What To Serve With Cottage Pie - Find Your Inspiration Here!

Updated on 
31 March, 2023

What To Serve With Cottage Pie - Find Your Inspiration Here!

Have you ever wondered what to serve with cottage pie? It's a classic dish that has been around for years and is usually served with potatoes or mashed vegetables. But there are so many other delicious sides that pair perfectly with this comforting meal. In this article, we'll explore all the best options for what to serve with your cottage pie.

What To Serve With Cottage Pie - Find Your Inspiration Here!

Whether you're preparing a hearty dinner after a long day or hosting a dinner party, cottage pie is always a crowd-pleaser. Making the perfect accompaniment to this savory dish can be tricky though – you want something that will complement the flavors of your cottage pie without overpowering it. Luckily, there are plenty of sides out there that can make your meal even more delicious and satisfying.

From flavorful roasted vegetables to light salads and crunchy garlic bread, we've got all the dishes you need to create an unforgettable dinner experience. You'll find something for everyone in our selection of side dishes – so let's get started!

Definition Of Cottage Pie

Cottage pie is a savory dish that uses ground beef or lamb, vegetables, and mashed potatoes. It’s a popular comfort food in the UK and Ireland. The difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie is that the former uses ground beef while the latter uses ground lamb. Toppings for cottage pies can include grated cheese, bacon bits, diced tomatoes and herbs.

When it comes to serving cottage pies, there are many popular side dishes that can be served with it to make a complete meal.

Popular Side Dishes

When it comes to pairing cottage pie, the possibilities are endless! Like a well-stocked pantry, you have so many options that it can be hard to decide. To help narrow down your choices, let’s look at some popular side dishes.

Mashed potatoes are often served with cottage pie – and for good reason. The creamy texture of mashed potatoes adds a delightful contrast to the savoury meat and vegetables in the pie. And who can resist adding a scattering of cheese on top? Another classic side dish is steamed or roasted vegetables – carrots, broccoli and cauliflower all pair perfectly with the flavourful cottage pie. Vegans might opt for a salad to accompany their meal; crisp greens topped with crunchy nuts add a freshness that complements most pies.

Popular Side Dishes

No matter which side dish you choose, it’s bound to be delicious when combined with cottage pie! Now let's explore some vegetable options that make a great accompaniment…

Vegetables To Accompany Cottage Pie

Vegetables are an essential side dish to accompany cottage pie. Boiling, steaming, or roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and adds a hint of freshness to the hearty pie. Carrots, peas, green beans, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are all popular choices. For those who prefer a more colorful plate of food, adding some diced red peppers or cherry tomatoes can add a splash of color to the meal.

In addition to providing vitamins and minerals from the vegetable sides, many people also enjoy adding potatoes as well. Mashed potatoes are a classic accompaniment for cottage pie; however roasted new potatoes with herbs like rosemary and thyme can also be tasty additions. Other potato options include boiled baby potatoes or sweet potato cubes that have been seasoned with garlic and olive oil prior to roasting in the oven. Carbohydrates like these will help complete the meal and provide extra energy for those who need it.

Carbohydrates To Complement The Dish

Carbohydrates are a great way to round out a meal, especially cottage pie. Mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables, and creamy polenta are all delicious accompaniments that will add flavor and texture to the dish. Mashed potatoes can be flavored with herbs or garlic to add depth of flavor. Roasted root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and parsnips can be tossed in some olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and roasted in the oven until golden brown for an easy side dish. Creamy polenta is also a great option for those who want something richer than mashed potatoes. It's easy to make and is full of comforting flavors that pair well with the savory cottage pie. All these carbohydrates can be served together or separately depending on personal preference.

Salads are another way to enhance the meal by adding freshness and crunch. A simple side salad of mixed greens tossed in a light vinaigrette or a more substantial Greek salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives are both excellent choices to complete this hearty meal.

Carbohydrates To Complement The Dish

Salads To Enhance The Meal

A salad can be like a garden of flavors, the perfect complement to a hearty cottage pie. It's like planting a fragrant bouquet of delightful vegetables and fruits next to the savory pies. From crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes to crunchy carrots and sweet corn, there is no limit to what you can serve with your cottage pie. Choose ingredients that will add an extra layer of flavor to your meal such as onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, olives, and nuts. You can also make it even more special by adding some fresh herbs or adding some crumbled cheese for a zesty kick.

Adding a side salad is the perfect way to round out this classic dish. Not only does it bring out all the flavors in the cottage pie but it also provides an extra burst of nutrition. Plus, you can customize each bowl according to individual tastes so everyone can have their own unique combination of flavors. With so many options available, you can create an unforgettable meal that everyone will love.

Sauces And Condiments To Add Flavour

Cottage pie is a hearty meal that's enhanced when paired with the right sauces and condiments. A classic accompaniment to cottage pie is Worcestershire sauce, which adds an intense kick of umami flavour. Ketchup offers a sweet-tangy contrast to the savoury elements of the dish. Mustard complements the richness of the beef mince and adds a bit of spiciness. For a creamy condiment, mayonnaise is an excellent option for adding richness and creaminess to this dish. If you'd like something more exotic, try adding some hot sauce or chilli garlic paste for a spicy flavour profile. Finally, top your cottage pie off with some fresh herbs or chopped chives before serving it up. This will add colour and aroma to your final dish.


In conclusion, cottage pie is a truly classic dish that can be enjoyed year round. Its combination of hearty ingredients and savoury flavour make it the perfect comfort food. In order to take your serving up a notch, there are many side dishes to choose from. Whether you opt for vegetables, carbohydrates, salads or sauces, each one will add an extra layer of flavour and texture to the meal.

Sauces And Condiments To Add Flavour

Symbolically speaking, cottage pie is more than just a traditional dish - it's a representation of home-cooked meals and family gatherings alike. It's a reminder of the warmth and comfort that comes with spending time in the kitchen with loved ones. The sides you choose to accompany your cottage pie will act as symbols too - they'll bring memories of past meals flooding back and serve as a reminder of the special moments shared around the table.

No matter what side dishes you decide on, they'll all help to create an atmosphere of togetherness and love. So go ahead and get creative - mix and match some sides to make your cottage pie even more enjoyable for everyone gathered around!

Jennifer is a certified nutritionist and weight loss coach with a Master's in Nutrition from Cambridge. With over 10 years experience, she shares healthy recipes and science-backed slimming tips on SheCooksSheEats to help people reach their wellness goals. Jennifer stays up-to-date by regularly attending conferences and continuing her nutrition education. She aims to provide research-backed advice to inspire balanced, happy living.
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