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What to Eat with Pasta Besides Salad: 32 Best Sides

You might be wondering what to eat with pasta besides salad.

I sure did.

A great variety of dishes can be cooked and prepared to accompany pasta.

As we all know, the most famous accompaniment to pasta is none other than salad.

But, as delicious as a salad is, it’s not always a crowd-pleaser.

If you’re looking what else can you eat with pasta besides salad, you’re in the right place!

Here’s a list of all the things you can eat with pasta besides salad!

What to Eat with Pasta Besides Salad: 32 Best Sides

side dishes

There is so much more you can eat with pasta besides salad.

Through trial and error, I have created a list of things you can eat with pasta besides salad.

Even if you’re not a fan of trying new foods, I’m sure these alternatives will change your mind:

1. Balsamic Bruschetta

Balsamic Bruschetta

You might think that salad is the only thing you can eat with pasta, but we’re here to tell you that it’s not true.

Balsamic Bruschetta is a great alternative to those who want to eat something besides salad with their pasta.

See Also: 11 Best Tomatoes for Bruschetta

Not only is it easy to make, it tastes great with all kinds of pasta dishes and adds a delicious flavor.

If you don’t have any tomatoes on hand, you can substitute cherry tomatoes in their place.

You can also use any kind of cheese as long as it melts well under broiler heat.

Here are some recipes to get you started:

2. Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed tomatoes are a great alternative because they’re basically salad, but with a little bit of extra pizzazz.

If you want to use stuffed tomatoes as your go-to side, look for recipes that include classic salad ingredients like cucumbers and fresh herbs.

This will help make the transition from salad to stuffed tomatoes feel seamless.

To get started, try making these recipes for easy stuffed tomatoes:

3. Cauliflower Breadsticks

Cauliflower Breadsticks

Cauliflower breadsticks are an excellent alternative to breadsticks and just as good when dipped into your favorite pasta sauce.

Because cauliflower breadsticks are low-carb and gluten-free, they will not only fill up your stomach but also keep you from feeling that heavy feeling that comes from eating too many carbs.

These breadsticks can be made with or without cheese, so they will fit into any diet, even vegan diets.

To pair pasta and cauliflower breadsticks, we recommend serving them together in one bowl so you can dip the breadsticks into the sauce to soak up all of the delicious flavors.

If you want a truly Italian-style meal, pair garlic cauliflower breadsticks with some marinara sauce or tomato sauce.

But if you want something different, try dipping them in alfredo sauce—you won’t be sorry!

Here are some recipes for cauliflower breadsticks:

4. Baked Parmesan Broccoli

Baked Parmesan Broccoli

Can’t eat any more salad?

Bored with basic breadsticks?

Try out this new side that you can eat with your pasta.

Baked Parmesan Broccoli is a delicious alternative to the same old sides.

On top of being tasty, it’s also full of health benefits: broccoli is packed with fiber, vitamin C, and K, as well as minerals like calcium and magnesium.

It’s also easy to pair broccoli with just about any pasta dish you can think of.

Try adding it on top of your pasta for added crunch, or try serving your pasta in a bowl and putting the broccoli in a separate bowl for dipping!

Check out these two recipes for some great ways to get started with baked parmesan broccoli:

5. Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Looking for a refreshing side dish to serve up with your pasta?

Consider Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus.

When you think of pasta sides, there’s a good chance that salad is the first thing that comes to mind.

But why stop there?

There are so many delicious alternatives!

If you’re looking for something that’s green and nutritious, but also filling and flavorful, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is the way to go.

The salty prosciutto helps bring out the earthy flavor of the asparagus, while adding some much-needed protein to your meal.

To ensure that your pasta and its side complement each other well, try avoiding carb-heavy sauces like Alfredo or red sauce.

It can be overwhelming when every component of your dish is starchy.

Instead, try opting for a light cream sauce or even a simple garlic butter sauce to help accentuate the taste of your vegetables.

If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to whip up this tasty dish, check out these recipes for Grilled Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto:

6. Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan

Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan

Why eat a boring and healthy salad when you can eat something else?

