What Goes With Spaghetti: 16 Best Pairings

Published Categorized as Guide, Pasta

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Spaghetti is one of the most versatile and well-loved dishes out there. You can pair your spaghetti meal with anything you fancy, from roasted greens to a slice of fragrant and drool-worthy garlic bread. Topped with fresh herbs, spaghetti is the type of evening meal that is completely satiating, rendering its eaters completely pleased with themselves, but sometimes figuring out what goes with spaghetti can be a bit nerve-racking. Here are some of the best pairings to have with your spaghetti dinner.

Table of Contents

What Side Dishes Go With Spaghetti?

A wonderful variety of side dishes is a great place to start, especially when wondering what goes well with any pasta dish. Here are some delicious side dishes to go for:

  • Garlic Bread
  • Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
  • Potato Chip Crusted Chicken Breasts
  • Tomato Cucumber Feta Salad
  • Lemon Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts
  • Pea Salad
  • Sautéed Lemon Greens
  • Grilled Vegetable with Garlic Toast
  • Parmesan Zucchini
  • Caprese Salad
  • Caesar Salad
  • Lemon Pepper Asparagus
  • Sheet Pan Lemon Pepper Shrimp
  • Braided Pesto Bread
  • Garlicky Greens
  • Radicchio Salad

Garlic Bread

If you’re a fan of garlic bread, then you’ll love it with your spaghetti, and it’s super easy to make. You can even buy frozen bread dough for a little DIY garlic bread making at home. Then all you need to do is spread some butter and add minced garlic on top of the dough before popping it into the oven for baking. Once it’s done baking, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the top and basil if you desire, then serve alongside spaghetti for a wonderful treat!

What Goes With Spaghetti: 16 Best Pairings

Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

Spaghetti can be a little tricky to pair with things, but meatballs are the classic winner. With the right ingredients, you can make them as mild or as spicy as you want.

Meatballs are the perfect addition to your spaghetti meal. You can make these tasty treats yourself or buy them ready-made and frozen from the store. Add them to your favorite marinara sauce, served with fettuccine and topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves for an extra kick of flavor. Dollop this over your spaghetti, and you’re good to go!

For additional aromatic goodness, try adding garlic cloves, onions, parsley, salt, and pepper for some extra savory goodness! For a little twist on tradition, try making meatball subs instead; simply place your choice of bun over the top of your saucy meatballs for an extremely satiating dinner.

Potato Chip Crusted Chicken Breasts

Potato chips are the perfect side dish for almost any main dish, but what if we added a little twist to the entire recipe, combining simplicity with delicacy? If you like chicken parmesan, then this one is for you! These potato chip-encased chicken breasts are flavored with hazelnut-arugula pesto providing a peppery and nutty flavoring to this side dish, which bodes well with pasta dishes like spaghetti. The final results are super golden brown crispy chicken breasts topped with gooey mozzarella, and this can pair with any main dish you like, preferably your favorite pasta dish.

Tomato Cucumber Feta Salad

If you’re looking for a recipe that can be prepared ahead of time and sits in the fridge until it’s ready to eat, this one’s for you. For light, fresh textures that’ll contrast beautifully with your pasta dish, you’ll be delighted with this pretty colorful bowl of salad.

For this salad recipe, you’ll need:

  • 3 large cucumbers
  • 5 to 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion
  • 8 oz feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • salt and pepper

Simply combine cucumbers, fresh tomatoes, red onion, and feta cheese in a large salad bowl, then prepare your dressing by mixing the remaining ingredients into the large bowl and shaking well. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine. And there you have it, a wonderful, easy salad side dish to have with your spaghetti!

Lemon Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts

A light, refreshing salad featuring peppery arugula topped with nuts, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese creates the perfect contrasting textures and a much-needed crunch to accompany your spaghetti. For this salad recipe, you’ll need:

  • 4 cups arugula (washed)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (toasted)
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of thinly sliced parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Toss the arugula, cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and parmesan cheese slices in a large bowl. Make the dressing in another bowl by mixing extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, honey, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad, and finish with the shaved parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of black pepper. Serve this with your spaghetti dinner.

