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The Amazing World Of Baked Goods

Here at The Rusty Spoon, we are getting a taste of all things baked. Having recently acquired, we think it’s the perfect time to look at all of the amazing baked goods you can eat around the world.

To anyone reading this from, welcome to the family! We hope you feel the warmth of our community as strongly as the warmth of your ovens.

Now, let’s get baking!

Decadent Desserts

When someone mentions a baked dish, a dessert is the most likely image to come to mind. Let’s jump around the world and see the popular desserts each country has to offer.  Click on our links to find recipes for these amazing treats.

Moroccan Desserts

Moroccan desserts are known for their flakey pastry, sweet flavors, and delicate pairings. The most popular include the M’Hanncha (also known as the snake cake), the baklava, and the baghrir (also known as semolina pancakes).

The M’hanncha has a snake-like shape that coils flakey pastry into a swirl. The delicate cake is often flavored with nuts such as almonds and pistachios.

Baklavas are probably the most well-known. They are small parcel-like snacks, made with fine layers of thin pastry to create another flaky dessert. They also have an almond filling, like the M’hanncha, but don’t be surprised if you taste citrus orange or sweet syrups too.

Baghrirs are similar to an English Crumpet, as the flat dough creates little holes caused by yeast bubbles. Drizzle some honey on the pancake, and watch it sink and settle into the holes to hold in the flavor.

Swedish Desserts

Moving on to Swedish desserts, you can expect a proven doughy bake that uses almonds, raisins, or whipped cream. Let’s dive into our favorites. 

Semlor is a cake that exudes elegance. The buns are baked into small circles, then the middle is removed to make way for a whipped cream center.

Lussebullar is another Swedish bun, but this time you can expect an almost elven decor. The buns are twisted into swirls to create a beautiful soft texture, while the center of the swirls contains a delicate raisin. 

Kanelbullar buns are the Swedish version of a cinnamon bun. Often served with a hot beverage, this authentic Swedish treat can easily be made at home. Just use our link above.

Colombian Desserts

Moving away from savory desserts, we have reached the rich land of Colombia. Colombian desserts are known for being sweet, thick, and indulgent. 

Take the Postre de Natas, for example. This dessert is more of a milk pudding. Think of a sweet custard with a rich and creamy texture.

But we want to talk about baked desserts, like the Enyucado. This cake is cheesy yet still sweet with a hint of coconut to mix it all together.

Puerto Rican Desserts

One of the most iconic Puerto Rican desserts is the Pineapple Rum cake! The dark flavors of rum mixed with the light and sweetness of pineapple, all balancing on a light and fluffy cake. Delicious!

Thailand Desserts

One of the most popular desserts in all of Thailand is the Kanom Krok or Thai Coconut Pancakes. This Asian dessert delight is made out of 100% coconut-based ingredients while making a puffy sweet pancake.

Cuban Desserts

Cuban desserts are often sweet, crunchy, and deep-fat fried. Take the delightful Coquitos for example. They are sweet Cuban coconut balls, which you bake and then dip in chocolate, leaving you with a crunchy and rich outside and a chewy and sweet inside.

Japanese American Desserts

Matcha is a classic Japanese flavor, but mix it with an American cookie, and you have a delicate and bitter twist on an old classic. They will come out green like a chocolate mint cookie but will have a more floral taste.

Another classic from Japanese culture is the Mochi. These are rice cakes that are strong in sugar and delicate to bite. You can make them less sweet and easier to bake, by using the Mochi ingredients to create Mochi muffins instead.

Jamaican Desserts

We could go on to talk about rum cake, but we want to show you a more cultural version of a Jamaican dessert – Gizzada. The Gizzada is another coconut-flavored baked dessert, but this one is created with sweet and spicy filling while having a crunchy crust.

What many people don’t realize is mixing sweet, salty, and spicy together can create a euphoric dessert like no other. To those people, we suggest creating a bacon, jalapeño, and peach cupcake.

Danish Desserts

Danish desserts are often tiny and delicate but packed full of flavor. Take the Æbleskiver, for example. This pancake ball is created by wrapping cake around vanilla and lemon zest fillings.

Of course, you can also create a simple lemon pudding cake with the same flavor, but with a different recipe. However, you won’t get the delicate nature that comes with Danish desserts.

