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What to Serve with Pasta Bolognese: 8 Best Side Dishes

Wondering what to serve with spaghetti bolognese?

Great! You’re in the right place.

I fell in love with pasta when I was in my early twenties.

Up until then, it had been such a foreign food to me.

But once I moved to Italy and spent a few months there, I fell in love with pasta.

Pasta Bolognese side dishes

Italian pastas are like no other type of pasta you can find anywhere else in the world.

In Italy, it’s not just a meal. It’s an authentic culinary experience that you have to take part in, from selecting the pasta to finding the perfect sauce to match.

Anyway, without going too much into my history with pasta, let’s talk about what you should serve with Pasta Bolognese (see also: what to serve with bolognese instead of pasta).

You see, pasta is a big deal and should always be paired with something.

What you serve can make or break your Italian dining experience.

Here are 8 dishes that I always find amazing to serve with pasta Bolognese:

What to Serve with Pasta Bolognese: 8 Best Side Dishes

50 sides for pasta bolognese

Remember – any of these sides will be delicious with spaghetti or other types of pasta.

1) Garlic Bread or Bruschetta

Garlic Bread or Bruschetta

Both of these are delicious appetizers that will serve as the perfect complement to your pasta Bolognese.

Garlic bread is for people who prefer bread with their pasta.

Bruschetta is for people who prefer bread on the side, so they can put it into their pasta to soak up the sauce.

Here are a few tips to make sure you get the best garlic bread and/or bruschetta:

Don’t use too much oil in your recipe: You want to make sure your bread isn’t too greasy and doesn’t take away from the flavor of your pasta sauce.

Don’t overdo it on the garlic: The same rule applies for overdoing it on the garlic. If there’s too much, your bread will become overpowering and you won’t be able to taste the pasta’s flavor. You can use herbs (see also: What Herbs to Put in Spaghetti Bolognese) but be careful with the amounts.

Don’t bake your bread in the oven: This is a bad idea because it will take too long, and the bread will turn cold before you serve it.

2) Salad

Salad

Throw a salad with some greens in it on the table, and pasta Bolognese becomes an entire meal in one plate.

You don’t have to worry about serving bread or appetizers anymore!

Just place everything on the table at once, sit down, and enjoy your meal.

Salads are also a great option for people who aren’t in the mood for a heavy meal, but still want to eat something.

3 Tips For Making The Best Salad:

Make sure you prepare your ingredients before starting to mix everything together: That way, you can serve the salad right after you mix everything together, and not keep your guests waiting.

Make sure you serve the salad right away: If it sits around for too long, the greens will become soggy and wilted.

Don’t add too much dressing to your salad: In fact, it may even be better if you don’t add any dressing at all. The ingredients you’re going to mix together should be flavorful enough without adding anything else!

3) Risotto

Risotto

Risotto is one of the most popular dishes in Italy, and it’s amazing with Bolognese sauce.

The great part about risotto is that you can serve it as a side dish, or as a main meal with just a little bit extra added to it.

This way, if someone at the dinner table isn’t very hungry, they don’t have to eat much of the risotto and still have room for meatballs or another main dish.

Risotto can also be served as an appetizer, but it’s more commonly served as a side dish for pasta bolognese.

I recommend adding the following ingredients to your risotto:

  • Capers
  • Lemon zest
  • Grana Padano cheese

These ingredients bring out the flavor of the risotto and make it even tastier.

4) Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

You really can’t go wrong with the classic mashed potatoes and Bolognese sauce combination.

Mashed potatoes are just delicious, period.

There’s not much more to say about this side dish, other than the fact that it is a classic and you can’t really go wrong with it.

When mashing your potatoes, you can also add different ingredients to each dish to make them extra delicious.

Some examples of what you can add are:

  • Garlic
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Onions
  • Butter

5) French Fries

French Fries

The classic Bolognese sauce and pasta combination also works great with French fries!

It’s another amazing way to serve your potatoes, and it’s more fun than plain mashed potatoes.

Make sure you get the right type of potato, however – not all types of potatoes are good for

6) Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

To make this side dish, you should take some Brussels sprouts, cut them in half, and then roast them.

Then, at the end, you can add some bacon to the pan so it’s nice and crispy when served!

Not only does this side dish look amazing when it’s done, but Brussels sprouts are actually healthy for you too. And who doesn’t want lots of vitamins added to their pasta?

7) Baked Sweet Potatoes

Baked Sweet Potatoes

This isn’t a classic side dish for pasta Bolognese, but it’s definitely worth giving it a try.

The sweetness of the potatoes mixed with the saltiness of the meatballs, sauce, and pasta is truly amazing!

Plus, you can serve this dish in advance. That way, when everyone comes over to your house for dinner they won’t have to wait too long before they can eat.

