As a lover of Italian cuisine, I can’t resist the allure of mouthwatering side dishes that perfectly complement the main course.
From the savory garlic bread oozing with melted cheese to the tangy pickled eggplant bursting with Mediterranean goodness, these 25 Italian side dishes are sure to delight your taste buds.
Get ready to fall in love with these delectable creations that will elevate any meal to new heights.
1. Italian Garlic Bread
If you love bread and want to indulge in a fresh twist, you’ll definitely enjoy Italian garlic bread.
It’s a delectable side dish that combines the rich flavors of butter, olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, and fresh parsley.
The result is a mouthwatering blend of savory and tangy notes that perfectly complement any meal.
This Italian favorite is known for its crispy exterior and soft interior, making it the perfect accompaniment to pasta dishes or soups.
Give your taste buds a treat with this irresistible Italian garlic bread!
2. Italian Pickled Eggplant
Get ready to be amazed by the incredible flavors of these pickled eggplants that will leave you craving for more.
Italian pickled eggplant is a labor of love, requiring time and patience. The process begins with chopping the eggplant and letting it rest for 8 hours to release moisture. Then, it’s cooked and left to sit for 24 hours in a mixture of vinegar, garlic, parsley, and hot pepper flakes.
The result is a tangy and savory side dish that perfectly complements meat dishes.
3. Italian Stuffed Tomatoes
The savory filling of toasted garlic, anchovies, parsley, and lemon zest adds incredible flavor to these Italian stuffed tomatoes.
The recipe begins by cutting the tops off ripe tomatoes and scooping out the pulp. Then, I season them with salt before adding the delicious stuffing.
Once in the oven, the tomatoes wilt and burst with juice, creating a mouthwatering dish that pairs perfectly with any Italian meal.
4. Italian Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
Once you try these stuffed zucchini flowers, you won’t be able to resist their gooey mozzarella and salty prosciutto filling.
These Italian delicacies are a fun and delicious side dish that can complement any meal.
The zucchini flowers are dipped in batter and fried to perfection, creating a crispy outer layer that contrasts with the melt-in-your-mouth filling.
With their unique presentation resembling a flower, these stuffed zucchini flowers are not only tasty but visually appealing as well.
5. Italian Marinated Mushrooms
Boiled in vinegar and preserved in quality olive oil, these marinated mushrooms have a chewy, meaty texture and a flavor infused with lemon, oregano, and hot chiles for added heat.
They make a delicious addition to any Italian meal. These mushrooms can be served alongside grilled meats or tossed with pasta for a flavorful vegetarian option.
You can also enjoy them as part of an antipasti plate, adding depth and tanginess to the overall spread.
6. Italian Farro Salad
Get ready to indulge in a flavorful and filling farro salad that combines chewy grains with vibrant seasonal vegetables, fresh herbs, and zesty lemon dressing.
This Italian side dish is perfect for those looking for a lighter alternative to heavy pasta dishes. The nutty taste of the farro pairs perfectly with the juicy cherry tomatoes, crisp radishes, and tangy red onion.
Tossed in a refreshing dressing made with olive oil, fresh herbs, and lemon juice, this salad will be a hit at any gathering.
7. Easy Focaccia Bread
The dough for the easy homemade focaccia bread is mixed until smooth and elastic. Then, it’s left to rise, creating a light and airy texture.
Once risen, the dough is pressed into a baking pan and topped with fragrant rosemary, salt, and drizzles of olive oil.
As it bakes in the oven, the aroma fills your kitchen.
The result? A savory bread that pairs perfectly with pasta, soup, or stew.
8. Italian Roasted Potatoes
Now that we’ve explored the deliciousness of Easy Focaccia Bread, let me introduce you to another Italian side dish that will leave your taste buds begging for more: Italian Roasted Potatoes.
These versatile spuds are sautéed in a blend of garlic, Italian seasoning, parsley, and parmesan before being baked to perfection.
The result? A crispy exterior and a tender interior that will transport you straight to Italy with every bite.
9. Italian Giardiniera
Let me tell you about a flavorful blend of vegetables that will elevate any meal: Italian giardiniera.
This traditional Italian side dish is a delicious mixture of vegetables, canned with vinegar and bay leaves. After at least a month of resting, the flavors infuse into the vegetables, creating a tangy and vibrant taste.
Cauliflower, bell peppers, onions, green beans, peas, carrots, celery, fennel, and cucumber are all commonly used in giardiniera. It’s a versatile accompaniment that adds a burst of flavor to any dish.
10. Cacio e Pepe Brussels Sprouts
Get ready to experience a delectable twist on the classic Italian pasta dish with these easy-to-make cacio e pepe Brussels sprouts.
This low-carb alternative captures the simplicity and flavor profile of the original. In this dish, shredded Brussels sprouts are coated in a mixture of parmesan cheese, pepper, olive oil, and lemon.
The result is a savory and satisfying side that pairs perfectly with any Italian meal. Top it off with toasted nuts for an extra crunch!
11. Italian Chickpea Salad
Refrigerate the Italian chickpea salad until cold and add arugula just before serving for a refreshing twist on a classic summer dish.
This vibrant salad bursts with colors that remind you of sunny days. It’s light yet satisfying, thanks to the combination of chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, black olives, and cooked potatoes.
The homemade dressing adds a tangy kick. Prepare this salad ahead of time and enjoy the coolness it brings to your palate.
12. Italian Pasta Salad
The versatility of Italian pasta salad allows for endless ingredient combinations. It’s a dish that can be personalized to suit any taste or occasion. Whether you prefer rotini noodles or another variety, as long as it holds dressing well, it can work.