Egyptian Desserts

Egyptian desserts are known for being very sweet and hard like a ginger snap. But instead of talking about the classics, we think you should try making the Zalabya. This dessert is made with flour and yogurt, fried like a fritter, and then doused in golden syrup to create a crispy shell and a soft fluffy center.

Russian Desserts

Russian desserts are often made with basic ingredients that anyone can find. Take the Sharlotka, for example, this recipe only has 5 ingredients – eggs, sugar, flour, apples, and powdered sugar. With a quick bake, you’ll end up with an apple pie like no other.

Lebanese Desserts

Lebanese desserts are often milky and delicate. Take the Halawet El Jibn, for example. This small pillow of sweet cheese falls apart in your mouth. The inside is filled with clotted cream, to create a cloud-like texture.

Jewish Desserts

Around the world, many people of the Jewish faith eat the same foods. The most well-known of these Jewish desserts is the Chocolate Babka.

To make Babka, you need to have a yeast-based dough that is folded and worked with chocolate and cinnamon filling.

If you would rather have something smaller, you could create a pretzel bite. It has the same sharing potential, but a nice crunch instead of a smooth finish. 

Vietnamese Desserts

If you want something sweet, fluffy, or even slightly liquid as a dessert, then you should try something Vietnamese. Vietnamese desserts are often sweet and wet, but the Che Bap is a type of sweet corn pudding that has a crunchy texture. The signature Vietnamese flavors and wetness comes from the sauces you can mix with it.

English Desserts

The classic baked good in English recipes is the humble scone. But you can make this Royal treat a little more kid-friendly by adding in Nutella to the baking process. Nutella scones are easy to make and add in the extra sweetness every kid needs.

If scones aren’t your thing, you can try creating a shortcake instead. To make it feel quintessentially British, make the strawberry-flavored version or turn the shortcake into a strawberry poke cake instead.

Although the English are known for their tea, you cannot turn your head at their coffee crumble cake. This cake has a German infusion with English sweetness to create a crumbly delight.

Some say that there is nothing better than an English muffin, but what about an apple cheddar muffin. That sweet and savory mix is both delightfully summery, while also creating scenes of the quiet English countryside.

German Desserts

The most iconic German dessert can be made in multiple different ways but needs pecan, coconut, chocolate, and a fluffy cake to be recognized. That’s right, we are talking about the German Chocolate Cake. Although the cake itself is made out of chocolate flavoring, it’s the pecan that really makes this iconic flavor come to life.

Prefer your German chocolate to be a little more snappy? Then try a Brownie Brittle. These are delicious brownies baked purposefully flat, creating a crumbly version of an otherwise gooey treat. If you prefer your chocolate harder than a Brittle, try a Chocolate Bark instead.

For some, the best type of German baked goods is a mixed spice cookie. These Christmas delights can turn a simple winter day into something festive and magical.

Although Americans consider the Funnel cake to be one of theirs, it actually originated in Germany. Either way, this delicious cake mixes pretzels and pancakes to create a crispy and smooth combination.

One of the most well known German desserts is the Streusel. Should you prefer a bite-sized version of the delicious flavors, you should try making a Streusel muffin.

American Desserts

The best American desserts are ones filled with brands. You can create a Sprite-based pie, Ocean Spray Cranberry Bread, or an Oreo cupcake, and know that everyone at the table will enjoy it. You can even use these flavors to create something beautiful without too much artistic talent. Cupcakes are the perfect base for such a treat.

You can even make cookies or other desserts that are sold in chain restaurants, like the Chick-Fil-A cookie! Would you rather pay tons of money for a cookie and delivery or make it yourself! The same goes for American packaged cakes like Twinkies, simply make them yourself.

We even have desserts designed to remember TV shows. For example, the Popeye biscuit is a strong American classic. Or the Thunder cake from the children’s book Thunder Cake.

Of course, not everything American makes is created through a label. A stable American ingredient is the humble peanut butter. You can use this ingredient to create peanut butter brownies, peanut butter pies, and so much more!

American’s also spearheaded the concept of the “Birthday Cake” as a flavor instead of a descriptor of an event. Where other countries would consider any cake presented on a birthday to be a birthday cake, in America, we want to see a vanilla cake with sprinkles and nothing else! You can even turn it into a cake pop!

