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What To Serve With Cottage Pie – 17 Best Side Dishes

This article was updated on the 9th of September 2023 for clarity and freshness.

If you’re wondering what to serve with your cottage pie, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 17 of the most popular side dishes for cottage pie.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best dishes to serve with cottage pie are Irish soda bread, baked beans, Yorkshire pudding, and green bean salad. For healthier options, try garlic broccolini, sugar snap peas, and glazed Brussels sprouts. Go with baked eggplant and potato chips for fun, unconventional choices.

For each side dish, I’ve provided alternative options to cater to various diets and lifestyles, including vegan, quick and easy, and health-conscious options.

Traditional British Sides

Stay true to cottage pie’s English roots by pairing it with these classic side dishes.

Homemade Heinz Baked Beans

5.0 ⭐️ (71 ratings) | 1 hr 35 mins

If you want an extra filling meal, serve your cottage pie with a piping hot bowl of baked beans on the side.

This recipe is simple to prepare, although you do need patience. The beans need to be simmered for about an hour and a half until they become tender, but this recipe is absolutely worth it. As the name suggests, it tastes really close to Heinz’s baked beans. Finish it off with cornflour to thicken the broth, and you’re done.

You can serve these beans in a bowl, but I love scooping them straight over a helping of my cottage pie for the ultimate British comfort meal. Yum!

What readers are saying…

“This recipe is awesome. I usually have to stock up when I return to the UK. I shan’t bother in future as your version tastes so much better and minus any ingredients I don’t like the sound of!”

“This was so much better than canned beans and so easy to make. Thanks for another great recipe.”

“Oh. These beans are the best. I actually drank the sauce. I like baked beans but this recipe elevates British BB to a whole new level.”

🥣 Smoky Tomato Beans
🥗 Three-Bean Salad

Yorkshire Pudding

5.0 ⭐️ (13 ratings) | 29 mins

Do you feel like going with a classic side to pair with your cottage pie? You can’t go wrong with these traditional Yorkshire puddings.

They’re lightly crisp and fluffy, perfect for mopping up your cottage pie’s saucy filling. The Kitchen Magpie recommends using beef drippings to achieve that subtle savory flavor.

The only caveat is you’ll need to serve these immediately, so you can enjoy them at their best texture.

What readers are saying…

I used to live in England and I’ve been looking for some good recipes from there. I made this tonight and it was amazing! I even got the approval of my brother-in-law who happens to be British!

Absolutely love yorkies! Like you, I would rather have the puddings and gravy than the meat!

🥖 Gluten-Free Yorkshire Pudding
🌿 Cheesy Herbed Popovers

Cheesy Leeks

4.9 ⭐️ (8 ratings) | 25 mins

Want to make your cottage pie even more decadent? Serve it with a side of these cheesy leeks!

Now, you might think this is just a cheese sauce, but the silky leeks add a delightful oniony kick that takes this to another level. And if that’s not enough, Veggie Desserts tops this dish off with panko to contrast all the creamy, tender textures.

Pro-tip: The dark green-colored sections of the leeks are too fibrous for this dish — use them to make a stock instead.

What readers are saying…

“This was delicious! It was new for me and the whole family loved it with some grilled chicken!”

“Oh what a good idea and a delicious one too. This would make a great side at Christmas.”

Always looking for new ways to use up leeks, what a delicious option!

🥰 Creamed Leeks
🤩 Fried Leeks

Roast Parsnips

4.9 ⭐️ (2 ratings) | 30 mins

Are you planning to serve cottage pie at Christmas? These roast parsnips are an ideal festive dish to pair with it.

They’re naturally sweet, so you can keep the seasoning simple with a dash of salt and pepper. But I like following Easy Peasy Foodie’s lead and using a combination of honey and thyme, which helps draw out more of the parsnips’ sweet, earthy notes.

What the chef says…

“To ensure honey roast parsnip perfection, simply cook your parsnips without honey for the first 20 minutes, then drizzle with honey and return to the oven for the final 10 minutes. 10 minutes is just enough time for the honey to caramelise slightly, but not long enough to burn – perfect!”

