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15 of the Best Side Dishes to Pair With Your Spaghetti Dinner

Light, crisp, and flavorful sides to serve with any spaghetti dish.

Spaghetti has to be one of the most versatile and well-loved dishes there is. Whether it’s lightly tossed in olive oil or generously topped with marinara sauce and meatballs — it’s good. But don’t settle for limp, boring salad or frozen garlic bread on the side of your spaghetti dinner. It’s time to take the spaghetti sides up a notch, and we’re here to help. Read on for 15 of our best side dishes that pair perfectly with spaghetti.

Related: Our 9 Richest, Meatiest Spaghetti Recipes

1. Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Reviewer Bonnie Frasers says, “I took the advice of one reviewer and added crushed red pepper and it really made the recipe pop. I'll definitely be making this again!” Parmesan, garlic, and butter made this the perfect way to serve up some veggies with your hearty Italian dish. Give it a try with some Spaghetti Aglio e Olio.

2. Kale Salad

This simple kale salad is ready in 10 minutes and pairs well with just about anything. Tomato, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries give flavor and texture to this light salad. Some reviewers recommend massaging the Kale beforehand, to give it a richer flavor. Try it as a starter or side salad with Chef John’s Spaghetti al Tonno.

Kale Salad
Photo by Bibi

3. Balsamic Bruschetta

Bruschetta is a classic antipasto from Italy that's great as a snack, appetizer, or side dish. "Simple appetizer — the balsamic vinegar gives it a little kick. Best if the mixture has one or two hours to blend flavors before serving," says recipe creator Kathy Bias. Now all you need for a dreamy Italian dinner on the patio is a glass of wine and some Spaghetti Italian.

Balsamic Bruschetta
Photo by Molly

4. Classic Restaurant Caesar Salad

Reviewer Susie O. says, "A salad to die for. I no longer have to go to a nice restaurant to get a table-side made Caesar Salad. I can now do it myself and it tastes wonderful!" This top-rated salad uses a restaurant recipe to make an authentic Caesar Salad. Try it with Mariu’s Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

Classic Restaurant Caesar Salad
Photo by Deb C

5. Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

"I love impressive and easy recipes! I made this for a food & wine tasting and even my guests who dislike asparagus raved about it," says reviewer TRACY K. All that’s required for this elegant side dish are three simple ingredients. Serve it warm or chilled with Chef John’s Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Photo by Aaron Newcomer

6. Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Recipe creator stefychefy says, "Tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil drizzled with a sweet balsamic reduction and olive oil. Easy, impressive and delicious! Most grocery stores now sell prepared balsamic reductions. Surprisingly, it's just as good!" Caprese makes for a delicious salad that’s also pleasing to the eye. Give this top-rated recipe a try along with this Light Lemon Pesto Pasta.

7. Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan

Reviewer Chef4Six says, "This is sooooo good!—and much easier than making Eggplant Parmesan!" This twist on a classic dish makes for a hearty side dish to pair with Sicilian Spaghetti.

8. Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli

"Broccoli fixed this way is addicting! I cut broccoli vertically and used the stalks too. Toss in a bowl, sprinkle with Montreal seasoning, drizzle with olive oil, and bake in the oven. You won't be able to stop eating! My favorite way to make broccoli," says CHATTY304. This yummy veggie side dish is the perfect pairing for Win’s Shrimp and Spaghetti.

9. Zucchini Saute

"Quick vegetable saute that's very versatile! You can use any veggies you like. Serve over pasta, if desired," says recipe creator Denyse. This simple side is the perfect way to use up the last of your summer squash. Serve it with Quick and Easy Chicken Spaghetti for a yummy meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights!

Zucchini Saute
Photo by Dianne

10. Italian Leafy Green Salad

Reviewer DEBBIE FOX. says, "My guests at a recent dinner party loved this salad. The bowl was completely empty! I could not find every type of lettuce, so just increased the quantity of what I could find. I believe the grape seed oil has a milder flavor than olive oil, contributing to the success of the dressing." Get your leafy greens with this side salad that is the perfect pairing for this hearty Baked Spaghetti Casserole.

Italian Leafy Green Salad
Photo by CC<3's2bake

11. Byrdhouse Marinated Tomatoes and Mushrooms

"This is a dish I put together for my son, Jordan, who is a huge fan of both tomatoes and mushrooms. The flavors keep blending together, so it is great the day you make it and even better the following day," says recipe creator SunnyByrd. Use fresh tomatoes from the garden for a side dish that is bursting with flavor. Pair it with Jenn’s Out Of This World Spaghetti and Meatballs — you won’t regret it.

Byrdhouse Marinated Tomatoes and Mushrooms
Photo by CookinBug

12. Lemon Green Beans with Walnuts

"Steamed green beans tossed with butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and toasted walnuts. This is excellent with asparagus also. Pecans can be substituted for walnuts," says recipe creator Karen David. This easy green bean recipe tastes as good as it looks. Give it a try with Spaghetti with Garlic and Basil.

Lemon Green Beans with Walnuts
Photo by lutzflcat

13. Great Garlic Bread

Everyone knows to serve garlic bread with spaghetti, but this recipe is not your ordinary garlic bread. You’ll say goodbye to frozen garlic bread for good once you’ve tried this Italian bread topped with cheesy, garlicky goodness. Reviewer Noelle C says, "It gets more attention and compliments than the main course!" You can't go wrong with this on the side of some Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Beef

14. Easy Arugula Salad

Reviewer SMARIGOLD717 says, "This is a great salad and is so simple to make. And just in time for summer when the farmers' market is in full swing!" The arugula in this easy salad will add some peppery bite to your rich spaghetti dish (like this Creamy Garlic Pasta). 

Easy Arugula Salad
Photo by chicaD

15. Tomato Cucumber Salad

"We always make sure we have fresh tomatoes and cucumbers in the house so we can whip this up as a fresh side dish. It's easy and fast too," says jess1127. This light and fresh side salad will go with just about any dish you can think of. Try it with some of this Creamy Bay Scallop Spaghetti.

Tomato Cucumber Salad
Photo by Muffinmom

Related: Browse our entire collection of Spaghetti Recipes.

Melanie Fincher

About Melanie Fincher

A Georgia native eating my way through the South. When I’m not eating it I’m probably writing about it.