Skip to Content

Updated! 102 Best Sides For Pasta

Updated! 102 Best Sides For Pasta

Here are some ideas for what to serve with pasta! This roundup also includes our top 10 sides for pasta and a few of the easiest side ideas yet.

Pasta, undoubtedly a beloved Italian gift to the world, has won the hearts of food enthusiasts everywhere, especially in American households.

It’s common to find pasta ruling the dinner plate all by itself, given its rich, satisfying taste and filling nature. But for those who enjoy the added layer of flavor and variety that side dishes bring, pairing pasta with the right companion can be a treat. 

The beauty of pasta lies in its versatility. It’s like a blank canvas, embracing myriad flavors and textures from countless possible side dishes. 

If you find yourself wondering what to serve with pasta, we’ve curated a list of the best side dishes for pasta that range from the straightforward to the more complex.

Table of Contents

Top 10 Recipe Picks

  1. #101 Creamed Spinach, especially with a white sauce ravioli.
  2. Bruschetta is mo’ bettah: #1, #4, #38 and #39.
  3. #102 Chickpea Salad With Cucumber & Tomatoes goes best with red sauces.
  4. The crunchy exterior of #16 Garlic Bread serves as a good counterpoint to the soft texture of nearly every pasta. 
  5. Don’t come at me but #83 Corn Pudding has bacon in it and it goes great with pasta.
  6. Spiced Eggplant Shakshuka #50, and don’t look back. 
  7. Caprese Salad #47 is always winning next to pasta.
  8. If you want a flavorful and versatile side dish, #62 Ratatouille is a superb pick.
  9. The original charcuterie, an explosion of flavor: #51 Antipasto Platter.
  10. The refreshing #86 Apple Walnut Salad offers sweet-savory flavors.

Easiest Sides For Pasta

Here are some simple, inexpensive, and quick sides for pasta that you can easily pick up from the store:

  1. Frozen Garlic Bread. Pre-packaged frozen garlic bread is a convenient and affordable option that can be heated fast, even in the toaster oven. 
  2. Caesar Salad Kit. Grab a Caesar salad kit, which typically includes pre-washed lettuce, Caesar dressing, croutons, and grated Parmesan cheese. 
  3. Steamed Broccoli Florets. Look for pre-cut and pre-packaged steamed broccoli florets, then microwave or cook on the stovetop.
  4. Caprese Skewers. Pick up some fresh mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, and basil leaves, then assemble. 
  5. Spinach Salad Mix. Grab a bag of pre-washed spinach salad mix and top it with your favorite dressing, sliced tomatoes, and shredded carrots.
  6. Fresh Fruit Salad. Look for pre-cut fresh fruit in the produce section to save you some time. 
  7. Frozen Mozzarella Sticks. Look where they keep frozen appetizers or snacks. They are usually packaged in a bag or a box.
  8. Italian Antipasto Platter: Check the store’s deli section for capicola, prosciutto, salami, mozzarella, gorgonzola crumbles, and crackers plus olives or gherkins and arrange simply on a cutting board and serve before or during the pasta meal.
  9. Bag of Fresh Green Beans. Look for the fresh produce aisle where other vegetables are displayed. Pre-washed, fresh, green beans are often packaged in clear plastic bags. 
  10. Pickled Vegetables. Jars of pickled vegetables like pickles, peppers, or artichoke hearts will add a zing to your pasta.
  11. Marinated Olives. Check the store’s olive bar or condiment aisle for marinated olives.
  12. Pita Bread. Purchase a pack of pita bread and toast it at home.

Bruschetta is a classic Italian bread that’s great as an appetizer, snack, and side dish.

This simple side dish is elevated to divinity with the help of balsamic vinegar.

It gives the bread a nice, refreshing kick of flavor and helps you pair it with delicious pasta dishes.

What’s not to love about a crunchy veggie wrapped in a creamy, thin slice of divine meat?
Absolutely nothing! 

You can pair this mouthwatering side with innumerable pasta dishes.

You can wrap the prosciutto around the asparagus with a toothpick for an elegant look.

Toasted baguette slices topped with a homemade pesto dip featuring basil, mint, and green peas inarguably create one of the best sides for pasta.

After all, the refreshing pesto and the crunchy baguette are undeniably killer combinations.

This side dish is truly a work of art.

If you love cheeseboards, you’ll love this creative take on them. 

Your customizable bruschetta bar can include prosciutto, tiny cornichon pickles, olive tapenade, sun-dried tomatoes, crusty grilled bread, and herb cheeses.

Are you still wondering what to serve with pasta?

Try cauliflower and cheese breadsticks. 

