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What To Serve With Irish Stew – 15 Best Side Dishes

This article was updated on the 23rd of August 2023 for clarity and freshness.

If you’re wondering what to serve with your Irish stew, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 15 of the most popular side dishes for Irish stew.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best side dishes for Irish stew include Irish soda bread, easy rice pilaf, and pickled red cabbage. You can also serve dishes such as buttermilk biscuits, buttered egg noodles, and southern collard greens. For a healthy side, try serving the stew with a green bean salad or a lemon arugula salad.

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.

Starches

I know Irish stew already has some starchy vegetables, but that rich broth needs something to soak it up and there’s no better way to do it than with carb-loaded sides. You can never go wrong with a slice of Irish soda bread, but there are also a lot more options to explore.

Irish Soda Bread

5.0 ⭐️ (93 ratings) | 45 mins

A side of soda bread is a must-have when serving up Irish stew. It’s a traditional bread made with buttermilk and (you guessed it) baking soda. 

The buttermilk adds a tangy taste, while the baking soda gives the bread a light and airy crumb. It’s the perfect vehicle you need for mopping up any leftover stew.

And another great thing about this bread? There’s no proofing needed, so you can get warm, freshly baked bread done just in time for dinner.

What readers are saying…

“My partner LOVES this, and his family are Irish. So 10/10. So easy and turns out perfectly every time.”

“I was given this for breakfast when I stayed in Southern Ireland by my landlady. It was delicious! I’ve baked this, it’s sooo easy and tasted exactly like the one from the Airbnb.”

“Made it this morning for breakfast and the whole family loved it, better than anything shop bought! Kept the dough moist as you suggested – thanks for a great recipe and description!”

🧀 Jalapeno Cheddar Dutch Oven Bread
😇 Keto Flaxseed Bread
🧄 Air fryer Garlic Bread

Gruyere Chive Popovers

4.8 ⭐️ (5 ratings) | 40 mins

What exactly are popovers? They’re the American version of Yorkshire pudding. You could describe them as like a cross between a pancake and a muffin (but better than both). 

And they’re great for your Irish stew. They’re incredibly light and fluffy and they act like bread without being anywhere near as heavy or filling. 

These popovers from Just A Taste also have a lightly nutty, oniony taste that makes them so addictive!

What readers are saying…

“I just made this using skim milk instead of whole and they turned out beautifully.”

“Airy and flavorful. I greased the pan to ensure they wouldn’t stick. Looking forward to serving these at my holiday dinner.”

Buttered Egg Noodles

5.0 ⭐️ (85 ratings) | 13 mins

I’m all about comfort food, and the combination of buttery noodles and a warm, saucy stew couldn’t be any more comforting. 

The butter sauce adds another layer of richness to the dish, and the noodles’ wide shape helps capture more of your stew’s rich broth. Yum!

This recipe uses garlic powder because it’s a lot more convenient than the fresh stuff!

What readers are saying…

“Absolutely delicious! So easy to make and full of flavor. I was skeptical about using garlic powder vs. fresh garlic as I usually do but wanted to give it a try. My hubby and I LOVED this.”

“I made these for dinner and they were delicious! This is a keeper. Thanks for sharing!”

“This recipe is a staple in our house!!! It pairs perfectly with just about anything and it’s SO GOOD every single time!

Buttermilk Biscuits

4.9 ⭐️ (72 ratings) | 23 mins

One of the best ways to eat Irish stew is with a side of buttermilk biscuits. They’re easier to make than bread, but you can use them the same way.

While premade biscuit dough is readily available in stores, this recipe allows you to easily make a batch from scratch. You’ll only need three ingredients: self-rising flour, frozen butter, and buttermilk.

And in less than 30 minutes, you’ll have a tray of tender, flaky biscuits, ready to go.

What readers are saying…

“These biscuits are amazing. I could never make biscuits, but these are so easy. I would go so far as saying ‘foolproof’. I am so addicted to them that I make them every chance I get.”

“This is my second time making biscuits period. This recipe was so simple and easy for a beginner like me.”

“So easy, and I finally am proud of a batch of biscuits that I made!!! I loved your video too, watching you really helped me perfect the technique! thank you!”

Rice Pilaf

4.7 ⭐️ (189 ratings) | 30 mins

Rice pilaf is far superior to plain rice, and isn’t that much harder to make. The added orzo makes it extra hearty, while the chicken broth and aromatics infuse the rice with a deep, savory flavor right off the bat.

And if you want to bulk it up even more, you can add mushrooms, peas, carrots, or even dried fruits if you like a pop of sweetness.

Enjoy your Irish stew alongside a generous serving of this easy rice pilaf for a satisfying and delicious meal.

