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What to Serve with Cioppino: 21 Best Side Dishes

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.

Read Also: Cioppino Wine Pairing – The Best Wines for Cioppino

What to Serve with Cioppino

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 21 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: 21 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 21 side dishes that will be perfect for your Cioppino this weekend:

1. Garlic Bread

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.

2. Garlic Italian Breadsticks

Garlic Italian Breadsticks

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.

3. Parmesan & Parsley Potatoes

Parmesan & Parsley Potatoes

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.

4. Italian Green Beans with Roasted Garlic

Italian Green Beans with Roasted Garlic

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.

5. Creamed Spinach with Parmesan

Creamed Spinach with Parmesan

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.

6. Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus

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

Potato Salad

I know what you’re thinking: potato salad with seafood? Yes. Potato salad is one of those go-to side dishes that goes great with just about any meal – including Cioppino.

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!

8. Fried Zucchini

Fried Zucchini

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!

9. A Simple Green Salad

Simple Green Salad

A green salad is the perfect side dish for a variety of meals.

Not only is it healthy and flavorful, but it’s also quick and easy to prepare.

  1. To make a simple green salad, start with a base of fresh greens.
  2. Then, add in any other vegetables or fruits you like. For a bit of Crunch, include some chopped nuts or sunflower seeds.
  3. Finally, top it off with your favorite dressing.

Whether you’re making a picnic lunch or a dinner for two, a green salad is always a good choice.

And best of all, it’s so simple to make!

10. Sautéed Spinach

Sauteed Spinach

Sautéed spinach is a healthy and flavorful side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses.

Sautéing helps to retain its nutrients, making sautéed spinach a nutritious addition to any meal.

In addition, sautéing spinach helps to bring out its natural sweetness.

The key to making a good sautéed spinach dish is to use fresh spinach and to not overcook it.

Overcooked spinach can be bitter and unappetizing.

When shopping for spinach, look for leaves that are dark green and free of brown spots.

When cooking, be sure to only cook the spinach until it is wilted and bright green.

Add a little garlic or lemon juice for extra flavor, and enjoy!

11. Creamy Polenta

Creamy Polenta

Creamy polenta is a versatile side dish that can be paired with a variety of different foods.

It’s simple to make and only requires a few ingredients, making it a great option for busy weeknight dinners.

Polenta is made from coarsely ground cornmeal and cooked in water or broth until it thickens.

Once it’s done cooking, it’s usually stirred in with some butter, cheese, and milk to create a creamy texture.

I like to top mine with sauteed mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes, and crispy pancetta.

But really, the possibilities are endless.

You could also try pairing it with grilled chicken or shrimp, braised beef short ribs, or roasted vegetables.

The next time you’re looking for a delicious and easy side dish, give creamy polenta a try.

12. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts are a delicious and healthy side dish that are perfect for any meal.

They are packed with nutrients, and the roasting process brings out their natural sweetness.

  1. To make roasted Brussels sprouts, simply trim the ends of the sprouts and cut them in half.
  2. Then, toss them in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and golden brown.


13. Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Butter (and Cheese)

Garlic mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of main courses.

They are creamy and flavorful, and the garlic gives them a subtle kick that is sure to please.

Best of all, they are relatively easy to make.

  1. Simply boil some potatoes until they are soft, then mash them with some butter, milk, and garlic.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and you’re done.
  3. Serve immediately for best results.

So why not give garlic mashed potatoes a try next time you’re looking for a delicious side dish?

You won’t be disappointed.

14. Baked Sweet Potato

Baked sweet potatoes

Baked sweet potato is a delicious and healthy side dish that is easy to make.

Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and antioxidants, and they have a natural sweetness that pairs well with savory dishes.

  1. To make baked sweet potato, simply preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, wash the potato, and then slice it into thin wedges.
  2. Next, toss the wedges with olive oil and sea salt, and then bake for 20-25 minutes.

