Serving lamb for dinner tonight? Complete the meal with the either one of the classics or an innovative side dish for lamb. Look for options where the flavors will complement your main dish and add more color and nutrients.
For this list of must-try lamb side dishes, Superior Farms considered:
- Flavors should complement, not compete, with whatever you used in the lamb
- Texture and consistency, such as crunchiness
- Ease of preparation, so you can focus on the main dish
Grilled naan or chapati
Lamb curry is one of the most popular ways of serving this meat. The spicy sauce enhances the lamb taste, and after long hours of stewing on the stove will break down the fibers, even the tougher lamb cuts will be fork-tender.
Lamb or mutton curry originated in India, where it is served with grilled flatbread such as naan or chapati (sometimes called roti). These breads are generally made from wheat or chickpea flour and charred on a pan or open flame until they puff up. Use the bread to soak up the curry sauce.
Tear the bread to soak up the curry sauce or take a piece of lamb meat and wrap it like a roll.
The rich, savory flavor of roast lamb is beautifully complemented by a chutney. This Indian side dish is made by simmering fruit, vegetables or herbs with vinegar, spices, and sugar.
While chutney has the consistency of jam, it is typically served as a dipping sauce for meats. The combination of sweetness and tartness helps cuts through the oiliness of lamb and is a delightful contrast to any spices you used on it.
If you want something on the sweeter side, try a mango or apricot chutney. For tartness, you can try tomato chutney or tamarind chutney. For an herby taste that goes well with an Italian or Greek marinade, try a green chutney made from coriander, cilantro or mint.
One of the best things about roasted vegetables is its flexibility. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand—potatoes, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, cauliflower, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beans. Peel, chop into small pieces, drizzle with oil, and season with plain salt or any herbs you fancy. Bake, and you’re done.
The “basic” roasted vegetable dish can also be upgraded, depending on your time and whatever ingredients you have. Create a sweet-savory glaze by coating vegetables with maple syrup before roasting and adding toasted garlic bits before serving. Or serve roasted vegetables on a bed of greens for more nutrients, flavor, and color.
If you prefer the sweetness and tartness that comes from fresh fruits, consider serving Waldorf salad as a side dish. It is a fruit and nut salad named after Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, where it was first served in 1893 for a charity ball.
Waldorf salad typically has apple slices, grapes, finely chopped celery, and roasted walnuts. Like chutney, the tart fruits help cut through any oiliness of lamb, and the celery “cleanses” the palate.
Pan-roasted asparagus spears
A fresh, high-quality cut of lamb needs very little seasoning to bring out its flavor. In the same way, its side dishes should be kept simple. Avoid strong spices that can drown out the lamb’s natural sweetness. Instead, focus on complementing textures and bright colors.
We recommend pan-roasted asparagus spears. Cooking them quickly in garlic and brown butter, to retain the crunch and bright green color. If you’re watching cholesterol and calories, you can also steam it and sprinkle a minimal amount of salt.
Clear vegetable soup
Lamb is too rich to eat with a cream-based soup. Instead, choose a light consommé or a clear vegetable soup, such as minestrone.
Quinoa is considered a healthier alternative to grains because it has less carbs, and more protein and antioxidants. It also goes really well with any lamb dish, whether it’s a rack, roast, or stew.
Quinoa can be cooked just like any rice, or it can be mixed with roasted vegetables to make a hearty quinoa salad.
Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish for lamb – and there are many ways to serve this, too. Add butter, sour cream or cheese to make it richer. Replace some of the potatoes with cauliflower to reduce the calorie content. For better presentation, you can cook individual servings in a muffin tin or ramekins, and sprinkle with fresh chives.