Ah, the Cuban sandwich, or as I like to call it The Next Level Ham and Cheese. This classic sandwich is made with ham, Swiss cheese, pork roasted to perfection, pickles, mustard, all wrapped in a Cuban bread roll.
The Cubano has definitely earned itself a spot on the list of most popular sandwiches in the world… and for good reason! It’s simply delicious.
There are many ways to have this sandwich and whether you’re staying true to the Cuban version or adding a little twist like the Florida version (with salami), we’ve got a list of 14 perfect side dishes to complete the meal.
1. Black Beans
Let’s start with something traditional, shall we? Black beans are a staple in Cuban cuisine. Made with peppers, onions, and garlic, this side dish is sure to pack a punch of flavor.
Squeeze on some lime for that added acidity and you’ve got a meal that’s not only super yummy but also stays true to its roots.
2. Cuban-Style Yuca
Here’s another one that sticks with the theme. Cuban-style yuca is very easy to make. Simply boil it, add in a cooked mixture of olive oil, onion, garlic, and lemon juice, and you’ve got yourself a traditional Cuban side dish.
If you want something with a bit more texture, yuca is also delicious when fried. Just use the same ingredients!
3. Sweet Potato
Whether baked, fried, or steamed, sweet potatoes are sure to compliment your Cuban sandwich perfectly. I prefer to bake them until there’s just a little bit of crisp on the outside to balance out the textures. An excellent source of potassium and Vitamin C, you can’t go wrong with this delicious and healthy side dish!
4. Fried Pickles
Most Cuban sandwiches will have pickles but why not switch it up and make it a side dish instead? Fried pickles with a crispy coating will add an extra kick of flavor to your sandwich.
Extra crispy, extra delicious, and even better with a little ranch dip! If you’re making your own Cuban sandwich, this pickles-on-the-side version is definitely worth a try.
Your Cuban sandwich doesn’t have to be all savory. Why not add a little something sweet on the side? A nice refreshing fruit bowl will tie in your Cuban meal perfectly.
I like to add something extra citrusy like pineapples, oranges, or blueberries. If you’re feeling extra, you can also mix in some cream and make it a fruit salad.
6. Tomato Soup
Turn your Cuban sandwich into a warm cozy meal with a bowl of tomato soup. The acidity in the tomato will balance out the richness of the sandwich and you can even use it as a dip! A cheesy meaty sandwich and a warm bowl of soup on a rainy day? Count me in!
7. French Fries
Potato… The god of all sides! You can never go wrong with a sandwich and a side of french fries so of course I had to add it on the list.
Whether you want thin crispy strips or thick and hand-cut but soft in the middle, this is the perfect pair for any sandwich. It might not be the healthiest option, but it just might be the most delicious!
8. Veggies with Hummus
I cannot say this enough: I love hummus! It’s earthy and creamy and delicious and I would eat it with anything, a Cuban sandwich is no exception.
Toss it in with some vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or celery and you’ve got a great pairing! It’s also an excellent and tasty way to sneak in your daily dose of veggies.
Corn on the cob? Yes, please. Corn kernels? Yes, please. Corn in any form at all? Yes, please. Because who doesn’t love corn, right?
For your Cuban sandwich, I recommend corn on the cob with butter, cilantro, sea salt, and Parmesan cheese! This will taste amazing even on its own but having it with your sandwich makes for a perfect combination.
10. Fried Plantain
If you’re craving something a little bit sweet to go with your savory sandwich, some fried plantains will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth!
A bite of your Cuban sandwich with the starchy sweet plantain adds that extra layer of flavor you need. Plus, you’ll get your dose of potassium for the day!
11. Cajun Chips
Chips go great with any sandwich but for this one, I like my chips to be extra thin and extra crispy with a little kick of flavor. That salty smoky flavor of Cajun plus a little spice will perfectly balance out the richness of your Cuban sandwich and will add some extra texture too. If Cajun isn’t your thing, you can also barbecue or cheddar!
My favorite way to have cabbage! A good coleslaw is probably one of my favorite things to go with any sandwich, but especially a Cuban sandwich.
I like mine with a bit less mayonnaise and more vinaigrette to cut through the richness of the cheese and ham for that added punch of flavor. Using less mayo will also keep the cabbage a bit crispier for extra texture. Yummy!
Last but not the least is a nice fresh salad to complement your Cuban sandwich. Some greens and a little extra citrusy flavor like oranges, mangoes, or a vinaigrette dressing will bring acidity to your sandwich.
If you want to stick to the cuban theme, there are many elements from this list you can add to your salad like black beans, sweet plantain, and corn.
14. What’s for Dessert?
Now that you’ve got all these amazing side dishes to serve with your Cuban sandwich, why not just go all in and have some dessert as well?
A flan is the perfect way to wrap up this meal. Better yet, a Cuban flan! It’s usually firmer and denser than other flans and the caramel on top a tad darker with just the right amount of bight. A delectable way to seal the palette!