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What are some popular sides?

When it comes to enjoying a delicious meal, the main course often takes center stage. However, no meal is truly complete without a selection of mouthwatering sides to complement the flavors and add variety to the dining experience. In the UK, there are a plethora of popular side dishes that are loved by locals and visitors alike. From traditional favorites to more contemporary offerings, these sides can elevate any meal to new heights.

Traditional British sides

British cuisine is known for its hearty and comforting dishes, and the traditional sides are no exception. Some classic options include:

  • Yorkshire Puddings: These fluffy, golden-brown puddings are a staple of any Sunday roast. Made from a batter of eggs, flour, and milk, they are perfect for soaking up gravy.
  • Roast Potatoes: Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, roast potatoes are a must-have with any roast dinner. They are typically cooked in beef drippings for extra flavor.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Creamy and buttery, mashed potatoes are a versatile side that pairs well with a range of dishes. They are often served with sausages, stews, or grilled meats.
  • Peas and Carrots: This classic combination of vegetables provides a vibrant pop of color and freshness to any plate. Whether served as a side or incorporated into a pie filling, peas and carrots are a firm favorite.

International influences

The UK’s diverse cultural landscape has brought a multitude of international cuisines to its shores, and this is reflected in the popular side dishes enjoyed by Brits. Some examples include:

  1. Onion Bhajis: These Indian-inspired fritters are made from a mixture of onions, spices, and chickpea flour. Crispy and flavorful, they are often served as a side or appetizer in Indian restaurants across the UK.
  2. Sweet Potato Fries: A healthier alternative to regular fries, sweet potato fries have gained popularity in recent years. They are typically baked or fried until crispy and sprinkled with a touch of sea salt.
  3. Coleslaw: A staple in American cuisine, coleslaw has also found a place on British menus. This crunchy salad made from shredded cabbage, carrots, and a creamy dressing adds a refreshing element to many meals.

Modern twists

As culinary trends evolve, so do the side dishes on offer. Chefs and home cooks alike are experimenting with innovative flavors and techniques to create exciting sides that tantalize the taste buds. Some contemporary favorites include:

  • Truffle Parmesan Fries: Elevated versions of the classic French fry, truffle parmesan fries are often served in upscale burger joints and trendy gastropubs. Tossed in truffle oil and grated parmesan cheese, they offer a luxurious twist on a beloved side.
  • Quinoa Salad: With the rise in popularity of healthy eating, quinoa salads have become a go-to choice for those looking for nutritious sides. Packed with protein and fiber, these salads often feature a variety of colorful vegetables and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.
  • Loaded Nachos: Inspired by Mexican cuisine, loaded nachos are a crowd-pleasing side that combines crunchy tortilla chips with melted cheese, jalapenos, guacamole, and sour cream. Perfect for sharing, they are often found in casual dining establishments.

“Sides can transform a good meal into an exceptional one by providing contrasting flavors and textures.” – Chef Gordon Ramsay

Whether you prefer the traditional British sides, international influences, or modern twists, there is a wide range of options to cater to every palate. Experimenting with different combinations can add excitement to your meals and elevate your dining experience to new heights.

How Many Side Dishes Should You Have?

When planning a meal, one common question that often arises is how many side dishes should be served. The answer can vary depending on the occasion, the number of guests, and personal preferences. However, there are some general guidelines to help you determine the ideal number of side dishes for your gathering.

Consider the Main Course

The number of side dishes should be proportional to the complexity and size of the main course. For a simple dish like grilled chicken, one or two sides may be sufficient. However, for a more elaborate roast dinner, you might want to include three or more diverse sides.

Take Dietary Preferences into Account

If you have guests with dietary restrictions or food allergies, it’s important to offer a variety of side dishes that cater to their needs. Consider including at least one vegetarian or vegan option, as well as gluten-free or dairy-free alternatives if necessary.

Balance Flavors and Textures

When choosing side dishes, aim for a balance of flavors and textures. Include at least one vegetable-based dish, such as a salad or roasted vegetables, to provide freshness and lightness. Additionally, consider serving a starchy side like potatoes or grains, and a contrasting dish that adds depth and richness.


“The number of side dishes should not overwhelm the main course but rather complement it, enhancing the overall dining experience.” – Food Expert

Table: Example Side Dish Combinations

Main Course Side Dish 1 Side Dish 2 Side Dish 3
Grilled Salmon Steamed Asparagus Lemon Rice Green Salad
Roast Beef Mashed Potatoes Honey-Glazed Carrots Creamed Spinach

Are Side Dishes Important?

In British cuisine, side dishes play a crucial role in enhancing the overall dining experience. They complement the main course and provide a harmonious balance of flavors and textures. Whether it’s a Sunday roast, a traditional fish and chips meal, or a classic afternoon tea, side dishes hold significant importance in the culinary traditions of the UK.

The Role of Side Dishes

Side dishes are not just an afterthought; they are carefully chosen to elevate the main course. They add variety, color, and additional nutritional value to a meal. Whether it’s a serving of steamed vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes, or crispy Yorkshire puddings, side dishes complete the plate and create a sense of satisfaction.

Enhancing the Dining Experience

Side dishes allow diners to customize their meals according to their preferences. For example, condiments like mint sauce with lamb or cranberry sauce with turkey provide flavor contrasts that elevate the overall taste. They also contribute to the visual appeal of a dish, making it more enticing.

