There’s something magical about the combination of melted cheese, savory tomato sauce and a crispy crust that makes pizza a universal favorite. But what if we told you that the pizza experience could be elevated even further? Imagine pairing your favorite slice with complementary side dishes that not only enhance the flavors but also turn your meal into a culinary adventure. In this article, we’ll explore the 15 best side dishes to serve with pizza, each carefully selected to tantalize your taste buds and take your pizza night to the next level.
Table of Contents
What to Serve with Pizza?
1. Garlic Knots: A Twist of Flavor
Embark on a flavorful journey as you commence your pizza indulgence with the timeless classic, garlic knots. Picture twisted, buttery delights that strike the perfect balance between softness and crunch, generously enveloped in a medley of garlic and herbs. Beyond being a mere accompaniment, these garlicky gems act as an impeccable appetizer, teasing your taste buds and setting the stage for the pizza experience.
How and Why Garlic Knots Shine Alongside Pizza:
- Texture Harmony: The softness of garlic knots provides a delightful contrast to the crispy texture of pizza crust, creating a dynamic mouthfeel that keeps your palate engaged throughout the meal.
- Flavor Infusion: The generous coating of garlic and herbs not only enhances the overall pizza experience but also infuses a burst of complementary flavors, elevating each bite to a new level of satisfaction.
- Appetite Opener: Acting as an ideal appetizer, garlic knots serve as the perfect prelude to your pizza feast, preparing your taste buds for the symphony of tastes that awaits with every slice.
Elevate your pizza night by introducing garlic knots, a simple yet ingenious addition that transforms your dining experience into a flavorful celebration.
2. Caprese Salad: Fresh and Vibrant
Dive into a world of freshness and vibrancy by treating yourself to a Caprese salad alongside your pizza. This delightful dish serves as a refreshing counterpoint to the indulgent richness of pizza, offering a burst of colors and flavors that elevate your entire meal.
Experience the following key aspects that make Caprese salad an impeccable companion to your pizza:
- Colorful Symphony: Immerse yourself in a visual delight as the vibrant red of fresh tomatoes contrasts with the creamy white of mozzarella, creating a picturesque ensemble that is as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the taste buds.
- Flavor Harmony: The combination of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, enhanced by a drizzle of balsamic glaze, creates a harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors. This not only complements the pizza but also acts as a palate cleanser, preparing you for the next delectable slice.
- Touch of Sophistication: Elevate your pizza experience by adding a touch of sophistication with Caprese salad. The simplicity of its ingredients is balanced by the elegance of the presentation, turning your casual pizza night into a dining experience with a hint of gourmet flair.
Incorporate the Caprese salad into your pizza repertoire for a culinary journey that tantalizes your senses and adds a fresh, vibrant twist to your pizza night.
3. Antipasto Platter: A Medley of Italian Flavors
Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Italian flavors with the indulgence of an antipasto platter alongside your pizza. This carefully curated assortment of cured meats, cheeses, olives, and pickled vegetables offers a symphony of tastes and textures, creating a versatile and delightful companion to complement any pizza variety.
Explore the reasons why an antipasto platter is the perfect accompaniment to your pizza experience:
- Diverse Taste Sensations: An antipasto platter is a culinary journey in itself, providing a diverse range of tastes that dance on your palate. From the savory notes of cured meats to the creamy textures of cheeses, each element contributes to a flavor experience that enhances your enjoyment of pizza.
- Textural Contrast: The combination of soft cheeses, crisp vegetables, and robust meats on the antipasto platter creates a delightful contrast in textures. This not only adds excitement to your pizza night but also ensures a satisfying and well-rounded dining experience.
- Versatility with Pizza Varieties: The versatility of an antipasto platter makes it an ideal companion to any pizza variety. Whether you’re savoring a classic Margherita or a more adventurous BBQ chicken pizza, the diverse elements of the platter effortlessly complement and enhance the flavors of your chosen pizza.
Elevate your pizza night by embracing the Italian tradition of antipasto, bringing a medley of flavors to your table that transforms a simple meal into a culinary celebration.
