pizza sides

What To Serve With Pizza: 7 Easy Side Dishes

Who does not love pizza night? More than fast food, for many of us pizza is comfort food. Still, serving only pizza might not work for everyone, so knowing what goes with it is always a good idea.

Keep reading to find out all the best side dishes for pizza! You will find delicious, yet easy recipes to make at home.

What Is Pizza?

A pizza is an Italian dish of a circle-shaped dough that contains tomatoes, cheese, and other ingredients as toppings. The dough is usually wheat flour, but might be gluten-free or vegetable-based.

Traditionally, a pizza will contain mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, olive oil, and basil. However, you can find other toppings of all kinds, including olives, onions, mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, chicken, sausage, and pineapple. These days, pizza can mix flavors from different cuisines too.

Pizza as we know it originated in Naples, Italy, but similar dishes have been around for many centuries. Pizza Napoletana was invented in the 1800s and pizza Margherita in 1889 in honor of the queen at the time. Soon after, pizza was brought to the United States where the first pizzeria opened in 1905.

You can find fresh and frozen pizza sold everywhere these days, although many are associated with fast food. Traditional pizza is baked in an oven with stone bricks or a coal-fired brick oven. The pizza dough is made only with yeast and sugar, although some variations contain cheese inside too.

Nutrition Facts

One large piece of pizza with cheese, extra vegetables, and a thick crust (155 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 372 calories
  • 76.6 g water
  • 14.7 g protein
  • 14.7 g fat
  • 45.6 g carbohydrate
  • 3.26 g fiber
  • 5.01 g sugar
  • 245 mg calcium
  • 3.78 mg iron
  • 32.6 mg magnesium
  • 285 mg phosphorus
  • 264 mg potassium
  • 834 mg sodium
  • 24.8 µg selenium
  • 94.6 µg vitamin A
  • 23.2 mg cholesterol

Pizza is something we all enjoy, whether it is at a party or special occasion or on a weekend night. Still, it can be high in fat and carbohydrates, making you feel sluggish after. You can make it healthier by choosing a whole wheat dough, a cheese higher in protein, and using less oil.

What Goes Well With Pizza

Here’s what to eat with pizza:

#1. Classic Bruschetta

Whether you serve it as an appetizer or side dish, a classic bruschetta never disappoints. This dish is deliciously Mediterranean and fresh, perfect to go with your favorite pizza.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 loaf baguette, cut into slices
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your classic bruschetta:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Once warm, add the garlic and onion, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Place the onion and garlic in a large bowl.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Toss well.
  4. Cut your baguette into slices. You can then place them in your toaster oven and toast them for a few minutes or until golden.
  5. Serve your bruschetta cold on top of your toasted bread with pizza on the side.

#2. Spinach and Ranch Dip

Ranch dressing is a must for pizza lovers, so why not try it in a dip? This recipe combines the tastiness, tanginess, and sweetness of ranch along with spinach.


  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • ½ package cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ⅓ cup white cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your spinach and ranch dip:

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 330 to 350 degrees °F.
  2. Wash the spinach and dry it well. Add it to a blender.
  3. Add the ranch dressing mix, cream cheese, sour cream, oregano, and cheddar cheese to the blender.
  4. Blend everything until smooth. Transfer to a baking dish and top with more cheese.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese at the top turns golden.
  6. Serve warm with baguette, tortilla chips, or on the side of your pizza.

#3. Baked Zucchini Sticks

Save some calories with these baked zucchini sticks, which are the perfect complement to your pizza. Think of these as a healthier version of mozzarella sticks or fries!


  • 2 zucchinis, sliced
  • ⅔ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your baked zucchini sticks: 

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees °F.
  2. Wash and slice your zucchinis. Choose the length and width that you want.
  3. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Add the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  4. On a plate, spread the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Dip each zucchini in the egg mixture and then in the breadcrumbs and cheese mixture. Set each piece on a lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake your zucchini sticks for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. You can serve your sticks cold or warm with ranch dressing or marinara sauce.

