Trying to decide what to serve with pasta? You are in luck! There are so many fantastic things to serve with your favorite pasta dish that it may be hard to choose!
Most pasta dishes are Italian or have some kind of Italian Flair. This means Italian-style side dishes typically go great with pasta. We have quite a few on our list of what to serve with pasta!
You should also keep in mind that pasta is hearty and filling. A lighter side dish may be best. Some veggies or a nice salad is always a good option.
- Best Sides for Pasta
- 1. Roasted Asparagus
- 2. Green Beans
- 3. Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- 4. Caesar Salad
- 5. Garlicky Sauteed Mushrooms
- 6. Sauteed Summer Squash
- 7. Cucumber Salad
- 8. Grilled Chicken
- 9. Grilled Bell Peppers
- 10. Bruschetta
- 11. Homemade Italian Bread
- 12. Italian Salad
- 13. Pea Pesto
- 14. Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
- 15. Caprese Salad
- 16. Panzanella Salad
- 17. Roasted Broccoli
- 18. Seared Salmon
- 19. Meatballs
- 20. Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
- 21. Fresh Rolls
- 22. Garlic Bread
- 23. Roasted Garlic
- 24. Stuffed Tomatoes
- 25. Fried Eggplant
- Amazing Pasta Side Dishes
Best Sides for Pasta
Take a look at our incredible list of side dish ideas that will go perfectly with your Italian dinner. There is something on here for everyone, and they are sure to please!
1. Roasted Asparagus
Our Simple Green Moms roasted asparagus is a perfect side dish for any kind of pasta. Whether your pasta noodles are covered in delicious marinara sauce or just tossed with some butter and fresh herbs, asparagus is definitely the answer!
Fresh asparagus spears are tossed in some olive oil and sprinkled with a little salt and pepper. They are roasted until tender and then sprinkled with parmesan cheese. That is all you need to do to make this delicious side dish!
2. Green Beans
Roasted green beans are another ideal vegetable side dish to serve with pasta. We love these easy green beans from the Wanderlust Kitchen.
Fresh green beans are mixed with olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, and garlic, then spread to roast on a baking sheet pan. Just a few minutes in the oven, and all the fresh flavors combine perfectly. Roasted green beans just may become your favorite side dish to serve with pasta.
3. Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are often served with pasta, but they are typically raw. Roasting cherry tomatoes in the oven is a whole new way to eat this classic side dish. This recipe from Healthy Recipes will show you exactly how to do it!
Cherry tomatoes are sliced in half and then tossed with balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the tomatoes until they begin to puff and then wrinkle. Add a little fresh basil, and the side dish is complete!
4. Caesar Salad
Simply Recipes will show you how to make the perfect Caesar salad. When thinking about what to serve with pasta, Caesar salad is very frequently the answer!
The tangy, salty dressing is fantastic with hearty pasta dishes. The crunchy lettuce is the perfect contrast to the soft noodles. Add parmesan cheese to your Caesar salad and your pasta for a perfect cohesive meal!
5. Garlicky Sauteed Mushrooms
These Garlicky sautéed mushrooms from Spend with Pennies are delicious as a side dish or served right on top of your favorite pasta meal. They are also very easy to make!
Sliced baby portobello mushrooms are added to a skillet along with some fresh garlic, olive oil, fresh herbs, and white wine. Sear the garlicky mushrooms until they begin to turn golden brown. Scoop them right onto your pasta plate.
6. Sauteed Summer Squash
Summer squash is a delicious side to serve with any lighter pasta dish. If you are making balsamic pasta or just buttered pasta, then this may be the exact vegetable side dish you need to make a complete meal.
Follow this recipe from Leite’s Culinaria. Use olive oil in place of avocado oil if needed. Definitely use extra parmesan cheese!
7. Cucumber Salad
A fresh cucumber salad is an incredible side dish for pasta, especially in the summer. It is crispy, juicy, and flavorful. Cucumbers are also night and light, so you won’t get too full!
Use this recipe from the Cookie Rookie to make a fantastic, easy cucumber salad. Freshly sliced cucumbers and red onions are tossed together in a simple apple cider vinegar dressing. The fresh dill really makes the cucumber salad pop!
8. Grilled Chicken
Balsamic marinated chicken is a perfect way to add protein to your pasta meal. Use this recipe from Eating on a Dime to make perfect grilled chicken.
The chicken will have the most flavor if you marinate it overnight. Plan ahead to make sure your pasta meal is really delicious! Pasta and chicken dishes are our favorite!
9. Grilled Bell Peppers
Grilled bell peppers and onions can be a flavorful side dish for pasta, but we also like to toss the cooked veggies with our noodles. Bell peppers coated in an amazing sauce are irresistible!
Try these grilled peppers from A Couple Cooks to make a quick, summery side dish. Cooking on the grill really makes the peppers have a nice smoky taste that is delicious with just the right pasta.
A nice bruschetta recipe is exactly what to serve with pasta. It is a classic Italian side! And this recipe from Cooking Classy will help you make the perfect fresh bruschetta.
Use crunchy day-old bread that will soak up the bruschetta juice. Fresh mozzarella, chopped fresh tomatoes, and some torn basil make the bruschetta full of bright, amazing flavors.
Try spreading some olive tapenade on the bread before topping it with the bruschetta. This will add even more flavor. Go all the way and make an entire Italian bruschetta bar with lots of topping options!
