15 Classic French Side Dishes

There’s something about France and cooking that just pairs together so well, the bread is better, the pasta is better, the salads are better, and overall the local cuisine is beyond this world!

15 Classic French Side Dishes

Whether you’re serving up dinner for a party or cooking for you and your partner during the week, there’s a recipe here that is perfect to test out your cooking skills.

Classic French dishes are so rewarding to teach yourself to make and will come in handy in years to come as your staple dishes, your family and loved ones will think they’ve been magically transported to the French countryside!

Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms (Champignons farcis au beurre d’escargot)

Garlic and mushrooms, the combination of a lifetime.

You can’t go to France without trying garlic stuffed mushrooms, so why would you miss out on the chance to make them for your French-themed dinner?

Mushrooms are truly overlooked in most households, but when they’re cooked in the right way, they are just divine and you’ll be introducing a wonderful dish into your overall palette.

The French translation for this dish is a long one, but don’t let this fool you as the process for making this dish is top tear quality.

French Onion Soup

In my family, French onion soup has always been my mother’s staple dish. We’re not French by a landslide, however, she has always admired European cooking and it’s the type of dish that brings families together.

When it comes to French cooking, the best dishes are those that consume the entire house, it’s not just about the dishes themselves, it’s about the aromas they give off and France truly does it the way it should be done in the kitchen.

You should be able to smell this soup for miles, and in our kitchen, you can!

I always know exactly when she starts making this soup, you smell it before you taste it.

And god bless her because white onions are always the worst for making your eyes water dramatically. 

Baked Brie Appetizer

There simply isn’t a dish that isn’t complete without bread in France, it doesn’t exist!

And so it shouldn’t, because bread and cheese have been canoodling for centuries and now they’re a staple of European culture.

Baked Brie on bread is a fantastic appetizer, it’s dribbled with olive oil, fresh rosemary and thyme, basil, and sage for a splendid day out in the French countryside.

You can bring this experience right to your front room dining table with your loved ones for as little effort as possible.

And the great thing about appetizers is that because they’re small and convenient, you can move on to the next one and enjoy a plethora of flavors in one sitting.

Easy Lyonnaise Potatoes Recipe

We love any situation where potatoes, onions, and butter come together to make a famous signature dish of France.

Potatoes are fluffy and seasoned to perfection, and the onions bring a crispy sensation like no other to this dish!

Lyonnaise potatoes are essentially layered sliced potatoes in a creamy sauce and any added toppings like onions and herbs.

It’s basically an alternative to mashed potatoes or any other potato appetizer and side dish that comes with main meals. 

Classic French Spinach Au Gratin Recipe

Any excuse to bake cheese and herbs and spinach together in one mashup is as good as any, and we love this classic French spinach au gratin recipe that is the pinnacle of using everything you’ve got in the fridge, in the most French way possible!

It takes 10 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook and will serve around 4 people at a dinner party. Or more if you make more side dishes! 

Haricots Verts (Green Beans) Amandine

There’s no reason that the bag of vegetables in your freezer can’t be jazzed up into their own side dish for your dinner party.

Green beans are simple alone, however, make for a fabulous side dish smothered with almonds and a splash of lemon any day of the week!

They have a reputation for being not such an exciting vegetable because of how basic they are, but that’s where people go wrong.

Simple ingredients are used for flavor in dishes or to enhance flavors and textures and that’s where green beans work their magic!

French Peas Recipe

Who knew peas could be so French? This medley of peas, mushrooms, and onions is an exciting take on using peas as a side dish.

Especially if you want the younger ones to try out new vegetables!

Sometimes it is not simply good enough to serve them plain, even though they are great on their own too! 

Classic French Ratatouille Recipe

When we think of France, Ratatouille just can’t help coming to mind! It’s the pinnacle of French cuisine, the creme de la creme if you will!

And no French-themed dinner is complete and magnificent enough without this dish of dreams.

It tastes exactly how it looks, it’s creamy, it’s filling, and each vegetable has been sliced to perfection and arranged beautifully.

It’s about more than just taste and aromas with French side dishes, they must look as sophisticated as a posh French gentleman.

Use up those extra veggies in your garden in this delicious take on a classic stew and feel stupendous while doing so.

