Italian beef sandwiches can be very tasty. They are filling and flavorful. It’s almost like your favorite pot roast but piled high on top of a hoagie bun or a French roll.
Most of the time, these sandwiches come with a side of au jus for dipping.
These sandwiches can be made in several different ways. You can flavor them how you please or prepare your beef how you please.
Of course, you might also be able to just go to your favorite deli and purchase an Italian beef sandwich. The hardest part is actually choosing the side to have with your sandwiches.
What is the best side for Italian beef sandwiches? You can never go wrong with a side of French fries with a tasty sandwich. Of course, there are plenty of other really great side dish options that you can consider too. You can choose a side based on your own flavor preferences too.
In this guide, we will share with you the best sides for Italian beef sandwiches. We’ve dug deep to figure out just what the best pairings for this type of sandwich would be.
After all, it’s not really your everyday sandwich. The good news is that you really can’t go wrong with the choices!
The 15 Best Sides For Italian Beef Sandwiches
Check out some of these tasty and flavorful options that will be delightful with your Italian beef sandwich!
1. French Fries
French fries make an excellent option for a side!
The only thing to be mindful of is that you’re already having bread with your sandwich so adding French fries might make your meal more starchy or more carb-heavy than what you want.
However, fries are perfect. They don’t have a ton of added flavor so enjoying fries with your sandwich won’t take away from the main course, which is the sandwich.
Fries can be made to be crunchy and crisp so they pair very nicely with a sandwich. Make sure to add a dipping sauce for the perfect combination.
2. Italian Pasta Salad
If you’re enjoying an Italian sandwich, you might as well enjoy an Italian pasta salad on the side. This is a big flavor combination.
Italian pasta salad uses cooked pasta, vegetables of your choice, a little bit of pepper and light seasonings, and Italian dressing. It’s light and flavorful to pair with your hearty and flavorful sandwich.
The cool thing about pasta salad is you can mix up the ingredients. As long as you have the pasta and the Italian dressing, you can add whatever veggies you want to the mix.
3. Macaroni And Cheese
You know what an Italian beef sandwich doesn’t have? Loads of delicious cheese! That’s why macaroni and cheese or even a macaroni and cheese casserole could be the perfect side.
This pairs a little bit of pasta and a lot of cheesy perfection with your hearty sandwich.
Mac and cheese is the perfect comfort food. It’s served warm and it’s not heavy on flavor.
It’s primarily designed to give you cheesy goodness. It won’t take away from the flavors of your sandwich but it will definitely work well as a warm side.
4. Sweet Potato Fries
If you like the idea of fries, why not go with sweet potato fries? The slightly sweet flavor pairs nicely with an Italian beef sandwich.
Sweet potato fries are a good choice if you’re looking for a bit more nutrition or just a different flavor than your typical French fries.
You can make your own sweet potato fries pretty easily. You just need to cut up the sweet potatoes and then fry them. If you have an air fryer, this might be the easiest way to make some tasty sweet potato fries (this is our favorite air fryer).
Sweet potatoes are great for nutrition and the sweet flavors will compliment your Italian beef sandwich well.
Zucchini is a really popular side choice for Italian beef sandwiches. The great thing about zucchini is that you can prepare it several different ways and they all taste great with this type of sandwich.
Zucchini is a good vegetable pairing. They also are not heavy in flavor so you don’t have to worry about contrasting flavors or an overwhelming side that is going to take away from your main course.
Try baking zucchini lightly seasoned. You could also try roasting or grilling zucchini. If you really want to add a little something extra, you can melt just a touch of cheese on your zucchini.
6. Light Salad
If you’re looking for something light to go on the side with your beef-filled sandwich, a salad always works. In this case, you just want a simple side salad.
You can use whatever types of greens you prefer. From there, we just recommend not adding a ton of extras to your salad.
Remember that the main course is your Italian beef sandwich. You just want to pair it with a little something simple. Make your favorite salad or use a simple mix, it’s totally up to you!
We recommend using Italian dressing on your salad as it goes with the theme. However, you could also easily match with other types of dressing so feel free to use whatever appeals to you the most!
7. Roasted Veggies
Another light side that you can use is to make a simple pan of roasted veggies. This is super easy and vegetables have their own flavors to bring you. Some Italian beef sandwiches have a few veggies in the meat.
However, roasted veggies are a great way to supplement with a side without using anything too heavy.
You can roast whatever veggies you like for this. Some people prefer things like squash and tomatoes. You could even toss a few sliced potatoes in with your other veggies and it will taste great.
Roasted veggies are easy. You need a baking pan, some butter or oil, the veggies of your choice, and light seasoning. Roast them in the oven until they are done. You really can’t go wrong here!
8. Creamed Corn
If you’re enjoying an Italian beef sandwich, you’ve got something heavy and flavorful. Any type of creamy or light side will make a good combination.
