The 25 Best Side Dishes for Pasta
I love serving pasta for dinner, so I’m always looking for new side dish ideas to serve with pasta! If you’re looking for vegetables, salads, bread, or other recipes to pair with your favorite pasta, this list will give you some delicious ideas!
What to Serve with Pasta
Sometimes it’s hard to think of a tasty side dish to serve with a bowl of pasta, but luckily there are tons of options! It’s the perfect opportunity to add a vegetable to your meal. Whether you go for roasted or cooked vegetables or a simple tossed salad, that’s an easy way to lighten up your plate.
You can also think outside the box and serve flatbread, a bowl of soup, or bread! I like to serve pasta with a roasted vegetable and some type of bread, but the possibilities are endless!
How to Pair Pasta with a Side Dish
There’s no right or wrong way to craft your meal, but I try to follow this basic rule of thumb:
- If the dish is rich, creamy, or cheesy, I try to keep the side dish light. If I’m serving ravioli lasagna, I like pairing it with a light salad or roasted asparagus.
- If I’m having a lighter dish with lots of vegetables, like broccoli lemon pasta, I might serve a heavier side dish like garlic bread and a bowl of soup!
- Simple side dishes can also be a great way to use up leftover ingredients. Toss a little leftover fresh mozzarella onto your salad. Top your soup with leftover breadcrumbs. Add leftover pesto to roasted patty pan squash. Turn the heel of a baguette into salad croutons. Using leftover ingredients in your side dish is a great way to reduce food waste!
Prepare Side Dishes in Advance
Some of these side dishes can be made in advance, which can come in handy if you’re making a more complicated pasta recipe. You may not want to be juggling multiple pans and skillets if you’re trying to serve dinner to a crowd, so consider picking simple side dishes that can be prepared ahead of time.
Again, there is no right or wrong way to pick a side dish to serve with pasta, but hopefully, that helps give you a little guidance. Now let’s get into some tasty pasta side dish ideas!
The Best Side Dishes for Pasta
Easy Chopped Italian Salad
This easy Italian chopped salad is the perfect side dish to pair with your favorite pasta! It’s simple to make and you can prepare it while your pasta is cooking on the stove!
Easy Tomato and Cucumber Salad
This tomato and cucumber salad is an easy side dish that is perfect served with your favorite pasta! You can make it ahead of time, and the flavors are simple but delicious!
10 Minute Green Beans
These tasty green beans are made in a skillet and topped with toasted almonds for an easy and delicious side dish! It's the perfect way to add some vegetables to your pasta dinner!
Vegan Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas
This vegan Caesar salad is a delicious mix of crunchy chickpeas and creamy dressing. It’s hearty enough for a main dish but it also pairs well with your favorite pasta!
Mediterranean Chopped Salad
This Mediterranean chopped salad is loaded with vegetables, fresh herbs, and chickpeas. It's a light and delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with a hearty baked pasta!
Mediterranean Lentil Soup
This tasty Mediterranean Lentil Soup is a perfect side dish to serve with a creamy pasta recipe. The lentils add protein and fiber to the meal and the soup is loaded with vegetables!
Peach Salad with Feta
This hearty salad is filled with sweet peaches and salty feta for a quick and delicious side dish. Pair it with Pasta Alla Norma for a tasty summer meal!
Baked Feta Cheese with Tomatoes
This baked feta cheese with tomatoes is a deliciously simple appetizer. Salty feta pairs perfectly with sweet, juicy summer tomatoes. Add a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of herbs and you’re ready to serve this delicious dish! It's a great recipe to pair with your favorite Greek pasta dishes!
Cauliflower Breadsticks | Keto Breadsticks
If you've been doing a low-carb diet for long, you've probably grown accustomed to eating a lot of cauliflower in ways you never would have expected to before. Some recipes that replace carbs with cauliflower work, and some don't. These Cauliflower Breadsticks definitely work and I can't wait for you to try them.
