What to serve with corned beef and cabbage! These tasty sides, breads, drinks, and desserts will turn your Irish dinner into a delicious complete meal.
Whether you serve it once a year on St. Patrick’s Day, on special occasions, or if it’s a classic on your regular rotation, a corned beef dinner is comfort food at its finest.
Corned beef is essentially beef cured in a salt brine, and then simmered in pickling spices for several hours.
Tender, flat cut beef brisket takes on much different flavors with the help of bay leaves, mustard seeds, black pepper, anise seeds, red pepper flakes, cloves, and coriander.
(Or take a shortcut by using a spice packet from your grocery store.)
You can make corned beef and cabbage on the stovetop, or in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Where did corned beef originally come from?
It is believed that Irish immigrants brought this delicious meal to the United States, and the Jewish population of New York City adapted it to what we know today. It originated in a time when people began preserving meat through salt-curing.
What do the Irish eat with corned beef?
Corned beef is traditionally served with cabbage, which was one of the cheapest vegetables available to Irish immigrants.
Potatoes and carrots are also often included, and are a great way to stretch the meal and cook it all in one pot.
Simple ingredients are often all that’s needed for our most favorite meals.
Now that you have the main course in hand, you’ll want to know what to eat with corned beef!
I put together a great list of corned beef sides, including bread, potatoes, and vegetables, plus ideas for drinks and desserts.
Let’s dive in and plan your corned beef dinner menu!
Sides for corned beef
1. Green beans
By seasoning them properly, they’ll complement the flavor of corned beef, while adding some extra nutrition that tastes good.
Plus, they’re a quick and easy recipe to make, so you can concentrate your energy on the main dish.
2. Mashed potatoes
Corned beef with cabbage and potatoes are a match made in heaven!
Roasted garlic mashed potatoes are deliciously buttery and wildly addictive.
The roasted garlic takes them over the top amazing, and totally worth the tiny bit of extra effort.
3. Baked potato
Nothing beats a good old-fashioned baked potato.
Crispy on the outside, with fluffy, tender interiors, basic russet potatoes become a delicacy when topped with sour cream, green onions, and shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
The best way to prepare them is in the oven, but they can also be cooked in the microwave or crock pot.
4. Cauliflower cheese
Cauliflower cheese is a delicious British dish that turns cauliflower into pure comfort food.
Bubbly and golden, it’s essentially a cauliflower bake smothered in a creamy cheese sauce
Roast the cauliflower first, for a deep caramelized flavor.
It’s so decadent that no one will even realize they’re eating vegetables!
5. Sweet potatoes
Baked whole sweet potatoes, diced and roasted on a sheet pan, or even sweet potato casserole are a good choice to serve with corned beef and cabbage because they offer sweetness to balance the strong flavors in the rest of the meal.
They’re creamy and colorful, and are a nice twist on the traditional potato.
6. Deviled eggs
Classic deviled eggs are usually associated with holidays, which means they’re both perfect for St. Patty’s Day and easy enough for every day.
A few simple, inexpensive ingredients transform into everyone’s favorite appetizer.
Pro-tip: You can buy pre-boiled and peeled eggs at the grocery store to make this recipe even easier!
7. Roasted red potatoes
Coated in garlic, dried herbs, and parmesan cheese, roasted red potatoes are an easy and elegant side dish that takes minutes to throw together.
Simply toss your red potatoes in the seasoning mixture and olive oil, place on a baking sheet, and let the oven do all the work.
They look beautiful on a platter, alongside your corned beef dinner.
8. Corned beef hash
If you’re serving breakfast or lunch, or have leftover corned beef the next day, you can make corned beef hash.
All you’ll need is some shredded or diced potatoes, chopped corned beef, and onions.
Top it with a fried egg for an irresistible restaurant-quality dish.
9. Irish nachos
Irish nachos are a really fun twist on traditional nachos!
Sliced potatoes get topped with melty shredded cheese, crispy Irish bacon, and other fun toppings like sour cream and scallions.
You’ll really feel like you’re eating at an Irish pub!
10. Fresh salad
A green salad full of green vegetables might be the perfect way to balance the heartiness of your corned beef dinner.
This Irish pub salad layers veggies, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and lunch meat, and is quite common in Ireland.
An Irish mashed potato dish, also known as colcannon, is an authentic and delicious recipe, making it truly one of the best side dishes for corned beef.
The mashed potatoes are mixed with greens and scallions and lots of butter and cream to ensure they’re creamy and flavorful.
The threads of green running through it makes it especially perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!
12. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a very common side dish in Irish households, and they’re actually very tasty if you prepare them properly.
