The Absolute Best Sides To Pair With Every Cut Of Steak

You can't disguise a mediocre steak with a superior side, but you can enhance the taste of a great one with a delicious accompanying dish. Whether you prefer a cut of steak that is velvety soft or one that is juicy with a tougher grain, there's a side dish that will further enhance it.

A meaty dinner can range from haute cuisine dining to throwing slabs of meat on the grill over hot coals. Equally, a side dish can range from an elegant, light option to a decadently rich and creamy forkful of comfort food. Bring the right meat together with a marvelous vegetable or starch and you've got a winning formula for a memorable dinner. 

We've delved into the top culinary know-how and examined what the experts say to find the absolute best sides to pair with every cut of steak. Try these out and don't hold back from mixing and matching ideas. 

Pair a blooming onion with a T-bone steak or tomahawk

The ultimate steak for committed carnivores has to be a caveman-style T-bone or tomahawk. Both of these bone-in beefy steaks are mighty and hearty, yet tender. Whether you've got a gargantuan appetite or want to share a meaty meal, they make for a special dining experience. If you're not sure about the difference between the two, a tomahawk is the same as a ribeye but with the bone attached. A T-bone is a different cut altogether and part of the short loin. This gives it an intense beefy taste with a texture that's on the softer side. For such a grand serving, you need an impressive side. And what could be better than a crunchy blooming onion?

Make a copycat Outback blooming onion with garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, and dried thyme mixed with flour. Serve with a homemade spicy dipping sauce using horseradish, mayo, ketchup, and paprika. The crispy onion pieces pair so well with either of these juicy steaks. This is a side to share, which fits well with the extra large cut of meat. You could make a sweet soy, ginger, and garlic marinade for the meat to pair with a spicy blooming onion. Add cumin to the flour to create a curried flavor for the ultimate lip-smacking contrast. 

Pair a special salad with filet mignon

Filet mignon is arguably the best cut of steak. Cook it rare or medium-rare to experience its velvety, melt-in-the-mouth succulence. As part of the tenderloin, this steak is luxurious and attracts a higher price tag than other cuts. This might not be the right one to throw on the grill without a thought, but it's perfect for a gourmet dinner. Avoid weighing it down with stodgy, comfort food sides that take away from the elegant, upmarket profile of this steak dinner. A wonderful way to enjoy the full taste and texture of filet mignon is with a fresh salad that has a special feature. 

A light salad with a vinaigrette can balance out the richness of the steak. However, since this isn't a fatty cut, you might feel inclined to add a little heaviness with a creamy dressing. A great option is a Caesar salad; romaine lettuce covered in an anchovy dressing with crunchy croutons and grated Parmesan promises an umami taste that's outrageously delicious with a buttery slice of filet mignon. Or, opt for a gorgeous green salad with fresh wild herbs, a slice of chili, and mushrooms to soak up the juices. 

Pair gourmet fries with ribeye

Ribeye is a boneless cut that's regarded as one of the tastiest beef options. It's tender, yet has a lot of marbling which gives it enough fat to elevate the juiciness. The flavorful profile means it's suited to a solid side with lots of oomph too. Fries offer a carby contrast and are even better when elevated into a gourmet side. An incredible way to enhance the taste of fries for your steak dinner is to cook them in beef tallow. You can go one step further and opt for wagyu beef tallow for an even richer taste. Or how about sweet potato fries baked in the oven with garlic butter? 

It doesn't get much more upmarket than air fryer truffle fries. While some people aren't fans of this fungi, enthusiasts find truffles irresistible. Soak the sliced potatoes and dry them so they become crunchier. Combine truffle oil and a pinch of salt with the sliced potatoes, and finish them off with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan. The salty, sharp, smoky taste of the fries is outstanding with a flavorful flame-grilled ribeye. Or keep it simple and serve plain fries with truffle aioli. 

Pair elevated mac and cheese with top sirloin steak

When you're looking for an all-rounder cut of steak, top sirloin is a great choice. It's succulent but not soft, so if you like a juicy steak that you can properly chow down on and chew, this is the one for you. While it's not as tender as filet mignon by a long stretch, it is suitable for grilling. Because it's not a particularly delicate piece of beef, it pairs with a rich comfort-food side, too. And what could be more classically retro than a serving of creamy mac and cheese? Make copycat LongHorn Steakhouse mac and cheese with Gruyère, fontina, cheddar, and Parmesan topped with crunchy panko. 

If you want a fancier version, make the cheesy side with crème fraîche and add truffle oil before baking. This pasta dish is so good that you might want to add small seared sirloin steak pieces or strips to the cheesy sauce and turn it into a meaty entree. For a special steak side, add slow-cooked oxtail to mac and cheese featuring double cream and mature cheddar.

