Home Recipe Roundup What to Serve with Pesto Pasta (30 Easy Side Dishes)

What to Serve with Pesto Pasta (30 Easy Side Dishes)

Wondering what to serve with pesto pasta? What makes this dish extra special is that it pairs perfectly with a range of sides. 

While pesto is a star on its own, it becomes a true sensation when paired with the right companions. Get ready to dive into a world of mouthwatering possibilities.

Homemade Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Basil
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From traditional bread to roasted vegetables and juicy meats, these dishes will elevate your pasta game.

You’ll want to try them all!

1. Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza

When indulging in a pasta bowl, a slice of pizza should always be present. And this rosemary-roasted butternut squash pizza will not fail you!

The crust packs melty cheese, smoky bacon, rich basil pesto, and savory roasted butternut squash. Plus, it’s infused with the mouthwatering aroma of rosemary.

One bite will transport you to pizza heaven!

2. Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi Recipe

Give your pesto pasta a protein boost with garlic butter shrimp scampi.

The succulent shrimp are sautéed in garlic and butter until perfectly cooked. They’re served over al dente pesto pasta for a kick of protein and flavor.

The rich, buttery sauce will have you begging for more.

3. Oven Roasted Vegetables

Get your daily dose of veggies by pairing oven-roasted vegetables with your pasta. 

Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in these colorful gems. The savory, smoky flavor goes perfectly with the nutty taste of pesto pasta. 

Each bite bursts with flavor and nutrition, making it a guilt-free indulgence.

4. Grilled New York Strip Steak with Spicy Rub

For something hearty and filling to pair with your pasta dish, try this New York strip steak.

The cut of meat is encrusted with a bold, spicy rub for a flavor boost. It’s grilled to achieve the perfect char and infuse the meat with rich flavors.

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This juicy, smoky meat will elevate your pesto pasta meal to a new level of indulgence.

5. Fluffy Garlic Butter Breadsticks 

Nothing beats the classic pairing of bread and pasta. And a basket of these garlic butter breadsticks is the perfect indulgence!

The soft, warm bread is brushed with garlic butter. It’s the perfect complement to soak up the herbaceous flavors of the pesto pasta.

Trust me, you’ll want to eat more than one.

6. Roasted Aubergine Salad

Elevate your pasta game with a delicious, savory addition: roasted aubergine salad.

It bursts with smoky, aubergine morsels, a tangy balsamic glaze, and juicy cherry tomatoes. It provides a light yet flavorful contrast to your rich pesto pasta.

The best part? This hearty salad only takes 30 minutes to make!

7. Chicken Milanese 

Savor your pasta alongside this chicken Milanese recipe!

The tender, juicy chicken breasts are coated in crispy breadcrumbs and fried to crispy golden perfection.

They’re topped with zesty lemon wedges and a sprinkle of fresh chives for a bright flavor kick.

This classic Italian favorite pairs beautifully with your pesto pasta for a meal that’s genuinely bellissimo!

8. No-Cook Cold Antipasto Platter

Are you on the hunt for the perfect party dish? This no-cook cold antipasto platter can’t be topped.

It’s a lavish spread featuring a combination of cured meats, cheeses, olives, and marinated beans. 

This delicious assortment is the perfect way to kickstart your pesto pasta feast. It offers a tempting array of textures and flavors you’ll love.

9. Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Add a bright, refreshing touch to your pesto pasta dinner with this iconic Italian appetizer!

The baguette slices are brushed with olive oil and garlic, then toasted to crispy perfection. 

They’re adorned with a vibrant, fresh medley of juicy tomatoes, fragrant basil, and flavorful balsamic glaze.

This tomato and basil bruschetta will be your go-to pasta side!

10. Oven-Baked Salmon

Dive into a healthy and delicious meal by pairing your pesto pasta with oven-baked salmon.

It’s infused with rich, savory flavors thanks to the blend of brown sugar, butter, and garlic. This succulent, omega-3-rich fish is an exquisite pairing with pesto pasta.

11. Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

These cheesy spinach-stuffed mushrooms are full of comforting flavor.

The tender mushroom caps are filled with a creamy spinach and cheese mixture. They ooze with mouthwatering flavors and delightful textures. 

When you pair them with pesto pasta, they’re guaranteed to satisfy.

12. Baked Pork Tenderloin

Make your pasta meal meaty and extra filling with this hearty baked pork tenderloin.

The juicy pork tenderloin is marinated in aromatic herbs and spices. It’s baked to succulent perfection, allowing the flavors to sink into the tender cut of meat.

Your oven will do most of the work for you, making this perfect for a weeknight dinner.

13. Strawberry Arugula Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Brighten your day with bursts of flavor from this strawberry arugula salad. It screams freshness, featuring juicy strawberries, peppery arugula, sharp red onions, and creamy avocado

Plus, it’s drizzled with zesty lemon poppyseed dressing to tie everything together. Once you try this salad, you’ll want this on your table every summer.

14. Air Fryer Cheese Curds 

Crispy, golden-brown cheese curds air-fried to perfection are the ideal side for pesto pasta. With one bite, you’ll love how the crisp crust gives way to the melty cheese inside.

These addictive, cheesy morsels are an irresistible accompaniment to your pesto pasta.

15. Italian Ciabatta Sandwich with Calabrian Chile Mayo

Are you staring down a busy day and need a meal to fill you up? Pair your pesto pasta with this Italian ciabatta sandwich!

This sumptuous, flavor-packed sandwich features tender Italian meats and fresh veggies.

It’s slathered with zesty Calabrian chile mayo nestled between two pillowy-soft slices of ciabatta. This delectable sandwich will add a little kick to your pesto pasta experience.

16. Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Satisfy your cravings for something sweet and savory with these roasted sweet potatoes. They’re roasted until caramelized and tender to bring out their natural sweetness.

These comforting, earthy delights are a fantastic addition to your pesto pasta dinner. They offer a warm, subtly sweet counterbalance to the bold flavors of the pasta.

17. Lobster Tail

Are you planning an elegant date night at home? You can’t go wrong by pairing pesto pasta with this lobster tail recipe.

The lobster tail is brushed with buttery garlic herb sauce and delicately broiled. It’s rich, juicy, and brimming with indulgent flavors.

This luxurious seafood treat adds a touch of elegance to your pesto pasta experience. It’s a showstopper that’s guaranteed to create a truly indulgent feast.

18. Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is the ideal light side dish for pesto pasta.

This classic Italian masterpiece features ripe, juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fresh basil. It’s drizzled with high-quality olive oil and balsamic glaze to tie up all the flavors. 

This iconic salad provides freshness and harmonizes beautifully with pesto pasta.

19. Focaccia Bread

Nothing beats the classic pairing of pasta and bread for a light yet filling meal. And with slices of tender focaccia bread, you’ll love every bit of your pasta.

The aromatic, golden-brown focaccia bread is infused with fresh herbs and butter. It’s the perfect canvas to soak up all the delicious pesto flavors.

20. Burrata Cheese with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Melt into a delicious experience with this creamy and indulgent burrata cheese with roasted cherry tomatoes. 

The creamy cheese pairs perfectly with the sweet and tangy roasted cherry tomatoes. It’s a dish that’s both luxurious and delicious. 

When paired with pesto pasta, it’s a meal that will impress everyone!

21. Parmesan Crusted Baked White Fish

This Parmesan-crusted baked white fish is a low-fat source of protein.

The delicate, flaky white fish is encased in a golden Parmesan crust and baked to perfection. Every bite has savory and cheesy flavors, complementing the rich and herby pesto pasta.

This elegant, flavor-packed dish provides a delightful contrast to pesto pasta.

22. Baked Italian Meatballs

These meaty, juicy morsels of deliciousness are so addictive!

