You will surely all agree with me when I say that pasta does not need to have much in order to be a star in the dining table. After all, this dish is already loaded with just about all the nutrients and flavors that you would ever need in one meal. It is carbohydrates and protein rolled into one saucy, meaty and delectable dish!
But if you want to make your dinner more memorable, it wouldn’t hurt for you to add a few side dishes in your menu. The good news is, it is not that difficult to determine what goes good with pasta because that dish is quite versatile!
However, if you want the best pasta pairings, you have come to the right place! Below, I will share with you some of the best side dishes that I have tried. These are so good that my family always asks for them whenever I cook pasta.
What Goes Good with Pasta?
Without further ado, I present to you my tried and tested pasta side dishes:
Jersey is known as the Garden State so it does make sense that there is a vegetable salad recipe that is named after the state. What I like most about this recipe is that it is a mix between American and Italian salad recipes, making it one of the best pairings for a pasta. Oh, and the garlicky croutons that this recipe requires are to die for!
To make the croutons, you would need oregano, salt, garlic powder, pepper, olive oil and your baguette cubes. Mix the seasonings in one bowl and set it aside. In a separate bowl, place the bread cubes and olive oil and toss to coat. Let it soak in for a few minutes then coat the bread cubes with your seasoning mixture. Place the bread cubes in a baking sheet and bake it for 10 minutes or until it turns brown.
The dressing recipe calls for red wine vinegar, cheese, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, sugar, and olive oil. Whisk the dry ingredients with the vinegar to combine. As you do that, slowly add the olive oil until it emulsifies.
For the salad, you would need lettuce, red cabbage, carrots and cheese of your choice. Add in the dressing, place the croutons and toss everything then serve!
This side dish is perfect for olive-oil based pasta recipes.
Chicken with Rainbow Vegetables
If you want both protein and fiber boost, this is the side dish that you should go with. The great thing about this one is that it does not require too much preparation. And if you have guests who are on a keto diet, this dish is perfect for them too!
To do this recipe, you would just need to coat your baking sheet with a nonstick coating spray. Arrange the chicken breast slices on it. In a separate bowl, whisk soy sauce and sesame oil together and brush the chicken with the resulting mixture.
After that, arrange the vegetable slices (broccoli, carrots, yellow and red bell peppers) around the chicken slices. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and gently toss the vegetables to coat properly. Season the slices with salt and pepper.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Garnish with parsley afterward then serve.
I highly recommend pairing this one with red sauces, either marinara or spaghetti.
If lettuce and greens are too mainstream for you, zucchini is one vegetable that would be perfect as a refreshing salad. While this recipe is often used for barbecue parties, its flavor would also go well with all types of pasta sauces.
Slice your zucchini using the roll cut technique. After that, season the zucchini slices with oregano, lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, salt, and pepper. Get your grill (you can also use pan grill) ready. Before you place the slices on the grill, drizzle them with olive oil once again. Add a bit more salt and pepper.
Arrange the slices in a single layer on the grill. Grill the slices for up to 8 minutes. After that, transfer the slices to your serving bowl. Drizzle it with the dressing and toss well. Let it be for 15 minutes then add the mint and feta cheese. Toss once again to combine.
Is the cheese in your pasta still not enough for you? Well, you can make it even cheesier with these classic stuffed peppers recipe!
Prepare your peppers by trimming off a small portion of its base so it will be able to sit flat. After that, cut off the top portion to gain access to the core of the bell pepper. Cut off the ribs and throw it out. Remove all the seeds and discard.
Place the mustard, oregano, paprika, rice, garlic, onion and beef in a bowl and mix everything well. Stuff the resulting mixture into the bell peppers.
Get a skillet and pour the marinara sauce into it, covering its base. Arrange the stuffed peppers on the skillet. Garnish them with cheese. Bake the peppers for 25 to 30 minutes.
As expected, this side dish would go well with cheesy types of pasta like baked mac and cheese, spaghetti, lasagna, and many more!
Sauteed Spinach with Mushrooms
If you do not have the time to whip up fancy vegetable side dishes or grill some vegetables, this is the easiest and fastest dish that you can make. The good news is, it is as flavorful so you will not be missing out!
Place a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil to it and let it heat up for a minute. After that, add the mushrooms to the pot. Put the minced garlic on the pot and toss the mushrooms to coat. Cover the pot and let it cook for 2 minutes.
Once the mushrooms are ready, add in all the spinach to the pot. Toss everything well. Cover the pot once again and let it cook for 2 more minutes. When you remove the cover, turn the heat up and cook it for another minute, stirring it as it wilts.
Transfer the dish to the serving bowl. Add salt to taste and serve it steaming hot!
This side dish is highly recommended for red-sauce pastas so if you are a red sauce lover, enjoy!
If there is one essential nutrient that you cannot find in pasta, it is fiber. You can only get huge amounts of this nutrient if you will use whole wheat pasta. This is the very reason why I have included lots of high-fiber side dishes on the list. In this way, you can be able to enjoy not just a delicious meal but a nutritious one as well!
I hope you liked my list of what goes good with pasta. If you have other recommendations, please feel free to share them with us in the comments section!