Pair charred asparagus with beef tenderloin

A long piece of beef tenderloin is a stunning display for a sharing board at any dining table. Filet mignon comes from this cut of meat, but the tenderloin extends beyond. It's not as tender but it's wonderfully succulent when you cook the whole piece. One of the best ways to prepare it is to sear it in a pan, roast it in the oven, and then let it rest so that it's still rare in the middle when you slice into it. The boldly delectable meat is so mouthwatering that you'll want to serve it with a side that's not too heavy but offers a complementary flavor. Asparagus is a fantastic choice because it feels as special as this cut of beef. 

Try making a lemony grilled asparagus recipe to serve with grilled tenderloin steaks. Add garlic, herb, and lemon zest compound butter to the meat and let it melt onto the veggies. If you only want the meat to be charred, then pan-fry a whole piece of tenderloin in a teriyaki sauce, slice, and serve with a simple side of steamed asparagus. Or what about roasted asparagus and tenderloin? You can also serve both with a creamy blue cheese sauce for a boost of flavor. 

Pair classic green beans almondine with a porterhouse steak

Porterhouse steak is a bone-in cut of beef that looks pretty similar to a T-bone. It's certainly as substantial and as intensely flavored. Both come from the short loin, but the porterhouse has a larger cut of tenderloin on one side. On the other side of the bone, both have a New York strip steak. This thick cut has it all: soft, tender meat and also a fattier, juicy steak. Roasted green beans are an ideal side because the crunchy texture and flavor taste great with a rich slab of meat. 

Or, elevate your meal with classic green beans almondine. The garlicky, citrusy, nutty flavor is perfect with a chunky porterhouse steak. Coat trimmed green beans with olive oil, sliced almonds, minced garlic, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and toss the beans to fully incorporate the ingredients before roasting in the oven. You could also roast whole garlic bulbs, toast sliced almonds in butter, and mix everything with blanched green beans. 

Pair restaurant-style mashed potatoes with flat iron steak

It's unlikely you need to be sold on the concept of pairing mashed potato with steak. But if you want to make this side the best it can be, then give it some restaurant-style flair by making sous-vide mashed potatoes. While mash is great with any cut of beef, it's a definite winner with a flat iron steak. This cut comes from the top blade of the chuck shoulder which is close in tenderness to tenderloin. It is lean while also being super-flavorful because of some marbling, which gives it a juicy, rich-tasting quality and makes it versatile to cook with. 

Elevate both the meat and the side by grilling wagyu flat iron steaks and serving a buttery horseradish mash on the side. Make the side with half-and-half, chopped chives, and the eponymous condiment, and serve with a zesty sauce. What about serving a citrus mash made with heavy cream and cream cheese alongside a lemon and garlic flat iron steak? Bring the flavors of the meat and creamy side together with a vinaigrette. Alternatively, you could add spiced chimichurri powder to the mash and serve the whole meal with a bourbon-infused jus.

Pair a citrusy salsa verde with skirt steak

The feature that stands out most about skirt steak is its grain, which gives it a noticeable texture. The outside part of this cut is more tender than the inside making this a steak to chow down on and chew through. It's not going to melt in your mouth like butter with each bite, and the thin and long cut can become tough if overcooked. Pan-fry or grill it quickly at a high temperature so it's rare or medium-rare and slice it on a board to whip up some tasty strips that work well in fajitas. 

Why not choose a fresh-tasting, citrusy, herby Mexican side to pair with it? The acidic, peppery notes cut through the richness of this steak and create a moreish contrast to the meat's subtle sweetness. With jalapeños, lime juice, and herbs like cilantro and parsley, a zesty side makes the meat taste even better. Or what about a salsa verde salad with chargrilled romaine lettuce hearts, parsley, mint, garlic, and capers? Meanwhile, for a chunky fresh tomatillo salsa verde just broil tomatillos and jalapeños. Blend them with white onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, lime juice, zest, and salt. 

Pair caramelized roasted veggies with round steak

Round steak is a thick, meaty, and beefy cut that's leaner and tougher than most. What it lacks in tenderness it makes up for in pure juicy flavor. If you cook the eye of round, it will be tender enough to serve as a steak. Since it's a hearty and affordable piece of meat, you might not want to spend a lot on a rich-tasting gourmet side. The good news is that this cut works well with a side of vegetables. But you don't want steamed veg with a steak like this, do you? What about caramelized roasted veggies that are terrifically tasty in their own right? 

Keep it simple by roasting baby carrots with yellow onions for a deliciously sweet side. Douse the veggies in olive oil and season before throwing them on a foil-lined tray and popping it in the oven at high heat. This will allow the veggies to char enough to release sugars to bring some divine sweetness to this dish. Wild mushrooms and onions are delicious with roasted tenderstem broccoli, or how about creating surf and turf with broccoli and squid on the side? 