Here’s one simple way to pair your pasta with something other than salad: Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan.

See Also: 30 Easy Stuffed Eggplant Recipes I Can’t Resist

This dish is a great alternative because it’s delicious, filling, and easy to make.

It pairs well with any type of pasta and can be made in advance for easy reheating later.

There are several ways to prepare this side dish, from adding meat to using breadcrumbs instead of cheese.

Check out our favorites:

7. Cheesy Garlic Bread

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Salad is not the only thing you can eat with your pasta.

Cheesy garlic bread is a great alternative for those who want to side step the soggy, drenching salad. 

The creamy cheese and buttery garlic compliment the salty noodles. 

The crunchy texture of the bread with its fluffy interior also helps balance out the soft and silky texture of the pasta.

This alternative can go well with any type of pasta depending on the sauce. 

A béchamel sauce pairs well with a white cheddar while a red sauce goes best with mozzarella. 

If you are feeling extra bold, you can even try an herbed buttered bread with some parmesan sprinkled on top. 

There are many recipes for this, here are some that I recommend:

8. Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

When you’re looking for what to eat with pasta besides salad, try sweet potatoes!

They are a great source of nutrients, like vitamins A and C, and they taste great drizzled with olive oil and roasted in the oven.

Pair your pasta dish with roasted sweet potatoes to add sweetness and crunch to your meal.

Just slice up some sweet potatoes into cubes, toss them in olive oil and salt until they are well coated, and roast them on a baking sheet at 400F for 20-30 minutes.

Serve these warm alongside your pasta, or use as a topping like croutons.

If you want to get creative with your sweet potatoes, why not try a recipe?

9. Sweet Cornbread

Sweet Cornbread

Cornbread is a versatile, delicious alternative to a salad.

It’s also much, much easier to make than you might think.

Whether you’re trying to cut carbs or just looking for something different to serve alongside your pasta, cornbread could be the answer you’ve been searching for.

Here are some tips on how you can pair this tasty side dish with your meal:

  1. For a richer taste, try adding a pat of butter or a drizzle of honey to your cornbread as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  2. If you’re using pasta sauce that’s on the sweeter side, like marinara or roasted pepper, try using a more savory cornbread recipe (like one without sugar).
  3. If your pasta sauce is more on the spicy side (think an Alfredo or puttanesca), try making your cornbread with some hot peppers! It will add just enough spice to complement the flavor of the sauce and level up your entire meal.

Now that you know how easy it is to include cornbread in your pasta dinner, here are some recipes:

10. Stuffed Italian Artichokes

Stuffed Italian Artichokes

If you’re tired of always eating your pasta with salad, this is a perfect way to change things up!

Stuffed Italian Artichokes is a great alternative. They’re easy to make and taste delicious.

Remember to stuff the artichoke with ingredients like garlic and breadcrumbs for an extra kick!

You can serve this with your favorite pasta dish and paired with wine for a tasty meal!

If you want to try out this side dish, check out these recipes:

11. Meatballs with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Meatballs with Cherry Tomato Sauce

Pasta is the perfect blank canvas for a meal.

It’s incredibly versatile, and can be served with anything from seafood to meat to vegetables.

Everyone knows that pasta goes great with salad—but did you know that it also goes great with meatballs?

When I was young, my family used to eat spaghetti and meatballs every Sunday night.

But after I got older, we started doing things differently—which meant saying goodbye to my favorite comfort food.

Since then, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to bring back the nostalgia of Sunday dinner, and this is one of my favorites: Meatballs with Cherry Tomato Sauce. 

Here are some tips for how to pair this side with pasta for a delicious meal that will take your taste buds on a trip down memory lane:

  1. The best sauces for meatballs are creamy or tomato-based. You can try alfredo sauce, or a marinara sauce like a good arrabiata or sugo all’amatriciana.
  2. Meatballs are best served in small clusters, either on their own on the side or in a bed of pasta. You can also mix them into your main course and serve spoonfuls together with noodles.
  3. Try different kinds of meatballs! For example, turkey meatballs are a healthier alternative than beef, while chicken is more mild and versatile. Lamb adds a unique flavor to Greek dishes like moussaka and pastitsio.

