What to Serve with Paella (30+ Easy Sides for Paella)

Wondering what to serve with paella? I’ve got you covered with this handy guide. These 30+ delicious tapas-style side dishes are made with simple ingredients and guaranteed to please!

When Rick & I got married, instead of a typical sit down dinner, we had some paella chefs come out and cook for us. They brought their ginormous paella pans that were at least 3-feet wide and they basically stole the show!

So, paella definitely has a fond place in my heart. And, we’ve been hosting paella parties ever since! So… I know a thing or two about the best sides to serve with paella.

Paella is a flavorful rice dish that often includes meat and seafood and is a staple of Spanish cuisine.

The most popular paella recipes on my blog include this vegetarian paella, easy seafood paella, and pasta paella (fideua).

But no matter which type of paella you’re serving for your main course, you’re guaranteed to find a perfect side dish here.

So, let’s dig in!

Keep reading to discover 30+ tasty tapas-style side dishes to serve with paella.

Plus, check out these 25+ Spanish desserts.

The BEST Side Dishes for Paella

Pan con tomate on board next to tomatoes and flaky salt container.
Pa Amb Tomàquet (or Pan Con Tomate) is a simple but delicious tapas recipe made with only 5 ingredients! It's like a Spanish version of bruschetta in the best way possible with toasty bread, garlic and fresh grated tomatoes.
Get the RECIPE
Cooked bacon wrapped dates in white serving bowl next to small bowl of almonds.
Bacon Wrapped Dates with Almonds make a quick and easy appetizer that's a definite crowd pleaser.
Get the RECIPE
Try these easy Spanish ham croquettes recipe and feel like you’re eating tapas in Spain. Perfect appetizers, these delicious croquetas de jamón are a hit!
Get the RECIPE from Spanish Sabores
Overhead shot of cherry tomato salad in grey bowl.
This Cherry Tomato Salad with Roasted Lemons is the perfect side dish. Sweet tomatoes combine with a tangy vinaigrette and delicious roasted lemons. 
Get the RECIPE
Blistered shishito peppers served on a black plate with lemon wedges.
These Blistered Shishito Peppers are the perfect finger food. They’re so easy to make too. Lightly seasoned and slightly smoky, you’ll find that most are mild… one out of every ten might surprise you. 
Get the RECIPE
Spanish Omelette (Spanish Tortilla) is perfect served hot or cold, and so easy to make! Perfect for picnics, bbq’s, or your Tapas menu!
Get the RECIPE from Cafe Delites
Patatas bravas is a classic Spanish dish. Crispy potatoes topped with spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli makes a simple but tasty recipe!
Get the RECIPE from Unicorns in the Kitchen
Prepared radicchio salad in grey bowl with serving utensils.
This delicious Italian Radicchio Salad is dressed in a creamy lemon-vinaigrette and tossed with buttery calvestrano olives, tasty breadcrumbs and nutty parmesan cheese. And, a special tip ensures that your radicchio won't be bitter!
Get the RECIPE
The BEST healthy gazpacho is packed with all the goodness of fresh summer produce like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumber. It’s healthy, simple to make (blender recipe!), and a real show-stopper.
Get the RECIPE from Nyssa’s Kitchen
Close up of stuffed cherry peppers wrapped with bacon ready to eat.
These bacon wrapped cheese stuffed cherry peppers are stuffed with a delicious combination of sharp cheddar cheese & goat cheese. They’re a perfect party appetizer because they can be assembled ahead of time and are always a crowd pleaser!
Get the RECIPE
Peppers with grill marks scattered on counter.
Learn how to make perfectly tender and blistered Grilled Bell Peppers at home! It’s one of the best and easiest side dishes you can add to burrito bowls, fajitas, or pair with grilled meats.
Get the RECIPE
Side view of Avocado bites wrapped in prosciutto on wood cutting board.
Prosciutto Wrapped Avocado Bites are the perfect party appetizer. They’re an easy to make, no-bake finger food and come together in under 10 minutes!
Get the RECIPE
Arugula Salad ready to be served.
This Arugula Salad recipe with red wine vinaigrette is my go-to green salad. The arugula has a peppery bite to it which pairs wonderfully with the acid in the vinaigrette. It’s the perfect salad for pairing with rich dishes.
Get the RECIPE
Overhead shot of octopus ceviche in large grey bowl next to lime slices and tortillas.
Octopus Ceviche (aka ceviche de pulpo) combines tender octopus with tangy lime juice, red onions, cilantro and chiles for a light and refreshing appetizer. Serve it with tortillas or chips and enjoy! 
Get the RECIPE
Cooked shrimp skewers arranged on a grey plate with bowl of creamy green sauce.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Green Tahini Sauce are perfect for summer barbeques and so simple to prepare. 
Get the RECIPE
Grana padano wrapped in prosciutto and topped with fig jam.
These bites of Prosciutto Wrapped Grana Padano with Fig Preserves are the perfect party snack. This easy to make, no-bake finger food comes together in under 10-minutes.
Get the RECIPE
Spears of asparagus cooked sous vide topped with parmesan shavings.
How to cook perfect asparagus sous vide. Bright green, perfectly cooked spears. With three options for flavoring – garlic, parmesan or lemon.
Get the RECIPE
Baked crostini on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Crostini are easy to make at home using just 3-ingredients – bread, olive oil and salt. This simple crostini recipe is the perfect appetizer for parties. You can make them ahead of time and serve them with a variety of toppings.
Get the RECIPE
These Fennel & Salami Bites are a perfect holiday appetizer. It only takes 3 ingredients to create these delicious bites! | platingsandpairings.com
Thin sliced fennel is topped with salami and nutty parmesan cheese for an easy-to-prepare, three-ingredient appetizer that’s sure to impress.
Get the RECIPE
Platter of grilled broccolini
This grilled broccolini is topped with a tangy apple cider vinaigrette and marcona almonds for a delicious crunch. It’s a perfect side dish for autumnal menus or Thanksgiving. 
Get the RECIPE
Overhead shot of bowl of cold cucumber soup.
Enjoy this cold Cucumber Soup as a refreshing summer appetizer or side dish. Made with garlic, jalapeno, yogurt, and olive oil, this easy recipe blends up in seconds and has playful and savory flavors.
Get the RECIPE
Seared sous vide octopus served on grey plate on a bed of romesco sauce.
This Sous Vide Octopus recipe is the most foolproof way to get tender, flavorful octopus. Finish it off on a hot grill or skillet to get the most perfect char on the outside.
Get the RECIPE
Fabada Asturiana is a hearty, warming Spanish white bean stew with lots of porky goodness. It’s delicious served with paella.
Get the RECIPE from Caroline’s Cooking
Overhead closeup of steak bites in skillet topped with garlic bits and parsley.
Garlic Butter Steak Bites with Creamy Mustard Dipping Sauce are the perfect appetizer to serve at your next party or serve them up for dinner with a couple sides. The best part? They’ll be on your table in under 15 minutes!
Get the RECIPE
Albondigas in blue bowl topped with sour cream and jalapenos.
Spanish Meatballs – or Albondigas – simmer in enchilada sauce and are topped with sour cream, radishes & cilantro. Serve them taco-style in tortillas or as an appetizer with toothpicks. 
Get the RECIPE
Side shot of jar of pickled onions with pink background.
Quick Pickled Red Onions are so easy to make at home. With just 5-minutes you can have your red onions pickling. Let them cool to room temperature before using and then you can store them in the fridge for up to two weeks! 
Get the RECIPE
Easy Flan Recipe {Only 5 Ingredients!}
An easy flan recipe made with only 5 simple ingredients! This creamy custard dessert is topped with caramel and popular in Mexico, Spain and Latin America.
Get the RECIPE from Isabel Eats
Oven Baked Plantain Slices – A delicious 2 ingredient snack or appetizer, consisting of disc shaped plantain that is baked in the oven making it a much healthier alternative to frying, hardly any oil is used yet the same results, sweet and perfectly cooked.
Get the RECIPE from That Girl Cooks Healthy
This easy Spanish almond cake is the traditional tarta de Santiago recipe. Almonds, sugar, and eggs combine in a naturally gluten-free cake.
Get the RECIPE from Spanish Sabores
Overhead shot of three glasses of white wine sangria topped with edible flowers.
Elderflower Sangria with White Wine & Strawberries is the perfect fizzy & refreshing wine cocktail for the summer.
Get the RECIPE