Pair smoky grilled zucchini with flank steak

Coming from the belly, firm and flavorful flank steak should be cut against the grain. The lean meat is fabulous cooked on a grill thanks to its faint marbling and great taste. You might need to marinate or tenderize it to make it less tough, but the long, thin steak is deliciously chewy. A light, soft-textured side that doesn't require too much chewing might be the best choice to balance it out. A splendid accompaniment to flank steak is thinly sliced slithers of grilled zucchini. You can make both the steak and the vegetable on the grill. 

Try garlicky grilled zucchini by rubbing cloves over the sliced vegetable before charring it to create those wonderful grill marks. Infuse olive oil with garlic to drizzle on top before serving. Scatter fresh basil leaves and crunchy pine nuts to garnish. This is a simple and scrumptious side to serve with sliced grilled flank steak cooked rare or medium-rare. Another way to dress up grilled zucchini and flank steak is by serving a creamy tzatziki on the side or drizzling a garlic and chive vinaigrette over the meal. 

Pair crispy onion rings with hanger steak

Hanger or onglet steak is a flat cut of beef that's similar to skirt and flank. It's more tender than these other cuts because it's not as fibrous. Grilling it brings out the juiciness as long as you don't overdo it or else it can quickly become tough. The beefy taste pairs well with the crispy tang of onion rings. While it has been underrated in the past, this cut is best matched with a classic, comfort-food side rather than a high-end dish with lots of fancy ingredients. 

TV chef Alex Guarnaschelli likes to serve sweet red onion rings alongside seared hanger steak sliced on a board with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. She makes the batter using light beer and vodka with baking soda, flour, club soda, and hot paprika. Skip the hot oil and make baked onion rings with a batter and panko coating flavored with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, onion powder, paprika, and turmeric. Or, whip up an easy batter by mixing flour with buttermilk and apple cider vinegar. 

Pair luxurious crispy potatoes with bottom sirloin

Any list of the absolute best sides to pair with every cut of steak has to include roast potatoes. And if truth be told, these crispy, carby, fluffy-centered sides are glorious with every type of steak. More than that, they are perfect with any type of roast meat, especially a juicy, robust bottom sirloin if you want to dig into a classic steak dinner. Part of this cut includes the tri-tip which is perfect for grilling as it's not as tender as top sirloin. Take note that the beefy flavor is more intense with this cut.

Make Brit TV chef, Jamie Oliver's roast potatoes with a twist cooked in duck or goose fat. Use new potatoes and roast them with garlic cloves and fresh oregano or sage. What makes these roasties special is that after being parboiled, they are refrigerated in the fat overnight so that they dry off. The grease creates a shell around each potato which makes them roast beautifully. Smash them slightly before serving for a contrast of crunchy and soft potato. Season the roast potatoes with garlic, lemon juice, and zest, or roast them with garlic and rosemary for a timeless flavor. 

Pair flavorful corn with vacio or bavette steak

Bavette steak (or vacio) is a flat cut often used in Argentinian recipes that's more tender than skirt and flank. With some flavorful marbling, it's fantastic cooked on the grill and commonly used to make carne asada. Following through on this Latin-American-themed culinary journey, what better side to serve with succulent steak slices than corn? 

Marinate bavette in a chipotle sauce and serve with boiled ears of corn with butter melted on top. Add extra tanginess to the butter by mixing it with lime zest to give the corn a zesty flavor. Serve the meat and corn with homemade salsa. This succulent steak is mouthwatering with a velvety corn puree side too. Fry corn in butter with onion and garlic and add milk. Simmer to soften and sieve out the kernels for a smooth and delicious side that you can use to dip your steak. 

Pair creamy potatoes Romanoff with a New York strip

Longer than a sirloin, New York strip steak is one of the most popular cuts of beef for meat lovers. Coming from the short loin, it's deliciously tender with marbling and fat to give it a fuller flavor. This all-American steak favorite is further enhanced with classic Romanoff potatoes on the side. There's a reason that steak and potatoes are such a timeless pairing. 

Make the side dish with grated baked potatoes, being sure to chill them overnight before grating so that the insides are nice and dry and don't turn into a soggy mess when baked. Mix them with white cheddar, shallots, and sour cream, and season with salt and pepper. Add the ingredients to a baking dish and let it bubble away and brown in the oven. You can also add cayenne pepper to this creamy, cheesy side for a bit of heat. 


Our suggested pairings have been sourced from various ideas presented by celebrated chefs, recipe experts, and restaurants, as well as online butcher shops, the Cattlemen's Beef Board, and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. To choose the pairings, we considered the tenderness of the various cuts of meat and how the texture of the side compared. 

Certain pairings match comfort food sides with robust cuts of beef. High-end, sophisticated steaks are complemented by more refined, and often lighter, sides. Instead of choosing quirky sides that take dining to a different place, the focus is on classics prepared in the best way possible. All that remains is to choose either a steak or side dish that appeals to you and create a delicious dining experience regardless of the occasion.