4. Arancini: Crispy Rice Delight
Infuse a touch of culinary fiesta into your pizza night by introducing the exquisite charm of arancini. These golden, crispy rice balls, often generously stuffed with cheese or meat, serve as a delightful contrast to the softness of pizza, providing a pleasant surprise with every delectable bite.
Discover why arancini is the perfect addition to elevate your pizza experience:
- Crispy Contrasts: The golden, crispy exterior of arancini creates a delightful textural contrast to the softness of pizza, adding an extra layer of satisfaction to each mouthful. The combination of textures ensures that every bite is a sensorial delight.
- Stuffed Goodness: The joy of biting into an arancini and discovering the gooey, cheesy or meaty filling within is unparalleled. This element of surprise not only enhances the overall dining experience but also adds a layer of indulgence to your pizza night.
- Versatile Pairing: Arancini’s versatility makes it a perfect pairing for various pizza styles. Whether you’re enjoying a classic Margherita or a bold BBQ chicken pizza, the crispy rice balls effortlessly complement the flavors, making each slice a dynamic and enjoyable experience.
Elevate your pizza feast by incorporating the crispy rice delight of arancini, turning an ordinary pizza night into a culinary celebration filled with delightful surprises and a symphony of flavors.
5. Mushroom Risotto: Earthy and Creamy
Take your pizza pairing to new heights by introducing a side of mushroom risotto. The earthy richness of mushrooms, harmoniously blended with the creamy consistency of risotto, results in a luxurious dish that perfectly complements the simplicity of pizza, infusing your dining experience with depth and complexity.
Explore why mushroom risotto is the ideal accompaniment to your pizza night:
- Earthy Elegance: The distinct, earthy flavors of mushrooms bring a touch of sophistication to your pizza experience. As you savor each bite, the mushrooms add a layer of depth, elevating the overall taste and making your meal a culinary journey.
- Creamy Harmony: The creamy texture of risotto provides a velvety contrast to the crispiness of pizza crust. This harmonious blend of textures ensures that every mouthful is a delightful interplay of creaminess and crunch, enhancing the overall enjoyment of your pizza night.
- Complexity in Simplicity: While pizza delights with its straightforward and familiar flavors, mushroom risotto introduces an element of complexity. The interplay of mushroom nuances and the creamy rice create a symphony of flavors that adds a gourmet touch to your casual pizza feast.
Elevate your pizza night by introducing the earthy and creamy indulgence of mushroom risotto, turning a simple meal into a culinary experience that satisfies both your taste buds and your craving for culinary sophistication.
6. Bruschetta: Tomatoes Galore
Indulge in the vibrant freshness of tomatoes by making bruschetta the star of your pizza night. This classic Italian appetizer, boasting diced tomatoes, garlic, and basil atop a toasted baguette, serves as a light and zesty addition that elevates the overall dining experience.
Discover the reasons why bruschetta deserves a place at your pizza feast:
- Tomato Celebration: Bruschetta is a celebration of tomatoes in all their glory. The diced tomatoes burst with freshness, adding a juicy and succulent component to your pizza night that complements the richness of pizza sauce and toppings.
- Zesty Elevation: The combination of garlic and basil on the bruschetta creates a zesty and aromatic kick that awakens your taste buds. This burst of flavor not only enhances the overall dining experience but also prepares your palate for the diverse tastes of different pizza varieties.
- Light and Versatile: As a light and versatile appetizer, bruschetta complements the heartiness of pizza without overshadowing its flavors. Its simplicity allows the freshness of the ingredients to shine, making it a delightful and complementary addition to any pizza style.
Make the freshness of tomatoes take center stage at your pizza night with the delightful addition of bruschetta. Elevate your dining experience by infusing a burst of flavor that celebrates the essence of Italian culinary tradition.
7. Grilled Vegetables: A Healthy Twist
Strike the perfect balance between indulgence and nutrition by introducing grilled vegetables to accompany your pizza. The smoky, caramelized flavors of these vegetables add a wholesome touch to your meal, providing a guilt-free yet satisfying side dish that enhances your overall dining experience.
