Our 20 Absolute Best Italian Side Dish Recipes

Zucchini Stuffed with Ricotta (Zucchine Ripiene con Ricotta)

In this dish, zucchini are stuffed with the twin stars of Calabrian cheese making: pecorino and ricotta. Flecked with tomato and mint, they are equally good eaten hot or at room temperature.

Risotto alla Milanese

Saffron gives this risotto its vibrant color and flavor. Get the recipe for Risotto alla Milanese »

Green Beans with Lemon and Capers

Green Beans with Lemon and Capers

Fried Dough with Arugula and Grape Tomatoes (Angioletti Fritti con Rucola e Pomodori)

A bright and simple salad adds fresh contrast to fried strips of pizza dough.

Pecorino Flans with Tomato Sauce

These fluffy pecorino flans are served with a simple tomato sauce. Get the recipe for Pecorino Flans with Tomato Sauce »

Arugula, Pecorino, Pine Nut, and Pear Salad (Rucola con Pecorino, Pignoli e Pere)

Raisins add a subtle sweetness to this salad from Enoteca l’Alchimista in Montefalco, Italy. Arugula, Pecorino, Pine Nut, and Pear Salad (Rucola con Pecorino, Pignoli e Pere) »

Stuffed Tomatoes

Herbs, garlic, and bread crumbs add a savory topping to tomatoes in this simple Tuscan side dish.

Roasted Artichokes (Carciofi Arrostiti)

Roasted Artichokes (Carciofi Arrostiti)

Grilled Polenta

Polenta is a popular dish in Venice and is often served grilled as a side, though you can also eat it without grilling it if you like. Get the recipe for Grilled Polenta »
Chef Massimo Bottura developed this recipe to utilize the nearly 1,000 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano damaged after earthquakes devastated the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy in 2012. Get the recipe for Risotto Cacio e Pepe »

Summer Panzanella

Sweet, ripe, summer tomatoes dressed in olive oil, vinegar, and basil are tossed with garlicky, toasted bread cubes to soak up the delicious juices in this classic Italian salad. Get the recipe for Summer Panzanella »

Lemon-Rosemary Risotto

Fragrant rosemary and lemon are added to this risotto after it is cooked.

Tricolore Salad with Grapefruit Saba Vinaigrette

Grapefruit supremes and aged balsamic vinegar brighten this classic Italian salad. Get the recipe for Tricolore Salad with Grapefruit Saba Vinaigrette »

Pan-Fried Eggplant with Balsamic, Basil, and Capers

Creamy, mild eggplant pairs with briny capers, floral basil, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction for a knockout appetizer or side dish. Get the recipe for Pan-Fried Eggplant with Balsamic, Basil, and Capers »

Mortadella and Fontina Slab Pie

This flaky, comforting puff pastry hand pie is evil but genius—it tastes like the Italian version of a ham and cheese croissant, but without the labor of from-scratch pastry. Mortadella, a pork-based deli meat with pistachios and delicate morsels of pork fat, is available at many grocery stores, and Italian markets. Get the recipe for Mortadella and Fontina Slab Pie »

Cipolline in Agrodolce

Cipolline onions are cooked in a thick syrup of balsamic vinegar and sugar in this classic Italian-American side dish. Get the recipe for Cipolline in Agrodolce »

Ricotta, Potato, and Scallion Fritters

Ricotta, Potato, and Scallion Fritters

Sweet Peas with Prosciutto

In this classic Roman pairing, sweet peas are richly flavored by salty prosciutto as well as the pork’s rendered fat. Get the recipe for Sweet Peas with Prosciutto »

Dry-Cured Olives with Rosemary and Orange

These olives are incredibly simple—all you have to do is mix them with orange zest and juice, rosemary, and pepper, then let them sit for an hour. Get the recipe for Dry-Cured Olives »