Risotto is one of my favorite dishes to make for dinner.
It is so creamy, flavorful, and comforting.
But if you are wondering what side dishes to serve with risotto, then you have come to the right place.
I’m sharing 36 of the best side dishes that pair perfectly with risotto including roasted vegetables, salads, potatoes, and more.
Whether you are looking for a light and healthy side dish or something a little more indulgent, there is sure to be something on this list that your family will love!
Read Also: 15 Best Salads To Go With Risotto
What to Serve with Risotto – 36 Best Side Dishes
Risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or side dish.
If you are looking for the perfect accompaniment to serve with your risotto, here are 36 of the best side dishes:
Rice Sides for Risotto
- Fried Rice: Spice up your risotto with a savory fried rice side! Start by stir-frying aromatic vegetables such as garlic, onion, and peppers in a wok, and then adding cooked, cooled rice. Season with soy sauce for an umami-packed side dish.
- Pilaf: This classic side is a great way to add texture to your risotto. Toast some long-grain rice in a pan with butter or oil, and then add stock or broth. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked and fluffy.
- Jambalaya: Bring a touch of New Orleans to your risotto with a side of jambalaya! Start by sautéing smoked sausage and shrimp in a pot, then add cooked, cooled rice and seasonings such as cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme, and garlic. Simmer the ingredients together until the liquid is absorbed and the flavors have melded.
- Spanish Rice: This classic Spanish-inspired side dish pairs perfectly with risotto and provides a delicious burst of flavor. Start by sautéing onions, garlic, and diced tomatoes in a pan before adding in cooked rice. Season with cumin, oregano, and chili powder for extra spice and finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- Sticky Rice: If you’re looking for something a little different, try this sweet and savory sticky rice. Begin by cooking jasmine rice in a pan with coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Then, add in your favorite combination of vegetables, such as bell peppers and carrots. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a sprinkling of chopped peanuts for crunch.
Potato Side Dishes for Risotto
- Roasted Potatoes: If you want to level up your risotto game, then roasted potatoes are the way to go! These crispy, golden potatoes are sure to add a delightful crunch to your dish. Roasted potatoes are super easy to make: just slice them into cubes, season them with your favorite herbs and spices, and pop them in the oven until they’re golden and crispy. Yum!
- Mashed Potatoes: Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that pairs perfectly with risotto. Whether you’re using instant potatoes or making them from scratch, mashed potatoes are sure to give your risotto a creamy and comforting texture. Top with some butter, chives, or cheese to add a bit of extra flavor.
- Grilled Potato Wedges: Grilled potato wedges are a great way to add a bit of smoky flavor to your meal. Slice your potatoes into wedges, season them with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs, and grill them until they’re tender and crispy. Serve with a dollop of sour cream for the perfect finishing touch.
- Twice-Baked Potatoes: Ahh, twice-baked potatoes! This classic side dish is sure to tantalize the taste buds of any potato-lover. Not only are they tasty and comforting, but they’re also surprisingly easy to make. To begin, preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut two Russet potatoes in half lengthwise and place them on the baking sheet. Rub olive oil or butter on the potatoes, then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Once they’re finished baking, let them cool before scooping out the insides. Mash the insides with butter, sour cream, a bit of garlic and cheese, and mix in a few chopped herbs. Finally, spoon the mash back into the potato skins and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Hasselback Potatoes: Hasselback potatoes are an elegant twist on the classic baked potato. Begin by preheating your oven to 375°F and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice two Russet potatoes in thin slices, leaving the bottom intact so that the potato looks like a fan. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and brush them with olive oil or butter. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and bake for about an hour, or until tender when pierced with a fork. For the final touch, top the potatoes with your favorite herbs and spices.
- Scalloped Potatoes: Scalloped potatoes are a rich and creamy side dish that’s sure to please. Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F and lightly greasing a baking dish. Layer potatoes, onions, garlic, and seasonings in the baking dish. Top with a mixture of your favorite cheese and cream, then cover the dish with foil. Bake for about an hour and a half, or until the potatoes are fork tender. For an extra cheesy finish, sprinkle the top with a bit of extra cheese. Serve warm and enjoy.
- Potato Au Gratin: For an indulgent and flavor-packed side dish, nothing beats potato au gratin. This classic French dish combines creamy potatoes, cheese, and herbs to create a comforting casserole-like dish that is sure to please your family and friends. To start, peel and slice potatoes and layer them in a baking dish. Once the potatoes are in the dish, cover them with a mixture of cream, cheese, and herbs. Finally, bake the dish until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden and bubbly. Serve your potato au gratin alongside your favorite risotto and enjoy the flavor combination!