Of course, a classic American holiday is Thanksgiving. And on such a holiday, Americans across the country will start making Cranberry Shortbread Cakes. Getting the right recipes is easy when you know where to go. Just check out our list of 15 amazing choices. To be honest, anything with Cranberry in it will do well.

As America is such a big country, we can expect that each State has its own favorite dessert. For California, that desert is the Black Bottom Pie. The chocolate cream filling, which lies just above the crust, is what gives this baked treat its name.

This list of American desserts is getting long, but we cannot stop now when Cheesecake hasn’t been mentioned yet. Even better, try making chocolate cheesecake.

Native American Desserts

Although the southern states of North America love cornbread pudding, it’s the native Americans that originally created this dish. There are so many ways to create this dessert, from the original style to a candy apple finish. This staple of American history is one everyone should try.

Canadian Desserts

One of the best ingredients to come out of Canada is maple syrup. With this liquid gold, you can bake extraordinary Pancakes, and elevate the baseline flavor to something spectacular.  

They also originated the iconic Granny Cake, which is a sweet pecan-topped pineapple cake that is soaked in a sweet glaze.

Italian Desserts

A lesser-known but much-loved Italian dessert is the Cassata cake. This cake has a soft sponge, with multiple layers, each one will have a sprinkling of dried fruits and icing.

Filipino Desserts

One of the best desserts to put on social media is an Ube Cake. They are beautiful purple cakes that have whipping cream dotted along the sides or over the top. 

You would expect to see this cake during the Christmas season, but really we should be eating them every month of the year.

Breathtaking Breakfasts

From desert to breakfast, let’s take a quick look at some of the best-baked breakfasts around the world.

Filipino Breakfasts

We ended our desserts with the Philippines, and now we start our breakfast with them too. An enriched start to your day could come from the Pandesal – crispy roll with a long proving time. They end up being light and fluffy, and pair wonderfully with dried breakfast meat.

Canadian Breakfasts

This Canadian treat of an apple fritter, could be served as a breakfast or a dessert. Made by using an air fryer, you can create a quick apple fritter covered in cinnamon sprinkles, perfect for a winter wake-up call.

American Breakfasts

We are going out of the box with this one, but the seasonal Thanksgiving breakfast could be made even special if you create a Cheesy Puff Pastry Baked Egg. The recipe, which you can find in the link above, teaches you how to create deliciously flakey puff pastry while cooking a runny egg to perfection.

In the state of Hawaii, the food you eat has a lot more culture intertwined with the baking process. For a Hawaiian breakfast, you may create the Hawaiian style Malasadas, which is a sugary deep-fried ball similar to a doughnut. This treat is often the favored breakfast on Malasadas day.

Korean Breakfasts

Korean breakfasts are often small and delicate. Our favorite is the Mandu, a type of dumpling, you can fill them with whatever flavors you like, but making the dough from scratch is the best part!

Russian Breakfasts

Russian foods are often very hearty, and the early morning doesn’t stop the Russian cuisine from packing their breakfasts with rich meats. Take the Piroshki for example. This bread-like bun is stuffed with rich and hearty beef and coated in rice. This meal could set you up for a full day!

French Breakfasts

How could we talk about breakfast and not mention the mouthwatering French classic – the croissant. Although the French will shun us for saying it, this baked pastry can be even more delicious if you cut it open and spread jam instead. It’s a simple side recipe for your breakfast guests, to give them choice as they eat in luxury. 

Dazzling Dinners

Dinners are meals that bring people together. They are the main event at gatherings and the idea that pushes you through work. Because we are looking mostly at baked dishes, you can expect none of them to be light. But what do they look like around the world?

American Dinners

Starting off strong with a Texan classic, a top choice for an American dinner is the BBQ Rib. And if you somehow manage to have some meat leftover, you can turn these ribs into a myriad of other meals including a rich pie. Leftover rib meals are just as tasty as the day you eat them.

From Texas to Georgia, we move on to the Chicken Pot Pie. This Southern classic is creamy, cheesy, and hearty enough to feed a whole family. This pie has become such an American staple that you’ll find the dish during Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving

Another great option for Thanksgiving dinner is steak fingers. Made using beef bottom round steak, you dip the cut into a flour mixture and bake the “fingers” like a chicken tender.

