These days, oxtail isn’t the most popular cut of meat by any means. But I simply love it for its high protein and nutrient content, as well as its immensely rich flavor!
Because it isn’t as common, you may be wondering what to serve with oxtails to really bring out its rich, deeply satisfying taste.
No worries – I’m here to give you the low-down on which sides, vegetables, legumes, and salads will make your oxtails pop!
(And if you’re looking for ideas to cook with Oxtails, check my list of 24 dishes to make with oxtails here.)
I’ll also let you in on secret sweetest treats that are perfect to follow the main event.
You no longer have to ask yourself what to eat with oxtails; just follow my guide below!
Looking for a quick answer about what goes with oxtails?
The best side dishes to serve with oxtails are: Baked Cheesy Polenta Chips, Mashed Potatoes, Cheesy Garlic Dinner Rolls. Butternut Squash Risotto, Zesty Butter Beans, Crusty French Bread, Ratatouille, Cheesy Bacon Brussels Sprouts,Steamed Broccoli, Boereboontjies, Kachumbari, Salted Apple Crisp and Dark Chocolate Mousse
If you have time to prepare a side in advance, then baked cheesy polenta chips are an excellent option to form a solid base upon which your oxtails can shine.
For a long time, polenta has been paired with meat in many cultures. It’s a healthy, starchy, and tasty alternative to other carbohydrates such as rice or pasta.
And since it’s also a lesser-known food, it’ll work superbly with oxtail to give your guests a novel culinary experience!
Once you have boiled your polenta, it will need to rest between two sheets of parchment paper for 8–12 hours in the refrigerator. Once this step is complete, baking the chips is a very quick process!
I like to add cheese to the polenta mix to make it extra rich and tasty, but you can also dust it with paprika, salt, and pepper for a more subtle taste.
Polenta chips is a great side to Italian Oxtail Ragu!
Potatoes are so versatile and incredible with a variety of dishes – including oxtails! Mashed potatoes are perhaps my favorite side with this delicacy, particularly when there’s plenty of gravy involved.
Stewed and tenderized oxtails will sit very happily on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, working together to create an overwhelming sense of warmth and comfort with each mouthful.
The important thing is to keep your mashed potatoes simple, seasoning them with chives, parsley, salt, and pepper. One key ingredient is butter, which makes for an exquisitely rich and creamy mash.
This is a quick and easy dish that your dinner guests will thank you for. It’s also a favorite among the little ones, so it’s ideal when you want to make sure nothing remains on the plate!
Who doesn’t love cheesy garlic dinner rolls? They require a little bit of prep time but are a relatively straightforward side dish to pair with your oxtails.
Your dinner guests will be wowed by your bread-making skills and overjoyed to taste the fresh, warm deliciousness of these little treats.
If you’ve stewed your oxtails, then these dinner rolls will be the perfect sponge to mop up all that yummy sauce with. They’re also another dish that children go crazy for, so make sure you have plenty to go around!
As everyone knows, preparing risotto takes a long time and lots of love. But it’s all worth it in the end when you get to feast on this heartwarming, tasty dish!
It just so happens to be the perfect accompaniment to oxtails, too. This pairing makes for a wonderful autumnal or wintery dish that’s both nourishing and filling.
Butternut squash risotto is also nutritionally balanced as it incorporates vegetables and grains onto the plate in a super succulent way.
Garnish with fresh sage and rosemary to top off the flavor profile of this dish. You can even add a grating of parmesan if you want to take things to the next level!
What kind of bread goes with oxtail? You’ll never go wrong adding the crusty French variety to your plate.
This versatile staple will go with just about anything, and that includes oxtails. It’s a real winner with Jamaican oxtail stew!
This side does require at least two hours of prep time – but by my calculation and experience, it’s totally worth the effort.
Besides, having freshly baked bread in the house is never a bad idea as you’ll always have something for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also makes snacking way too easy (if you’re looking to watch your weight!).
It’s also hard to beat the aroma that will be wafting from the oven throughout your home. And when paired with the mouth-watering scent of oxtail stew? Now that’s the scent of happiness!
Buttered noodles are a seriously simple dish that will perfectly accompany tender oxtails.
They’re most suitable if your oxtails are gravied or stewed, as this sauciness will complement the more subtle taste of buttered noodles.
Parmesan, butter, cracked black pepper, and a healthy sprinkling of parsley is all that’s needed for this dish. Simply prepare your pasta and – preserving a bit of the cooking water – add these ingredients to the pot.
You read that right: this is a one-pot dish!