- Potato Pancakes: For a delicious and unique twist on the classic potato side dish, try making potato pancakes! This crispy and crunchy snack is a great way to use up leftover potatoes and is sure to be a hit. Begin by mashing potatoes and adding chopped onion, garlic, herbs, and cheese. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the mixture, shape into a patty, and fry in a pan with oil until golden brown. Serve the pancakes warm and topped with sour cream and a sprinkle of herbs for an extra flavor kick.
Vegetable Side Dishes for Risotto
- What is It? Stir-fried vegetables are a great side dish for risotto dinners. This simple and flavorful dish can be made with any combination of fresh vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. The vegetables are quickly cooked in a hot pan with oil or butter until they are tender but still crisp.
- Fun Changes: To make this side salad more interesting you can add different herbs and spices to the mix. Try adding garlic powder or chili flakes for an extra kick of flavor. You can also add some nuts or seeds like almonds or sunflower seeds for added crunch. For a sweeter version try adding some dried fruit like cranberries or raisins to the stir-fry before serving.
- What is It? Roasted vegetables are a great side dish for risotto dinners. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables and adds a delicious flavor to any meal. To make roasted vegetables, simply cut up your favorite veggies into bite-sized pieces, toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread them on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they are tender and lightly browned.
- Fun Changes: For extra flavor, you can add herbs or spices to the mix before roasting. Try adding garlic powder or oregano for an Italian twist; cumin or chili powder for Mexican flair; or curry powder for an Indian-inspired side dish. You can also experiment with different types of oils such as avocado oil or sesame oil to give your roasted veggies even more flavor.
- What is It? Steamed vegetables are a great side dish for risotto dinners. They can be cooked quickly and easily in the microwave or on the stovetop, and they provide a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, and green beans all work well when steamed.
- Fun Changes: To make your steamed vegetable side dish more interesting you can add herbs or spices to the water before cooking. For example, adding garlic powder or oregano to the water will give your vegetables an extra flavor boost. You can also top your steamed vegetables with grated cheese or chopped nuts for added texture and flavor. Finally, you can drizzle some olive oil over them after cooking for an extra bit of richness.
- What is It? Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic is a simple side salad that pairs perfectly with risotto dinners. The dish consists of green beans sautéed in olive oil and garlic, then seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. The result is a flavorful, crunchy side dish that adds texture and flavor to any meal.
- Fun Changes: To make this side salad even more interesting, try adding other vegetables such as mushrooms or bell peppers for extra color and flavor. You can also add some fresh herbs like basil or oregano for an herbal kick. For a heartier version, you can add cooked bacon or pancetta for added richness. Finally, if you want to give the dish an Italian twist, top it off with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving!
What is It? Roasted zucchini is a delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with risotto dinners. This simple recipe requires only a few ingredients and can be prepared in minutes.
The zucchini is cut into slices, tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roasted until golden brown and tender.
- Add garlic or onion powder for extra flavor
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top before baking
- Toss the zucchini with balsamic vinegar before roasting
- Top with fresh herbs such as basil or oregano after baking
- Mix in some diced tomatoes for added color and flavor
What is It? Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Parmesan is a delicious side salad that pairs perfectly with risotto dinners.
This dish combines the sweet, nutty flavor of roasted spaghetti squash with the savory flavors of garlic and Parmesan cheese.
The result is a light yet flavorful side dish that will add an extra layer of flavor to any meal.
- Add in some fresh herbs like basil or oregano for an extra burst of flavor.
- Swap out the Parmesan for another type of cheese such as feta or goat cheese.
- Top it off with some crunchy nuts like walnuts or almonds for added texture.
- For a spicy kick, add in some red pepper flakes or diced jalapenos.
Side Salads for Risotto
- What is It? Caesar salad is a classic side dish for risotto dinners. It consists of romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and a creamy dressing made with anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and egg yolks.
- Tasty Additions: To make your Caesar salad even more delicious and flavorful you can add some tasty additions such as grilled chicken or shrimp for protein; bacon bits for crunch; roasted red peppers or artichoke hearts for color; olives or capers for briny flavor; avocado slices for creaminess; and toasted nuts like almonds or pine nuts for nutty flavor. You can also top the salad with freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving.
- What is It? A Greek salad is a classic side dish for risotto dinners. It typically consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, feta cheese, olives and oregano. The salad is dressed with olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar.