Ready to give meatballs with pasta a try? Check out these recipes:

12. Eggplant Pizza

Eggplant Pizza

Eggplant pizza is one of the most popular choices because it’s an exciting twist on a classic dish.

It also makes for a hearty meal that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

To pair this side dish with pasta for a killer combo meal, try one (or all!) of these tips:

  1. Add some cheese to your eggplant pizza recipe. This will make it even more filling!
  2. Use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour when making the dough for your pizza crust; this will add fiber and nutrients as well as keep you fuller longer after eating.
  3. Mix up traditional spaghetti sauce with marinara sauce; this gives your pasta dish more flavor without being too heavy on carbs or calories.

Here are some great recipes to get started:

13. Whole Roasted Carrots

Whole Roasted Carrots

For many pasta eaters, the only side dish that comes to mind is a boring old plate of leafy greens.

It’s true that salad is satisfying and easy to pair with pasta, but it’s also true that there are other options out there!

One alternative that might surprise you: whole roasted carrots.

Carrots are delicious, versatile vegetables—and they’re so much more than just crunchy raw sticks to dip in ranch dressing. They’re sweet and savory, and they add a punch of color to any plate. Plus, they’re super easy to cook, particularly when they’re roasted whole.

Here are some tips for how to pair them with your favorite type of pasta:

  1. Know the right noodles: Penne is the way to go for this particular pairing because the tubes of pasta can hold onto all that delicious sauce.
  2. Choose a sauce: Can’t go wrong with alfredo here, but feel free to get creative! Whole roasted carrots would pair well with just about any creamy sauce or pesto.
  3. Don’t forget the cheese: Parmesan or pecorino romano are good choices for topping off this dish, but you could experiment with other hard cheeses as well.

With these three tips, you’ll be able to serve up a restaurant-quality dish in no time!

Here are some recipes to try out:

14. Homemade Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

Salad is great, but it’s not the only thing you can eat with pasta.

What if I told you that you could eat pepperoni pizza rolls with your pasta?

This side dish will make your pasta meal so delicious, and here are three reasons why:

  1. They have a lot of protein and fat, which is good for pasta.
  2. It tastes awesome.
  3. It’s really easy to prepare (you can even get pre-made pizza rolls).

I’ve prepared some recipes for you to try out at home:

15. Mediterranean Roasted Artichokes

Mediterranean Roasted Artichokes

This side dish pairs perfectly with pasta because it is versatile.

Its distinct taste adds a burst of flavor to whatever you pair it with.

Mediterranean roast artichokes can be paired with different kinds of pasta, such as spaghetti and penne alla vodka.

Because of their versatility, it works well in an array of dishes, especially those that are pasta-based.

With these tips, you can pair Mediterranean roast artichokes with pasta for a delicious meal:

  1. Buy artichokes from the grocery store and boil them before roasting them. This cuts down on preparation time so you can make this quick side dish without having to dedicate too much time to preparing it.
  2. To avoid getting burnt, cook the artichokes on a sheet pan in the oven instead of cooking them on a stovetop. This will give them a nice charred taste without burning them or blackening the edges.
  3. Cut up some red onion and mix it in with your roasted artichoke leaves to add an extra layer of flavor. Red onion adds a sweetness that complements the bitter taste of roasted artichoke leaves.

Now that you have three tips under your belt, here are some recipes we recommend trying out:

16. Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

Surprisingly, eggplant parmesan casserole can be a great alternative to a salad.

Here are 3 tips to pair this side dish with pasta for a delicious meal:

  1. Mix some of the eggplant parmesan casserole with your pasta for a spicier flavor.
  2. Pair the eggplant parmesan casserole with a light pasta like angel hair or linguine (see also this list of linguine recipes).
  3. Bake your pasta in olive oil and garlic before adding the eggplant parmesan casserole on top.

Check out these recipes if this is something you want to try:

17. Vegan Arancini

Vegan Arancini

If you’re looking for something to eat with your pasta besides salad, look no further than these vegan arancini.