Texas and Georgia are both southern states, but no matter where you live in America, you will have eaten a Meatloaf. Meatloaf is a delicious meat block of spices, breadcrumbs, and vegetables, which you can eat in a slice, or cut up into bite-sized pieces to add to your meals. Follow these leftover Meatloaf recipes to see how to spread the American classic even further.

A New York classic baked dish is the bagel. Yes, this bread type is more of a breakfast or lunch meal, but add in the right bagel toppings, and you’ll have created a mouthwatering dinner dish.

A relatively new Kentucky favorite is the baked dove breast delight, which is often served with onions, celery, apples, and orange juice. The light and refreshing dinner is both tasty and nutritious.

As America is a country founded on immigration, you can expect its food to migrate and morph along with our culture. That’s when we create amazing combinations of foods such as the mighty meatball. Put these meatballs into a dumpling dish and you’ll be baking a hearty Italian-American meal. Another Italian-American fusion is in the form of venison lasagne, the perfect Sunday dinner bake. Hey, go one step further and turn the lasagna into a keto ground beef meal, to make it even more American.

No matter where you are in America, you will have experienced a potluck event. Next time you are invited, we suggest creating vegan cauliflower gyros. Baking your own gyros will add an element of skill to the community gathering, and as it’s vegan, everyone can eat this recipe.

One of the best things about American meals is the unusual combinations we chuck together. For example, you can try the Paleo ground beef, cheeseburger, and bacon casserole dish we found on the link above. In fact, American dishes can be made out of strange combinations or even strange ingredients, like a canned chicken casserole – made from chicken in a can.

German Dinners

Although sausages are considered a breakfast ingredient in many countries, in Germany the beef sausage, or Bratwurst, can be eaten at any time in the day. Having the right Bratwurst Toppings is what turns the breakfast snack into a dinner delight. Sprinkle on some sauerkraut, kimchi, or plain old onions, and enjoy!

Greek Dinners

A favorite main ingredient in Greek dinners is the humble lamb. You can make lamb chops, lamb curries, lamb stew, and more. What’s even better is its versatility. If you have some lamb leftover, you can easily throw it into a shepherd pie adding the same flavor to a new meal.

If you prefer beef over lamb, you can create a moussaka pie instead. It uses ground beef and potatoes topped with bubbling cheese.

Along with lamb, turkey is a well-loved meat in Greece. The Greeks often stuff a zucchini with ground turkey and top it with cheese before baking, creating a refreshing meaty meal.

If you prefer a vegetarian Greek meal, then bake yourself a Tiropita. These are Greek cheese pastries, often made with feta, and always end up creamy and sweet. 

When most people think of Greek meals, they imagine a light and summer-time flavor. You can accomplish this atmosphere with a baked feta pasta dish, which is simply gooey and light enough for the hot days ahead.

Thai Dinners

A popular Thai dish that anyone can make is a Thai-inspired stir fry. Simply marinade some chicken with soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and chili, and you’ll have created a simple weeknight dinner that can still wow a crowd.

Jamaican Dinners

Jamaican dishes are often bold, bright, and filled with spice, like the Kikkoman teriyaki beef jerky. You can expect chicken and beef on almost every plate. But if you prefer a low meat diet, a Jamaican vegetarian dish could be the best choice for you. Take the Callaloo for example. This traditional dish uses collard green, chilis, and Xanthosoma leaves to create a powerfully unique taste.

Indian Dinners

Heading back to the baking side of dinners, one of the best Indian baked dishes is the samosa. You can even cook this delight in an air fryer!

If you would rather have something lighter than a samosa, perhaps try a baked paneer paratha. You can use this flatbread as the base of the dish or as a side. And of course, you can always choose a pita bread instead.

French Dinners

This addition to the French cuisine is a bit of a stretch, but it tastes so good that we couldn’t ignore it. Using a baguette, you can add pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil to create an easy and quick Thursday Night dinner while still connecting to a European sensibility.

Perhaps you prefer a more hearty meal. In that case, we suggest the beef burgundy pie. Using a crisp puff pastry, the richness in this meal is iconic. However, if you prefer your beef pie darker, then you should try beef cheek and dark beer ragu.