Keep these tips in mind when looking for a sweet potato in the store:

  • Make sure the skin of the potato is nice and firm.
  • The potatoes should have a little bit of give when you press on them.
  • If possible, find a sweet potato that has lots of color in it – this means it’s healthier for you!

8) Italian Salad Pizza

Italian Salad Pizza

Last, but definitely not least, is the Italian salad pizza.

A true classic which you can find in Italy everywhere, this side dish to pasta bolognese is creamy, tasty, and so delicious!

You can buy the pizza at many Italian restaurants in your area.

Or you can make your own at home using the following ingredients:

  • Italian dressing
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil for brushing on crust before baking
  • Sweet basil

Why Consider Serving a Side Dish for Pasta Bolognese?

Pasta Bolognese

Pasta bolognese is a favorite dish of many.

It’s hearty, filling, and just overall delicious.

However, there’s a reason this dish is a staple in so many people’s diets.

There are many different ways to prepare it, and they all have their own flavors and textures.

Therefore, when you’re thinking of side dishes for pasta bolognese, you need to consider the different dishes that complement it.

In fact, the best side dishes for pasta bolognese are anything that goes along with the dish itself.

When making a dish like this, it’s best to stick with ingredients that make sense with the flavor of the dish.

For example, if you’re making a rich bolognese sauce, then you should consider serving a side dish that has a similar texture.

If you don’t, then the dish might end up tasting bland or lacking in flavor.

However, if you’re going for a more simple dish, then it’s a good idea to go with something hearty and filling.

This way, your meal will pack a flavor punch, and it won’t leave you feeling overly full or feeling as though you’ve overindulged.

FAQ

What vegetables go with spaghetti bolognese?

The most popular vegetables to go with spaghetti bolognese are carrots, peas, and spinach.

The sweetness of the carrots and peas both go well with the sauce – which is usually a little bit on the sweet side.

And of course, spinach is a classic vegetable to add to pasta dishes. It’s also a great source of iron, which is good for your health.

For more information, check out our post called What Vegetables Go with Spaghetti Bolognese.

What bread to serve with spaghetti bolognese?

When choosing what bread you should serve with spaghetti bolognese, keep in mind that you don’t want your bread to overpower the sauce.

Therefore, it’s often best to stick with something that is light and doesn’t have a strong flavor.

Focaccia is a good choice.

You can also go with ciabatta, which is very similar to focaccia in terms of looks and flavor.

If you want to go with traditional bread, then look for a piece of baguette. It’s thick and sturdy, so it won’t get soggy underneath your sauce.

What are some easy vegetable sides for spaghetti bolognese?

The easiest veggie side dishes to serve with spaghetti bolognese are those that have a similar flavor profile.

For instance, you might want to consider glazed carrots, green beans, or green peas.

Because spaghetti bolognese is a pasta-heavy dish, it often has a heavy flavor with hints of garlic, onion, and sometimes basil.

It’s good to make sure you serve something with the dish that balances out these flavors.

What starters go with spaghetti bolognese?

You can serve all kinds of starters with spaghetti bolognese, from soup and salad to breadsticks and crostini. If you want something light, you can go for a simple green salad or a vegetable soup. If you’re looking for something more substantial, you can serve breadsticks or crostini with your spaghetti bolognese.

What salad to serve with spaghetti bolognese?

There are many salads that would go great with spaghetti bolognese. A simple green salad with a light dressing would be a good option. You could also do a Caprese salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Another option would be a pasta salad with your spaghetti bolognese mixed in.

What wines go with spaghetti bolognese?

There are many different types of wines that can go with spaghetti bolognese. Some of the most popular ones are Chianti, Barbera, and Sangiovese. These wines have a high acidity level and a medium body, which makes them the perfect match for this dish.

Conclusion

Any of these side dishes are sure to be a hit at your dinner table.

Since everyone loves Bolognese sauce so much, you don’t really need to add anything else to the meal.

However, you can try out different side dishes each time you make pasta Bolognese to keep it interesting!

What’s your favorite side dish to serve with pasta Bolognese?

Let us know in the comments below!

what to serve with Pasta Bolognese

8 Pasta Bolognese Side Dishes

People who enjoy Pasta Bolognese might want to serve it with something else to balance out its flavor. Different side dishes go well with different flavors of the main dish.
You might need a side dish that goes along with the vegetables in your pasta Bolognese.
For example, if you have spinach in your pasta Bolognese sauce, serve something with a similar texture to the dish itself.
However, if you're trying to cut back on your carbs, then it's a good idea to serve something that complements the dish while cutting out the noodles.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Garlic Bread or Bruschetta
  • Salad
  • Risotto
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • French Fries
  • Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes
  • Italian Salad Pizza

Instructions
 

  • Pick any of these delicious side dishes for your pasta dinner.
  • Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
  • Enjoy your pasta meal in no time!
Keyword Pasta Bolognese Side Dishes, what to serve with Pasta Bolognese