Paella is a Spanish dish that’s made up of rice, meat, seafood, and vegetables. It’s traditionally served with nothing but a squeeze of lemon juice, but side dishes add depth to the meal and make it more complete.
To help you with your paella-making endeavors, here are what to serve with paella dishes.
The flavor profiles may vary from recipe to recipe. But one thing remains true across the board: Paella goes great with these sides!
1. Veggie Crudités
Wondering what to serve with paella? Start your meal off right by having veggie crudités, whether on the table or as an appetizer. Provide carrots, celery sticks, peppers (in colors), cucumbers, and radishes.
These are relatively cheap, easy to prepare, and add an easy healthy touch to any dinner. Veggie Crudités offer up whole veggie crudités such as carrots, celery sticks, peppers (in colors), cucumbers, and radishes.
This is a great way to not just have an assortment of fruits and vegetables on the table. But also get a healthy intake for anyone in attendance!
2. Green Sala
One simple and satisfying side dish for paella is a green salad. Simply mix baby arugula, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper until the lettuce is lightly coated.
You can also serve it with tomato, cucumber slices, or salsa if you want more flavor. This is what to serve with paella.
One tasty version of this dish is cilantro lime shrimp tossed in a citrusy dressing. That has ingredients that include jalapeno pepper, garlic cloves, orange juice, lime juice, and cilantro.
Ensure that the shrimp is thoroughly cooked before serving it with the salad; otherwise, it will be rubbery and inedible.
3. Baked Hash Browns
What to serve with paella dishes? Hash browns or wedges of baked potatoes would make excellent side dishes to go with paella. Because they are perfect for slurping up any leftover rice and saffron-flavored broth.
If you are serving this as a main course, you can add a splash of milk. Along with some chopped chives and paprika on the top.
Recipe – potatoes – egg – butter – salt – water – zest of one lemon (optional) Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
So, peel and grate potatoes, or process in a food processor until desired consistency is reached. Transfer grated potatoes into a medium bowl, season with salt, and mix well. Add the egg and 2 tablespoons butter and mix well again.
4. Broccoli Salad
Paella is a beautiful dish, but deciding what to serve with paella, may be one of the trickiest things to do right. A flavorful, fresh salad is a terrific option to give your main dish more variety.
I adore this recipe for broccoli salad and think that steaming rather than boiling the broccoli makes it taste much fresher.
5. Caesar Salad
Roman cooking teaches that the true flavor of a dish can only be revealed when all its various ingredients are combined. The same principle is applied in a traditional caesar salad.
Where romaine lettuce acts as the base and gets coated in classic Caesar dressing. Along with crunchy croutons and shavings of parmesan cheese.
There are endless delicious pieces of bread that go well with any dish. But the most common ones are baguettes, ciabatta bread, and a dense sourdough loaf. If you want to serve with paella, go for any of these bread.
7. Butternut Squash Soup
It is great if you like pairing something hearty and savory to balance out the flavors in the dish. This soup can also be made ahead of time to be ready whenever you need it.
It’s also versatile enough that you can enjoy it on its own or add toppings like chopped kale, feta cheese crumbles, or basil for some variety. If you are wondering what to serve with paella, bread is one the most common solution.
8. Fried Sweet Plantain Slices
What to serve paella with? Deep-fried sweet plantain slices make for a crispy, decadent side dish for paella. You can also serve them alongside other Spanish dishes like tortilla española or bacalao.
Plus, these fries are made in an Instant Pot pressure cooker, so they’ll be done faster than you could fry potatoes!
It’s all about the technique. In order to get that crispy exterior on the plantains, we must first slice them lengthwise. Be sure not to peel them first, or else they won’t crisp up as nicely in the hot oil.
Once sliced lengthwise, cut each plantain crosswise into 1/2-inch strips so that they’re approximately 3 inches long and 1 inch wide.
9. Fried Pimientos De Padron
Known as the Spanish version of chips and salsa. Fried Pimientos de Padron is one of my favorite ways to enjoy a Spanish meal. Like anything deep-fried, these bite-sized potatoes are addictive. I dare you not to eat more than three!
Slice the Pimiento de Padron horizontally in half lengthwise, like two hamburger buns. (This will make it easier for them to be coated evenly). Mix together some flour, salt, pepper, and about half a cup of water in a bowl until the mix is barely liquid.
