Red beans and rice is a staple dish in many cultures, and for a good reason.
It is hearty, filling, and can be made relatively cheaply.
The dish is also highly versatile, as it can be easily dressed up or down to suit any occasion.
So what should you serve with red beans and rice? Here are 15 of the best side dishes to round out your meal.
From meat to vegetables, there is something for everyone on this list.
So whether you’re looking for something simple or something more exotic, these side dishes will be perfect for your next meal.
What to Serve with Red Beans and Rice? Try These 15 Side Dishes
1. Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket
This slow cooker BBQ beef brisket is the perfect dish for a summer cookout.
The beef is cooked low and slow in the crockpot, resulting in tender, juicy meat that is packed with flavor.
Serve this brisket with your favorite sides, and enjoy.
One of the best things about this dish is the taste and texture of the beef.
The slow cooking process allows the flavors to really penetrate the meat, resulting in a delicious, mouth-watering dish.
The beef also comes out incredibly tender and juicy, making it the perfect main course for any summer cookout.
2. Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes are a delicious and unique dish that can be enjoyed as a side or main course.
The taste and texture of fried green tomatoes are unlike any other food, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy bold and flavorful dishes.
Fried green tomatoes are best when they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
The key to achieving this perfect balance is to cook them at a high heat so that the exterior gets nice and crispy while the interior remains moist.
There are many ways to elevate fried green tomatoes and make them even more delicious.
One way is to stuff them with cheese or other fillings before frying them.
Another way is to top them with a flavorful sauce or gravy.
3. Fried Chicken
There’s nothing quite like a good plate of fried chicken.
The crispy skin, the juicy meat, the perfect seasoning.
It’s no wonder this dish is a classic.
And while fried chicken is delicious on its own, there are plenty of ways to elevate it.
Here are some of our favorite side dishes to serve with fried chicken:
Mashed potatoes are always a solid choice.
They provide a creamy contrast to the crispy chicken, and you can load them up with all your favorite toppings.
Mac and cheese is another classic that goes great with fried chicken.
The rich cheese pairs perfectly with the crunchy skin and juicy meat.
For something a little different, try serving fried chicken with roasted vegetables.
The vegetables will add a pop of color to your plate, and their sweetness will complement the savory chicken nicely.
4. Fried Pork Chops
Fried pork chops are a classic dish that can be enjoyed any time of year.
They are delicious and satisfying and can be easily elevated with the addition of some simple sides.
Fried pork chops are usually made with boneless pork loin chops.
The meat is tender and juicy, with a slightly fatty flavor that is offset by the crispy breading.
The texture of the fried pork chop is also important, as it should be crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your fried pork chops are as delicious as possible:
- Make sure the pork chops are well-seasoned before breading them. This will give them more flavor and prevent the breading from falling off.
- Use a quality breadcrumb or flour mixture for the breading. This will ensure that the pork chops are evenly coated and that the breading sticks to the meat.
- Fry the pork chops in hot oil until they are golden brown and cooked through.
5. Collard Greens with Bacon
Red beans and rice is a classic dish that is often served with collard greens.
This side dish is a perfect complement to the rich and savory flavors of red beans and rice.
The taste and texture of collard greens can vary depending on how they are cooked.
They can be boiled, sautéed, or even baked.
If you want to add a little bit of extra flavor to your collard greens, try cooking them with bacon.
This will give the greens a smoky flavor that pairs well with the other dishes on your plate.
You can also add some diced onions or garlic to the dish for an extra kick of flavor.
6. Andouille Sausage
Andouille sausage is a type of smoked pork sausage that originates in France.
It is typically made with pork, garlic, onions, wine, and spices.
Andouille sausage has a distinct flavor that is both spicy and smoky.
This sausage is often used in Cajun cuisine and can be added to dishes like red beans and rice, jambalaya, or gumbo.
Andouille sausage can also be grilled or fried and served as an appetizer or main dish.
If you’re looking to elevate your red beans and rice dish, try adding some andouille sausage to it.
The sausage will add a boost of flavor and spice to the dish.
Andouille sausage can also be grilled or fried and served as an appetizer or main dish.
7. Tasso Ham
Tasso ham is a smoked pork product that originates from Louisiana.
It’s usually made from the shoulder or butt of the pig, and it’s cured with a combination of spices like garlic, cayenne pepper, and paprika.
The result is a slightly spicy, very flavorful ham that can be used in all sorts of dishes.
One of the best things about tasso ham is its versatility.
It can be used in everything from rice dishes to pasta dishes to soups and stews.
It also makes a great addition to omelets or quiches.
And, of course, it’s delicious on its own as well.
- Use it as a flavoring agent for rice dishes. Tasso ham imparts a lot of flavors, so a little goes a long way. Simply sauté some diced tasso ham in olive oil until it’s nice and crispy, then add it to your cooked rice along with some green onions for extra flavor.
- Add it to pasta dishes for an extra kick of flavor. Toss some diced tasso ham into your favorite pasta dish – whether it’s spaghetti and meatballs or macaroni and cheese – for an extra boost of flavor.
- Use it as a topping for pizzas or flatbreads. Tasso ham pairs especially well with cheesy dishes like pizza and flatbreads. So next time you’re making either one of these dishes, consider using tasso ham as a topping. You won’t be disappointed.
8. Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
Jalapeno cheddar cornbread is the perfect side dish for a hearty bowl of red beans and rice.
The cornbread is moist and fluffy, with a slight kick from the jalapenos and a sharpness from the cheddar cheese.
