Thinking about what to serve with paella? We can help you!
We have found some amazing side dishes to serve with your favorite paella recipes. We have a side dish for everyone, from salads to fried sweet plantain slices.
- What is Paella?
- 1. Bruschetta
- 2. Caesar Salad
- 3. Homemade Crusty Bread
- 4. Fried Sweet Plantains
- 5. Roasted Red Peppers
- 6. Fried Pimientos de Padron
- 7. Ham Croquettes
- 8. Garlic Green Beans
- 9. Fruit Salad
- 10. Potato Frittata
- 11. Tomato Salad
- 12. Mango Pudding
- 13. Arugula Salad
- 14. Charcuterie Board
- 15. Gazpacho
- Perfect Sides For Seafood or Beef Paella
What is Paella?
Paella is a yummy Spanish rice dish. It is cooked in a large, shallow pan which is known, understandably, as a paella pan.
Paella can be made from seafood, chicken, or simply vegetables. It is full of tasty spices like paprika and saffron.
All of these flavors are important to remember when thinking about what to serve with paella. We considered all of them when choosing our favorite side dishes!
Take a look at the whole list of paella sides and see which catches your eye!
Our Simple Green Mom Greek-style bruschetta is perfect to pair with any kind of paella. It is perfect with mixed paella or with seafood paella!
Fresh tomatoes and feta cheese are tossed with olive oil. Simple spices like oregano and black pepper are added to the dish.
Scoop the bruschetta on top of some crusty bread. A thick piece of bread will hold the soft, juicy bruschetta well.
The cheesy, salty flavors of the bruschetta are delicious next to hearty paella.
2. Caesar Salad
A light salad is one of the best paella side dishes you can make. Paella is a very hearty and flavorful dish, and a nice simple salad lets the flavors of the paella shine through.
We love this Caesar salad recipe from Once Upon a Chef. The homemade salad dressing is simply amazing.
Caesar salad starts with crisp romaine lettuce. Crunchy croutons and shredded parmesan cheese top the salad.
The star of the Caesar salad is definitely the dressing. It is creamy, salty, and has just the right amount of garlic.
The healthy salad is sure to compliment your main dish perfectly!
3. Homemade Crusty Bread
Bread is the perfect side dish to pair with seafood paella, vegetable paella, or even mixed paella! You definitely need homemade bread on the buffet table of your next tapas party.
Homemade bread can be really fun to make. This recipe from Modern Honey creates the perfect loaf of French Bread.
Slice the warm bread and serve it with butter. Use the bread to soak up any leftover paella juices on your plate.
4. Fried Sweet Plantains
Paella has a lot of rich, salty flavors. The rice dish can be so filling! Lighter, sweeter side dishes can be exactly what you need to round out your meal.
Try this recipe for fried sweet plantain slices from the Kitchen Magpie. They are so incredibly easy to make!
Ripe plantains are sliced then sauteed with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Let the plantains brown in the pan, so they get a nice caramel color.
Flip them halfway through once one side is slightly fried. You want both sides of the plantains to be golden!
Serve the plantains with your main course or as a dessert.
5. Roasted Red Peppers
Soft, beautiful roasted red peppers are a wonderful addition to any paella party. They are a typical Spanish dish and a staple at any Spanish tapas event.
Roasting red peppers is very simple when you use this recipe from The Daring Gourmet. Bell peppers are sliced in half and then broiled until the skin blackens.
Peel the skin of the peppers off, and then enjoy! Roasted red pepper is also a great ingredient to add to your paella. Chop a few roasted red peppers and stir them into your vegetarian paella.
Store your roasted red peppers in a jar with water. The oil from the peppers will slowly flavor the water and preserve the peppers. A jar of roasted red peppers will keep in your fridge for about three weeks!
Try making roasted green peppers. They will be a little milder than the red peppers but still delicious. Any color roasted bell pepper will be great with your vegetarian paella!
6. Fried Pimientos de Padron
Fried pimientos de padron are a classic Spanish side dish. You will find the hot, golden brown peppers on almost every table. That makes them perfect for rounding out your paella party menu!
This recipe from Honest Cooking will show you how to quickly make fried pimientos de padron. All you need is a little olive oil, salt, and padron peppers!
Sauté the peppers until the skin begins to blister. The peppers are best served hot. Cook the peppers while you’re making paella, so both dishes are ready at the same time.
7. Ham Croquettes
Still wondering what to serve with paella? Try these delicious ham croquettes from The Noshery. They are one of our favorite side dishes of all time!
The croquette is made with flour, garlic, onion, salt, and milk. Use thinly sliced serrano ham which is a Spanish specialty.
The little rolled croquettes are breaded in crushed saltine crackers and fried until golden brown. Serve them with a bechamel sauce for dipping.