These creamy yet crunchy breadsticks are full of delicious cauliflower and mozzarella.

You can pair them with savory pasta dishes.

Stuff some tomatoes with a generous helping of garlic, herbs, and bread crumbs for a delightful savory Tuscan side dish that will go deliciously well with pasta dishes.

Are you looking for refreshing sides for pasta?

Try this citrusy and refreshing cucumber salad.

This salad features cucumbers, red onion, dill, olives, lemon juice, garlic, and sour cream

Roast whole carrots in red-wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and cumin until they are smoky-brow.

Add some lemon juice on top, and voila, you’ll have a simple yet oh-so-delicious side for pasta dishes!

This mouthwatering Italian salad features sweet, ripened tomatoes dressed in vinegar, olive oil, and basil.

The fact that these tomatoes are paired with crunchy, toasted, garlicky bread cubes is the cherry on top.

This flaky, hearty pie is one of the best pasta side dishes.

It’s similar to an Italian ham and cheese croissant and pairs amazingly well with pasta dishes.

Oranges, spinach, and beets sprinkled with giant cheese might sound like an unlikely combination, but it results in a delightful side dish you can have with a whole bunch of pasta dishes.

Do you want your kids to eat broccoli?

Pair it with creamy parmesan and bake it!

The creaminess of the parmesan goes so well with the veggie and any pasta dish.

It’s truly a satisfying pasta side dish.

Do you need more creative ideas on what to eat with pasta?

Try the delicious stuffed eggplant parmesan!

Hollow out this beautiful veggie and stuff it with kale, garlicky mushrooms, and quinoa.

Top the dish with a generous helping of parmesan for a flavorful and divine pasta side.

The best part about these Garlicky Sautéed Mushrooms is that they are incredibly flavorful.

While cooking, the mushrooms release a lot of juice, which makes them succulent and delicious.

How to Saute Mushrooms The Chew Way!

Arugula salad’s flavor and slight bitterness help cut through the richness of any sauce, while its crisp texture adds a delightful crunch to the meal.
Even better, this versatile salad can be enjoyed both hot and cold, so arugula will pair well with whatever kind of pasta you want for dinner.

Garlic bread’s blend of garlic, butter, and herbs adds just the right amount of flavor that compliments and intensifies your dish’s taste.
Its crunchy exterior also provides a nice contrast in texture to balance out the softness of the pasta.
When you combine all these excellent qualities, it’s easy to see why garlic bread was meant to be an accompaniment for pasta dishes.

Combining the two dishes’ sweet and savory tastes creates an entirely new taste experience.
The tomatoes bring a burst of flavor and a slight crunch, a superb accompaniment to the softness of pasta.
The cherry tomato salad provides a tart flavor while remaining light enough not to overpower the more subtle flavors of the pasta dish.

Sauteed spinach is an excellent side dish to any pasta dish because it is packed full of goodness and provides a refreshing flavor and color.
Furthermore, sautéing the spinach brings out a nutty flavor without overwhelming the other ingredients’ taste.
The acidic quality it adds makes for a balanced yet flavorful accompaniment that works excellently with various pasta dishes.

The earthiness of the roasted beets, combined with the strong kick of the blue cheese, adds a yummy layer of flavor to any pasta accompaniment.
Furthermore, with simply a few additional ingredients like chopped onions, almonds, or even a splash of lemon juice, it’s easy to turn this simple salad into something special for guests.
Whether you add a wholesome punch of spinach to your dish or opt for a crunchy variety of nuts–Beet & Blue Cheese Salad will complete your pasta meal without fail!

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pistachios has the crunchy texture of the roasted Brussels sprouts, the savory notes of Parmesan cheese, and the nuttiness from the pistachios.
Furthermore, its light and fresh ingredients contrast with many heavier Italian dishes like lasagna or baked ziti.
So if you’re looking for a side dish to complete your pasta night, Parmesan Brussels Sprouts With Pistachios Salad is worth trying. 

Roasted mushrooms add a gourmet twist to any pasta dish, and it’s easier than you think.
These simple yet flavorful morsels are a great way to make a regular pasta meal exceptional, as the chewy texture works perfectly with the smooth sauce and al dente noodles.
Best of all, there’s no complicated preparation involved. 
All you need is some olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and your favorite mushroom variety.
A few minutes in the oven provides the crunchy kick to delight family and friends alike.

The glaze and crunchy nuts bring out the subtle sweetness of the brussels sprouts, while their texture contrasts with soft pasta.
This flavor combination will surely bring any meal up to the next level–it’s so flavorful and full of zest that your guests will have trouble believing you prepared such an exquisite dish in just a few minutes.
Plus, it’s easy enough to make without help from a chef or extensive culinary experience, making it ideal for busy weeknights.