How to Make Ahead and Store

Many of these paella side dish recipes can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a few days or even in the freezer. Simply check the individual recipes for full storing instructions and details on how to make ahead. 

Wine Pairings with Paella

  • Dry, light-bodied, fruity wines work well with paella. Try a Spanish Rioja or Garnacha (Grenache).
  • Bubbles! Think Cava or Sparkling Rosé. The bubbles help cut down on the richness of paella, but they’re light enough so as to not overpower the delicate vegetables.

Favorite Paella Recipes:

More Side Dish Recipes:

Did you Make Any of These Paella Side Dishes?

Please leave a comment and rating below, if you loved this round up of what to serve with paella. Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

HUNGRY FOR MORE? For more great Platings & Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on PinterestTikTokFacebookYouTube and Twitter.

Overhead close up of veggie paella topped with lemons.

What to Serve with Paella (30+ Tasty Sides!)

Wondering what to serve with paella? These 30+ delicious tapas-style side dishes are made with simple ingredients and easy to make! Serve them with this tasty Vegetarian Paella and host an epic paella party at home!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 people


Herb Blend:

Quick Aioli:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic (grated or minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (to taste)
  • Pinch saffron (optional)
  • Pinch salt


  • 32 ounces vegetable stock (or bone broth or chicken broth)
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion (minced)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 4 large cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 cups uncooked arborio rice
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts (drained and cut in half or quartered)
  • 1 9-oz. jar sweet piquillo peppers (or roasted sweet red peppers, drained)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Combine the ingredients for the herb blend in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a second small bowl, combine the ingredients for the aioli. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Combine stock, water and saffron in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and keep warm over low heat (do not boil).
  • Heat oil in a paella pan or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened.
  • Drain the can of tomatoes well, using a mesh strainer to push the juices out.
  • Add the tomatoes to the onions and sauté another 3 minutes. Add both paprikas and sliced garlic.
  • Add the rice and stir to coat the grains.
  • Add the herb mixture, peas and stock mixture and stir. Arrange the artichoke hearts and roasted peppers on top of the rice and press to submerge.
  • Without stirring, let the liquid come to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for 40 seconds until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and quick aioli.


  • Store leftover paella in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. 
  • To reheat, add the vegetarian paella to a pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Add one tablespoon of water and cover. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the paella is heated through.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Large Skillet


Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 678mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1604IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 5mg

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.