Side Dishes

What to Serve with a Cuban Sandwich

A satisfying sandwich needs a satisfying side dish!

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
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Updated January 15, 2023

If you don’t know what to serve with a Cuban sandwich, check out this list of amazing accompaniments! You’re sure to find tons of side dishes to wow your friends and family.

what to serve with a Cuban sandwich

Cuban sandwiches don’t come from Cuba — they come from Florida! Actually, they come from the Cuban community in southern Florida that dates back to the early 1900s.

You can find this sandwich, also called a “Cubano,” in restaurants all over Miami and Tampa. But the best Cuban sandwiches come from loncherías, small snack bars on the street.

Cubanos look like submarine sandwiches, but you use Cuban bread instead. Inside, you layer roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles.

But the most important step is grilling! For an authentic experience, grill the sandwich on a “plancha,” or sandwich press.

By heating the filling, each of the layers steams a bit, and the whole sandwich becomes compact. So, each bite is full of flavor!

Generally, people serve Cuban sandwiches with tomato soup and fries. But other side dishes like yucca, fried plantains, empanadas, and black beans also taste amazing.

Bring the taste of Cuba to your kitchen with these amazing sandwiches!

what to serve with a Cuban sandwich recipe

01. Coleslaw

Just as coleslaw pairs perfectly with pulled pork, it works with Cuban sandwiches too! The crisp veggies and creamy sauce offset the salty, fatty sandwich fillings.

This recipe is very easy because you used bagged coleslaw mix. So all you need to do is make the dressing and mix everything together!

But it’s very important to let the salad rest in the refrigerator for an hour. That way, the flavors can meld.

02. Sweet Potato Fries

French fries are a classic side dish for a Cuban sandwich, but why not use sweet potatoes? They’re packed with vitamins, and they have so much more flavor than white potatoes.

As well, you bake these sweet potatoes instead of frying them. So they’re much healthier than regular fries – and much less messy.

To get the sweet potatoes extra crispy, you coat them with cornstarch. Since the starch absorbs some of the moisture from the potatoes, they can brown better.

03. Steak Fries

Sometimes, bigger is better. When you slice your potatoes into steak fries, you get a crispy exterior and a pillowy interior.

I love the simple seasoning on these fries: salt, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Plus, a sprinkling of chopped parsley elevates this side dish.

This is a great side to serve with a Cubano, but you can serve these fries with any sandwich for a delicious meal!

04. Tomato Soup

With sweet cherry tomatoes and a touch of fresh basil, this tomato bisque brings freshness to the table.

The acidity from the tomatoes cuts through the richness of the Cuban sandwich ingredients. So when you dip your sandwich in the soup, you get a perfect bite!

If you’re serving guests with dietary restrictions, this is a great side dish to make because it fits with vegan, Whole30, and paleo diets!

05. Potato Salad

You might not associate potato salad with Cuban cuisine, but this side dish tastes amazing with Cuban sandwiches!

Since there are pickles and mustard in both dishes, they complement one another. And the fresh vegetables in the potato salad add a crunch that matches the toasted Cuban bread.

If your salad needs a bit more zing, add extra mustard or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Or, for a sweet twist, use bread and butter pickles instead of sour ones.

06. Fried Plantains

Switch up your starches! Instead of potatoes, try these crispy plantains for a tasty side dish.

When I deep-fry, I use a neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as canola or peanut oil. If you use olive oil, the oil can burn, and it will make your plantains taste funny.

Once you’ve cooked your plantains, you can eat them as-is or add some seasoning. I love adding a little bit of salt and hot pepper for a kick!

07. Cucumber Tomato Salad

When I make a heavy main dish, I like to serve a light and refreshing side dish. So, this salad pairs with a Cuban sandwich perfectly!

You only need a handful of ingredients to make this chopped salad. And the dressing is a simple mix of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

If you have extra salad, you can eat it like a salsa with tortilla chips the next day! Or, add grilled chicken slices for a nutritious lunch.

08. Cajun Potato Chips

Hop from Florida to Louisiana with these spicy Cajun potato chips. A dash of Cajun seasoning and a squeeze of lime juice makes these sweet potatoes really special.

And don’t skip the creamy avocado dip! It’s tart and refreshing.

Also, you could use the seasoning mixture on French fries if you prefer.

09. Fruit Salad

I love making fruit salad because it’s lovely as a side dish or dessert, and then does double-duty for breakfast the next day!

Fresh fruit gets a boost of sweetness from this creamy vanilla dressing. But if you want to keep it simple, just drizzle the salad with a touch of honey and a little juice from your favorite citrus fruit.

This is a delicious mix of fruit and berries, but feel free to use your favorite combination!

10. Cuban Black Beans

This traditional Cuban side dish will soon become your favorite recipe. It’s a hearty, tasty side dish that’s ready in less than half an hour.

By using canned beans, you can get this on the table quickly. And since this recipe has just the right amount of seasoning, it will taste like you spent hours in the kitchen!

11. Caesar Salad

When looking for what to serve with Cuban sandwiches, you can’t go wrong with a salad. In particular, a Caesar salad makes the perfect side dish!

The crunchy lettuce and lemony dressing contrast beautifully with the melted cheese and heavy meat in the sandwich. And homemade croutons add just the right crunch.

While you can use bottled dressing, I always prefer to make my own. That way, you can customize it to your own tastes.

12. Fried Pickles

You can never have too many pickles! So, since there are pickles in the sandwich, why not serve them on the side too?

These deep-fried pickles are heavenly little bites. They’re crispy and salty, so you get a punch of flavor with every mouthful.

I love traditional sour dill pickles in this recipe, but you could use sweet ones or gherkins. Or, for a fun surprise, use spicy pickles!

13. Mango Salsa

If you can’t decide between sweet or savory, fruit or veggies, make this salsa! The combination of sweet mango, fresh cilantro, spicy jalapeño, and tart lime juice is irresistible.

Also, I love this side dish because it only takes a few minutes to throw together.

However, be careful when handling the jalapeño, and make sure you don’t touch your eyes. I often wear gloves just to be safe, and I always wash my hands with dish soap afterward to remove any oil from the pepper.

14. Cuban-Style Yuca

For a traditional side dish to serve with Cuban sandwiches, try yuca. Also known as cassava, this is a starchy root that’s popular in Caribbean cuisine.

The mojo accompaniment is a tangy sauce made with garlic and citrus juice. I love adding the oregano and cumin for a more complex flavor, but you can leave them out if you prefer.

Also, watch the yuca carefully! You don’t want to undercook it, but it will be very mushy if you cook it for too long.

15. Empanadas

When you’re really hungry, serve traditional empanadas with your Cuban sandwiches! These beef pastries will fill you right up.

To speed up the cooking, you use pre-made pie crust. However, you can always make your own from scratch if you prefer.

I love to make a big batch of these because they’re a perfect afternoon snack or breakfast on the go. That way, you get two meals in one!

What to Serve with a Cuban Sandwich

Directions


  1. Pick some flavorful side dishes for the perfect cuban sandwich meal.

  2. Grill up a Cuban sandwich.

  3. Fill your belly!

what to serve with a Cuban sandwich - Pinterest

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