For an extra touch of flavor, try drizzling the potato with honey or adding a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Baked sweet potato is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed alongside a variety of main courses.

So next time you’re looking for a healthy and flavorful side dish, give baked sweet potato a try.

15. Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse, packing more protein than any other grain.

It’s also low in calories and gluten-free, making it a great choice for people with food allergies or sensitivities.

Quinoa pilaf is a delicious and easy way to enjoy this nutrient-rich grain.

  1. To make quinoa pilaf, simply cook the quinoa according to the package directions.
  2. Then, stir in your favorite vegetables and spices.

For a heartier dish, you can add cooked chicken or turkey.

Quinoa pilaf is a versatile side dish that can be enjoyed hot or cold. And best of all, it’s healthy and flavorful!

16. Farro Salad

Farro Salad

Farro is a type of wheat that has been popular in Mediterranean cuisine for centuries.

It has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture, making it a great addition to salads.

Farro is also a good source of fiber and protein, and it contains essential vitamins and minerals.

  1. To make a farro salad, cook the farro in broth or water until it is tender.
  2. Then add your favorite vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives. You can also add feta cheese or other types of cheese.
  3. Dress the salad with olive oil and vinegar, and season it with salt and pepper to taste.

Farro salad is a delicious and healthy side dish that goes well with almost any meal.

17. Kale and Cranberry Salad

Kale and Cranberry Salad

Kale and cranberry salad is a delicious and healthy side dish that is perfect for any occasion.

The bitterness of the kale pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the cranberries, and the goat cheese adds a creamy richness that takes the dish to the next level.

Plus, kale is packed with vitamins and nutrients, making it a great option for those looking for a healthy meal.

To make the salad, simply combine chopped kale, dried cranberries, crumbled goat cheese, and your desired dressing in a bowl.

For an extra touch of flavor, you can also add roasted nuts or seeds.

Give it a try the next time you’re looking for a flavorful and nutritious side dish!

18. Roasted Butternut Squash

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage

Roasted butternut squash is a delicious and healthy side dish that is perfect for fall and winter dinners.

Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the squash, and the addition of a few simple seasonings makes it even more flavorful.

  1. To roast butternut squash, simply peel and cube the squash, then toss with olive oil and your favorite spices.
  2. Then spread the squash onto a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until tender.

This simple recipe is a great way to enjoy all the benefits of butternut squash without spending hours in the kitchen.

19. Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli rabe is a leafy green vegetable that is related to broccoli and kale.

It has a slightly bitter taste and is often used as a side dish for cioppino.

This veg can be steamed, sauteed, or roasted.

  1. To make broccoli rabe, start by trimming the tough ends off of the stalks.
  2. Then, wash the broccoli rabe in cool water.
  3. Next, heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add the broccoli rabe to the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes, until it is wilted.
  5. Finally, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

20. Sautéed Mushrooms

Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions

Mushrooms are a versatile and flavorful addition to any meal.

They can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, and sauces, or simply sautéed and served as a side dish.

Sautéed mushrooms are a particularly good choice for a quick and easy side dish.

They can be cooked in just a few minutes, and their rich flavor pairs well with many different main dishes.

When choosing mushrooms for sautéing, look for firm, fresh mushrooms with unblemished caps.

Avoid any mushrooms that look slimy or have started to turn brown.

  1. To prepare the mushrooms, simply wipe them clean with a damp cloth and then slice them into thin strips.
  2. Once they are sliced, the mushrooms can be sautéed in butter or olive oil until they are golden brown and tender.
  3. Season them with salt and pepper to taste, and then serve immediately.

Sautéed mushrooms make an excellent side dish for grilled chicken or steak.

They are also delicious on their own as an appetizer or snack.

Next time you need a quick and easy side dish, give sautéed mushrooms a try.

You’re sure to be impressed by their flavor and versatility.

21. Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic is a delicious and versatile side dish that can be used in a variety of recipes.

