This article was updated on 1/8/2023 for clarity and freshness.
If you’re wondering what to serve with your short ribs, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 51 of the most popular side dishes for short ribs.
The best dishes to serve with short ribs are creamy polenta, parsnip mash, no-knead bread, and bitter greens salad. Try glazed carrots, buttered vegetables, and green papaya salad for healthier options. You can also serve brown butter pappardelle, kimchi fried rice, mantou, and scallops.
Great flavor pairings for short ribs
Short ribs are a cut of beef that are rich, tender, and have a deep, meaty essence. This allows them to be paired with a wide range of flavors.
- Sweet-savory flavors: This flavor combo provides a nice contrast with the robust, meaty flavors of short ribs. Barbecue sauce is a common option, but short ribs also taste superb with a combination of soy sauce and honey.
- Acidic flavors: Acidity helps offset the rich, heavy nature of short ribs. Common ingredients like lemon and vinegar can help you provide this balance. But incorporating wine in sauces helps you achieve the same effect too.
- Smoky flavors: Short ribs are great for grilling because they get infused with a smoky kick that holds up well to their meaty flavor. This can also be achieved with the help of other spices like smoked paprika.
It’s a no-brainer to serve short ribs with a starchy side to soak up all their savory juices. Creamy mashed potatoes are always a great idea, but I like bread so I can mop the plate clean at the end.
Saucy short ribs over a bed of creamy polenta – just the thought of this meal is making my mouth water.
The Spruce Eats takes regular polenta up a notch by adding ricotta and parmesan cheese. The parmesan adds a nutty flavor to your polenta, while ricotta makes it extra velvety.
It tastes like pure comfort in a bowl! Polenta is really budget friendly too.
If you’re making braised short-ribs, you’ll want to have a loaf of crusty bread on the side to help you soak up all the goodness from the sauce.
Skip buying a loaf of bread from your grocery store, though – this no-knead bread is super simple to make… I promise!
Pro-tip: you’ll be tempted to slice into this bread right after baking, but wait for it to cool down for best results.
Brown butter pappardelle
Turn your braised short ribs into the ultimate comfort meal by serving them alongside these pappardelle noodles.
Don’t be intimidated – they’re like your regular buttered noodles, but better.
They’re wider, so they allow more of your short ribs’ sauce to cling to them. And they have a deliciously nutty taste courtesy of the brown butter and sage. Psst… don’t skimp on the cheese.
Garlic-herb potato salad
Bringing short ribs to a potluck party? Make this potato salad to go with your main attraction.
Unlike your traditional mayo-based potato salad, this one features an herb vinaigrette, making it lighter. The tanginess of this potato salad also provides a welcome contrast to the meaty short ribs.
Your friends will be begging you for this garlic-herb potato salad recipe before the potluck ends.
Whether you’re making regular or Chinese-style short ribs, you can never go wrong with these Asian side dishes. Plain steamed rice is great if you want to highlight the flavors of your short ribs. But if you want something fiery, why not try some chili oil noodles for a change?
Mantou is a no-brainer side dish if you’re making Chinese-style short ribs.
Also known as steamed buns, these are fluffy as a cloud. You can easily tear them open and use the buns to mop up the sauce or fill them with the tender meat from your short ribs.
The good news is these steamed buns are incredibly easy to make – you only need four basic ingredients: milk, active dry yeast, sugar, and all-purpose flour.
Kimchi fried rice
Jazz up your braised short ribs with a serving of this kimchi fried rice.
If you’ve never had kimchi before and you love fermented food, you’re in for a treat. This vibrantly orange condiment gives your plain old fried rice a spicy and tangy kick that’ll knock your socks off.
This flavor combination that also perfectly cuts through the meatiness of short ribs, making for a well-balanced bite.
Rasa Malaysia uses about 1/2 cup of kimchi, so this version is pretty spicy. But you adjust the amount you use to suit your preferences.
Chili oil noodles
Craving a quick and delicious dish you can whip up to serve alongside your short ribs?
Look no further than these Chinese-inspired chili noodles. They’re chock-full of spicy, umami goodness that pairs nicely with your beefy short ribs.
Plus, you wouldn’t believe how easy they are to make. Aside from cooking the noodles, the only other step in this recipe heating the oil until extra hot.
If you’re looking to keep your short ribs meal nourishing, veggie sides are the way to go. They’re nice and light too.
Braised short ribs traditionally go well with mashed potatoes. But if you want to switch things up, why not try this parsnip mash? It boasts fewer calories than your regular mash, but still has that creaminess we all love about mashed spuds.