Explore the reasons why grilled vegetables make a perfect addition to your pizza night:
- Nutrient-Rich Goodness: Grilled vegetables are a powerhouse of nutrients, offering vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that contribute to a well-rounded and healthy meal. Balancing the richness of pizza, they ensure your dining experience is not only delicious but also nourishing.
- Smoky Delight: The smoky flavor imparted during the grilling process elevates the taste profile of the vegetables, creating a delightful contrast to the savory goodness of pizza. This infusion of smokiness adds depth to the overall flavor composition, making each bite a savory adventure.
- Guilt-Free Satisfaction: By opting for grilled vegetables, you introduce a guilt-free element to your pizza night. Enjoy the satisfaction of a flavorful and wholesome side dish that complements the heartiness of pizza without compromising on your commitment to a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Transform your pizza night into a culinary journey that balances pleasure and well-being by serving up a plate of grilled vegetables. With their smoky allure and nutrient-rich goodness, these vegetables add a healthy twist to your dining experience, ensuring you savor every moment guilt-free.
8. Truffle Fries: A Touch of Luxury
Elevate your pizza night to a new level of sophistication by introducing the exquisite indulgence of truffle fries. The earthy aroma of truffle oil combined with the crispiness of the fries creates a decadent side dish that perfectly complements the simplicity of pizza, adding a touch of luxury to your dining experience.
Discover why truffle fries are the ideal choice to infuse a sense of indulgence into your pizza night:
- Decadent Aroma: The earthy aroma of truffle oil permeates the air, tantalizing your senses and creating an olfactory experience that heightens the overall enjoyment of your meal. This decadent aroma adds a layer of luxury to your pizza night.
- Crispy Perfection: The perfect crispiness of truffle fries provides a delightful contrast to the softness of pizza, creating a dynamic texture that keeps your palate engaged. Each bite is a symphony of textures, from the crunch of the fries to the melt-in-your-mouth truffle goodness.
- Simplicity Meets Indulgence: While pizza celebrates simplicity, truffle fries introduce an element of indulgence without overpowering the main dish. This harmonious pairing allows you to savor the luxurious flavors of truffle alongside the familiar tastes of your favorite pizza.
Introduce a touch of luxury to your pizza night with truffle fries, turning a casual meal into a gourmet experience. Elevate your dining adventure with the decadent aroma and exquisite flavors that only truffle fries can provide, making your pizza night a celebration of culinary indulgence.
9. Caponata: Sweet and Tangy
Take your taste buds on a delightful flavor journey with caponata, a Sicilian eggplant dish that adds a sweet and tangy dimension to your pizza night. The harmonious combination of eggplant, tomatoes, olives, and capers creates a medley of flavors that perfectly complements the savory notes of pizza.
Explore the reasons why caponata is a must-try alongside your favorite pizza:
- Sicilian Delight: Originating from Sicily, caponata brings a taste of the Mediterranean to your pizza night. The traditional Sicilian flavors, combined with the diverse ingredients, create a culinary experience that transports you to the sun-soaked landscapes of Italy.
- Sweet and Tangy Symphony: The sweet and tangy combination of ingredients in caponata adds a burst of complexity to your palate. The interplay of flavors, from the sweetness of tomatoes to the tanginess of capers, creates a symphony that enhances the overall enjoyment of your pizza.
- Versatile Pairing: Caponata’s versatility makes it a suitable pairing for various pizza styles. Whether you’re savoring a classic Margherita or a bold BBQ chicken pizza, the medley of flavors in caponata seamlessly integrates with the diverse taste profiles, enhancing the dining experience.
Embark on a culinary adventure by introducing the sweet and tangy delights of caponata to your pizza night. Let this Sicilian dish elevate your dining experience, bringing a touch of the Mediterranean to each delectable slice.
10. Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon: A Delicate Fusion
Embark on a culinary journey that explores the delicate fusion of sweet and savory with the tantalizing combination of prosciutto-wrapped melon. The saltiness of prosciutto perfectly balances the natural sweetness of melon, creating a sophisticated side dish that adds a touch of elegance and refinement to your pizza night.
