Are you looking for ideas on what to serve with spaghetti and meatballs?
When it comes to any classic Italian dish, the side dishes can really make or break dinner.
Thankfully, there are so many exciting options out there that will truly transform your meal.
From fresh salads to cheesy breads – whether you’re a beginner cook or an experienced one, we’ve got 12 must-try side dishes that pair perfectly with spaghetti and meatballs.
So let’s get cooking!
What to Serve with Spaghetti and Meatballs? 12 Must-try Side Dishes
1. Sautéed Broccolini with Chile, Garlic, and Lemon
Looking for a flavorful and healthy side dish to serve with your spaghetti and meatballs? Look no further than this sautéed broccolini with chile, garlic, and lemon.
This dish is packed with flavor and has a beautiful bright color that will liven up any plate.
The taste of this dish is fresh and slightly spicy, with a kick from the chile and a zing from the lemon.
The texture is crispy and tender at the same time, thanks to the quick sauté.
And the best part? It’s so easy to make.
To elevate this dish even further, try serving it with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or a drizzle of olive oil.
You could also add some red pepper flakes for an extra bit of heat.
However you choose to serve it, we guarantee that this broccolini will be a hit.
2. Roasted Baby Carrots with Fennel and Orange
These roasted baby carrots with fennel and orange are the perfect side dish for your next meal.
They are full of flavor and have a great texture.
The carrots are roasted to perfection, and the fennel and orange add the perfect amount of sweetness.
This dish is also very easy to make and can be made ahead of time.
- To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Then, wash your carrots and slice them into thin pieces.
- Next, add the carrots to a baking sheet along with the fennel and orange slices.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
This dish is so simple, but it is packed with flavor.
The roasted carrots are slightly sweet and have a great texture.
The fennel and orange add the perfect amount of sweetness to the dish.
This dish can be served as a side or as a main course.
It is also vegan and gluten-free.
3. Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms
This dish is the perfect marriage of creamy and earthy flavors.
The polenta is smooth and rich, while the mushrooms add a deep umami flavor.
The dish is also surprisingly easy to make.
Here are some tips on how to elevate it:
- Use good quality Parmesan cheese. This will make a big difference in the flavor of the dish.
- Use a variety of mushrooms for more depth of flavor. A mix of oyster, shiitake, and button mushrooms works well.
- Sauté the mushrooms until they are nice and browned. This will add more flavor to the dish.
- Add some fresh thyme leaves for a touch of brightness.
- Serve with a green salad for a complete meal.
4. Braised Escarole with White Beans and Pancetta
This dish is the perfect example of how simple ingredients can come together to create something truly special.
The escarole is braised in a rich, flavorful tomato sauce and then paired with creamy white beans and crispy pancetta.
It’s a dish that’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own but would also make an excellent side dish.
The key to this dish is letting the escarole cook long enough so that it’s tender but still has some bite to it.
The pancetta adds a delicious salty flavor, while the white beans help to round out the dish.
If you want to really elevate this dish, try using fresh herbs instead of dried ones.
Parsley or basil would be a great addition.
5. Broiled Tomato Caprese Salad
This dish is the perfect blend of sweet and savory.
The tomatoes are juicy and slightly acidic, while the mozzarella is rich and creamy.
The basil provides a nice herbal flavor that ties everything together.
The dish is also quite simple to make.
You just need to slice some tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil and then broil everything until it’s hot and bubbly.
I like to serve this salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
If you’re looking for a way to elevate this dish, you could try using heirloom tomatoes or fresh mozzarella.
You could also add some grilled chicken or shrimp to make it into the main course.
6. Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish that can be enjoyed in so many different ways.
The eggplant is typically sliced into thin rounds, dredged in flour and eggs, then fried until golden brown.
It is then layered with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese and baked until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Grilled Eggplant Parmesan takes this dish to the next level by adding a smoky flavor to the eggplant.
The eggplant is still sliced into thin rounds, but it is grilled instead of fried.
You can either grill the eggplant directly on the grate or place it on a piece of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
Be sure to season the eggplant with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning before grilling.
The grilled eggplant can then be layered with your favorite tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
I like to add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top as well.
You can either bake the dish in the oven or on the grill (if your grill has a lid).
If you’re baking it in the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re grilling it, preheat the grill to medium heat.
This Grilled Eggplant Parmesan is a delicious and easy way to elevate a classic dish.
7. Crispy Roasted Potatoes with Arugula and Parmesan
These crispy roasted potatoes with arugula and Parmesan are the perfect side dish for your next meal.
