25 Easy Side Dishes for Manicotti That Taste Amazing

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Here are some easy and delicious Italian side dishes for manicotti that everyone will love. I hand picked these recipes to give you a wide range of options that you can serve alongside your manicotti. All of these recipes are authentic and many are recipes from my Italian family.

side dishes for manicotti

If you don’t already have a recipe for manicotti you can check out my recipe for homemade manicotti crepes filled with ricotta and seasonings. Or you can make my spinach manicotti recipe with ricotta stuffed in premade shells.

Manicotti Side Dishes

The following side dishes will complement your manicotti pasta, making your meal a wonderful experience for everybody.

In fact, some of these sides can be used as an appetizer or as part of a first course. When planning your menu, consider different factors such as availability of ingredients, length of cooking time, and choosing a variety of vegetables, meats, and breads.

Quick Pro Tip: To make the day of the meal run smooth, try to select some side dish recipes that can be made in advance, either partially or in full. Some of the side dishes below can be made beforehand and then frozen without losing flavor, such as the soups.

Ready to get started? Let me know in the comments section below which recipes you tried, or if you have your own favorites!

cherry tomato caprese salad
Caprese Salad with Cherry Tomatoes
This caprese salad makes a great side dish for manicotti or any pasta. This version of this classic Italian salad uses cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pearls, making it super easy to make!
Check out this recipe
fried eggplant
Italian Fried Eggplant
Fry up some Italian eggplant slices and serve with your manicotti. To prevent your eggplant slices from cooling down too fast before serving, simply place them in an oven proof pan or baking sheet and keep in a warm oven. These can be made earlier in the day, and then re-baked or toasted 10 minutes before serving so they are nice and cripsy!
Check out this recipe
all beef meatballs
Moist All Beef Meatballs
These all beef meatballs are perfect to accompany a dish of manicotti because classic manicotti doesn't include beef! Serve on the side in a large serving bowl.
Check out this recipe
sauteed zucchini
Italian Sauteed Zucchini
Zucchini is a popular vegetable in Italian cooking, so it deserves a place alongside your baked manicotti. For this side, you simply saute the zucchini in a pan with some olive oil and garlic. It's so good and only takes 15-20 minutes total.
Check out this recipe
recipes with italian squash
Recipes with Italian Squash
If you love vegetables, specifically zucchini, and want some healthy options, check out these recipes with Italian squash! Some are baked, some are fried, and some are sauteed. You'll be sure to find something that will go great with your manicotti.
Check out this recipe
how to make italian green beans recipe th
Italian Green Beans Recipe
Forget the boring green beans and use these Italian green beans instead. These are also called Roma beans and they are delicious! If you want to provide some options that are healthy but a little more rare than regular green beans, you've got to try this easy side dish!
Check out this recipe
Asparagus Bundles Wrapped in Prosciutto
If you want an elegant presentation, try wrapping asparagus with some tasty prosciutto. This recipe is very simple to make and is bursting with flavors when you take them out of the oven. It's a fun recipe that goes great with your manicotti.
Check out this recipe
bruschetta side dish
Bruschetta Pomodoro
This side dish can also double up as a first course or appetizer. My recipe for bruschetta pomodoro is how the Italians authentically make it. Feel free to modify and experiment, or follow the recipe as is like I do!
Check out this recipe
how to make garlic bread
Garlic Bread Recipe
You can't go wrong with serving some garlic bread with your manicotti. I like to make this process easier by using store bought bread instead of making my own homemade Italian bread. I'll step you through the entire process from start to finish.
Check out this recipe
how to make stuffed mushrooms
Italian Stuffed Mushrooms
These delicious Italian stuffed mushrooms are such a great addition to your Italian meal. What I really like about this side dish is that you can make these in advance and pop them in the oven to reheat right before serving. They taste amazing and are so easy to make!
Check out this recipe
Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar and Cheese
Here's another asparagus recipe that tastes great. It doesn't take long to make and can be made 15 to 20 minutes before serving. The balsamic vinegar and Romano cheese is a great combination with the flavors of the fresh asparagus. Speaking of… this recipe uses fresh asparagus and will not taste the same if you try to use frozen asparagus.
Check out this recipe
italian salad
Green Salad
Don't forget your salad full of greens! But keep it simple like the Italians do with a simple green salad with delicious olive oil and vinegar. For the less traditional minded, offer other salad dressing options for varying tastes.
Check out this recipe
oregano and lemon vinaigrette th-1
Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette
If you want an easy Italian salad dressing, you've got to try this lemon and oregano vinaigrette dressing. It's got a wonderful Mediterranean burst of flavors, and a little goes a long way! Use it with any type of green leafy salad. Add some mozzarella balls and any other fresh vegetables you want – or keep it simple if you prefer!
