Home Recipe Roundup 25 Best Side Dishes for Pasta (+ Easy Recipes)

25 Best Side Dishes for Pasta (+ Easy Recipes)

Take comfort food to the next level and add these side dishes for pasta

Saucy noodles are always a good idea but sometimes you need a side dish.

From garlic bread to veggies, this list will help you find your favorite. 

Meatballs Pasta with Tomato Sauce
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Sometimes, a simple salad will do it. Other times, flavor-packed garlic bread is necessary.

Whatever you crave, these side dishes for pasta will hit the spot. 

Add these recipes to your weeknight menu or serve them at your next dinner party.

No matter the occasion, you’ll make these side dishes for pasta on repeat. 

1. Caesar Salad

Salad is often a go-to side dish for pasta. A light salad with a flavorful dressing is one of my favorites. 

This classic Caesar salad has it all. Fresh and crisp greens get smothered in a creamy dressing.

Then, toss in tons of shaved Parmesan cheese and crunchy homemade croutons. 

Serve it with pasta or add chicken and make it a whole meal. 

2. Homemade Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is one of the only things that somehow actually makes pasta better. 

Get a loaf of French bread, and you’ll have the best garlic bread in no time. 

Smother the fluffy bread in garlic butter that’s packed with flavor.

Sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese and bake it to perfection. 

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This simple homemade garlic bread is pretty perfect. 

3. Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are a fantastic side dish or appetizer to enjoy with any pasta. 

They make an impressive dish and they’re super tasty. Fill each mushroom with tons of creamy crabmeat. 

Bake the mushrooms until they’re tender and the crab is warm and delectable. 

These meaty and earthy stuffed mushrooms are the ideal addition to pasta night. 

4. Cheese-Stuffed Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is one thing, but stuff it with cheese, and you’ll be addicted. 

This loaf of fluffy bread is filled to the brim with the good stuff.

Salty Parmesan, gooey mozzarella, and garlic butter are bursting out of this bread. 

Add some everything bagel seasoning for even more flavor. This bread is next-level. 

5. Homemade Garlic Knots

Garlic knots are fun, flavorful, and a fantastic side for your favorite pasta dish.

Don’t worry, you won’t believe how easy these are to make at home.

I love how soft and fluffy these are. The dough is simple and then they’re coated with an irresistible garlic herb butter. 

Dunk them in your pasta sauce or serve them with their own tomato sauce.

They’re one of my favorite party foods, and they’re always a great side dish. 

6. Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is an Italian classic that is a lovely companion for pasta dishes. 

Fresh and juicy tomatoes paired and creamy mozzarella cheese is one tasty duo.

Add fresh basil for loads of summery flavor. 

A simple dressing of olive oil, salt, and pepper gives this salad a wonderful flavor.

Enjoy Caprese salad as a side, appetizer, or even a light lunch.

7. Classic Minestrone Soup

Minestrone soup and pasta go together like two peas in a pod.

Serve this alongside your favorite pasta for the best rainy-day meal ever. 

Minestrone soup has a tomato-based broth filled with tender veggies and potatoes.

It’s the perfect way to add extra veggies to your meal. 

Minestrone soup can even be served as a whole meal on its own or with some bread. 

8. Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan

A classic roasted veggie tastes fantastic with all pasta dishes. 

This roasted broccoli with Parmesan is one of my favorites.

With just a few ingredients and some time in the oven, you’ll be set!

Sprinkle some salty Parmesan cheese and pepper on top. You’ve never had broccoli this good. 

9. Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Speaking of green veggies, this recipe for Brussels sprouts in the air fryer is incredible. 

They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and packed with flavor. 

They’re coated in delicious maple flavor and the mayo-mustard dipping sauce is divine.

If you’ve been hesitant about sprouts, you have to try these. 

10. Perfect Roasted Asparagus

Roasted asparagus isn’t everybody’s favorite but once you try this recipe, it will be yours. 

Asparagus gets nice and tender in the oven. Plus, you can season asparagus however you like. 

Add a squeeze of lemon, some fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.

Then, sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese for the ultimate finishing touch. 

Asparagus will be your new favorite side dish. 

11. Antipasto Salad

Antipasto salad is not your average side salad. It’s loaded with sliced meats and cheeses, and has an irresistible dressing! 

Start with fresh greens and then throw on the extras.

Add salami, mozzarella, roasted peppers, green and black olives, artichokes, and more!

Toss everything in a lemon dressing that’s purely scrumptious. It makes a lovely side dish or starter for pasta night. 

Plus, you can turn this salad into an easy lunch the next day!

12. Meatballs

Meatballs are sort of a no-brainer when pasta is involved. 

This recipe is also super versatile. These meatballs will taste great with almost any sauce. 

Baked meatballs are easy and delicious. Add protein and flavor to your pasta dish with this recipe. 

Serve them with tomato sauce, cream sauce, or even barbecue sauce!

13. Sauteed Zucchini

Sauteed zucchini is a great veggie side dish for pasta. Grab some squash from the garden or local and get cookin’!

Zucchini is one of the easiest vegetables to cook and this recipe is no exception. All you need is a few simple ingredients. 

