If you’re planning to cater a sandwich catering event, it’s essential to choose the right side dishes to accompany them. Side dishes can make or break the entire meal experience. In this article, we’ll discuss the best side dishes to serve with sandwich catering, including classic, salad-based, hearty, and international-inspired dishes.
We’ll also consider the factors that determine the ideal side dishes to complement your sandwich menu, such as dietary restrictions, convenience, cost-effectiveness, and plating options.
Classic Side Dishes
When you think of sandwich sides, classic options like potato chips, coleslaw, pickles, potato salad, and baked beans may come to mind. These are versatile, crowd-pleasing dishes that complement most sandwich flavours and styles. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Potato chips and crisps
Potato chips and crisps are a staple side dish for any sandwich. They are easy to serve, crunchy, and add a delightful salty flavour to the meal. You can choose from different varieties, such as plain, salt and vinegar, BBQ, and sour cream and onion.
Coleslaw is a classic side dish made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and a mayonnaise-based dressing. It adds a refreshing crunch and tangy flavor to sandwiches. You can also make a healthier version of coleslaw with a vinaigrette dressing or Greek yoghurt instead of mayonnaise.
Pickles are a tangy, crunchy, and low-calorie option that complements sandwiches perfectly. You can choose from dill, sweet, or bread-and-butter pickles, depending on your taste preference. You can also make your own pickles with cucumbers, vinegar, and spices.
Potato salad is a creamy and comforting side dish that pairs well with sandwiches. It’s made with boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and seasonings. You can add other ingredients, such as bacon, onions, celery, or pickles, to enhance the flavor.
Baked beans are a savoury and satisfying side dish that goes well with BBQ or meat sandwiches. They are usually made with navy beans, molasses, bacon, and spices. You can also make a vegetarian version of baked beans with vegetables, such as onions, peppers, and carrots.
Salad-based Side Dishes
If you want to add some healthy options to your sandwich catering menu, you can choose from different salad-based side dishes. These dishes are fresh, light, and packed with nutrients. Let’s explore some popular options.
Caesar salad is a classic salad made with romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing. It’s a flavorful and satisfying side dish that compliments most sandwiches. You can also add grilled chicken or shrimp to turn it into a main course.
Garden salad is a simple and versatile side dish that consists of mixed greens, vegetables, and a vinaigrette dressing. You can customise it by adding your favourite toppings, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, or avocado. It’s an excellent option for vegetarian or vegan guests.
Greek salad is a flavorful and colourful salad that features feta cheese, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions. It’s a refreshing and healthy side dish that adds a Mediterranean touch to your sandwich menu.
Caprese salad is a classic Italian salad made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and balsamic glaze. It’s a light and elegant side dish that pairs well with Italian-style sandwiches.
Pasta salad is a versatile and filling side dish that can be customised in various ways. It’s made with cooked pasta, vegetables, and a dressing of your choice. You can add protein, such as chicken, shrimp, or tofu, to make it a main course. You can also make a gluten-free version using rice or quinoa pasta.
Hearty Side Dishes
If you’re serving sandwiches for a more substantial meal, you can add some hearty side dishes to the menu. These dishes are comforting, flavorful, and satisfying. Let’s take a look at some popular options.
Mac and cheese
Mac and cheese is a classic comfort food that pairs well with sandwiches. It’s made with elbow macaroni, cheese sauce, and breadcrumbs. You can add other ingredients, such as bacon, ham, or broccoli, to give it a twist.
Chili is a spicy and savoury side dish that warms you up on a cold day. It’s made with ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and chilli powder. You can make a vegetarian version using vegetables, such as mushrooms, zucchini, or squash.
Soup is a comforting and versatile side dish that compliments most sandwiches. You can choose from different varieties, such as tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, or vegetable soup. You can also make a homemade soup using your favourite ingredients.
Grilled vegetables are a healthy and flavorful option for sandwich catering. You can grill vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, or mushrooms, and season them with herbs and spices. They add a smoky and charred flavour to the meal.
Roasted potatoes are a simple and tasty side dish that pairs well with sandwiches. You can roast potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper, or add other seasonings, such as garlic, rosemary, or paprika. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
International-inspired Side Dishes
If you want to add some global flavours to your sandwich catering menu, you can choose from different international-inspired side dishes. These dishes are exotic, flavorful, and expand your guests’ culinary horizons. Let’s discover some popular options.
