Savory Sides

Best dishes to serve with prime rib

As a special meal for the holidays, prime rib shines. The tender, bone-in prime roast is made juicier with an au jus pan sauce. 

For many, it’s a family tradition enjoyed in a restaurant after a few quick cuts from a chef revealing the perfect slice of beef. For others, it’s an easily handled, elegant protein to serve with a selection of hearty sides.

Here are some of the best dishes to accompany this memorable feast.


Yorkshire pudding: This popover-like, puffy pudding is cooked in the rendered beef fat from the prime rib. Batter is poured into the sizzling oil, resulting in the dough rising with peaks and crevices as it cooks. Decadent and delicious, this dish can be traced back to when beef was cooked over a live kitchen fire and the batter caught all the drippings. 

Creamed spinach: With multiple cheeses, cream and just a little nutmeg, nothing says the holidays like this rich treat. 

Garlic butter mushrooms: Adding garlic, olive oil and herbs to sautéed mushrooms is genius. It also comes together in around 10 minutes. 

Twice-baked potatoes: This side might require a little more work than simply mashing potatoes but having an individually prepared potato for each guest is a sophisticated choice. Topped with cheese, chives or bacon, this is a potato lover's delight. 

Horseradish sauce: Spicy, grated horseradish combines with sour cream, mayonnaise, or heavy cream to make a perfectly complementary sauce for prime rib. The flavor lightens the heaviness of the meat and leftover sauce makes a great dip for crudités. 


Oven fries: Your oven can make fries that are crispy, crunchy and seasoned just how you like them. Simply toss potatoes with olive oil, season and bake at 375 degrees on a cookie sheet. The fries are finished off at a higher temperature for the ultimate crispiness. What could be easier than that? 

Instant pot scalloped potatoes: Cooking scalloped potatoes in the instant pot results in restaurant-quality slices with a luscious sauce. A little time under the oven broiler browns the dish perfectly. 

Slow Cooker glazed carrots: Using a slow cooker frees up stove and oven space and keeps the dish warm until the guests arrive. Combine all that convenience and an easy vegetable recipe using only butter, brown sugar and some spices and this side is a win at any holiday gathering. 


Mashed butternut squash: Rich in vitamins and minerals and low in calories, butternut squash is also easy to prepare. Cut the squash in half and drizzle with olive oil before roasting cut-side down on a cookie sheet. Be sure to cover the pan with parchment before roasting to prevent too much mess. After it becomes tender, scoop out the seeds and discard. The remaining squash can be spooned out and rarely needs any seasoning other than a little salt and pepper. Delicious and healthy.

Cauliflower mashed potatoes: If you’re watching carbs, making a mashed potato-style dish using cauliflower is a great choice. The usual recipes call for a little cream cheese, garlic and chicken broth to round out the flavor. Cauliflower is nutrient dense with fewer calories, making this a great choice to add to a beef dinner. 

Arugula salad: Peppery arugula mixed with a little oil, lemon and shaved parmesan makes an elegant, but super easy salad. 


Macaroni and cheese: Here in the Lowcountry, we’re pros at creating the type of cooking that could be labeled “comfort.” Everyone has their own version of mac and cheese. The one your family loves the best is the right choice. 

Mashed potatoes: Garlic, creamy, cheese-smashed or herbed, mashed potatoes are always a favorite. 

By Jessica Farthing