These easy and delicious Italian side dishes are perfect with a wide variety of meals, and of course they complement pasta beautifully! No matter what you’re serving, these Italian sides are bursting with savory flavor.

Side dishes might not always be the star of the show, but they’ll always have our hearts! Get 15 of the most inspired, easy Italian sides in this complete recipe guide.

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We adore Italian food, and in the St. Louis community, there’s no shortage of beautiful Italian restaurants. Lucky us!

However, as much as we enjoy a fabulous dining experience out on the town, we really love making our own fabulous meals at home, too. And once you learn how to make pasta, too, you might just feel the same!

These incredible Italian side dishes are filled with the best Italian herbs and spices, and sure to wow your family! No matter what main dish is on your menu, these sides are sure to be winners.

Included in this collection is the recipe for our famous easy-peasy cheesy garlic bread. It’s the most delicious way to upgrade a loaf of store bought bread, and turn it into the ultimate Italian side dish!

A close-up of an Italian caprese salad with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and chopped basil, drizzled with balsamic glaze.


  • Craving a delicious, filling pasta dish for dinner? Don’t skip my incredible range of pasta recipes.
  • No matter the entrée, a veggie side dish or salad can help bring a wholesome meal together in just minutes.
  • Many our favorite vegetable recipes can easily be given more Italian flavor. Try this incredible homemade Italian seasoning blend.

Frequently Asked Questions

What vegetables do Italians serve?

Some of the most popular vegetables in Italy are radicchio, squash, celery, tomatoes (we’ll count it as a veggie here), and peppers.

Is pasta a side dish in Italy?

In Italy, pasta is called a “primo” (first course), and is served as an appetizer. You can also choose soup or polenta as a primo. The “secondo” (main course) is often a small serving of chicken, meat, or fish.

What are the three Italian herbs?

Basil, oregano and garlic are staples of Italian cooking. Add these to your food for delicious Italian inspired fragrance and flavor.

Garlic cheese bread in serving bowl, with hands pulling a piece apart to show cheese pull

Italian Side Dish Recipes

These recipes are wonderful with your favorite pasta dishes, but also serve beautifully with a variety of classic braised meats and more!

Italian Salad

Italian Salad

A simple Italian Salad recipe, St. Louis style. Mix up this delicious, memorable salad with fresh and flavorful Italian Dressing in less than 10 minutes! This Italian Salad is filled with crisp lettuce, red onion, artichokes, pimentos and grated parmesan to ensure each bite is perfectly covered in Italian Salad Dressing. Read More

5 mins

Baked Burrata

Baked Burrata Recipe

This Baked Burrata Recipe is an easy, decadent appetizer that will appeal to the masses. Garnished with roasted tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and topped with fresh basil, it is fragrant and savory… perfect for creamy Burrata Bruschetta or as a summer salad topper.  Read More

35 mins

Gnocco Fritto

Gnocco Fritto

Gnocco Fritto is an easy 10-minute appetizer when made with the ultimate shortcut: puff pastry! These light and fluffy puff pillows are topped with olive oil, prosciutto and sea salt for heavenly bites. Fried to golden brown perfection in a matter of seconds, this classic Italian dish is always a favorite. Read More

10 mins


Minestrone Soup

This minestrone soup recipe is hearty, filling, and oh-so-delicious. It’s the perfect family friendly soup that will warm you through and through!  Read More

40 mins

Insalata Mista

Insalata Mista

A light and refreshing classic Insalata Mista with shaved parmesan, grape tomatoes, and pine nuts tossed in a delcious balsamic vinaigrette. This mixed salad goes great with just about every entree! Read More

5 mins

Seasoned Green Beans

Seasoned Green Beans

If your family is anything like mine, green beans are one of the easiest veggies to get the kids to eat. These seasoned green beans are crispy yet tender, full of vibrant seasoning blends, and so easy to throw together.  Read More

10 mins

Roasted Mushrooms

Roasted Mushrooms

Easy roasted mushrooms make a wholesome, delicious appetizer or side dish. These garlic mushrooms take just five minutes hands on time!  Read More

25 mins

Brussel Sprouts

The Best Crispy Brussel Sprouts Recipe

This Crispy Brussel Sprouts recipe is bursting with flavor!  Brussel Sprouts are sautéed with pancetta and shallots for a delicious side dish that will leave your family begging for more.  Read More


Italian Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad

This easy Italian pasta salad recipe is the perfect summer side dish that takes very little time and effort. It’s such a classic side dish that is so light and refreshing!  Read More

25 mins

Blistered Tomatoes

Blistered Tomatoes

Making blistered tomatoes adds smoky flavor and intensifies the sweetness of cherry tomatoes, making them extra delicious! Ready in as little as 5 minutes, this is a recipe you’ll find yourself making all summer long. Read More

7 mins

Endive Salad

Handheld Endive Salad

This easy endive appetizer is everything you crave for entertaining! It’s healthy, gorgeous, and simply bursting with fresh flavor. Bonus? Endive lettuce is naturally so easy to hold… your guests will keep coming back for more!  Read More

10 mins

Arugula Salad

Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

An easy and refreshing recipe for an arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette. This simple salad is so perfect for the warmer weather, and is perfect to serve as a simple side or appetizer.  Read More

5 mins

Baked Artichokes

Baked Artichoke Hearts

Baked Artichoke is one of the easiest side dishes and ways to get your veggies in! These roasted artichoke are so delicious on its own or tossed into a salad. It’s not only delicious, but a good source of fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin K! Read More

17 mins

Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread

Once you try homemade garlic bread, you will never want to buy store-bought again! It’s crispy on the edges, soft in the middle, and full of fresh garlic flavor in every bite. Read More

19 mins

Italian Nachos

Italian Nachos

These Italian nachos are one of my favorite game day appetizers. Loaded with chicken breast, these baked nachos are quick to make and are perfect for feeding a crowd.  Read More

34 mins

Last but certainly not least, here’s the recipe card for our favorite cheesy garlic bread. Don’t skip it – you won’t believe how simple it is!

A person pulling apart a piece of cheesy garlic bread, an Italian side dish, with melted cheese stretching between the slices.
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Italian Side Dish Collection: Make this Cheesy Garlic Bread

I’ve got a few secrets to make this the best garlic cheese bread ever! Upgrade a loaf of bread in just a few minutes with this easy Italian side dish recipe.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 11 minutes
Total: 16 minutes
Servings: 16
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  • 1 loaf of soft french bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise optional
  • ½ cup butter softened, salted
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • 3 cups mozzarella grated 12 ounces
  • ¼ cup parmesan grated


  • 1 teaspoon parsley chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut bread lengthwise in half and place on baking sheet. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the open face of bread.
    1 loaf of soft french bread, 2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
  • In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic and parsley. Spread evenly onto bread.
    ½ cup butter, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon parsley
  • Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and turn on broil setting.
  • Top with mozzarella and parmesan. Broil 2 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Allow to cool slightly, garnish with fresh parsley and cut into 1 1⁄2” slices.
    3 cups mozzarella grated, ¼ cup parmesan, 1 teaspoon parsley

Julie’s Tips

  • Fresh grated cheese is always best. It melts better yielding a creamier, cheesier consistency.
  • If you don’t have fresh garlic or don’t want to bother with the peeling and mincing, you can use 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder instead.
  • Let the butter soften for at least 30 minutes before starting the recipe.
  • Keep a close eye on the bread as it broils. It can go from golden brown to burnt super quickly! Turn on your oven light and as soon as you see the cheese has melted and started to brown, take it out of the oven.
Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 364mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 354IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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