Traditional French Broccoli Gratin Recipe

A French man will use any excuse to bake vegetables with bread crumbs and cheese, and there really is no stopping him, to be honest.

Join the team and bake your own traditional French broccoli gratin recipe to serve up as an adjoining side dish to your party diner table.

There’s a lesson to be learned with every French dish and the side dishes all the more!

Dishes like gratin’s make use of the best herbs and bread crumbs that any French household has in the pantry anyway, it’s all about flavor, and using what’s in season. And there’s always a season for broccoli!

French Glazed Carrots Recipe

Carrots should always be glazed to perfection with the juiciest herbs and sauces.

This is a rather simplistic dish when it comes down to it, but as side dishes come, you’ll want something that everyone can enjoy as well as you and carrots are universal for being enjoyed across the globe. 

Gratin Dauphinois (Scalloped Potatoes)

Like I said before, the French love layering up vegetables and bread crumbs in dishes and this one is no exception to the rule!

Potatoes can be made in infinite ways and the French truly do them the best when layering them up with cheese, butter, herbs, and oil.

Take our word for it, and try them for your own dinner parties today, you won’t regret it!

Classic French Aligot Recipe

In any other state or country across the globe, mash potatoes are simple, and that’s how we like them.

However, sometimes it would be nice to appreciate another countries way of making the best comfort food around the holidays. These are mash potatoes with a little bit of spice as we like to call them.

And the method may be simple anywhere else, but to make this particular dish you must develop the skill and have the patience to get them just right.

The potatoes and cheese are beaten together with creme fraiche until they are form silky smooth ribbons of pureed potatoes. 

Easy French Lentils

This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free, and the best part is that it’s as simple as ever to make!

French lentils hold their shape when cooked, making them perfect attributes to salads and side dishes. And the recipe is right here for you so you can crack on and have them by this evening.

There’s a reason lentils are grown and stored away in every pantry in France, and this is one of the recipes that use them to their best ability and potential.

Creamed Leeks Recipe

The Perfect Vegetarian Side Dish For A Main Meal!

The leak is another one of those vegetables that aren’t usually enjoyed on its own, it’s used to spice up recipes and bring something fresh and new to a simpler dish.

It’s a truly beautiful vegetable when cooking if you can appreciate it for its subtle flavors and aromas. With this recipe, it’s so easy to substitute the cream for a low-fat or vegan alternative if need be.

The leeks bake well and when seasoned, the subtle flavors really come out well!

Classic French Fries Recipe

We couldn’t end our list without serving you a side dish that appreciates American culture as well as French.

When it comes to French fries, the French did it first and possibly do it better based on your preferences!

It was actually during the world wars that Americans and Brits brought back delicious fries to their countries when traveling through France.

They do originate in Belgium in roughly as early as the 1600s if we’re talking about their first-ever origins. Either way, you must try classic French fries in their natural habitat at your next dinner party. 

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this list of 15 classic French side dishes, we almost couldn’t keep our cool when making this list as I am a baker myself, as are many of my colleagues.

We just love French dishes and the more flavorsome and delicious they look, the less willpower we have to resist baking them!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Anything that involves the use of potatoes is usually a popular side dish in France, however, if we’re talking specifics.

The Pommes de Terre souffle is a well-known and loved dish for its use of potatoes in souffle! Double frying potatoes is an interesting French creation and we love how they do it!

French paninis are also another popular dish in France, they are deep-fried chickpea cakes that are just delightful.

What Is French Cuisine Known For?

The French are known for their pastries, but did you know that pastries are actually their least favorite dishes to make from home in France.

Depending on the time of year, gratin’s and anything creamy and full of flavor is most popular, so don’t be fooled, French cuisine is diverse and flavorsome!

What French Side Dishes Are The Easiest To Make?

Many of the most popular French side dishes are actually fairly easy to make from scratch most of the time.

Many people believe that because something is French, it is automatically more complicated to conjure up, however, this would be false.

Many salads and potato-based side dishes are the easiest as the flavors come from herbs and spices.

15 Classic French Side Dishes

5 from 2 votes

The French truly do it better when it comes to cuisine, and we’ve got 15 classic French side dishes to prove it to you.

Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review
Jess Smith
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