Uncover the reasons why prosciutto-wrapped melon is a must-try alongside your favorite pizza:
- Savory and Sweet Harmony: The pairing of prosciutto and melon achieves a harmonious balance between savory and sweet notes. Each bite is a delicate dance of flavors, with the saltiness of prosciutto enhancing the inherent sweetness of the melon, creating a delightful symphony for your taste buds.
- Texture Contrast: The contrast in textures between the velvety melon and the thin, crispy prosciutto contributes to a dynamic and pleasurable eating experience. This interplay of textures adds depth to your pizza night, making each bite a sensorial delight.
- Elevated Elegance: The sophisticated combination of prosciutto-wrapped melon brings an element of elegance to your pizza feast. This side dish transcends the ordinary, turning a casual pizza night into a refined dining experience that delights both the palate and the senses.
Add a touch of culinary sophistication to your pizza night by savoring the delicate fusion of sweet and savory in prosciutto-wrapped melon. Elevate your dining experience with this elegant side dish that complements the simplicity of pizza with a burst of refined flavors.
11. Quattro Formaggi Dip: Cheesy Bliss
Immerse yourself in a world of cheesy bliss with the indulgent Quattro Formaggi dip. This decadent cheese dip, featuring a harmonious blend of four cheeses, is a match made in heaven for any pizza lover. Elevate your pizza night by dunking your slices into this gooey goodness and savoring the unparalleled richness.
Discover why the Quattro Formaggi dip is a must-have alongside your favorite pizza:
- Decadent Cheese Medley: The combination of four cheeses in the Quattro Formaggi dip creates a medley of flavors that indulges your taste buds in a decadent cheese experience. From the sharpness of Parmesan to the creaminess of mozzarella, each cheese contributes to the overall richness.
- Perfect Pizza Pairing: The Quattro Formaggi dip is specifically crafted to enhance the pizza experience. As you dip your pizza slices, the gooey and velvety texture of the cheese adds a layer of satisfaction, elevating the enjoyment of each bite and turning your pizza night into a luxurious feast.
- Versatile Dunking Delight: Beyond its compatibility with pizza, the Quattro Formaggi dip is a versatile dunking delight. Whether you’re enjoying breadsticks, crackers, or even fresh vegetables, this cheesy bliss adds a touch of indulgence to any dipping experience.
Indulge in the cheesy bliss of Quattro Formaggi dip to elevate your pizza night into a culinary celebration. With its decadent flavor profile and versatile dipping possibilities, this cheese medley promises to be a delightful addition that transforms your ordinary pizza feast into an extraordinary one.
12. Calamari Rings: Seafood Extravaganza
Transport your taste buds to the ocean with a delightful seafood twist by adding crispy calamari rings to your pizza night. The light and crispy texture of calamari, paired with a refreshing squeeze of lemon, create a seafood extravaganza that elevates your entire dining experience.
Explore why crispy calamari rings are the perfect addition to complement your favorite pizza:
- Textural Delight: The light and crispy texture of calamari rings provide a delightful contrast to the heartiness of pizza, creating a dynamic and satisfying textural experience. Each bite is a symphony of crunchiness that enhances the overall enjoyment of your meal.
- Seafood Freshness: Infusing a taste of the sea into your pizza night, calamari rings bring a seafood freshness that complements the savory flavors of pizza. The natural brininess of calamari adds a layer of complexity to your dining experience, making it a memorable and satisfying feast.
- Lemon Zest: A squeeze of lemon over the crispy calamari rings not only adds a zesty kick but also acts as a palate cleanser. The citrusy brightness cuts through the richness, leaving you refreshed and ready for the next flavorful slice of pizza.
Elevate your pizza night by incorporating the seafood extravaganza of crispy calamari rings. With their irresistible texture, fresh seafood taste, and the zesty touch of lemon, these rings promise to transform your ordinary pizza feast into a seaside culinary adventure.
13. Garlicky Hummus: Mediterranean Charm
Bring the allure of the Mediterranean to your pizza night with the addition of garlicky hummus. The creamy consistency and bold garlic flavor of hummus make it an ideal dip for pizza crusts, enhancing the overall dining experience with a touch of Mediterranean charm.