Mexican Dinners

There is one way to make your Mexican chili stand out among the rest, and that’s by adding a chili topping of tortilla chips. Bake this topping, all by yourself, and add some rustic feeling to a South American classic. You could even add some cooked ground chicken, to create an additional flavor to your chili or taco.

Or better yet, you can make a shredded beef Quesadilla using your homemade tortilla chip dough. You can find the recipe on this link for our easy Monday night dinner recipes. And how can we mention Mexican food without touching on enchiladas? You can bake the wrap yourself and then cook the cheesy dish in the oven!

 Be sure to add in a classic Mexican side such as an avocado dip, chalupas, and queso too.

Mongolian Dinners

Mongolian dinners are still seen as an unknown treasure. If you like to show new foods to your friends, try baking a Boortsog – a type of butter cookie which you add to the side of your curries. You can even serve it alongside the classic Mongolian beef stir fry.

English Dinners

A classic English dinner on a winter’s night is a beef stew pie. Wrapping the rich and hearty beef filling in a pie creates a thick base that can soak up the sauce. The pie pastry needs to be thick and strong to avoid a leaky bottom.

Italian Dinners

Pizza belongs in the hands of Italians, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a quick and easy weeknight meal inspired by the Italian best. Baking your own flatbread is easier than it seems, as long as you follow our recipe in the link above!

Perhaps you would prefer spinach and feta frittata. This baked delight even fits into a keto diet, despite the mozzarella and feta cheese combination.

Sticking to the flaky pastry themes, you could try to create a spinach ricotta brunch bake. These are cheese pies that are simple to make and easy to impress others on a summer’s day.

This next meal we have for you does require baking the main ingredients but isn’t what we would call a baked good. Still, a baked garlic parmesan chicken wing creates an Italian taste perfect to share with a party. You can use this same herb and cheese rub to bake eggplants too! You end up with a Mediterranean-tasting meal if you add in some tomatoes and olives too.

Although most pasta dishes are not baked, you can bring baking into your kitchen by creating your own pasta. Fresh pasta isn’t baked, but the process of making dough is similar to creating bread. Instead of baking, you boil and add in your ground beef and sauce as required.

However, if you add cheese to your pasta, you can easily turn it into a baked dish. Throw in some garlic and shrimp, and you’ll have a delicious, delicate, and filling meal.

Jewish Dinners

Nothing beats a beef brisket, however, you can make the iconic Jewish meal even tastier, by adding Miso and Mushrooms and then cooking them in a flaky pastry pie. Try the recipe in the link above.

Russian Dinners

One of the most iconic meals to come from Russian cuisine is beef stroganoff. But you can elevate this rich depth meal further, by serving it in a freshly baked garlic bruschetta.

Bangladesh Dinners

It often feels like most Asian countries don’t bake their iconic meals, but the Bangladeshi Chapli Kebab is an Asian ground beef dish that has a beautiful baked outer crust. This crust is a staple in the Bangladeshi food culture, and can easily be made at home.

Filipino Dinners

If you ever visit the Philippines, you can expect to see ground beef or ground pork empanadas being sold as street food. They are delicious pasty-like meals with a much richer and spicier flavoring.

Dominican Dinners

If you are happy to have a meal with a bit of batter and oil baked into it, then try the Dominican yaniqueque. These crisp breads are often served as a side, but can easily turn into a main if you eat enough of them. The Caribbean classic can be found in other countries, but their home lies in the Dominican Republic.

Turkish Dinners

For an easy-baked dish, you can try the Turkish shakshuka. The spicy meal contains tomato sauce, fried eggs, and a good helping of cumin. This meal is a one-pot creation, meaning your kitchen won’t be covered in pots and pans.

Irish Dinners

Although most people wouldn’t think about adding Guinness to a pie, you should absolutely give this Irish concoction a try. A beef stew pie with mushroom and Guinness creates a rich moorish flavor like nothing else. 

You could say we are stereotyping the Irish, but we will put every baked potato dish with them. You can make loaded baked potatoes, Hasselback potatoes, air-fried potatoes, or more. Potatoes are so versatile, and you can bake them into anything.

