French Dip sandwiches are a family favorite around our house. Crusty bread filled with mouthwatering tender beef, topped with melted Swiss or provolone cheese, and soaking with beautiful au jus.
It’s hearty, savory, and cheesy – everything you need on a cold winter night. Sure, it may be a bit indulgent, but after a stressful day at work you deserve this bad boy.
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If you’re feeling a little guilty about having it all to yourself, though, why not call your friends up so you can share the goodness? French dip sandwiches are the ultimate crowd-pleaser, plus they’ll make your whole kitchen smell like heaven.
And since you’re already having friends over, why not turn it into a party? To create a festive atmosphere, you can’t serve just sandwiches, no matter how amazing they are. You’ll want to whip up some side dishes to truly satisfy your guests.
With food pairings, you’ll want to pay attention not only to flavor, but to texture as well. For instance, since French dip sandwiches are rich and savory, you’ll want sweet, sour, or spicy flavors to give some contrast. And since they’re soft and tender, it’s nice to pair them with a crisp or chewy side.
And that’s where we come in! We’re here to help you decide what to serve with French dip sandwiches.
With these ten delightful options, not only will your guests have a wonderful time hanging out with you, but they’ll also be impressed with your great taste in food!
1. Caramelized Onions
Whether you serve them on the side, or place them on top of the sandwich, they’ll taste amazing either way. The sweet and tender caramelized onions bring a yummy contrast to the sandwich’s umami flavor.
Plus, it is so easy to make! You just cook salted and thinly sliced onions in extra virgin olive oil on low heat for 30 minutes, and they’re done.
Any sandwich goes well with pretty much any soup. I don’t know why, but that’s fact. So, whether you pair your French dip sandwich with a fresh tomato soup, a flavorful bean soup, or something simple like cauliflower soup, you really can’t go wrong.
Your main entrée is already incredibly rich, so you’ll want to pair it with something light. What better fits the description than a nice simple salad?
Not only is a salad refreshing, but it also brings a great texture contrast to the tender sandwich. So whatever kind of salad you make, be sure to add crisp and chewy components such as sliced apples, cranberries, and pecans.
For the dressing, I suggest a balsamic or dijon vinaigrette for that tasty, tart flavor.
4. Potato Chips
Another fool-proof side that will go with any sandwich? Potato chips! But don’t simply settle for store-bought chips. Show your friends how much you love them by serving them homemade potato chips instead.
They’re actually quite easy to make. The only thing to remember is to cut them in thin, uniform slices. You don’t even need to do this manually: a vegetable peeler, cheese slicer, or food processor with a slicing blade should do the trick.
And here’s a pro tip: you’ll want to drench the potato slices in salted ice water for 30 minutes before you fry them. This will help make them crispier and even more flavorful!
If you want salt and vinegar flavored chips, soak them in vinegar instead of water. Voilà
5. Sweet Potato Fries
They’re the sweet cousins to the previous entry on this list, and they’re amazing. Sweet potato fries are perfect with French dip sandwiches, both flavor- and texture-wise.
They are sweet, so they can cut through the richness of the beef. And they’re crunchy, too, so they give a nice contrast to the soft bread.
If you want to make things more exciting, you can use a spiralizer to make shoestring sweet potato fries. They’re extra thin, which means they’ll be extra crispy once baked!
Coleslaw is another light vegetable side that goes well with French dip sandwiches. Since cabbage and carrots are all about the crunch, this dish gives the sandwich a nice contrast in texture.
But, instead of the usual mayonnaise dressing, I suggest that you switch things up a little. You want to give your sandwich a refreshing partner, and mayo won’t really help with that. Coat your shredded veggies with a sweet and spicy vinegar-based dressing instead.
To make: combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, peach nectar, peppers, chilies, and hot sauce.
7. Onion Rings
Onion rings are another classic side that goes well with almost anything, including French dip sandwiches. But instead of the usual deep-fried onions, you can make things more interesting by giving them a little spice. Doing so will turn your ordinary side dish into an extraordinary snack!
To make the batter just combine cinnamon, red chili flakes, paprika, cumin, and your choice of beer. Ale, lager, wheat bear, and stout all make great options. With these extra ingredients, not only will your onion rings taste phenomenal, they’ll also be extra crunchy.
8. Roasted Veggies
If you’re looking to pair your sandwich with something nutritious, a nice plate of roasted vegetables might be just what you need. It’s delicious, nutritious, and easy to make.
Just slice up your favorite vegetables (I suggest carrots, potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and beets) and toss them into a baking sheet. Coat them with olive oil and flavor with salt and pepper. Bake until they caramelize and serve!
9. Dill Pickle
I’ve been giving several sweet and refreshing sides, now it’s time for a tangy option. A dill pickle will give a nice tartness to your otherwise savory meal. Plus, it’s crunchy too, which again contrasts the softness of the bread.
While you can opt for store-bought dill pickles, don’t be afraid to make them yourself! They’re easy to make – just soak some cucumbers and red onions in a vinegar and water mixture and refrigerate! Your guests will be extra impressed.
10. Fruit Salad
And finally, I’d like to give this list a sweet ending. There’s nothing like a refreshing bowl of your favorite fruits to balance out the richness of your entrée. Pick whatever sweet fruits are in season and drizzle them with honey, whipped cream, or Greek yogurt!
I love some sliced mangoes and bananas in cream. For me, it’s the best way to end any meal.