17 Quick and Easy Italian Side Dishes You Need to Try
From a gooey ball of burrata to a simple bowl of marinated heirloom tomatoes, Italian side dishes are just as delicious as the heaping bowls of pasta that take center stage. Whether you’re serving up a Tuscan-inspired feast or you’re just in the mood for minestrone, here are 17 Italian-style side dishes to try.
Classic Italian Fried Zucchini Flowers
In Rome, you’ll find these on the menu as fiori di zucca fritti—and they’re just as delicious as they sound in Italian. Zucchini blossoms are lightly battered and fried, then stuffed with Parmesan, mozzarella and anchovies.
20-Minute Burrata Salad with Stone Fruit and Asparagus
A big, fresh ball of burrata makes everything better. Along with the gooey cow’s milk cheese, toss peaches, plums, asparagus and snap peas in a dainty vinaigrette. It’s so good, you may make it your main.
Lightened-Up Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs
Soup alone for dinner may not be enough, which is why this light version of Italian wedding soup makes the ideal side dish. (Coterie member Jesse Reilly gives us tips for flavorful chicken meatballs, too.)
Everyday Italian Salad
There’s a reason they call this an “everyday” salad—it takes just 15 minutes to prep, and it’s tasty enough to eat every day. Just combine fresh greens, veggies and croutons in a mustard vinaigrette.
Caprese Salad with Grilled Zucchini
Put a twist on the classic plate of tomatoes and mozzarella. Grill zucchini, then top it with mozzarella and tomato. Drizzle it all with balsamic. (The cheese melts slightly and we’re not complaining.)
Farro and Roasted Vegetables with Italian Salsa Verde
This “salsa verde” is basically a play on pesto. Slather it onto just about any seasonal veggie your heart desires.
Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio
Eating a tomato in Tuscany is a heavenly experience. Bring that experience to your dinner table with this gorgeous five-minute recipe.
Prosciutto and Balsamic Greens Flatbread
OK, maybe flatbread isn’t the first thing you think of when you hear “side dish.” But who is really going to complain when this prosciutto-topped masterpiece arrives at the table?
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Dill, Goat Cheese and Peas
Side dishes shouldn’t be complicated, since the main often takes all of your cooking focus. After roasting the fingerlings, just toss in the herbs, cheese and veggies and you’re ready to eat.
Fontina and Prosciutto Puff Pastry Squares
Every extra millimeter of our plates is going to be filled with these divine little bites. Stuffed with fontina cheese and prosciutto, it’s like umami went wild in the bakery.
Easy Minestrone Soup
Forget the canned version. Maria Lichty serves up a hearty (and ridiculously simple) vegetable soup that will satisfy your Italian cravings.
Maple Mustard Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, Pine Nuts and Parmesan
The secret to mouthwatering Brussels sprouts? Pancetta. Jesse Reilly also adds pine nuts, Parmesan shavings and a maple glaze.
Chopped Italian Salad
The amazing thing about this side salad? You can use up any extra sandwich ingredients you have in the fridge, like salami and sliced cheese.
Italian Orzo Spinach Soup
Sprinkle grated Parmesan and red pepper flakes on this vegetable soup for an extra kick. And did we mention you can whip it up in just 30 minutes with one pot?