Have you ever wanted to serve something besides bread as a side with your soup?
With 12 easy sides, you can never go wrong.
From the classic cheese toast to pesto grilled groupers, this article covers all the bases.
Discover unique ideas and simple ingredients to make your next dish special and tantalizing.
Not only are the dishes delicious, but they are also healthy.
Get ready for nutritious and guilt-free sides that take soup night to a whole new level.
Criteria for Choosing Soup Sides
When pairing soup with sides, you want to be mindful of texture and flavor.
To ensure that your meal is balanced and appetizing, consider the following criteria for choosing soup sides:
- Complementary flavors: Different dishes should have complementary flavors. Consider the ingredients in your soup when deciding which side dish to serve. If your soup has a mellow flavor, choose a side that brings out these subtle notes. If it has a bold, rich flavor, choose ingredients that don’t compete or overwhelm it.
- Variety of textures: You’ll want to create contrast in textures so that your meal isn’t one-dimensional. For soups such as chili or minestrone, add crunchy toppings like tortilla chips or garlic croutons; for creamy soups like bisques or chowders, opt for creamier accompaniments like cornbread muffins or cheesy biscuits.
- Not overly filling: While you may be tempted to fill up every corner of space on the plate with side dishes—you don’t want them being overly filling. Stick with light accompaniments such as vegetables and salads when having a heavy soup dish—especially if everyone else is having different main courses like meat and seafood dishes. This will help keep portion sizes reasonable while still allowing people to enjoy a variety of flavors.
12 Easy Sides to Serve with Soup Besides Bread
When it comes to savory soup accompaniments, many people reach straight for the bread.
However, if you’re looking to switch up your soup routine, there are plenty of other tasty sides that can go great with your favorite soup recipe.
From protein-rich salads to crunchy vegetables and simple grains and starches, there are endless options when it comes to soup side dishes.
Here are 12 easy sides you can try:
1. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables make an easy, nutritious, and delicious side dish to go with any soup.
Whether you choose to roast a single type of veg, like cauliflower or broccoli, or a mix of veggies for a medley of flavors and textures, it’s sure to be a hit with the whole family.
Simply chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and toss with oil (or cooking spray), seasonings, and salt before placing in the oven at 400°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve your roasted vegetables warm alongside your favorite soup.
2. Grilled Cheese Sandwich
A grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect companion to any soup, especially creamy soups.
Choose your favorite type of cheese—cheddar, Swiss, American—layer it between two slices of bread and grill it in a skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and crisp.
You can also use slices of buttery croissant dough instead of regular bread for an extra-special touch.
If you’d like to dress up your sandwich, add some thinly sliced tomatoes or onions; a sprinkle of herbs like thyme or basil; or bacon strips on top.
Serve with a side of tomato soup for the classic combo.
3. Caesar Salad
Caesar salad is a classic accompaniment to many soups, and it’s easy to make at home.
Start with a base of chopped romaine lettuce, or any type of crunchy lettuce such as iceberg or endive.
Then toss the lettuce with croutons and grated Parmesan cheese.
For the dressing, you’ll need olive oil, garlic, anchovy paste (optional), lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.
Combine all of the ingredients in a jar and shake them until everything is combined, then drizzle over the salad before serving.
You can also add grilled chicken for a heartier dish if desired.
4. Charcuterie Board
A charcuterie board is a great way to introduce some variety to your soup night.
Start with a classic mix of cured meats, such as salami, prosciutto and soppressata, along with flavored and spiced sausages (chorizo or andouille).
Then add smoked cheeses like cheddar and Swiss, pickled nuts or olives, dried fruits like figs or apricots, slices of fresh fruit like oranges or apples and—the perfect accompaniment—some thickly sliced bread.
To make your charcuterie board visually interesting, arrange the items in different patterns around the board (or plate if you prefer): concentric circles can give an elegant look while circles running off-center can bring a more rustic feel to the presentation.
5. Baked Sweet Potato
A sweet potato can make a perfect side dish to pair with your soup.
Not only are they filling, but they’re also packed with nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber.
To prepare a baked potato, preheat your oven to 400°F and wash the potato thoroughly.
Prick the skin of the potato using a fork and rub it with oil or butter for extra flavor.
