Skip to Content

What to Serve with Paella – 26 Easy Side Dishes

If you’re looking for a side dish to pair with paella, try some rice pilaf. The mild flavor of the rice is a perfect complement to the rich flavors of the paella. You may also want to try some sauteed vegetables, which will soak up the liquid from the paella and give it more flavor.

Read Also: What Wine Goes With Paella? (10 Best Wines)

What to Serve with Paella

Pair your paella with these irresistible side dishes for the heartiest, most appetizing dinner.

Paella is one of my favorite meals.

It’s a unique blend of Spanish and Mediterranean flavors, and the best part is, it’s easy to make.

I love paella for more than just its deliciousness, though.

It makes perfect party food, because it’s easy to make in advance, and it’s a crowd-pleaser.

It’s also a great meal to prepare when you’re expecting friends and family.

And while the paella itself is a staple in Spanish cuisine, the sides are some of the best dishes to serve with it.

Here are 15 irresistible side dishes that pair well with paella.

Why Consider Serving Side Dishes With Paella?

Paella Side Dishes

Paella is a dish that originated in Spain. It is a combination of rice, seafood, and meats that is cooked in a special pan called a paella pan.

The most common ingredients used in this dish include chicken, beef, and fish.

However, there are plenty of other foods you can use to make your paella more nutritious.

It can be served as a main dish or even as an appetizer.

If you want to make the meal even more delicious, consider serving side dishes to accompany it.

There are a variety of side dishes you can serve with paella.

You can serve them with paella to add flavor to your food.

Another reason to serve side dishes with your paella is so that people can enjoy the flavors they have in their own ways.

For example, you can serve bread with it if you are having guests over for dinner.

Bread will complement the other foods in the dish and can add extra flavor and texture.

However, serving paella with side dishes is just one option. You can also serve the food in bowls instead of using the special pan to cook it.

This way, you can still enjoy the flavors of the dish without worrying about burning your mouth on the rice.

sides for paella

What to Serve with Paella – 26 Side Dishes

Paella is a great dish to share with friends and family. It’s also a popular dish in Spanish and French restaurants. You can serve it with the traditional Spanish dish of paella or with other dishes like tortilla, rice, and even soup.

Veggie Crudités

veggie Crudités

Paella is a great option when you want to make an authentic Spanish rice dish, but are having trouble deciding what to serve it with.

This is a really simple recipe that takes very little time and effort to prepare, so you can make it as soon as you’ve made your paella.

Just throw in whatever vegetables you have around.

I like to add asparagus, spring onions, green beans, broccoli, or even leftover roast chicken!

Green Salad

Green Salad

Green salad is one of my favourite side dishes for paella, as it makes for an interesting combination of flavours and textures.

I like to use a mix of leafy greens, such as rocket, watercress, and spinach.

I also like to dress the salad with a good quality balsamic vinaigrette.

Baked Hash Browns

Baked Hash Browns

A couple of good choices for what to serve with paella would be baked potato wedges or hash browns, which are great to scoop up any left-over rice and saffron-infused broth!

I like to top mine with chopped chives and a sprinkling of paprika, and add a splash of milk if I’m serving this as a main meal.

Broccoli Salad

broccoli salad

Paella is such a lovely dish, but it’s also one of the hardest things to get right when it comes to what to serve alongside it.

A salad with lots of flavour and freshness is a great option, and will add extra variety to your main course.

I love this Broccoli Salad recipe and find that the broccoli tastes much fresher when it’s been steamed rather than boiled.

Caesar Salad

caesar Salad

I like to make a simple salad when I’m serving paella, as it has the same flavour profile but avoids the heavy cream and cheese that can sometimes get in the way of the dish’s flavours and texture.

You can make your own using whatever’s in your fridge and adding a squeeze of lemon or some grated parmesan to the dressing for extra flavour.



I love serving paella alongside crusty bread, because it makes a really satisfying meal with every mouthful!

It’s really important to choose the right bread though, as too many carbs can make your paella too heavy and unappealing.

A good choice would be a baguette, though you might want to check what bread is on special offer at your local supermarket to save yourself some cash.

Fried Sweet Plantain Slices

Fried Sweet Plantain Slices

Paella is a Spanish rice dish which is so popular that you might think you’ve had it with every single restaurant offering it.

But if you’re looking for something new, why not try this variation?

It’s just as simple to make, but has the added benefit of being totally gluten-free!

It works really well as a side dish, though I love to add a serving of fried sweet plantain slices as well.

I like to toast the plantains in some olive oil and season with salt before frying them, and they really do get crispy when cooked.

Fried Pimientos De Padron

Fried Pimientos De Padron

If paella doesn’t appeal, then why not try this version instead?

It’s made with prawns and chicken and it’s the perfect side dish for any seafood fan.

You can make your own with whatever ingredients you have available, but I particularly like to add diced tomatoes, as they add a lovely fresh flavour.

You could also add chopped olives and even capers, if you like.

Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted peppers are a great way to jazz up your paella without getting too fussy about flavours.

I like to choose a mix of mild, medium and hot peppers for my side dish, and simply roast them in the oven for around 20 minutes at 220C or 400F.