These are a good alternative to salad because they’re packed with nutrients like protein, fiber and iron—not just carbs.

If you want to use these rice balls as a side dish for pasta, here are three ways to pair it together:

  1. Pair the pasta with a savory sauce. Risotto is perfect for this.
  2. Keep the vegan rice balls plain or just add in some salt and pepper and pair it with marinara sauce or another tomato-based sauce.
  3. Don’t forget to add in some vegetables! Try pairing your arancini with roasted vegetables or sauteed mushrooms and peppers.

Try out these recipes:

18. Herb-Crusted Pork Cutlets

Herb Crusted Pork Cutlets with Veggie Medley

Are you a bit of a salad-a-holic?

I get it, I am too.

But when you’re eating pasta, it can be nice to have something else with it to round out the meal.

And if you’re not used to alternatives, that can feel like a challenge!

These juicy pork cutlets are a great alternative to salads because they’re super flavorful and filling without being as heavy as meatballs or sausage.

To make them even better, try these tips:

  1. Pan-fry them in butter for extra flavor and pair with buttered noodles.
  2. Season them with lemon zest and serve with lemon linguine (and don’t forget a pinch of parsley!).
  3. Spice it up by using spicy Italian sausage instead of cutlets and serving with spicy pasta sauce. Then, top with chopped basil for an extra kick!

Try these recipes to get started: 

19. Cherry Tomato Galette with Garlic and Herbs

Cherry Tomato Galette with Garlic and Herbs

A cherry tomato galette with garlic and herb is a delicious, easy-to-prepare alternative to salad.

Here are three tips for pairing this side dish with pasta:

  1. First, make sure you get a good crust. It’s the foundation of the whole dish!
  2. Second, make sure you have fresh tomatoes and herbs. You want your galette bursting with flavor.
  3. Third, don’t forget to add some cheese. The richness will balance out the tartness of the tomatoes and give your galette a creamy texture.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out these recipes for cherry tomato galettes:

20. Coconut Creamed Spinach

Coconut Creamed Spinach

There are a lot of people out there who like to switch things up, and we’ve got a great alternative for you to try: Coconut Creamed Spinach.

Here are some tips on how to pair this side dish with pasta for a delicious meal.

  1. Make sure your pasta doesn’t overpower the subtle flavors of the spinach and coconut. So avoid anything thicker than spaghetti and angel hair pasta; go for something thin, like vermicelli or capellini.
  2. If your spinach is frozen, make sure that it’s cooked first in olive oil or butter before adding the coconut cream. This will prevent the cream from curdling when it hits the cold vegetables. And if your spinach is fresh, make sure it’s thoroughly wilted before adding the cream. Otherwise, it’ll take much longer for your sauce to heat through.
  3. If you can find it at your local store, use full-fat coconut milk instead of light or low-fat coconut milk; its consistency will be thicker and give more body to your dish.

Now that you know three ways to make coconut creamed spinach taste even better than it already does, try out these recipes:

21. Cheesy Chicken Milanese

Cheesy Chicken Milanese

You know that feeling when you’re craving pasta, but you’re also trying to be healthy?

Or maybe you just want something other than salad.

Well, we’ve got an awesome alternative: Cheesy Chicken Milanese!

Read Also: Chicken Milanese Wine Pairing – Best Wines For Chicken Milanese

In fact, we’ve got 3 tips on how to pair this side dish with pasta for a delicious meal:

  1. Serve it with a bowl of angel hair pasta, which is the perfect size for scooping up those crumbs from your breaded chicken.
  2. Toss some steamed broccoli in with your pasta for an extra healthy kick.
  3. Make sure to use a red sauce—whether it’s marinara or Bolognese—to complement the chicken’s crisp Parmesan coating.

We recommend trying one of these recipes:

22. Cheesy Pesto Chips

Cheesy Pesto Chips

This is a great alternative to salad because it’s crunchy, savory, and contains cheese, which is delicious and makes everything better.