What Goes With Spaghetti: 16 Best Pairings

Pea Salad

Peas are a great pairing for spaghetti because not only do they taste great, but they’re also incredibly nutritious. Peas can be served raw or cooked, and they have a slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with foods that contain tomato sauce, like pasta or spaghetti.

This particular pea salad recipe makes for an effortless side dish that is both heavily appealing and wonderfully flavorful. For this side dish, you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups of peas
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 4 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, and black pepper. Add your peas, onions, and cheddar cheese, then mix thoroughly.

Season this with some salt, and sprinkle your crumbled bacon over the top of it. Cover with a plastic wrap and allow this to chill for at least an hour before serving.

Sautéed Lemon Green Beans

Sautéing green beans is one of the many great ways to cook them, though they can taste pretty bland if you forget to dress them up with some extra flavor. Lemon juice and olive oil are excellent ways to add an interesting citrusy taste that complements the tanginess of spaghetti sauce. If you’re looking for something more traditional, try pairing sautéed green beans with pesto or balsamic vinegar instead.

Grilled Vegetables with Garlic Toast

When twirling long saucy spaghetti tendrils around your fork, accompanying some grilled vegetables to go with it can be pretty appetizing. But what if we tossed some garlic toast into the mix for another satiating side dish recipe?

When you’re veggies are grilled to perfection, who’s going to say no to this side dish of dreams? Gather your favorite vegetables for this side dish recipe because you’re going to savor every single bite!

I like to go for bell peppers, zucchini, thickly sliced red onions, and mushrooms, and for the bread, I’ve opted for tangy sourdough bread.

Grill the vegetables for around 6 minutes, tossing them occasionally, then remove and replace with your sourdough bread until it’s a wonderful shade of brown. Chop the vegetables into little squares and drop them into a bowl. Drizzle some basil vinaigrette over the top of your grilled veggies and toss well, then top with some fresh basil and oregano.

Parmesan Zucchini

To serve spaghetti on its own is one thing, but adding a little veggie to the mix is always an incredibly better addition to almost every main dish. This side dish is simple and tasty! The crunch of the zucchini contrasts nicely with the creaminess of the spaghetti sauce, and you can easily substitute other veggies in place of these if you’re not a particular fan of zucchini.

Let’s see what we need to make these little baked parmesan fries of delight:

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Cut off the ends of the zucchini, then cut them into 1/2 inch wide wedges. Coat the zucchini wedges in flour, then dip into the egg, shaking off excess.

Spread the zucchini in the bread crumb mixture and place it on a baking sheet. Repeat this process for the rest of your zucchini fries, and spray them with cooking spray. Bake the zucchini for 22 to 25 minutes until they’re golden brown and crisp. Remember to turn them halfway through!

You can swirl these fries in your spaghetti sauce to get some added flavor that is so eager to please. Alternatively, you can rip the zucchini fries into small cubes and scatter them over your spaghetti.

Caprese Salad

This is a classic Italian side dish consisting of tender mozzarella, juicy slices of tomato, and torn basil leaves. Since it’s such a simple and basic side, it’s great for pairing with spaghetti because you can truly taste the contrasting flavors between the two dishes. The olive oil will provide a brilliant flavourful burst with each bite of your favorite pasta, as with salt and pepper. Just add balsamic vinegar for even more flavor!

What Goes With Spaghetti: 16 Best Pairings

Caesar Salad

The classic Caesar salad is an easy and simple pairing for spaghetti. To make sure it’s perfect, use the best ingredients you can find. The dressing should be creamy and not too acidic; if it tastes like vinegar, it’ll overpower your spaghetti.

Your lettuce mustn’t become soggy, and make sure that there are plenty of crunchy croutons to contrast with soft spaghetti: no one likes limp greens or soggy bread! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8 cups romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup croutons
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Combine garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, capers, egg, anchovy fillets, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until smooth, then drizzle some olive oil into the mix. Add parmesan cheese and pulse to combine, then pop this in the fridge for when you’re ready.

In a large salad bowl, combine lettuce, croutons, and parmesan cheese, add your dressing as you wish, then toss this magical mix to combine these beautiful flavors. Finally, garnish with some more parmesan cheese and lemon wedges for that additional zesty flavor. Serve this with your favorite pasta dish – in this case, spaghetti, and enjoy!

