French cuisine is famous all over the world for good reason, as everything from their main courses to their side dishes are distinct and delicious.
These recipes cover a wide range of French cuisine, with a variety of unique and delectable flavors you can add to just about any meal.
17 French Side Dishes
France has a rich culinary history dating back centuries and full of appetizing side dishes that range from mild and creamy soups to rich and savory baked meals. Regardless of what you are cooking, there will almost certainly be a French side dish that can compliment and enhance your meal.
1. Fondant Potatoes
Also known as melting potatoes, fondant potatoes are a French dish that involves peeling potatoes and roasting them as solid chunks in herbs and garlic.
When cooked in this way, potatoes become extremely tender while maintaining just enough of a crispy, savory exterior to keep the soft and warm potato together.
2. French Onion Soup
French onion soup is perhaps one of the most iconic side dishes in the world for good reason, as this mix of caramelized onions, toast, and cheese, is mouthwatering.
Preparing French onion soup takes some time, but the resulting dish is well worth the effort, being creamy and savory with the cheesy taste of toasted bread.
Aligot is a delectable combination of creamy mashed potatoes and smooth melted cheese, mixed together into a single dish and served as a side or even sauce for meals.
The combination of rich mashed potatoes and savory melted cheese creates a delicious and comforting dish that can be eaten on its own or used as a dip for other foods.
4. Potato Dauphinoise
This delicious French side dish takes its name from the Dauphiné region of southern France, the same region the heir to the French crown, the Dauphin, was named after.
This side dish is easily fit for royalty, consisting of scalloped potatoes layered with garlic, herbs, and a rich, creamy cheese sauce baked into a hearty casserole.
5. Baked Brie
If you are looking for an easy but appetizing side dish to enjoy with your meal then you can bake some French-style cheese bread with brie, baguettes, and assorted herbs.
By baking the brie and the bread separately, you can actually dip the toast into the warm cheese like a sauce, enhancing the taste of the herb-baked toast.
Ratatouille is a delicious French dish that can be served as a side dish or a main course depending on how much of the dish you make.
Ratatouille is made from layers of various, thinly sliced vegetables placed over a homemade red sauce and baked into a tender and delicious casserole dish.
7. Potato and Onion Gratin
Gratin is a type of creamy French casserole loaded with vegetables, and it comes with a wide range of potential fillings and ingredients depending on the recipe.
Potato and onion gratin, for example, is extremely rich and savory dish since it uses scalloped potatoes as a base and mixes in delicious baked onions.
Gougères are a simple but mouthwatering side dish made from small biscuits topped with gruyere and mixed with a pinch of herbs for flavor.
Gougères are a fantastic side dish on their own, but they go especially well with soups and rich sauces since you can dip the biscuits in them.
9. Pommes Persillade
While its name might sound fancy, pommes persillade is essentially cubed potatoes roasted in butter and oil then seasoned with garlic and other assorted spices.
This is not to say that pommes persillade are not a delicious side dish, as roasting cubed potatoes in herbs gives them a fantastic, savory flavor.
10. French-Style Sweet Potato Soufflé
Soufflé are a type of light, fluffy French casserole that can be served as a main dish, side dish, or even dessert, as they can be incredibly sweet.
If you are looking for a sweet side dish for your meal that is healthier than other options, consider whipping up a delicious French-style sweet potato soufflé.
11. French-Style Lentils
French lentils have a distinct green color and earthy, nutty flavor compared to other lentils which helps add to the unique flavor of this side dish.
By cooking these lentils in vegetables and broth, this recipe adds an additional savory flavor to the lentils and creates a more appetizing dish overall.
12. Glazed Carrots
Also known as carrotes glacées in French, this fantastic side dish recipe involves roasting sliced carrots in a mixture of butter, salt, pepper and sugar.
This combination of sweet and savory flavors gives the tender carrot slices a strong and delicious flavor while still being incredibly easy to prepare for a meal.
13. Herb De Provence Roasted Mushrooms
Provincial mushrooms are a classic French side dish made from herb roasted whole mushrooms cooked in oil and baked into a moist and tender dish.
This side dish is incredibly easy to cook as long as you have the right ingredients and can be used as a side, topping, or even base for the main course depending on what you are eating.
14. Haricot Verts Amandine
Haricot verts amandine refers to a type of thin French green bean that has been steamed and lightly fried with minced shallots and toasted almonds.
By combining tender green beans with savory shallots and toasted nuts, you create a delicious dish with a wide range of flavors and texture that all compliment each other.
15. Broccoli Au Gratin
Broccoli and cheese sauce is already a common and appetizing side dish, so broccoli au gratin is a natural step up from this classic side.
French gratin is a type of cheesy casserole, and this recipe uses broccoli as a base with bread crumbs as a crunchy topping to create a delicious dish.
16. French Creamed Leeks
Leeks are a delicious and tender vegetable when cooked on their own, but when prepared with a creamy, homemade sauce they become even more mouthwatering.
French creamed leeks are an extremely versatile dish and can be mixed with a variety of ingredients from green peas, to cheese, to crumbled bacon.
17. Spinach Gratin
If you are looking for a creamy vegetable base for your French gratin recipe, then spinach makes an excellent main ingredient for your next cheesy casserole.
When combined with a bit of nutmeg and parmesan as a coating, spinach gratin is an extremely smooth and creamy dish with a distinct, delicious flavor.
Between its rich environment and long culinary history, France has a well deserved reputation for creating some of the most delicious cuisine in the world.
Even French side dishes, which range from simple baked vegetables to complex cheese casseroles, live up to the French legacy of unique and flavorful cooking.