31 Famous Italian Sides and Inspired Options

Whether you’re looking for sides to pair with your Italian main dish or you’re in the mood to taste something new, this collection of inspiring Italian sides is sure to give you some ideas. Maybe you want to add Italian flair to your deli meat sandwich or salad with giardiniera or maybe colorful antipasto skewers are appealing to your imagination. There are plenty of delicious side dish recipes from Italian to choose from, so you won’t have any problem finding the perfect one!


Homemade giardiniera in a small white bowl.

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Giardiniera. Photo credit: Giardiniera.

An authentic Italian giardiniera recipe consists of Italian pickled vegetables, making it the perfect condiment for Italian sandwiches, cured meats, cheese, grilled meats, pasta salads, and charcuterie boards. Fresh peppers and veggies add a burst of flavor to any dish.
Get the Recipe: Giardiniera

Italian Rice Salad – Insalata di Riso

Italian rice salad in a large bowl.
Italian Rice Salad – Insalata di Riso. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This colourful, flavourful Italian rice salad is perfect for a picnic, potluck, summer BBQ, or as a versatile side dish for a simple lunch or dinner. Every mouthful of this Mediterranean brown rice salad is bursting with fresh ingredients such as tasty salad vegetables.
Get the Recipe: Italian Rice Salad – Insalata di Riso

Italian Stromboli Recipe

Italian stromboli on a plate.
Italian Stromboli Recipe. Photo credit: Italian Stromboli Recipe.

Experience the taste of true Italian flavors with this authentic stromboli recipe from South Philly, where Italian immigrants first created this Italian-American dish. With its combination of deli meats, cheese, and rich Italian flavors rolled into a delicious sandwich, this easy-to-make stromboli is a great way to spice up any pizza night.
Get the Recipe: Italian Stromboli Recipe

Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad

Overhead view of a heirloom tomato and burrata salad.
Heirloom Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This authentic Italian burrata caprese salad is a delicious side dish or appetizer that features heirloom tomatoes and creamy burrata cheese with balsamic vinegar and truffle salt for added flavor. With every bite, you’ll savor the delicious flavors of this simple yet impressive dish.
Get the Recipe: Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad

Italian Panzanella Salad

Italian panzanella salad in a large bowl.
Italian Panzanella Salad. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Panzanella salad is a refreshing summer side dish that combines juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and chunks of crusty bread, all tossed in a tangy vinaigrette. It’s the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats and a delightful way to enjoy the flavors of the season.
Get the Recipe: Italian Panzanella Salad

Creamy Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom risotto, a delicious dish perfect for any occasion, cooked in a pan with a wooden spoon.
Creamy Mushroom Risotto. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This creamy mushroom risotto bursts with flavor and is a standout side dish for chicken, or turkey, or a satisfying standalone option for vegetarians. Made with white wine or chardonnay, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms, this Northern Italian dish is simple to make yet impressively delicious.
Get the Recipe: Creamy Mushroom Risotto

Antipasto Skewers

Antipasto appetizer on skewers.
Antipasto Skewers. Photo credit: Antipasto Skewers.

Impress your guests with easy-to-make antipasto skewers, perfect for any occasion! Made with classic Italian flavors, these crowd-pleasing bites are ideal for parties, picnics, and more.
Get the Recipe: Antipasto Skewers

Italian Tuna White Bean Salad

A large bowl of tuna bean salad.
Italian Tuna White Bean Salad. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Simple ingredients combine to make this Tuscan classic. Juicy fresh tuna pairs with beans for a Tuscan tuna white bean salad everyone will enjoy. It makes a tasty meal, whatever the season.
Get the Recipe: Italian Tuna White Bean Salad

Smoked Italian Pasta Salad

A pasta salad in a black Dutch Oven.
Smoked Italian Pasta Salad. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Add some smoky flavour to your favorite pasta salad with this delicious smoked Italian pasta salad recipe. Packed with pepperoni, salami, mozzarella cheese, and a pepperoncini dressing, it’s the perfect dish for your summer BBQ.
Get the Recipe: Smoked Italian Pasta Salad

Simple Ribollita Bean Soup

Italian bean soup in a bowl with parmesan cheese on top.
Simple Ribollita Bean Soup. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Create a delicious, healthy, and hearty white bean kale soup with Ribollita Italian bean soup featuring a variety of vegetables, beans, and seasonings. This versatile Italian soup recipe is perfect for using up any vegetables approaching the end of their prime.
Get the Recipe: Simple Ribollita Bean Soup

Italian Zesty Pasta Salad

Italian Zesty Pasta Salad. Photo credit: M.A. Kitchen.

