Valentine's Day

10 Classic Side Dishes to Serve with Steak

updated Feb 12, 2021
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steak dinner with sides and wine on a plate
Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig; Food Stylist: Catrine Kelty

The next time you want to take your home-cooked dinner to the next level, don’t lose sight of the sides. The main dish is important, but the sides are what makes the meal feel truly special.

There’s nothing new to this concept — think about the best steakhouse meal you’ve ever had. There was that perfectly cooked pan-seared steak, with a mahogany crust and velvety pan sauce. But remember that tender creamed spinach you ate with quiet reverence? Oh, and that twice-baked potato with the ultra-crispy skin and decadent filling? And those buttered mushrooms? You could have just ordered the mushrooms and a glass of red wine and been happy. You see, scene-stealing sides are part of the tradition of the great steak dinner. So when you’re making steak for dinner at home, take note and follow suit.

Keep It Classic

You know why steakhouse sides tend to steal the show? Because the dishes never change. No one is really interested in reinventing the wheel on what to serve with steak because what has been traditionally served is still pretty much as good as it gets. Every now and then some incredible, cheesy grit soufflé situation will show up, but really, that’s just an iteration of what mac and cheese does. So when you’re making a steak dinner at home, don’t veer too far from the greatness you know.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

A chilled wedge salad is the key to iceberg lettuce’s salvation because no green can remain as refreshing or crisp under a cloak of homemade blue cheese dressing the way it can. Make this salad your starter. And trust us, you’re going to want to chill the plate. If blue cheese dressing isn’t your thing, we can’t be friends anymore. Just kidding! Try another hearty dressing like Thousand Island in its place. Iceberg lettuce was built for it; let it live up to its potential.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

What do you call a dinner of steak and baked potato? The answer: a great steak dinner. What do you call a dinner of steak with a twice-baked potato? A work of art. Our recipe for the best twice-baked potato is all about taking the maximalist approach to this side when you’re preparing it at home. The potato gets mixed with butter, sour cream, a bit of garlic, and of course cheese before it’s baked again. And yes, it’s as luxurious as it sounds. This side dish is fancy enough so the vegetarians at the table have something over-the-top delicious to stick their fork in.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

There’s only one way to eat creamed spinach, and that’s slowly, preferably with your eyes closed. When done right, each spoonful is sacred proof of how easily a handful of everyday ingredients can come together to make a dish that screams “special occasion.” Best yet, we’ve got two ways to do it and surprisingly, both leave out the cream. Our classic version relies on half-and-half and Parmesan to create the sauce, while a quick weeknight version makes a sauce from the butter-bathed spinach itself.

Credit: Lauren Volo

Fast and fancy vegetables sides are your steak dinner secret weapon. The right recipes delivers something special with few ingredients and not a lot of time because, truthfully, vegetables are great on their own — all a good recipe does is highlight it. With our bourbon-glazed carrots, their sweetness is put front and center with the help of the boozy brown sugar glaze. Similarly, everyday button or cremini mushrooms get a chance to show off their meatiness in a sweet and savory butter-balsamic sauce. Steak fries, those pillows of potato perfection, just ask you to use the best potato for the job (Yukon Gold!) to ensure greatness. And the best part? All of these recipes are done in an hour or less.

So the next time you’re planning to make a great steak dinner at home, don’t forget to give the sides their due. Your steak will thank you!