Shepherd’s Pie is a classic and comforting dish that has been a staple in households for generations. The dish is made with a hearty mixture of ground meat, vegetables, and gravy, topped with a layer of mashed potatoes. While the pie itself is filling, it’s the side dishes that really bring the meal together and add a pop of flavor and texture. In this article, we’ll explore ten delicious side dish options that will complement your Shepherd’s Pie and make your meal complete.
Side dishes are an important part of any meal, and they play a crucial role in rounding out the flavors and textures of a meal. With Shepherd’s Pie, the side dishes can add a pop of color, a crunchy texture, or a light and refreshing element that balances out the richness of the pie. Whether you’re serving a large crowd or just your family, the right side dishes can elevate the meal and make it a true feast.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with ten delicious side dish options that will complement your Shepherd’s Pie and make your meal complete. These options range from roasted vegetables to salads to starchy sides, and they will provide you with inspiration for your next Shepherd’s Pie dinner.
15 Best Side Dishes for Shepherd’s Pie Options
Vegetable Side Dishes
- Roasted Vegetables: Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and is a great way to add a pop of color to your plate. Consider roasting carrots, turnips, parsnips, or any other root vegetable to add a touch of earthiness to your meal. To roast vegetables, simply toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake in the oven until tender and slightly charred.
- Steamed Vegetables: Steaming is a healthy and low-fat cooking method that locks in the vitamins and minerals in the vegetables. Broccoli, green beans, or carrots are great options to steam and pair with your Shepherd’s Pie. To steam vegetables, simply place them in a steamer basket over boiling water and cook until tender.
- Grilled Vegetables: Grilling is a great way to add a smoky flavor to your vegetables and make them a bit more interesting. Zucchini, bell peppers, and onions are all great options to grill and serve alongside your Shepherd’s Pie. To grill vegetables, simply brush them with olive oil and grill until tender and slightly charred.
Salad Side Dishes
- Caesar Salad: This classic salad is a great option for those who want to add some greens to their meal. The creamy dressing and crunchy croutons provide a nice contrast to the richness of the Shepherd’s Pie. To make a classic Caesar salad, simply combine chopped romaine lettuce, croutons, and grated Parmesan cheese. Toss with a homemade Caesar dressing made with lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, and mayonnaise.
- Mixed Greens with Balsamic Vinaigrette: A mixed greens salad with a balsamic vinaigrette is a light and refreshing option that will cut through the richness of the Shepherd’s Pie. Add some dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, and sliced red onions for added texture and flavor. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and olive oil.
- Coleslaw: Coleslaw is a classic side dish that is crunchy, and tangy, and provides a nice contrast to the richness of Shepherd’s Pie. To make coleslaw, simply shred cabbage, carrots, and red onions, and toss with a mayonnaise-based dressing. Add some apple cider vinegar, sugar, and celery seed for added flavor.
Starchy Side Dishes
- Mashed Potatoes: Mashed potatoes are a staple with Shepherd’s Pie, and they provide a creamy and comforting texture that balances out the richness of the pie. To make mashed potatoes, simply boil peeled and chopped potatoes until tender, and then mash them with butter, milk, and salt.
- Roasted Potatoes: Roasted potatoes are a great alternative to mashed potatoes, and they add a crispy texture to the meal. Simply chop potatoes into bite-sized pieces, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake in the oven until crispy.
- Grilled Bread: Grilled bread is a great option for those who want to add a crunchy element to their meal. Simply brush slices of crusty bread with olive oil and grill until toasted. Serve with a bit of butter for added richness.
Legume Side Dishes
- Green Beans: Green beans are a classic side dish that is both healthy and delicious. To prepare, simply blanch the beans in boiling water for a minute or two, and then shock them in an ice bath. Toss with some butter, salt, and pepper, and serve.
- Peas and Carrots: Peas and carrots are a classic combination that is both sweet and satisfying. To prepare, simply boil the peas and carrots until tender, and then toss them with some butter, salt, and pepper.
- Baked Beans: Baked beans are a classic side dish that provides a sweet and savory flavor that complements the richness of the Shepherd’s Pie. Simply bake canned beans in a mixture of molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard.
Grains and Pasta Side Dishes
- Rice Pilaf: Rice pilaf is a great option for those who want to add a starchy side dish to their meal. To make rice pilaf, simply cook rice in a mixture of chicken broth, onion, and garlic. Add some dried herbs and sautéed mushrooms for added flavor.
- Quinoa Salad: Quinoa is a healthy and flavorful grain that makes a great side dish for Shepherd’s Pie. To make a quinoa salad, simply cook the quinoa, and then toss it with diced veggies, such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion. Add a vinaigrette made with lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs for added flavor.
- Pasta Salad: Pasta salad is a great option for those who want to add a cold and refreshing side dish to their meal. Cook your favorite pasta, and then toss with veggies, such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion. Add a vinaigrette made with lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs for added flavor.
In conclusion, side dishes play a vital role in enhancing the overall flavor and texture of a Shepherd’s Pie meal. With so many options to choose from, including roasted vegetables, salads, and starchy sides, you can easily find the perfect dish to complement the richness of the pie.
Whether you’re in the mood for something crunchy, tangy, or creamy, there’s a side dish to suit every taste. So next time you enjoy a warm and comforting Shepherd’s Pie, don’t forget to pair it with a delicious side dish to elevate your dining experience.