Who can go past pizza? It’s been served in one form or another for thousands of years, although the modern version is much more recent than that, dating back to the 1800s or thereabouts. With the dish’s popularity, it’s important to think about what to serve with pizza. What pizza sides work best at home? At a party? In a restaurant?
Thankfully, pizza is versatile and works well with many dishes. Sometimes you’ll pair it with a healthy contrasting dish, like a vibrant green salad or perhaps some fresh fruit. Other times, you might double down on the grease with sides like fries, garlic bread, and chicken wings.
The big question is what you’re looking for. If you’re serving pizza at a party, you’ll often lean towards simple and popular sides. But, for a more formal dinner with homemade pizza, the sides may need to be more refined. Whatever you need, we have you covered in this list.
What To Serve With Pizza (13 Delicious Sides)
It’s a shame that fries aren’t served with pizza all that often, as the side complements pizza exceptionally well. Part of the appeal is the balance of crunchiness from the fries with the soft cheesiness of pizza. Plus, fries have a fairly mild flavor, so they complement many types of pizza.
Remember that deep frying this side isn’t essential. You can make a healthier version by baking sticks of potato in the oven instead. You might even ignore potatoes entirely and make fries using another base ingredient, like zucchini, asparagus, pickles, or carrots.
These Manchego Truffle Fries show that fries don’t need to be boring. The recipe relies on manchego cheese, which is a mild Spanish goat’s milk cheese that nicely complements the flavors of the meal.
Then you have the truffle oil. This adds an earthy pungency that elevates the fries still further and works very well with pizza. You could even offer some dipping sauce on the side to make the fries taste even better. Moreover, the recipe can be made with frozen fries, making the fries very easy to prepare.
Garlic bread is another classic and perhaps one of the most familiar pizza sides. For many, it’s a wonderful side, partly due to the garlic flavor and the bread’s butteriness. The garlic pairs particularly well with the tomato-based pizza sauce and works with most pizza toppings.
However, this choice strongly depends on your audience. Some people find that there’s simply too much bread with this combo. In that case, a keto garlic bread recipe might be a powerful option.
On a side note, garlic bread works wonderfully with many other dishes as well, including chili.
This Pull Apart Bread With Wild Garlic is much more interesting than traditional garlic bread recipes, partly due to the use of wild garlic, which makes the dish much more aromatic. You could also make this using other fresh herbs from your garden.
The recipe doesn’t stop with the garlic butter. It also teaches you how to make the pull apart bread from scratch, using yeast, flour, olive oil, and a few other ingredients. The bread and herb butter are all vegan friendly, so the recipe will work well for many people.
A fresh leafy green salad isn’t just the healthiest side for pizza; it’s also the most logical. After all, you’re getting plenty of salt, grease, and fat from the pizza. Why not offer a side that’s light and refreshing instead?
There’s endless room for variation here. Some people look for heavier and more complex salads, like a Caesar salad or a salad with a heavy and creamy dressing, while others tend towards light green salads.
Other types of salad are an option too, including potato salad and pasta salad. These certainly taste good, but they’re often carb heavy, which isn’t ideal with all the carbs from pizza.
The biggest issue is that you normally need cutlery for a salad. That’s not ideal at a party, although the freshness and nutrients in a salad still make the idea worth trying.
This Rocket Salad With Pear & Parmesan is delicious, simple, and refreshing. That’s a perfect combo if you’re serving pizza for dinner at home.
The ingredients list here is simple, featuring rocket leaves, pear, and parmesan cheese as the main ingredients. There’s a delightful sweet and sour balance in the dressing too, due to a combination of lemon juice and maple syrup.
The simplicity of the recipe means it should work with any type of pizza you can imagine, including pizza made on a campfire.
Chicken wings are often served with pizza, especially at parties, yet they’re a surprisingly controversial side dish. Some people find that the combination of pizza and wings means there’s far too much grease going on.
Yet, chicken wings can still be fantastically flavorful and are loved by many. They also provide a decent protein hit. This is much needed if your pizza is mostly cheese and sauce.
While wings are delicious, their bones can get a little tricky if you’re serving young kids or offering pizza at a party. Chicken tenders might be a better choice here. These taste just as good and don’t have any bones to get in the way.
These Baked Korean Chicken Wings are perfect if you want a side that’s just a little different. As the name suggests, these rely on a sticky Korean-style sauce that uses soy sauce, sesame oil, and spicy gochujang sauce as the main ingredients.
Interestingly, these chicken wings use baking powder as part of their coating, which helps to make them crispy without the need for deep frying. Focusing on baking instead of frying makes the wings much healthier (you’re getting enough grease from the pizza anyway).
Instead of turning to more grease, why not look for a refreshing pizza side instead? Fresh fruit is one of the most straightforward choices here and gives you a delightful contrast between pizza and side.
Besides, there are so many types of fruit to choose from. Watermelon and pineapple are great starting points, as these are both refreshing and even hydrate you a little. You could also consider exotic fruit, such as a dragon fruit, or perhaps make an entire fruit salad.
These simple Tri Color Fruit Skewers are a delightful way to serve fresh fruit. Guests get three different types of fruit, while the skewer presents their hands from getting sticky.
The recipe calls for a combination of oranges, bananas, and kiwi, which gives you a refreshing and antioxidant-rich snack. However, you’re not limited to these ingredients. Most types of fruit work well on skewers and you can even add a source of protein, like halloumi or chicken.
The crispy and crunchy nature of onion rings is a fantastic contrast against the gooey cheesiness of your pizza. Serving a few dips along with them makes the onion rings even better. Plus, you can dunk your pizza crusts in that same dip.
If plain onion rings don’t do it for you, why not experiment? There are plenty of ways to vary the recipe. Some people even serve onion rings on their pizza instead of alongside it.