11. Homemade Italian Bread
A nice loaf of Italian bread is exactly what you need to serve with any pasta dish. Bread and pasta go together like peanut butter and jelly! They are the perfect pair.
Try this recipe from Amanda’s Cookin. It is a very easy bread recipe that has a wonderful, authentic taste. Spread some butter on the warm bread, and you will have a huge smile on your face!
Use the bread to make garlic bread for an even more intense Italian meal.
12. Italian Salad
An easy Italian salad is always a good pasta side dish. Not only should your salad have Italian dressing to help make it authentic, but it should also have lots of real Italian ingredients. Sun-dried tomatoes, bread crumbs, pine nuts, and even tiny cornichon pickles are incredible for a real Italian salad.
Try this easy salad recipe from Gimme Some Oven. It is an amazing side salad to any pasta recipe, and it is pretty quick to make.
13. Pea Pesto
Pesto is often served as a pasta sauce. A little fresh basil, some salt, pepper, and garlic make a fantastic and easy pesto. However, pea pesto is even better.
This recipe from Modern Minimalism is truly spectacular. Fresh green peas are blended with olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic, basil, and some pine nuts. Spread the pea pesto on a crunchy baguette and serve it as a side dish or toss it in with your noodles!
14. Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
Our Simple Green Mom’s sauteed brussels sprouts are a wonderful vegetable side to serve with pasta. It is a simple recipe that takes just minutes to make.
Brussels sprouts are cut in half then tossed in oil, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Let the sprouts sear in the pan and turn a nice golden brown. Serve them on top of pasta or on the side.
15. Caprese Salad
There is nothing quite as simple or quite as flavorful as a Caprese salad. It may be one of the most loved dishes ever! The fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and basil are a match that just can’t be beaten!
Use this recipe from Downshiftology to make one of the best pasta side dishes we have ever tried. Be sure to use high-quality olive oil and balsamic as those flavors will really stand out.
16. Panzanella Salad
Panzanella salad is definitely one of our favorite side dishes to pair with a pasta dinner. This great salad really needs to get more love!
Panzanella salad is made with bread cubes, tomatoes, peaches, chickpeas, and delicious homemade dressing. It is a great summer salad to serve with your favorite summer pasta. Try this version from Love and Lemons to create a perfect meal.
17. Roasted Broccoli
A beautiful roasted broccoli dish is definitely what to serve with pasta. Try this vegetable dish from Well Plated, and you will want to eat broccoli all the time!
Broccoli florets are drizzled with oil and sprinkled with a little sugar and red pepper flakes. That combination of sweet and spicy is what makes the broccoli so irresistible!
Serve your pasta with some roasted broccoli, some garlic bread, and maybe some sauteed mushrooms for a complete, delicious meal.
18. Seared Salmon
Looking to make your pasta meal a little more hearty? Try serving it with a nice slice of salmon right on top.
We love this salmon from Dinner at the Zoo. It is made with simple Italian spices like garlic and parsley. Salmon cooks quickly so you can make the dish while your pasta boils.
There is nothing quite as perfect as meatballs served with a spaghetti dinner. The juicy, rich flavor of the meatballs goes so well with pasta and tomato sauce. We are sure it is a meal you crave now and then!
Make these mouthwatering meatballs from Natasha’s Kitchen. Ground beef is seasoned with garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. Eggs, parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs are mixed into the meat. The perfect meatballs cook in tomato sauce, making them extra juicy.
20. Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
Our Simple Green Mom’s healthy strawberry and spinach salad is a lovely side to pair with pasta. We like to use tender baby spinach, which doesn’t need to be chopped. Fresh strawberries work best!
Salty goat cheese is the perfect finishing touch to the salad. The red wine vinegar dressing is iconic Italian and super delicious. This salad may become one of your most well-loved dishes.
21. Fresh Rolls
Parker house rolls may be the best fresh roll we have ever tried. It is definitely the side you want to serve with pasta that has lots of sauce.
Make these rolls from The Recipe Critic. Dip the rolls right into your pasta sauce, and you won’t even need to add butter. They are creamy and flavorful enough.
22. Garlic Bread
If you are making pasta, you need to make garlic bread. It is just one of those pasta sides you need to make! It’s a classic.
This garlic bread from Recipe Tin Eats is one of our favorite recipes. It is so buttery and zesty. You can even use old garlic bread to make bread crumbs. We try not to waste a single scrap of food!
23. Roasted Garlic
You may not think of roasted garlic as a side, but it really is. Make this roasted garlic from Tori Avery, and you will see why eating whole garlic cloves is one of the best things ever.
Garlic slow roasts and caramelizes in oil. It becomes sweet as it cooks. It is delicious on top of pasta or as a side all on its own.
24. Stuffed Tomatoes
You may have heard of stuffed peppers, but stuffed tomatoes are even better. They are juicy, sweet, and full of vegetable goodness.
Make these stuffed tomatoes from The Mediterranean Dish. They are full of contrasting flavors that are really irresistible, especially alongside good pasta.
25. Fried Eggplant
Fried eggplant on top of pasta is a perfect full meal. Make this eggplant from Gonna Want Seconds.
Italian breadcrumbs coat the eggplant. The vegetable is fried until golden brown, making a crispy but tender treat. You really are going to want seconds!
Amazing Pasta Side Dishes
So what sides are you going to serve with your best pasta dishes? There are too many dishes to choose from!
Let us know your favorites, and if you have any other sides, you love to serve with pasta. Enjoy!
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