Tibetan Dinners

One of the best Asian dishes you can create is Momos. These are Tibetan vegetable dumplings made with single ingredients, plus the dumpling wrap and then steamed to cook.

Seductive Sides

The baked good saga continues with the succulent sides from as many countries as we can name. Picking the right side for your dish can really bring a dish to life.

American Sides

A popular American lunch meal is a BLT or bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. But to elevate such a drab meal, you can bake your own chips. Add in your own flavorings and experiment with textures. Making everything from scratch, like this, can turn your simple meal into something with meaning.

Along the same lines as a BLT, is the grilled cheese. Of course, you could create a side of fries with this lunch meal, or you can try and bring out the flavor within the meal itself. We suggest creating a tomato soup to allow the acidity of the tomatoes to penetrate the fat and creamy nature of the cheese.

Let’s expand this sandwich collection, and add the humble meatball sub into the mix. The perfect side for a meatball sub is garlic bread! But if you want to create something that stands out from the crowd, bake some jalapeno poppers.

This sandwich train keeps coming, and now we want to talk about the chicken salad sandwich. Such a wet and juicy sandwich doesn’t need another coleslaw side, instead, you should bake cheese twists to add a tanginess to the flavor and add another layer of crunch.

Let’s stop with the sandwiches and start looking at other classic American foods that are hard to pair. For one Catfish is often caught by anglers across the country, but most people only serve corn on the cob with the fish. Instead, try baking a hush puppy. These are light cornmeal dough balls, seasoned with paprika, the kick matches the sweet tastes of the catfish.

Continuing this fishy thought, the best side to have with lobster is absolutely a New England clam chowder. The rich and creamy sauce matches the fishy flavor of the lobster and shows off more of the richness that can sometimes be left behind.

Heading back to our baking theme, the best side to a chicken tender has to be a waffle. Drizzle on some maple syrup and you‘ll have the best dish in the room.

Mexican Sides

The ever popular enchilada can be hard to create a side dish for, but sticking with our baking theme, we suggest creating a Mexican corn pudding.

Using corn, cheese, and chilies, you can create a light and fluffy cake to contract the savory flavors in the enchilada.

If you are serving fajitas, then you’ll want a side that is just as spicy. We suggest making Mexican rice, continuing the light feeling while carrying the kick into a new carb.

For quesadillas, we suggest serving a side of elotes. These are grilled corn dishes often sprinkled with mayonnaise and butter with a dash of hot sauce. It’s a sweet side that adds a crunch, perfect for the savory quesadilla.

Another delicious side you could create, for any spicy Mexican meal, is the jalapeno cornbread. Getting back into the baking side of cooking, the cornbread is both sweet and spicy. It pairs wonderfully with tamales while helping you smooth out any too-hot bites.

Fruits that start with E

Polish Sides

An amazing baked polish treat is a perogy. These are small dumplings studded with mushrooms, bacon, spinach, cheese, potato, and onions. They are basically a side in themselves, but to turn them into a meal, you need to pair them with something else. We suggest having a small dipping source of sour cream onions and mushrooms.

The source will make the perogies less dry and compliment the mushroom and cheese flavor.

Chinese Sides

Dumplings are another type of food that can be a side by itself or can be paired with lighter meals to become the main. We suggest creating crispy asparagus fries for a contrast in texture while keeping the flavors light.

Russian Sides

We talked about beef stroganoff before, and although the dish can stand on its own, the Russians often have a side of braised red cabbage to create an extra kick to the otherwise smooth meal. Give it a go!

Thai Sides

If you want a whole list of Thai sides, then click on this link. Here we have recipes for steamed dumplings, spicy green beans, pineapple fried rice, and more. Each of these sides you can master and then serve up for the majority of Thai dishes. They are all reduced enough to be paired with anything else that has a Thai base, while also being fun enough to want a second helping.

Romanian Sides

Not to be confused with the lettuce wrap, the Romanian cabbage roll is a sausage-shaped meal with a cabbage leaf rolled around the main filling (often beef) to hold it all together. The delicate meal needs either an earthy side such as sauteed mushrooms, to bring out the additional flavors in the meat, or it needs a subtle side such as braised leeks, to keep the light and airing feeling.

