19 Perfect Sides to Serve with Oxtail Stew

Oxtail stew has been a staple of soul food around the world, and with good reason. Oxtail stew is a hearty, flavorful dish that has been around for centuries. The rich, hearty flavor of oxtail stew is sure to fill your kitchen with an amazing aroma and leave you feeling satisfied. 

It’s an excellent choice for cold nights when you want something warm and comforting. But what to serve with oxtail stew?

Here are some pairing suggestions that will make this delicious comfort food even better. I have enjoyed it a lot, and I am sure you will feel excellent with this mouthwatering dish. So, let us explore. 

In Short – What to serve with oxtail stew

Greens, Mashed Potatoes, Rice Pilaf, Rice or Quinoa, Salad, Sourdough Bread, Polenta, Grits, Artichokes, Carrot, Okra, Celery Root Puree, Turnips, Parsnips, Mushrooms, White Beans, Barley, Pasta, Roasted Potatoes

What is oxtail stew? What does oxtail stew taste like?

Oxtail stew is a savory dish made of oxtails, vegetables, and various seasonings. Oxtail stew is usually slow-cooked for hours, resulting in a rich flavor and tender texture. The meat should be fall-off-the-bone tender when finished

Oxtail stew typically has an intensely beefy flavor with hints of onion, garlic, tomato, and herbs such as thyme or bay leaves. It can also have subtle notes of wine or other spirits to add complexity to the flavor profile. 

The overall taste of oxtail stew depends on the ingredients used and the length of cooking time; however, it generally has a robust yet comforting flavor that is unique compared to other stews.

19 Amazing sides to serve with oxtail stew

1. Greens 

No soul food meal is complete without a side of greens. Collard greens or mustard greens are great options to pair with oxtail stew because they provide both a delicious flavor and texture contrast.

Collard greens
Collard greens

 Simply sauté them separately before adding them near the end of cooking time for maximum flavor absorption into the broth without compromising their vibrant color or crunchy texture.

For added flavor, add some smoked turkey or ham hocks to your greens when cooking them; this will give them an extra-tasty smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the savory richness of the oxtail stew. 

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2. Mashed Potatoes 

Mashed potatoes are a classic accompaniment to oxtail stew. They provide the perfect contrast to the rich, savory flavor of the stew. Plus, their creamy texture complements the tender pieces of meat in the stew perfectly. 

Mashed Potatoes 
Mashed Potatoes 

For extra flavor, add some herbs like thyme or rosemary to your mashed potatoes while they’re cooking; this will give them a unique herbed flavor that pairs perfectly with the robust flavors in an oxtail stew. 

You can roast fingerling potatoes with olive oil, garlic and rosemary for an added kick of flavor.

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3. Rice Pilaf 

If you’re looking for a lighter side dish option, rice pilaf is a great choice. Rice pilaf provides a unique nutty flavor and fluffy texture that pairs well with the richness of an oxtail stew.

Rice pilaf
Rice Pilaf

Plus, it’s easy to make and can be served either hot or cold – making it versatile enough to accommodate any type of meal plan! 

4. Rice or Quinoa

Rice and quinoa are great side dishes for oxtail stew because they can absorb the flavors of the broth while still providing a lightness and crunchiness that cuts through the richness of the stew.

Try serving your oxtail stew over white or brown rice or quinoa for an interesting twist on a traditional pairing. 

5. Salad

A green salad is a great way to balance out all that rich flavor in oxtail stew.


Choose something light like a spinach salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese—the sweetness of the vegetables will complement the bold flavors in your oxtail stew perfectly. Or try something more unique, like roasted beets with arugula and goat cheese! 

6. Sourdough Bread 

Sopping up the flavorful gravy of oxtail stew is always a delicious way to enjoy it. Try pairing your stew with a piece of crusty sourdough bread for an extra-special touch.

7. Polenta

Rich and creamy, polenta pairs exceptionally well with oxtail stew. Serve it as a side or mix it with cheese and spoon it over individual bowls of stew for something truly special.