The addition of herbs, garlic, butter, and parmesan cheese also helps enhance their natural sweetness, making them even tastier.
I typically make this mash over the stovetop, but Good Food Baddie uses an instant pot, which helps cut down your cooking time to 20 minutes.
You can’t go wrong with these roasted carrots – they’re one of the classic side dishes to serve with braised short ribs.
The carrots are tossed in a finger-lickingly good honey garlic sauce before roasting, which enhances their sweetness and gives them delightfully crispy edges.
Whether for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, these roasted carrots are the ideal side dish.
These buttered vegetables have your back for weeknight dinners when you want to take it easy.
Not only do they add vibrant colors to your dish, but they also bring much-needed nutrition to round out the meal.
Sprinkles and Sprouts uses regular butter, although she also suggests using compound butter (garlicky, herby butter, anyone?) for extra flavor.
Boiled corn on the cob
Enjoy fresh corn on the cob without having to fire up your grill with this butter bath corn recipe.
Boiling corn in milk and heavy cream is unconventional, but it’s an easy and delicious way to cook it. Simply throw everything in a pot and let them boil. And as a bonus, your kitchen will smell amazing as the corn cooks.
Serve buttery boiled corn on the cob alongside your braised short ribs for a satisfying meal.
Salads are light and zesty, exactly what you need to offset all the richness from the short ribs. A quick toss of some greens and your favorite dressing will do the trick, but a crisp slaws would also be delicious.
Bitter greens and fennel salad
Braised short ribs can be a decadent dish, so a side salad of greens is an excellent accompaniment.
This salad features radicchio, escarole, and fennel, which all have a bitter taste that helps cut through the richness of your short ribs.
And if that’s not enough, this salad is tied together with a homemade vinaigrette flavored with Dijon and honey. This adds a touch of spice and sweetness that’ll make your taste buds tingle.
Swap your traditional coleslaw for this fun, spicy Asian rendition. It’s a spicy, sweet, tangy slaw with a crunch that provides a superb contrast to your savory short ribs.
The secret to that mouthwatering spicy kick? Adding gochugaru (also known as Korean chili flakes) to the slaw’s dressing.
Brighten up any dish with a serving of this spicy Korean slaw.
Watermelon and cucumber salad
Cucumbers and watermelon are known for their cooling properties, making each bite of this salad oh-so-refreshing.
You can dress this combo with any tangy dressing you like, but The Modern Proper goes for a poppyseed dressing that infuses this salad with a zippy kick.
The only downside with this side dish? It’s not a great salad to make ahead of time, so only assemble when you’re ready to serve.
Why not go all out and pair your short ribs with seafood for a tasty twist on the classic surf and turf? The shellfish’s delicate, oceanic flavors offer a delightful contrast to the robust, meaty taste of short ribs.
Lobster mac and cheese
Make your short ribs even more decadent with a generous helping of lobster mac and cheese on the side.
Rich, cheesy macaroni and buttery lobster chunks – what more can you ask for?
Each bite of this dish tastes heavenly. Throw in juicy short ribs, and you have an unforgettable meal. Just make sure you don’t have anywhere to go after eating.
Grilled shrimp and pineapple skewers
Grilling your short ribs at a summer party? Take advantage of the open grill and toss a couple of these shrimp skewers on too.
The shrimp are flavored with a spicy jerk marinade that pairs well with the sweet pineapple chunks. Together, these skewers have a spicy, sweet flavor combination that’s too good to resist.
Pro-tip: if using wooden skewers, soak them while the shrimp are marinating. This helps prevent them from burning on the grill.
Turn your braised short ribs into a fancy surf and turf meal with a serving of these seared scallops on the side.
At first glance, these scallops may look like a simple dish. But they’re packed with a combination of naturally sweet, buttery, and zesty flavors that will blow you away once you give them a taste.
And despite their simplicity, these pan-seared scallops are bound to impress your guests.
What To Serve With Short Ribs (45 Ideas)
- 1 portion lobster mac and cheese
- 1 portion korean coleslaw
- 1 portion glazed carrots
- 1 portion polenta
- 1 portion kimchi fried rice
- 1 portion buttered vegetables
- …and more
- Prepare your short ribs according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: creamy polenta, parsnip mash, glazed carrots, bitter greens and fennel salad, no-knead bread, brown butter pappardelle, garlic-herb potato salad, mantou, lobster mac and cheese, kimchi fried rice, buttered vegetables, chili oil noodles, green papaya salad, Korean coleslaw, boiled corn on the cob, grilled shrimp and pineapple skewers, and seared scallops.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!