Now, you may be wondering how to pair this side dish with pasta for a perfect meal. Here are some tips:

  1. First, decide what kind of pesto you want to use. You can make your own with fresh herbs like basil, or buy a ready-made version from the store.
  2. Next, choose a pasta that pairs well with pesto. We recommend spaghetti or fettuccine.
  3. Finally, add something delicious on top of your cheesy pesto chips! Try garlic bread crumbs or chopped pepperoni bits.

If you’d like some ideas for recipes involving cheesy pesto chips, check out these:

23. Sheet Pan Lemon Pepper Shrimp

Sheet Pan Lemon Pepper Shrimp

Pasta is an excellent meal option, and it’s all the better because of how versatile it is.

You can pair it with just about any side dish for a complete meal.

One of the most popular options, however, is salad—but let’s be honest—salad gets boring fast.

So, if you’re looking to mix things up a little, why not try pairing pasta with something like sheet pan lemon pepper shrimp?

Here are three quick tips about how to pair this tasty dish with pasta:

  1. Think about the sauce. You’re probably going to want to pick a sauce that compliments the flavors in your shrimp—so if you want to bring out the lemon and pepper notes in the shrimp, try something subtle like a simple tomato sauce or an olive oil-based garlic sauce. If you want to create more of a contrast, though, you could try pairing it with a creamier pesto sauce or even an Alfredo!
  2. Get creative with your seasoning. If you have some lemon pepper seasoning left over from making the shrimp, toss some on your noodles before adding in your sauce and topping it off with the shrimp. This will help tie everything together and give your pasta an extra punch of flavor!
  3. Stick with a simple kind of pasta. Since the shrimp has strong flavors on its own, you don’t want to overdo it by pairing it with a bold pasta as well. Stick with long, thin pastas that have smooth textures like spaghetti or fettuccine. If you want added color and texture, try adding in some veggies like red bell peppers or spinach!

For more ideas, check out these delicious recipes:

24. Crispy Mushrooms

Crispy Mushrooms

Check out these crispy mushrooms!

They’re a great alternative to salad because mushrooms are low-carb and high-fiber, but they also have that umami flavor.

To help you out, we’re going to give you three tips on how to pair a crispy mushroom side dish with your favorite pasta and transform your dinner into something truly delicious.

And if you don’t know where to start, we’ll even give you some recipes to try!

Here are three tips to help you pair these two dishes together for a delicious meal:

  1. Go for some pan-fried mushrooms for extra flavor (and crunch!). Add some butter and garlic for a bit more savoriness.
  2. Try adding some herbs and spices—parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc.—for more oomph in your dish.
  3. If you want to try something really adventurous, add in some ingredients to add a layer of sweetness or sourness to your dish! You could even add some meaty bacon bits at the end if you’re feeling wild.

Check out these recipes for inspiration:

25. Pizza with Butternut Squash Sauce

Butternut Squash Pizza

Hey, we get it. Sometimes salad just doesn’t cut it as a side dish for pasta.

Sometimes, you need something a little more exciting.

Try pairing your pasta with pizza! But not just any pizza—pizza with butternut squash sauce.

To make sure the flavors work together, here are three tips:

  1. Keep the toppings on the pizza simple and veggie-focused to avoid overpowering the flavor of the butternut squash sauce.
  2. Try a sharp cheese like cheddar or goat cheese to compliment the sweetness of the squash.
  3. And don’t forget to top it off with some fresh herbs to add a little color and brightness!

Here are some recipes that might help get you started:

26. Garlic Knots

Garlic Knots

Who doesn’t love a big bowl of pasta?

If you’re like me and always looking for something to go with it besides salad, then this one’s for you.

Garlic knots are a great alternative side dish that was made for pasta.

Here are three tips on how to pair this side dish with pasta for a delicious meal:

  1. Make sure the sauce complements the garlic notes in the knots.
  2. Try to keep everything simple. Most people think garlic knots are an incredibly complicated side dish to make, but there are tons of simple recipes out there that you can try.
  3. Go classic with your sauce. Kale pesto is on trend right now, but if you’re trying to impress someone or just want the ultimate comfort food experience, go with a classic tomato sauce.