This creates a wonderfully smoky, savoury taste that goes perfectly with the rest of the meal, and will give you the chance to get creative with different toppings, too.

Cheese and olive platter

Cheese and olive platter

If you’re serving paella as a main course, you’ll need plenty of side dishes to accompany it.

A cheese platter is always a good choice and is something you can serve up while you wait for everyone else to arrive.

Paella is a pretty indulgent dish and I like to serve mine in a shallow bowl with a lid so everyone can see how much rice they have eaten!

A few slices of hard cheese is ideal, and you can add olives or chunks of Spanish smoked paprika if you’re feeling adventurous.

You could also experiment with some fresh herbs or even a salad if you fancy.

Toasted Marcona almonds

Toasted Marcona almonds

If you want to go one step further, you could choose to toast the almonds first so you get that lovely warm aroma wafting around the room.

You’ll find that they add extra flavour and a toasty crunch that works really well with paella.

Potato frittata

Potato frittata

A frittata is a great choice when it comes to what to serve with paella.

I like to use up any leftover potato or vegetable and mix it through my frittata.

It adds a bit of extra texture, which will help stop your meal from getting soggy.

Fried Shrimp

Fried Shrimp

Paella is a great dish for company, and you can get away with serving it without too much fuss.

Paella usually contains a wide range of ingredients, and that’s why you can make your own by choosing whatever works for you and your family.

I like to add some frozen peas, diced ham, or even smoked salmon, and serve it in individual shallow dishes.

Toasted Bread Slices

Toasted Bread Slices

If you need something a little more substantial to serve alongside your paella, consider adding a few slices of warm toast!

I particularly enjoy the flavour combination of olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and a sprinkle of sea salt, but you could just as easily serve these with your paella.

Griddled Asparagus Spears

Griddled Asparagus Spears

This is another quick, easy side dish that really goes well with paella! Griddled asparagus spears are a great way to enjoy fresh spring vegetables that are bursting with flavour and packed with nutrients.

You can choose whatever variety you like, though I like to serve mine with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and some freshly ground black pepper.

Grilled Mushrooms

Grilled Mushrooms

When I serve paella for dinner, I love to make sure I’ve got plenty of grilled mushrooms on hand!

Grilling is a great way of ensuring they stay perfectly crispy, and adding them to your plate means they’re perfectly suited to soaking up the delicious juices from the paella.

You can choose between wild mushrooms and brown mushrooms, and you should choose one of each to make sure you get the full flavour and texture.

If you don’t have any, you can always add some sautéed mushrooms at the last minute.

Pickled Onions

Pickled Onions

Another great way to add flavour and texture to paella is by serving a side of pickled onions.

Choose your favourite pickled onions for this recipe, then add them to your paella when you’re just about ready to serve.

Fried Rice

fried rice

A great side dish for paella is fried rice. It’s a great choice because it’s filling and quick to make, but still packs in the goodness from the paella. Cook your rice according to the instructions on the packet, then add your vegetables (I prefer baby corn, peas, and mushrooms), and fry for a few minutes until the vegetables are cooked through.

Desserts To Serve With Paella

Crema Catalana

Crema Catalana

Paella is the ultimate dish for a casual meal.

It has so many options; you can make paella for dinner, for lunch or even for breakfast.

And, because paella is basically a one-pot wonder, it’s perfect for feeding a crowd.

You can have it as an appetizer or side dish, but here we are sharing our favorite dessert with paella (we go into more detail here: What Dessert Goes with Paella).

A crema catalana, or “Catalan custard,” is the perfect accompaniment to paella. It’s made with milk and eggs and it’s light, fluffy and rich.

What makes it Catalan is the cinnamon flavor, which is also added to the paella cooking process.



Flan is a classic, and we love to serve it as dessert for people who know what a good flan is. It’s sweet, creamy and very, very popular in Mexico.

It’s also very versatile because you can flavor it with chocolate, coffee, orange zest, and you can even serve it with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or caramel sauce.



Another dessert that is so easy to make but hard to mess up.

We love tiramisu because it’s so rich, creamy, and delicious – and a great way to end a meal.

It’s one of our favorite desserts for family get-togethers, as it’s easy to transport and a little goes a long way.



Sorbet is just like ice cream without the dairy. It’s very refreshing and the texture is similar to fruit but with the addition of sweetness.

Our sorbet is made with citrus and pineapple juice, which gives it a bright flavor. A drizzle of honey makes it extra special.

Olive oil cake

Olive oil cake

For us, this recipe is all about simplicity. It’s a great way to use up your last bit of eggs and oil and make a cake that will go with any meal.

And if you want a cake that is so good it’s almost a meal in itself? Well, then, this is your recipe.

Fruit salad

Fruit salad

Paella is a very hearty meal that can easily become a meal-in-one by serving up a dessert to go with it.

A refreshing fruit salad is a perfect way to end a meal, and we especially love the addition of candied lemon rind.

Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb is one of our favorite ingredients because it’s so versatile.

This is a great way to showcase it. Rhubarb pie has a light, delicate, custard filling with a top made from shortbread crust and some sweetened rhubarb puree.


what appetizer goes well with paella?