They are packed with flavor and texture and are sure to elevate any dish they are served alongside.
The key to getting the perfect crispy potatoes is to roast them at a high temperature.
This will ensure that they get nice and crispy on the outside while still being soft and fluffy on the inside.
I also like to add a bit of olive oil to my potatoes before roasting them.
This helps to give them an extra bit of flavor and ensures that they don’t stick to the pan.
Once your potatoes are roasted, simply top them with some fresh arugula and grated Parmesan cheese.
The combination of these ingredients is absolutely delicious and is sure to please everyone at your table.
8. Kale Caesar Salad with Garlic Croutons
Looking for a healthier alternative to the classic Caesar salad? This kale Caesar salad is a delicious way to get your greens in, and it’s packed with flavor too.
The garlicky croutons add a nice crunch, and the creamy dressing ties everything together.
If you’re looking for a dish that’s both healthy and delicious, this is it.
As far as taste and texture go, this salad is definitely on point.
The kale is nice and crispy, and the dressing is creamy and flavorful.
The garlic croutons add a great crunch, and they really take the dish to the next level.
- Add some grilled chicken or shrimp for a protein boost.
- Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar before serving.
9. Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberry, Pecan, and Sage Stuffing
This roasted butternut squash dish is the perfect holiday side.
It’s packed with flavor from the cranberry, pecan, and sage stuffing, and the roasted squash itself is so tender and delicious.
This dish is sure to be a hit at your next holiday gathering.
The taste and texture of this dish are really incredible.
The roasted squash is so tender, and the stuffing is just bursting with flavor.
The cranberries add a lovely sweetness, the pecans add a nice crunch, and the sage really ties everything together.
It’s just an all-around amazing dish.
There are a few things you can do to elevate this dish even further.
First, if you’re looking for an extra bit of crunch, you could try topping it with some chopped bacon or pancetta.
Second, if you want to add even more flavor to the stuffing, you could try adding some shredded Parmesan cheese to it.
Third, if you’re looking for a bit of a festive touch, you could try garnishing it with some pomegranate seeds.
All of these things would take this dish from great to absolutely amazing.
10. Sweet Potato Gratin with Gruyere and Thyme
This dish is the perfect side for a winter meal.
Sweet potatoes are roasted and then covered in a savory Gruyere and thyme sauce.
The result is a rich and creamy gratin that is bursting with flavor.
The sweet potatoes are first roasted to bring out their natural sweetness.
Then, they are covered in a savory Gruyere and thyme sauce.
The result is a rich and creamy gratin that is bursting with flavor.
The Gruyere cheese adds a depth of flavor, while the thyme lends a subtle earthiness.
This dish can be easily elevated by adding a few simple ingredients.
For example, you could add some chopped bacon or pancetta to the gratin for an extra bit of salty crunch.
You could also top the gratin with a few slices of fresh sage leaves before baking.
This will give the dish an extra herbaceous flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweet potatoes and Gruyere cheese.
11. Green Beans with Crispy Shallots and Almonds
This dish is a great side for spaghetti and meatballs because it has a lot of different flavors and textures going on.
The green beans are crispy, and the shallots add a nice sweetness to the dish.
The almonds give it a little bit of crunch, and the Parmesan cheese rounds it all out.
The key to making this dish really shine is to get the shallots nice and crispy.
You want to make sure that they are cooked through but not burnt.
One way to do this is to cook them in a pan with some oil over medium heat until they are golden brown.
Then, remove them from the heat and let them cool on a paper towel.
Once they are cool, you can add them back into the pan with the green beans and almonds.
Toss everything together until it is evenly mixed and then top with some Parmesan cheese.
12. Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Basil Pesto
One of the best things about spaghetti and meatballs is that there are endless possibilities when it comes to side dishes.
You can go the classic route with a simple salad or some garlic bread, or you can get a little more creative.
If you’re looking for something unique to serve alongside your spaghetti and meatballs, try roasted cauliflower with Parmesan and basil pesto.
This dish is packed with flavor and texture, and it’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters.
The roasted cauliflower is crispy and slightly sweet, while the Parmesan adds a savory depth of flavor.
The basil pesto ties everything together and gives the dish a bright, fresh taste.
To elevate this dish even further, try serving it with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
It’s also delicious and served over a bed of wilted spinach or other greens.
There are a variety of delicious and easy side dishes that pair wonderfully with spaghetti and meatballs.
I hope this blog post has given you some inspiration for your next meal.
Be sure to try some of these fantastic recipes, and let us know your favorites in the comments below.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!