What To Eat With Rye Bread? (9 Mouthwatering Options)

Categorized as Foodpairing
What To Eat With Rye Bread

Rye bread is a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in all sorts of recipes. From sandwiches to toast, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the unique flavor and texture of rye bread. But when it comes to deciding what to pair with your rye bread, you may find yourself scratching your head for ideas.

So, what should you eat with rye bread? Rye bread is a type of bread made from rye grain. It can be eaten as part of a meal or used as an accompaniment to various dishes such as meats, eggs, fruits, jam and honey, cheeses, condiments, spices and nuts. Vegetables are also commonly added.

Let’s explore each of these options in more detail.

1. Meat

When it comes to rye bread, everyone knows that a classic combination is to pair it with some kind of tasty meat. Perfect for any lunch or dinner, rye’s distinctive flavor and texture makes for the perfect accompaniment to all types of meats.

One traditional favorite pairing is smoked salmon and rye bread. If you are looking for an umami explosion in your mouth, then this combo is the one for you. Plus, adding a bit of cream cheese or sour cream onto the smoky fish brings out even more intense flavors contained within the rye bread itself. 

Another classic option to go with your rye bread is roast beef. With its savory flavor, combined with a gently sweet undertone from the browned exterior on thick slices of roast beef, it pairs perfectly with rye bread. For an extra boost in flavor and moisture, add some horseradish sauce or creamy mustard dressing onto your sandwich before tucking into it!

Finally, pastrami does not necessarily always have to be enjoyed on a bagel; its sweet and salty taste goes incredibly well when paired off against the subtle bitterness of rye bread too. This classic deli meat can be served cold or heated up as desired – either way, you’re sure to enjoy every bite of this delicious mixture! 

2. Egg dishes

Eggs of all kinds are great accompaniments to rye bread. Whether you prefer frittatas, omelets, or scrambled eggs, they offer a wonderful combination of fat, protein, and flavor. And since rye bread has a hearty texture that stands up to the robust flavors of egg dishes, it makes a great addition to any breakfast or brunch.

The best part about eggs and rye bread is their versatility; you can enjoy them any way you like. You can top your rye bread with fried eggs, mix in some cheese and herbs, or even add in some bacon for an extra zing.

3. Fruits

Fruits pair well with rye bread for a delicious breakfast, snack, or even dessert. Sliced apples, roasted pears, strawberries, bananas, and even kiwis all go fantastically well with rye bread.

When pairing fruits with rye bread, keep in mind that you want to balance the sweetness of the fruit with the savory flavor of rye bread. For example, you could combine sliced apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a sweet breakfast option. Or, you could top your rye bread with roasted pears and goat cheese for an elegant appetizer or snack.

You can also make a sweet dessert by combining rye bread with honey and fresh berries. For an extra indulgent treat, add some ice cream or whipped cream to the mix.

4. Jam and honey

Jam and honey make for a delicious addition to any rye bread. Raspberry jam, black currant jam or strawberry jam all go perfectly with the nutty flavor of rye bread. Honey is also a great option, as the sweetness of honey complements the deep and earthy taste of rye bread perfectly.

If you want to add something a little extra special, you can even combine honey and jam together. This combination makes for an incredibly sweet and flavorful treat.

5. Cheese

Cheese is a classic topping for rye bread, as it gives the sandwich an extra creamy texture and savory flavor.

Soft cheeses such as cream cheese, goat cheese, and Brie work wonderfully with rye bread. Harder cheeses such as cheddar, Gruyere, or Gouda provide a nice contrast to the rye bread, and also add a bit of sharpness to the flavor profile.

Whatever type of cheese you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the delectable combination of rye bread and cheese. You can also mix in some herbs or spices for an extra layer of flavor.

6. Condiment

Condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup all make great additions to any rye bread sandwich. These condiments provide a delicious depth of flavor, and can also help to tie all the other ingredients together.

Dijon mustard is especially tasty when paired with rye bread, as its tangy and spicy flavor complements the nutty taste of rye bread perfectly. Other condiments such as pesto, hummus, and olive tapenade also work nicely with rye bread for a flavorful combination.

7. Spices and herbs

Herbs and spices are wonderful additions to rye bread sandwiches, as they add a punch of flavor without weighing down the sandwich. Fresh herbs such as parsley, oregano, and basil are all fantastic choices. You can also try adding some dried herbs such as thyme or rosemary for an extra layer of flavor.