Here are four easy recipes for garlic knots:

27. Zucchini and Cheese Casserole

Zucchini and Cheese Casserole

One of my favorite alternatives to a boring salad is a zucchini and cheese casserole.

It’s got a lot of the same flavors as your classic salad, but it feels like a whole new dish.

Plus, you’re getting plenty of veggies in that aren’t lettuce.

Here are three tips for pairing this dish with pasta for a delicious meal:

  1. Use whole wheat pasta: The nutty flavor of whole wheat pasta will really complement the casserole and make your meal taste gourmet.
  2. Mix your pasta with zucchini ribbons: It’s a fun way to get more veggies on your plate without having to make another dish!
  3. Add ricotta cheese to the casserole: The sharpness of ricotta contrasts nicely with the creaminess of the casserole and adds a nice bite to each bite of your meal.

And if those suggestions have left you inspired, check out these recipes for homemade Zucchini and Cheese Casserole:

28. Herb-Roasted Olives & Tomatoes

Herb-Roasted Olives & Tomatoes

Salads are great. I love salads.

But sometimes you need something else to go with your pasta besides a salad.

So here’s my suggestion: herb-roasted olives & tomatoes.


Because they’re easy to make, they’re healthy, and they’re simple.

Here’s how I pair this side dish with pasta for a delicious meal:

  1. Pick the right pasta. I usually go with farfalle (see also these farfalle recipes), but you can choose any kind you love!
  2. Add some fun ingredients, like black olives or capers!
  3. Experiment with spices! Try adding chili powder or garlic salt!

Want to try it? Here are some recipes I love:

29. Sauteed Squash with Tomatoes & Onions

Sauteed Squash with Tomatoes & Onions

This is a great alternative to the standard side salad because it adds a nice burst of color and flavor to your plate.

Here are 3 tips for pairing this side dish with pasta for a delicious meal:

  1. Pair vegetables that go well together. When it comes to sauteed vegetables, you can almost never go wrong! The key is to pick vegetables that pair well together like squash, tomatoes, & onions.
  2. Keep it light or make it hearty by adding meat. Sauteed squash with tomatoes and onions is often served as a side dish. But if you’re looking for more substance, consider adding meat such as chicken or sausage to make it the star of the show.
  3. Dress it up or keep it simple! You can get creative with this dish by adding herbs and spices like rosemary or thyme for a gourmet touch or keep it classic with just salt & pepper for simplicity.

Looking to add this alternative? Try one of these recipes: 

30. Zucchini Mushroom Bake

Zucchini Mushroom Bake

This Zucchini Mushroom Bake recipe could be what you’re looking for.

It’s a simple-to-make side dish that combines two of the best vegetables from your garden: zucchini and mushrooms.

Here are 3 tips to help you pair this side dish with pasta for a delicious meal:

  1. Pick out some large pasta shells and fill them with cheese and vegetables. Then, bake the shells in hot oven until golden brown. This will enhance the flavor of the zucchini mushroom bake.
  2. Use whole-wheat noodles to pair with the zucchini mushroom bake instead of regular pasta noodles. This will make the dish more nutritious without sacrificing any flavor!
  3. To make your zucchini mushroom bake extra delicious, add some fresh herbs like basil or oregano into it before baking in the oven. This will add an amazing flavor profile that will complement both your pasta and side dish perfectly!

You can find recipes for this alternative right here:

31. Pull-Apart Garlic Bread

Pull-Apart Garlic Bread

Let’s face it: salad isn’t for everyone.

And even if it is, sometimes you just want to change things up.

Not only is this a super tasty alternative, but it’s also easy to make!

The best part?

Making it yourself allows you to customize your dish to the type of pasta you’re eating—and make something so delicious, your taste buds will do a happy dance.

Not sure how to pair these flavors and textures?

Not to worry! Here are three tips:

  1. Pick a sauce that is rich in flavor, like marinara or alfredo.
  2. Choose longer noodle shapes like spaghetti or linguini.
  3. Make the bread yourself! This way you can control the amount of butter, garlic, and any other herbs you might want to add in.

