A creamy carbonara is a perfect dish for a winter dinner party. While it is typically served with pasta, there are many other ways to enjoy carbonara.
For example, it can also be served with rice, potatoes, or even vegetables. But which are the best and quick side dishes that pair with Carbonara?
With that in mind, here are 24+ of the best side dishes to serve with carbonara.
What to serve with carbonara | More than 24 Side dishes and salads go with Carbonara at any time
1. Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is a traditional dish that goes well with many different Italian dishes, including carbonara. The bread soaks up all of the delicious sauce, while the garlic gives it an extra punch of flavor.
Bread, garlic, butter, and Parmesan cheese are the only things this simple dish needs.
2. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Pancetta:
Roasted Brussels sprouts are another delicious side dish that pairs well with carbonara. These sprouts are oven-roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper until crispy and golden brown.
Then, they are tossed with pancetta, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. The result is a flavorful and slightly sweet side dish that will please everyone at the table.
3. Cauliflower Alfredo
This lighter version of Alfredo sauce is made with cauliflower instead of heavy cream and cheese.
It’s just as flavorful as traditional Alfredo but much better for you! Pair it with carbonara for a decadent but healthy meal.
4. Grilled Asparagus
Grilled asparagus is a light and healthy side dish perfect for summertime meals. The smokiness of the grilled asparagus will complement the bacon or pancetta perfectly. Plus, it’s a healthy option!
To prepare, simply toss asparagus spears with olive oil and salt, then grill them over medium-high heat until they are tender and slightly charred.
5. Fried Zucchini
Fried zucchini is a classic Italian side dish that is perfect for any occasion. This easy recipe requires just three simple ingredients: zucchini, eggs, and bread crumbs.
6. Zucchini noodles
If you’re looking for a low-carb option, zucchini noodles are a great choice. They have a similar texture to pasta but are much lighter, making them perfect for pairing with carbonara.
7. Italian Green Beans
Italian green beans are a quick and easy side dish that can be made in just 20 minutes.
To prepare, simply sauté green beans with olive oil and garlic until they are crisp-tender, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
8.Green Beans Almondine
Green beans almondine is a classic French side dish that goes great with carbonara. The green beans are first blanched in boiling water before being sauteed in butter with almonds and garlic. A squeeze of lemon adds brightness to the finished dish.
9. Potato Gratin
Potato gratin is a creamy, cheesy side dish that is perfect for feeding a large crowd. This easy recipe requires just six simple ingredients, including potatoes, milk, Gruyère cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt.
10. Try, Roasted Mushrooms
Roasted mushrooms are a tasty side dish that can be enjoyed all year round. To make, simply toss mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting them on the cookstove at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.
11. Grilled Polenta Wedges
Grilled polenta wedges make a fun and unique side dish that everyone will love. This simple recipe calls for only four components: polenta tubes, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
12. Oven-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Oven-baked sweet potatoes make a healthy and delicious side dish everyone will love.
To make this easy recipe, simply slice sweet potatoes into thin wedges and bake them in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes until they are soft and tender.
13. Garlic Toast
Garlic toast is a classic side dish that goes well with virtually any main course. For this recipe, the bread is first toasted in the oven.
Then, it is rubbed with a garlic clove and brushed with olive oil. The toast is then placed under the broiler for a minute or two until it is golden brown and crispy.
14. Roasted Butternut Squash
This easy side dish roasts butternut squash cubes in the oven with a touch of maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
The result is a warm and comforting vegetable side that goes well with the rich flavors of carbonara.
15. Creamy mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes are always a hit; they go especially well with carbonara. For this recipe, Yukon Gold potatoes are boiled until they are nice and soft.
Then, they are mashed with butter, milk, and sour cream until they are smooth and creamy. A little bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese is added for extra flavor.
16. Lemon Roasted Broccoli
This healthy side dish features broccoli roasted in the oven until it’s tender-crisp. Then, it’s tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt for flavor.
If you want some extra zing, you can add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the mix!
17. Most Easy, Sauteed Spinach
This simple side dish, one of my favorites, is also a great way to get your greens. The spinach is sauteed in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes.