The tender, juicy meatballs are generously seasoned with a medley of Italian herbs and spices. They’re a mouthwatering complement to your pesto pasta.

Each piece is like a flavor bomb waiting for you to take a bite.

23. Avocado and Crab Toast

Indulge in this luxurious pairing of creamy avocado and succulent crab meat. It’s piled high on a crisp, golden toast for a mouthful of deliciousness. 

Boasting a symphony of textures and flavors, this dish promises an unforgettable sensory experience.

24. Crispy Fried Calamari

Delight your senses with the crunchy bite of fried calamari! Made with squid rings coated with perfectly seasoned batter, it will make you reach for seconds. It’s deep-fried to crispy golden perfection, giving way to the chewy squid.

Served with a zesty dipping sauce, calamari makes a sublime accompaniment to pesto pasta.

25. Italian Roasted Bell Peppers

Savor the vibrant colors and flavors of these Italian roasted bell peppers. They’re coated with garlic, vinegar, and olive oil and roasted to tender perfection. 

Featuring a medley of sweet, smoky, and savory notes, they’ll elevate your pesto pasta to new heights.

26. Grilled Lamb Chops

Feast on these juicy, tender grilled lamb chops for the ultimate pesto pasta dining experience.

The tender cut of meat is infused with the irresistible aroma of garlic and herb marinade. It’s grilled to smoky, charred perfection for the perfect fall-apart tender bite.

Their rich, succulent flavor will leave your tastebuds dancing with joy.

27. Cheesy Garlic Bread

This heavenly combo of melted cheese and buttery garlic is impossible to resist. It’s the ultimate comfort food full of heartwarming deliciousness.

This indulgent, gooey garlic bread is the ultimate companion to pesto pasta. One bite of this hearty bread will instantly turn your day around!

28. Italian Salad with Parmesan Herb Dressing

Refresh your palate with this crisp, vibrant salad!

It has fresh greens, juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, roasted red peppers, and marinated artichoke hearts. Plus, it’s loaded with croutons for a crisp contrast.

Drizzled with a creamy Parmesan herb dressing, it’s a symphony of flavors that’ll brighten your meal.

29. Broiled Scallops

Pair these tender, succulent scallops with your pesto pasta to satisfy your seafood cravings.

The scallops are seasoned with garlic herb sauce and delicately broiled to showcase their natural sweetness. A sprinkle of parsley adds a fresh finish to the meal.

30. Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders

Relish these juicy, grilled chicken tenders’ irresistible blend of sweet and tangy flavors. They’re lovingly glazed with a honey mustard sauce and grilled to charred, smoky perfection. 

Each tender morsel packs savory flavors, making them the perfect partner to pesto pasta.

What to Serve with Pesto Pasta (30 Easy Side Dishes)

For an unforgettable meal, serve side dishes like pizza, breadsticks, bruschetta, and baked salmon with pesto pasta.


  • Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza

  • Oven Roasted Vegetables

  • Grilled New York Strip Steak with Spicy Rub

  • Fluffy Garlic Butter Breadsticks

  • Roasted Aubergine Salad

  • Chicken Milanese

  • No-Cook Cold Antipasto Platter

  • Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

  • Oven Baked Salmon

  • Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

  • Baked Pork Tenderloin

  • Strawberry Arugula Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

  • Air Fryer Cheese Curds

  • Italian Ciabatta Sandwich with Calabrian Chile Mayo

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • Lobster Tail

  • Caprese Salad

  • Focaccia Bread

  • Burrata Cheese with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

  • Parmesan Crusted Baked White Fish

  • Avocado and Crab Toast

  • Crispy Fried Calamari

  • Italian Roasted Bell Peppers

  • Grilled Lamb Chops

  • Cheesy Garlic Bread

  • Italian Salad with Parmesan Herb Dressing

  • Broiled Scallops

  • Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a side for pesto pasta in 30 minutes or less!
What to Serve with Pesto 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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