Sautéed Brussel Sprouts have a vibrant flavor and can be an excellent addition to the simplest pasta dish.
The Brussel Sprouts will provide a bright contrast to whatever pasta you use, giving the dish an exciting flavor.
Optimal for vegetarians and meat eaters alike, the crunchy texture of sautéed Brussel Sprouts can complement all sorts of hearty sauces.

Eating pasta is an Italian tradition that is universally loved.
The endless options of sauces to pair with a favorite kind of noodles make the dish even more flavorful and exciting.
If you’re looking for something slightly different, why not give roasted eggplant a try?
Roasted eggplant has a rich flavor and just enough smokiness to provide contrast for the sweet taste of some other ingredients in your pasta dish that may otherwise be too jarring.
The texture achieved by roasting also makes it an excellent choice because it contributes to a voluminous mouth feel that guests can appreciate.
All in all, roasting eggplant is an excellent option when you want to add something special to your family spaghetti nights—try it out soon!

Tomatoes are a fantastic addition to any pasta dish.
Not only do they add an incredible burst of flavor, but when marinated, their texture also adds a crunchy bite.
Marinated tomatoes can soak up all the herbs and spices from the oil or dressing they are stored in and amplify the general flavor of whatever dish they’re in.
This helps balance out intense flavors with zesty and sweet tones, making it an exquisite accompaniment to meat-based pasta without overpowering them.
Plus, you don’t need many tomatoes to make an impact—just a few can go a long way!

The ever-versatile eggplant is at its best when grilled to perfection.
Not only does it take on a new, smoky flavor, but it also becomes softer–making it a suitable addition to any dish.
A Grilled Eggplant Salad is a favorite of many at dinner parties due to its earthly, savory flavors and light Italian flair.
Its subtle nuttiness helps balance out the spicier notes in most pasta dishes while adding unique character to any table.

When it comes to pasta dishes, you can always count on Italian sautéed mushrooms to add a luscious flavor.
Not only do they provide an earthy flavor and texture that pairs wonderfully with any pasta dish, but their manageable size makes them easy to cook and serve.
You don’t need to worry about slicing or dicing; simply sauté the mushrooms in olive oil until they are nicely browned.
Once cooked, squeeze some fresh lemon juice overtop for a hint of tartness. 
This simple preparation is a surefire way to enhance the taste of any pasta dish.

Cheesy Roasted Green Beans make for a delightful side dish to any pasta dish.
Not only are they incredibly flavorful and packed with nutrients, but roasted green beans also possess the added benefit of being easy to prepare.
You can quickly whip up a dish fitting for a gourmet meal with just a few simple ingredients, such as olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese.
The crispness of the green beans combined with the cheese and garlic coating creates a fantastic contrast in texture that makes it impossible to resist.

The butter used to coat the broccoli adds a silky texture and a salty taste that pairs with any pasta’s flavors.
Adding Parmesan cheese adds complexity and richness to the dish, elevating it from great to extraordinary.

Baked Parmesan Yellow Squash Rounds make a stellar side dish to accompany a pasta dinner.
This simple yet flavorful dish will spice up your meal and make it much more satisfying.
The buttery richness of the melted Parmesan cheese with the subtle sweetness from the yellow squash and onions makes your taste buds dance with delight.
You won’t need to add salt and pepper because the Parmesan adds just enough seasoning to elevate the flavor of this dish to something special.
You’ll enjoy second helpings whenever you make Baked Parmesan Yellow Squash Rounds as a side dish for one of your Italian-inspired feasts.

Bacon and green beans are a classic combination, and it just so happens that they’re one of the most flavorful ingredients to add to a pasta dish.
The smoky flavor of bacon is sure to bring out the umami notes in the dish, and the freshness of green beans lightens up what can sometimes be a heavy meal.

For an unforgettable culinary experience, you will want to try a tasty mixture of Crispy Brussel Sprouts Recipe with Prosciutto and a pasta dish.
This stunning combination is full of flavor and texture; the Brussels sprouts are roasted until they become crispy, while the prosciutto adds a savory and smoky flavor.
The pasta can be whatever your heart desires—penne, farfalle, or fettuccine—and topped with any sauce you prefer.
Altogether it’s an Italian dining experience that takes your taste buds on a delectable journey for the senses. 

Marinated mushrooms are an excellent addition to any pasta dish.
The savory, earthy taste of mushrooms complements a variety of pasta sauces and ingredients.
Marinating them in a flavorful oil or vinegar dressing provides an extra burst of flavor and umami that takes the dish to the next level.
Whether you’re making a simple spaghetti and marinara, or a more intricate carbonara with egg and bacon, serving some marinated mushrooms can make the homemade meal seem like it was crafted by a professional.