These maple bacon skillet brussel sprouts are a little caramelized and a lot flavorful.
The balance of sweetness from the maple syrup, smokiness of the bacon, and the slight bitterness of the sprout is kind of addictive.
If you’ve wondered what to serve corned beef besides cabbage, this is the recipe for you.
Even the biggest ‘meat and potatoes’ lover in your household will like these.
13. Potato salad
Irish potato salad has corned beef as an ingredient, along with cabbage and radishes.
The recipe often calls for canned corned beef, but you can serve it as a side dish for your home cooked meat for the same (or a better) effect.
The creamy sauce has dijon mustard, dill relish, and celery seeds, so the flavor profile is the ideal accompaniment to corned beef.
14. Roasted root vegetables
Pearl onions, carrots, turnips, baby potatoes, and beets and fresh herbs are as beautiful as they are delicious in this roasted root vegetable recipe.
It’s entirely customizable for your favorite root veggies, and roasting them brings out a caramelized sweetness and soft-yet-crispy texture.
It really doesn’t get any easier than this!
Mama’s McGuire’s Irish stuffing is another great way to change up the traditional corned beef dinner.
It’s easy and savory, and might even become your new go-to stuffing recipe.
16. Roasted asparagus
With its tender stalks and crisp tips, baked asparagus is as pretty and fresh as it is easy to make.
Add a drizzle of balsamic, some parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon, or garlic and red pepper flakes to add even more flavor.
Asparagus is in season in the spring, making it extra perfect to serve on St. Paddy’s Day.
17. Honey roasted carrots
Beautiful honey roasted carrots will look stunning on your dinner table.
Bathed in honey and seasonings, and roasted until they’re caramelized and tender, they’re inexpensive and elegant.
They’re fancy enough for company, but take just minutes to prepare.
Brown sugar roasted carrots are another great option, with their sweet and garlicky essence.
Or swap out roasted parsnips for a nuttier flavor profile.
18. Au gratin potatoes
Creamy and cheesy au gratin potatoes are an irresistible side dish everyone will love.
With three types of cheese, these might be the most obvious choice of potatoes to go with corned beef, but trust me, you cannot go wrong with this recipe!
With its distinctive tangy flavor, sauerkraut is an excellent alternative to the traditional cabbage recipe served with corned beef.
You can make it at home by fermenting cabbage in a brining solution, or pick up a jar at the grocery store to make life extra simple/
Pro-tip: Use your leftovers on a corned beef sandwich with sauerkraut and swiss cheese.
20. Macaroni and cheese
Homemade baked mac and cheese will give even your pickiest eaters something to feast upon.
In about 15 minutes, you can have this from-scratch macaroni recipe in the oven.
You might want to make extra, because everyone will be going back for seconds!
21. Baked potato casserole
For the ultimate comfort food side dish, make this twice baked potato casserole.
Creamy potatoes get topped with melty cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, green onions, and sour cream.
It has all the flavors of a twice baked potato, with much less fuss.
The best part is that you can even make it up to 2 days in advance, and heat it up when you’re ready to serve dinner.
22. Corn fritters
Corn kernels, cheddar cheese, green onions, and baking mix transform into golden brown perfection in these corn fritters.
Use fresh, frozen, or even canned corn, and prep the batter up to 4 hours in advance.
These fritters are wildly addictive, so you may find that your family starts requesting them all the time!
What bread goes with corned beef and cabbage
23. Rye bread
A rustic loaf of rye bread, aromatic and dense, and the caraway flavor mirrors the taste profile of corned beef beautifully.
If you’re up for making a homemade loaf, your home will be filled with the delicious scent of baking bread.
Or take a supermarket shortcut, and pick up a loaf from your grocery store or local bakery.
Plus, rye bread is perfect for making reuben sandwiches with your leftover corned beef.
24. Soft dinner rolls
Flaky, buttery, and pillow-soft, you only need 7 ingredients to make homemade dinner rolls.
While it’s definitely worth the extra effort to make them from scratch, you can also pick up a pack of potato rolls.
Set out some butter, and watch everyone gobble up all the rolls.
25. Traditional irish soda bread
Irish soda bread is arguably the best bread to serve with corned beef.
It’s an authentic recipe, and you can actually have a gorgeous loaf on the table in about an hour, start to finish.
Made with the most basic 4 ingredients, the recipe stems from a time when fancy ingredients were available or affordable.
This might be the simplest homemade bread you’ll ever make!
The flavor of golden sweet cornbread is the perfect addition to balance the strong flavors of corned beef.
