Sure, they’re known for their incredible pastries, but French side dishes are pretty delicious in their own right.
Creamy and full of flavor, fancy French cuisine is pretty easy to make right at home.
A lot of dishes come from French recipes or use French techniques – hello, roux! Incorporating them into your roster is super easy.
You might be looking for something for date night, or maybe just something special to go with a rotisserie chicken.
Either way, this list of 15 fabulous French side dishes will have you reaching for your beret.
1. French Onion Soup
As if caramelized onion soup isn’t already insanely delicious, the French went ahead and added bread and cheese.
How could they not, right?
The key to that great flavor is good quality beef broth. Though you can use chicken, the deeper flavor from the beef broth really makes this dish pop.
Be sure to toast the bread before adding it to the soup, and use a good cheese with lots of flavor!
2. Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms (Champignons farcis au beurre d’escargot)
Is there anything better than tender, meaty stuffed mushrooms? (Hint: the answer is no!)
Crimini mushrooms are the best for these, being the perfect little bites.
The butter paste is the star of the show. Butter is mixed with garlic, salt, and pepper. You can adjust the salt to taste.
Grate these with fresh parmesan for ultimate yumminess!
3. Baked Brie Appetizer
The French sure love their cheese! And who can blame them?
If you’re looking for a simple yet elegant and gooey dish for a crowd, this cheesy appetizer is for you.
You can easily cut your brie in half and bake it on the same baking sheet as the sliced baguette.
I love the combination of herbs, though keep an eye on them, as they can quickly burn if left in the oven too long.
4. Easy Lyonnaise Potatoes Recipe
Is there a better combination than potatoes, butter, and onion? It’s simple, but always delicious.
The key to perfectly tender potatoes with a wonderfully crisp crust?
Parboil them, so they spend just the right amount of time in the oven to go golden brown.
A good oven-safe skillet is the best option to get the crust and to keep all the flavor right in the pan.
5. Haricots Verts Amandine (Green Bean Almondine)
Boiled and pan-fried, these green beans are combined with sliced almonds, butter, and lemon juice.
Their light flavor pairs perfectly with fish, chicken, or even pork.
Be sure to toast the almonds, so the flavor is as good as it gets.
6. Classic French Spinach Au Gratin
Au gratin is how the French describe a creamy baked dish covered with cheese.
Although the ingredient list might look long, I would guess that you already have everything you need in the kitchen.
The classic combination of onion and thyme in a creamy sauce with spinach could only be made better by throwing in a little rosemary.
7. Petits Pois a la Francaise, French Peas
Trust the French to jazz up even the humble garden pea.
If you’re looking for easy, this recipe has just a handful ingredients and is ready in under 30 minutes.
If you want these veggie-friendly, go ahead and leave the lardons out. But they really do bring so much flavor, so leave them in if you can!
This vegetarian French stew is robust enough to serve on its own, but also perfect to pair with roast chicken or pot roast.
The traditional recipe uses eggplant, zucchini, onion, and peppers, though any number of veggies would fit in well.
If you don’t have twine to secure your herbs, use cheesecloth bags. They add in flavor without you having to root around for twigs.
9. Traditional French Broccoli Gratin Recipe
For those kids who steer clear of anything green, this cheesy baked dish will have even the pickiest eater reaching for more.
For the best results, use fresh broccoli so that it doesn’t turn to mush.
Though if you want to use frozen, let it thaw out and reduce the cooking time by around five minutes.
If you can’t find rubbed sage, you can use half the amount of ground sage instead.
10. Gratin Dauphinois (Scalloped Potatoes)
The ultimate gratin dish, there’s nothing like these thinly sliced potatoes mixed with garlic and cheese cream sauce.
Be sure to soak and dry your potatoes, so they crisp up during cooking, and keep the slices thin, so it all cooks through evenly.
Gruyere is the French cheese of choice, but a good mature cheddar would make an excellent alternative.
11. French Glazed Carrots
A simple glaze of chicken stock, butter, sugar, and salt is all it takes to upgrade your carrots.
Cook the sliced carrots in the liquid and remove, allowing it to reduce and thicken.
When you add the carrots back to the pot, the syrup will coat every inch.
Drizzle with lemon juice and serve hot.
12. Classic French Aligot
If you like mashed potatoes, this smooth, cheesy dish is a big step up.
Once you have your potatoes cooked and mashed, you’ll need to heat through the crème fraîche with garlic.
Slowly incorporate the dairy, followed by sharp cheese.
Then it’s just a matter of beating the mixture for 10 minutes over the heat until it is velvety smooth.
13. Easy French Lentils
Packed with protein and plenty of nutrients, lentils can quickly turn to mush if you look away for too long.
Cook them in vegetable oil with salt, a selection of herbs, and garlic powder.
This way, they cook and soak up every bit of that flavor medley.
Once cooked, they can be added to everything from shepherd’s pie to tacos!
14. Creamed Leeks
Leeks have a subtle flavor that is somewhere in the onion family.
When added to your plate, they give you great flavor as well as a beautiful pop of color.
The only downside to this vegetable is the need to wash after slicing.
Sand and dirt easily get trapped in the layers, so you’ll need to soak and drain these of any debris.
Once clean, it’s as easy as combining the leeks, butter, salt, and cream and heating through until they soften.
15. Perfect Pommes Frites Recipe (French Fries)
Ok, so they aren’t technically French, but they can be traced back to their northern neighbor!
There really isn’t anything like a hot plate of salted French fries.
The trick is to cut them as evenly as possible, so they all cook perfectly together.
When frying, cook in small batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pot, and just fried until pale and soft.
They will get crispy on the second round in the oil!
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