Lemon Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts
Lemon Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts is a quick and easy salad that is peppery, sweet and satisfying. Arugula is tossed with cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese and finished off with a lemony, olive oil dressing.
Romano Bean Salad
This tasty Romano Bean Salad is made with blanched beans, salty feta, crunchy walnuts, and a drizzle of olive oil! It’s the perfect way to transform these long, flat beans into a delicious side dish!
Broccoli Raisin Salad
This vegan broccoli raisin salad is tossed with roasted onion, almonds, and a mustard vinaigrette for an easy and healthy make-ahead side dish!
Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard
A simple recipe for sautéed Swiss chard with garlic, onions, tomatoes and lemon. Garnished with some optional fresh parmesan cheese and easily made in a pot or skillet. It’s a low-calorie, vegetarian healthy side dish that is perfect to pair with your favorite pasta.
Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
This Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese salad is certain to become a favorite. It is light, full of flavor and so easy to make. Ideal to serve as a side dish to a delicious plate of pasta with some crusty bread on the side to mop up the delicious juices.
Easy 15 Minute Naan Margherita Pizza Recipe
The perfect simple and easy weeknight pizza recipe! This Easy Margherita Pizza Recipe is ready in under 15 minutes and is perfect for both kids and adults. The perfect combo of cheese, marinara sauce, fresh basil and homemade pesto. Serve it with your favorite pasta to create an Italian feast!
Instant Pot Tomato Basil Soup: Savory & Creamy Recipe
This Instant Pot creamy tomato basil soup is sure to be your new favorite side dish. It's definitely a crowd-pleaser and it's tasty with pasta!
These Socca Flatbreads make a great side dish to any meal. Top with garlic butter to make a delicious garlic bread to serve with pasta or use complimentary ingredients to the pasta dish you are preparing!
Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing
This kale salad is simple, yet full of flavor from the freshly grated Parmesan, lemon, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Serve this easy salad recipe as a side to your favorite plate of pasta!
Easy + Delicious Grilled Artichokes
Grilled artichokes are the perfect side dish: a little smoky, a little garlicky, and the perfect excuse to whip up some red pepper vinaigrette for dipping.
French Lentil Salad with Kale and Feta
This vegetarian kale salad with lentils and feta is served with a delicious spiced almond oil dressing. The olives add a nice briny flavor that makes this salad nice and savory!
Panko Crusted Asparagus
Tender asparagus spears coated with crunchy panko crumbs are a quick and delicious side dish to pair with your favorite pasta. This easy recipe only takes a few minutes to make!
Cream Cheese Veggie Pizza
This veggie "pizza" can be prepared in advance so you'll have an easy side dish that is loaded with fresh vegetables! Pair it with a creamy pasta or serve it with a cheese baked pasta dish!
Asparagus strawberries goat cheese crostini with balsamic glaze
This asparagus strawberries goat cheese crostini with balsamic glaze is an easy and delicious side dish to serve with any pasta recipe!
Garlic Ciabatta Bread
The easiest and the most delicious garlic bread right here. Made with a store-bought ciabatta, it takes next to nothing time to make. Buttery, garlicky, packed with fresh herbs, this bread makes a perfect side dish to pasta, soups, and is also great for any party!
Lemon Parmesan Brussels Sprouts
This delicious Lemon Parmesan Brussels Sprouts recipe makes for the perfect fresh tangy side. Easy to make and can be made ahead of time!
Looking for a few pasta recipes? Here are some of my favorites:
This list was so helpful and will go perfect with our pasta for dinners! Excited to try more of these sides! The family is going to love these. Thank you! 🙂
Oh wow, what a collection! Everything looks utterly delicious. I don’t know what to make first.
I am always looking for side dishes, especially to pair with pasta. You have given so many great ideas. Thank you!
These dishes look incredible! We eat a lot of pasta in my house so I’m saving this post for future reference.
I am always stuck on what to make for a side dish for pasta, so this is definitely going to come in handy!! Thank you so much for this post 🙂
Thank you for the list, they look amazing and delicious! My family usually have pasta so this post really helps!