Super moist, buttery, homemade cornbread has the perfect combo of crispy edges and a fluffy center.
Pick up a box of Jiffy, or use a few pantry staples to whip it up from scratch – you can’t go wrong either way!
Read next: 39 Delicious Ways to Make and Eat Cornbread
What to drink with corned beef and cabbage
A glass or bottle of stout beer like Guinness, an Irish lager, or a red ale are the best beers to serve with corned beef brisket.
Fruit red wines such as Pinot Noir or medium-bodied reds like Zinfandel or Cabernet Franc are perfect for your Irish dinner.
White wines such as Riesling or Pinot Gris are fuller-bodied to balance the sour flavors of the corned beef.
29. Whiskey and cranberry
Tangy cranberry juice and a fine Irish whiskey are the perfect sweet and woodsy complement to this rich, meaty dinner.
30. Irish coffee
Hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and whipped cream are all you need to make a tasty Irish coffee.
(Feel free to swap out maple syrup for the sugar if you’d like.)
It makes an excellent dessert drink to serve afterward too.
31. Boozy shamrock shake
We know shamrock shakes are good, and boozy shakes are even better.
It looks super festive, and is perfect to serve adults on St. Patrick’s Day.
Or use peppermint extract in place of the Creme de Menthe, and omit the vanilla vodka to make it virgin.
You really only need a few ingredients to make this festive dessert drink!
Desserts to go with corned beef
32. Guinness chocolate cake
Yep, it’s a thing!
Rich and moist Guinness chocolate cake has a depth of flavor you can’t resist, but don’t worry – you won’t taste the beer!
You’ll be too busy diving into the rich chocolate flavor and lightly spicy notes.
Top it with cream cheese frosting to really take it over the top!
33. Irish apple cake
Loaded with granny smith apples, Irish apple cake is somehow both dense and light.
It’s reminiscent of traditional Kerry apple cake, the national dessert of Ireland.
Serve this delicious, moist cake with a cup of tea for a really authentic experience.
34. Irish shortbread cookies
These easy Irish shortbread cookies require just one bowl and no mixer.
They’re crispy yet buttery, and will absolutely melt in your mouth.
The difference between traditional shortbread and Irish is actually the butter.
Pick up a brand of Irish butter like Kerrygold, and see the difference for yourself!
35. Sticky toffee pudding
Soft and sweet brown sugar sponge cake, soaked in a warm toffee sauce, is the basis for rich and comforting sticky toffee pudding.
It’s a classic British dessert that has a wonderful taste texture you won’t be able to resist.
36. Bailey’s Irish cream cake
This Irish cream cake is a special and uniquely flavorful dessert appropriate for all kinds of holidays and celebrations.
The Bailey’s in the batter and the glaze of this sweet bundt cake provides a double whammy of deliciousness!
37. Bailey’s cheesecake
If plain ol’ cheesecake is good, you will be wholeheartedly impressed with this grown up version.
Bailey’s cheesecake is indulgent and a bit over the top, quite frankly. And I mean that as a compliment.
Between the oreo crust, Irish cream cheesecake batter, and chocolate ganache, this recipe beats any cheesecake you’ve had before.
What condiments to serve with corned beef and cabbage dinner
Like most meals, serving a sauce or condiment with it takes it to the next level, and corn beef and cabbage is no different.
The best sauces to go with corned beef:
Ready to try these sides for corned beef?
I hope this list of ideas provided lots of inspiration for what side dishes go with corned beef.
From potatoes to vegetables, breads, drinks, and desserts, you can plan your St. Patrick’s Day or Irish dinner menu in a jiffy!
What is your favorite easy corned beef recipe?
You may also like:
- Green beans
- Mashed potatoes
- Baked potato
- Cauliflower cheese
- Sweet potatoes
- Deviled eggs
- Roasted red potatoes
- Corned beef hash
- Irish nachos
- Fresh salad
- Brussels sprouts
- Potato salad
- Roasted root vegetables
- Roasted asparagus
- Honey roasted carrots
- Au gratin potatoes
- Macaroni and cheese
- Baked potato casserole
- Corn fritters
- Rye bread
- Soft dinner rolls
- Irish soda bread
- Stout beer
- Whisky and cranberry
- Irish coffee
- Boozy shamrock shake
- Guiness chocolate cake
- Irish apple cake
- Shortbread cookies
- Sticky toffee pudding
- Irish cream cake
- Bailey's cheesecake
- Choose 1-3 side dishes, breads, drinks, or desserts to pair with corned beef
- Gather the ingredients and prepare the meal
- Serve and enjoy your Irish dinner party