27 Sides and Sauces to Elevate Your Corned Beef Meal

What to serve with Corned Beef

Corned beef need not be boring. In this article, we will discuss what to serve with Corned Beef to give more life and celebration to that plate.

The availability of beef brisket led to the popularity of what we now know as a typical boiled dinner. This is a classic dish. But I don’t think that corned beef needs to be limited to the usual corned beef and cabbage dinner where you just toss everything into a pot of water.

We’ve all seen it before. Boil the corned beef in a salt brine with potatoes, carrots, onions and cabbage wedges. Serve it up with some mustard and wash it down with green beer. It’s fun, but it could be better.

Corned beef is such a delicious meat it deserves a place on the dinner table more than once a year.

Not only is corned beef a great main dish on that day, but it can also be used to make really tasty sides and appetizers as well.

But, if you want to try some new ways to serve up your corned beef dinner, here’s a list of the best sides and ingredients to bring your corned beef to the next level.

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Sauteed Cabbage

Instead of boiling your cabbage, saute it with some olive oil, garlic and onions. It will caramelize and become very delicious.

sauteed cabbage

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions are a great side dish with corned beef. Cook them low and slow until they are soft and sweet.

Roasted Turnips

The traditional corned beef and cabbage recipe calls for boiling your turnips and other root vegetables. Try roasting them after tossing them in olive oil, salt and pepper. The earthy flavors of the roasted turnips go great with the salty meat.

Roasted Potatoes

There are so many different ways to cook potatoes. You aren’t limited to boiling them. Roast them in the oven with onions, garlic and rosemary. Toss them in a little bit of olive oil before putting them in the oven.

Mashed Potatoes

I like making mashed potatoes with heavy cream, roasted garlic and blue cheese. I usually used red potatoes, but use your favorite potatoes for mashing.

Tater Tots

Tater tots are the perfect side with corned beef. Cover them in sharp cheddar cheese and pop them in the oven to make your favorite version of Irish nachos.

Caramelized Onions

French Fries

A great side dish or appetizer are Reuben Fries. Smother some french fries in corned beef, sauerkraut and Russian dressing.

French Fries


Sauerkraut is great with corned beef. It’s a classic side dish for many European sausages and cured meats. The tanginess of the pickled cabbage is the perfect compliment for the salty and fatty beef.

Sauteed Peppers and Onions

When you cook your peppers and onions low and slow they will develop rich flavors that are a great side dish with corned beef. I suggest using red and yellow peppers instead of green peppers. They are much sweeter than the green peppers.

Brussels Sprouts

My favorite way to cook brussels sprouts is to saute them first and then finish them off in the oven to get nice and crispy. Olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar will elevate your brussels sprouts.

Roasted Carrots

Cut your carrots into thin matchsticks and toss them with onions, olive oil, salt and peppers. Roast them in high heat for about 20 minutes and drizzle some honey over them before serving.

Roasted Carrots

Sweet Potatoes

Cook your sweet potatoes in a frying pan with onions and garlic. Crisp them up to make a delicious hash and toss in some diced corned beef. Serve with over easy fried eggs.

Potato Salad

Make a potato salad. A classic recipe for potato salad has fresh herbs, vinegar and dijon mustard. This is a great side dish for your corned beef because of the vinegar and tangy dijon mustard.

Cole Slaw

Shred up a head of cabbage and toss with brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, carrots and green onions. This is a great way to make a slaw that you can serve as a side dish or put in a sandwich. A corned beef sandwich on rye bread with Swiss cheese and coleslaw is awesome. Add some Thousand Island dressing.

Corn Salad

You can use fresh corn by cutting it right from the cobb, or this is a great way to elevate a can of corn. Use whole kernel corn and toss it with lime juice, red onion, bell peppers and garlic. Season it well with Kosher salt, black pepper and oregano.

Sauteed Broccoli

Sauteed Broccoli

Take some frozen broccoli and saute it with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add some grated parmesan cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving it. This is an easy and delicious broccoli side dish.

Reuben Sandwich

Make a sandwich with rye bread, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing. Grill it in a frying pan with butter to melt the cheese.

Garden Salad

A really simple and fresh salad with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and red onion is a good side dish for your corned beef dinner. Toss the salad with red wine vinegar and olive oil. The vinegar will help cut the fattiness of the corned beef.

Horseradish Sauce

Make a simple horseradish sauce with mayonnaise, sour cream and prepared horseradish. This fresh horseradish sauce is great on corned beef and roast beef.

