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What To Serve With Focaccia – 20 Delicious Side Dishes

This article was updated on the 8th of September 2023 for clarity and freshness.

If you’re wondering what to serve with your focaccia, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 20 of the most popular side dishes for focaccia.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best side dishes to serve with focaccia are tomato bisque, pasta puttanesca, an antipasto platter, shakshuka, or a Caprese salad. You can also make a sandwich with roasted chicken or meatballs. Or serve a dip such as olive tapenade, baked feta, or Italian hummus.

For each side dish, I’ve provided alternative options to cater to various diets and lifestyles, including vegan, quick and easy, and health-conscious options.

Italian-inspired Dishes

Focaccia is an Italian classic, so it’s no surprise that it pairs well with dishes from the same cuisine. Bust out your favorite red wine and enjoy a slice (or two) of focaccia with these Italian delights.

Pasta Puttanesca

5.0 ⭐️ (26 ratings) | 30 mins

Craving a simple, filling dish to serve with your focaccia bread? This classic pasta puttanesca is what you are looking for.

It’s a carb-heavy combination, but no one ever complains about pairing pasta with garlic bread!

This Italian classic is made with garlic, anchovies, olives, capers, pepper flakes, and chopped whole tomatoes. And all of its bold flavors taste scrumptious with your herby focaccia bread. 

And the best part? You can get this pasta dish from your stovetop to the dining table in just 30 minutes.

What readers are saying…

I made this pasta for dinner last night and it’s definitely going to be one of our new go tos! So flavorful and delicious!

This is so much better than eating out!

This came together so quickly and tasted SO GOOD!

🍝 Whole Wheat Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
😇 Cacio e Pepe Zoodles

Italian Hummus

5.0 ⭐️ (8 ratings) | 40 mins

Who says hummus is meant only for pita bread? It tastes just as good with focaccia.

Plus, there are so many different variations of hummus that you’ll always be able to find one that matches whatever focaccia bread you’ve baked. 

And if you want to stick with the Italian theme, Cia Chow Bambina’s version is a must-try. It’s made with white beans instead of garbanzo, giving you a slightly lighter texture. It also boasts a creamy, lemony flavor that makes it oh-so-addictive.

What readers are saying…

“Ahhhh cannellini, garlic, roasted lemon and crusty bread? What could be better?”

“This is beautiful… I actually prefer to use white beans for dips. Garbanzos are too dry and mealy for me. And I’ve made many variations, but never one like this.”

“I love simple appetizers, just like this dip! So simple to make, full of flavors and delicious!”

🫑 Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
🌿 Basil Pesto Hummus

Antipasto Platter

5.0 ⭐️ (11 ratings) | 15 mins

Throwing a party? Impress your guests and serve slices of focaccia with an antipasto platter.

Smokey, salty meats. Creamy, indulgent cheeses. And then some tangy pickled vegetables. What’s not to love? 

Is it your first time arranging an antipasto platter? Don’t worry. This recipe from Fifteen Spatulas will help you layer your platter with all the right flavors.

I personally like starting with 2-3 kinds of meats and cheese, a small bowl of olives and fig jam!

What readers are saying…

What a great and thorough guide for antipasto platters.

Loved your recipe!! Gave me a good idea of how to arrange my antipasto!! Thank you!

I am glad to learn exactly what the term antipasta meant. Thank you for your beautifully colored display/ picture and explanation. It’s lovely.

🍇 Mediterranean Mezze Platter
🌱 Vegan Charcuterie Board

Olive Tapenade

5.0 ⭐️ (5 ratings) | 10 mins

Salty, garlicky, and tangy – that’s how I’d describe olive tapenade.

It’s a great addition to a charcuterie board where you have a few other dips (and of course some focaccia). But I will say I think this spread works best with a more basic focaccia bread, so you don’t get too many clashing flavors.

What I love about this is how easy it is to make. Once you have all the ingredients, throw everything into a food processor, give them a blitz, and you’ve got homemade tapenade, ready to serve!

What the chef says…

“To make this vegetarian-friendly, simply leave out the anchovy. After processing you may find that your tapenade needs a bit more salt, so simply adjust that to taste with some kosher salt.”

🍅 Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade
🌱 Vegan Artichoke Olive Tapenade

Hearty Mains

With its airy crumb, focaccia is perfect for soaking up all the flavorful juices from a tender steak or for savoring every last drop of a hearty ragu.

Pan-Seared Steak

5.0 ⭐️ (472 ratings) | 20 mins

Focaccia is a fancy bread so needs a fancy accompaniment. And it doesn’t get much fancier than a pan-seared steak (with a glass of your favorite wine of course).

This pan-seared steak recipe is my favorite. It’s slathered in a tasty garlic butter sauce which also works really well with the focaccia. 

Make sure to save a bite of focaccia for wiping the plate clean at the end of the meal. YUM!

What readers are saying…

“Thank you for sharing your recipe I followed the steps and the steak turned out amazing.”