Warm, salty croquettes are a great appetizer and also one of the best paella side dishes we can think of. You will want to eat them all!
8. Garlic Green Beans
Vegetable dishes are always good to serve with paella. They tend to be lighter side dishes that go well with the hearty Valencian rice dish.
These easy garlic roasted green beans from Two Peas and Their Pod are tasty and simple. Fresh green beans are tossed in olive oil, garlic, and lemon. The beans are spread on a tray lined with aluminum foil.
Roast the green beans in the oven while your Valencian paella cooks on the stovetop. Both warm dishes will be ready to serve in no time!
You can use frozen green beans in a pinch. Thaw them before cooking.
Try sauteing the green beans in a skillet on the stovetop. You can even use your paella pan to cook the beans. The fewer dishes, the better!
9. Fruit Salad
A bright fruit salad is an amazing side dish to serve with paella. The sweet fruit compliments the heavy main course and completes the meal.
Give this rainbow fruit salad from Cooking Classy a try. It is packed with all different types of fresh fruit that go well together.
The honey-lime dressing makes the fresh fruits slightly sweet and tangy.
Serve this extremely easy side dish as an appetizer, dessert, or side with your main course.
10. Potato Frittata
You will often see potato frittata served alongside paella. It is a classic side dish that you can easily make using this recipe from The Petite Cook.
Meat, cheese, and vegetables are often added to frittata to make it more flavorful. We like the simplicity of this potato frittata which has eggs, parmesan cheese, and potatoes.
Cook the frittata in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once the eggs are set, the dish is ready to slice and serve with any kind of paella.
Frittata can be served cold or hot. It is delicious both ways.
Feel free to add your favorite veggies to the frittata. Spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes are a few simple ingredients you can add to make your frittata especially yummy.
11. Tomato Salad
We love a fresh tomato salad in the summer. The bright, juicy taste of tomatoes is so delicious and will taste great with any kind of paella.
Use this recipe from Skinnytaste to make a perfect tomato salad. Fresh sliced tomatoes are sliced and mixed with chopped onions, basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add a splash of white wine to really make the sauce juicy.
Tomato salad is great with fresh seafood or vegetable paella. It is one of the best side dishes to serve with hearty meat paella since it is light and refreshing. It is just perfect to serve with any paella dish!
12. Mango Pudding
Mango pudding is a refreshing and tasty way to end your paella meal. Once you finish your big bowl of Spanish chili, you may want a little something sweet. This pudding from Traditionally Modern Food is the answer!
Fresh mangos are used to make the pudding. Be sure to choose a mango that is ripe and gives a little when you squeeze it. A ripe mango will add a naturally sweet taste to your pudding.
This recipe is completely eggless and also gluten-free. It is the ideal dessert to serve to anyone! It is also a food that is guaranteed to be a hit.
A complete dish of paella and a beautiful mango pudding is a meal everyone will be talking about.
13. Arugula Salad
An easy arugula salad is a meal that many people prefer with their Spanish paella. It is light, peppery, and flavorful. Such a winner!
We love this simple, tasty arugula salad from Foodie Crush. The recipe actually gives you three different ways to make the arugula salad. Choose the one that looks best to you!
The homemade lemon dressing is especially delicious with heavy Spanish chili. If you plan to serve paella in the summer, a nice light salad is a great side.
14. Charcuterie Board
A beautiful charcuterie board is an amazing dish to serve alongside paella. Charcuterie boards are not only trendy, but they are completely customizable!
Take this recipe from Dinner at the Zoo and then adjust it to be full of your favorite meat, cheese, and fresh fruit.
Use serrano ham to make the charcuterie board have a Spanish flair. You can even add fried green peppers or some plantanos maduros fritos to the board. Get creative!
A gorgeous charcuterie board is something everyone will love. There is a food on the plate for everyone. These boards are great for serving with any kind of paella.
A chilled Spanish tomato and vegetable soup is a wonderful dish to serve as an appetizer to paella. It is a delicious food that fits into your Spanish paella theme.
There are a lot of recipes for gazpacho out there, but we love this authentic recipe from The Mediterranean Kitchen. It is a great, original recipe with so much amazing flavor.
Fresh tomatoes, cucumber, celery, garlic, and onions make up the bulk of the recipe. Rich Spanish spices like cumin are added to the bowl.
Top your gazpacho recipes with a little cilantro and a sprinkle of fresh mint. This is a great way to make a wonderful summer dish!
Serve your gazpacho cold alongside your hot rice paella. It is a refreshing soup to pair with such a hearty rice meal.
Perfect Sides For Seafood or Beef Paella
Pick an authentic Spanish side dish to serve with your favorite paella. You can’t go wrong when you start cooking dishes from the same area of the world! They will naturally be amazing together.
Let us know your favorite paella side. Hopefully, you give a few of our favorite recipes from this list a try. Enjoy.