Beef brisket is one of those rare dishes that sits squarely between homey comfort food and sophisticated classic. It’s comfortable on a weeknight dinner table and as the centerpiece of a holiday feast. Beef brisket can be roasted in the oven, set in the slow cooker, or braised in an Instant Pot, where it quickly becomes fall-apart tender.
Sure, there are a few mistakes to avoid when cooking brisket, but one of the trickiest parts can be deciding what side dishes to include. It’s almost always cooked with onions, potatoes, and carrots, but are those enough? Do you need something green? Do you want to have bread or rolls to sop up those wonderful juices?
The answer, obviously, is “yes” to all sides. We think choosing two to three sides from this list below can help you set the ideal table for a beef brisket dinner whether it falls on a Wednesday night or it happens around Easter, Passover, or any other special occasion.
1. Pull-Apart Challah Rolls
Make homemade challah easier on yourself with this share and tear method of baking. This quicker version of the classic enriched dough doesn’t require kneading and does the very best job of soaking up juicy brisket drippings!
Recipe: Pull-Apart Challah Rolls
Cool, crunchy, and a little bit spicy, this no-cook side dish of radishes and snap peas is the best contrast to warm, tangy brisket. While we love this most when serving brisket in the spring, you can riff on this salad any season by using the dressing for any raw crunchy veggies.
Recipe: Minty Snap Pea Salad
Think of potato kugel as a little like a latke casserole. Grated potatoes and onions are folded with eggs and then baked until golden-brown. The top is crisp and the interior is tender and moist. It makes a generous dish, ideal for serving a crowd.
Recipe: How To Make Fluffy Potato Kugel
4. Steamed Asparagus (in the Microwave)
5. Diane Morgan’s Baby Carrots with Dill
We don’t often take the opportunity to serve carrots whole, but tender spring carrots braised in broth, a little vinegar, and brown sugar are a revelation. They look stunning on a serving platter, but they are fork-tender and oh-so-delicious!
6. Kohlrabi and Cabbage Salad with Maple Lemon Dressing
This is no ordinary salad — it is a multi-layered slaw that can be made ahead and will knock guests’ socks off when they taste it. Both the kohlrabi and cabbage remain crunchy even after sitting in the piquant dressing overnight.
7. Gingery Roasted Butternut Squash & Sweet Potatoes
These roasted squash and sweet potatoes are gingery gems on a plate. The recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients and roasts in a hot oven for 40 minutes. The vegetables become tender and supple. Plus, this side makes a ton.
Brown butter radishes are a great back-pocket recipe. They’re easy to make and novel enough to surprise your guests. And all you need to do is simply cook the halved radishes in brown butter. You can prepare the brown butter in advance if you’re feeling crunched for prep time, and these beauties taste delicious when served warm or at room temperature.
Recipe: Brown Butter Radishes
Admittedly, latkes are an extra-special side to make alongside brisket, given how labor-intensive they can be. We recommend putting your brisket in the slow cooker and picking easy vegetables like the steamed asparagus, above, or the pan-cooked green beans below, if you make these. That will free you up to focus on making the most perfect latkes. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, we love ’em!
Recipe: How To Make Classic Latkes
We love to pair this carrot soufflé with brisket because it looks and tastes so complicated while secretly being pretty easy to make. And they taste great together: Scoop some of the creamy carrot onto your fork along with a piece of tender brisket and it’s the perfect bite.
Recipe: Carrot Soufflé
11. Beet-Pickled Deviled Eggs
Let’s start a trend: Add deviled eggs to every holiday table. They can be served as an appetizer but they also make a welcome but unexpected side dish. These beet-colored beauties will also give you pickled beets to serve with the brisket.
Recipe: Beet-Pickled Deviled Eggs
Consider this side dish recommendation your hail Mary recipe! Green beans are inexpensive, easy to cook, and look lovely on the table. In a pinch you can use frozen green beans, a helpful thing to know when you’re scrambling to make extra because, say, your niece decides to bring her roommate and her new boyfriend to the holiday dinner.
Recipe: How To Cook Green Beans