Spices are also great for enhancing the flavor of rye bread sandwiches. A pinch of paprika, cumin, or coriander will add a nice depth of flavor without overpowering the other ingredients.

8. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are a great way to add texture and flavor to rye bread sandwiches. Walnuts, pecans, almonds, and pine nuts all make great additions, as do pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Toasting the nuts and seeds before adding them to the sandwich will bring out their flavor even more.

These ingredients also add a nice crunch to the sandwich and can provide some extra protein as well.

Grilled zucchini, roasted peppers, arugula, sautéed mushrooms

9. Vegetables and greens

Vegetables and greens are always a great addition to rye bread sandwiches. Grilled zucchini, roasted peppers, arugula, and sautéed mushrooms all make great toppings.

These ingredients can help to liven up the flavor of the sandwich, and they add some much-needed crunch and texture. For an even heartier sandwich, you can also try adding roasted root vegetables such as carrots or sweet potatoes.

If you’re looking for a more substantial sandwich, try adding some slices of avocado or tomato for an extra boost of flavor.

What Cheese Goes with Rye Bread?

There are many types of cheese that can pair well with rye bread. Here are a few options:

  • Swiss Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Gouda Cheese
  • Havarti Cheese
  • Blue Cheese
  • Brie Cheese
  • Camembert Cheese
  • Smoked Cheese
  • Cream Cheese

What Dip Goes with Rye Bread?

Rye bread can be paired with a variety of dips, depending on personal taste preferences. Here are a few options:

  • Spinach and artichoke dip
  • Hummus
  • Cheese dip
  • Tzatziki sauce
  • Ranch dip
  • Baba ganoush
  • Olive tapenade

What Sandwich Goes With Rye Bread?

Rye bread is a versatile bread that can be used to make many delicious sandwiches. Here are some classic sandwich options that go well with rye bread:

  • Reuben sandwich: This classic deli sandwich is made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing. It is traditionally served on rye bread.
  • Pastrami sandwich: Similar to the Reuben, this deli favorite is made with sliced pastrami, Swiss cheese, and mustard, and is often served on rye bread.
  • Tuna salad sandwich: A classic tuna salad sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise can be delicious on rye bread.
  • Grilled cheese sandwich: Rye bread can be a great choice for a grilled cheese sandwich. Try pairing it with sharp cheddar or Swiss cheese.
  • Roast beef sandwich: Thinly sliced roast beef, horseradish sauce, and arugula make a tasty sandwich when served on rye bread.
  • Veggie sandwich: For a vegetarian option, try a sandwich with avocado, cucumber, sprouts, and hummus on rye bread.

What Meat Goes With Rye Bread?

Rye bread is a hearty bread that pairs well with many types of meats. Here are some meat options that go well with rye bread:

  • Corned beef: Corned beef is a classic deli meat that is often served on rye bread with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing to make a Reuben sandwich.
  • Pastrami: Pastrami is a flavorful deli meat that pairs well with rye bread. It is often served with mustard and Swiss cheese.
  • Roast beef: Thinly sliced roast beef is a great meat option for rye bread. It can be paired with horseradish sauce and arugula to make a delicious sandwich.
  • Turkey: Turkey is a lean and healthy meat that goes well with rye bread. It can be paired with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise for a classic turkey sandwich.
  • Ham: Thinly sliced ham is a tasty meat option for rye bread. It can be paired with Swiss cheese, lettuce, and mustard for a classic ham and cheese sandwich.

What Soup Goes With Rye Bread?

Rye bread is a hearty bread that can pair well with many different types of soup. Here are some soup options that go well with rye bread:

  • Beef barley soup: This rich and flavorful soup is made with beef, barley, vegetables, and herbs.
  • Cream of mushroom soup: This creamy and comforting soup is made with mushrooms, cream, and herbs.
  • Lentil soup: Lentil soup is a healthy and satisfying soup made with lentils, vegetables, and spices.
  • Tomato soup: Tomato soup is a classic and comforting soup that pairs well with many types of bread, including rye.
  • Clam chowder: Clam chowder is a rich and creamy soup made with clams, potatoes, and herbs.


Rye bread is a great way to add flavor and texture to any meal. It pairs well with proteins, eggs, fruits, jams and honey, cheese, condiments, spices, nuts, and vegetables. Try out some of these combinations to create delicious sandwiches or accompaniments. With a little imagination, you can come up with some truly unique and delicious dishes. Enjoy!

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!