What readers are saying…

“Hands-down, my absolute favorite rice pilaf ever! I’d take this over any box mix or restaurant. So good!”

“This was delicious. I found it at the 11th hour before dinner and did not have any orzo or vermicelli. Angel hair pasta worked just fine.”

“This pilaf is DELICIOUS! Easy to prepare and turns out great every time!”

Focaccia Bread

5.0 ⭐️ (132 ratings) | 2 hrs 10 mins

This Italian classic is another bread you can serve with your Irish stew if you want to switch things up.

It boasts a golden, crunchy crust that contrasts with the soft meat and veggies of your stew. Plus its insides are pillowy-soft and excellent for soaking every drop of the broth.

The only catch is unlike Irish Soda Bread, focaccia requires two rounds of proofing, so you’ll need to plan ahead. But the wait is worth it once you have it baked!

What readers are saying…

“I love this recipe. It’s relatively quick as far as bread making goes and never fails to deliver delicious focaccia that tastes far better than anything I can find locally.”

“I’d never made focaccia until now. And I’ve made it twice in 2 weeks. It’s so easy and the taste of fresh, warm, crispy focaccia out of the oven is amazing.”

“I made this Focaccia today and it is so good. My search for the Focaccia recipe is finally over. I am going to put the bread out of my sight before I eat the whole pan.”

Vegetables

Irish stew traditionally comes with vegetables, but it wouldn’t hurt to add more for extra nourishment. I love serving pickled red cabbage for a bright, tangy contrast, although you can also go with sauteed greens if you’re in a rush.

Quick Pickled Red Cabbage

4.9 ⭐️ (64 ratings) | 1 hr 15 mins

Quick pickled red cabbage is a fabulous side dish for your Irish stew. The vinegar and sugar brine infuses the veg with a sweet-tangy flavor that helps cut through the richness of your stew and keep it from getting overwhelming.

Plus, the deep purple cabbage also brings a nice pop of color to the plate. After all, we eat with our eyes first, right?

Another great thing about this side dish is how easy it is to make. The actual work only takes 15 minutes, and the rest is letting the cabbage soak in the brine. And once you’re done, a batch lasts for a month when kept in the refrigerator.

What readers are saying…

“Great recipe – I have shared this with my mother-in-law and she was very pleased with the outcome.”

“This pickled red cabbage makes for a great condiment and it is something I could see going well with a variety of different recipes.”

“This looks so good! I did the recipe and now waiting. It is so tempting to just open up the jar and try them… they look so good!!”

Southern Collard Greens

4.7 ⭐️ (280 ratings) | 31 mins

Bring a delicious Southern touch to your Irish stew with a serving of these collard greens.

They’re tender and packed with a savory, tangy flavor that melds beautifully with the richness of your stew.

Traditional recipes often require the greens to be cooked low and slow, but this version uses an Instant Pot to speed things up. In just 30 minutes, you can get warm, comforting collard greens ready to serve.

What readers are saying…

“This recipe changed my life. My greens game is on point now second to none. Thank you for making it so easy and simply delicious!”

“Absolutely the best greens and so quick. My whole family loves it!!!”

“Made these today with the greens I had on hand (chard, cabbage, baby kale/spinach blend). This will be my new go-to for greens. Excellent recipe!!”

Mashed Turnips

4.6 ⭐️ (11 ratings) | 30 mins

Since Irish stew already has potatoes in it, you need to get a little more creative with the side dish. Luckily, mashed turnips fit the bill. They’re sweet, nutty, creamy, and ideal for soaking up your stew’s broth.

Plus, they have fewer calories than your regular mashed spuds, making them a great option if you want to indulge but still want to control your carb intake.

I like using fresh turnips for this mash, but you can also use frozen ones if they’re more accessible. 

What the chef says…

“This turnip mash is thickened with cream. A low-calorie option to thicken your mashed turnip if it is too watery would be to use a tablespoon of all-purpose flour instead of cream in the cooking process. The flour helps to thicken the turnip puree.”

Steamed Broccoli

5.0 ⭐️ (6 ratings) | 20 mins

Steamed broccoli is an easy veggie side dish you can whip up in a flash to enjoy with your Irish stew.

Steamed florets turn out delightfully crisp-tender, providing a nice bite to contrast your stew’s soft meat and veg. Plus, they’re healthier than boiled broccoli because their nutrients don’t leach in the water.

This recipe serves the florets with a dash of salt, but I like adding a sprinkle of parmesan for extra flavor.

What the chef says…

“Thanks for the recipe! The broccoli turned out very good.”

“My favorite way to make broccoli! Great recipe!”

“This is so foolproof. We love broccoli!”

