Looking for something other than garlic bread or wings to serve with pizza? Here you’ll find 17 creative side dishes to go along with your delicious cheesy dinner.
Pizza is typically made with a tomato-based pizza sauce, cheese, and varying toppings. The best foods to pair with pizza are going to be similar flavors with varying textures.
Here are 17 creative side dishes so you can figure out exactly what to serve with pizza. Try a lighter side such as a Caesar salad or go heavier with something like onion rings.
17 Side Dishes to Serve with Pizza
There’s nothing wrong with buffalo wings or garlic bread, but if you want to diversify your pizza dinner night, try one of these suggestions.
1. Spinach Artichoke Dip
You can’t go wrong mixing vegetables with cheese. Spinach artichoke dip is made with parmesan cheese, spinach, and artichoke hearts, and is served as an appetizer.
If your pizza dough is more soft than crunchy, try serving tortilla chips with your dip. The crunchy chips will pair well with a soft-dough pizza.
2. Pasta Salad
Pasta salad has a ton of variations. You can make it Italian style, Greek-style, or a homemade family recipe. For pizza, it’s suggested to stray toward the Italian style.
The main ingredients are noodles (try spring or bow-tie), zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers. Don’t forget to add the cheese! Try parmesan for a pizza side.
Roasted veggies are a great side dish to pizza. Broccoli in particular pairs well, and can be made and cooked in a variety of ways.
Since most pizza is made with either pizza cheese or mozzarella cheese, try roasting your broccoli in garlic and then topping it with parmesan cheese.
It may sound strange, but soup is a great starter and since there are so many different varieties, it can pair with almost any meal.
For pizza, try a creamy tomato soup to match the tomato-based flavor of the sauce. If you’re looking for something more earthy-flavored, try cream of mushroom.
Just like pasta salad, coleslaw can be made with a variety of different ingredients to match your meal. The best part about coleslaw is that it’s quick to prepare.
You can buy coleslaw mix or make your own from cabbage, carrots, mayonnaise, and vinegar. Add your own flavored ingredients such as mustard, honey, or lemon.
Meatballs are a safe bet for almost any Italian-style meal, including pizza! With pizza, it’s best to serve traditional meatballs as opposed to sweet meatballs.
If your pizza has sausage or bacon on it, it may be too much meat to pair with. If you’re having a veggie pizza or simple cheese, it’s the perfect side dish.
7. Caesar Salad
Looking for a lighter side with your pizza? Try a Caesar salad. This simple side dish is made from romaine lettuce pieces, croutons, parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing.
You can also try adding a hard-boiled egg and cherry tomatoes to your Caesar salad if you’re looking for more flavor. Try freshly sliced parmesan cheese.
8. Fried Zucchini Strips
It might be a little messy to make yourself, so you can always buy store-bought zucchini strips or order them to-go from your favorite restaurant.
If you want to make your own, try using panko breadcrumbs to coat the zucchini. Alternatively, use your favorite salty cracker and crush them into crumbs for the breading.
Fruit and pizza? It’s a big no-no for some, especially those that think pineapple on pizza is crazy. But hear me out. Make fruit a side dish instead.
Cheese, pizza sauce, and meat tend to make a salty meal. Fruit adds a sweetness factor that will help cleanse your palette and fulfill any sweet tooth.
Besides that movie with the mouse in it, what is ratatouille? Ratatouille is a type of stew that can be made using a wide variety of ingredients.
For the most part, it is made of eggplant, tomato, and zucchini. Some recipes add squash as well. The vegetables are mixed with a cooked sauce and then seasoned.
11. Caprese Salad
Caprese salad isn’t your typical lettuce- or kale-based salad. It’s made with slices of tomato, mozzarella, and basil leaves in alternating layers and then topped with an oil-based dressing.
This is a great option to serve as a side dish with pizza. It’s light, but also packs a flavor similar to pizza, making it the perfect pairing partner.
If you absolutely love garlic bread but want a more creative side dish, try a classic bruschetta recipe. The juicy tomatoes and crunchy bread pair great with pizza.
The tomatoes for bruschetta are marinated in olive oil, garlic, salt, and basil. These ingredients are similar to pizza, but with a different texture, making it a great side choice.
13. Jalapeno Poppers
A classic appetizer, jalapeno poppers can be a side dish too. Try them with your pizza to add a bit of a kick to your pizza night.
You can make your own or buy them in the store. Poppers are typically made with jalapeno peppers, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and panko bread crumbs.
14. Snap Pea Salad
Salads are easy to pair with anything, including pizza. For snap pea salad, try using sugar snaps. They are much easier to grab with a fork than shelled peas.
The best snap pea salad to pair with pizza will have mint in it. The refreshing mint taste combines well with a lemon-based balsamic dressing.
15. Potato Salad
Potato salad is a classic American side dish. But who would have thought to pair it with pizza? Believe it or not, potato salad makes a great companion dish to pizza.
This side dish has a unique flavor because of the hard-boiled eggs, vinegar, and mayonnaise mixture. The creamy texture will pair great with a crunchy thin-crust pizza.
16. Onion Rings
If you’re tired of the classic mozzarella stick side dish, try onion rings with your pizza meal. This crunchy and juicy side will pair with any type of pizza.
You can make a homemade onion dipping sauce with mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish sauce, and herbs. It can second as a dipping sauce for your pizza too!
17. Roasted Veggies
Roast your favorite vegetables for a healthy side dish with pizza. Try to use vegetables that aren’t already on your pizza, such as carrots and zucchini.
You can do a simple olive oil and salt topping, or add more flavor with garlic or crushed pepper flakes. This will add some spice to your side dish.
Pizza may seem like a whole meal itself, but it never hurts to have a side dish! If you’re having pizza for a large family or business party, consider adding a side dish.
Similar flavors with varying textures will be the best side dishes to pair with pizza. Try one of these side dishes on the next pizza night, and go beyond the classic wings or garlic bread side.