Spaghetti is a great go-to meal for busy weeknights. It’s easy to make, and everyone in the family will eat it. But sometimes you want to shake things up a little bit.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of our favorite side dishes for spaghetti. We’ll also include some ideas for how to get creative with your pasta and make it more than just an accompaniment to your meal.
17 Best Side Dishes For Spaghetti
1. broccoli alfredo
This is an easy recipe that requires only a few ingredients and comes together in just over 20 minutes. All you have to do is steam the broccoli florets in some salted water until they turn bright green (about 5 minutes) and then sauté them along with garlic, butter, salt, and pepper until softened (another 5-10 minutes). Add some milk or cream along with parmesan cheese and voila — you’ve got yourself an amazing side dish for any type of pasta!
2. Zucchini Panzanella Salad
Panzanella is a simple summertime salad that’s all the rage these days, especially in Italy. This zucchini version is a perfect side dish to pair with your spaghetti dinner.
This zucchini salad is a great way to use up all those summer squash. It’s a cool, crunchy salad that’s great on its own or served alongside some grilled chicken or fish.
3. Oven-Roasted Asparagus
Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables to roast in the oven. It takes just 15 minutes and the result is tender, caramelized spears that are delicious over salads and pasta dishes.
Roasting asparagus gives it an amazing, crispy texture and smoky flavor. You don’t need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen for this side dish; just toss some asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast it in the oven until crispy.
4. Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
This side dish is like a salad and a vegetable all in one. A simple broccoli floret is dipped in egg whites and then rolled in Parmesan cheese before baking until it’s golden brown and crunchy. Serve this alongside any kind of pasta for an easy side that will wow your guests!
This recipe is quick and easy to make and takes less than 30 minutes total. It’s also very versatile—you can use any kind of floret broccoli or even broccolini if you prefer!
5. Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad
This salad is light, refreshing, and easy to make. It pairs well with many entrees, but it’s especially good with chicken or fish dishes. The sweet honeydew melon paired with salty prosciutto and creamy goat cheese makes for a delicious combination of flavors that you can never get enough of!
This salad is a great way to enjoy honeydew without having it be too heavy or sweet on its own. The salty prosciutto helps balance out the sweetness of the melon, making for an interesting flavor combination that works really well together!
6. Balsamic Zucchini Saute
This saute is a great way to liven up your spaghetti dinner. It’s easy to make and goes great with any kind of red sauce. It’s also vegetarian, so it’s perfect if you’re cooking for a crowd or if you’re trying to cut back on meat.
To make this dish, start by mixing together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Then heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the zucchini into half-inch pieces and add them to the pan when it’s hot enough that they sizzle when they hit the pan (about five minutes). Cook until they are tender but not mushy (about five more minutes). Remove from heat and pour over top of your spaghetti!
7. Italian Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
This salad has just enough flavor that it won’t overpower your spaghetti dinner—but still packs enough punch that you won’t be bored by eating plain pasta again! To make this dish, simply whip together lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, black pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Toss with mixed greens and add to your spaghetti dinner.
8. Sauteed Radishes with Green Beans
They’re a great way to get more veggies into your day, and they’re super easy to make. Just cut up the radishes and green beans into bite-sized pieces, toss them in olive oil and salt and pepper, then saute them until they’re tender. That’s it!
9. Zucchini and Cheese Casserole
This is a great way to use up extra zucchini from your garden or farmer’s market haul—just dice up some zucchini, grate some cheese (we recommend cheddar), and mix it together in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. If you have any leftover zucchini from this recipe, try making zucchini bread for dessert!
10. Parmesan Asparagus
This simple side dish pairs well with any type of pasta dish, including spaghetti! It’s quick and easy to prepare, too. All you need is some fresh asparagus stalks (trimmed) and some butter. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, then add in your trimmed asparagus stalks. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender-crisp; this should take just 5-10 minutes depending on how thick your stalks are. Once they’re done cooking, place them on top of your plate of spaghetti so they stay warm until ready to be eaten!
11. White Beans and Spinach Salad
This salad makes for a delicious alternative to traditional pasta salad; it’s low in calories but still full of flavor. It’s a great dish to serve at any barbecue or picnic, or even while watching a game. If you’re looking for a vegetarian side dish that won’t leave the table full of regrets, this is the one for you!
12. Roasted Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
The beauty of this salad is how easy it is to customize based on what you have in your fridge. The recipe calls for beets, fennel, oranges, and feta cheese, but feel free to swap out any of those ingredients for other veggies or cheeses if you don’t have them on hand. The dressing is also very flexible; use whatever citrus fruit you prefer (or even grapefruit!) and swap out olive oil for avocado oil or another healthy fat if desired.
13. Garlic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Sauce
Brussels sprouts are one of those foods that people tend to love or hate — but if you’re on Team Love, this recipe is sure to convert anyone who’s not yet sold on the little green guys. Roasting brings out their natural sweetness, while garlic adds depth of flavor, and the mustard sauce adds tanginess and a hint of heat.
14. Baked Parmesan Broccoli
This side dish is a little bit of effort, but it’s so worth it. The broccoli is coated in a crunchy Parmesan coating and baked until golden brown. It’s delicious on its own, but if you want a healthy meal with no meat, this is an excellent choice.
15. Heirloom Tomato & Zucchini Salad
This salad is perfect for summertime eating. The tomatoes and zucchini are sliced thin and tossed with fresh herbs, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. Add some grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a meal!
16. Roasted Green Beans with Lemon & Walnuts
Green beans are a great alternative to pasta as a side dish for spaghetti. They’re hearty and have just enough texture to stand up against the softness of the noodles. Roasting them also gives them an extra dose of flavor.
You won’t believe how easy it is to make these simple roasted green beans. Just toss them in olive oil, garlic powder, and lemon zest, then pop them in the oven until they’re golden brown and tender!
17. Balsamic Cucumber Salad
Cucumbers are often overlooked as a vegetable, but they’re actually packed with nutrients and taste great when paired with other ingredients like lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. This salad is easy to make and will add some crunchiness and freshness to your meal!
This easy salad is a great side dish because it has just enough crunch to complement the soft noodles without overpowering them. With just four ingredients—cucumbers, onion, salt, and balsamic vinegar—you’ll have this dish on the table in 15 minutes.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to side dishes for spaghetti! We know how difficult it can be to choose from the many options available, so we wanted to give you some guidance on how to make the best choice for yourself and your family.
We hope that this article has helped you understand why side dishes are so important and how they can help improve the overall experience of your meal.
We want to hear from you! If there are any other types of side dishes that we should add to our list, please let us know in the comments section below!