Not only does it have a rich, nutty flavor, but it is also packed with nutrients.

Roasted garlic is also incredibly easy to make.

  1. Simply cut the top off of a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil.
  2. Then, bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.

Once it is finished roasting, the garlic will be soft and fragrant.

It can be eaten as is, or used to add flavor to any number of dishes.

What Pasta to Serve with Cioppino?

One of the best things about cioppino is that it’s a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of pasta shapes and sizes.

If you’re looking for a heartier option to stand up to the robust flavors of cioppino, then choose a thick pasta like fettuccine or spaghetti.

For a lighter option, opt for a long, thin pasta like angel hair or vermicelli.

Shells and ravioli are also good choices for absorbing the delicious sauce.

No matter what pasta you choose, cioppino is sure to be a hit!

What Dessert to Serve with Cioppino?

Strawberry Shortcake

While there are many delicious things that can be served with cioppino, one of our favourites is this simple and elegant Strawberry Shortcake.

The light and fluffy shortcake contrasts perfectly with the rich seafood stew, and the sweetness of the strawberries complements the flavours of the tomatoes and wine.

Plus, it’s easy to make ahead of time, so you can focus on enjoying your meal!

What Wine to Serve with Cioppino?

When it comes to selecting a wine to serve with cioppino, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, the wine should have enough acidity to cut through the richness of the seafood stew.
  • Second, the wine should be robust enough to stand up to the strong flavors of the seafood and herbs.

With these factors in mind, many people find that a dry white wine or a light red wine works well with cioppino.

Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Chianti are all good choices. When in doubt, ask your local wine shop for suggestions.

They will be happy to help you find the perfect wine to accompany your cioppino.

What Kind of Bread to Serve with Cioppino?

There are many different types of bread that can be served with cioppino, a seafood stew.

A crusty loaf of sourdough bread is a classic choice, as the sourdough pairs well with the acidity of the tomatoes in the stew.

Another option is a hearty, rustic bread like an Italian Tuscan bread or a French baguette.

These types of breads can stand up to the heartiness of the cioppino and soak up all the delicious flavors.

If you’re looking for something a little bit different, you could also try serving cioppino with a cornbread or a flatbread.

No matter what type of bread you choose, it’s sure to be delicious with cioppino!

What Salad to Serve with Cioppino?

While there are many different ways to enjoy cioppino, one of our favorite ways is to serve it over a bed of fresh greens.

This not only adds a pop of color to the dish, but it also helps to balance out the rich flavors of the cioppino.

For a simple yet elegant salad, we recommend mixing together some baby spinach, arugula, and radicchio.

Then, top it with a light vinaigrette and some shaved Parmesan cheese.

The bitterness of the greens will complement the acidity of the tomatoes in the cioppino, and the cheese will add a creamy richness that takes the dish to the next level.

Bon appetit!

What Meat to Serve with Cioppino?

When it comes to cioppino, there are a few different schools of thought when it comes to what kind of meat to include.

The traditional recipe includes a mix of seafood, such as shrimp, lobster, and scallops.

See Also: best sauce for scallops

However, some people prefer to keep things a little simpler and just include shrimp.

Others like to add a protein-rich element, such as chicken or beef.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what you want to include in your cioppino.

If you’re looking for a heartier dish, then chicken or beef may be the way to go.

If you want something that’s simpler and closer to the traditional recipe, then shrimp may be your best bet.

Whichever way you choose to go, you’re sure to end up with a delicious and satisfying meal.

Why Consider Serving A Side Dish For Cioppino?

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.

What to Serve with Cioppino

8 Easy Side Dishes for Cioppino

Cioppino is a heavy meal, so it’s a good idea to serve your guests something light.
Additionally, cioppino has a lot going on within its ingredients, so many people find that serving a side dish with it helps them appreciate the meal more.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 300 kcal


  • 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!
Keyword Cioppino side dishes, what to serve with Cioppino
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