Oven-roasted Asparagus

5.0 ⭐️ (76 ratings) | 25 mins

Roasted asparagus is a fantastic way to add freshness to your favorite Irish stew. 

It’s quick and easy to make, plus it only calls for three ingredients: asparagus, olive oil, and salt. Under high heat, the asparagus spears become lightly crisp and charred.

And if you want to take them up a notch, follow recipe creator Natasha’s lead and add a spritz of lemon juice and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese over them. These infuse them with a bright, nutty flavor that pairs well with your stew.

What readers are saying…

“Best asparagus recipe ever! I’ve made it a bazillion times! Even grandkids love it.”

“I am making this right now, second time! Absolutely delish! My daughter raved about how good it was and we love the parmesan cheese!”

“Yum! Literally the best asparagus recipe I have ever made. The lemon adds such a yummy and pretty touch!”

Butter Braised Cabbage

5.0 ⭐️ (39 ratings) | 30 mins

Looking for a tasty, healthy side dish that won’t break the bank? This butter-braised cabbage has your back.

The butter infuses the cabbage with a rich, savory taste that holds up well against your robust stew. If you want to stick with the Irish theme and bring more savory goodness to the side dish, simply add chopped bacon.

And have I mentioned how easy this is to make? Everything comes together in one pan and the entire process only takes about 30 minutes — exactly what you need for busy weeknights.

What readers are saying…

“Love the ease and simplicity of this recipe. The flavors are so good.”

“This is so good! Who knew braised cabbage could taste this good.”

“Just had this again and my family could not get enough! And my husband used to hate cabbage.”

Salads

A salad is a great choice if you want to add something light and fresh to contrast your rich Irish stew. I would always go for a salad in the summer.

Green Bean Salad

5.0 ⭐️ (113 ratings) | 35 mins

Irish stew is a hearty dish ideal for cold winter days, which means it can be heavy on the stomach. And this is where this green bean salad comes in.

It features green beans that have been boiled, but not all the way, leaving them with a bit of a bite. They’re then tossed in a lemony dressing that gives them a bright, citrusy kick to cut through the richness of your stew.

They’re then finished off with toasted almonds and crumbled feta for extra texture and flavor.

What readers are saying…

“We’ve had it warm a couple of times and really enjoyed it. When we had leftovers, they refrigerated nicely and tasted great the next day.”

“Wow, so good. Cooking the beans in a skillet is better than steaming. Love the combination of crunchy almond, tangy lemon, and salty feta.”

“Wow! Who knew green beans could be so delicious? Thank you once again for another absolutely scrumptious dish.”

Lemon Arugula Salad

4.9 ⭐️ (8 ratings) | 35 mins

If you want a no-frills side dish, this arugula salad fits the bill.

The peppery arugula, crunchy cucumbers, and sweet-acidic tomatoes tossed in a lemon dressing help offset the robust flavors of your stew perfectly. The recipe also adds avocado for a light creaminess, but you can skip it if you prefer (I did).

What readers are saying…

“What a beautiful and delicious salad! Love the avocado there.”

“I love this salad! Vibrant and beautiful!”

“Anyway, I love your salad recipe! Arugula has such a great taste… It all sounds wonderful.”

Spring Quinoa Salad

4.8 ⭐️ (41 ratings) | 35 mins

Need a filling salad that won’t weigh you down? Look no further than this quinoa salad.

It’s packed with creamy, lightly sweet peas, crumbled feta, and freshly chopped basil. But the game-changer is the honey lime vinaigrette that’ll leave you feeling refreshed in every bite.

Recipe creator Pinch Of Yum also adds chopped bacon for extra texture and flavor, but you can leave it out if you want to keep this salad meat-free.

What readers are saying…

“This makes quinoa actually look amazing (which is hard to do!). Bravo

“What a gorgeous salad, love this combination!”

“This salad was delicious and everyone who I shared it with really liked it! I don’t even like peas, but they gave the salad a great texture and the bacon and almonds gave it a nice crunch.”

What To Serve With Irish Stew – 15 Best Side Dishes

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your Irish stew.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: irish
Keyword: Irish stew sides, what to serve with Irish stew
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 303kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion irish soda bread
  • 1 portion southern collard greens
  • 1 portion lemon arugula salad
  • 1 portion oven-roasted asparagus
  • 1 portion butter braised cabbage
  • 1 portion rice pilaf … and more

Instructions

  • Prepare your Irish stew according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: Irish soda bread, popovers, green bean salad, buttered egg noodles, lemon arugula salad, pickled red cabbage, buttermilk biscuits, southern collard greens, mashed turnips, steamed broccoli, oven-roasted asparagus, easy rice pilaf, butter braised cabbage, and focaccia.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 303kcal

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