25 Easy Italian Side Dishes That Taste Delicious

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Italians know how to eat and they know how to serve their food! If you’re looking for some inspiring ideas for easy Italian side dishes that taste amazing, you’ve come to the right place.

italian side dish recipes

When I was growing up in our Italian home, we were on a pretty tight budget, but we always had side dishes. And when it came to entertaining or holidays, our dinner table looked like a feast! Many of these recipes are ones I’m sharing with you today.

Easy Italian side dish recipe ideas

You don’t have to be Italian to know how to make great Italian recipes. And if you’re new to Italian cooking or cooking in general, these easy side dish recipes are a perfect place to start. All of these recipes are ones that were passed down by family or ones I’ve created in my own kitchen.

So take a look around and let me know in the comments if you make any – I’d love to hear from you!

Quick Pro Tip: Remember that if your side dish is heavy on starch or carbs, such as potatoes, stay away from pasta recipes. However, if your side dishes are full of vegetables, such as Italian zucchini recipes, then align those with meat or pasta.

roasted red potatoes rosemary th
Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic
This is one of my favorite Italian side dishes. The potatoes with the subtle taste of rosemary go with so many meat recipes, whether chicken, beef, or other type of meat. The secret to this side dish is turning the potatoes once they start to brown so all sides have the roasted crispy outside and soft potato inside!
Check out this recipe
caprese salad th
Classic Italian Caprese Salad
Who doesn't love an easy caprese salad? You might think this is only served during the hot summer months, but actually this side dish is used throughout the year. For example, it's often served during Christmas with it's festive green, white and red colors – that match the Italian flag!
Check out this recipe
Italian sauteed cabbage
Italian Sautéed Cabbage – Delicious!
Here's an easy and simple side dish that uses green cabbage. It's from my Aunt and I learned it in my early 20s, and it always stuck with me. I love the cabbage sauteed with the garlic and olive oil, but for me the dash of oregano at the end is what takes it from good to delicious!
Also, with this recipe, I've eaten it overcooked, undercooked, warm and cold. And you know what? I love it every time! This recipe goes great with just about anything, from vegetable main meals to pasta to chicken and beef recipes.
Check out this recipe
all beef meatballs
Easy Italian Beef Meatballs
Meatballs as a side dish? Yes, of course! Many Italian families serve meatballs on the side, not as a part of the main dish or in the sauce. In my family, we did both – my mom cooked the meatballs in the sauce, and had extra sauce with the meatballs in a serving dish.
This side dish goes great with pasta, meatless lasagna and eggplant parmesan.
Check out this recipe
fried eggplant
Italian Fried Eggplant
One of my favorite fried side dishes is with eggplant. You don't have to be an eggplant fan to enjoy these crispy and crunchy slices. I show you how to make these the Italian way.
Plus, if they go cold while waiting to be served, just pop them in the toaster oven to warm them up. I do it all the time! This makes a great side dish for pasta – in fact, try mixing the two together and it's a double whammy!
Check out this recipe
Italian Potato salad th
Delicious Potato Salad Italian-Style
I love using this potato salad side dish for picnics. It's easy to make and contains no dairy so you don't have to worry about any mayo going bad. It's actually similar to a German potato salad, but with the flavors of Italy instead.
This side dish goes great with any main dish that isn't full of starchy carbs. So stay away from pairing this recipe with pasta and instead opt for meat dishes or other vegetables.
Check out this recipe
how to make fried zucchini
Easy Italian Fried Zucchini
Zucchini is in season during the summer months, so here's a great way to use them up. If you want to add some creativity with your zucchini side dish, cut your zucchini up in different shapes, such as spears or as sticks (like french fries).
This recipe goes great with pasta recipes, sandwiches, meats or other vegetables. Very versatile. You can also fry these in an air fryer too!
Check out this recipe
zucchini with butter and garlic
Zucchini Sautéed with Butter and Garlic
This is one of the many side dishes I use when making pasta. You can saute it with butter, or olive oil. But the butter gives it a slightly creamier and well… buttery flavor.
This simple side dish goes great with just about anything! It takes very little time to prepare and cook. It's perfect for holidays or weeknight dinners!
Check out this recipe
Baked Italian Zucchini Slices Topped with Tomatoes
Zucchini and tomatoes always go well with each other, so why not use them together in this side dish? These zucchini are baked in the oven, no frying required. But not only are they topped with tomatoes, they are also topped with breadcrumbs and olive oil, resulting in a crispy and flavorful crunch!
This recipe goes well with pasta and other vegetables or a nice salad.
Check out this recipe
how to make italian green beans recipe th
Authentic Italian Roma Green Beans
I've never been a big fan of green beans until I had these Italian beans. They are flat and long and have a more subtle flavor than regular string beans. It's a simple side dish that I've used for holidays and for a regular dinner.
It compliments pasta dishes extremely well, and chicken recipes too.
Check out this recipe
barley romano cheese recipe
Barley Topped with Romano Cheese
Here's an easy way to make your dinner table healthier! Barley is a wonderful grain that is used throughout the Mediterranean. Topped with some freshly grated Romano cheese, you're turning a boring recipe into a delightful and healthy dish!
This side dish goes great with roasted chicken recipes.
Check out this recipe
marinated mushrooms recipe
Italian Marinated Mushrooms
This recipe for marinated mushrooms is one I stumbled across when experimenting with some other mushroom dishes. It is perfect for a side dish but it can also be used as part of your own antipasto platter. That's because these mushrooms taste great both warm or room temperature!