8. Grits

Whether you make them spicy or cheesy, grits bring an unbeatable southern twist to any bowl of oxtail stew. Cook them until creamy, and top with a sprinkle of sharp Cheddar cheese for extra flavor.

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9. Artichokes

Artichoke hearts add freshness and bright color to any bowl of oxtail stew when added during the last few minutes of cooking time or served on top as a garnish at the end.


10. Carrots

Slow-cooked carrots can turn ordinary oxtail stew into something extraordinary! Cut them into chunks, add some fresh thyme, then let them simmer in the broth until they’re tender and full of flavor.

11. Okra

Popular in African cuisine, okra boasts an impressive nutritional profile and adds unique texture when cooked in oxtail stew recipes that call for vegetables like tomatoes or corn to be added at the end of cooking time.

12. Celery Root Puree

Creamy celery root puree makes a great complement to any hearty bowl of oxtail stew thanks to its subtle sweetness and delicate texture – plus, it’s a great way to sneak more veggies into your meal!

13. Turnips

Turnips have long been used in European cuisine as companions for stews such as beef bourguignon and are just as delicious when paired with oxtails! Slice them thickly before adding them near the end for perfectly cooked chunks every time.

14. Parsnips

Sweet parsnips provide a delightful balance against hearty flavors such as those found in oxtail stews, so don’t be afraid to include them when making your own! Peel, then cut before gently simmering alongside carrots and other vegetables if desired.

15. Mushrooms

Nutritious mushrooms offer umami flavor while also helping thicken sauces naturally if cooked down far enough, which is why they make such delightful additions to dishes, including classic oxtail stews.

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16. White Beans

Hearty white beans contribute protein while offering a creamy texture that soothes any palate, especially when cooked low-and-slow in soups like traditional French cassoulet featuring duck confit (or even good old-fashioned plain ol’ classic slow-cooked English OXTAIL STEW).

17. Barley

Chewy barley not only provides additional body but also serves as a wonderful nutrient-rich filler making it perfect for classic winter warmers like beef & vegetable soup featuring, yup, you guessed it, OXTAIL STEW too!

18. Pasta

Comforting pasta is always welcome during cold winter months, which means why not switch things up by incorporating elbow macaroni noodles directly within your favorite versions of classic OXTALE STEW? It’s a surefire satisfying mealtime solution!

19. Roasted Potatoes

Last but not least, you can never go wrong with roasted potatoes which offer a hearty bite that pairs wonderfully with tender chunks of oxtail meat plus, they’re also an excellent source of Vitamin C! So why wait any longer? Let’s get cooking and enjoy some delicious OXTAIL STEW today!

What are the best flavors to go with oxtail stew?

Oxtail stew is an incredibly flavorful and hearty dish, so you want to be sure that the flavors you pair it with are complementary. Herbs such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and oregano all work well with oxtail stew. Garlic adds a nice depth of flavor as well. 

Other great accompaniments include mushrooms, carrots, celery and potatoes. If you’re looking for something sweeter to balance out the savory flavors of the stew, try adding some red wine or even diced apples to the mix. 

Finally, no oxtail stew would be complete without a good dose of seasoning like sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper!

How do you jazz up oxtail stew?

The best way to jazz up oxtail stew is to add some exciting flavor components. Start by adding a variety of aromatic vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. 

Next, incorporate some type of sweetness with ingredients like brown sugar or honey. Then you can spice it up with red pepper flakes or other herbs and spices such as smoked paprika or cumin. 

Finally, finish off the stew with a splash of acidity from white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar for a tangy twist. With these added elements, your oxtail stew will be sure to delight! Enjoy!

How do you display oxtail stew on a platter?

To display oxtail stew on a platter, start by transferring the stew from the pot or slow cooker onto a large serving dish. Arrange any garnishes like chopped herbs and diced vegetables around the edges of the platter.

Place a spoon in the middle of the dish and use it to create scoops of stew for guests to serve themselves. Have extra spoons available for everyone if you are serving more than one person. You can also add slices of rustic bread or chunks of crusty baguette to the platter for guests to enjoy with their meals.