- Tasty Additions: To make the salad more interesting and flavorful, you can add other ingredients such as bell peppers, capers, artichoke hearts or roasted red peppers. You can also add fresh herbs like parsley or mint to give it an extra kick of flavor. For a heartier version of the salad, try adding cooked chickpeas or quinoa for added protein and texture.
- What is It? Caprese salad is a classic Italian side dish made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. The ingredients are layered in alternating slices and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This simple yet flavorful salad pairs perfectly with risotto dinners as it adds a lightness to the meal while still providing plenty of flavor.
- Tasty Additions: To make this classic side even more delicious, try adding some additional ingredients such as olives, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, or grilled zucchini. You can also switch up the cheese by using burrata instead of mozzarella for an extra creamy texture. For added crunch, sprinkle on some toasted pine nuts or chopped walnuts before serving.
- What is It? Arugula salad is a simple side dish that pairs perfectly with risotto. It’s made with fresh arugula, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. The peppery flavor of the arugula complements the creamy texture of the risotto while adding a bright note to the meal.
- To Make It: To make an arugula salad for your risotto, start by washing and drying 2 cups of fresh arugula leaves. Place them in a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss everything together until evenly coated then serve alongside your meal.
- What is It? An antipasto salad is a type of side salad that typically includes ingredients such as salami, olives, artichoke hearts, and mozzarella cheese. This Italian-inspired dish can be served as an appetizer or side dish to accompany risotto or other main dishes.
- To Make It: To make an antipasto salad, start by combining 1/2 cup of diced salami with 1/4 cup of sliced black olives in a large bowl. Then add 1/2 cup of quartered artichoke hearts and 1/2 cup of cubed mozzarella cheese. For the dressing, whisk together 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and red wine vinegar with 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder and dried oregano. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature alongside your favorite risotto dish!
- What is It? A mixed green salad is a simple side dish that pairs perfectly with risotto. This salad consists of a variety of greens, such as romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula, and endive. The greens are tossed together with a light vinaigrette dressing and topped with fresh herbs or other ingredients like nuts or cheese for added flavor.
- To Make It: To make the perfect mixed green salad to accompany your risotto, start by washing and drying the greens thoroughly. Tear them into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar (such as balsamic or red wine), salt, pepper, and any desired seasonings (like garlic powder). Pour the dressing over the greens and toss until evenly coated. Top with freshly chopped herbs like parsley or basil for an extra burst of flavor.
Desserts for Risotto
- What is It? Cheesecake is a classic dessert that pairs perfectly with risotto. It’s a creamy, sweet treat made from cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and other ingredients like vanilla extract or lemon juice. The mixture is then baked in a springform pan to create the perfect texture and flavor.
- To Make It: To make cheesecake, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then mix together cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and any other desired ingredients until smooth. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter or cooking spray before pouring the mixture into it. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool before serving with risotto for an indulgent Italian meal!
- What is It? Tiramisu is an Italian dessert made with layers of ladyfingers soaked in espresso and layered with a creamy mixture of mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, and cocoa powder. The name literally translates to “pick me up” in Italian, referring to the caffeine-filled espresso used to make it.
- To Make It: To make tiramisu, start by making a simple syrup by combining equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Then dip ladyfingers into the syrup for just a few seconds before layering them on the bottom of your dish. Next, mix together mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread half of this mixture over the ladyfingers then repeat with another layer of soaked ladyfingers followed by the remaining cream mixture. Finally top with cocoa powder or grated chocolate before refrigerating for at least 4 hours before serving.
- What is It? Apple crisp is a classic dessert made with apples, butter, sugar, and spices. The topping consists of oats, flour, brown sugar, and butter that are mixed together to form a crumbly texture. When baked in the oven, the topping forms a crunchy layer on top of the sweet apples.
- To Make It: To make apple crisp start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel and slice 4-5 large apples into thin slices and place them in an 8×8 inch baking dish. In a separate bowl mix together 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup of rolled oats (or quick cooking oats), 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of salt until combined. Cut 6 tablespoons of cold butter into small cubes then add it to the dry ingredients mixture using your hands or two forks until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle this mixture over the sliced apples evenly then bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream if desired!
- What is It? Panna cotta is an Italian dessert made with cream, milk, sugar, and gelatin. The mixture is cooked until it thickens slightly and then poured into individual molds or glasses to set. Once chilled, the panna cotta can be served plain or topped with fresh fruit or a sauce.