Hummus and pita
Hummus and pita are a Middle Eastern-inspired side dish that’s healthy and delicious. Hummus is a dip made with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. Pita is a flatbread that’s perfect for dipping. You can also add vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, or bell peppers, to the platter.
Bruschetta is an Italian-inspired side dish that features grilled bread, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. It’s a simple and flavorful dish that’s perfect for summer events. You can also add toppings, such as mozzarella, basil, or prosciutto.
Guacamole and tortilla chips
Guacamole and tortilla chips are a Mexican-inspired side dish that’s popular and tasty. Guacamole is a dip made with avocados, lime juice, onions, and cilantro. Tortilla chips are crunchy and salty. You can also add salsa or queso dip to the platter.
Salsa and chips
Salsa and chips are a classic and easy side dish that compliments most sandwiches. Salsa is a dip made with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and cilantro. You can choose from mild, medium, or hot varieties of salsa. Tortilla chips are perfect for dipping.
Considerations for Choosing the Right Side Dishes
Now that we’ve explored the different types of side dishes that you can serve with sandwich catering, let’s discuss some factors that can help you choose the ideal dishes for your event.
Complementing the sandwich menu
The side dishes you choose should complement the flavours and styles of your sandwiches. For example, if you’re serving BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans and coleslaw would be a perfect match. If you’re serving vegetarian sandwiches, you can choose from different salad-based side dishes.
Dietary restrictions and preferences
It’s important to consider the dietary restrictions and preferences of your guests when choosing the side dishes. You should offer vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free options, as well as alternatives for guests with food allergies or intolerances.
Convenience and ease of serving
The side dishes you choose should be easy to serve and convenient for your guests to eat. Finger foods and dips are a great option for self-serve stations and buffet-style serving. Salads and soups can be served in individual bowls or cups.
The side dishes you choose should fit your budget and be cost-effective. You can make some dishes from scratch, such as potato salad or pasta salad, to save money. You can also buy pre-made options, such as chips and dips, to save time and effort.
Now that you’ve chosen the ideal side dishes for your sandwich catering event, it’s time to think about how to serve them. Here are some serving suggestions to consider.
You can plate the side dishes in different ways, such as on a large platter, in individual bowls, or on a tiered stand. You can also add garnishes, such as herbs or sliced vegetables, to enhance the presentation.
Buffet-style serving is a convenient and flexible option for sandwich catering. You can set up a self-serve station with different side dishes and let your guests choose what they want. You can also label the dishes to help guests with dietary restrictions.
Self-serve stations are a fun and interactive option for sandwich catering. You can set up different stations, such as a chip and dip station or a salad bar, and let your guests create their own combinations. You can also provide different toppings and dressings.
Individual servings are a neat and elegant option for sandwich catering. You can serve the side dishes in small cups or bowls and provide utensils. This option works well for formal events or corporate catering.
In conclusion, choosing the right side dishes for your sandwich catering event can make a big difference in the meal experience. You can choose from classic, salad-based, hearty, and international-inspired options, depending on your guests’ tastes and preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I serve just one type of side dish with my sandwich catering?
Yes, you can serve just one type of side dish with your sandwich catering if you prefer simplicity or have a limited budget. However, offering a variety of side dishes can enhance the meal experience and cater to different tastes and preferences.
How do I choose the right side dish for my sandwich menu?
You can choose the right side dish for your sandwich menu by considering the flavors, styles, and dietary restrictions of your guests. You can also experiment with different options and ask for feedback from your guests.
Can I make the side dishes ahead of time?
Yes, you can make most side dishes ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator. This can save you time and effort on the day of the event. You can also reheat or serve some side dishes at room temperature.
What are some vegetarian and gluten-free side dish options?
Some vegetarian and gluten-free side dish options include garden salad, Greek salad, hummus and pita, grilled vegetables, and rice or quinoa pasta salad. You can also offer vegan or dairy-free options, such as salsa and chips or roasted vegetables.
Can I serve the side dishes at room temperature?
Yes, you can serve some side dishes at room temperature, such as potato chips, coleslaw, and pickles. However, some dishes, such as mac and cheese or soup, are best served hot or warm. You can also provide heating options, such as chafing dishes or warming trays.