Honey Mustard

Everyone serves corned beef with mustard, but not everyone makes a homemade honey mustard sauce. It’s so easy. Just mix up some brown mustard, mayonnaise and honey. Add some green onion for a little freshness.

salsa verde

Salsa Verde

A “bollito misto” is an Italian version of the corned beef and cabbage boiled dinner. It is usually served with a salsa verde made with fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. This is the perfect dipping sauce for a fatty and meaty main course.


Any type of pickle will be a great side dish to go along with the corned beef. That’s why some of the best delis in New York City serve a plate of pickles with their corned beef and pastrami sandwiches.



This medley of pickled vegetables usually contains carrots, celery, cauliflower, olives and hot peppers.

Reuben Egg Rolls

This is a great way to use up leftover corned beef. Chop up the corned beef and mix it with sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese. Wrap it in an eggroll wrapper and fry it until it’s golden brown. Serve it with 1000 Island dressing on the side for dipping.

Reuben Crostini

A typical crostini is toasted Italian bread rubbed with a garlic clove and topped with olive oil and vegetables. Get creative and top the toasted bread with shredded corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and a drizzle of Russian dressing.

Sauteed Green Beans

Sauteed Green Beans

Saute some green beans with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s a simple side dish that takes little time to prepare. You can use frozen green beans or fresh green beans.

Fresh Bread

Fresh Bread

Serve your corned beef with soft dinner rolls and traditional Irish soda bread.

What to Serve with Corned Beef FAQs

How is corned beef made?

Corned beef is made by letting a beef brisket soak in a brine for a long period of time. It usually takes 7-10 days to brine corned beef.

The brine is made up of salt, sugar and a variety of spices. The spices usually include saltpeter, cinnamon stick, mustard seed, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper berries and bay leaves. You can usually find a spice packet in the grocery store.

Should you rinse corned beef before cooking?

It’s generally recommended to rinse corned beef before cooking. Corned beef is a salt-cured product and can be quite salty due to the brining process it undergoes. Rinsing the corned beef under cold water can help to wash away some of this excess surface salt and make the final dish more balanced in flavor.

However, do not soak the corned beef in fresh water, as this could leach out too much of the flavor. Just a quick rinse will do. Once rinsed, you can proceed with your preferred cooking method.

What goes well with a corned beef sandwich?

The top five accompaniments for a corned beef sandwich include tangy pickles, fresh and crunchy coleslaw, crispy potato chips or French fries, flavorful potato salad, and a cup of soup, such as tomato or vegetable. These sides offer a blend of flavors and textures that perfectly balance the richness of the corned beef sandwich.

Do you use the juice from corned beef?

The juice or brine from packaged corned beef can be used, but it’s often very salty due to the brining process. Some people prefer to discard it to control the saltiness of the final dish, while others may use a portion of it for added flavor.

If you do want to use the juice, one popular method is to include some when boiling or braising the corned beef. This can infuse the meat with even more flavor. You might also consider using a bit of the juice when making a sauce or gravy to accompany the meat.

However, given its high salt content, it’s a good idea to taste your dish as you go and adjust the seasonings accordingly. And remember, if you’re watching your sodium intake, it might be best to discard the juice and use a low-sodium broth or water instead.

How to cook corned beef?

It’s a really easy recipe. The best way to cook corned beef is to let it simmer for a long time. Fill a large pot or dutch oven with water and add the corned beef.

Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat. Leave it on low for 3-4 hours until fork tender.

It can also be cooked in a slow cooker, instant pot or pressure cooker. Be sure to follow the directions when you use any of these appliances.

What goes best with corned beef?

The top five accompaniments that pair excellently with corned beef include cabbage, often boiled or sautéed for a traditional touch; potatoes, in forms like boiled, mashed, or roasted; carrots, typically boiled alongside the meat; and sauces like tangy mustard or sharp horseradish to enhance the savory richness of the beef. And of course, Irish soda bread, a St. Patrick’s Day classic, serves as a hearty side. These options offer a balance of textures and flavors to complement the corned beef centerpiece.

What can I do with leftover corned beef?

Leftover corned beef can be used for corned beef hash, corned beef sandwiches and more creative things like Reuben egg rolls.

Final Thoughts

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to finding the perfect pairing for your corned beef. Whether you lean towards traditional sides like cabbage and potatoes or prefer to venture out with unique sauces and other accompaniments, there are numerous ways to enhance the flavor and enjoyment of your corned beef meal.

Remember, the best side is one that complements the corned beef, balances out the flavors, and suits your personal tastes. So, don’t hesitate to try different combinations and explore new culinary territories. With these 27 choices at your disposal, every corned beef meal can be a unique gastronomic adventure.

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