Do you know what’s really amazing with oxtails? Carbs!
Sure, they might get a bad rap, but there’s really no better pair to saucy stews than rice and pasta. Maybe you can even combine them both!
Hailing from the Middle East, this Lebanese vermicelli rice is a surefire hit if you’re very hungry and looking for something deeply filling. It’s made with vermicelli pasta browned in butter before mixing with rice and some salt to taste.
A vermicelli rice and oxtail combo is an incredible way for making sure nothing is left on your plate. You may even end up wanting to soak the remaining sauce with more vermicelli rice – yum!
Cornbread is a homely and buttery side that will complete your wintertime oxtail dish.
Stews and soups will pair wonderfully with cornbread, especially due to how perfect it is at soaking up the sauce!
This dish only takes 30 minutes to prepare and is totally scrumptious. Sweet, moist, and crispy on top — it’s a real winner.
The name is cute, and so is their appearance — chochoyotes are an incredibly simple side dish to add to your plate of oxtails!
They’re a particularly interesting addition to oxtail stew because they basically absorb all the flavor and become little balls of deliciousness that explode in your mouth. The first time I tried it, all those flavors left me wide-eyed and hungry for more!
And if that’s not enough, these are also gluten-free – meaning they’re a lot healthier than some of the other starchier sides.
If you’re wondering what to serve with jamaican oxtails, this is a classic side dish found at every dinner in Jamaica, enriching the culinary experience with its unique blend of flavors. Jamaican Rice and Peas is a mouthwatering combination of fluffy white rice and kidney beans simmered in an aromatic, spiced coconut milk sauce.
To start, make sure you’ve soaked your kidney beans overnight, or at least 8 hours. Rinse the soaked beans well and cook until tender. Don’t throw away the bean water! Instead, add your other ingredients to this flavorful liquid – rice, coconut milk, seasonings, and herbs. Mix it all up and cook until the rice is fully done.
Pay close attention to the cooking since variations in rice grain size or coconut milk brands can alter cook time and quantities a bit.
By serving Jamaican Rice and Peas with your Oxtails, you’re offering a meal that is not just delicious but true to the food culture of Jamaica. Enjoy!
Why pair oxtails with a single vegetable when you can have an entire medley of them? You can do that easily with tasty ratatouille that’s simply bursting with flavors!
Ratatouille is a nutritious and delicious dish that oxtail partners exceptionally well with.
So, what vegetable goes with oxtails? Try slow-cooking your oxtail in a ratatouille sauce featuring zucchini, eggplant, onions, and tomatoes.
Mushrooms and bell peppers are also excellent additions to this dish! Be sure to add a whole lot of garlic and oregano to really heighten the flavor.
If these two are paired together — well, I usually go for seconds in no time at all!
Brussels sprouts cooked with cheese and bacon are one of my all-time favorites. They’re especially great when served next to some oxtail stew!
These guys are crispy, gooey, and full of flavor, but what I love most is that they’re packed with health-boosting nutrients.
Heap a generous serving of these delectable veggies on your plate and pour some oxtail (sauce included!) on top. Trust me, you won’t go wrong with that combination!
Dinner guests may shy away from Brussels sprouts due to past traumatic experiences with the vegetable. This recipe will be the game-changer that’ll leave them begging for more!
12. Steamed Broccoli
For a super simple and super healthy side to your oxtails, you can’t go past steamed broccoli.
Broccoli is such a flavorful vegetable that it really requires nothing more than a quick steam to get it plate-ready. Soak up some oxtail stew with its leafy stems and you’re good to go for a hearty dinner!
This beetroot, orange, and feta salad is a summer favorite for many and performs amazingly as a bright, bold accompaniment to oxtail. I love to pair this with glazed or roasted oxtail for the ultimate melding of flavors.
This salad requires very little preparation, as the textures speak for themselves. All you really need is some vinegar and orange juice as dressing, and you’re all set!
What’s even better is that it’s highly nutritious — packed with vitamins B and C, as well as calcium for that nutritional boost we all need from time to time.
I really think that as a rule, greens and meats are a match made in heaven. And the fact that simple sautéed greens go so well with oxtail just makes me even more of a believer!
Sautéed greens such as beans, kale, spinach, or asparagus are always a hit when served next to oxtails, regardless of how they’re prepared — roasted, stewed, or glazed.
Sautéeing greens is quick, easy, and incredibly effective in bringing out their original flavors!
Beans & Legume Sides
Boereboontjies is a traditional South African dish of green beans with potatoes and onions.If you’re wondering what beans go with oxtails, this dish is a fantastic option.