Paella is a delicious Spanish dish that is traditionally served with seafood and chicken. For those looking for a light and healthy appetizer, it can also be paired with vegetables or salads.

Click here to learn more about what starter goes with paella.

What Spanish salad to serve with paella?

When it comes to Spanish salads, you can go for a simple salad or one that is a bit more elaborate. A simple salad is usually served on the side of the main dish, while a more elaborate salad is served as a starter.

To serve a Spanish salad with paella, it is best to choose one that is cooked, such as a potato or egg salad. You can also opt for a salad with seafood, such as mussels or shrimp.

What wine/drink to serve with paella?

A refreshing white wine like a Riesling or Moscato goes perfectly with paella. The acidity of the wine cuts through the richness of the paella, and the refreshing taste of the wine is a great pairing with the spicy flavors of the paella.

Click here to learn more about what drink to serve with paella.

And here to learn what wine to serve with paella.

What summer salad goes well with paella?

A summer salad is a perfect partner to a paella. This dish is a staple in Spain, and it’s perfect for a warm summer day. Choose a light and fresh salad like tomatoes, cucumbers and romaine lettuce. Pair this salad with a side dish like chicken or seafood.

What green salad to serve with paella?

A green salad is a great choice to serve with paella. The addition of a tangy vinaigrette and a bit of crunch make for a fresh, light side dish that is sure to satisfy.

what bread to serve with paella?

Paella is often served with Spanish bread, which is traditionally used as an accompaniment to seafood dishes. However, you can also serve it with French baguette, Italian bread or even tortillas if you’re feeling adventurous.

Click here to learn more about what bread to serve with paella.

What Dessert Goes with Paella?

There are many desserts that go well with paella. If you want to stay true to the Spanish roots of the dish, you can serve flan or crema Catalana. If you are looking for something a little lighter, a fruit salad or sorbet would be a good choice. If you want something more decadent, chocolate mousse or cheesecake would be delicious options.

Click here to learn more about what dessert goes with paella.

What herbs and spices go in paella?

What Herbs and Spices Go in Paella?

The best herbs and spices to use in paella are saffron, smoked paprika, cumin, and garlic. You can also add in other herbs and spices to taste, such as oregano, basil, thyme, or even a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Click here to learn what herbs and spices go well in paella.

what to serve with chicken and chorizo paella?

The best side dish to serve with chicken and chorizo paella is a potato gratin. It’s a perfect side dish because it goes great with the chicken and chorizo, but it also complements the flavors of the paella.

Do you serve paella in a bowl or on a plate?

It really depends on the size of the dish and how it’s served. Small bowls are great for serving individual portions of the dish, while large plates can be used to serve a large family at one time.

what to serve with paella at a dinner party?

There are many options for what to serve with paella at a dinner party. If you want to keep it light, you can serve a salad on the side. For a heartier meal, you can add chorizo or chicken. You can also add saffron rice, vegetables, or beans.

what is the best salad to serve with paella?

You can serve all kinds of salads with paella – from fruit ones, like stewed pears and fruit salad, to more savory options, like a green salad with vinaigrette dressing. Depending on the kind of menu you want to have, there are a dozen recipe ideas that will complement your paella perfectly.

Click here to learn more about what salad to serve with paella.


So, what can you serve with paella?

Paella is a one-dish meal that is usually served with seafood and vegetables. If you’re looking for something to serve alongside your paella, consider pairing it with some crusty bread or garlic mashed potatoes.


What to Serve with Tomato Pie: 17 Best Sides

What Side Dishes Go with Low Country Boil?

What to Serve with Stuffed Shells: 23 Best Side Dishes

What to Serve with Katsu Curry – 17 Best Side Dishes

What to Serve with Bolognese Instead of Pasta (10 Options)

What to Serve with Caesar Salad – 15 Best Sides

What to Serve with Chicken Skewers? 27 Tasty Sides

What Goes with Greek Salad? 15 Best Sides

What to Serve with Soup Besides Bread – 35 Easy Sides

what to serve with paella

What to Serve with Paella – 26 Side Dishes

Paella is an excellent dish to serve at parties. The dish is usually served with bread or rice and other side dishes. The most popular side dishes to serve with paella are the saffron rice, beans, potatoes, vegetables and seafood.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4 people
Calories 300 kcal


  • Veggie Crudités
  • Green Salad
  • Baked Hash Browns
  • Broccoli Salad
  • Caesar Salad
  • Bread
  • Fried Sweet Plantain Slices
  • Fried Pimientos De Padron
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Cheese and olive platter
  • Toasted Marcona almonds
  • Potato frittata
  • Fried Shrimp
  • Toasted Bread Slices
  • Griddled Asparagus Spears
  • Grilled Mushrooms
  • Pickled Onions
  • Fried Rice
  • Crema Catalana
  • Flan
  • Tiramisu
  • Sorbet
  • Olive oil cake
  • Fruit salad
  • Rhubarb Pie


  • Pick any of these delicious side dishes.
  • Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
  • Enjoy your meal in no time!
Keyword Paella side dishes, What to Serve with Paella
Recipe Rating