🍯 Honey Glazed Carrots
Roasted Rutabaga

English Pickled Onions

5.0 ⭐️ (53 ratings) | 35 mins

These are not your ordinary pickled onions.

This British classic features pearl onions that are soaked in brine specifically made with malt vinegar. This ingredient is a must because it’s what gives these pickles their characteristic brown color and a uniquely sweet-tangy, caramelized flavor.

They’re the perfect palate cleanser for a dish as rich as cottage pie.

What readers are saying…

“This is a great recipe thank you. SO much better (and cheaper!) than supermarket ones.”

This is the second time I have made them. Excellent flavor.

I soaked mine for 6 hours and got beautiful crunchy pickles the recipe is great the taste of the brine excellent.

🤩 Onion Rings
🥘Caramelized Onions

Salads

Whip up a quick salad if you want to lighten up your cottage pie meal. Leafy greens tossed in a vinaigrette is the simplest option, but there are lots of more exciting recipes you can try.

Green Bean Salad

Total Time: 5 mins

Looking for a refreshing dish to serve with your cottage pie? This green bean salad fits the bill. 

It’s packed to the brim with contrasting and complementing flavors and textures. And everything’s tied together with a tangy balsamic lemon basil vinaigrette that offsets the richness of your cottage pie.

Psst… got leftovers? They’re great for the next day’s lunch!

What readers are saying…

Hi, made this recipe for the first time yesterday and its delicious, I had leftovers tonight and its tastier!

“I’ve made this twice now with and without cheese and beetroot. Awesome each time. Mushrooms went well in it too.”

🌞Green bean Salad with Lemon and Dill
🌷 Shaved Asparagus Spring Salad

Fresh Spring Salad

5.0 ⭐️ (2 ratings) | 15 mins

Cottage pie is a heavy dish, so if you want to go light on the sides, make this gorgeous salad. 

It’s loaded with lots of spring veggies that bring a fresh contrast to your decadent cottage pie. And everything is dressed with a lemon vinaigrette that refreshes your palate in every bite.

But what I love about this salad is how easily customizable it is. You can swap out the veggies for whatever fresh produce you have. And I like adding roasted sunflower seeds for an extra crunch.

What readers are saying…

“I made this salad today for a Mother’s Day get-together and everybody loved it! I substituted sugar snap peas for the asparagus and topped it with a few handfuls of sunflower shoots. Thanks for the yummy idea!”

Winter Kale Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
🍂 Pear Salad with Balsamic and Walnuts

French Carrot Salad

5.0 ⭐️ (2 ratings) | 15 mins

Take some inspiration from French cuisine and whip up this carrot salad to go with your cottage pie.

It’s popular in French cafes and restaurants for a reason. The carrots, combined with the dijon vinaigrette, give you the perfect blend of sweet, peppery, and tangy flavors.

You can also add toasted pistachios, poppy seeds, or even radishes if you want extra texture, but I found the carrots are satisfying on their own.

Pro-tip: Use your food processor or a box grater to achieve those thin carrot slivers.

What readers are saying…

Delicious and very easy! Quick side dish that used up extra farmers market carrots. Will make again.

 “I love carrot salad and could happily eat it on its own.”

🔥 Carrot Salad with Cranberries
🥒 Cucumber Dill Salad

Roasted Corn Israeli Couscous

5.0 ⭐️ (2 ratings) | 15 mins

On the lookout for something light and healthy? Meet this roasted corn couscous recipe.

It’s a starch-based salad, but couscous has lower calories and more protein than its counterparts like rice and pasta. And you don’t have to stick with the veggies in this recipe — use whatever you have on hand!

Enjoy this bright couscous salad with a serving of your cottage pie for a filling and nourishing meal.

What readers are saying…

“Made this tonight and I loved it! My family loved it was well! This will be a regular dish in our family now. Thank you for sharing!”

“Served with grilled split chicken great summer dish.”

