Skip to Content

17 Delicious Italian Side Dishes To Complete Your Feast

Warning! You are going to want every single one of these Italian side dishes. 

Preparing an authentic Italian dinner isn’t that complicated, especially when you’re following the rule of thumb in the feast preparation. 

Italian get-togethers are all about connecting with family and friends while sharing scrumptious food and sparkling drinks (or wine!) around the table. 

To assemble a meal in true Italian style, there should be at least five to eight courses: aperitivo (appetizers), antipasto (nibbles), il primo (first course), il secondo (main course), contorno e insalata (salad), il dolce (desserts), formaggi e frutti (cheese and fruit), and digestivo (digestives). 

Though some of these menu items are optional, there’s nothing wrong if you complete all of them to ensure you’ll get that real Italian feast to feel. 

To give you a headstart, I’m going to share this recipe list that features 17 of the best Italian side dishes–all destined to add shape and definition to your main meal. 

Bon appétit!

1. Tuscan creamy mushrooms

Contents

You don’t even need to love mushrooms to enjoy these Tuscan creamy mushrooms. 

This side item combines sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, milk, spinach, cornstarch, and garlic, resulting in a burst of great flavors. 

What’s more, you can play around with its recipe by adding and subtracting ingredients here and there. 
In case you can’t find cremini mushrooms, the white button variety would be a great substitute!

Use it as a side or a topper for your meat-based dishes such as grilled steak and chicken. 

Here’s the recipe.

2. Italian green beans

Made in just 15 minutes and out of six pantry staples, there’s no doubt that this recipe is one of the best and easiest Italian vegetable side dishes out there!

Turn your ordinary side of green beans into an extraordinary accompaniment with the help of butter, garlic, Italian seasoning, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese.

Get the recipe here.

3. Caprese salad skewers

Thread red and orange cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, and mini-mozzarella balls on wooden skewers to create a side bound for endless entertaining. 

Don’t forget to drizzle your skewers with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for more flavor. 

You can make these Caprese salad skewers ahead of time but remember, wait until you’re ready to serve these Italian sides to drizzle the balsamic glaze over top of them.

Get the recipe here.

4. Parmesan knots

Store-bought buttermilk biscuits, canola oil, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oregano, and dried parsley flakes are all you’ll need to make this simple side dish. 

You’ll know that these parmesan knots are fully cooked when they have a nice golden-brown look. 

This recipe is great served warm next to your Italian main meal. 

Unlock this recipe.

5. Italian potato salad

This potato salad gets an interesting Italian twist with an antipasti flavor from artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and basil!

It isn’t tossed in mayonnaise, so it’s a perfect treat for your Italian vegan friends. This recipe uses olive oil instead. 

Served the salad warm or chilled alongside Italian meat favorites or you can opt for baked pork tenderloin, broiled lobster, whole roasted chicken, and salmon.

Of course, for your vegan friends your you could serve this with vegan stuffed shells or vegan lasagna

Here’s the recipe.

6. Italian salad

You can make your dull salad more exciting (and tastier) by adding crisp lettuce, ripe juicy tomatoes, olives, onions, radicchio, croutons, parmesan cheese, and zesty pepperoncini peppers
Start the recipe by combining the ingredients.
Drizzle the mixture with the homemade dressing then top it with freshly shredded parmesan cheese!

Make this Italian salad in advance so you can still feed your friends and family with little effort on your part. 

Just don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve it!  

Get the recipe here.

7. Italian ratatouille

When it comes to finding a delicious side to complement the main, nothing works better than a flavorful Italian ratatouille filled with fresh summer veggies such as tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash. 

These vegetables get a kick from the flavors of garlic, dried basil, dried parsley, pepper, and parmesan cheese. 

Leftovers? Don’t worry! 

Simply place them in an airtight container, store the container in the fridge, and bring your ratatouille back to life the next morning!

Here’s the recipe.

8. Italian white beans

Slow-cooking white beans with garlic, sage, and bay leaf releases their rich flavor, creating a hearty and tender side dish that’s guaranteed to give your taste buds a treat. Soaking the beans before cooking is the secret behind the tenderness of the dish–it saves you a lot of time and energy in the kitchen too!

To serve, drain the beans and drizzle with olive oil. You can also serve them on crostini as an appetizer.

Here’s the recipe.

9. Italian greens with sauteed onions and garlic

If you’re looking for a vegetable-based recipe that can serve as a side dish for Italian food or main, then these green beans are perfect! 

A mixture of fresh vegetables such as collard greens, spinach, escarole, white onions, and garlic and condiments like salt, parmesan cheese, and hot red pepper flakes come together for a flavorful combo. 

For a pretty finish, serve the recipe alongside freshly baked Italian bread. 

Get the recipe here.

P.S. Check out our article on how to saute onions!

10. Rosemary roasted potatoes

You’ll never look back at your regular roasted potatoes again when you realize how easy, inexpensive, and delicious this recipe is. 

These potatoes are seasoned with oregano, fresh rosemary, and salt then baked to golden brown perfection. 

The result? A hearty side dish that’s bound to be loved by your family!

To reheat some leftovers (which should be impossible because these are so delicious), place them in a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil. 

