When you’re serving Cioppino, an Italian-American seafood stew that requires a spoon and lots of napkins, you’ll need a great side dish to go with it.
Or maybe two.
The Cioppino itself is only half the meal, meaning your side dish should be just as delicious, but not too heavy.
A side of rice? Check.
Vegetables? Of course.
Bread to sop up the extra broth? Sure!
But how do you choose?
When it comes to choosing a side dish for Saturday’s Cioppino, you have plenty of options.
In fact, in this article, you’ll find 8 of our top favorites.
Sit back, relax, and read on to see the recipes that should go alongside your seafood soup this weekend.
What to Serve with Cioppino: 8 Best Side Dishes
Before we dive into this list of delicious side dishes, I want to let you know that you can pick any of these dishes to go with your Cioppino. The list is in no particular order, because they’re all equally tasty and authentic to the cuisine.
However, if your Cioppino is already cooked and in bowls, you might want to choose something that isn’t too saucy or complex.
Here are 8 side dishes that will be perfect for your Cioppino this weekend:
1. Garlic Bread
You know, there’s a reason why garlic bread is so popular. It’s crunchy, it’s garlicky… and it goes with just about any dinner that you can imagine.
So, when in doubt about what to serve with your Cioppino, just grab some French bread and toast it up nice and crispy. Make yourself some garlic butter or olive oil, and spread it on top.
You can also get creative with this one – maybe you want to make it even more like your Cioppino by adding some shrimp to the top.
Why this works: Bread is bread. It’s a classic go-to side, and it works just as well with Cioppino as it does with spaghetti and marinara.
Speaking of bread, what goes better with a piping hot bowl of soup than a piping hot breadstick?
And you’re not going to believe how simple it is to make fresh, hot breadsticks right in your own kitchen.
Just mix up some yeast, water, salt and flour – oh, and a few other ingredients – and you’ve got some bread dough on your hands.
Let the dough rise, and then cut it into strips. You can twist the strips into fun shapes, or just leave them as sticks. Bake on a sheet pan in your oven for 10 minutes, and you’re done!
Why this works: You can’t go wrong with bread. It’s perfect for dunking in the broth of any soup or stew, and is easy to make in any quantity.
Potatoes are kind of like bread: they’re a staple that goes with just about anything. And if you cook up some crispy smashed potatoes, they’re even better!
You could also use waffle fries, or cook these Parmesan and parsley potatoes in the oven until they’re crispy on the outside. Add some more parmesan cheese on top for extra deliciousness.
These are great to serve with Cioppino because they’re filling, but not too heavy. They’re also easy to make, so feel free to whip them up rather quickly when you’re in a pinch!
Why this works: Potatoes are just about the perfect side dish – warm, hearty, and filling.
Italian green beans are, well… green. They’re fresh, they’re crisp, and they go with just about anything – including Italian seafood dishes.
To make these Italian green beans, you’ll start with some fresh green beans and a head of garlic. Peel off all the outer layers of the garlic, and then roast it in the oven.
While that’s happening, you can blanche your green beans (that means cook them for a few minutes in boiling water). Once they’re finished, toss them with your roasted garlic and some olive oil and lemon juice.
Why this works: Green beans are light, fresh, and delicious. When you roast garlic, it gets sweet and candy-like.
Now, Cioppino already has some seafood in it. However, if you’re looking for a fresh way to serve up some greens with your meal, creamed spinach is a great choice.
To make this dish, you’ll need to start by blanching some fresh spinach. After that, you’ll get it ready by adding some nutmeg (for extra flavor), salt & pepper (to taste), and plenty of parmesan cheese.
You can serve this creamy spinach dish on its own, or you can bulk it up with some breadcrumbs and some bread on the side.
Why this works: Creamy spinach is a classic Italian dish, and it’s easy to make. Plus, creamed spinach with parmesan is just about one of the most delicious side dishes out there.
Have you ever tried grilled asparagus? If you haven’t, you should!
To make it, start by trimming your asparagus. You should cut the bottom part off, leaving only the head.
Next, toss your asparagus into a grill basket (if you don’t have one, just put it on a piece of foil). You’ll then want to drizzle the stalks with olive oil and season them up with salt & pepper.
Grill them for about 5 minutes, turning them over halfway through. Once they’re done, you can serve them up with some lemon wedges.
Why this works: Grilled asparagus is one of the best side dishes out there, and it’s even better when made on the grill. Plus, it goes great with Cioppino!
7. Potato Salad
To make it, start by boiling your potatoes for about 15 minutes or so. Once they’re done, you’ll want to let them cool off before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Now, you’ll want to add some red onion, celery, dill pickles, mustard, sour cream, mayonnaise (feel free to experiment here), and bread crumbs. Season the whole thing up with salt & pepper – or even better yet, Old Bay!
…and they’re ready to serve.
Why this works: Potato salad goes great with seafood because it’s light and flavorful – two things that make a good side dish. Plus, you can add Old Bay seasoning if you want!
Hold on to your hats, because we’re going back to Italian greens for a second. Here’s another great side dish that pairs well with Cioppino: fried zucchini!
As the name implies, you’ll need some fresh zucchini to make these. You can make them out of fresh zucchini spears, or you can cut the zucchini into rounds. Either way is fine! Just remember to slice off the ends before you start slicing up your veggies.
Now, every good fry deserves a good dredge – that means covering your slices in flour, egg wash (eggs plus some water), and breadcrumbs. You can add some Italian seasoning or Old Bay for some extra flavor if you want!
Fry up your slices in a deep fryer for about 3 minutes, and then place them on some paper towels to blot off the excess grease. Serve these with some lemon wedges and sliced olives (not too much – they’re super salty).
Why this works: Fried zucchini is lightly fried, crispy on the outside, and soft in the center – which makes them good for pairing with seafood. Plus, they go great with lemon wedges!
Why Consider Serving A Side Dish For Cioppino?
Cioppino is another easy dish to cook up that’s ideal for the home cook.
It’s a seafood stew that combines several different types of seafood and vegetables into a flavorful concoction.
While this dish has a few variations, all of them tend to include salmon, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, and a variety of different types of fish and shellfish.
However, not everyone eats cioppino because they have to.
Many eat it because they truly enjoy the taste and texture of cioppino together.
Therefore, serving side dishes can be a great way for you to experiment with the meal and keep it fresh.
The best side dishes for cioppino are anything that complements or contrasts the meal.
For example, consider pairing it with a fruit salad to lighten the meal.
Or serve alongside burgers or sandwiches to create an unusual combination of foods.
However, no matter how you decide to serve your cioppino, remember to keep it simple – experiment with flavorings and textures, but keep it classic.
Cioppino is a classic Italian seafood stew that’s easy to make and has tons of flavor.
However, it’s often served as a main course, so it’s important to pair it with other dishes to make sure everyone gets their fill of it.
Our top picks are these side dishes because they have a unique combination of flavors that make them both delicious and easy to eat alongside cioppino.
8 Easy Side Dishes for Cioppino
- Garlic Bread
- Garlic Italian Breadsticks
- Parmesan & Parsley Potatoes
- Italian Green Beans with Roasted Garlic
- Creamed Spinach with Parmesan
- Grilled Asparagus
- Potato Salad
- Fried Zucchini
- Pick any of these tasty and easy sides.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready to serve in no time!