🥗 Black Bean and Corn Salad
🇲🇽 Mexican Street Corn Salad

Vegetables

Cottage pie already has veggies in its meaty filling, but I think there’s no such thing as too much vegetables! Plus, not only are these veggie sides nourishing, but most of them also add a pop of color that’ll brighten up your plate. We eat with our eyes first, after all.

Garlic Broccolini

5.0 ⭐️ (5 ratings) | 15 mins

Cottage pie is an elaborate dish and if you want a simple side, make this garlic broccolini.

The crisp-tender broccolini is garlicky and has hints of citrus, making it the ideal accompaniment to an indulgent dish such as cottage pie. I also like adding a pinch of red pepper flakes for a kick heat.

And the best part? You can get this side dish to the table in 15 minutes, prep time included.

What readers are saying…

It’s literally perfect. I’ll make this the rest of my life. Maybe some parm sprinkled over? I feel like you could really tinker with it but I ate the entire pound of it and didn’t share.

“Super simple and flavorful.”

“I am currently making this now. All I can say is, wow & yummy! I will be making this a lot. Thanks for sharing.”

🥗 Broccolini Salad with Mushrooms
🥬 Garlic Sauteed Spinach

Burgundy Mushrooms

5.0 ⭐️ (3 ratings) | 3 hrs 5 mins

Got any leftover burgundy (or any red wine)? Use it to make this umami-filled side that’ll go great with your cottage pie.

This dish takes some time to make, but it’s so worth the wait. The mushrooms soak up all the goodness from the wine-spiked broth, giving them a richer, more complex flavor and a deeper color.

And if you have any leftovers, you can enjoy them the next day! I especially love these mushrooms with a juicy steak.

What readers are saying…

“The longer the mushrooms simmer, the better they are. Yes, I reheat and serve leftovers!”

“I bet these taste like the ones they served at “STEAK & ALE” restaurants. They Were the BEST!”

Mushroom Saute
🍄 Creamy Garlic Mushrooms

Sweet and Sour German Red Cabbage

5.0 ⭐️ (57 ratings) | 50 mins

This classic German dish is an excellent addition to your cottage pie. As the name suggests, it has a distinct sweet and sour flavor from the balsamic vinegar, which is exactly what you need to cut through your cottage pie’s rich, savory flavor.

And it’s super easy to make. Everything comes together in one pot, which means less mess for you to deal with after. Plus, there’s very little hands-on cooking involved. Most of the cooking time is spent simmering the cabbage to make it tender and infuse it with flavor.

Enjoy a generous helping of this dish alongside your cottage pie for a delicious fusion comfort meal.

What readers are saying…

“It’s amazing! I added one apple and simmered it with the rest for 30 minutes. Will make it again 10/10.”

“Perfect recipe; super easy and delicious. I added a bit of salt, but otherwise the recipe was great.”

So good, so easy, no prep time really, and not costly to tight budgets. I made the “notched up” version.

😇 Sauteed Cabbage
Vinegar Slaw

Garlic Sugar Snap Peas

5.0 ⭐️ (1 rating) | 10 mins

Add more nutrition to your cottage pie with a serving of these sauteed sugar snap peas. 

These veggies have a pleasantly mild flavor that you only need to enhance by adding minced garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. The quick cook also gives them a crisp-tender bite to contrast your cottage pie’s soft, creamy texture.

Think this is a tad too plain? Add a dash of red pepper flakes or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

What readers are saying…

Loved this recipe! I was so happy to find an alternative to regular vegetables round at my house.

Love, love, love this recipe.”

🌿 Minty Sugar Snap Peas
😇 Snap Pea Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Total Time: 17 mins

Add a touch of spice to your cottage pie with these glazed Brussels sprouts.

They’re roasted in the air fryer, which reduces cooking time while ensuring they come out extra crispy. And as soon as they’re finished cooking, The Slim Situation tosses them in a spicy balsamic-honey mixture, giving them a sweet-tangy bite and a light kick.