And has reached a dough-like consistency (you’ll want it pretty thick so that the batter coats all sides of the potato slices evenly).
10. Roasted Red Peppers
Adding roasted peppers to your paella is a fantastic way to spice it up without worrying too much about the flavors.
For a side dish, you can prefer to blend mild, medium, and hot peppers. And roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 220C or 400F.
This gives the food a deliciously smoky, savory flavor that pairs perfectly with the rest of the dish. And allows you to get creative with different toppings.
Slice an equal amount of red bell peppers into two-inch pieces, place them in a baking pan and drizzle olive oil over them until they’re well coated.
Roast the peppers in a 350-degree oven for 25 minutes or until their edges start to blacken. Here’s how they’re made: Slice the tops off of two or three bell peppers. And remove the seeds inside using your fingers or by scooping them out with a spoon.
11. Cheese and Olive Platter
The perfect side dish for a Spanish meal like paella is cheese and an olive platter. To prepare this appetizer, grab a plate; any shape or size will do. Place several slices of cheese on the plate (any kind will do) and place olives around the cheese.
A thin slice of tomato can be added as well if desired. The goal is to add color and flavor to what might otherwise be a plain dish.
This not only spruces up your presentation but also allows you the opportunity to use items. That you may have left over from other dishes that are being served. This is what to serve with paella if you ever want to try something new.
12. Toasted Marcona Almonds
The almonds that usually accompany paella are called Marcona and are a close relative of the almond. Wondering what to serve with paella, toasted Marcona almonds are your best pick.
They hail from the Marques region of Spain, where they have been popular since the 18th century.
This tradition has spread worldwide and can be found in most grocery stores under their Spanish name or generic almond. Typically, these almonds are bought raw and then toasted in a dry pan until they brown on one side.
13. Potato Frittata
Paella is a rice dish that originated in Valencia, Spain. A traditional Valencian paella consists of rice (often bomba or calasparra) and diced vegetables.
Such as tomato, green beans, garlic, onion, and red bell pepper, seafood, or meat such as chicken or rabbit.
And simmered in iced water with olive oil until the liquid had evaporated. Potato frittata is what to serve with paella.
14. Fried Shrimp
This recipe for fried shrimp uses fairly common ingredients in the kitchen. But can be made quickly and inexpensively. To make it simple, start by melting a tablespoon of butter in a skillet on medium heat.
Then add two cups of water and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, set up an ice bath next to the stove. And get ready three eggs (beaten) and 1/2 cup flour mixed together in another bowl.
When the water boils, add one teaspoon of salt, then pour in all of the egg mixtures slowly. While stirring continuously until a solid layer has formed on top. Turn off the heat and transfer it all onto a tray lined with paper towels or cheesecloth.
15. Toasted Bread Slices
This isn’t the most authentic way of eating paella, but who can resist a few pieces of hot toast? For the toast, use thick-cut slices from a rustic country loaf and sprinkle them with some chopped parsley. You can also put out a pot of traditional garlic butter for dipping.
16. Garlic Soup
If you have extra time on your hands, make this classic dish that’s traditionally served with seafood dishes. It’s super easy just to boil water and toss in lots of minced garlic cloves (the more, the better!).
Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, then strain it into another pot or bowl. Put out some croutons or garlic breadsticks to go along with it! This is your best bet if you are looking for what to serve with paella.
17. Griddled Asparagus Spears
Another quick and simple side dish that pairs well with paella is this one. This is what to serve with paella if you ever need something to serve with it.
Griddling asparagus spears can enjoy fresh spring veggies that are nutrient-rich and overflowing with flavor.
However, you may choose to serve yours with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar and some freshly ground black pepper. You can choose whatever variety you like. Cut a thick slice of baguette or country loaf on the diagonal.
Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil, and place bread in the pan. Put asparagus spears on top of bread, brush them with olive oil and regularly turn until they are browned on both sides (about 3 minutes). Drizzle some balsamic vinegar over them and serve!
18. Grilled Mushrooms
Whether you’re vegetarian or vegan, mushrooms are the perfect option if you are wondering what to serve with paella. Grilling is a quick and easy way to make your own grilled mushrooms.
You can prepare them on the grill using just salt and pepper for seasoning. For an extra kick of flavor, use olive oil as well.
You can also roast them in the oven by placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. And roasting at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time.