It’s essentially mashed potatoes with an abundance of green beans mixed throughout – making it a particularly healthy side dish to oxtails!
Milk, butter, oil, and onion are secondary ingredients, as well as salt and pepper to season. Keep in mind that you’ll need just under an hour to prepare this dish.
Lemon juice, paprika, turmeric, and onions are key flavors of this dish which originates from Lima, Peru.
You’ll want to add plenty of chili too — if you can handle it, that is! Coconut milk in the recipe cools it down and creates that signature creaminess. The result is a delectable dish that’s popping in both flavor and color!
This dish takes only 10 minutes to prepare, and is a side that pairs beautifully with oxtail’s heavier mouthfeel.
Chakalaka is a South African vegetable relish that’s both spicy and savory. Courtesy of its taste profile, it takes its rightful place as a wonderful side dish to oxtails!
Bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and chilis are the key ingredients of this dish. Meanwhile, grated carrots provide an unmistakable texture.
Try out this versatile one-pot recipe with a plate of oxtails and prepare to experience an entire spectrum of flavors!
Looking for a refreshing and tasty salad to accompany oxtail dishes during the summer months?
Then look no further than the Kachumbari, a Kenyan salad consisting primarily of tomatoes, coriander, and onions!
This salad already has some spicy kick to it thanks to the presence of onions, but you can also add some chili if you’re so inclined.
Thinly slice the vegetables and season with lemon juice and salt. It’s important that you leave the salad to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour so that the fresh tang can really come to the fore!
This Lebanese salad is a staple of national cuisine. Consisting of roughly chopped romaine lettuce, scallions, cherry tomatoes, parsley, cucumber, and pita bread, fattoush offers a complete meal alongside oxtail!
Sumac, dried mint, and lemon juice provide the key notes of the simple dressing, making this salad a truly fragrant and delicious dish.
Another staple of Lebanese cuisine, this salad consists of bulgar wheat, tomatoes, chopped parsley, and scallions.
It’s another super fresh salad that acts as an excellent complement to almost any meal — but especially something as savory as oxtail!
Zesty and fresh ingredients (which include mint and lemon) work beautifully in combination with crispy glazed oxtails. I don’t know about you, but I can never put a bowl of tabbouleh down once I’ve started!
On a cold winter night after feasting on a warm oxtail stew, all I really want to finish with is a scrumptious wintertime dessert.
This salted apple crisp is sure to please dinner guests with a sweet tooth!
Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg provide that warming sensation, making each mouthful taste like home.
A generous layer of oat on top provides the right amount of crunch and structure, rounding out a treat that’s already a clear winner!
Dark chocolate mousse is an unbeatable after-dinner delight for pretty much any meal.
This works especially nicely for something as savory as oxtail. The deep, rich flavors of dark chocolate, hints of espresso, and a great dollop of chantilly cream on top will leave everybody feeling like they’re in foodie heaven!
While we’re still on the topic of summertime desserts, I can’t miss out on one of my all-time favorites: white chocolate raspberry cheesecake!
Fresh raspberries pair perfectly with creamy white chocolate filling – resulting in a luxurious experience reminiscent of ripe fields under a summer sun.
This sweet treat is the perfect palate cleanser to round out the evening after a heavy oxtail dish. And though it does take 11 hours of prep time, any regrets will vanish as soon as it’s served to astonished guests!
What Goes With Oxtails – 23 Tasty Side Dishes
- Baked Cheesy Polenta Chips
- Mashed Potatoes
- Cheesy Garlic Dinner Rolls
- Butternut Squash Risotto
- Crusty French Bread
- Buttered Noodles
- Vermicelli Rice
- Chochoyotes – Mexican Dumplings
- Cheesy Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- Steamed Broccoli
- Beetroot orange and feta salad
- Simple Sautéed Greens
- Beans/Legume Sides:
- Boereboontjies traditional South African dish of green beans with potatoes and onions
- Zesty Butter Beans
- Chakalaka South African vegetable relish, usually spicy
- Salted Apple Crisp
- Dark Chocolate Mousse
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
- Pick your favorite.
My name is Beth, Elizabeth Evelyn to be exact. A native Tennessean, I was born in the South.
I am the author behind Local Milk Blog.
Local milk is a journal devoted to home cookery, travel, family, and slow living—to being present & finding sustenance of every kind.
It’s about nesting abroad & finding the exotic in the everyday.
Most of all it’s about the perfection of imperfections and seeing the beauty of everyday, mundane life.