A comforting bowl of pasta is the perfect dinner for busy weeknights. It’s an easy, delicious meal that's versatile enough to share the dinner table with any of these 35 appetizers, side dishes, and sauces that pair perfectly with pasta.
What is your family’s favorite pasta dinner? A big bowl of spaghetti, pesto pasta, pasta Alfredo, or a big pan of cheesy baked shells?
Whatever your pasta night go-to is, simple side dishes can make it taste even better and bring tons of color and flavor to everyone’s dinner plate.
You can even lean on a crisp lettuce salad and fresh-from-the-oven breadsticks to breathe life into last night’s reheated pasta!
What Can Be Served with Pasta?
When it comes to choosing the best side dishes for your pasta dinner, there are endless options — and no wrong answers. Some of the most popular recipes to serve with pasta include things like:
- Appetizers — get the full restaurant experience with a simple appetizer
- Pizza — fact: no one will say no to a slice of pizza with their pasta
- Garlic bread or breadsticks — because sopping up sauce with garlicy bread is one of life’s simple pleasures
- Salads — a fresh lettuce side salad or veggie salad adds crunch and bright flavors to your pasta meal
- Fresh vegetables — a roasted vegetable side dish helps round out the meal
- A great sauce — step away from the jar and toss your pasta in an easy homemade sauce
- Protein — add meatballs, grilled chicken, steak, or ground beef to your pasta dinner for a hearty main dish
35 Delicious Dishes to Serve with Pasta
If you're wondering what to serve with pasta, take a twirl through this list of tasty appetizers, pizzas, breads, salads, vegetables, proteins, and pasta sauces.
Grilled Peach & Burrata Bruschetta with Prosciutto
Grilled Peach & Burrata Bruschetta with Prosciutto is topped with creamy burrata cheese, thinly sliced prosciutto, grilled peaches, fresh basil, and a balsamic drizzle A quick and easy appetizer, perfect for pasta night.
This super simple recipe for creamy caramelized Roasted Garlic tastes amazing smeared on bread or tossed with pasta.
Marinated Mozzarella Balls
Marinated Mozzarella Balls are marinated in extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs, and garlic for an incredibly flavorful appetizer. A quick and easy appetizer you can make in less than 15 minutes.
Air Fryer Artichokes with Garlic Aioli
Air Fryer Artichokes are tender and meaty with caramelized edges, and ready in half the time as oven roasted artichokes. Serve them with homemade garlic aioli and a drizzle of fresh lemon juice!
Goat Cheese Croquettes
Crispy Goat Cheese Croquettes are made from creamy goat cheese and thyme breaded in Panko and fried until golden. They’re finished with a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of finely chopped walnuts and almonds for an appetizer everyone will love!
Apples, pancetta, and cheese, and come together in just five minutes for a delicious and easy appetizer recipe you won't be able to stop eating.
Pizza & Bread
Chicken Caesar Pizza
Chicken Caesar Pizza is going to transform your pasta night into a full pizza and pasta buffet! This delicious pizza recipe comes together with tender chicken, Caesar dressing, and tasty toppings baked to a golden brown delight.
Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza
This recipe for BBQ Chicken Pizza is so simple and completely delicious! Use your favorite BBQ sauce, cooked chicken, and gooey cheese to create a gourmet pizza that makes a wonderful accompaniment to your pasta night dinner.
Easy Tortilla Pizzas
Tortilla Pizzas with Pesto & Goat Cheese come together with simple ingredients in about 15 minutes for a fast and easy appetizer pizza to tide everyone over until dinner's ready.
Cheesy Garlic Bread
This delicious Cheesy Garlic Bread starts with a French bread base spread with seasoned butter and topped with mozzarella cheese for that perfect cheesy pull!
Easy Garlic Knots
This easy homemade Garlic Knots recipe is made from refrigerated breadsticks dough and tastes just like delicious NYC pizzeria garlic knots! They’re perfect just the way they are, smeared with herb butter, or dipped in tomato sauce.
Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad
This Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad is a dish that will delight. Goat cheese and beetroot have long been a popular pairing and this salad demonstrates how well they work together. It is elegant with a beautiful combination of textures, flavors and colors.
Strawberry Pecan Salad
Strawberry Pecan Salad combines strawberries, feta cheese, mixed greens, toasted pecans, and a luscious strawberry dressing for a fresh and tasty salad to compliment your pasta dinner.
Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing
This Caesar Salad is crisp and delicious with a rich Parmesan garlic dressing, crunchy croutons, and lots of fresh lemon. It’s a classic salad staple that’s delicious with lasagna or any pasta dinner.
This classic Broccoli Salad is an easy, healthy side dish that brightens up any dinner table. It’s loaded with cranberries, sunflower seeds, almonds, and bacon — a perfect mix of sweet and crunchy.
Easy Mediterranean Salad Recipe
Enjoy this delicious Easy Mediterranean Salad made with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and red onions. It’s a great option for summer dinners or lunches outside.
Lemony Arugula Salad
This simple Lemony Arugula Salad with avocado and artichoke hearts is tangy, tasty, and satisfying — and you can make it in under 5 minutes. Sprinkle on some pomegranate seeds to add a pop of color, crunchy texture, and even more flavor.
This cool and refreshing Burrata Salad is a delicious take on the classic Caprese salad with fresh burrata, chopped tomatoes, leafy greens, and a flavorful pesto dressing.
Gluten-Free Panzanella Salad
This hearty Italian bread salad features ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, crispy prosciutto, and homemade gluten-free croutons. Tossed in an herby oil and vinegar dressing, this Gluten-Free Panzanella Salad is a dish that is sure to impress.
Easy Italian Caprese Salad Recipe
Caprese Salad is a simple and classic Italian salad made with juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves, drizzled with olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper. It’s an easy throw-together salad that makes a wonderful appetizer any time of the year.
Grilled Corn Panzanella Salad
Grilled Corn Panzanella Salad is a fresh Tuscan salad made from fresh tomatoes, charred corn, mozzarella cheese, basil, and homemade croutons. Summer on a plate!
Italian Salad Recipe
This Italian Salad is a blend of fresh greens, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, olives, cheese, and croutons, all tossed together in a homemade dressing. A colorful, quick, and easy side salad for pasta night.
Creamy Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream And Dill
This easy Cucumber Salad with sour cream and dill takes just a few minutes to throw together with simple ingredients. It’s crunchy, creamy, and full of fresh dill flavor — and you can serve it with just about anything!
Roasted Green Beans
These Roasted Green Beans are fresh green beans coated in butter, garlic, olive oil, and herbs, then cooked at high heat until tender and browned. It’s a super easy side dish recipe and the best way to enjoy green beans!
Baked Portobello Mushrooms with Feta
These Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms pair deliciously with pasta! They're piled high with feta, white beans, spinach, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and more goodness, then topped with Parmesan and baked to golden perfection.
Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
Roasted Cauliflower Steaks are a nutritious and delicious side dish for pasta or any meal! They’re seasoned to perfection and a cinch to make — and just might become your new favorite side dish.
Crispy Parmesan Garlic Zucchini Fries
These Parmesan garlic zucchini fries are golden brown, crispy, and amazing every time! Serve with warm marinara dipping sauce for a delicious side or appetizer.
Roasted Broccolini with crispy white beans and zesty Greek yogurt tahini dressing comes together in just 30 minutes for a fast and easy pasta night side dish.
Beef & Chicken
Slow Cooker Meatballs
These Italian-Style Meatballs require NO browning! This is an easy dump-and-go recipe that’s a great way to feed a crowd or store in the freezer for future pasta dinners, subs, and appetizers! You’ve just found your new favorite meatball recipe!
Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs
Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs are juicy and full of flavor, with perfectly crispy skin. An easy one-pan recipe that tastes great with pasta and your favorite sides.
Air Fryer Flank Steak
Air Fryer Flank Steak is tender, juicy, and super easy to make with a flavorful 3-ingredient marinade. Top it with delicious Corn Relish for a whole meal that cooks in about 20 minutes!
Grilled Chicken Tenders
These easy Grilled Chicken Tenders are marinated in a simple but flavorful marinade, then grilled on an outdoor grill or a grill pan for a quick lunch or dinner the whole family will love.
Why buy a jar of pasta sauce when you can make it from scratch? This homemade Marinara Sauce is easy and flavorful, with plenty of fresh basil, and tastes great on pasta or in lasagna.
Spinach Pasta Sauce
This 5-ingredient Spinach Pasta Sauce is a delicious recipe you can whizz together in a few minutes and serve with your favorite pasta or ravioli.
Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese
Alfredo Sauce with Cream Cheese is an easy homemade pasta sauce you can make in about 10 minutes with simple ingredients for a quick weeknight dinner.
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