19. Pickled Onions
It’s traditional in Spain for people with paella to gather together to bring side dishes. What you choose to bring is up to you. But it’s important that the dish be something that can keep out at room temperature for long periods of time.
Fresh-cut fruit like melons and grapes are perfect for this because they don’t spoil easily. This is what to serve with a paella dish.
20. Fried Rice
If you can’t decide what to serve as a side dish for your paella, fried rice is a safe bet. The best thing about fried rice is that it’s such an easy dish. And it can be made in bulk, so you’ll have leftovers for tomorrow too!
You will need the following ingredients: eggs, rice, water, and salt. Also, onion (chopped), red pepper (chopped), sesame oil, and soy sauce.
Pour your sesame oil into the pan and cook the onion until golden brown. Add in the red pepper and cook it until soft and tender but not mushy.
21. Crema Catalana
Paella is one of the most versatile dishes in the world, and there are many different recipes for it. A savory Spanish dish, paella originates in coastal areas like Valencia and Alicante, where the seafood is plentiful.
In North America, Paille is usually made with chicken and vegetables, but there are also many other variants worldwide. Such as African Paella, the Chinese Paella Rice, or a paellera mixta including fish and shellfish.
Creamy flan is the perfect dessert to serve with Spanish paella. It’s also a great way to add some color contrast. As well as some additional sweetness and creaminess that cuts through the dish’s richness.
23. Tortilla Española
Made from eggs, potatoes, olive oil, onion, and salt in a frying pan over medium heat. For about 20 minutes until it starts to brown on one side. This is what to serve with a paella dish.
24. Gilda’s Potato Salad
Roasted potatoes tossed in paprika then boiled in water mixed with garlic cloves. After this point, you can take them out of the water or cook them until they are done, depending on your preference. Garlic shrimp: Serve alongside the paella and taste it all together!
Yet another dessert that’s simple to prepare yet difficult to mess up. We adore tiramisu because it is so decadent, creamy, and tasty.
It also makes a wonderful meal-ending dessert. It’s one of our go-to desserts for family gatherings because it’s portable, and a little bit goes a long way.
- Make sure your hands are clean before starting.
- Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and mascarpone cheese in a large bowl until creamy
- Stir in the vanilla extract and instant coffee powder until well-combined
- And In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form
- Stir one-third of the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture, then gently fold in the remaining two-thirds
Similar to ice cream but without dairy is sorbet. It has a texture that is comparable to fruit but sweeter, making it incredibly cooling. Citrus and pineapple juice are used to make our sorbet, which gives it a vibrant flavor.
Add some honey for an extra special touch. You may want to consider making an ice cream sorbet (!) for dessert. The recipe is surprisingly simple: sugar, water, and any type of fruit purée (like apple or strawberry).
Boil until the sugar is dissolved, then remove from heat and chill for two hours in the fridge. Before churning, for about 10 minutes in your blender or food processor. And voila, you have what to serve with paella!
27. Olive Oil Cake
In the region of Valencia, the people would cook a large cake in an olive oil pot. And it is rumored that this is where oliva de Aceite, or olive oil cake came from. These days, Oliva de Aceite is most often baked in thin sheets.
They are very thin and crispy, and you can literally see through them! Oliva de Aceite can be made with various spices, but typically cinnamon and honey.
28. Fruit Salad
Prepare a fruit salad as a side dish for paella. There are many different fruits that would go well with the flavors of paella and can be made in advance. So that it can easily be placed on the table next to the paella pan.
For example, pineapple is perfect with rice dishes like this. But if you don’t have any at home, sliced strawberries will also work well.
29. Rhubarb Pie
This rhubarb pie will give you that fruity flavor that complements the spiciness of the paella. Rhubarb is perfect for desserts since it has a touch of sweetness, but you could also make this for breakfast. It’s made in a casserole dish and iced with cream cheese frosting.
Add fresh fruit and whipped cream to make it more like a traditional dessert. You can even substitute pumpkin or sweet potato puree if you want a different color or taste.
No matter what flavor you’re going for, these dishes are guaranteed to be a hit. If you want to branch out, pair your paella with some fresh fruit salad or fresh salsa. For the traditionalists out there, steamed rice is always a great option!
Now that you know all of your side dish options and what to serve with paella, take your next family dinner up a notch by serving up some authentic paella.