What Starter Goes With Steak? BEST List For 2024!

If you’re having friends over for a dinner party, or you’re planning a special date night for your other half, you really can’t go wrong with a good steak. 

It’s simple but special, impressive but fuss free, and if you’re anything like me, it’ll be one of your ultimate favourite foodie treats! 

Perfecting the art of making a multi-course steak dinner is a big achievement for any passionate home cook, and it’s sure to earn you a reputation as a superstar dinner party house.

If you’re contemplating what starter goes with steak, I’m here to help. 

What starter goes with steak? 

A steak main course deserves a carefully selected starter that will kick things off with flair, without being too filling.

My favourite starters for steak are crispy beer battered prawns with garlic mayo dip, pear and blue cheese salad, chicken liver pate, salad of scallops and bacon, olives and a vodka martini, and oysters with chopped shallots in red wine vinegar and tabasco sauce. 

Want to find out more about getting these starters just right first time?

Read on for the full details… 

the best starters to serve with steak

1. Crispy beer battered prawns with garlic mayo dip 

Steak and seafood is always a good combination, and that’s one reason why surf and turf is such a popular choice in steakhouses right across the globe. 

These crispy prawns are coated in a light beer batter and served with a creamy garlic mayo sauce for dipping. 

In terms of presentation, these are best when served on a white plate with a garnish of fresh herbs such as parsley, and lemon wedges. 

If you want to explore the seafood and steak pairing a little bit further, you might want to check out my guide to what to serve with surf and turf

battered prawns

2. Pear and blue cheese salad 

This pear and blue cheese salad is super stylish.

Think sweet and tender grilled fruits, with salty, tangy blue cheese, all dressed with a bright honey vinaigrette. 

Though this salad is perfectly delicious in its own right, you can add crispy bacon if you want to take things up to the next level. 

It’s full of flavour and miles away from your standard and often boring salad mixture of lettuce and tomato, yet it’s really easy to make and requires only the most basic of kitchen skills. 

For more ideas for steak night, take a look at what to serve with chimichurri steak

pear blue cheese salad

3. Chicken liver pate

Sometimes, it makes sense to stick with classic culinary combinations. 

Chicken liver pate followed by a steak main course is a fairly safe bet if you’re cooking for guests and you’re not 100% sure of their likes and dislikes, and you want to create a traditional meal that’s delicious and satisfying without being too experimental. 

If you want to have a try at making your own, check out this chicken liver pate recipe.

It does require handling and preparing chicken livers, which is something on a new skill for many home cooks, but it’s easy to follow and it’s a good skill to have in your kitchen toolkit. 

Of course though, there’s absolutely no shame in taking a shortcut!

You can pick up excellent quality pate at local farm shops and even many supermarkets these days. 

Serve simply with fresh herbs and crusty bread, and an onion chutney. 

chicken liver pate

4. Salad of scallops and bacon

Succulent scallops wrapped with crispy, salty bacon makes for an elegant warm salad that’s perfect for dinner parties and entertaining. 

Sourcing the very best scallops is one of the most important factors to consider here. 

As is the case with any seafood, you should be shopping with your nose and your eyes.

Fresh scallops should be moist but not milky, and avoid any with a feathery white surface. This could be a sign of freezer burn. 

Don’t be scared to ask your fishmonger if you can have a sniff.

The smell should be reminiscent of brine and seaweed, and should not be sharp or in any way offensive. 

Once you’ve sourced your scallops, you can follow this recipe for scallops and bacon salad

scallops bacon

5. Olives and a vodka martini 

This fuss free starter is the ultimate in sophistication! 

When your guests arrive, sit them down at the dining table and offer up a bowl of simple stuffed olives and a vodka martini. 

If you’re not a seasoned cocktail maker, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s an easy drink to prepare. 

Per drink, you’ll need 60ml of vodka and a tablespoon of dry vermouth.

Add a little ice and stir together or shake in a cocktail maker.

James Bond reference is optional.

Strain into a chilled martini glass, and add a twist of lemon peel if you like. 

(Are you cooking for a special occasion? Get more inspiration with side dishes for Wagyu beef!


6. Oysters with chopped shallots in red wine vinegar and tabasco sauce 

Let’s return to that beautiful combination of steak and seafood for a minute here. 

When you want to add some luxury to your meal, oysters are a wonderful choice that are easier to prepare than you might initially think. 

Avoid the temptation to make complex sauces and garnishes, and instead, serve your oysters simply and traditionally with chopped shallots, red wine vinegar, and tabasco sauce.

This will allow the flavours of the oysters to really shine, without making them or being too overpowering. 

Read this guide to shucking oysters to learn everything you need to know. 


7. Smoked salmon with lemon and black pepper 

For what starter goes with steak, smoked salmon is a delicious choice. 

Best of all, it requires pretty much zero preparation and no cooking. 

Just take slivers of the finest smoked salmon that you can source in your local area, arrange on a white plate, and drizzle over freshly squeezed lemon juice before grinding over some black pepper. 

Garnish with sprigs of dill, and you’re good to go! It’s a fabulous easy starter for steak. 

smoked salmon

The best starters for a steak dinner

Steak deserves a special starter, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose something that’s fussy or complicated. For what starter goes with steak, the best options are: 

  • Beer battered prawns with garlic mayo dip 
  • Pear and blue cheese salad
  • Chicken liver pate 
  • Salad of scallops and bacon
  • Olives and vodka martini
  • Oysters with shallots, red wine vinegar, and tabasco sauce 
  • Smoked salmon with lemon and black pepper 

Though seafood is a popular choice, it’s definitely not essential.

As you can see, there are ideas here to suit all tastes and cooking abilities! 

Before you go, why not check out side dishes for braised steak