There are plenty of great side dishes you could serve with clam chowder. This delicious dish is a traditional New England soup known for its creamy broth and tasty ingredients.
There are plenty of types of clam chowder, such as the milky white clam chowder, or a nice and red tomato-based chowder like Manhattan chowder.
No matter which style you choose, there are plenty of fantastic sides that can partner well with your main course.
We’ve listed some of the best options to choose from, ranging from crisp to salty. We’ve got plenty of great side ideas that can fit with your palate.
The Best Side Dishes: From Cornbread To Oyster Crackers
Cornbread is a sweet bread with a bit of a nutty taste made from cornmeal. This flaky bread is nice and buttery, and it pairs perfectly with all types of chowder.
A good cornbread will crumble if pressure is applied to it, such as when you take a bite.
If you are looking for a bread specifically to mop up the last of your New England Clam Chowder, then this may not be the best option for you.
However, if you want a delicious side dish with a taste that pairs well with seafood, then this is the choice for you.
2. Corn On The Cob
Just like its bread cousin, corn on the cob is slightly sweet and nutty. That’s where the similarities end as corn is juicy and a little chewy.
You can smear a little butter on your ear of corn to make it a little more creamy and sweet. If you want something else from this tasty side, you could also serve it grilled for a nice, smoky flavor.
No matter how you want to enjoy your corn, it can all work as a side dish that pairs well with New England Chowder.
3. Oyster Crackers
Oyster crackers are the Yin to a bowl of clam chowder’s Yang. These salty snacks are good with clam chowder because of their crisp texture.
This distinct texture works well with clam chowder because most of the ingredients in the main dish are softer and sometimes chewier.
Oyster crackers are a good choice if you like a little bit of a crunch in your soup.
The typical choice is to pile the crackers onto your soup and then eat it like that. However, if that doesn’t float your boat, you could eat them separately. Both ways pair clam chowder well.
4. Bread Rolls
A bread roll can make for a great side dish for your New England-style clam chowder. If you want a bread option that can sponge up the remaining clam juice and broth, then this is a good option.
A good fluffy dinner roll is usually buttery and will spring back if you push down on it. You can even prepare them a bit crispier if you are looking for a crunch in your side.
5. 1905 Salad
This salad typically contains fresh iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, ham, and swiss cheese, all under a coat of white wine vinegar.
This results in a wide range of flavors, ranging from sweet to savory, and an overall richness that is hard to beat.
If any of these ingredients don’t sound like they would pair well with chowder to you, you could always omit them and even try your own, such as provolone instead of swiss for a different cheesy taste.
No matter how you plan out your salad, it can make for the perfect side dish to your bowl of clam chowder thanks to its unique flavors.
6. Carrot Slaw
Carrot slaw is made of shredded carrots that have been tossed in dressing. Like other types of slaw such as coleslaw, this popular side is sweet and crispy that goes well with clam chowder.
The rich and creamy dressing matches well with the creamy chowder, and will make a nice pairing of sweet and almost salty.
The carrots should come out a little sweet and bitter resulting in a dish that compliments this delicious and hearty soup.
7. Lentil Salad
This delicious and healthy dish is ideal for a lighter side to go alongside clam chowder.
As the name suggests, this dish is mostly comprised of lentils, but it has plenty of other ingredients like mixed peppers and carrot.
Lentil salad is sweet with a little bit of a tangy taste thanks to the feta. This unique tang compliments the flavor of clam chowder fairly well thanks to how different the two of them are.
8. Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is an incredible side dish to serve alongside a dish like clam chowder.
A well toasted grilled cheese will be crunchy with a gooey center, creating a great option to have as a side dish for clam chowder, which is creamier.
There are plenty of great cheeses to choose from for your side. Previous entries have touched upon choices like swiss, provolone, and feta, but there are other good options.
People like to serve this sandwich with cheddar or muenster.
Try pairing this side with your favorite clam chowder so you have a tasty option to dunk in and absorb the rich flavors.
9. Roasted Potatoes
Roasted potatoes go with clam chowder well because of their smokey, seasoned taste.
The usual go to spud are red potatoes, but you could try other options such as diced russet potatoes if those don’t float your boat.
You can season this side with salt, pepper, paprika, and whatever else you think will work with both the potatoes and the clam chowder. These flavorful potatoes are a great choice to eat with clam chowder.
10. Fruit Salad
This is a great clam chowder side for the summer months when the best fruits for a salad are in season. The key to a good fruit salad is berries.
Make sure to include a variety of these such as blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
Don’t forget to include larger fruits that can provide a more unique taste for your side such as watermelon and pineapple.
If you want to enjoy this side at its freshest, you can research what fruits are in season and when to make the best fruit salad for you.
All fruits have a sweeter taste that goes well with a creamy clam chowder. These contrasting tastes will make for a great, nutritious meal.
Finding The Best Side Dishes To Serve With Clam Chowder
Finding the best side dish to complement your clam chowder can be tricky at times.
Choosing from the different side dishes to find one that fits the taste combination you are looking for can be hard when there are so many great options.
Since clam chowder can be served in different ways, this task only becomes harder. Thankfully there are some easy things to consider when you are looking for a side to pair with clam chowder.
It’s important to consider both the flavor and texture of each side dish you are considering.
Fluffy dinner rolls are best if you want something soft and buttery while fruit salad is best if you are looking for the sweet and a little mushy.
No matter how you serve your soup, clam chowder is rich and will come out as a thick and hearty soup, so remember what you think pairs best with this clam taste.
Remember this and you will have a fantastic meal.
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