The Top 10 Side Dishes for Pizza
While pizza is a deliciously filling meal by itself, sometimes it’s fun to add some variety to your plate. Check out the top 10 pizza side dishes you can try.
- Italian Salad
A classic Italian dish like pizza deserves a delectable pairing like the Italian salad. They combine beautifully — the crunch in the salad complements the gooey cheese goodness of the pizza. It just works!
Italian Salad is packed with all the right flavors and you can easily make it with everyday pantry staples. The usual ingredients include lettuce, red onion, Roma tomatoes, olives, pepperoncini and croutons. Toss in your favorite Italian dressing and you’re all set.
You can make your own variations by adding other satisfying ingredients like cucumbers, red peppers, artichoke hearts and salami slices.
- Grilled Veggies
Adding more plants to your meals is a great way to round things out nutritionally. Asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini and even mushrooms make a delightful addition to your pizza night. Grilling these veggies takes the dining experience even higher, thanks to the smoky char and roasted sweetness.
Simply wash and slice, then pat dry before placing them on a hot grill. Drizzle olive oil on the veggies and seasoning before grilling. The best part? You can grill just about any hardy vegetable. Try these high-protein veggies instead if you want greens that help you stay fuller longer.
- Hot Wings
You’ve probably noticed that most of the major pizza chains serve hot wings, too. That’s because pizza and hot wings perfectly complement each other. They’re both handheld, pair well with sauces and deliver unique savory flavor. Wings are protein and pizza is largely carbohydrates, so they balance each other out.
Every family has their hot wings recipe, but the main differences are in the coating and the sauce or dip. Simply make your wings how you best love them and enjoy. If you’re making pizza at home, you can even bake wings in the same oven.
- Classic Appetizers
Pigs in a blanket, meatballs, chili dips and other tasty appetizers pair nicely with pizza. Plus, many of these options are excellent sources of protein. Whether you want something light and sweet or something with punchy flavors, you’ll surely find a classic appetizer to serve on the next pizza night.
Just take care not to eat too many too soon. Many appetizers are filling and can take up all the belly space meant for your pizza.
- Tomato Soup
A hearty bowl of tomato soup makes a beautiful side dish to your pizza. Tomato soup and pizza sauce share a similar flavor profile, so there isn’t a vast difference on your palate when munching on either.
You can make tomato soup with as little as four ingredients — crushed tomatoes, butter, yellow onion and stock or broth. Of course, you can always elevate your recipe with other simple ingredients like basil, black pepper and parmesan cheese.
Not a fan of tomato soup? A nice hot bowl of creamy chowder or minestrone can be a great substitute.
- Potato Wedges
Crispy oven-baked potato wedges are an excellent pizza side dish. They’re healthier than fries and have considerably lower fat content since they’re not fried.
Potato wedges are easy to make and don’t require many ingredients. Usually, you only need potatoes and some seasoning — salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and onion powder. Remember to turn the wedges halfway through baking for a crispy finish.
- Arugula Salad With Shaved Parmesan
The fresh, peppery flavor of arugula contrasts nicely with the rich, tangy palate of Parmesan. Together, they make quite a fantastic combo of flavors that work well with the aromatic taste of pizza.
Arugula salad is possibly the easiest side dish on this list. All you need is some arugula, Parmesan cheese, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss everything together in a bowl along with your salad dressing, season and serve.
Coleslaw lends itself well to a number of main courses, including pizza. It boasts fresh, lively flavors and the texture presents a nice contrast to your hot and savory pizza.
You can usually get shredded coleslaw mix from your local store, so the only things left are some apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, honey and seasoning. Make your coleslaw dressing in a bowl and toss the coleslaw mix to coat evenly. Add your seasoning and your salad is ready to serve.
Tip: Chill your coleslaw in the fridge for a few hours before serving. This process lets the veggies absorb the dressing flavors properly, making it even yummier.
Another Italian classic pairing, pasta pairs well with pizza thanks to their similar flavor profiles — tomato sauce and herbs. There are so many types of pasta and even more ways to make them.
One thing to keep in mind is that pasta is a main course dish by itself and can be quite heavy. Start with small portions so you don’t get full too soon.
- Fruit Salad
Fruit salads offer a palate-cleansing break from the meaty, cheesy pizza goodness. The fact that fruits are packed with vitamins and minerals makes this a worthy inclusion on this list. Moreover, fruit combinations add a pop of color to your table.
When making fruit salad, it’s all about the fruits. Choose fruits with similar profiles. For example, strawberries, blueberries, kiwis, apples and cherries make a good combo. As much as possible, use only fresh, ripe fruits.
Whether you enjoy making homemade pizza or just ordering from your local takeout place, there’s a pizza side dish that you’ll love. Try one of these simple recipes today.