Don’t know where to start? Try these recipes:

32. Crusty No-Knead Bread

Crusty No-Knead Bread

Crusty No-Knead Bread is a great alternative to salad, especially if you’re eating tomato sauce or pesto.

Here are three tips on how to pair this with your pasta for a delicious meal:

  1. Make sure to pick something that can stand up against the bold flavors of pasta, like a hearty loaf with some whole grains in it. Or maybe consider something that’ll complement the sauce, like an herb bread.
  2. You’ll need to add toppings—butter, olive oil, vegetables, herbs—to your bread if you want it to be extra tasty.
  3. There are tons of ways to make bread and pasta together—and they don’t all involve bread being served on the side. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making lasagna with no-knead bread instead of lasagna noodles! Or try making breadsticks out of your leftover bread and serving them alongside the pasta!

If you’re not confident in the recipe you’re using, try one of these recipes instead:

Why Serve Sides with Pasta Besides Salad?

Why Serve Sides with Pasta Besides Salad

Pasta is a classic dish that’s served at restaurants and prepared in homes across the country.

But while pasta is delicious on its own, it’s best paired with a side dish.

And while your first thought might be salad, there are plenty of other options out there!

Here are three reasons why you should serve something besides salad alongside your pasta:

1. There’s No Single Right Way to Pair Salad with Pasta

Salads come in so many different forms that it can be hard to find one that will complement your pasta instead of conflicting with it.

Is it a Caesar salad? A Greek salad? One with more meat than greens?

Without carefully considering what kind of salad to make and how it pairs with the rest of the meal, you could wind up ruining an otherwise perfect dish!

2. Take out The Guesswork

There are plenty of other side dishes that go great with pasta without all the guesswork. Don’t want to risk ruining your meal?

You can always take the easy way out and serve garlic bread or roasted vegetables as a side dish for your pasta!

Both of these options are easy to prepare and pair well with most types of pasta—and they’ll help fill out your plate so you can enjoy a complete meal.

3. It’s Not as Healthy as You Think It Is

When we think about salads, we imagine things like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and light dressings.

But when you add in all the toppings most people actually put on their salads—especially if you eat at restaurants a lot—you end up with a lot of fattening ingredients like cheese, bacon bits, and croutons.

What to Eat with Pasta Besides Salad

What to Eat with Pasta Besides Salad: 32 Best Sides

You know what's great? Pasta.
You know what's not so great? Eating pasta with nothing but a salad on the side.
Who wants to eat all that carb-y goodness and then feel like they've got to eat a salad to "balance it out"? Not us.
So we decided to help you out by compiling a list of some of our favorite sides for pasta—because there are so many more options out there than just salad!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 350 kcal


  • Balsamic Bruschetta
  • Stuffed Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower Breadsticks
  • Baked Parmesan Broccoli
  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
  • Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan
  • Cheesy Garlic Bread
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet Cornbread
  • Stuffed Italian Artichokes
  • Meatballs with Cherry Tomato Sauce
  • Eggplant Pizza
  • Whole Roasted Carrots
  • Homemade Pepperoni Pizza Rolls
  • Mediterranean Roasted Artichokes
  • Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
  • Vegan Arancini
  • Herb-Crusted Pork Cutlets
  • Cherry Tomato Galette with Garlic and Herbs
  • Coconut Creamed Spinach
  • Cheesy Chicken Milanese
  • Cheesy Pesto Chips
  • Sheet Pan Lemon Pepper Shrimp
  • Crispy Mushrooms
  • Pizza with Butternut Squash Sauce
  • Garlic Knots
  • Zucchini and Cheese Casserole
  • Herb-Roasted Olives & Tomatoes
  • Sauteed Squash with Tomatoes & Onions
  • Zucchini Mushroom Bake
  • Pull-Apart Garlic Bread
  • Crusty No-Knead Bread


  • Pick any of these sides to serve with your pasta dinner.
  • Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
  • Be ready to eat in no time!
Keyword What to Eat with Pasta Besides Salad