The sharpness of balsamic vinegar and aged Parmesan in the stacks, paired with the delicate crunch of lightly cooked prosciutto, truly elevates any classic Italian recipe.
The simplicity of Caprese salad pairs perfectly with the comforting tastes of a bowl of spaghetti or penne while adding complex flavor profiles.
There’s no doubt that this combination will be enjoyed by your whole family—it hardly takes time to prepare, and you can trust that it will taste fantastic.

The pungent taste of Parmesan cheese and the sweetness of ripe tomatoes balance well with the savory flavors of your favorite pasta.
They complement your dish and add a piquant, crunchy texture that will please even the pickiest eaters.
Baked Parmesan Tomatoes can turn any meal into a memorable culinary experience, from simple spaghetti marinara to heartier lasagna.

Its fresh and zesty flavor compliments the richness of a creamy Alfredo sauce or the tanginess of a spicy arrabbiata.
The nourishing fats from the avocados create an indulgent texture while still keeping the meal light, making it appropriate for those days when you want a filling meal without an unhealthy accompaniment.

Maple Glazed Roasted Rainbow Carrots are a wonderful accompaniment for a pasta dinner.
There’s something so satisfying about combining sweet, salty, and savory flavors.
The bright rainbow carrots’ combination of colors enhances your dish’s visual appeal, too. 
The thick maple glaze on the carrots adds texture and flavor, and the roasting brings out their natural sweetness, creating a delightful contrast to whatever pasta you choose.

The combination of melted cheese and juicy tomatoes adds some oomph to any plate, creating a pleasant and savory balance of tastes.
This dish is great for stirring up some extra flavor without extra effort, as it only requires simple ingredients: mozzarella, olive oil, tomatoes, vinegar, and a few herbs.
Bruschetta with Fresh Mozzarella can be served warm or cold, so you can choose whatever fits best with your pasta dish.

Pesto Bruschetta is an incredible combination of fresh, crunchy flavors that make any pasta dish special.
The bruschetta’s lightly toasted Italian bread combines with the rich pesto and the burst of flavor from tomatoes to create a delightful treat for all your senses.
By adding the lightness and crispness of Pesto Bruschetta to your favorite pasta dish, you can transform it into something special—a worthwhile pairing, indeed.

With sautéed mushrooms in a cheesy and slightly spicy sauce, the warm and savory flavors pair with a classic pasta dish.
The garlic and shallots offer just the right amount of bite, while the spinach provides freshness and lightness that helps round out the flavor profiles.

This dish’s sweet, crunchy pears and buttery, salty prosciutto embrace each other in this divine combination, along with a hint of zesty lemon juice and aromatic herbs.
A remarkable side to any spaghetti or linguine dish, Pear and Crispy Prosciutto Salad provides the ideal flavor balance that will have your guests coming back for seconds.

If you want to add flavor and a little spice to your pasta dish, look no further than Ginger Lime Spiced Carrots.
Tangy lime juice and zesty ginger bring a refreshing brightness that pairs perfectly with any pasta.
The carrots also add a crunchy texture that contrasts nicely with the softness of the noodles.

Combining the savory crunch of Pepper & Goat Cheese Crostini with a creamy pasta dish is always a winning combination!
The goat cheese’s sharpness and the mellow sweetness of roasted bell peppers on top of freshly toasted slices of baguette create a contrast that adds intrigue and interest to your meal.

This dish is visually stunning and offers an unbeatable mix of flavor and texture; the contrast between the creamy burrata cheese, sweet yet acidic tomatoes, and crunchy toasted bread make for the ultimate gastronomic experience.
The smoothness of the cheese balances out any heaviness from a rich tomato sauce or pesto, infusing the entire dish with complexity.

These roasted mushrooms with garlic and thyme are a fantastic side dish to add to any pasta dish.
They’re soaked in so much flavor you won’t need any extra ingredients!
The roasting process brings out the natural sweetness of the mushrooms, while the garlic adds a sharp kick, and the thyme adds a subtle hint of earthy herbiness.
Paired with a simple pasta dish like spaghetti or bucatini, this side pulls everything together for a stellar meal!

This Lentil Salad is a vibrant side dish ideal for a summer picnic or potluck. It’s tossed in a special lemon dressing and makes a complementary dish for pasta. 

Ingredients include: Lentils, red bell pepper, cucumber, parsley, and cilantro.