This Italian zesty pasta salad is loaded with fresh Mediterranean ingredients like peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, and olives. Everything is drizzled with an amazing zesty dressing made with olive oil, vinegar, and lemon.
Get the Recipe: Italian Zesty Pasta Salad

Funghi Trifolati

Funghi Trifolati. Photo credit: M.A. Kitchen.

Funghi Trifolati is a delicious Italian side dish easy and quick to prepare at home. This recipe is ready in a few minutes and is perfect to accompany different meat and fish dishes, but not only, it can also be consumed as a vegan meal or as an appetizer if served on toasted bread.
Get the Recipe: Funghi Trifolati

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe (Stuffed with Meatballs)

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe (Stuffed with Meatballs). Photo credit: This Silly Girls Kitchen.

I love meatballs, and I love mushrooms, now smush those two together. These Italian Stuffed Mushrooms have become one of our absolute favorite appetizers!
Get the Recipe: Italian Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe (Stuffed with Meatballs)

Garlic Knots

Garlic Knots. Photo credit: Dinner At The Zoo.

These easy garlic knots are smothered in butter, garlic, herbs and parmesan and are baked to golden brown perfection. A quick side dish for any meal!
Get the Recipe: Garlic Knots

Pesto Green Beans

Pesto Green Beans. Photo credit: From Valeries Kitchen.

Pesto and Parmesan add great flavor to these Pesto Green Beans. A stand out vegetable side dish that’s easy enough for a weeknight but special enough for a holiday meal.
Get the Recipe: Pesto Green Beans

Fava Beans With Tomatoes (Easy Italian Recipe)

Fava Beans With Tomatoes (Easy Italian Recipe). Photo credit: Christinas Cucina.

Fava beans with tomatoes is such a simple dish and so very easy to make, I bet it will become your favorite “go-to” fava recipe!
Get the Recipe: Fava Beans With Tomatoes (Easy Italian Recipe)

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Risotto

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Risotto. Photo credit: Simply Made Eats.

You have to try this Creamy Garlic Parmesan Risotto! This recipe is creamy, filled with cheesy garlic flavor and really simple to make. It’s a one pot recipe and ready in only 30 minutes!
Get the Recipe: Creamy Garlic Parmesan Risotto

Radicchio Salad With Pear, Walnut & Gorgonzola Dressing

Radicchio Salad With Pear, Walnut & Gorgonzola Dressing. Photo credit: Cook Eat World.

My Italian radicchio salad has the perfect marriage of colour, texture and flavour. Sweet, bitter and salty are paired with all the crunch you could ask for. The Gorgonzola dressing is life changing stuff and applied liberally to this amazing platter of summer goodness.
Get the Recipe: Radicchio Salad With Pear, Walnut & Gorgonzola Dressing

Warm Gnocchi and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Warm Gnocchi and Heirloom Tomato Salad. Photo credit: Love & Olive oil.

Just one side until it’s crispy and golden brown, but the other side and center is still delicate and soft. Then let’s toss the warm gnocchi with some heirloom cherry tomatoes, softened just to the point where their juices start to burst.
Get the Recipe: Warm Gnocchi and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Italian Chopped Salad

Italian Chopped Salad. Photo credit: Modern Honey.

How to make the best Italian Chopped Salad made with Italian meats, cheeses, vegetables, and tossed with a homemade Italian dressing. This is the most flavor-packed salad recipe!
Get the Recipe: Italian Chopped Salad

Authentic Pasta Fagioli Recipe

Authentic Pasta Fagioli Recipe. Photo credit: Salads Soups And Sweets.

