What To Serve With Pasta?

If you’re wondering what to serve with pasta, you’re in the right place! Whether you’re craving a comforting bowl of spaghetti or a creamy fettuccine Alfredo, choosing the perfect accompaniments can take your pasta dish to the next level. From fresh salads to flavorful sauces and crispy garlic bread, there are countless options to enhance your pasta meal. Read on for some delicious ideas that will complement your pasta dish and create a well-balanced and satisfying meal.

One of the most classic and popular choices to serve with pasta is a fresh and vibrant salad. A crisp green salad with a variety of vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of your pasta. For added depth of flavor, consider tossing in some olives, feta cheese, or a tangy vinaigrette dressing.

If you’re looking to add some protein to your pasta meal, grilled or roasted chicken can be a perfect choice. The tender and juicy chicken pieces can be served on top of or alongside your pasta, adding a savory element that complements the pasta’s flavors. Additionally, sautéed shrimp, meatballs, or Italian sausage can also be excellent options to elevate your pasta dish.

No pasta meal is complete without a delicious sauce to coat the noodles. Whether you prefer a creamy Alfredo sauce, a tangy marinara, or a rich and meaty Bolognese

what to serve with pasta

Delicious and Easy Pasta Pairings

When it comes to comfort food, pasta is always a top contender. Whether you prefer a creamy alfredo, a hearty bolognese, or a light lemon garlic sauce, pasta dishes offer a wide range of flavors and options to suit any palate. But what makes a pasta dish truly shine is the perfect pairing. In this section, we will explore some delicious and easy pasta pairings that will take your meal to the next level.

1. Classic Marinara with Meatballs

One of the most beloved and timeless pasta pairings is a simple marinara sauce with meatballs. The rich flavors of the tomato-based sauce complement the savory meatballs perfectly. For an added burst of freshness, top it off with some grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves. It’s a classic combination that never fails to satisfy.

2. Creamy Alfredo with Grilled Chicken

If you’re in the mood for something creamy and comforting, look no further than a velvety alfredo sauce paired with grilled chicken. The richness of the sauce, made with butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese, pairs beautifully with the juicy and flavorful grilled chicken. Add some roasted garlic and a sprinkle of black pepper for an extra layer of complexity.

3. Spicy Arrabbiata with Italian Sausage

If you crave a pasta dish with a kick, a spicy arrabbiata sauce with Italian sausage is the perfect choice. The fiery tomato sauce infused with chili flakes adds a bold and robust flavor to the dish. The smokiness and spiciness of the Italian sausage complement the sauce beautifully, creating a harmonious balance of flavors that will leave your taste buds tingling.

4. Lemon Garlic with Shrimp

For a lighter and fresher option, a lemon garlic sauce with shrimp is a delightful combination. The zesty and tangy flavors of the lemon and garlic perfectly complement the sweetness of the shrimp. Enhance the dish by adding some chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s a refreshing and flavorful pairing that is perfect for a summer evening.

5. Pesto with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella

If you’re a fan of vibrant flavors and fresh ingredients, a pesto sauce paired with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella is a match made in heaven. The fragrant basil pesto, made with pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, provides a burst of herbaceousness. The juicy cherry tomatoes and creamy mozzarella add a delightful texture and tanginess to the dish.

6. Carbonara with Pancetta and Peas

For those who love a rich and indulgent pasta dish, a classic carbonara sauce with pancetta and peas is a must-try. The combination of the creamy egg-based sauce, salty pancetta, and sweet peas creates a symphony of flavors. Finish it off with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper and grated Pecorino Romano cheese for a true taste of Italy.

In summary, the key to a delicious pasta dish lies in the perfect pairing. Whether you prefer a classic marinara with meatballs, a creamy alfredo with grilled chicken, a spicy arrabbiata with Italian sausage, a refreshing lemon garlic with shrimp, a vibrant pesto with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella, or a rich carbonara with pancetta and peas, there’s a pasta pairing for everyone. So go ahead, get creative in the kitchen, and elevate your pasta game with these delicious and easy pairings.

Top Side Dishes for Pasta

Pasta is a versatile and delicious dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of side dishes to enhance its flavors and create a well-rounded meal. Whether you’re serving spaghetti, fettuccine, or penne, here are some top side dishes that will complement your pasta perfectly.