Check out this recipe
eggplant parm for special dinner
Eggplant Parmesan
Here's a side dish that compliments manicotti wonderfully. In our house as a child, I remember our Christmas dinners with a main pasta recipe, such as lasagna or manicotti, but also my mom would make my dad's favorite dish – eggplant parmesan. It was never the main dish; it was a side dish that was satisfying and went so well with the dinner.
Check out this recipe
italian cannellini bean salad healthy
Awesome Recipe for Italian Cannellini Bean Salad
Looking for a side dish that is healthy and a winner among vegetarians and meat-eaters alike? Then you've got to try this cannellini bean salad. It's a salad I created to use Italian white beans – I prefer cannellini, and I use a mix of other Italian and Mediterranean ingredients. You can get as creative as you'd like or follow my recipe to start with.
This side dish goes great with manicotti or any pasta recipe. You can make the recipe the day before and remove it from the fridge before serving. It can be served room temperature or cool.
Check out this recipe
farro stuffed peppers th
Farro Stuffed Peppers
When creating a menu for a large gathering, I'd suggest including a stuffed vegetable like this. It's packed with delicious farro and beef and lots of Italian goodness. I'd recommend using multi-color peppers for a festive look and a half pepper per serving.
Check out this recipe
Ciabatta Bread Pizza
If you want to serve some pizza along with your manicotti, why not do something different and serve ciabatta bread pizza? You've got to check out this recipe because it's super easy and can be prepared in advance. You don't have to make the bread from scratch – instead buy the ciabatta bread at the store. You can use a loaf of ciabatta or rolls, either works great!
Check out this recipe
Easy Italian Chicken Cutlets Recipe
Who doesn't love some Italian chicken cutlets? Cutlets go great with any type of pasta and manicotti is no exception. These fried chicken cutlets can be prepped a day in advance. Once pan-fried, keep them warm by covering with foil and placing in a warm oven. Allow yourself time to make these since you can only do a handful at a time.
Check out this recipe
peppers, sausage and onion
Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions Recipe
Here's a family recipe for Italian sausage, peppers and onion. It works well alongside manicotti because it has flavors that compliment the simplicity of the pasta and marinara sauce. Since manicotti aren't typically stuffed with meats, this is a great way to balance the meal. The aroma from the baked Italian sausage dish along with the pasta sauce is absolutely amazing.
Check out this recipe
caprese salad party skewers
Tomato Mozzarella Basil Skewers
Here's just a fun recipe that is so great to use for parties and get togethers. The tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves are served on skewers that make not only a great presentation, but also make it easy to serve. You can use this as a colorful side dish, or appetizer. Make sure to include some bottles of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for guests to season the cheese and tomatoes!
Check out this recipe
bulgur meatballs
Meatless Bulgur Meatballs
Don't forget about your vegetarian or health-conscience friends and family members. This meatless meatball recipe is the the BEST. I use bulgar as the main meat substitute, along with breading, cheese and herbs. These freeze well and can be made in advance. Serve as a side dish in a large bowl without any sauce. The bulgar will soak it up, so serve the sauce separately.
Check out this recipe
broccolini side dish
Italian Broccolini Recipe
Italians love their broccolini. It's not always easy to find but major grocery stores should have it. It's a more delicate type of broccoli, and is fairly easy to cook. Check out this recipe and give it a try for a healthy and delicious manicotti side dish.
Check out this recipe
winter minestrone soup
Minestrone Soup Recipe
Don't forget your soup! This classic winter minestrone soup can be served anytime of year. This easy and simple soup complements the manicotti, whether you're using homemade crepes or store bought pasta tubes. Serve the soup alongside the manicotti or as a first course.
Check out this recipe
homemade italian wedding soup
Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
Italian wedding soup is another side dish option that suits the manicotti well. It's a simple soup that can easily be made in advance and frozen until needed. Use it with spinach manicotti or with a classic manicotti. And remember, don't tell anyone how easy this recipe is to make!
Check out this recipe
Homemade Italian Bread Loaf Recipe
If you're serving manicotti as a main dish, your menu won't be complete without some Italian bread. To really impress your guests, make some homemade authentic Italian bread. It can be made in advance, and even frozen for up to 3 months. Just take it out and let thaw in the fridge a day or two before your meal. My recipe makes a large batch of bread. For a quicker option, use my garlic bread recipe above.
Check out this recipe

I hope you’ve enjoyed these side dishes for manicotti! I know your meal will be a hit! Let me know your favorite sides below.

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25 Easy Side Dishes for Manicotti That Taste Amazing25 Easy Side Dishes for Manicotti That Taste Amazing25 Easy Side Dishes for Manicotti That Taste Amazing

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