It’s the time of year when I get the irresistible urge to throw a dutch oven on the stovetop and make a comforting soup recipe. Lucky for me, I have a very good friend with Italian heritage and years of experience in the kitchen. Not too long ago, she gave me this Authentic Pasta Fagioli Recipe, and I added it to my go-to hearty soup recipes.
Get the Recipe: Authentic Pasta Fagioli Recipe

Easy Air Fryer Roasted Tomatoes

Italian roasted tomatoes with balsamic dressing served as a side on a plate.
Easy Air Fryer Roasted Tomatoes. Photo credit: Blues Best Life.

This simple recipe pairs perfectly with chicken, fish or steak. Make these easy air fryer tomatoes in just 15 minutes for a light and healthy side!
Get the Recipe: Easy Air Fryer Roasted Tomatoes

Crispy Toasted Ravioli Recipe

Italian ravioli on a plate with a fork.
Crispy Toasted Ravioli Recipe. Photo credit: Chew Out Loud.

This Crispy Toasted Ravioli is oven baked, not fried. Panko breadcrumbs provide extra crunch. Dip your baked ravioli in plenty of marinara sauce for a standout appetizer.
Get the Recipe: Crispy Toasted Ravioli Recipe

Stuffed Ziti Fritta

Stuffed Ziti Fritta. Photo credit: Spaceships And Laser Beams.

These cheesy stuffed ziti fritta are bite-size pieces of awesomeness that make the perfect appetizer. This fantastic recipe creates a copycat Olive Garden treat that is ooey, gooey, and crunchy, thanks to the deep-fried coating.
Get the Recipe: Stuffed Ziti Fritta

Best Stromboli Recipe

Best Stromboli Recipe. Photo credit: Food Folks And Fun.

This Pepperoni Stromboli recipe is simple to make and easy to customize to your taste. Come see how to make stromboli in this easy-to-follow recipe!
Get the Recipe: Best Stromboli Recipe

Italian Zucchini Boats

Italian Zucchini Boats. Photo credit: Easy Budget Recipes.

This easy Italian Zucchini Boats recipe is easy to make a recipe the whole family will love. This Italian side dish will be on your menu often!
Get the Recipe: Italian Zucchini Boats

Sautéed Eggplant (Melanzane a Funghetto)

Sautéed Eggplant (melanzane a funghetto). Photo credit: M.A. Kitchen.

This Italian sautéed eggplant recipe is known as melanzane al funghetto. It makes for a delightful side dish, a lovely addition to pasta, or a topping for toasted bread.
Get the Recipe: Sautéed Eggplant (melanzane a funghetto)

Verdure Gratinate Al Forno

Verdure Gratinate Al Forno. Photo credit: M.A. Kitchen.

Verdure gratinate al forno is the perfect Italian side dish for any roasted or grilled protein. The recipe features roasted fresh vegetables topped with a nice crumbly mixture of bread, Parmigiano cheese, and aromatic herbs.
Get the Recipe: Verdure Gratinate Al Forno

Cicoria Alla Romana: Sautéed Chicory Greens Roman Style

Cicoria Alla Romana: Sautéed chicory greens roman style. Photo credit: M.A. Kitchen.

Cicoria Ripassata alla Romana is an italian tasty side dish so easy to make and truly a delicious way to add green leafy vegetables into your meals.
Get the Recipe: Cicoria Alla Romana: Sautéed chicory greens roman style

Authentic Italian Bruschetta

Tomato bruschetta displayed on a wooden cutting board.
Authentic Italian Bruschetta. Photo credit: The Stay At Home Chef.

Authentic Italian Bruschetta is a classic appetizer that people absolutely love. It is perfectly crispy with just the right amount of fresh tomatoes, basil, and balsamic. Learn all the little tricks for making the perfect bruschetta right at home.
Get the Recipe: Authentic Italian Bruschetta

Mini Lasagna Cups

Mini Lasagna Cups. Photo credit: The Stay At Home Chef.

Mini Lasagna Cups are the perfect appetizer addition to your parties, or even just a new easy way to put together lasagna for dinner! So delicious, and so much fun!
Get the Recipe: Mini Lasagna Cups

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.

Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.

Welcome to xoxoBella! I am Bella Bucchiotti and I am a recipe developer, content creator and writer. Here you will find delicious recipes, travel inspiration, crafts, pet tips and more.

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