#4. Primavera Pasta Salad

Nothing better than a bowl of tasty cold pasta salad. Still, it will be that much better with a slice of pizza. This recipe is easy to make and always tastes great with any of your pizza toppings.


  • 1 box rotini or elbow pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup broccoli, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet peas
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Primavera pasta salad:

  1. Cook your pasta according to the box instructions. Drain it, and set it aside to cool down in a large bowl.
  2. Wash and chop your vegetables. Add them to the bowl.
  3. Stir in olive oil, mayonnaise, garlic powder, lemon, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  4. Toss everything well until the pasta and vegetables are completely covered with the creamy dressing.
  5. Cover your bowl and place it in the fridge for a minimum of two hours.
  6. Serve your primavera pasta salad with your favorite slice of pizza.

#5. Mini Meatballs With Marinara

What else is more Italian than pizza? Meatballs with marinara might just be the perfect Italian side dish for any type of pizza you have.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your mini meatballs with marinara:

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees °F.
  2. Mix the ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Using your clean hands, mix everything well, and form small balls.
  4. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place your small balls on it.
  5. Bake your meatballs for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Serve your meatballs warm with marinara sauce on top and a slice of pizza on the side.

#6. Tiramisu

What better way to finish your pizza party night than with a delicious piece of dessert? This tiramisu recipe is easy yet delicious and always a good idea after some pizza.


  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua or another coffee-flavored liquor
  • 1 package ladyfingers
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 8 oz. Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Follow these steps to prepare your tiramisu:

  1. Add the whipping cream and begin beating it with a hand mixer or electric mixer. Slowly add the sugar and continue mixing. Stir in the vanilla and mix once more.
  2. In a different bowl, mix the Kahlua and the coffee. Dip your ladyfingers, but quickly remove them.
  3. Lay your ladyfingers on the bottom of a baking dish. Using a spatula, spread your mascarpone mix on top.
  4. If you have leftover ladyfingers, repeat the process.
  5. Dust the cocoa powder on the top.
  6. Place the tiramisu in your fridge for four hours or more.
  7. Serve your tiramisu cold after you eat the pizza.

#7. Homemade sherbet

For those that want something sweet, this homemade sherbet is a perfect choice. You can choose any flavor you want, such as orange, peach, lemon, or strawberry.


  • 2 cups orange juice, no pulp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Follow these steps to prepare your homemade sherbet:

  1. Mix your orange juice and half the sugar in a large bowl. Continue mixing until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the milk and continue mixing.
  2. Mix the rest of the sugar with the whipping cream in another bowl.
  3. Slowly add the whipping cream mix onto the orange juice mix. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Churn your sherbet with a stand mixer or ice cream maker.
  5. Transfer the sherbet to a freezer container and freeze for a few more hours.
  6. Serve cold after you are done eating pizza.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Sides for Pizza?

Pizza is always a good idea, especially after a long day or for a party. You can always serve pizza on its own, but why not choose a delicious side dish? These recipes are both savory and sweet, perfect for any type of pizza.

If you are serving a vegetarian or Margherita pizza, a heavier side dish is a good choice. You can choose the spinach and ranch dip with a baguette or alone. The mini meatballs with marinara are also a good choice if you want to add meat.

For meat lovers pizza, chicken pizza, or any other meat-containing pizza, a lighter side dish might be the way to go. Try the primavera pasta salad and the classic bruschetta together as they are to-die-for. The baked zucchini sticks add crunch and flavor without filling you up too much.

When you want a sweet side dish, there are two recipes here perfect for you. Try the tiramisu for a classic Italian dessert that never goes wrong. The homemade sherbet is a bit lighter and more citrusy.


Who said pizza had to go on its own? With all these pizza sides, your pizza meal does not have to be boring. You can choose one, two, or even three to go with your favorite topping pizza.

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*image by bit245/depositphotos

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