Our Caprese Salad can be served with pasta, as the contrasting flavors and textures of the ingredients complement each other. Allow for a few minutes of resting time before serving it. This will allow the flavors to meld. 

Ingredients include: Tomatoes, mozzarella ball, basil, olive oil, and black pepper.

Celebrated for its slightly sweet, nutty flavor and rich texture, this Roasted Butternut Squash recipe pairs wonderfully with pasta. Intensify its sweetness with cinnamon and brown sugar, or keep it savory, depending on your preference. 

Ingredients include: Butternut squash, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, and cracked pepper.

This salad is easy to make at home and can be tailored to taste, offering a fresh alternative to store-bought kits. Its light, crunchy texture, and robust flavor complement pasta dishes beautifully. 

Ingredients include: Lettuce hearts, parmesan cheese, old bread, olive oil, and garlic powder.

Roasted Eggplant Shakshuka is an easily-prepared dish that doesn’t skimp on taste. The recipe features golden-brown pieces of eggplant, enveloped in a rich tomato sauce and flavored with Middle-eastern seasonings.

Ingredients include: Eggplant, parsley, red pepper, tomatoes, and sugar.

Serving this Antipasto Platter alongside pasta makes for a balanced and satisfying meal. The robust flavors of the antipasto harmonize well with the typically milder and creamier pasta dishes.

Ingredients include: Applegate prosciutto, cherry pepper, almonds, baguette, and crackers.

Here’s another good side for pasta: the light Grilled Asparagus. The asparagus adds a touch of fresh, bright flavor to the pasta, while the olive oil and seasonings give it depth of flavor. 

Ingredients include: Asparagus, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and lemon.

Made in under 20 minutes, this Roasted Zucchini dish can help balance the rich flavor of most pasta dishes. Add garlic and fresh herbs for more flavor. 

Ingredients include: Zucchini, olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika.

Similar to keto eggplant pizza, roasted eggplant makes a healthy, low carb dinner everyone will love. This easy eggplant recipe needs just 7 ingredients + 30 minutes, an easy dinner recipe for busy weeknights.

Ingredients include: Eggplants, tomatoes, olive oil, mozzarella ball, and ground pepper.

Known for its airy texture and crispy crust, this traditional Italian flatbread is all you need for your pasta meal. The recipe is easy to follow, even for beginner bakers.

Ingredients include: Rosemary, active dry yeast, all-purpose flour, sugar, and olive oil.

The Roasted Cherry Tomato recipe is a quick side dish for pasta that uses simple ingredients likely already in your pantry. The dish can add texture, thanks to their slightly caramelized skin. 

Ingredients include: Cherry tomatoes, vinegar, basil, oregano, and thyme.

This refreshing salad combines mixed greens, colorful veggies, and a tangy lemon vinaigrette. Feel free to add other toppings to the mix, such as shredded cheese, croutons, or bacon bits.

Ingredients include: Lemon juice, maple syrup, tomatoes, mixed greens, and carrots.

This potato dish is ideal for hectic weeknights. The potatoes are roasted until golden brown, adding a lovely textural contrast to the soft pasta.

Ingredients include: Potatoes, olive oil, black pepper, butter, and parsley.

This broccoli side dish will become a regular feature on your dining table. The vegetable is steamed until tender, giving it a slightly sweet flavor, while the truffly oil provides a luxurious finish. 

Ingredients include: Broccoli, olive oil, chili flakes, lemon, and salt.

The Cucumber & Tomato Salad is a scrumptious accompaniment that enhances any pasta dish. The dressing is simple, but it really brings the salad together. 

Ingredients include: Cucumber, tomatoes, olive oil, parsley, and garlic clove.

This classic Mediterranean dish is bound to impress. To serve it as a side dish for pasta, simply toss the pasta with the tapenade and add some fresh herbs, such as basil or parsley.

Ingredients include: Mixed olives, tomatoes, capers, anchovy fillet, and basil leaves.

Ratatouille is a famous French dish that is ideal alongside your pasta. The vegetables in the dish are cooked in tomato sauce, which adds a rich taste and depth of flavor. 

Ingredients include: Tomato sauce, thyme, olive oil, chili flakes, and eggplant.

These Stuffed Bell Peppers require only five ingredients to make. The peppers are stuffed with the sausage and rice mixture and then baked until the cheese is melted and bubbly. 

Ingredients include: Bell peppers, white rice, tomatoes, blend cheese, and cilantro.

Roasted Asparagus is a light side that blends well with hearty pasta. The asparagus’s natural sweetness complements the pasta’s savory flavors, and the roasted vegetables add a pleasing crunch.