- To Make It: To make panna cotta, start by combining cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add gelatin powder while stirring constantly. Pour the mixture into individual molds or glasses and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve plain or top with fresh fruit or a sauce of your choice!
- What is It? Chocolate mousse is a light and airy dessert made with melted chocolate, eggs, cream, and sugar. The mixture is whipped until it’s fluffy and then chilled until it sets. The result is a rich, creamy dessert that melts in your mouth.
- Tasty Additions: To make the mousse even more decadent, you can add other ingredients such as nuts, dried fruit, liqueurs or spirits like brandy or rum. You can also top the mousse with fresh berries or grated chocolate for an extra special touch. For a lighter version of the classic recipe, try using Greek yogurt instead of cream to give it a tangy flavor.
Drinks to Serve with Risotto
- What is It? Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes. It has been enjoyed for centuries and is a popular accompaniment to meals, especially risotto dinners. There are many different types of wine, ranging from dry reds to sweet whites, and each type can bring out the flavors of a risotto dish in its own unique way.
- Variations: When pairing wine with risotto dishes, it’s important to consider the ingredients used in the recipe. For example, if your risotto contains mushrooms or truffles, you may want to choose a full-bodied red such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. If your risotto includes seafood or vegetables like asparagus or artichokes, then a lighter white such as Pinot Grigio would be more appropriate. Sparkling wines like Prosecco are also great options for adding some effervescence to your meal!
- What is It? Beer is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grains, such as barley, wheat, and rye. It has a long history of being enjoyed with meals in many cultures around the world. Beer comes in a variety of styles and flavors, ranging from light lagers to dark ales.
- Variations: When pairing beer with risotto dishes, it’s important to consider the type of risotto you are serving. For example, if you are serving a seafood risotto or one that features vegetables like mushrooms or squash, then a lighter beer such as a pilsner or pale ale would be best. If your risotto contains heavier ingredients like sausage or cheese then an amber ale or stout would pair nicely. Additionally, if you want to add some sweetness to your meal then try pairing it with a Belgian-style witbier which has notes of citrus and spice that will complement the creamy texture of the dish perfectly.
- What is It? Sparkling water, also known as carbonated water or soda water, is simply regular tap or filtered water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas. This process gives the beverage a slightly effervescent quality and a distinctively crisp taste.
- Variations: Sparkling waters come in many different varieties, from plain to flavored. Plain sparkling waters are available in both still (non-carbonated) and sparkling forms, while flavored versions can be found in a variety of flavors such as lemon-lime, orange, raspberry, and more. Some brands even offer alcoholic versions of their sparkling waters for those looking for an adult beverage option.
- What is It? Iced tea is a refreshing beverage that can be enjoyed with risotto dinners. It is made by steeping tea leaves in hot water, then cooling it down with ice cubes or cold water. The result is a light and flavorful drink that pairs well with the creamy texture of risotto dishes.
- Variations: There are many variations of iced tea to choose from, including black teas such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey, green teas like Sencha and Matcha, herbal infusions such as chamomile and mint, and fruit-flavored blends like peach or raspberry. For an extra special treat, try making your own flavored iced tea by adding fresh fruits or herbs to the brewed tea before chilling it.
- What is It? Lemonade is a refreshing drink made with lemon juice, sugar, and water. It can be served either cold or hot depending on the season. The classic version of this beverage is tart and sweet, but there are many variations that can be made to suit different tastes.
- Variations: For a sweeter version of lemonade, add more sugar or use honey instead. To make it even more flavorful, try adding fresh herbs such as mint or basil. If you want to give your lemonade an extra kick, add some vodka or gin for an adult twist on the classic recipe. You can also experiment with other fruits such as oranges or limes for a unique flavor combination.
What to Serve with Risotto – 36 Best Side Dishes
- Fried Rice
- Spanish Rice
- Sticky Rice
- Roasted Potatoes
- Mashed Potatoes
- Grilled Potato Wedges
- Twice-Baked Potatoes
- Hasselback Potatoes
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Potato Au Gratin
- Potato Pancakes
- Stir-Fried Vegetables
- Roasted Vegetables
- Steamed Vegetables
- Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic
- Roasted Zucchini
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Parmesan
- Caesar Salad
- Greek Salad
- Caprese Salad
- Arugula Salad
- Antipasto Salad
- Mixed Green Salad
- Apple Crisp
- Panna Cotta
- Chocolate Mousse
- Sparkling Water
- Iced Tea
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all of the required ingredients.
- Prep a side dish in 30 minutes or less.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.