Stir them occasionally until thoroughly reheated. 

This recipe is great when paired with your favorite meat dishes such as fish, chicken, beef, and pork. 

Here’s the recipe.

11. Italian risotto

Make this simple yet scrumptious one-plate-wonder featuring butter, white wine, vegetable broth, garlic, onion, and oregano for a hearty Italian-inspired weeknight meal. 

Just keep in mind that you don’t need to wash the rice beforehand so the natural starch will absorb the broth, resulting in a rich and creamy risotto. 

If you’re new to this entire Italian thing, this is the best recipe to start with!

Here’s the recipe.

12. Italian macaroni and cheese

This Italian macaroni and cheese recipe is as pleasing to the eyes as it’s to the palate thanks to the herbaceous parsley. 

And the secret to its creaminess? 

The combination of cheese blend, whole milk, and butter!

To create this luscious side dish, combine warm milk, salt, black pepper, and grated nutmeg then whisk for several minutes until the sauce is fully thickened. 

Once done, add in the cheese and wait until it melts before adding in the macaroni. 

To make it extraordinary, garnish your macaroni and cheese with crispy pancetta or bacon and a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley!

Get the recipe here.

13. Italian broccoli

Even the pickiest eater in your family will ask for a second batch when you serve this sauteed broccoli with an Italian twist. 

And the exciting part doesn’t stop there–this recipe delivers on all fronts: basic ingredients, easy preparation, and full of flavors! 

Make this Italian broccoli as a side for your upcoming Italian-themed party or simply enjoy them on a casual occasion. 

Feeling adventurous? Add in red chili flakes, anchovies, lemon, and Parmigiano Reggiano to the dish!

Unlock this recipe.

14. Cheesy zucchini bites

Whether you serve them as a side or an appetizer at your Italian-themed party, you can bet these bite-sized zucchini bites will be a crowd-pleaser. 

These little treats take only 20 minutes from start to finish, so you can prepare them minutes before your guests arrive. 

Just simply cook the chopped zucchini alongside garlic, water, and salt until the veggie is tender. 

Squish the zucchini with a fork then combine it with shredded mozzarella, parmesan cheese, egg, bread crumbs, parsley, and pepper in a large bowl. 

Form the mixture into balls and roll them in the bread crumbs. Then bake, bake, bake!

More details about this recipe here.

15. Italian breadsticks

Whip up these Italian breadsticks and I’m sure that these will become an instant favorite that you’ll enjoy for years to come. 

Made in about two hours, these crunchy bites are made from all-purpose flour, virgin olive oil, barley malt or honey, durum wheat semolina, and active dry yeast. 

That’s it!

You can shape them any way you prefer–make them straight and twisted, or thin and thick. 

Do as you please! 

Also, this recipe yields 40 servings, but I suggest making another batch as they will not last long at your dinner table!

Here’s the recipe.

16. Stuffed eggplant

Eggplant lovers, this stuffed eggplant is for you!

This recipe looks impressive but it only takes a handful of ingredients and it isn’t too complicated to create. 

Trust me, it’s easy!

The eggplant is sliced into half lengthwise before scooping its flesh out with a spoon or knife. 

While waiting for the eggplant shells to be cooked in the oven, mix eggplant flesh, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and tomatoes and cook the mixture in a skillet with oil. 

Once done, fill the shells with the tomato mixture and top each shell with ricotta cheese and parmesan then bake!

Here’s the recipe.

17. Garlic bread

This classic favorite will complete your feast with its crusty texture and satisfying Italian flavor! 

And once you put them on the table, you’ll be stunned as they’ll be gone in a flash. 

The garlic powder gives the dish the garlic-y mouthfeel while the shredded mozzarella cheese and butter lends creamy goodness to every bite. 

Sprinkle extra cheese just before serving if your crowd prefers them to be more cheesy.

Pro tip: In case you’re having a hard time finding mozzarella, replace it with parmesan cheese!

Get the recipe here.

The bottom line

There’s no need to be fancy when choosing Italian side dishes to serve on the table. 

The general rule is to look for recipes that will complement your il secondo (second course) or main course. 

Nothing else!
Don’t overcomplicate it. Just keep it tasty and simple.

In case you’re doubting your personal decisions again and feel stuck in picking the right sides for your Italian dinner feast, then take a quick revisit at this compilation to unlock all of the side items!

17 Italian Sides (Delicious And Unique)

17 Italian Sides (Delicious And Unique)

Complete your feast with these 17 surprisingly delicious Italian side dishes--all destined to add shape and definition to your main meal!

Ingredients

  • Tuscan creamy mushrooms
  • Italian green beans
  • Caprese salad skewers
  • Parmesan knots
  • Italian potato salad
  • Italian salad
  • Italian ratatouille
  • Italian white beans
  • Italian greens with sauteed onions and garlic
  • Rosemary roasted potatoes
  • Italian risotto
  • Italian macaroni and cheese
  • Italian broccoli
  • Cheesy zucchini bites
  • Italian breadsticks
  • Stuffed eggplant
  • Garlic bread

Instructions

  1. Pick at least three sides to try. 
  2. Gather the ingredients and get started. 
  3. Serve all of them alongside your favorite Italian main course.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Skip to Recipe