A Cuban sandwich is a meat lover’s dream. It’s packed with ham and roasted pork; some include salami for extra measure. The other ingredients – cheese, pickles, Cuban bread, and mustard – tie it together. Once the whole affair is grilled or toasted, there’s hardly anything else you can ask for.
But a little extra on the side does wonders for your Cuban sandwich. That little extra is often potato chips, but this article will open you to more options for what to serve with Cuban sandwich. From Cuban-influenced dishes to simple classic sides, you can whip up something quick and easy for your sandwich!
As stated, potato chips are the classic pairing to Cuban sandwiches. Although you can grab a bag of Lays or any brand and call it a day, nothing beats the quality, taste, and satisfaction of homemade. Thus, try it! It is simpler than you would think, as you need only oil, salt, and potatoes. Moreover, it’s free from preservatives, so it’s at least healthier than chips from a bag.
In the West, potatoes might be the traditional crop. But in Cuba, their treats usually revolve around plantains and yuca, AKA cassava, as it is what they have. Thus, make these plantain chips for a Cuban feel! They’re thin and crisp, like usual chips, but with a hint of sweetness because of the plantain. The added salt also complements that sweetness, so the taste profile is complex.
As discussed, yuca, or cassava, is one of the major crops in the Cuban area. Thus, they’ve tried making chips out of it, too, and it’s just as good as potatoes or plantains! This article also teaches you how to cook it in three ways: air fried, deep-fried, or baked. Either way, they come out crisp, airy, and delicious, the type that snaps deliciously with every bite.
If the thinness of chips isn’t your cup of tea, you can try the usual sandwich pairing instead: French fries. It’s got the classic starchy, salty taste of potato side dishes, but the textures are different from chips. You get a tender and fluffy inside, surrounded by a crisp and crunchy exterior. As they’re homemade and baked, they’re free from preservatives, less oily, and healthier.
5. Yuca Fries
You can also make fries from cassava or yuca, and the textures are similar to the classic ones: fluffy inside with crisp skin. However, they are bigger than the usual dainty ones, so it’s best for those who like thick fries. The flavors are also slightly different, with yuca leaning towards sweetness and nuttiness. Thus, if you’re up to exploring renditions of your favorites, try this recipe!
Sweet potatoes are another great alternative to potatoes. Like yuca and plantains, you can make chips and fries with them! Despite the name, sweet potatoes aren’t that similar to potatoes. Both are starchy, but the former tastes sweet and such quality comes out whether you make fries or chips. Thus, if you like such flavors, make these baked sweet potato fries! They’re healthy, delicious, and crispy!
7. Dill Pickles
Although Cuban sandwiches often have pickles already, it wouldn’t hurt to have more. A spear or two brightens your meal by contributing fresh and tangy flavors. Moreover, if you make this recipe, you can use it for other purposes besides as a side dish to your Cuban sandwich. It also takes little time or ingredients to prepare, although you’ll have to let it pickle for a week.
You can easily switch up the way you serve your pickles! Fried pickles are a county delicacy that’s perfect with Cuban sandwiches. When you bite into one, the crunchy, flavorful outside gives way to a juicy, tender inside. This recipe uses dill pickle spears, although you can also use slices, so they’d look like chips. You’ll need flour, milk, baking powder, egg, paprika, and black pepper for the batter.
You shouldn’t miss the opportunity to serve your Cuban sandwich with an iconic Cuban delicacy: black beans. This dish is exceptionally flavorful because many spices and seasonings are added to the beans, including cumin, oregano, coriander, jalapenos, paprika, cilantro, and lime. Thus, expect a rich, spicy, tangy, and complex-tasting affair. The consistency is up to you – you can thicken or keep it relatively dry.
10. Baked Beans
You can also try the classic baked beans with your Cuban sandwich. It’s as flavorful as Cuban black beans, albeit in a different way, as it’s sweet, smoky, and saucy. The taste profile is highly reminiscent of bbq and grilled meats. It has bbq sauce, ketchup, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, chipotle, paprika, and other similar flavorings. However, it takes more time and effort to make than black beans.
11. Green Salad
If you want to keep your meal light and healthy, a sandwich and salad combo is a surefire way to achieve that. Thus, pair your Cuban sandwich with this green salad with lettuce, cucumber, parmesan, pepitas, avocados, micro greens, and tamari almonds. However, like any other salad recipe, you can swap ingredients or change the proportions. You can even use a different dressing besides the recommended lemon vinaigrette.
12. Potato Salad
Are you having your Cuban sandwich under a hot summer sun? If so, the best pair would be a bowl of refreshing and cold potato salad. Often reserved for potlucks, bbq, and summer picnics, this treat is fantastic with a simple sandwich. It’s creamy, fresh, and easy to make, although you’d need to prepare this a few hours beforehand so it can chill in the fridge.