french side dishes

22 French Side Dishes You Absolutely Need To Try

Are you preparing a traditional French dinner and are looking for a side dish to complement your delectable main course? You have to try your hand at one of these classic French side dishes. From mild and creamy to tangy and cheesy, these sides pair nicely with just about everything under the sun.

Regardless of what you’re cooking, these French side dishes, which range from Perfect Pommes Frites Recipe (French Fries) to Gratin Dauphinois (Scalloped Potatoes), will undoubtedly elevate your meals!

#1. Baked Brie Appetizer

This ooey-gooey delight is perfect as an appetizer before your main course or to pair with hearty dishes. To make, place the brie on top of a baking sheet, surround it with bread slices, add a drizzle of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of fresh herbs, and bake until the cheese is melty and delicious. Serve immediately to enjoy!

#2. Balsamic Peppers

If you’re looking for a side dish that comes together quickly, this balsamic pepper recipe is the answer. All you need to do is stir fry shredded red and yellow/orange peppers in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper until tender, then serve hot. You can also add some diced onion to this side dish to improve its flavor profile.

#3. Broccoli Au Gratin (In the Best Cheese Sauce)

This dish is so incredibly cheesy, creamy, and delicious that even those who aren’t fans of the vegetable will ask for seconds! In this recipe, the au gratin is smothered in a deliciously cheesy sauce made with Gruyere Cheese with hints of aromatic nutmeg. Serve with a piece of baguette or crusty bread to dip into cheesy goodness!

#4. Pommes Aligot (Cheesy Mashed Potatoes)

This recipe shows you how to make the perfect pommes aligot that’s creamy, cheesy, and incredibly stretchy! Although the traditional recipe uses Tomme fraîche, which is difficult to find outside France, you can still make excellent cheesy mashed potatoes using a combination of cheeses like Gruyère and Swiss. Serve hot with meat or sausage dishes for an indulgent meal!

#5. Creamed Leeks

Leeks bring a subtle flavor as well as a beautiful pop of color to dishes, elevating their overall appeal. It’s a hearty and healthy dish that you can put together in less than 30 minutes. Serve them hot with any roasted meat or a vegetarian main meal for a hearty supper, or double the portion to serve as the main course.

#6. Cream of Broccoli Soup

This creamy, filling broccoli soup is perfect for those extra busy weeknights when you’re running low on energy. It comes together quickly, is super nutritious, has a wonderful texture (which can be blended to your desired consistency), and packs a powerful flavor punch. Top it off with some heavy cream or fresh chives and pair it with sandwiches or salads.

#7. Easy French Lentils

Lentils are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and this dish transforms them into something truly delicious. Cook French lentils in vegetable broth with kosher salt, dried Mediterranean herbs, and garlic powder to infuse them with rich flavors. Then, season them with chopped herbs and some minced garlic. Enjoy as-is or add them to tacos or salads!

#8. Easy Lyonnaise Potatoes

This classic French recipe takes the humble potato to new heights. The potatoes in this recipe are tender on the inside and deliciously crisp on the outside, and they share the spotlight with butter and onion to create a simple yet delicious dish. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley, and watch how quickly it flies off the table.

#9. French Onion Soup

The appeal of the caramelized onion soup was unmatched, up until the French brought cheesy bread to the mix. The rich flavor of deep golden and sweet onions in the rich beef broth pairs beautifully with toasted bread and cheese, adding a tonne of flavor to the soup for a toothsome meal.

#10. French Pumpkin Soup

If you’ve never experimented with heirloom French pumpkin, you need to try this recipe. It has a wonderfully deep pumpkin taste that is enhanced by the use of aromatics like rosemary, thyme, sage, Italian parsley, and fresh nutmeg, all cooked in chicken stock. To enjoy, serve it with toasted French baguette pieces topped with Gruyere cheese.

