Top 20 Best Side Dishes for pizza
Transform your pizza night into an unforgettable meal with our top 20 side dishes. From cheesy bread to pasta salad, these sides are sure to delight.
Pizza is always welcome at my home. There’s so much goodness in a single slice, it’s impossible to eat just one! It’s meaty, saucy, savory, cheesy, and just absolutely delightful.
And while I can easily fill up on pizza alone, it’s fun to pair it up with a few complementing sides. But what do you eat with pizza besides salad and breadsticks?
Not to worry! Here are 20 appetizers, sides, and desserts that pair perfectly with pizza.
No matter what your main course is, soup always makes an excellent appetizer. And what I love about soup is there are so many different options to suit your preference.
For instance, if you want something light to start your meal, opt for a refreshing tomato soup. It offers a beautiful contrast to your hearty pizza.
If you don’t mind having something thick and creamy, how about a cream of mushroom soup? Mushroom soup has a wonderful earthy and umami flavor. It’s just as irresistible as pizza!
If you want contrasting temperatures, opt for a cold soup. A chilled gazpacho with raw vegetables is another refreshing soup perfect to start your meal.
Oh, here’s another refreshing soup for you! Ratatouille is a super tasty and hearty vegetable stew made with eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, and mascarpone cheese.
Just imagine all those flavors rolled into one fantastic dish! So good.
It’s a rich and savory dish that pairs perfectly with a few slices of pizza. Just make sure you’ve got a hungry crowd!
3. Italian Bruschetta Bar
Add another Italian element to your meal by serving antipasto for starters. Just pick whatever cold cuts, cheeses, crackers, and dried fruit you have on hand. Arrange them nicely in a platter and boom: a fancy Italian Bruschetta bar.
4. Caesar Salad
Caesar salad is my go-to side for pizza. It’s healthy, so it makes me feel less guilty about devouring one slice of pizza after another.
And, I love the crunchy contrast it adds to the pizza too. They may have similar flavors (creamy, salty, and cheesy), but at least it counterbalances the texture of your pizza.
5. Spinach Artichoke Dip
If you don’t mind having another rich and cheesy element for dinner, how about a spinach artichoke dip? You can use it to dip breadsticks, but I myself love spreading the dip on top of my pizza for that added umami flavor!
To make, just combine cream cheese, mayo, basil, garlic, spinach, parmesan, mozzarella, and artichoke hearts. It’s a simple, fool-proof recipe that makes the creamiest, cheesiest dip all the time.
6. Potato Salad
If you’re feeding a huge crowd, you’ll need something incredibly filling. A classic potato salad hits the spot!
It’s creamy, cheesy, and oh so hearty. No one can say no to this. Here’s how to make it:
Boil small red potatoes until fork tender. For the dressing, combine sour cream, mayo, chopped red onion, fresh dill, and garlic salt. Coat the potatoes with the dressing and watch as your delectable side disappears!
7. Garlic Cheese Bread
This is another side to serve or eat when you’re extremely famished. Bread on bread? It shouldn’t make sense, but it does!
And while sure, you can order garlic cheese bread with your pizza, where’s the fun in that?
Make your own by sauteing garlic cloves in olive oil. Mash the garlic until you form a spreadable paste.
Spread the paste onto your favorite bread and top it with shredded cheese. Bake the bread until the cheese melts, and you’re good to go.
Let’s take a break from all the carbs, shall we? For another crisp and refreshing side, how about some creamy coleslaw?
The crunch in the cabbage and carrots does add a nice textural contrast to your pizza. Plus, it’s crisp and refreshing. The perfect contrast to your hot and savory pizza.
If you want to make your coleslaw a little less guilt-inducing, just use Greek yogurt instead of mayo for the dressing. A vinaigrette works well too!
When making your own coleslaw, be sure to chill it in the fridge for several hours before you serve it. That way, the veggies will absorb the flavors of the dressing, making it even tastier.
9. Mozzarella Sticks
If you’re like me who loves cheese, Mozzarella cheese is the way to go. It’s crunchy, cheesy, and ooey-gooey delicious.
In short, it checks all the boxes! Dip it in marinara sauce and it’s just like pizza in stick form!
10. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted veggies are perfect for counterbalancing all the carbs you’re about to gobble up. Not only are they healthy, but are crisp and yummy too! So, just because you’re serving veggies, doesn’t mean you won’t have a delicious meal.
Whether it’s roasted carrots, potatoes, onions, cauliflower, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts, you really can’t go wrong.
It’s easy to prep too! Coat the veggies in olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and your choice of herbs. Pop them in the oven and there you have it, a simple, nutritious, and tasty side.
11. Zucchini Fries
Want some fries to go with your pizza, but minus all the calories? I’ve got the answer: zucchini fries.
Sure, they may not taste exactly like French fries, but hey, they’re still just as yummy! And since they’re baked, you don’t have to fry them. Meaning, you don’t have to stand in front of a deep-fryer for minutes to get things done.
All that goodness minus the grease and effort!
12. Jalapeno Poppers
Add a nice kick to your meal by serving a side of jalapeno poppers. They’re not just spicy, but cheesy and crunchy as well. It’s fantastic with pizza!
Don’t worry, jalapenos aren’t as spicy as you picture them to be. Jalapenos lose some of their heat when they’re cooked, so it gives you just the right amount of spice.
13. Onion Rings
Onion rings are so good, even people who don’t like onions can’t say no to them!
Onion rings have that glorious combination of sweet, salty, and crunchy, making them oh so addictive. They’re the perfect finger food for your pizza!
14. Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is not only hearty and delicious, but looks so pretty as well. The combination of vibrant veggies and colorful pasta makes it such an appetizing addition to your plate.
15. Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dip
You’ll be eating pizza with your hands anyway, so might as well serve it with wings! Sure, Buffalo wings are messy to eat, but they’re definitely worth it.
Whether they’re baked or fried, you’ll still get incredibly flavorful, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside wings. Dip those bad boys in a creamy blue cheese dip and you’ll get a party in your mouth.
Not that you need more protein in your meal, but meatballs just make such a tasty pairing to pizza. They’re meaty, spicy, and oh so flavorful!
Whether you eat them on the side or top them over your pizza, meatballs will never disappoint. They can also be taken as breakfast
And now, for dessert, how about a slice of creamy tiramisu?
Did you know that the word tiramisu is Italian for
pick me up? So this dessert is definitely a mood booster!
And it looks so elegant too. Those layers of espresso-dipped lady fingers, mascarpone cheese and cream, and that generous dusting of cocoa powder are a classic beauty.
Whether you eat it for dessert or a palate cleanser, you can never go wrong with a classic sorbet. It’s light, refreshing, sweet, and a wonderful way to end your hefty meal.
And it doesn’t even matter what flavor you get – chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, mango, lemon – still works, regardless!
End your meal with this tasty Italian treat. It may not have the same shape, but if you think about it, a cannoli seems like the sweet version of pizza. So why not?
A cannoli is a cylindrical shaped fried dough with cheese, nuts, and chocolate filling. It’s crisp, sweet, and creamy, and makes a wonderful pairing with pizza.
And finally, we’ve got a very simple sweet treat that’s perfect to round out your meal. You’re already serving something incredibly hearty, so you can’t go wrong with a nice and humble bowl of fruit for dessert.
So, how do bananas, berries, and pineapple slices sound? Not only are they refreshing, but they’re also packed with enzymes that aid in digestion!
If fruits are too basic for you, why not use them as an ice cream topping for a more satisfying dessert?