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10 best things to do with oxtails 

1. Braised Oxtail Stew

Braised Oxtail Stew is a classic method of cooking oxtails to braise them in a flavorful stew, slow-cooked for hours until the meat falls off the bone. Serve with mashed potatoes or crusty bread, and enjoy this hearty winter dish.

2. Oxtail Soup

Another popular way to cook oxtails is to make a rich soup out of them. This savory soup can be thickened with barley and vegetables for extra flavor and texture or left as a broth-style soup for those who prefer lighter fare.

3. Oxtail Chili

For a spicy twist on traditional chili, try using oxtails instead of ground beef! Slow-cook them with your favorite chili ingredients for a unique, flavorful version of a classic dish.

4. Oxtail Ragu

To make this Italian-inspired dish, braise oxtails in tomato sauce until tender and then serve over pasta or polenta for an easy weeknight dinner.

5. Curried Oxtail and Vegetables

Use the slow cooker to make a curried oxtail stew with vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and peas. Serve it up with steamed rice or chutney on the side.

6. Baked Oxtails

For a simple yet delicious meal, try baking oxtails with garlic, onion and herbs until they are golden brown and fork-tender. Serve them with a side of roasted vegetables for an easy and flavorful dinner.

7. Oxtail Gumbo

This classic Louisiana dish is made by slow-cooking oxtails in a savory tomato-based broth with Cajun spices and okra. Serve it up over rice or grits for a comforting meal that’s sure to please everyone at the table.

8. Barbecued Oxtails

Another great way to use oxtails is by marinating them overnight in your favorite barbecue sauce and then slow-cooking them on the grill or smoker until they are tender and juicy. Enjoy!

9. Fried Oxtail Fritters

For a fun snack or appetizer, try deep-frying oxtail pieces in a light batter. Serve them hot with your favorite dipping sauce, and you’ll have everyone coming back for seconds!

10. Oxtail Pot Pie

To make this hearty dish, slow-cook oxtails in a savory gravy and then top with puff pastry or biscuits before baking. Enjoy with steamed veggies on the side for an easy weeknight dinner that the whole family will love!

Wrap Up on What to eat with Oxtail Stew

Oxtail stew is one of those meals that just beg for sides – after all, why settle for just one delicious item when you can have two (or three)?! With these sides in mind, you’ll be able to create the perfect pairing for your oxtail stew that will have everyone at the dinner table asking for seconds!

From collard greens to mashed potatoes or rice pilaf – any option will bring out the best in your oxtail stew and make it an even more enjoyable experience!


How much oxtail stew per person?

The amount of oxtail stew per person will depend on the size of the portion you are serving and how many people you are feeding. 

Generally, a good rule of thumb is to allow at least one large piece of oxtail per person if you are serving small portions. For larger portions, allow 2-3 pieces of oxtail per person. 

Make sure to adjust your recipe accordingly and check with guests beforehand if they have any dietary restrictions or food allergies to keep in mind when preparing your meal.

What vegetables go well with oxtails?

Many vegetables pair well with oxtails, including carrots, celery, potatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Other hearty root vegetables like turnips and parsnips can be a great addition to an oxtail stew. 

Leafy greens such as kale and collard greens are also popular options for adding extra nutrition to the dish. You may even want to try something different by adding winter squash or sweet potatoes for a unique flavor. 

For a flavorful side dish that goes perfectly with oxtails, try making some roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic and lemon juice.

How do you tenderize oxtail quickly?

One of the quickest and most effective methods of tenderizing oxtail is to use a tenderizer tool. This tool works by breaking down the tough fibers in the meat, making it more tender after cooking. 

It generally takes just a few minutes to get an oxtail ready for cooking using one of these tools. Additionally, you can also marinate your oxtail overnight in a mixture of oil and acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, to help break down those tough fibers before cooking. 

Finally, braising your oxtail slowly over low heat can help break down the connective tissues, resulting in a more tender piece of meat when done. However, this method does take longer, so if you’re short on time, a tenderizer tool may be your best bet.

In conclusion, using a tenderizer tool or marinating overnight are the quickest and easiest ways to quickly make oxtail more tender before cooking. If you have the time, braising over low heat can also help make the meat more succulent and flavorful.

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