Are you wondering what to serve with pesto pasta to make your meal even more delicious? In this article, you’ll find some of the best combinations to make your meal unforgettable.
When it comes to pasta, Italy can never disappoint. And pesto pasta is yet another example of a sumptuous Italian delight. Pesto is the world’s most well-known and popular green sauce. When combined with pasta, it becomes a relishing dream come true.
It’s a thick green sauce combining bright, fresh basil and the salty, rich flavors of cheeses, pine nuts, and olive oil. The sauce should have a slightly garlicky flavor and natural earthiness from the fresh ingredients. This makes for an irresistible meal when combined with your favorite pasta.
11+ Side Dishes For Pesto Pasta
This simple uncooked sauce is native to the Liguria region of Northwest Italy. In ancient Rome, their predecessors made a paste called “moretum” from cheese, pine nuts, oil, salt, and aromatic herbs. Today, it’s a significant condiment that can elevate any meal with various side dishes.
1. Goat’s Cheese
A slice of goat’s cheese in a mix of pesto pasta is a delicious addition. It will transport you to hot summer days spent dining al fresco in a distant location. In fact, when thinking of what to serve with pesto pasta, goat’s cheese is one you can’t afford to skip.
Many people consider it a unique cheese because of its intense flavor. Therefore, begin with a tiny portion if you’re unsure whether you’ll like the tart and earthy taste. Serve fresh sliced tomatoes along with the highest quality goat’s cheese available.
2. White Fish
There are numerous sorts of delectable white fish to pick from. You have cod, bream, hake, halibut, and haddock, to name a few. So, when you’re looking for a fantastic side for your pesto pasta, don’t rule out one of these fish.
Grilled monkfish is an absolute winner with pasta dishes and salads. It’s meaty, mild, and slightly sweet, with no ‘fishy’ flavor, making it a worldwide favorite. Visit your local fishmonger for the tastiest pieces, and don’t be afraid to ask for their best cooking tips. They’ll often make suggestions that you wouldn’t have considered.
3. Roasted Red Peppers
Roasted red peppers are a delightful addition to pesto pasta, introducing color and crunch to the meal. Grill your peppers to get that tremendous charred look and flavor. Your kitchen grill will suffice if you’re short on time or don’t feel like firing up the barbecue.
Cut the roasted peppers and toss them in with your pasta or serve them separately. The aroma is heavenly in meals. And the fresh, savory flavors give a whole new turn to the dinner.
Anyone can make bruschetta using a slice of crusty bread, like a baguette. Simply grill and rub it with garlic before topping it with olive oil and your favorite ingredients.
You can be as creative as you want with this, and it’s a great way to use up any leftovers. However, when it comes to what to serve with pesto pasta, you might prefer to keep things simple. This will ensure that your bruschetta does not compete with your pasta but complements it instead.
5. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Finding truly good-quality tomatoes can be difficult depending on where you live and the time of year. If all you can see are pale, bland varieties, head to the jarred produce section and select some sun-dried gems.
Manufacturers usually pick these when they’re at their best, so you can enjoy their deep, rich flavor all year. When the question of what to serve with pesto pasta arises, think of sun-dried tomatoes. There’s no preparation involved. In just a few short minutes, you’ll have a juicy side to blend with the aromatic basil of the pesto pasta.
6. Garlic Bread
Indeed, pasta and bread may appear to be a heavy combination. However, if you serve them in modest portions with salad or vegetables, you end up with a balanced supper. It will help you refuel after a long day.
Baguettes are the best type of bread to use when making garlic bread. Remember, you can create yours at home with few ingredients when looking for what to serve with pesto pasta.
7. Roasted Aubergine Salad with Chickpeas
Pesto pasta is a quick supper to pull together when you don’t have time to plan something more sophisticated. Additionally, it’s beneficial when you haven’t had the chance to go grocery shopping.
This roasted aubergine salad with chickpeas is just the type of sophisticated side dish needed to elevate your pesto pasta. It’s the kind of side dish that everyone will remember and most likely request again. Gracing your pasta with aubergine offers a new level of taste to your dish.
8. Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
Perhaps you’ve seen a pattern here. Tomatoes and pesto pasta work so well together, and there are so many ways to prepare them. So, when deciding what to serve with pesto pasta, don’t hesitate to opt for a tomato and mozzarella salad.
Drizzling balsamic vinegar over your tomatoes and mozzarella will add an acidic umami flavor to the meal. You’ll feel like you’re in the Mediterranean. In fact, you’ll be surprised at how much flavor a small number of ingredients can contain.
9. Cannellini Beans
Being the largest group, Cannellini beans are also known as White Kidney Beans because of their classic kidney form. However, these protein-rich legumes are vital when looking for what to serve with pesto pasta.
Cannellini beans have a nuttier, earthier flavor than most white beans. These features make them popular in Italian dishes such as minestrone and, of course, pesto pasta. The nutty taste of the beans compliments the pesto’s pine nut and cheese flavors.
10. Antipasto Salad
Antipasto is the traditional first course of an Italian meal. It consists of cured meats, cheese, and vegetables served on a tray for everyone to enjoy.
Toss everything into a large mixing bowl with colorful veggies. Ensure you include fresh ingredients like tomato and cucumber. And use a good balsamic vinegar to dress your antipasto salad.
Making an antipasto salad only takes a few minutes, but it can elevate your meal to new heights. This salad introduces various flavors and textures, including crunchy vegetables to counter the soft pasta.
11. Grilled Chicken
For lunch or dinner, serve some herby chicken breasts with your pesto pasta for a healthy dose of protein.
When grilled, they’re lean and tasty. Incorporating shredded bits of chicken into the pasta will create a taste sensation you’ll find nowhere else. This is an excellent option for a barbecue with friends.
There’s so much cooking anxiety that comes with finding the best side dish to go with your meal. Now, you have the best ideas when looking for something to serve with pesto pasta. Take your simple Italian pesto pasta meal to new heights with one of these delicious sides to impress your guests.