Bake for about 45 minutes-1 hour until tender when you pierce it with a fork or knife.
Serve wedges of sweet potato on the side of soup topped with cinnamon butter and sprinkle of brown sugar for an extra pop of sweetness.
6. Tomato Bruschetta
Tomato bruschetta makes a delicious and easy side dish to serve with soup.
The combination of juicy tomatoes and fragrant basil pairs well with almost any type of soup, so feel free to be creative.
To make this tasty side, you will need fresh tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and a sprinkle of dried oregano.
Begin by chopping the tomatoes and garlic into small pieces.
In a large bowl, combine the chopped ingredients with extra-virgin olive oil and oregano seasoning.
Let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Serve the tomato bruschetta on top of toasted bread slices or crackers for an extra crunchy effect.
If you can find them in season at your local grocer or farmers’ market, use heirloom tomatoes for an added layer of sweetness in the finished product.
7. Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed mushrooms bring an extra layer of flavor to your meal.
Depending on what type of soup you have prepared, you can stuff mushrooms with a combination of herbs and cheese, filling them with a unique flavor that pairs nicely with the mild flavor of the soup.
To have the stuffing fit nicely in each mushroom cap, cut off the top ¼ inch and remove the stem before stuffing.
Place the mushroom caps upside down on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serve these stuffed mushrooms in a side dish serving bowl alongside your soup for an extra boost of flavor and texture.
8. Tortilla Chips and Salsa
A great way to bring a bit of flavor and crunch to your soup is by combining tortilla chips and salsa.
Simply crumble a handful or two of your favorite tortilla chips into a bowl of homemade or store-bought soup.
For an extra boost of flavor, serve salsa on the side.
Salsa adds another layer of flavor and texture, plus it adds plenty of fresh vegetables that can be beneficial for any meal.
Make sure you pick a salsa that complements the flavor profile of your soup—spicy, sweet or smoky salsas can all round out the overall texture and make dishes more interesting.
9. Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is a classic side to serve with most any soup.
To make your own delicious garlic bread, slice a baguette lengthwise and spread butter or margarine on both sides.
Sprinkle with garlic powder, parsley and grated parmesan cheese.
Bake in the oven or broil in the oven until lightly browned around the edges.
Serve hot with your favorite soup for an easy and delicious meal option.
10. Caprese Salad
Caprese salad (also called insalata Caprese) is a simple Italian salad made of fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and olive oil.
This light and flavorful combination makes an excellent side to a lighter soup such as minestrone or gazpacho.
To make the salad, slice fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese into rounds.
Place the slices on a plate and layer each with fresh basil leaves, lightly drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Adding balsamic vinegar is also optional for additional flavor depth.
Heating the mozzarella before serving can also add a pleasant warm-cheesy flavor to the salad that pairs nicely with soup.
11. Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that has been around for years.
Perfectly cooked pieces of potato mixed with butter, heavy cream, and seasonings make a comforting treat to enjoy any night of the week.
It can also be made with less fat and fewer ingredients for a friendly option for those watching their waistlines.
For a delicious twist on traditional mashed potatoes, add roasted garlic or chives for extra flavor.
Creamy mashed potatoes go great with everything from burgers to steak and pairs perfectly with green beans and roasted carrots.
An added bonus? There’s usually enough left over for the next day so you can enjoy it twice.
12. Steamed Vegetables
Steamed vegetables make a great side dish to go along with soup.
Steam your favorite seasonal vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, asparagus, cauliflower or broccoli and drizzle them with olive oil and fresh herbs.
You can also get creative with the type of vegetables you use — try steaming butternut squash or sweet potatoes for a flavorful twist.
A green salad is also a great accompaniment to soup — top it off with some pomegranate ‒ the tart flavor will perfectly balance out your meal.
When serving soup, don’t let your end-of-the-meal options stop at just bread.
There are plenty of delicious side dishes to choose from, whether you’re looking for a quick and easy veggie to steam or a more involved appetizer or dessert.
Enjoy the variety and flexibility of a soup supper with these 12 easy sides that pair perfectly with soup.
Use them as inspiration for your own recipes — or just pick some up on your next grocery store run.
Soup season never tasted so good.