To keep things simple, I recommend using bottled Italian dressing. But the real fun comes in choosing your favorite ingredients like cherry tomatoes, black olives, pepperoni, cubed cheese, and bell peppers.
This salad is perfect for barbecues or picnics.
13. Italian Breadsticks
For added fluffiness, you can use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour in these homemade Italian breadsticks. The bread flour creates a lighter texture and helps the dough rise beautifully.
To make these delicious breadsticks, simply mix the dough ingredients together, let it rise until doubled in size, then shape into long sticks.
After baking to golden perfection, brush them with melted butter and sprinkle on some salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning for an amazing burst of flavor.
14. Savory Parmesan Cookies
To achieve a savory and cheesy taste, combine grated parmesan cheese with flour and butter to make a delicious dough. Once the dough is ready, roll it out and cut it into round shapes using a cookie cutter.
To enhance the flavor, sprinkle some rosemary and thyme on top before baking.
These savory parmesan cookies are the perfect side dish for any Italian meal or even as a standalone snack. They have a crispy texture and a rich, cheesy flavor that will leave you craving for more.
15. Italian Pinwheels
Get ready to indulge in these irresistible, cheesy and gooey Italian pinwheels that are perfect for any occasion. Made with store-bought pizza dough, these pinwheels are a breeze to make and will be ready in under 30 minutes.
The combination of various cheeses and finely chopped pepperoni creates a mouthwatering filling that oozes out when you take a bite. But be careful not to eat them all before serving – they’re that good!
16. Radicchio Salad
Indulge in the creamy, complex flavors of a radicchio salad with sweet apple, tart pomegranates, blue cheese, and toasted hazelnuts.
This Italian side dish is not only delicious but also visually appealing. The combination of bitter radicchio with the sweetness of apple and tartness of pomegranates creates a perfect balance.
The addition of blue cheese adds creaminess while the toasted hazelnuts bring a satisfying crunch.
This salad pairs well with meats or can be enjoyed on its own or with a sandwich.
17. Caprese Salad
Experience the vibrant flavors of a classic Caprese salad, where ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant basil come together in a harmonious combination.
This traditional Italian dish is all about simplicity and showcasing high-quality ingredients.
To elevate the flavors even more, I recommend drizzling it with a homemade garlic herb vinaigrette and a sweet balsamic glaze.
Whether enjoyed as a side dish or as a main meal with some crusty bread, this Caprese salad will surely satisfy your taste buds.
18. Italian Wedding Soup
The name ‘Italian wedding soup’ comes from the delightful combination of orzo pasta, tender meatballs, and flavorful broth.
This soup is a comforting and satisfying dish that can be prepared in just 30 minutes. The orzo pasta adds a nice chewiness, while the meatballs are juicy and packed with flavor.
The broth ties it all together, adding richness and depth to every spoonful. It’s no wonder this soup is often served at Italian weddings – it’s a true celebration of deliciousness!
19. Burrata Salad
For a refreshing twist on your salad game, try upgrading to the burrata salad. It features a creamy interior and homemade croutons. Burrata cheese is a delicacy known for its luscious texture and rich flavor.
Paired with fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, this salad is a perfect balance of creaminess and crunch.
It’s quick to make and customizable with your favorite vegetables. Dive into a burst of flavors with this delectable Italian side dish.
When making friselle, don’t forget to double-bake the bread and dip it in water before topping it with fresh tomatoes, herbs, and olive oil.
These traditional Italian bagel-like treats are a delicious side dish that is sure to impress your guests.
The double baking process gives them a satisfying crunch while the water dip softens them just enough.
Once topped with juicy tomatoes, fragrant herbs, and drizzled with olive oil, friselle become a delightful burst of flavors in every bite.
21. Tuscan White Bean Salad
To make Tuscan white bean salad, start by sautéing sun-dried tomatoes, onion, and mushrooms in olive oil. This creates a flavorful base for the salad.
In another bowl, mix together beans, scallion, tomato, and parsley with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.
Once the sautéed mixture has cooled slightly, combine it with the bean mixture to create a salad that is both refreshing and satisfying.
22. Italian Bruschetta
Make sure you’re using high-quality ingredients like ripe tomatoes and fresh basil for the most delicious bruschetta.
The combination of these two ingredients creates a burst of flavors that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.
Don’t forget to add a sprinkle of oregano, a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a splash of flavorful balsamic vinegar.
And let’s not overlook the importance of using hearty bread to prevent any sogginess.
23. Italian Stuffed Artichokes
Using savory Italian sausage and salty Parmesan cheese, stuffed artichokes are a classic crowd-pleasing side dish that bursts with flavor.
The artichokes are prepared by removing the tough outer leaves and trimming the tops. Then, a delicious filling made of crumbled Italian sausage, grated Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil is stuffed into the center of each artichoke.
When cooked, the flavors meld together creating a delightful combination that can be enjoyed by pulling off the leaves and scraping the meaty part against your teeth.
24. Easy Italian Green Beans
The sautéed grape tomatoes add a burst of flavor and vibrant color to the perfectly tender green beans. I love how the sweetness of the tomatoes complements the earthiness of the beans.
With just a touch of garlic and Italian seasoning, this side dish is full of bold flavors. And to top it all off, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese adds a creamy and salty finish.
It’s the perfect accompaniment to any Italian meal.
25. Zucchini Bites
When biting into these cheesy zucchini bites, you won’t be able to resist the gooey cheese oozing out.
Made with simple ingredients that are likely already in your pantry, these delicious bites are perfect for even the biggest zucchini skeptics.
You have multiple options for preparation – deep-fried, pan-fried, or baked – and each method yields a crispy exterior with a warm and melty interior.
The combination of mozzarella and parmesan creates a cheesy flavor explosion that will leave you craving more.