1. Garlic Bread

No pasta dinner is complete without a side of garlic bread. The warm and crispy bread, slathered with garlic-infused butter and topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, is the perfect companion to any pasta dish. The combination of flavors and textures is simply irresistible.

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2. Caprese Salad

A refreshing and light side dish, Caprese salad is a classic Italian favorite. Made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves, drizzled with balsamic glaze or a simple olive oil dressing, this salad adds a burst of freshness and tanginess to balance out the richness of the pasta.

3. Caesar Salad

If you’re looking for a side dish that packs a punch of flavor, Caesar salad is the way to go. Crisp romaine lettuce, tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing, and garnished with croutons and shaved parmesan cheese, creates a perfect contrast to the pasta. The combination of creamy and crunchy textures will delight your taste buds.

4. Roasted Vegetables

Adding a side of roasted vegetables to your pasta meal not only enhances the nutritional value but also adds a delicious depth of flavor. Roasting vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, and cherry tomatoes in olive oil, garlic, and herbs creates a caramelized and smoky taste that pairs perfectly with the pasta.

5. Grilled Asparagus

If you’re a fan of green vegetables, grilled asparagus is an excellent choice to accompany your pasta. The charred and tender asparagus spears add a touch of elegance and a unique earthy flavor to your meal. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with parmesan cheese for an extra zing.

6. Meatballs

For meat lovers, serving meatballs alongside pasta is a classic combination. Whether you prefer beef, pork, or a mixture of both, meatballs provide a hearty and savory component to your dish. Pair them with marinara sauce or toss them directly into your pasta for a flavorful and satisfying meal.

7. Bruschetta

Bruschetta is a delicious and easy-to-make side dish that adds a burst of freshness to your pasta meal. Toasted baguette slices topped with a mixture of diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil create a flavorful and vibrant accompaniment. The combination of the crispy bread and the juicy tomato mixture is a delightful contrast.

8. Grilled Shrimp

If you’re in the mood for seafood, grilled shrimp is an excellent choice to serve with pasta. The succulent and flavorful shrimp pairs perfectly with various pasta dishes, whether it’s a creamy Alfredo or a light lemony linguine. Seasoned with herbs, garlic, and lemon zest, grilled shrimp adds a delightful twist to your meal.

9. Antipasto Platter

Create an impressive spread of Italian delights with an antipasto platter as a side dish. A combination of cured meats, cheeses, olives, marinated vegetables, and briny pickles adds a variety of flavors and textures to your pasta meal. Arrange the ingredients on a platter and let your guests indulge in a medley of flavors.

10. Pesto Bruschetta

For a twist on traditional bruschetta, try making pesto bruschetta. Spread a layer of pesto sauce on toasted baguette slices and top with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. The aromatic blend of basil, garlic, and pine nuts in the pesto adds a tantalizing taste to the dish, making it a perfect side for any pasta entree.

These top side dishes for pasta will elevate your meal to a whole new level. Whether you prefer something light and refreshing or rich and indulgent, there’s a side dish for everyone. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite pairing and enjoy a satisfying and delicious pasta dinner.

Perfectly Paired Accompaniments for Pasta

When it comes to pasta, we often focus on the sauce and the type of noodle we use. However, the accompaniments that we serve alongside our pasta dish can elevate the overall taste and experience. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking to spruce up your weeknight pasta dinner, here are some perfectly paired accompaniments that will take your pasta dish to the next level.

1. Garlic Bread

No pasta meal is complete without a side of warm, garlicky bread. The combination of butter, garlic, and toasted bread is a match made in heaven. The crispy crust and soft center of the bread provide a delightful contrast to the pasta dish. You can either make your own garlic bread by slathering garlic butter on a baguette and toasting it in the oven, or you can opt for store-bought options for convenience.

2. Caprese Salad

A refreshing Caprese salad is an excellent accompaniment to any pasta dish. The combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fragrant basil leaves brings a burst of flavors to your palate. Drizzle the salad with a light balsamic glaze or a sprinkle of salt and pepper to enhance the taste. The vibrant colors of the Caprese salad also add visual appeal to your pasta spread.

3. Caesar Salad

A classic Caesar salad is a timeless companion to pasta. The crisp romaine lettuce, creamy Caesar dressing, and crunchy croutons add a nice textural contrast to the pasta dish. You can also top the salad with grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a more substantial accompaniment. The tanginess of the dressing complements the richness of the pasta sauce, creating a well-balanced meal.