Ingredients include: Asparagus, olive oil, black pepper, lemon zest, and garlic.

This version of the Carolina Coleslaw is different from regular coleslaw as it doesn’t use mayonnaise. Instead, it boasts a sweet-tangy flavor coming from dressing and fresh vegetables. 

Ingredients include: Green cabbage, onion, carrots, kale leaves, and celery seeds.

With three simple cooking methods–grilling, boiling, or microwaving–you can bring out the natural sweetness of the corn. Try making Elote, a Mexican street corn dish for an adventurous twist. 

Ingredients include: Corn, butter, salt, and pepper.

The Lemon Garlic Roasted Cauliflower is a tasty dish full of garlic and lemon flavors with Parmesan cheese. When served with pasta, it adds a nice, tangy flavor, making the meal even better.

Ingredients include: Cauliflower, lemon, parsley, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Serve these Roasted Beets With Goat Cheese with pasta for a filling meal. The earthy beets will complement the savory flavor of the pasta, and the creamy goat cheese will offer a touch of luxury.

Ingredients include: Beets, olive oil, salt, goat cheese, and chives.

These sweet potato fries are seasoned with a Tuscan-style mix of paprika and salt. The secret to achieving their crunch while maintaining a soft interior is a light toss in cornflour prior to baking. 

Ingredients include: Sweet potato, cornflour, olive oil, paprika, and salt.

This moist and fluffy cornbread recipe is made with simple ingredients. The dish can also be used to soak up any excess sauce from the pasta dish, making it a satisfying meal.

Ingredients include: All purpose flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, and buttermilk.

The quinoa in this salad adds a hearty, chewy texture that pairs well with the soft pasta. The cranberries and feta cheese add a tart flavor that offsets the rich note of the pasta. 

Ingredients include: Dry quinoa, kale, cranberries, lemon, and pecans.

These stuffed mushrooms are baked until golden brown and bubbly. To serve them as a side dish for pasta, place them on a platter and surround them with your favorite pasta. 

Ingredients include: Mushrooms, spinach, black pepper, cream cheese, and parsley.

This Wild Rice Pilaf is a delicious accompaniment to pasta, giving the entree that nutty flavor in every bite. It’s excellent for a cozy dinner at home or a festive gathering. 

Ingredients include: Olive oil, celery, carrots, onion, and vegetable broth.

These fries are a healthy alternative to traditional french fries. They are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and they can be seasoned with your favorite herbs and spices. 

Ingredients include: Panko, black pepper, zucchini, all purpose flour, and eggs.

This exquisite salad is loaded with vibrant flavors of black beans and finished off with a tangy lemon-olive oil dressing. Customize it to your own taste by adding or subtracting ingredients.  

Ingredients include: Black beans, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, and lemon juice.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms are a tasty side that can be easily paired with pasta. The mushrooms have a meaty texture and a savory flavor that enhance the main course. 

Ingredients include: Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, portobello mushroom caps, and parsley.

Here’s a convenient make-ahead dish that blends well with your favorite pasta: the Broccoli Slaw. Prepare the slaw and dressing in advance, storing them separately in the fridge. 

Ingredients include: Broccoli, carrot, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and parsley.

This classic German side dish has a complex flavor that pairs wonderfully with pasta. It’s made with simple ingredients and is a good way to get your daily dose of veggies. 

Ingredients include: Butter, cabbage, sugar, balsamic vinegar, and black pepper

This Tomato Avocado Salsa is an easy way to add exciting flavors to your pasta. Serve this salsa immediately after making it to prevent the avocado from browning.

Ingredients include: Tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, avocado, and lime.

This bright salad highlights orzo pasta and feta cheese. Since it’s light and refreshing, this salad works well with heavier pasta dishes. 

Ingredients include: Red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber.

Waldorf Salad is a classic American dish that’s packed with good-for-you ingredients and topped with a creamy mayo-based dressing. Remember to add a splash of lemon juice to brighten the flavor.

Ingredients include: Lemon juice, mayonnaise, apple, pear, and grapes.

This flaky, golden-brown pie is a yummy side dish that is ideal for pairing with pasta. The spinach and ricotta filling is light and creamy, while the feta cheese adds a tangy flavor.

Ingredients include: Olive oil, spinach, egg, ricotta, and nutmeg.

The star of this creamy Corn Pudding is bacon. The dish is baked in a skillet until golden brown and perfect for a weeknight meal alongside pasta. 

Ingredients include: Bacon, butter, cornmeal, sugar, and eggs.

This Mediterranean Couscous Salad is tossed in a lemon herb dressing and loaded with fresh veggies. Though it can be eaten on its own, this salad goes well with any creamy pasta entrée. 

