17 Traditional and Typical French Side Dishes

You have your in-laws over for lunch and they are very keen on French cuisine but you lack ideas on what would be best to serve with your roasted turkey?

Here are the most traditional and typical French side dishes.


1- Celery Remoulade

Authenticity and simplicity are the best words to describe what celery remoulade is.

Made with grated celery root and mayonnaise, this cold dish can be served as a starter or with delicatessen.

Either way, you will definitely find it on the menu of a Parisian brasserie or in a buffet, since it is a very classic of French cooking.


2- Cream Mushrooms


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Cream mushrooms don’t need much to be tasty: a bunch of button mushrooms, a few spoons of crème fraîche, pinches of spice and that’s all there is to it.

They are used to being served with red or white meats as their strong flavor blends well with this type of product.


3- Mashed Potatoes


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If you didn’t get it at first, you’ll now see that French people are crazy about potatoes.

There are so many ways to cook them, one of them being mashed potatoes.

When I say mashed potatoes, I don’t mean puree: this side dish lies between puree and boiled potatoes.

Indeed, the texture is slightly different from the puree, that is to say the potatoes are not entirely mashed, you’ll find chunks in the mix.

Restaurateurs often put mashed potatoes on their menu because they are much more refined than puree.


4- Gratin Dauphinois (Dauphinoise Potatoes)

Gratin Dauphinois
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Gratin dauphinois or dauphinoise potatoes represents one of the very basics of French gastronomy.

Very popular, this dish was first made in the southeastern region of France and has now spread all over the world.

What’s in there? Thinly sliced potatoes, cream, garlic cloves and milk. Put it all in a plate and cook it in the oven. A real delight!


5- Garlic Green Beans

Green beans
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Green beans are to France what beans are to the United Kingdom.

They go with literally everything, but you’ll generally come across them next to a beef tournedos or a pork chop.

With their slightly chopped garlic cloves, green beans are a must-have.

Once tasted, never forgotten!


6- Vegetable Jardinière (Mixed Vegetables)


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What we call a vegetable jardinière is nothing more than a mix of vegetables.

Everybody can make their own according to their preferences, but a jardinière is usually made with beans, turnips, carrots and potatoes.

Thanks to this symphony of vegetables, you will end up with a tiny garden in your plate.


7- Julienne Vegetables


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First of all, the name of this dish comes from a chopping technique called the julienne through which vegetables are cut into thin strips.

Julienned vegetables are very popular amongst restaurateurs, so you won’t need to go too far in order to find it on a menu.

Carrots, zucchinis, sometimes turnips, are the most important ingredients, but you can put whatever you like in it.

So next time you’re wondering what to order, be sure to give it a try.


8- Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes

As I told you before, potatoes really are a must-have in French cooking.

This time let’s have a look at baked potatoes.

Nothing complicated here: the potato is cut in half and then put into the oven in an aluminum foil.

Once it is cooked, a sauce made with cream and chives is added inside the potato.



9- Boulangère Potatoes


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Boulangère potatoes, literally “baker’s potatoes”, are representative of rural French cuisine.

They’re sometimes served with bacon bits but it is up to you whether you want to add meat.

The ingredients are pretty basic: potatoes, onions, chicken or vegetable broth are all that you need.

After having spent the right amount of time in the oven, the top layer of potatoes has turned brownish and its crispy texture tastes incredible.


10- Pommes Dauphines (Potato Croquettes)

Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, these potato croquettes will delight the little ones.

Everything is in the texture. To make pommes dauphines a success, you need eggs, butter and flour so as to prepare the choux pastry.

The next step consists of stuffing the small balls with mashed potatoes and then deep-frying them.

There you go with these golden-hued croquettes.


11- Darphin Potatoes


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Darphin potatoes are, in fact, shredded potatoes which, put together, look like a doormat, hence the name “pommes paillassons” in French.

Once the potatoes have been shredded thanks to a box grater, they are then placed in a pan with butter.

After a few minutes, the mix has the shape of a pancake that needs to be flipped over.


12- Puree

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Puree is a very old-school side dish that babies are used to eating.

However, puree has become more fashionable than ever, it’s not just about potatoes, now you can make it with whatever you like: celery, squash or carrot.

Chefs cannot ignore it, that’s why they add it to their dishes to give them a little extra.

Puree is so much more than boiled and mashed vegetables.


13- Ratatouille

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You probably know the famous Disney movie which put under the spotlight one of the most popular French side dishes, Ratatouille.

What’s in there? Eggplants, tomatoes, peppers and zucchinis.

Ratatouille is a mix of summer vegetables that goes well with grilled meat or fish.


14- Cantonese Rice


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Not the Frenchiest side dish ever I must admit, but France is a multicultural country that has been influenced by the variety of people coming from other regions of the world.

In this case, cantonese rice has now become a classic of French cuisine.

Prepared with rice, diced ham, beans and eggs, you can find it on the menu of many restaurants.


15- Onion Soup

Onion soup
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You can go and pick this dish safely because it will definitely leave your palate a lasting impression.

Onion soup is made with onions, broth and grated cheese, and generally served with toasts.

If you enjoy culinary roller coasters, you’ll like this one.


16- Piedmontese Salad

Piedmontese salad isn’t 100% French since it comes from Italy, but it has completely become part of French cooking.

Usually served as a starter, this salad can also go with cold meats.

Potatoes, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, even ham or anchovy are the ingredients used to make the piedmontese salad.


17- Vegetable Tian

Vegetable tian
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Created in Provence, the vegetable tian will please anyone, even the most picky ones.

This colorful dish, with zucchinis, tomatoes and potatoes, goes well with braised meats.

It will satisfy you for sure.