What To Serve With Paella: 18 Amazing Side Dishes


Paella is a delicious and colorful Spanish dish that combines rice, saffron, vegetables, and a variety of proteins like seafood or chicken.

While it's already a complete and flavorful meal on its own, you might wonder what side dishes can enhance your paella experience.

Here you can find the 18 best side dishes for a perfect Spanish Dinner.


Looking for a quick answer?

The best side dishes to serve with paella are tomato bread, green beans, patatas bravas, honey garlic shrimp, gazpacho, gluten free bread, churros, octopus, grilled asparagus, flan, oysters, homemade wine, shrimp louie salad, wedge salad, chocolate cake, and tomato tortellini soup.

Now, let's get cooking!

1. Tomato Bread

Tomato bread, or pan con tomate, is a simple and traditional Spanish side dish made with crusty bread, ripe tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. This refreshing and flavorful dish pairs well with paella, adding a touch of brightness to your meal.

2. Green Beans

Green beans

Green beans are a simple and healthy side dish that can be prepared in various ways, such as steamed, sautéed, or roasted. Their tender-crisp texture and mild flavor make them a great accompaniment to paella, adding a touch of freshness and color to your meal.

3. Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

Patatas bravas is a popular Spanish tapa featuring crispy, fried potatoes served with a spicy tomato sauce. This flavorful and indulgent side dish is a perfect match for paella, adding a bit of heat and crunch to your meal.

4. Honey Garlic Shrimp

Honey Garlic Shrimp

Garlic shrimp, or gambas al ajillo, is a popular Spanish tapa that can also be served as a side dish with paella. The succulent shrimp cooked in fragrant garlic and olive oil adds a touch of luxury to your meal, complementing the flavors of the paella.

5. Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a refreshing and flavorful cold soup made with ripe tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and onions. This light and zesty dish provides a cool contrast to the warm and hearty paella, making it an excellent choice for a summer meal.

6. Gluten Free Bread

Gluten free bread

Gluten-free bread is a great option to serve with paella. It's light, soft, and perfect for soaking up the delicious flavors of the dish. You can easily make it at home or buy a good quality loaf from the store. Warm it up slightly before serving to enhance its texture. This bread complements the rich taste of paella without overpowering it.

7. Churros


Churros might seem like a dessert, but they make an excellent side for paella too. The crispy, sweet dough sticks contrast nicely with the savory flavors of paella. Serve them plain or with a bit of cinnamon sugar. They can also be a fun way to add a sweet touch to your meal. Don't forget a small bowl of chocolate sauce for dipping.

8. Octopus

Grilled octopus is a fantastic side dish to serve with paella. It adds a touch of the ocean to your meal, enhancing the seafood flavors in the paella. Marinate the octopus in olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, then grill until tender. This dish is simple to prepare and brings a delightful texture and taste to the table.

9. Grilled Asparagus

grilled Asparagus

Grilled asparagus is a healthy and tasty side that pairs well with paella. The smoky flavor from grilling enhances the natural sweetness of the asparagus. Just drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill until tender. It’s a quick side dish that adds a nice crunch and a burst of freshness to your meal.

10. Flan

Flan topped with caramel sauce with spoon

Flan is a classic Spanish dessert that works surprisingly well as a side dish for paella. Its creamy texture and caramel flavor offer a sweet contrast to the savory paella. You can make it ahead of time and chill it until you’re ready to serve. It’s light, smooth, and a delightful way to end your meal on a sweet note.

11. Oysters


Fresh oysters are an elegant side to serve with paella. They bring a briny, fresh flavor that complements the rich, savory taste of the dish. Serve them on the half shell with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of hot sauce. They are quick to prepare and add a touch of sophistication to your meal.

12. Homemade Wine

Pairing homemade wine with paella can elevate your dining experience. Whether you prefer red or white, a good wine enhances the flavors of the dish. If you’re up for the challenge, try making your own wine. It’s a fun project and adds a personal touch to your meal. Your guests will appreciate the effort and the unique taste.

13. Shrimp Louie Salad

Shrimp Louie Salad
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Shrimp Louie Salad is a refreshing side that pairs wonderfully with paella. This classic salad includes crisp lettuce, juicy shrimp, hard-boiled eggs, and a tangy Louie dressing. The fresh flavors and crunchy texture balance well with the rich and savory paella. It’s easy to prepare and adds a vibrant touch to your meal.

14. Wedge Salad

Wedge Salad

A wedge salad is a simple yet delicious side dish to serve with paella. It features a crisp iceberg lettuce wedge topped with bacon, tomatoes, and blue cheese dressing. The cool, crunchy lettuce and bold flavors of the toppings provide a nice contrast to the warm, savory paella. It’s a classic salad that’s always a hit.

15. Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake with one slice cut out topped with sugar powder on a blue plate

For a sweet finish, serve chocolate cake with your paella. A rich, moist chocolate cake adds a decadent touch to your meal. Whether you bake it from scratch or buy a good quality cake, it’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra special treat.

16. Tomato Tortellini Soup

Tomato tortellini soup is a hearty side that complements paella beautifully. This warm, comforting soup features cheese-filled tortellini in a rich tomato broth. The flavors blend well with the paella, adding a soothing and satisfying element to your meal. It’s perfect for cooler evenings and makes your meal feel extra cozy.

17. Shrimp Boil

Mix of corn ears, shrimp, potato cubes and slices sausage in a white plate with lemon and corn on side

A shrimp boil is a delicious and festive side dish that pairs well with paella, especially seafood paella. Combining shrimp, corn, potatoes, and flavorful spices, this dish adds an extra layer of excitement to your meal and complements the seafood flavors of the paella.

18. Fried Rice

Fried Rice

Fried rice is a versatile and flavorful side dish that can be served alongside paella. Although not traditionally Spanish, the combination of vegetables, egg, and soy sauce in the fried rice adds a different dimension to your meal, creating an interesting fusion of flavors.

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What To Serve With Paella

Looking for the perfect sides to pair with your flavorful paella? We have 18 delicious ideas for a perfect meal!
4.50 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: paella, seafood paella
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Corrie


  • 1 paella


  • Make the best paella using your favorite recipe.
  • Make a side dish from the list above. You can eat paella with tomato bread, green beans, patatas bravas, honey garlic shrimp, gazpacho, gluten free bread, churros, octopus, grilled asparagus, flan, oysters, homemade wine, shrimp louie salad, wedge salad, chocolate cake, and tomato tortellini soup.
  • Serve and enjoy a wonderful meal 🙂
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @corriecooksblog or tag #corriecooks!

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