#11. French Style Sweet Potato Soufflé

This French recipe offers an elegant twist to the humble sweet potatoes, making them irresistible to both children and adults! To make this delicacy, mash baked sweet potatoes with brown sugar, butter, and an egg, then top with a pecan streusel topping and serve with a lemon maple sauce to brighten the flavor. It’s the perfect side dish to serve with elaborate dinners over the holidays.

#12. Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms (Champignons farcis au beurre d’escargot)

This side dish, which can also be served as an appetizer, will wow your guests. To make, fill mushrooms with a delicious paste made with softened butter, grated garlic, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Add freshly grated parmesan and bake. Top these perfect little bites with a sprinkle of thyme before serving!

#13. Gratin Dauphinois (Scalloped Potatoes)

Crisp, evenly-cooked thinly-sliced potatoes layered with butter, cream, and melted gruyere — even the thought of it gets the taste buds going. Baked to golden brown perfection and topped with fresh thyme, one scoop of this crispy textured and cheesy flavored delight is all it will take for you to fall in love with this rich, creamy dish.

#14. Haricots Verts Amandine and a White Bordeaux Wine Pairing

Green beans, cooked and pan-fried, have a mild flavor that combines perfectly with crunchy toasted almonds, butter, and a squeeze of lemon juice. The nutty and slightly lemony flavors of this elegant side dish pair wonderfully with fish, chicken, or pork. Serve it with your favorite wine to experience an incredible spectrum of flavors on your tongue.

#15. Gougères (French Cheese Puffs)

A classic French side dish, these soft and airy cheese puffs are super flavorful and evidence that cheese can be incredibly transformative. In this recipe, you combine flour, butter, eggs, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and gruyere cheese to make the pate a choux. Baked to golden perfection, serve the gougères hot with a salmon spread, chicken salad, or any other main dish.

#16. Perfect Pommes Frites Recipe (French Fries)

Don’t let the name fool you; French fries weren’t actually created in France, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying this fried treat. Cut and cook the fries by following the Belgian fry technique, then season with salt and serve to enjoy. You may also prepare this ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until ready to fry.

#17. Petits Pois a la Francaise, French Peas

This recipe uses only a handful of ingredients and can be made in under 30 minutes. For preparing this gourmet pea recipe, simply combine sweet baby peas with lots of butter, leeks, lettuce, as well as smoky speck lardons for an otherworldly delight.

#18. Ratatouille

A dish made popular by the famous Pixar film of the same name, ratatouille is one of those dishes that can be served as a main course or as a side dish — talk about flexibility! It’s loaded with vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers, as well as spices, seasonings, and herbs to create layers of flavor. Safe to say, it will quickly become a feature in your meal rotation.

#19. Rouille Sauce

This French side goes well with just about anything, making it a very popular accompaniment in Provence in Southeastern France. Make it using monkfish livers, sweet peppers, potato, garlic, olive oil, saffron threads, and salt, and serve it over fish soup or with garlic-rubbed bread croutons for a gourmet feast.

#20. Parsnip Soup with Herbes de Provence

This parsnip soup recipe is thick, creamy, and flavorful — the perfect comfort food for cold winter months. To make, cabbage, parsnips, celery roots, and carrots are cooked in chicken broth with a bouquet of Herbes de Provence and then blended until smooth. Season it with salt and pepper and serve hot.

#21. Wild Mushrooms Bordelaise (Bordeaux Style)

Craving something with earthy mushrooms? This stir-fried wild mushroom recipe is a light and flavorsome side dish you can pair with various dishes. To make, caramelize the mushrooms with salt and pepper, then add butter, shallot, and parsley, stirring well to distribute seasonings. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and place them on paper towels to absorb any excess liquid to serve.

#22. Salad de Maison with Fresh Lemon Dressing

This salad is a lovely marriage of texture and flavors, and it’s guaranteed to be a hit with anyone who gets a taste. It contains toasted slivered almonds, bacon, romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, croutons, and Swiss and Parm cheese, all tossed with a tangy and sweet dressing made of lemon, oil, garlic, and a little bit of honey. This simple side can be paired with any main dish.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.