And if you can’t handle the heat, no worries! I like making these sprouts with smoked paprika too for a smoky twist.

What readers are saying…

“Tried it out and it was really delicious!!”

I double this recipe because I had 2 lbs of Brussel sprouts. It was delicious. I added 2 tlbs of chili flakes. It was pretty hot! Experiment with you chilis!

“This was delicious. I used maple syrup instead of honey and also tossed in some tofu that was left over and served over quinoa. Yumm!”

🤩 Smashed Brussels Sprouts
🤤 Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts

Garlic Parmesan Baked Eggplant

4.9 ⭐️ (135 ratings) | 38 mins

Serve these crispy baked eggplant slices as a fun side dish to your cottage pie.

It seems unusual at first, but hear me out. Your cottage pie’s beef filling is reminiscent of classic bolognese, which goes superbly with crispy eggplant.

Plus, the eggplant’s crisp coating is a nice contrast to the creaminess of the cottage pie’s mashed potato topping.

What readers are saying…

Everyone in my house loved this baked eggplant recipe! It turned out perfectly crispy and was so delicious!

“These crispy baked eggplant slices are an absolute delight – a very delicious side dish or appetizer option.”

This was really good! For the breadcrumbs, I used half regular breadcrumbs and the other half Japanese panko breadcrumbs and it was AMAZING.

🇮🇹 Eggplant Caponata
🕐 Marinated Eggplant

Starchy Sides

These starchy sides are the way to go if you’re looking to treat yourself. Be warned though — indulge responsibly!

Irish Soda Bread

4.7 ⭐️ (174 ratings) | 1 hr 5 mins

You need a good loaf of crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce from your cottage pie’s filling, so why not try your hand at making your own? I highly recommend this Irish soda bread.

This Irish soda bread is a crusty bread that’s incredibly easy to make. You don’t even need any yeast!

The dough goes straight to the oven after kneading, so you’ll get to immediately enjoy your Irish soda bread.

What readers are saying…

“None of us had ever eaten Irish soda bread. It came together quickly and baked in 35 minutes. We liked it so much that we didn’t have leftovers.”

I made this recipe, which turned out fantastic!

“So good I could eat it all by myself lol, but I won’t be greedy I will share with my Dutch hubby.”

😇 Gluten-Free Bread
🧘‍♀️ Keto-Bread Rolls

Potato Chip

5.0 ⭐️ (208 ratings) | 30 mins

Can’t get enough potatoes? Make your meal more decadent by whipping up some potato chips to go with your cottage pie. 

It may be a controversial side, but these chips will add a pleasant crunchy texture to your meal. Plus, you can even dip them in your pie’s filling.

Feel Good Foodie keeps the seasoning on these chips simple with a blend of salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika. But you can easily add any spices or herbs you prefer. Truffle salt anyone?

What readers are saying…

Excellent, family loved them!

“I really appreciate how whole and natural these chips are. I know what’s in them and I control the sodium and fat.”

“Amazing! I can’t have fried foods and this is a great potato chip substitute.”

🍠 Parmesan Thyme Sweet Potato Stacks
🧀 Cheesy Zucchini Chips

What To Serve With Cottage Pie – 17 Best Side Dishes

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your cottage pie.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cottage pie side dishes, what to serve with cottage pie
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 112kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion Irish soda bread
  • 1 portion Green bean salad
  • 1 portion Cheesy leek gratin
  • 1 portion Watercress salad
  • 1 portion Yorkshire Pudding
  • 1 portion Burgundy Mushrooms …. and more

Instructions

  • Prepare your cottage pie according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: Irish soda bread, homemade baked beans, Yorkshire pudding, green bean salad, burgundy mushrooms, garlic broccolini, springtime buttered peas, potato chips, butter lettuce and watercress salad, roast parsnips, braised red cabbage, cheesy leek gratin, french carrot salad, garlic sugar snap peas, glazed brussels sprouts, roasted corn couscous, garlic and parmesan baked eggplant.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 112kcal

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