Discover why garlicky hummus is a perfect accompaniment to your pizza feast:
- Creamy Indulgence: The velvety texture of hummus provides a luxurious and creamy indulgence that complements the simplicity of pizza. As a dip, it adds a layer of richness that elevates the dining experience, making each bite a satisfying delight.
- Bold Garlic Twist: The bold and savory garlic flavor in hummus brings a distinctive twist to your pizza night. The aromatic notes of garlic not only enhance the hummus but also infuse a burst of Mediterranean charm that pairs seamlessly with the various flavors of pizza.
- Versatile Dip: Beyond its compatibility with pizza crusts, garlicky hummus is a versatile dip that pairs well with an array of pizza styles. Whether you’re enjoying a classic Margherita or a veggie-loaded masterpiece, hummus adds a flavorful element that complements every slice.
Add a touch of the Mediterranean to your pizza night with the garlicky allure of hummus. Elevate your dining experience with this creamy and flavorful dip, transforming a simple pizza feast into a Mediterranean-inspired culinary journey.
14. Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolma): A Taste of Greece
Embark on a gastronomic journey to Greece with the exquisite addition of stuffed grape leaves, also known as Dolma, to your pizza night. These flavorful rice and herb-filled delights bring a unique and exotic flair to your dining experience, creating a memorable culinary adventure.
Discover why Dolma is a must-try alongside your favorite pizza:
- Mediterranean Elegance: Stuffed grape leaves embody the elegance of Mediterranean cuisine. The delicate balance of rice, herbs, and grape leaves creates a culinary masterpiece that adds a touch of sophistication to your pizza night, transporting you to the sun-drenched landscapes of Greece.
- Exotic Flair: The exotic and unique flavors of Dolma introduce a new dimension to your pizza feast. The combination of fragrant rice, aromatic herbs, and the earthy taste of grape leaves creates a symphony of flavors that harmonizes with the diverse tastes of pizza, making each bite a culinary delight.
- Memorable Experience: Dolma turns your ordinary pizza night into a memorable culinary experience. The unfamiliar yet enticing flavors create a lasting impression, making this side dish a conversation starter and a highlight of your dining adventure.
Transport your taste buds to the enchanting shores of Greece with the exotic and flavorful addition of stuffed grape leaves. Elevate your pizza night with the elegance and unique charm of Dolma, turning an ordinary meal into a Mediterranean-inspired feast that lingers in your memory.
15. Tuscan White Bean Salad: Light and Nutrient-Packed
Wrap up your pizza feast on a refreshing and nutrient-packed note with the delightful Tuscan white bean salad. The combination of white beans, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs creates a light and satisfying salad that not only cleanses the palate but also leaves you feeling nourished and content.
Explore why Tuscan white bean salad is the perfect conclusion to your pizza night:
- Nutrient-Rich Goodness: Packed with the goodness of white beans, this salad is a nutrient powerhouse. The beans provide a protein boost, while the vibrant cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs contribute essential vitamins and antioxidants, ensuring your pizza night concludes on a healthy note.
- Refreshing Cleanser: The light and refreshing nature of Tuscan white bean salad act as a palate cleanser. After savoring the rich and diverse flavors of pizza, the crispness of the salad revitalizes your taste buds, leaving you feeling refreshed and satisfied.
- Versatile Pairing: The versatility of Tuscan white bean salad makes it a versatile pairing for various pizza styles. Whether you’ve indulged in a classic Margherita or a bold BBQ chicken pizza, this salad seamlessly complements the flavors, adding a light and wholesome element to the conclusion of your meal.
Conclude your pizza night with a touch of freshness and nutritional goodness by savoring the Tuscan white bean salad. With its light and nutrient-packed profile, this salad ensures that your culinary journey ends on a high note, leaving you with a sense of satisfaction and well-being.
In the world of culinary delights, the perfect pizza experience extends beyond the slice itself. By introducing these carefully curated side dishes, you can transform a simple pizza night into a gastronomic adventure. From the indulgent truffle fries to the refreshing Caprese salad, each dish brings its unique flair, elevating your dining experience to new heights. So, the next time you crave a slice of pizza, consider turning it into a feast with these 15 best side dishes, because good food is meant to be enjoyed in the company of great flavors.
