, really), and scallions.
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Parker House Rolls
These buttery, tender Parker House rolls are perfect for your holiday bread basket.
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Cheese Breadsticks
The ingredients for these cheese breadsticks are easy to keep on hand, and there’s no need for a fancy technique to form or stuff the dough.
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Butter Biscuits
A simple homemade biscuit dough is baked atop a stick of melted butter, creating light, tender, and extra-buttery biscuits.
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Milk Bread Buns

A pillowy loaf of bread is hard to resist, but when turned into cute little individual buns, milk bread can be used to give you the perfect rolls to serve with soup.

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Garlic Parmesan Monkey Bread
Store-bought pizza dough is shaped into balls, rolled in garlic butter, and baked in a loaf pan until puffed and brown.
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Cheesy Corn Garlic Bread

A summery spin on the classic carb. This fun version is layered with fresh mozzarella and loaded with buttery, garlicky corn kernels.

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Irish Cheddar Potato Rolls
Donal Skehan's Irish cheddar potato rolls are baked to cheesy, buttery perfection.
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Sky-High Ranch Biscuits
This over-the-top recipe is designed for the ranch obsessed, boasting a ranch dressing-infused buttermilk, a homemade ranch seasoning sprinkle, and a delicious ranch butter to slather on while they're still warm.
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Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls
These tender rolls get their pale orange hue and delicate sweetness from mashed sweet potatoes.
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Cheddar Biscuits
How to make easy, flaky buttermilk biscuits, studded with sharp cheddar, smoky bacon and fragrant green onion.
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Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Grilled cheese sandwiches and soups go hand-in-hand. They’re the perfect vehicle for dunking into classic tomato soup and other creamy soups.

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Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

After testing seven different methods, we learned that the secret to making the best grilled cheese sandwich is using a combo of butter and mayo on the bread. The butter adds flavor, while the mayo ensures even golden browning plus the most delicious crispy exterior.

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Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese
Jalapeno popper meets grilled cheese in this spicy and gooey delight.
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Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
The air fryer is the answer for always crispy, always gooey grilled cheese sandwiches. Here's how to make them.
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Pimento Cheese Grilled Cheese
An ultra-gooey grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with pimento cheese spread.
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Cast Iron Pressed Pizza Sandwiches
This recipe, known in some regions as mountain pies, combines the best of a panini, grilled cheese, and pizza into one crisp sandwich.
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Birria Grilled Cheese
Inspired by birria tacos, these grilled cheese sandwiches have a crispy cheesy exterior, braised shredded beef, and gooey cheese within.
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Spinach-Artichoke Grilled Cheese
Here is the perfect ratio of melty cheese to crispy bread — with the primary flavors and ingredients of a spinach-artichoke dip.
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Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese
Sloppy joe filling gets the grilled cheese treatment for the ultimate saucy, crispy sandwich.
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Tomato Grilled Cheese

The best grilled cheese and tomato sandwich made with sharp cheddar and Gruyère.

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Spinach and Feta Grilled Cheese
This Mediterranean-inspired grilled cheese is loaded with garlicky spinach, roasted red peppers, caramelized lemon, and two kinds of cheese.
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Roasted Potatoes

When you want a dinner that’s hearty as can be, potatoes are the answer every time. Up the ante on basic roasted potatoes with garlic or herbs, or bring on the butter for the most irresistible roasted sweet potatoes.

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Roasted Baby Potatoes

Everyone needs a simple, versatile side that’s easy to partner with soup for dinner.

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Crash Hot Potatoes
Crash hot potatoes are like a cross between a fluffy baked potato and a greasy, golden french fry.
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Roasted Sweet Potatoes
These caramelized cubes crackle when you bite through the crisp surface and into the creamy center.
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3-Ingredient Garlicky Red Potatoes
Thick chunks of red potatoes are tossed with a generous dusting of garlic powder, then finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon before they hit the table.
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Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
This simple side is a timeless classic that's easy to pair with any pot of soup.
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Roasted Garlic Butter Fingerling Potatoes
A simple recipe for fingerling potatoes roasted in butter, olive oil, and garlic.
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Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes
Turn to your air fryer for this impossibly crispy and easy side dish.
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Oven-Roasted Potatoes

These extra-crispy oven-roasted potatoes are the perfect side for a bowl of soup.

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Butter-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
These sweet potatoes require just three ingredients — sweet potatoes, butter, and salt — so what makes them so much more delicious than any other sweet potatoes is time and patience.
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3-Ingredient Roasted Dijon Potatoes

Not only do these potatoes have the ultra-crispy, crackly edges you love, but they also have a little added tang and go well with any soup.

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Simple Salads

I cannot think of a soup that doesn’t partner well with a simple side salad. While the soup simmers on the stovetop, round up some greens and whatever bits and bobs of vegetables are hanging out in the crisper.

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Caesar Salad with Garlic Butter Breadcrumbs
A simple Caesar salad made with garlic butter breadcrumbs and a cheesy anchovy vinaigrette.
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Arugula & Fennel Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
When you need a simple salad to make the meal complete, this tumble of arugula and shaved fennel is all you need.
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Endive Salad
Crisp and snappy endive leaves with a light orange vinaigrette, toasted walnuts, and Parmesan cheese.
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Cucumber-Onion Salad

When you need a refreshing, easy side, look no further than this cucumber salad.

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5-Ingredient Kale Caesar Salad
This easy, anchovy-free version of classic Caesar salad, made with kale instead of romaine so it can be made ahead of time and keeps for days in the fridge.
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Easy Spinach Salad with Apples, Walnuts, and Feta
What really makes this salad great, though, is how interchangeable the ingredients are. Swap arugula or baby kale for the spinach and slip in whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand in place of the apple, like berries or stone fruit.
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Apple-Bacon Slaw
Welcome fall with this easy slaw of crispy bacon, crunchy cabbage, and sweet apples.
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Tomato and Feta White Bean Salad
Thanks to the beans, this easy recipe packs in extra protein to make your meal more filling.
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9 / 10
Arugula Beet Salad
Starting with steamed, vacuumed-packed beets (readily available in the produce section), mean this fast and fancy salad comes together in just 10 minutes.
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10 / 10
Weeknight Winter Salad
This salad starts with a base of sweet Swiss chard and is filled with roasted sweet potato, fennel, and cucumbers tossed in a lemony vinaigrette.
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