What Sides Go With Spaghetti

dish of spaghetti with salad and garlic bread

Everyone loves spaghetti night, but you can’t have a pasta dinner without the sides! Dig into all the most delicious sides that go with spaghetti for a saucy delight!

Spaghetti night is one of the best nights of the week because everyone is happy. The cooking is easy, the food is delicious, and even the little ones clean their plates. It’s the perfect weeknight dish, but it really needs a little something extra to make it into a meal. Twist your fork around these tasty side dish ideas for your next spaghetti dinner.


Why Eat Spaghetti?

Spaghetti is a familiar fallback with plenty of delicious flavors to offer. Spaghetti is generally very affordable, easy to make, and popular with most palates. Spaghetti is a great choice for busy adults and parents of picky eaters, but it needs something extra to make it into a real dish. That’s why you need to find the best side to make your spaghetti even more satisfying!


What Sides Go with Spaghetti?

Garlic Bread

freshly made garlic bread

Whether you like knots, sticks, or loaves, garlic bread is an absolute must for spaghetti night! The delicious flavor of garlic brings out the best in sweet tomato sauce, and the bread is the perfect thing for soaking it all up.


Green Beans

plate of cooked green beans

Green beans are a great side dish for spaghetti. They add a wonderfully earthy and green flavor to the sweet tomato flavor in a good spaghetti. Simply steam some fresh green beans and toss them in butter for a side that will sparkle next to your favorite pasta.


Brussel Sprouts

pan of cooked Brussels sprouts

No vegetable has made a bigger comeback than the brussel sprout in America. These round veggies were probably the bane of your childhood, but give them a second chance and see how delicious they can really be. The key to making this side dish extra special is to cook Brussels sprouts with plenty of fat. This adds richness and makes them more flavorful.



plate of cooked carrots

If you have a sweet tooth, you probably look for a little sugar in everything, and that’s why carrots are the perfect side dish. Carrots bring a great vegetable sweetness to go with bold and herbaceous spaghetti sauce. Try simply steamed carrots next to beautifully swirled spaghetti for a plate that will please young and old!



A freshly-made plate of Caesar salad.

Spaghetti has a lot of umami and sweetness from the sauce, so it can be very refreshing to pair it with a bright green salad. A nice salad adds freshness and vegetable flavor that can really round out a pasta dish and turn it into a meal. You can be creative with this side and use your favorite toppings and dressings.



A bunch of spinach leaves are added into the soup.

Spinach has a unique flavor among leafy greens, and it is perfect for pairing with traditional spaghetti. This green vegetable is light, leafy, and sweet in flavor, which makes it a great match for the robust saucy flavor of traditional spaghetti. Try sauteeing spinach with garlic and butter for a warm vegetable side that will liven up your pasta night!



bowl of cooked meatballs

Often spaghetti is seen as the side dish and meatballs the main, but no matter who you think runs the show, these two need each other. Meatballs are so savory and chewy that they need a smooth and saucy dish like spaghetti to give them balance and flavor. Bake meatballs to crispy perfection and serve them on the side or on top of a perfectly swirled bowl of spaghetti.



Mushrooms have a unique earthy flavor that makes them simply irresistible, especially when served next to dishes like spaghetti. Sauteed mushrooms with garlic and butter can be just the simple side your pasta needs. They’re also a great vegetarian alternative to meatballs.


Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are a colorful and delicious veggie that can bring so much to your favorite pasta dish. Bell peppers range from savory to sweet and even slightly spicy, but no matter the flavor or color, they all have a delectable crunch. This fresh texture is so nice with the soft chew of spaghetti. Grill or saute the peppers to bring out an even more delicious flavor to pair with your spaghetti.



can of corn

They say we eat with our eyes first, so the more colors you can bring to a plate, the better. That is what makes spaghetti and corn an unlikely but wonderful combination. The moment you see the bright yellow of fresh corn with the deep red of spaghetti sauce, your mouth will water. Corn has a nice vegetative sweetness to bring to the party and is always popular with kids. That is why spaghetti and corn are a must-have on your family meal night.



pan of Kale cooking on the stovetop

Kale can be divisive; some people love it, while others despise it. Often it’s just misunderstood. When kale is cooked right, it is a delicious side dish that goes great with bold pasta dishes like spaghetti. The trick to making kale taste great is to cook it with plenty of grease or oil to give it richness; also, cooking kale helps to kill the bitterness of this leafy green.


Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Asparagus is a springtime delight. These stalks are brightly colored and even brighter in flavor, and that is why they are the perfect side for spaghetti. Asparagus has tombs of leafy flavor and is so easy to cook. Simple steam or blanch these stalks, then squeeze a little lemon juice on them for a simple green side that will make everyone want a second helping.


Additional Kitchen Resources

Boil up something beautiful with these delicious kitchen-related articles.

Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.