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4. Antipasto Platter

Why settle for just one accompaniment when you can have an array of delicious bites? An antipasto platter is a fantastic option for those who enjoy variety. Fill your platter with cured meats, such as prosciutto and salami, a selection of cheeses, marinated olives, roasted peppers, and artichoke hearts. The combination of flavors and textures will add depth to your pasta meal.

5. Roasted Vegetables

For a healthier option, consider serving roasted vegetables alongside your pasta dish. Roasting vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and eggplant brings out their natural sweetness and intensifies their flavors. The caramelized edges of the roasted veggies complement the savory notes of the pasta sauce, creating a delightful combination.

6. Wine Pairings

No pasta dinner is complete without a glass of wine. The right wine can enhance the flavors in your pasta dish and elevate the overall dining experience. For lighter pasta dishes, such as seafood or white sauce-based pastas, opt for a crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. For heartier pasta dishes like meaty ragus or tomato-based sauces, a medium-bodied red wine like Chianti or Merlot pairs beautifully.


Pairing the right accompaniments with your pasta dish can greatly enhance the flavors and overall dining experience. From classic garlic bread and refreshing Caprese salad to a variety-packed antipasto platter and roasted vegetables, there are endless options to choose from. Don’t forget to select a complementary wine to complete your pasta dinner. With these perfectly paired accompaniments, your pasta meals will be taken to new heights of deliciousness.

Best Sides to Serve with Your Pasta Dish

When it comes to pasta dishes, it’s always a good idea to have some delicious sides to complement the flavors and add variety to your meal. Whether you’re preparing a classic spaghetti bolognese or a creamy fettuccine Alfredo, the right side dishes can take your pasta experience to the next level. Here are some of the best sides to serve with your pasta dish:

1. Garlic Bread

No pasta meal is complete without a side of garlic bread. The crunchy crust and soft, buttery center of garlic bread perfectly complement the rich flavors of pasta. Whether you choose to make your own from scratch or opt for store-bought garlic bread, this side dish is always a crowd-pleaser.

2. Caprese Salad

If you’re looking for a fresh and light side dish, a Caprese salad is a great choice. Made with ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant basil leaves, this salad adds a burst of color and freshness to your pasta meal. Drizzle some balsamic glaze or extra virgin olive oil over the salad for an extra flavor boost.

3. Caesar Salad

A classic Caesar salad is another excellent side dish for your pasta feast. The crisp romaine lettuce, tangy Caesar dressing, and crunchy croutons perfectly balance the richness of pasta dishes. Top it off with some shaved Parmesan cheese for an added layer of flavor.

4. Italian Antipasto Platter

If you’re looking to create a more substantial spread, an Italian antipasto platter is a fantastic choice. Fill a platter with a variety of cured meats, such as prosciutto and salami, along with marinated olives, roasted vegetables, and an assortment of cheeses. This side dish provides a mix of flavors and textures that complement any pasta dish.

5. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a versatile and healthy side dish to pair with your pasta. Choose your favorite vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, or cherry tomatoes, and toss them with olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Roast them in the oven until they are tender and slightly caramelized. The natural sweetness of the roasted vegetables adds a delightful contrast to the savory pasta.

6. Bruschetta

Bruschetta is a popular Italian appetizer that makes a wonderful side dish for pasta. Toasted baguette slices topped with a flavorful mixture of ripe tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil create a vibrant and refreshing accompaniment. It’s a great way to add some delicious crunch and freshness to your pasta meal.

7. Grilled Asparagus

If you’re in the mood for something green and healthy, grilled asparagus is a fantastic choice. Simply toss the asparagus spears with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then grill them until they are tender yet still have a slight crunch. The smoky flavor from the grill pairs beautifully with the richness of pasta dishes.

8. Meatballs

If you’re serving a meat-based pasta dish, why not add some homemade meatballs as a side? Whether you prefer classic Italian meatballs or opt for a twist with turkey or vegetarian options, meatballs are a delicious addition to any pasta meal. Serve them on the side or mix them into the pasta for an extra burst of flavor.

In summary, there are plenty of delicious sides that can elevate your pasta dish. From classic garlic bread to refreshing salads and flavorful antipasto platters, there’s something to suit every taste. Experiment with different combinations and discover your favorite pairings to create a memorable and satisfying pasta experience.