Creamed corn is a great option. Creamed corn is corn made with a creamy, buttery sauce.
The corn is sweet and the creamy sauce helps to keep it mild but flavorful. This is quite easy to make and it won’t overwhelm your taste buds.
Creamed corn is served warm so you have a warm and creamy dish to enjoy with your hearty sandwich.
It is almost comparable to having soup with a sandwich. However, this corn “soup” works much better than most soups for this particular dish. Corn is light and sweet so it goes together nicely.
9. Onion Rings
If French fries are a great choice other types of fried sides could also be a great choice, right? Onion rings are the perfect addition.
The onion and the fried batter will really go nicely with an Italian beef sandwich. Again, it’s a light flavor so it won’t be too much flavor at once.
Onion rings are fairly easy to make. You just need a simple breading and then you fry them up! They don’t pack in a ton of flavor but the frying gives you just enough in addition to the sandwich.
You’ve got something crunchy to go along with it and that’s usually pretty satisfying. You can also use your au jus on the onion rings or add some other form of dipping sauce if you would like.
10. Baked Beans
This option might be one that you didn’t even think about until now. However, you really can’t go wrong when you use baked beans as a side for a sandwich. Baked beans are savory. They can also be sweet and hearty.
Even with sweet and savory flavors, baked beans will compliment an Italian beef sandwich. You won’t have to worry about distracting flavors or too much flavor here.
11. Seasoned Potato Wedges
Here we are back to potatoes for a side. That’s because you simply can’t go wrong with potatoes! Think about it: almost any sandwich shop serves different forms of potatoes as sides for their sandwiches. That’s because it works really well!
This potato option is to cut wedges and season them. We recommend a nice garlic and parmesan blend for the perfect touch of flavor. You can roast or bake your potato wedges and just season them to your liking.
Some people will eat them by themselves and some people will add a tasty dipping sauce. It’s totally up to you!
Another great side that you should consider is fruit. You could also perhaps make a fruit salad if you want a combination of fruit. With this type of side, be mindful of not overdoing it.
You certainly want sweetness to go with your hearty sandwich. However, you don’t want something too sweet.
A good fruit salad will typically balance out the flavors. Use things like peaches, pears, strawberries, kiwi, and similar fruits. You can also use a combination of things. These are all sweet and tasty but still light so they work really well.
This adds a touch of sweetness that really works to balance again the savory and full flavors of an Italian beef sandwich.
13. Potato Salad
Another potato option! We mean it when we say you can’t go wrong with a potato side! Potato salad can be good because you can add that creamy and flavorful side to your hearty and savory sandwich.
Potato salads are not overly heavy. They have a nice creamy texture and just a light amount of flavor.
You can make potato salads in many different ways. Some people use a mustard-based sauce while others use a mayonnaise-based sauce.
Risotto is a creamy Italian side and it can be a great choice to pair with an Italian beef sandwich. This dish is made using rice, cheese, and broth. It’s warm and creamy and has just enough flavor to contribute.
Risotto is often made using cooked rice and then adding in broth, cheese, onion, and butter. With this type of dish, you’re looking at something similar to potato salad, creamed corn, or even mac and cheese.
It’s that creaminess mixed with your meaty sandwich that really brings your entire meal together. It’s simple and not overwhelming where your flavors are concerned so it makes a good fit.
For our final recommendation, consider something like coleslaw. Coleslaw is the perfect combination for a sandwich that is packed with savory beef. The ingredients in coleslaw are simple and just slightly acidic.
On the other side of your plate, you have this hearty meat packed into bread. This gives the perfect balance of light and tangy with meaty and savory.
Coleslaw has been served with savory beef dishes for forever. In American cuisine, it’s a classic so you absolutely cannot go wrong.
We hope that this guide to the best sides for an Italian beef sandwich is helpful for you!
There are really a lot of great options to choose from if you’re willing to try new things. Each of these options presents different flavors in some way or another.
Check out some of these frequently asked questions for some additional details that could be useful as well.
What is in an Italian beef sandwich?
This could vary depending on where you get the sandwich from and if you make it on your own. The traditional sandwich from Chicago was always topped with peppers.
This could be hot peppers, sweet peppers, or a combination of both. Now, you find different varieties and takes on the sandwich as well.
Are Italian beef sandwiches actually Italian?
While the name sports Italian, these sandwiches actually originated from Chicago. They are made with sliced roast beef. The roast beef on this sandwich is most comparable to the beef from a pot roast.
Is Italian beef the same as a French dip sandwich?
No; while they do have some similarities, these are different sandwiches. Both are made with roast beef but the way the beef is added and cooked is different.
An Italian beef sandwich has a lot of herbs and maybe even vegetables cooked with the meat. Both sandwiches can be served with au jus for dipping.
If you want to make your own Italian beef sandwich, here’s a great video on how to do so!
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