Quotes from Culinary Experts

“Side dishes are like the supporting characters in a culinary masterpiece – they may not be the star, but they sure make the main course shine.” – Chef Gordon Ramsay

Examples of Iconic British Side Dishes

Side Dish Description
Yorkshire Puddings A golden and fluffy batter baked in individual portions, usually served with roast beef.
Mushy Peas Made from dried marrowfat peas, mushy peas are a traditional accompaniment to fish and chips.
Bubble and Squeak A thrifty dish made from leftover vegetables and mashed potatoes, cooked until crispy on the outside.

What is the most liked side dish?

When it comes to enjoying a delicious meal, the main course often takes center stage. However, a great side dish can truly elevate the dining experience. With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which side dish is the most liked. In the United Kingdom, several classic sides have gained popularity over the years.

Roast Potatoes

When it comes to a traditional British Sunday roast, roast potatoes are an absolute must-have. These crispy, golden potatoes are typically roasted in oil or fat until they develop a crunchy exterior, while remaining soft and fluffy on the inside. Roast potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to roast beef or chicken.

Yorkshire Puddings

No Sunday roast would be complete without Yorkshire puddings. These light and airy pastry puffs are typically served alongside roast beef and gravy. The secret to a perfect Yorkshire pudding lies in achieving the right amount of rise and crispiness.

Peas and Mint

A popular side dish in the UK, mushy peas are made from dried marrowfat peas that are soaked overnight and then simmered until soft and mushy. These peas are often flavored with mint, giving them a refreshing taste that complements dishes like fish and chips.

Bubble and Squeak

A favorite among Brits, bubble and squeak is a dish made from leftover vegetables, usually cabbage and mashed potatoes. The vegetables are mixed together, formed into patties, and fried until crispy. This versatile side goes well with a variety of main dishes.

The Verdict

While opinions on the most liked side dish may differ, these classic British sides certainly top the list. Incorporating these tasty accompaniments into your meals can enhance the overall dining experience and bring a touch of British tradition to your table.

“A well-prepared side dish can transform an ordinary meal into an extraordinary one.”

What are Common Side Dishes?

When it comes to British cuisine, side dishes play a vital role in enhancing the overall meal experience. These accompaniments are designed to complement the main course and provide balance and variety to the plate. From simple vegetables to traditional starches, here are some common side dishes that you can expect to find on menus throughout the UK.

1. Roasted Potatoes

No British roast dinner would be complete without crispy, golden roasted potatoes. This classic side dish is loved for its soft interior and crunchy exterior. The potatoes are typically tossed in oil or fat and roasted until they develop a deliciously caramelized texture. Serve them alongside your Sunday roast or as a tasty addition to any meal.

2. Yorkshire Pudding

A signature element of a traditional Sunday roast, Yorkshire pudding is a baked batter that puffs up to create a light and fluffy treat. Made from a simple mixture of flour, eggs, and milk, Yorkshire pudding is traditionally served with roast beef and gravy. Its airy texture and savory flavor make it a must-have side dish for any Brit.

3. Peas and Mint

Peas and mint often go hand-in-hand as a refreshing side dish in British cuisine. Whether served on their own or mixed with butter, these vibrant green peas provide a burst of natural sweetness. The addition of fresh mint adds a delightful aroma and a hint of brightness to the dish.

4. Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a popular side dish in the UK, consisting of shredded cabbage, carrots, and mayonnaise dressing. It adds a cool and crisp element to meals, making it a great option for barbecues, sandwiches, or alongside fish and chips. The creamy dressing provides a tangy and refreshing flavor that complements a variety of main courses.

5. Mushy Peas

Mushy peas are a beloved side dish commonly served with fish and chips in the UK. These peas are cooked until they become soft and mushy, creating a thick and hearty accompaniment to the crispy fried fish. With their rich flavor and smooth texture, mushy peas add a comforting element to any meal.

“Side dishes play a vital role in enhancing the overall meal experience.”
– Name Surname

In addition to these popular options, there is a wide range of other common side dishes found across the UK, such as mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, roasted root vegetables, and garden salads. These side dishes not only provide nutritional value but also add depth, color, and flavor to meals.

Common Side Dishes
Side Dish Description
Roasted Potatoes Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside roasted potatoes.
Yorkshire Pudding A light and fluffy baked batter typically served with roast beef.
Peas and Mint Green peas tossed with fresh mint for a burst of freshness.
Coleslaw Shredded cabbage and carrots with a creamy dressing.
Mushy Peas Soft and mushy peas served with fish and chips.

Next time you enjoy a British meal, be sure to explore the array of side dishes available. These accompaniments truly enhance the overall dining experience by adding texture, flavor, and variety to your plate.


Ultimately, the number of side dishes you should have depends on various factors. While two or three side dishes are typically sufficient for most meals, it’s important to consider the main course, dietary preferences, and balance of flavors when making your decision. Remember, the goal is not to overwhelm the main course but rather to provide a well-rounded and enjoyable dining experience for your guests.

Side dishes are indeed important in the UK culinary landscape. They provide balance, enhance flavors, and contribute to the overall dining experience. From classic accompaniments like Yorkshire puddings and mushy peas to innovative creations, side dishes elevate a meal, making it truly memorable.