Ingredients include: Instant couscous, tomato, cucumber, garbanzo beans, and feta cheese.

This traditional comfort dish features broccoli, cheese, and a creamy sauce. The sauce matches the al dente pasta well, and the crunchy topping provides a nice contrast in texture.

Ingredients include: Butter, all purpose flour, half and half, broccoli florets, and vegetable broth.

Here’s another salad recipe that will liven up your pasta. The recipe includes tart apples and crunchy walnuts tossed in a light vinaigrette dressing.

Ingredients include: Mixed greens, apple, cucumber, gorgonzola cheese, and walnuts.

This glazed carrot dish calls for ingredients that are all pantry staples. The carrots are tender yet slightly crisp and coated in a sweet-tangy balsamic glaze that adds a burst of flavor to your pasta meal. 

Ingredients include: Carrots, balsamic vinegar, sugar, butter, and honey.

This Butternut Squash Galette recipe has a unique flavor and elegant presentation to enhance your pasta meal. Be sure to caramelize the onions as this can add depth of flavor to the galette. 

Ingredients include: Pie dough, butternut squash, sage leaves, nutmeg, and rosemary.

The combination of Hasselback technique and air fryer cooking method results in a crispy exterior and a tender interior of this potato-based dish. Seasoning it with various herbs and spices to your liking elevates the flavor even more. 

Ingredients include: Potatoes, butter, garlic, parmesan cheese, and ground pepper.

The highlight of this side dish is roasted butternut squash, Gruyère cheese, and a crispy breadcrumb topping. The fresh herbs add an aromatic touch and enhance the overall taste. 

Ingredients include: Squash, leeks, sage leaves, heavy cream, and nutmeg.

Black Bean & Corn Salsa is bright, colorful, and packed with Mexican-inspired flavors. The combination of ingredients, like lime and jalapenos, adds a tangy kick to the salsa.

Ingredients include: Corn, black beans, tomato, cilantro, and lime juice.

Arancini (Italian rice balls) are typically deep-fried, but this recipe uses an air fryer to cook them, resulting in a crispier texture. Just keep an eye on rice balls since they burn quickly. 

Ingredients include: Parsley, marinara sauce, avocado oil, breadcrumbs, and risotto.

This appealing side dish draws attention from everyone at the table. The blend of breadcrumbs and cheese in the filling makes these artichokes a household favorite. 

Ingredients include: Artichokes, ricotta cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley, and lemon juice.

This garden-fresh salad has vibrant flavors of fresh fava beans combined with a selection of seasonings. The vinaigrette ties it all together and adds a touch of acidity.

Ingredients include: Fava beans, lemons, shallots, fennel bulb, and walnuts.

This gratin dish features a nutty, savory Gruyere cheese as a key ingredient. The decadent combo of cream, garlic, and Parmesan provides a rich, creamy, and cheese-laden experience. 

Ingredients include: Leeks, brussel sprouts, heavy cream, thyme, and nutmeg.

Made in just 30 minutes, these Zucchini Fritters are bursting with cheesy, garlicky flavors with  a satisfying bite. This light side dish is also notable for its simplicity and convenience. 

Ingredients include: Zucchini, eggs, black pepper, salt, and bread crumbs.

Sauteed Swiss Chard is not just an easy-to-make side dish, but it’s also a vibrant and flexible addition to any meal. The balsamic vinegar lends a sweet note and acidity that balances the flavor of the chard. 

Ingredients include: Swiss chard, olive oil, butter, salt, and onion.

This recipe stands out as a vibrant side dish for pasta. Since pasta dishes have rich flavors, this salad provides a refreshing contrast that helps cleanse the palate between bites. 

Ingredients include: Red beet, orange, grapefruit, pomegranate seeds, and olive oil.

This homemade crusty Italian bread has a unique crusty exterior, achieved by a clever baking method involving evaporation from a water-filled bowl. Its robust flavor and texture make it an ideal accompaniment for a range of pasta dishes.

Ingredients include: Yeast, sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, and all-purpose flour.

Grissini is a staple of Italian antipasto platters and is often served in restaurants. These Italian breadsticks are stretched by hand to create a long, thin shape that gives them their signature crunchy texture and rustic look. 

Ingredients include: All purpose flour, honey, yeast, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.

Our version of Creamed Spinach is brimming with cheesy flavor, thanks to parmesan. The side dish is a simple way to add more greens to your meal. 

Ingredients include: Milk, spinach, butter, flour, and ground cumin.

Chickpea Salad With Cucumber & Tomatoes is a fresh, nutritious, and versatile dish. It’s a kind of salad that will surprise everyone with its vibrant flavors and contrasting textures.