It can be served as-is or topped with Parmesan cheese. Either way, it makes a tasty and healthy accompaniment to carbonara.
18. Quinoa Pilaf:
This light and healthy side dish make a great complement to carbonara. Quinoa pilaf is made by cooking quinoa in vegetable broth until it’s fluffy and tender.
Then, sauteed onion, celery, carrot, and raisins are added for flavor. Finally, chopped parsley leaves are stirred in for freshness.
19. Steamed broccoli
If you’re searching for a healthier side dish, steamed broccoli is a great choice. It’s low in calories but high in vitamins and fiber, making it a nutrient-packed option.
Plus, it won’t compete with the flavors of carbonara like some other vegetables might.
20. Tomato soup:
Another summertime favorite, tomato soup is light enough that it won’t weigh down your meal but is still hearty enough to satisfy.
21. Grilled corn
Sweet grilled corn is delicious on its own but also makes a great side dish for carbonara. The smoky taste from the grill adds depth to this already wonderful dish.
22. Roasted Cauliflower
Cauliflower roasting brings out its natural sweetness and helps to caramelize the edges for added flavor.
This easy recipe simply requires tossing cauliflower florets with olive oil and salt before roasting them in the oven until they’re tender-crisp throughout.
Other ingredients, such as garlic powder or an Italian herbs blend seasoning mix, can be added to taste.
23. Roasted vegetables
Carrots, Brussels sprouts, and onions, all roasted in the oven until tender and slightly caramelized, are the perfect accompaniment to carbonara. Their sweetness will balance out the savory flavors of the dish.
24. Bread pudding
This rich and creamy dessert is sure to please everyone at your table. It may seem like an indulgence, but bread pudding is actually quite light when made with airy challah bread and served alongside carbonara.
Other Side dishes Go well with Carbonara.
- Rice Pilaf
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Crispy Roasted Potatoes
- Sautéed mushrooms
- Green beans
- Stewed tomatoes
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14 Best salads to go with carbonara
If you’re looking for a salad to accompany your carbonara, we’ve got just the thing.
1. Potato Salad
Potato salad is a traditional dish that can be enjoyed all year round. This easy recipe only requires six simple ingredients: potatoes, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, celery, red onion, and salt.
2. Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is a light, refreshing, and colorful side dish that makes a great side dish for carbonara that can be enjoyed all summer long.
This simple recipe only requires four ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and olive oil.
The salad can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve.
3. Cucumber Salad
Cucumber salad is an excellent, refreshing side dish that is perfect for hot summer days. This simple recipe only needs four simple ingredients: cucumbers, vinegar, sugar, and salt.
4. Antipasto Salad
Antipasto salad is a delicious and easy side dish that can be made in just 15 minutes. This recipe includes a variety of Italian meats, cheeses, and vegetables, making it the perfect dish to serve as an appetizer or primary course.
5. Fennel Salad
Fennel salad is a light and refreshing side dish that pairs well with many different types of cuisine. This straightforward recipe only requires four simple ingredients: fennel bulb, orange, olive oil, and salt.
6. Beet Salad
Beet salad is a beautiful and colorful side dish that is perfect for any occasion. This straightforward recipe only needs four simple ingredients: beets, oranges, goat cheese, and walnuts.
7. Broccoli Salad
Broccoli salad is a nutritious and delicious side dish that can be enjoyed all year round. This easy recipe only requires six simple ingredients: broccoli, bacon, red onion, raisins, mayonnaise, and white vinegar.
8. Tomato Salad
Tomato salad is a fresh and flavorful side dish that can be enjoyed all summer long. This straightforward recipe only demands four simple ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and olive oil.
9. Pasta salad
Pasta salad is a classic Italian side dish that can be enjoyed all year round. This easy recipe only requires seven simple ingredients, including pasta, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, parsley, and Parmesan cheese.
10. Brussels Sprouts Salad
Brussels sprouts salad is a healthy and delicious side dish that can be enjoyed all year round. This easy recipe only requires six simple ingredients, including Brussels sprouts, bacon, red onion, raisins, mayonnaise, and white vinegar.
11. Carrot Salad
Carrot salad is a healthy and flavorful side dish that can be enjoyed all year round. This easy recipe only requires six simple ingredients, including carrots, orange juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and parsley.