Italian Sides

A wonderfully thick and meaty Italian dish is the chicken marsala. However, very few of us want to eat just meat and no vegetables or carbs. We suggest adding pasta to the meal to continue the Italian tastes or a Caprese salad to create lighter additions to the heavy meal.

If you are eating a tomato-based meal such as a Ravioli, then the best side for you to pair with it is the polenta. This is boiled cornmeal mixed with other grains, The texture is running and is perfect for dipping in your pasta.

Gnocchi looks like pasta, but it’s made out of potatoes instead of wheat. Because of this, the density of the meal is much heavier than a pasta dish. This means you will need a side that doesn’t add to the heaviness of the meal, while still creating a palette cleanser. We suggest a garlic mushroom sauce.

We have mentioned eggplant parmesan as a main before, but this delicious meal is small and needs something to expand the delicacy past being a snack. We suggest including roasted broccoli with smashed garlic to add a new level of flavor without taking from the main event.

English Sides

If you were to cook a pot roast, or as the British say Sunday roast, while staying in England, then you need to add in the traditional Yorkshire pudding as your side. 

Yorkshire puddings aren’t sweet and aren’t puddings as Americans know them to be. Instead, they are a batter-like pastry of flour, water, and eggs. The British use them as a cup to pour their beef gravy into. If you have the chance, try it!

Canadian Sides

Pancakes can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. But if you want your pancakes to be good, you need to prepare some good sides too. Follow the Canadians and crisp up some slices of bacon, fluff up some eggs and get the maple syrup ready!

French Sides

It is common in France to dip your sandwiches into a sauce. A classic example is tomato soup, but dipping sandwiches are as common as the sandwich itself. If you don’t fancy a dip, you can instead ask for a salad, which will likely include olives, pancetta, and feta.

If you are making French toast, however, you may want to include a side of smoked salmon or poached eggs to continue the delicate breakfast feeling.

The best French sides are the ones which could be used as a main if only we could eat 5 tiny plates full. These are the delicious garlic stuffed mushrooms, decadent french onion soup, and beautiful baked brie appetizers. When the French create sides, they don’t play around.

Polynesian Sides

The coconut shrimp is a delight across the world, but it originates from the Polynesian islands. Here you can expect sides of dill potatoes, white sauce and dill pasta, and garlic bread. Each one of these balances the delicate but delicious taste of the shrimp without overwhelming the dish.

Japanese Sides

Japanese sides are often in competition with their mains. Take the Harumaki (or spring roll) that you often find in a Japanese restaurant. We bet your table fights over the last roll. Or how about the Miso soup? This dipping sauce should be placed on every one of your meals. And of course, how can we forget about the humble and iconic Gyoza. The Japanese could serve us a side as a main, and we would be happy.

Despite being loved around the world, teriyaki chicken originated in Japan. This means the best sides for this dish will come from the skills of Japanese chefs. We suggest pairing roasted mushrooms that have been glazed in balsamic and soy sauce to match the tanginess and depth of the teriyaki chicken.

Greek Sides

A classic Greek dish is the stuffed pepper, but when your meal is locked inside a small edible container, you need something to fill up the plate. We suggest adding feta sprinkled roasted potatoes, a zucchini and squash salad, or a parmesan stuffed artichoke to the plate as well.

The greeks often have delicate sides, which means they are great to add as a small something to most dishes. Arguably the best at complimenting any dish is the kalamarakia tiganita or the Greek-style calamari. This version of calamari doesn’t use batter, instead, they add plain flour, salt, and pepper, and then a sprinkling of parsley over the top.

German Sides

We have mentioned the amazing german sausages before, but you can’t just plonk a sausage on a plate and be done with it. So what should you serve your bratwurst with? The best thing to serve along with the sausage is a platter of roasted vegetables. These could be seasoned with the same ingredients used in the bratwurst itself to tie the side into the main. 


Although each culture has its own palette to choose from, we can enjoy these dishes no matter where we are. Baked goods from around the world can sweeten our desserts, spice up our mains, and add a kick to our sides.

If there is ever a meal you want to make, but can’t due to food restrictions, try one of our substitutes. If you don’t understand the difference between one slice of meat or another, then take a look at our food knowledge library.

Don’t let a lack of confidence put you off trying food from around the world. There is an alphabet worth of ingredients to use, so get cooking.