It’s the perfect balance of flavors that will complement any dish.
To elevate this dish, try serving it with a dollop of honey or some additional cheddar cheese on top.
You could also add some chopped green onions or diced tomatoes to the batter before baking.
These simple additions will take your cornbread to the next level.
9. Pulled Pork
Pork shoulder is one of the most flavorful and versatile cuts of meat.
When slow-cooked, the collagen in the shoulder breaks down, resulting in tender, juicy meat that can be shredded and used in a variety of dishes.
One of the best ways to enjoy pulled pork is by serving it with red beans and rice.
The rich, savory flavors of the pork complement the earthy flavors of the beans and rice perfectly.
And, because both dishes are hearty and filling, they make an ideal meal for any time of day.
There are a few things you can do to elevate your dish and take it from good to great:
- Be sure to use a dry rub or marinade on your pork shoulder before cooking it. This will help to infuse it with flavor and keep it moist during cooking.
- Cook your beans and rice in chicken or beef broth instead of water for extra flavor.
- Top your dish off with some fresh chopped scallions or green onions for a bit of color and crunch.
Hushpuppies are a quintessential Southern dish – fried cornmeal batter that is often served as a side dish or appetizer.
These little fritters are traditionally made with yellow cornmeal, but you can also use white or even blue cornmeal for a different flavor.
Hushpuppies are usually fried until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside but still soft and moist on the inside.
The texture of the cornmeal batter is what sets hushpuppies apart from other fried foods – it should be light and airy, not dense or heavy.
There are a few things you can do to elevate your hushpuppies and make them even more delicious.
First, try adding some shredded cheese to the batter for a cheesy twist.
You could also add some chopped green onions or jalapeños for a bit of spice.
And don’t forget the dipping sauce.
Honey mustard or rémoulade would be perfect for hushpuppies.
11. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables are a delicious and healthy way to enjoy the bounty of the season.
Whether you’re roasting squash, sweet potatoes, or tomatoes, the high heat of the oven brings out their natural sweetness and creates a caramelized crust.
The key to success is to use enough oil to coat the vegetables, then roast them at a high temperature until they’re tender and lightly browned.
You can also experiment with different seasoning combinations to give your roasted vegetables extra flavor.
Rosemary and garlic are classic choices but don’t be afraid to get creative with herbs and spices.
Finally, don’t forget to finish your dish with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
12. Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole is a dish that has long been associated with Thanksgiving.
It typically consists of sweet potatoes mashed with sugar and spices, then topped with a layer of marshmallows.
The casserole is then baked until the marshmallows are golden brown.
While Sweet Potato Casserole is often served as a side dish, it can also be enjoyed as a dessert.
The dish is usually sweet and creamy, with a slight textural contrast from the toasted marshmallows.
However, there are many ways to elevate Sweet Potato Casserole and make it even more delicious.
For example, adding a layer of pecans or gingerbread crumbs before the marshmallows adds extra flavor and texture.
Or, try serving the casserole with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream on top.
13. Blackened Broccoli
Blackened broccoli is a great way to change up your standard broccoli dish.
This recipe features roasted broccoli that is then coated in a blackening spice blend.
The result is a slightly charred, smoky, and very flavorful side dish.
The key to making this dish successful is to use a high-quality blackening spice blend.
I recommend using one that contains smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and pepper.
You can find this type of spice blend at most grocery stores or online.
When it comes to the actual blackening process, you want to make sure that the broccoli is well coated in the spice blend.
I like to use my hands to really massage the spices into the florets.
Once the broccoli is coated, you’ll want to roast it in a hot oven until it’s slightly charred around the edges.
This dish is best served immediately after it’s made.
However, if you have leftovers, they will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat in a 350-degree oven before serving.
14. Southern Salmon Croquettes
Salmon croquettes are a southern classic and for a good reason.
They’re hearty and satisfying, with a delicious flaky texture.
But what really sets them apart is their unique flavor profile.
Salmon croquettes have a slightly sweet taste that’s offset by a savory kick.
It’s a unique combination that’s sure to please any palate.
There are a few things you can do to elevate your salmon croquettes.
First, be sure to use fresh salmon.
The quality of the fish will make a big difference in the final dish.
Second, add some diced onion and garlic to the mixture for extra flavor.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices.
A little paprika or cayenne pepper can really give these croquettes an extra zing.
15. Southern Fried Catfish
If you’re looking for a delicious and easy-to-make Southern dish, look no further than Southern Fried Catfish.
This dish is typically made with cornmeal-coated catfish that is fried to perfection.
The result is a crispy, golden brown exterior with a moist and flaky interior.
One of the best things about Southern Fried Catfish is that it can be enjoyed as an entree or side dish.
And no matter how you choose to serve it, you’re sure to please your guests’ taste buds.
If you’re serving it as an entree, we recommend pairing it with a simple side salad or roasted vegetables.
For a heartier meal, you could also serve it with mashed potatoes and gravy.
- Try using a different type of fish, such as tilapia or bass.
- Add some spice to the cornmeal coating by adding Cajun seasoning or paprika.
- Serve with a dipping sauce on the side, such as remoulade or tartar sauce.
Serve up a heaping plate of red beans and rice with any of these15 amazing side dishes.
With options like collard greens, cornbread, roasted vegetables, and hushpuppies, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Andouille sausage and tasso ham elevate the dish with their bold flavors, while sweet potato casserole and blackened broccoli add a touch of elegance.
Whatever sides you choose, your guests are sure to be impressed.