Serve these mushrooms with other Italian vegetable-based dishes or with beef recipes.
Check out this recipe
Wrapped Asparagus in Prosciutto
If you want an Italian side dish using asparagus, this is one that will win first place for presentation! It's super easy to make and cooking asparagus takes barely any time at all. The prosciutto adds such a wonderful flavor, especially when topped with a little bit of the Italian cheese!
I like to serve this side dish during the holidays. It pairs nicely with a roast beef or veal cutlets.
Check out this recipe
broccoli with garlic side dish
Cooked Broccoli Italian Style
When you've got finicky family or friends who don't like broccoli, have them try this side dish first. It's quick to make and you want to make sure not to overcook the broccoli, so that there is still a slight firmness to it. If you do overcook it, it still tastes amazing.
I like to serve my broccoli alongside a plate of pasta, usually when I'm not using a red sauce. However broccoli goes great with just about any main dish.
Check out this recipe
garlic mashed potatoes
Italian Garlic Mashed Potatoes
I'd be out of my mind if I didn't include my recipe for garlic mashed potatoes. I remember eating out at a restaurant and their garlic potatoes were so over the top disgusting. So I decided to try my own hand at making them at home and this is the recipe I finally settled on.
Garlic mashed potatoes is such a versatile side dish, that it goes with just about anything besides pasta. Pair it just as you would regular mashed potatoes – so beef, chicken, veal, even seafood.
Check out this recipe
bruschetta side dish
Traditional Bruschetta Pomodoro (tomatoes)
Just like the caprese salad, bruschetta is straight from the streets of Italy. Lots of people create different versions, but I prefer mine simple and straight to the point. That's the real Italian way.
This side dish goes great with pasta recipes, especially during the summer months when tomatoes and basil are fresh and flavorful. You can use any type of tomato.
Check out this recipe
how to make stuffed mushrooms
Italian Stuffed Mushrooms – So Easy to Make
Here's a side dish that is great for transporting to someone else's house. I did it all the time when I'd cook meals for my in-laws. When you arrive, just pop them in the oven (uncovered) for 10 minutes at 350F. My recipe is super simple, and I even use the stems of the mushrooms as part of the bread and herb stuffing. These do not include meat.
This side dish compliments any meat or vegetable main dish. I like to serve them with my breaded Italian chicken.
Check out this recipe
Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar
Get ready for your mouth to start watering with this asparagus side dish. Wow, is it flavorful! Even my sister-in-law who never likes asparagus became a fan of this recipe. I think the use of balsamic vinegar is the key ingredient. It takes it to a whole new level!
This side dish goes great with beef, chicken and other meat dinners.
Check out this recipe
Baked zucchini slides with herbs
Baked Zucchini with Onions
Here's a side dish that goes with so many other wonderful dishes. It's also a great way to use up extra zucchini from the garden. The zucchini is baked in the oven, on top of a layer of onions and garlic. Then topped with seasoned breadcrumbs and olive oil. It's heavenly!
Serve this recipe with some pasta or just about anything else.
Check out this recipe
antipasti salad
Easy Italian Antipasto Side Dish
This antipasto salad is a delicious side dish. It's super flexible and I provide you with lots of different ingredients to include or omit. But my specific recipe is very simple and I make it consistently throughout the year.
Use this recipe alongside pasta or chicken dishes. Or with summer vegetables. Add some beans like chickpeas or white beans and turn it into your main dish!
Check out this recipe
mozzarella stacks
Fried Eggplant and Mozzarella Stacks
I first made this recipe in the spur of the moment on a hot summer day while living in Culpeper, VA. I had made some fried eggplant and decided to make a mozzarella sandwich. It turned out delicious and so here it is!
This is a fun side dish that goes great with a fresh salad or a bowl of pasta.
Check out this recipe
italian cannellini bean salad healthy
Italian Cannellini Bean Salad
This salad is a perfect side dish during the warmer months. But it's so good I often have it during the cooler months as well. You don't have to use cannellini beans; you can use any white bean. Get creative and even add it to a bed of lettuce.
This Italian recipe goes great with pasta or other vegetables.
Check out this recipe
italian stuffed zucchini boats
Stuffed Zucchini Boats
This side dish is super healthy. The zucchini is hollowed out and filled with chopped vegetables and topped with breadcrumbs. It's baked in the oven and is one of my favorite ways to serve zucchini.
I would recommend pairing this side dish with other vegetables, a salad or some pasta.
Check out this recipe
stuffed baked tomatoes th
Stuffed Tomatoes with Tuna
If you like tuna salad, you'll love this side recipe for Italian stuffed tomatoes. This recipe uses tuna in the stuffing along with anchovies. It's a wonderful blend of flavors and textures especially with the breadcrumbs and cheese.
Serve these tomatoes with a simple pasta dish.
Check out this recipe
roasted cauliflower
Italian Roasted Cauliflower
Have you ever tried roasting your cauliflower Italian-style? If not, this is one you must try! It's very easy to do and when the cauliflower is roasted and baked with some Romano cheese it is like fireworks going off. Well, at least for me it is!
This side dish can be served with roast beef, steak, or chicken recipes.
Check out this recipe

I hope you’ve enjoyed these Italian side dish recipes. They’re all very easy to make and I know you’ll love them. Let me know if you tried any and feel free to share what your faves are too!

25 Easy Italian Side Dishes That Taste Delicious25 Easy Italian Side Dishes That Taste Delicious25 Easy Italian Side Dishes That Taste Delicious25 Easy Italian Side Dishes That Taste Delicious25 Easy Italian Side Dishes That Taste Delicious25 Easy Italian Side Dishes That Taste Delicious

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