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Quick and Tasty Pasta Complements

When it comes to creating a delicious and satisfying meal, pasta is a reliable choice. Whether you’re craving a comforting bowl of spaghetti or a refreshing pasta salad, the possibilities are endless. However, to truly elevate your pasta dish, it’s important to pair it with complementary flavors and ingredients. In this section, we will explore some quick and tasty pasta complements that will take your pasta dishes to the next level.

Fresh Herbs

One of the easiest ways to enhance the flavors of your pasta is by adding fresh herbs. Whether you opt for basil, parsley, cilantro, or a combination of herbs, they add a burst of freshness that can transform a simple pasta dish. Simply chop the herbs and sprinkle them on top of your finished pasta, or toss them in while cooking for a more infused flavor.


No pasta dish is complete without a generous sprinkling of cheese. Whether you prefer the tangy sharpness of Parmesan, the creamy richness of mozzarella, or the nutty flavor of Gruyere, cheese adds depth and complexity to your pasta. Grate or crumble your chosen cheese on top of your pasta or melt it into a creamy sauce for a decadent twist.

Garlic and Olive Oil

For a simple yet flavorful pasta complement, look no further than garlic and olive oil. Heat some olive oil in a pan, add minced garlic, and sauté until fragrant. Drizzle this aromatic mixture over your cooked pasta for a deliciously savory and aromatic dish.

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables add a wonderful depth of flavor to your pasta dishes. Simply toss your favorite vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast them in the oven until they are tender and slightly caramelized. Mix these roasted vegetables with your cooked pasta for a wholesome and satisfying meal.


Adding protein to your pasta can make it even more satisfying and nutritious. Whether you prefer grilled chicken, sautéed shrimp, or pan-seared tofu, protein adds substance and flavor to your pasta. Cook your chosen protein separately and mix it into your pasta along with your favorite sauce or dressing.

Citrus Zest

If you’re looking for a burst of freshness and tanginess, citrus zest is the perfect addition to your pasta. Whether you choose lemon, lime, or orange zest, a sprinkle of citrus zest can brighten up your dish and add a refreshing twist. Simply grate the zest of your chosen citrus fruit and sprinkle it over your finished pasta.


Nuts add a delightful crunch and nuttiness to your pasta. Whether you choose pine nuts, almonds, or walnuts, toasting them briefly in a pan enhances their flavor. Sprinkle the toasted nuts over your pasta or blend them into a creamy pesto sauce for an irresistible combination of textures.


By incorporating these quick and tasty pasta complements, you can transform your ordinary pasta dishes into extraordinary meals. Whether you choose to add fresh herbs, cheese, garlic and olive oil, roasted vegetables, protein, citrus zest, or nuts, each complement brings its own unique flavor profile and texture to the table. So, next time you whip up a pasta dish, don’t forget to experiment with these delicious additions and take your pasta to new heights of flavor.


What are some good side dishes to serve with pasta?

There are several delicious side dishes that pair well with pasta. Some popular options include garlic bread, Caesar salad, roasted vegetables, and bruschetta.

Can I serve a protein with my pasta?

Absolutely! Adding a protein to your pasta can make it a more filling and balanced meal. Grilled chicken, shrimp, meatballs, or sautéed mushrooms are all great choices to serve alongside your pasta.

What about vegetarian options?

If you’re looking for vegetarian options, you can try adding sautéed spinach, roasted cherry tomatoes, or a creamy pesto sauce to your pasta. You can also serve it with a side of steamed vegetables or a mixed green salad.


In conclusion, when it comes to serving pasta, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re looking for a simple and classic pairing or want to experiment with unique flavors, there’s a wide array of options.
For a traditional approach, you can serve pasta with a delicious tomato sauce and grated Parmesan cheese. Or, if you’re craving something lighter, a refreshing salad with fresh greens and a tangy vinaigrette can be a perfect complement.
Additionally, you can also add protein-rich ingredients like grilled chicken or seafood to make your pasta dish more filling and nutritious. And don’t forget about the garlic bread or a side of roasted vegetables to round out the meal.
Ultimately, the choice of what to serve with pasta depends on your personal preferences and the flavor profile you’re aiming for. So go ahead, get creative, and enjoy your pasta dish with a mouthwatering accompaniment!

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