Answers To Your Questions
What finger foods go well with pizza?
When it comes to finger foods that complement pizza, the key is to choose options that are easy to eat with your hands and enhance the overall pizza experience. Here are some delightful finger foods that pair perfectly with pizza:
- Garlic Knots: These twisted bites of buttery goodness with a hint of garlic not only serve as a delicious appetizer but also conveniently fit into the finger food category.
- Mozzarella Sticks: Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, mozzarella sticks are a classic finger food that pairs well with the cheesy goodness of pizza.
- Bruschetta: Bite-sized toasts topped with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and basil, bruschetta is a light and flavorful option that adds a touch of freshness to your pizza feast.
- Chicken Wings: Whether they’re buffalo, barbecue, or honey-glazed, chicken wings are a popular choice for finger foods, offering a perfect balance of savory and spicy flavors.
- Stuffed Mushrooms: Elegant yet easy to eat, stuffed mushrooms filled with cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs provide a sophisticated touch to your pizza spread.
What to serve with pizza for a party?
When hosting a pizza party, creating a diverse spread of accompaniments ensures that there’s something for every palate. Consider these crowd-pleasing options to make your pizza party a hit:
- Antipasto Platter: A colorful array of cured meats, cheeses, olives, and pickled vegetables is not only visually appealing but also offers a variety of flavors to satisfy different preferences.
- Vegetable Platter with Dip: Crisp and fresh vegetable sticks accompanied by a flavorful dip, such as ranch or hummus, provide a light and refreshing option for partygoers.
- Slider Sandwiches: Mini sandwiches with a variety of fillings, from classic ham and cheese to vegetarian options, add a heartier option to your pizza party spread.
- Fruit Skewers: Sweet and refreshing fruit skewers are a palate-cleansing addition that adds a touch of sweetness to balance the savory flavors of pizza.
- Dessert Pizza: Wrap up the party with a sweet twist by serving dessert pizza topped with Nutella, fruits, or a dusting of powdered sugar.
What Appetizers to serve with pizza?
Appetizers play a crucial role in setting the tone for a delicious pizza-centric meal. Here are some appetizer options that seamlessly complement the flavors of pizza:
- Caprese Skewers: Bite-sized mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil on skewers drizzled with balsamic glaze offer a fresh and delightful start to your meal.
- Spinach Artichoke Dip: Creamy and savory, spinach artichoke dip served with crispy bread or tortilla chips is a crowd-pleaser that combines well with the simplicity of pizza.
- Garlic Parmesan Popcorn: Elevate the classic popcorn snack by tossing it with garlic, Parmesan cheese, and herbs. It’s a flavorful and easy-to-share appetizer.
- Mini Quiches: These bite-sized savory pastries come in various flavors and are a convenient and elegant addition to your appetizer spread.
- Deviled Eggs: A classic appetizer, deviled eggs add a touch of indulgence and protein to your pre-pizza lineup. Experiment with different toppings for variety.
What to serve on a pizza buffet?
Creating a pizza buffet allows guests to customize their experience and enjoy a variety of flavors. Here’s a selection of items to include in a pizza buffet spread:
- Assorted Pizza Slices: Offer a variety of pizza flavors, including classics like Margherita, pepperoni, and veggie options, to cater to diverse tastes.
- Dipping Sauces: Provide an array of dipping sauces such as marinara, garlic aioli, and ranch to enhance the pizza-eating experience.
- Salad Bar: Create a DIY salad station with fresh greens, a variety of toppings, and dressings to add a lighter option to the buffet.
- Pasta Salad: A cold pasta salad with veggies and Italian dressing adds a refreshing side dish that complements the warmth of pizza.
- Breadsticks: Alongside pizza, include an assortment of breadsticks, both plain and stuffed, for those who crave an extra carb fix.
- Assorted Desserts: Round off the pizza buffet with a sweet touch, offering options like cannoli, fruit tarts, or tiramisu for a satisfying conclusion to the meal.