Lemon Pepper Asparagus

Lemon pepper is a classic flavor combo for asparagus, grilled or baked, it’s incredibly delicious to have alongside a plate of spaghetti, and it’s so easy to make at home! Just sprinkle some lemon pepper on the asparagus before baking, and you’re good to go!

Though if you prefer a sweeter note, try topping your baked lemon pepper asparagus with some lemon butter or adding some finely grated lemon zest. We found that adding some garlic to your zesty asparagus will emanate the perfect amount of savory and salty brilliance. Whatever you do, don’t forget to enjoy this side dish while it’s still hot!

What Goes With Spaghetti: 16 Best Pairings

Sheet Pan Lemon Pepper Shrimp

If you’re a fan of flavor-drenched shrimp, then this side dish is the one for you to go for. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare shrimp. With a marinade consisting of a splash of lemon juice, lemon zest, and a bit of garlic, pairing beautifully with the buttery crust that forms on the outside of the shrimp.

Add some fresh herbs like thyme or parsley for even more flavor. This recipe can be made on a sheet pan or grilled. You could also bake this in an oven if you prefer not to use any extra oil in your cooking method (which I don’t mind as long as it doesn’t taste too dry).

In a medium bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, salt, and paprika, then add the shrimp to the bowl and gently stir with a spoon. Spread the shrimp evenly on a prepared baking sheet, pop it in the oven to bake, and you’ll have a side dish ready in a matter of minutes.

Serve atop rice or pasta dishes for an incredible addition to any main meal, be warned this particular side dish tends to be a tad addicting!

Braided Pesto Bread

Pesto is the perfect accompaniment to spaghetti and is incredibly wonderful when spread over some delicious doughy bread. Once the pretty braided bread has incorporated some layers of stringy cheese, the result becomes even better.

If you’re planning to make your dough from scratch, then you’ll need to prepare this beforehand so that it is ready in time for your dinner time.

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

You’ll need to separate balls of dough, pulling them so that they’re a long slender shape. Once you’ve elongated your dough, and rolled it flat against the kitchen counter’s surface, spread the pesto over the top of your dough, leaving half an inch clean around the borders. Roll the long side of the dough towards you, and pinch the seam closed.

Transfer the dough to a baking sheet, cut the dough in half, and pinch the top ends together. Working quicker so that there are no accidents, weave your dough one over the other until you’ve got a long and pretty braided dough. Bring both ends of the dough together into a circular shape and then transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes and let your weaved bread rest before topping it with parmesan cheese.

Garlicky Greens

The perfect marinara sauce carries a savory, sweet flavor thanks to the basil and ripe tomatoes that are included in the mix and then added to your pasta dishes. It produces an even better flavor when paired with a bitter side, like some garlicky greens, which is when sweet and bitter come together in harmony to add some excitement to your plate. You’ll need:

  • Kale
  • Extra virgin oil
  • Sea salt
  • 5 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

Refrain from cooking your greens until your spaghetti is almost ready.

Radicchio Salad

A smidge of bitterness contrasts beautifully with the tangy, tomatoey flavors emanating from your loaded plate of pasta/spaghetti. This particular side dish pairs perfectly with a light creamy bolognese.

Radicchio is bitter red lettuce, though it’s a good source of vitamin C, K, and folate. The crunchy texture and bright red color make it an ideal accompaniment to pasta dishes like spaghetti or fettuccine Alfredo.

Bottom Line

Wondering what to pair with spaghetti without having to pull out some cliché dishes can be a tad difficult, especially when you’re looking to serve some guests and aiming to please the stomachs of many! Choose from some classics to more interesting and contrasting flavors listed above, and you won’t be disappointed.


What Side Dish goes with Spaghetti?

There are many side dishes that pair perfectly with spaghetti-like: chicken breasts, bread, an easy salad, roasted broccoli, sautéed bell peppers, roasted green beans, roasted veggies, and more.

What goes Well With Pasta for Dinner?

You can make the perfect combination with some of these side dishes for dinner: Cucumber salad, whole roasted carrots, stuffed tomatoes, peppery arugula, a simple side salad, and balsamic bruschetta.

What other Meat goes with Spaghetti?

The best meat that pairs well with spaghetti includes Beef, chicken, and shrimp.