These Mozzarella Stick Onion Rings combine two popular pizza sides into one. They’re also exactly what you’d expect from the name – homemade onion rings that include a stick of mozzarella cheese along with the onion. But seriously, that combination is stunning. You’ll never want regular onion rings again.
The mozzarella cheese means you get a gooey snack that tastes completely decadent. The rings are pretty easy to make too, as they rely on common pantry ingredients, like onions, flour, eggs, and bread crumbs.
Macaroni And Cheese
The classic mac and cheese probably isn’t your first pick for pizza. Yet, the comforting pasta dish pairs extremely well with the flavor and texture of pizza. You’re getting cheese paired with even more cheese. Who could go past that?
You could throw some extra ingredients in your mac and cheese to make it even more enjoyable. Bacon is a classic choice, but there are plenty of other options as well, like green onions, red peppers, and even hard boiled eggs.
You could even combine this side dish with your pizza. Seriously, macaroni and cheese pizza is a thing and it tastes just as good as it sounds (perhaps better!).
If regular mac and cheese doesn’t do it for you, why not try these Fried Mac and Cheese Bites? They’re basically balls of macaroni and cheese that have been covered in egg and bread crumbs, and then deep fried. The approach turns macaroni and cheese into a finger food, while making it tastier than ever before.
Stefanie mentions that you can even make this recipe using leftover macaroni and cheese. As such, you could use your personal favorite macaroni and cheese recipe to make these little balls.
Caprese salad is one of the most famous ways to use fresh mozzarella cheese. It’s also an incredibly simple dish, featuring just fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, olive oil, and sometimes balsamic vinegar.
These ingredients provide a surprisingly tasty and vibrant salad, one that’s surprisingly refreshing. The salad is even better if you also have fresh mozzarella on your pizza.
These Caprese Skewers With Olives are a great way to change up caprese salad. Not only does the recipe add olives to the mix, but it also changes the way you serve the salad.
Using skewers like this is a genius move, as turns caprese salad into a type of finger food. The olives provide a delicious briny flavor that makes the flavor profile even better.
Don’t overlook dips as a pizza side. While most aren’t particularly filling, they’re packed with flavor. Try using them for your pizza crusts. After all, these are often dry and boring on their own.
There’s also no end to the different types of dips you can choose, including cheesy options, guacamole, hummus, spinach artichoke dip (perhaps even made using frozen spinach), hummus, and many more. Why not experiment with some unusual options?
This Creamy Smoked Paprika Hummus is a pretty healthy dip to serve with pizza, one that offers a spectacular smoky flavor. Just like other hummus recipes, this dip uses chickpeas as the base ingredient. There’s also tahini, garlic, and lemon juice for extra flavor.
The dip can be made using fresh or canned chickpeas, which gives you plenty of options. Either way, it’s best to stick to fresh lemon juice and fresh garlic. Doing so gives you the best possible flavor profile.
Serving breadsticks with bread-based pizza might too heavy for some, but others love the combo. The trick is to look for breadsticks with exciting seasonings. Such bread sticks offer a fantastic flavor contrast to your pizza.
There are even some extravagant breadstick variations out there, like cheesy garlic breadsticks and those with bacon. Such side dishes can be stunning at a party. Your guests might even focus on them instead of the pizza.
As the name suggests, Cauliflower Breadsticks don’t rely on bread at all. They rely on cauliflower instead, which makes them much lower in carbs. That’s a great idea, as you really don’t need more carbs with a pizza dinner.
Along with the cauliflower, the recipe relies on various herbs and three different types of cheese. The cheese binds the cauliflower together, creating a very decadent side dish.
Mozzarella sticks are another side that seems to work because they are similar to pizza. The sticks are also incredibly simple to make, as you’re basically just crumbing mozzarella cheese and then deep frying it.
There are still ways to vary up the recipe, though. The seasonings used with your bread crumbs are one way to do this. You might also make mozzarella bites or patties, rather than sticks. You can also turn to fresh mozzarella, rather than the low moisture mozzarella sticks from the grocery store.
These Wonton Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks do indeed use a wonton wrapper. The approach makes the mozzarella stick crunchier than normal, which is undoubtedly a good thing.
This is also a very simple recipe to prepare, as you only need two ingredients – the wonton wrappers and mozzarella cheese sticks. What could be easier than that?
A Chocolate Dessert
We can’t talk about pizza without mentioning a couple of desserts, particularly chocolate desserts. These are often served after pizza, but not always. If you ordered takeout, you might easily be having these alongside your main meal.
As for the style, anything goes. Chocolate mousse, chocolate ice cream, chocolate brownies and chocolate lava cakes are all crowd favorites. You might also have your own chocolate dessert recipe to try out.
The most stunning feature is the river of peanut butter that flows out when you break the lava cakes open. The dessert is also surprisingly easy to make, as it only relies on six ingredients.
No worries if you don’t like peanut butter. Sabrina suggests six other ingredients you could use in the center instead, including berry coulis and white chocolate ganache.
Finally, we have sorbet. This is fresh, fruity, and completely refreshing, making it ideal after pizza. You might even have a spoonful of sorbet after every slice of pizza to help cleanse your palate.
The easiest option is to buy sorbet, as there are now plenty of exceptional companies making it. You can also make your own. This allows you to play with the flavor profiles and create a version that you adore.
This Creamy Pina Colada Sorbet is a perfect example of just how delightful sorbet can be (the same site has other recipes too, including raspberry mint sorbet, lemon sorbet, and mango sorbet).
The recipe includes fresh pineapple, coconut milk, lime juice, sugar, and even some dark rum, so it truly does taste like a pina colada cocktail. Delicious, right?