The 12 Side Dishes for Pizza That Truly Complement Our Favourite Meal
Pizza is always a good dinner option. Thanks to its versatility and general promise of satisfaction, this classic dish is one that will always be a favourite, whether it's eaten in a home of one or in a family of 10. Sometimes, though, biting into a warm pie covered in melted cheese and toppings just isn't enough. When that occasion strikes, it's only natural to crave a side to go with a slice.
Choosing a side to go with your pizza depends on your mood. Are you looking for something healthy, or are you craving something decadent? We rounded up 12 options to choose from, which include healthy options like broccoli and couscous salad as well as richer choices like pretzel bread and chicken wings.
No matter which one you choose—and hey, you can choose more than one—these sides will hold up against the equally delicious flavours of pizza thanks to their own layered ingredients and mostly simple assemblies. These sides are so good, in fact, that you shouldn't be surprised if you opt for seconds over another slice. We wouldn't blame you, even if we love pizza, too.
Lemon Garlic Roasted Broccoli Salad
This simple yet delicious salad from Half Baked Harvest can complement most pizzas since its predominately lemon-garlic flavor won't overpower the main dish. This salad also includes broccoli florets, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, baby kale, and feta for plenty of flavor. "I love the idea of broccoli replacing the lettuce in a salad, and it is hearty and oh-so-delicious when roasted," Tieghan Gerard says.
Fall Harvest Honeycrisp Apple and Kale Salad
We couldn't resist this colorful salad option from Half Baked Harvest either, which can offset a piled-high pizza with its assortment of fruits and vegetables. Gerard layers shredded kale with sliced prosciutto, thinly sliced Honeycrisp apples, and feta cheese, and then tops it all with a cider vinaigrette. "The vinaigrette is what makes this salad. It’s all about the caramelised shallots and apple cider," she says. "I love tossing the still warm vinaigrette with the salad and then serving."
Spicy Cauliflower Cheese Bites With Tahini Ranch
Thanks to this recipe from Half Baked Harvest, you can eat what feels like an indulgent side but is actually a pretty healthy option. Gerard tosses cauliflower florets in paprika, hot sauce, garlic powder, and olive oil, and then roasts them with parmesan. After, she creates a tahini ranch dressing with fresh chives and dill for dipping—and it's all irresistible. "The tahini replaces the mayo, making this a dairy-free, gluten-free ranch," Gerard notes.
Mediterranean Couscous Salad
The best side dishes for pizzas are as tasty as the pies themselves, and this recipe from The Modern Proper fits that bill. It starts by cooking dried pearl couscous and then adding olive oil, feta, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, and minced parsley. "Cooked more like a pasta than a rice, this magical little grain can be cooked in 10 minutes and then tossed with warm water to avoid clumping," Natalie Mortimer notes.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Sometimes pizza night calls for more than one rich course, and that's where this recipe from The Modern Proper comes in. Softened cream cheese and mayo are mixed with fresh basil, minced garlic, raw spinach, parmesan, mozzarella, and artichoke hearts for a cheesy dish that's even better with big slices of bread. "There really isn't anything fancy or special about this spinach artichoke dip, except that it's delicious, reliable, and nearly impossible to screw up," Mortimer adds. Sounds perfect to us.
Creamy Dilled Red Potato Salad
If the pizza you're serving up is loaded with veggies—and made on a cauliflower crust—then opt for a richer side like this option from Foodie Crush. Heidi Larsen mixes small red potatoes with chopped red onion, light mayo and sour cream, garlic salt, and fresh dill for a side that comes together easily and can serve a crowd. "Fresh dill is the big flavor builder in this recipe and the flavor really can’t be replicated with dried dill," Larsen notes. "Plus, fresh dill just looks so pretty."
Winger's Sticky Fingers
If you're preparing to eat slices of pizza during a big game, then why not go all out and make this sticky chicken recipe from Le Creme de la Crumb? Tiffany Azure modeled this recipe from a local restaurant's dish, which features chicken breasts covered in a sauce of brown sugar, hot sauce, garlic powder, and butter. "These are baked, not fried, so they’re healthier than the restaurant version, and you can feed the whole family on this meal for a fraction of the price it costs to take everyone out," she says.
Grilled Corn With Spicy Buffalo Butter
While corn may be a suitable veggie for a pizza in some instances, it's always going to taste great on the cob with butter—especially as far as this recipe from Foodie Crush goes. Larsen slathers a compound butter of blue cheese, hot sauce, and chopped chives on eight ears of corn, making for a side that'll be just as popular as the main dish. "You can keep the corn in its husks to steam it or place the cobs directly on the grill for more char," she notes.
Honey Sriracha Baked Chicken Wings
Since pizza is a finger food, it's only natural that whatever side you choose sticks within that theme. These honey sriracha chicken wings from Joyful Healthy Eats require zero utensils, and they're so good that you may eat five before you pick up a napkin. The chicken is covered in the namesake sauce, which also has lime juice, paprika, cloves, and ginger in the mix. It's all baked for 40 minutes, and later garnished with chives. "It’s sweet, sticky, spicy and then has a slight smokiness to it. I guarantee these will be devoured," Krista Rollins says.
Grilled Asparagus With Lemon Zest
Sometimes the best side dishes for pizza are straightforward, just like this recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats. Two bunches of asparagus are trimmed and tossed with salt, lemon zest, garlic powder, and olive oil, and then grilled—that's it. "Once the asparagus is cooked and turns its vibrant green colour, I take it off the grill and sprinkle it with some fresh lemon zest to really make it pop," Rollins says. "It’s less than five ingredients, healthy, fresh, and absolutely delicious!"
Roasted Squash With Brown Butter
No one will expect this side dish from How Sweet Eats, and that's part of the fun. The other part is the taste. Jessica Merchant layered squash with nutmeg, rosemary, toasted quinoa, and brown butter, and then tops everything with pomegranate arils. It's chewy yet crunchy, sweet yet savory. "I wanted that exact crunch on top of brown butter roasted squash. And maybe with a hint of brightness from the pomegranate arils," she says. "That's exactly what I got."
Beer Cheese Soft Pretzel Garlic Bread
After a long week, nothing sounds better than one word: carbs. So to go with a pizza, make this all-out garlic bread feast from How Sweet Eats. Merchant bakes her own pretzel bread from scratch with honey and garlic and then creates a complementary dipping sauce using beer, white cheddar cheese, and butter. "I don't even know what else to tell you about this loaf of pure decadence and flavor," she says. "Grab your friends."
Skillet Toasted Green Beans
Nevertheless, if you do want a healthier side dish to go with two—no, three—slices of pizza, then How Sweet Eats also has this recipe on hand. She covers green beans with bacon, shallots, almonds, and feta, and tosses them in a garlic butter breadcrumb finish. All right, so it's not the healthiest option, but it sure is tasty. "They may look sort of boring, but they are anything but," Merchant says. "This little bowl is bursting with flavor in the most cliché sense of the expression."
Grab these kitchen necessities to help whip up some side dishes:
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