Ingredients include: Cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, lemon juice, and parsley.

The bottom line

This tasty selection of recipes seeks to inspire you to think of new ways to serve pasta with delectable sides.

Remember that the perfect companion for your pasta dish boils down to your personal taste and the specific pasta recipe you’ve made.

We encourage you to sample the suggested dishes above, each offering a unique taste experience, to find out which one’s your favorite!

More About Pasta

What To Serve With Pasta: 102 BEST Sides For Pasta

What To Serve With Pasta: 102 BEST Sides For Pasta

Discover the best ideas for what to serve with pasta here, from refreshing salads to roasted vegetables and beyond!


  • Balsamic Bruschetta
  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
  • Mint & Pea Pesto On Toasted Baguette
  • Italian Bruschetta Bar
  • Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks
  • Stuffed Tomatoes
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Whole Roasted Carrots
  • Summer Panzanella
  • Mortadella & Fontina Slab Pie
  • Roasted Beet Salad With Orange Vinaigrette
  • Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
  • Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan
  • Garlicky Sautéed Mushrooms
  • Arugula Salad
  • Garlic Bread
  • Cherry Tomato Salad
  • Sauteed Spinach
  • Beet & Blue Cheese Salad
  • Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Salad With Pistachios
  • Roasted Mushrooms With Balsamic
  • Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Balsamic Glaze
  • Sautéed Brussel Sprouts
  • Roasted Eggplant
  • Marinated Tomatoes
  • Grilled Eggplant Salad
  • Italian Sauteed Mushrooms
  • Roasted Parmesan Green Beans
  • Buttered Parmesan Broccoli
  • Baked Parmesan Yellow Squash Rounds
  • Bacon Green Bean Bundle
  • Crispy Brussel Sprouts Recipe With Prosciutto
  • Marinated Mushrooms
  • Caprese Stacks With Pan Seared Prosciutto
  • Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
  • Tomato Avocado Salad
  • Maple Glazed Roasted Rainbow Carrots
  • Bruschetta With Fresh Mozzarella
  • Pesto Bruschetta
  • Oyster Mushrooms Rockefeller
  • Pear & Crispy Prosciutto Salad
  • Ginger Lime Spiced Carrots
  • Pepper & Goat Cheese Crostini
  • Burrata Bruschetta With Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms With Garlic & Thyme
  • Lentil Salad
  • Caprese Salad
  • Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Caesar Salad
  • Spiced Eggplant Shakshuka
  • Antipasto Platter
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Roasted Zucchini
  • Oven Baked Eggplant With Cheese & Tomatoes
  • Garlic Sautéed Mushrooms
  • Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
  • Green Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
  • Steamed Broccoli With Garlic & Lemon Zest
  • Cucumber & Tomato Salad
  • Olive Tapenade
  • Ratatouille
  • Stuffed Bell Peppers
  • Roasted Asparagus
  • No-Mayo Carolina Coleslaw
  • Corn On The Cob
  • Lemon Garlic Roasted Cauliflower
  • Roasted Beets With Goat Cheese
  • Tuscan Style Sweet Potato Fries
  • Cornbread
  • Cranberry Kale Quinoa Salad
  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Wild Rice Pilaf
  • Baked Zucchini Fries
  • Black Bean Salad
  • Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
  • Broccoli Slaw
  • Sweet & Sour Cabbage
  • Tomato Avocado Salsa
  • Rainbow Orzo Salad
  • Waldorf Salad
  • Spinach & Ricotta Filo Pie
  • Corn Pudding
  • Mediterranean Couscous
  • Broccoli Cheese Casserole
  • Apple Walnut Salad
  • Balsamic Glazed Carrots
  • Butternut Squash Galette With Bourbon Drizzle
  • Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash Gratin
  • Black Bean & Corn Salsa
  • Sautéed Spinach
  • Stuffed Artichokes
  • Fava Bean Salad
  • Brussels Sprouts Gratin
  • Zucchini Fritters
  • Sauteed Swiss Chard
  • Beet & Citrus Winter Salad
  • Italian Bread
  • Grissini (Italian Breadsticks)
  • Creamed Spinach
  • Chickpea Salad With Cucumber & Tomatoes


  1. Wondering What To Serve With Pasta?
  2. Choose the ingredients that sound good.
  3. Create a new favorite side dish you’ll make again and again!
  4. Love it? Leave us a message or share on your socials!

Did you make this recipe?

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

Loretta Dreier

Wednesday 14th of July 2021

I've made at least 3 of these side dishes and they were delicious. I love veggies so they are good even on their own.

Skip to Recipe