Use both olive oil and butter and season the squash with garlic, salt, and pepper.

It’s so quick to make and will taste wonderful with any meal. 

14. Arugula Salad

Arugula is one of my favorite greens for salads. It’s peppery and full of flavor even on its own. 

Toss in some chewy dried cranberries, flavorful Parmesan cheese, and crispy almonds.

You’ll love it even if you don’t love salad. 

Add a tart lemon or balsamic dressing for the perfect bite.

It’s a light and fresh side dish to accompany your savory pasta. 

15. Easy Sauteed Spinach

Sauteed spinach can be a super tasty dish. If you’ve never tried sauteed spinach, it’s a must. 

This leafy green is filled with vitamins and minerals and it tastes great, too!

Saute the spinach until it’s wilted with some garlic, oil, and salt. 

This is the best way to use up that leftover spinach in your fridge. 

16. Tomato Bruschetta

Serve your pasta with a traditional Italian classic. Bruschetta is a yummy appetizer or side dish that everybody loves. 

Marinate diced tomatoes with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil. 

Simple Mediterranean ingredients combine to make a wonderful dish.

Trust me, even tomato haters will eat this bruschetta. 

17. Italian Stuffed Artichokes

Artichokes don’t have to be intimidating. This recipe makes it easy to enjoy this delicious dish at home!

Cut open these artichokes and fill them with tons of cheese, garlic, and breadcrumbs. 

Don’t forget plenty of fresh herbs and a touch of lemon juice. 

This is a great recipe if you’re an artichoke novice or an at-home expert. 

18. Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

I love using shaved Brussels sprouts as salad greens.

Sprouts have so much flavor and they’re nice and crispy when served raw. 

Toss the shaved Brussels with crisp apples, dried cranberries, cheese, and sunflower seeds.

Throw in some green onions for added flavor. The lemon Dijon mustard is also heavenly. 

This fall-flavored salad is a lovely compliment to comforting pasta dishes.

19. Italian Chopped Salad

The Italian chopped salad is full of Mediterranean flavors. What could possibly be a better pasta pairing? 

Iceberg lettuce, soft cheese, fresh tomatoes, and protein-packed chickpeas make one great salad. 

Add spicy peppers and a fantastic vinaigrette and you’re in for a great meal. 

20. Italian Oven-Roasted Vegetables

Sometimes simple veggies are the best option. This recipe is foolproof and will help you clean out your fridge!

Toss all of your favorite veggies in herbs and olive oil. Try zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, and garlic. 

You can even add more of your favorites like broccoli, squash, or carrots. 

21. Soft Italian Breadsticks

Breadsticks at home? That’s an instant “yes” from me. 

Prepare a yeast dough to create pillowy breadsticks that will liven up any meal. They’re easier to make than you would think.

Plus, one bite and you’ll already be reaching for more. 

This Olive Garden copycat recipe will leave you more than happy to cook at home. 

22. Easy 10-Minute Garlic Broccolini

Garlic broccolini is an elevated veggie side dish that’s super quick and easy to make. 

Spend more time focused on your pasta dish and less time on the side dish.

This recipe only requires seven ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes. 

23. Toasted Ravioli

Um, pasta to go with your pasta? Absolutely. 

Little ravioli can be either fried or baked. Either way, they come out super crispy on the outside. The cheesy filling oozes out with each bite. 

Dip these into warm marinara sauce or scoop up your pasta sauce. Yum!

24. Oven-Roasted Eggplant

Roasted eggplant is a flavorful dish that can even be added directly to your pasta. 

When roasted in the oven, eggplant gets the most delightful texture.

It’s soft, tender, and perfectly caramelized on the outside. 

I love how this dish is simply seasoned with oil, salt, and pepper. 

25. Panzanella Salad

Panzanella salad is basically a bread or crouton salad. You have to try it!

This one combines fresh tomatoes, cheese, onions, basil, and a tart vinaigrette.

Use good crusty bread for the best results. 

Try this Tuscan recipe on your next pasta night and thank me later. 

25 Best Side Dishes for Pasta (+ Easy Recipes)

Try these side dishes for pasta for a complete Italian meal! From garlic bread to Caesar salad to meatballs, each of these recipes is the perfect pairing.


  • Caesar Salad

  • Homemade Garlic Bread

  • Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

  • Cheese-Stuffed Garlic Bread

  • Homemade Garlic Knots

  • Caprese Salad

  • Classic Minestrone Soup

  • Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan

  • Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

  • Perfect Roasted Asparagus

  • Antipasto Salad

  • Meatballs

  • Sauteed Zucchini

  • Arugula Salad

  • Easy Sauteed Spinach

  • Tomato Bruschetta

  • Italian Stuffed Artichokes

  • Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

  • Italian Chopped Salad

  • Italian Oven-Roasted Vegetables

  • Soft Italian Breadsticks

  • Easy 10-Minute Garlic Broccolini

  • Toasted Ravioli

  • Oven-Roasted Eggplant

  • Panzanella Salad


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a pasta side dish in 30 minutes or less!
Side Dishes for Pasta

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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