12. Couscous Salad
This refreshing salad is made with Israeli couscous (a type of pasta), cherry tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, cucumber, red onion, parsley leaves, mint leaves, and feta cheese.
The salad is wrapped with a light vinaigrette made from olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. It’s perfect for freshening up alongside carbonara.
13. Fruit salad
You may think it like an odd choice for an Italian meal, but fruit salad actually goes quite well with carbonara.
The sweetness from the fruit will balance out the dish’s saltiness while adding some much-needed color to the plate.
14. Try my Salad
Arugula and grapefruit salad is light, refreshing, and has just the right amount of acidity to balance out the richness of the pasta dish. Plus, it’s super easy to make!
- · 1/2 bunch arugula, washed and dried
- · 1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented
- · 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- · 1 tbsp. olive oil
- · 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- · Salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix the arugula, grapefruit segments, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a big bowl.
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Serve alongside your carbonara.
What to serve with carbonara sauce?
Carbonara sauce is a rich and flavorful sauce that is traditionally made with bacon, eggs, and Parmesan cheese.
While carbonara sauce is excellent on its own, a few basic ingredients can be added to take it to the next level.
One of the most popular additions is garlic. A few cloves of garlic can help round out the sauce’s flavors and add a bit of depth.
Carbonara is typically served with pasta, but it can also be served with rice or other grains. It is essential to choose a grain that will absorb the sauce well so that the dish is not too dry.
For a more substantial meal, carbonara can be served with a side of garlic bread or a green salad.
Try pairing it with a simple weekday that highlights the dish’s main ingredients for a lighter option.
When choosing cheese for carbonara, it is essential to pick one that will melt well and provide a creamy texture. Good choices include mozzarella, Parmesan, or ricotta.
If you like to add a bit of crunch to your carbonara, you can top it with chopped nuts or crumbled bacon. You can also garnish it with parsley or other herbs.
Whichever way you choose to enjoy it, carbonara is sure to please any pasta lover’s palate.
What protein goes well with carbonara?
Finding the correct protein to pair with carbonara is one of the most critical parts of the dish.
I think the best protein for carbonara is beef and shrimp. The rich flavor of beef pairs well with the sauce’s creaminess, and the hearty texture helps offset the pasta.
Of course, you can try chicken, pork or lamb. If you want a vegetarian option, mushrooms are a great option. Lastly, don’t forget the Parmesan cheese – it really ties everything together!
How is carbonara served in Italy?
In Italy, carbonara is typically served as a main dish, often with a side of salad or bread.
It can also be served as a pasta dish, with the sauce and pasta being served together.
The sauce is usually made with eggs, cheese, pancetta or bacon, and black pepper. The pasta is typically spaghetti or penne.
What wine pairs with Carbonara?
A wine that pairs well with carbonara is a dry white wine.
Some other great options include Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. A Chianti or Sangiovese would be a good choice.
If you’re feeling adventurous, go for a sparkling wine like Prosecco or Lambrusco. Each of these wines has its unique flavor profile that perfectly complements the dish.
Try out a few different types to find your favorite!
What are the best recipes for carbonara?
There are many great recipes for carbonara, but some of our favorites include this Bacon Carbonara recipe from The Pioneer Woman and this Easy Carbonara recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
What vegetables to serve with carbonara?
There are a few additional ways you can go when it comes to deciding what vegetables to serve with carbonara.
One option is to simply top the dish with a fresh green salad, adding a nice touch of color and crunch.
Alternatively, you can mix some cooked veggies into the pasta itself – things like peas, carrots, or even broccoli would work well here.
Finally, if you want to really bulk up the meal and make it more of a complete dinner, you could serve carbonara alongside a hearty vegetable soup or side dish.
What meat to serve with carbonara?
Suggested meats to serve with carbonara include bacon, ham, and sausage. For a more traditional carbonara, pancetta is often used.
What bread to serve with carbonara?
Bread is a very important part of a carbonara dish. In Italy, they often serve it with a type of bread called Pane casareccio di Genzano, which is a homemade bread made with flour, water, salt, and yeast.
However, any type of bread will work well with this dish.