17 Easy Sides for Spaghetti
These easy spaghetti side dishes will perfectly complement your Italian meal. From healthy greens that'll brighten your plate (like this iconic Copycat Olive Garden Salad or this simple Baked Zucchini Chips) to comforting carbs (Grilled Garlic Bread, anyone?), you're going to want to bookmark this collection of sides for spaghetti.
Copycat Olive Garden Salad
Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks
Packaged broccoli slaw adds instant crunch and color to this salad. You can also toss it into stir-fries, use it to bulk up chili, or add it to quiche or casseroles for a veggie boost.
Arugula Salad with Lemon and Pine Nuts
Peppery arugula combines with tangy lemon, salty cheese, and sweet toasted pine nuts for a perfectly balanced side salad. Slowly drizzling the olive oil into the lemon juice mixture helps emulsify the dressing. If you add the oil all at once, it’s harder to combine it with the acid, and it ends up looking like the dressing is separated.
Baked Zucchini Chips
Opt for oven-baked zucchini chips as a light alternative to fries. This baked zucchini chip recipe is a fun and easy way to use up summer zucchini, and it’s one your family will request time and time again. The high oven temperature will evaporate moisture from inside the zucchini and crisp the breadcrumb coating to a beautiful golden brown.
Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower
Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
A Caprese salad—tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella cheese—is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to show off peak-season Southern-grown tomatoes. Give this salad a fun new look by using a mix of multicolored cherry tomatoes and small fresh mozzarella balls (also called “bocconcini”) tossed in a simple vinaigrette.
Roasted Asparagus with Walnuts, Parmesan, and Cherry Tomatoes
Serve with grilled flank steak or chicken breasts, and you'll have a fantastic weeknight dinner. Use asparagus that are medium-thick for this recipe--not pencil-thin spears. If you'd like to try this with a raw tomato sauce (especially when the fruits are at peak sweetness), just decrease water to 1 tablespoon and process all sauce ingredients together. For a less expensive and equally savory alternative to Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, try sheep's milk pecorino Romano.
Air-Fried Mozzarella Sticks
These homemade mozzarella sticks offer all of the crispy-coated, cheesy goodness you want without the deep-fried mess on your stovetop. We like to call that a “win-win.”
Instant Pot Ratatouille
Our Instant Pot Ratatouille certainly looks like it requires a lot of hard work to make, but the real beauty of this recipe is that it couldn’t be easier. Plus, this speedy take on the classic French dish just happens to be one of the most perfect ways we can imagine to enjoy late summer produce.
Spicy Eggplant With Plums
This combo of spicy char, sweet fruit, and creamy yogurt is a surefire hit. For a tasty swap, try halved pitted cherries in place of plums.
Grilled Caesar Salad With Sourdough Breadcrumbs
Greek yogurt and sourdough bread lend a natural dose of probiotics to our riff on Caesar salad. Alliums such as garlic offer prebiotic fuel to help the good bugs thrive. (This is the difference between pre- and probiotic foods.) Keep the sourdough croutons whole if you don’t want to dirty the food processor, or you can lightly crush them in a ziplock bag.
Caesar Brussels Sprouts Salad with Almonds
Sturdy shaved Brussels sprouts hold the crunchy almonds and a garlicky Parmesan vinaigrette without wilting. Serve with roast chicken or lamb.
Spicy Zucchini Salad
Fiber- and protein-packed chickpeas bulk up this late-summer salad.
Caprese Tomato Salad
Make this crisp, fresh tomato salad for your next summer cookout. If you can't find smaller basil leaves, you can gently tear the larger leaves in half.
Raw Artichoke Salad with Herbs, Almonds, and Parmigiano
"Don't even try this salad unless you have very early artichokes, the first ones to show up in the spring markets," says chef Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene's in Portland. "As with all spring vegetables, the still-cold nights help the artichoke's sugars develop for the best flavor."
Grilled Garlic Bread
Homemade garlic bread is a welcome addition to almost any meal, especially when it has a smoky char from the grill. Garlic butter makes the bread extra rich, but you can substitute olive oil if you wish. Sprinkle the cut bread with grated parmesan cheese just before serving if your crowd prefers cheesy garlic bread.