Do you need ideas for what to serve with pasta? Good news!
We’ve gathered the best side dishes for pasta, all of which can offer a plethora of flavor options to your pasta meal.
Pasta is inarguably one of the best Italian inventions.
It’s a crowd-pleaser on any American dinner table.
Most people don’t even pair it with any side dish, as a pasta dish is quite hearty and flavorful on its own.
However, if you love your side dishes, you’ll be delighted to know that there are innumerable sides for pasta dishes.
After all, pasta is such a versatile food item that it goes well with a wide array of flavor profiles and textures.
If you’re wondering what goes with pasta, take a look at these delicious side dishes that you can make to take your pasta to the next level.
Here are fourteen divine dishes that you can serve with pasta:
1. Balsamic Bruschetta
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?
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!
15. Arugula Salad
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.
16. Garlic Bread
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.
18. Sauteed Spinach
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.
24. Roasted Eggplant
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.
39. Pesto Bruschetta
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!
The bottom line
I hope this flavorful list of pasta sides has given you plenty of ideas on what to serve with pasta.
At the end of the day, what you choose to serve with pasta should depend on your flavor preference and the pasta dish that you’ve prepared.
With that said, do try the dishes mentioned above to find out which one’s your favorite!
What To Serve With Pasta: 45 BEST Side Dishes For Pasta
Ever wondered what to serve with pasta? Find here the best side dishes for pasta, from colorful roasted veggies to easy salads.
- 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
- Have a look at our list of What To Serve With Pasta.
- Choose the side you want to recreate.
- Start cooking your newly found recipe.
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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.