“This was amazing. My daughter even commented that she really enjoyed how the steak was cooked. Thank You!”

I followed the recipe, exactly as noted, and WOW! Who knew it could be so easy to compete with high-end steakhouses?

🍷 Red Wine Marinated Flank Steak
🍄 Grilled Portobello Mushrooms


4.6 ⭐️ (261 ratings) | 1 hr 10 mins

Here’s something to try for date night, or when you want to really impress your guests —cioppino.

This Italian-American stew features seafood like fresh clams, shrimp, and mussels simmered in a slightly spicy tomato broth. I also like adding fresh squid and scallops whenever I can find them! It’s warm, comforting, and packed full of flavor. 

Serve it with a slice of warm focaccia to soak up all the broth. You won’t want to waste a drop.

What readers are saying…

“My husband and I loved this! I made with slightly different seafood combo…I figured she’d forgive the modifications. It was a “lick the bowl clean” broth.”

This recipe is phenomenal !! We loved it and our guest were more than pleased!! It is expensive but a real treat!!

“I made this soup for my sisters, we get together every so often and it was a hit. It’s so good I didn’t know that letting the base cook for 45 min it gives the soup a great taste.”

🇫🇷 Bouillabaisse
🍲 Summer Veggie Cioppino

Roasted Chicken

5.0 ⭐️ (39 ratings) | 1 hr 10 mins

One of the things I look forward on Mondays is my leftover roast chicken sandwiches. And to make them extra special, I use focaccia as the base instead of the usual sandwich bread.

Focaccia bread makes great sandwiches because of its soft and pillowy crumb and crunchy crust. The lightness of the bread keeps the sandwich from getting too heavy. Stuff the focaccia with some chicken, pesto, and tomatoes for a perfect on-the-go lunch. 

Whip up this roast chicken for your next family Sunday dinner, and make sure there’s enough for leftovers for sandwiches!

What readers are saying…

Amazing flavor! Will make again!

“Just made for Easter dinner. It was absolutely delicious! My family loved it! Thanks so much for the excellent recipe.”

Was looking gor a new recipe for baking a whole chicken and came across this five-star recipe. Am so glad I did as this was absolutely mouthwateringly delicious! This recipe deserves 10 stars.

🔥 Lemon Herb-Grilled Chicken
🌱 BBQ Seitan Chicken

Short Rib Ragu

5.0 ⭐️ (3 ratings) | 3 hrs 50 mins

Short rib ragu features melt-in-your-mouth beef and a warm, thick sauce that’ll have you licking your fingers. It’s typically eaten over pasta, but I especially love serving it with a slice of focaccia.

The herby bread is flavorful enough to stand against the ragu’s bold flavors without overwhelming it. And its soft crumb is like a sponge that’ll soak up all the goodness from the sauce.

And for the non-meat eaters, I recommend this mushroom and lentil ragu.

Read next: the best ways to store and reheat leftover focaccia.

What readers are saying…

“This will now be a staple in my household. So delicious!”

This was AMAZING! So easy and simple. I try to find recipes that incorporate a lot of my pantry staples and/or usual fridge items and this one fit the bill.

“Made this for dinner this evening. It is so absolutely delicious and will definitely be a recipe that is made again!!!”

Tandoori Meatballs

Total Time: 3 hrs 50 mins

Meatballs are a versatile option because you can serve them as a dinner alongside focaccia. Or you can make a meatball sub with the focaccia and have it for lunch.

Meatballs in marinara sauce are the classic option, but I recently came across these tandoori meatballs and fell in love. The juicy meatballs are covered in a creamy, spiced sauce that tastes fabulous with the herby focaccia. It’s a tasty Indian-Italian fusion that’ll have you coming back for more.

What readers are saying…

Yooooo! I tried this with naan and it was so good! I left out the chilli but now I know its a must have for this recipe.

“I just wanted to say thank you, thank you so much. This was hands down the best meatball recipe i ever made and my kids loved it so much and now i gotta cook it twice a week.”

🤩 Meatballs Marinara
💚 Tempeh Meatballs

Salads and Other Light Sides

Want to savor more of focaccia’s herby goodness? Enjoy it with a light salad or a warm, cheesy dip instead of a hearty entree.

Fresh Green Salad

5.0 ⭐️ (562 ratings) | 15 mins

Focaccia is lovely with a big bowl of fresh greens, like with this recipe. It’s light and summery, ensuring the focaccia remains the star of the show.

And it’s endlessly customizable. You can add other veggies, seeds, or nuts to dress it up.

You can serve focaccia on the side, but I love turning it into croutons and tossing them with this salad. This allows them to get coated with the vibrant tangy dressing and makes the salad even more substantial. Now that’s what I call a win-win!

What readers are saying…

“This salad is delicious and was so easy to put together! The dressing is incredible, we loved the flavor.”

“This salad was a big hit. I didn’t put on all of the dressing, but just use your best judgment. It was delicious!!”

I love this salad and the dressing, they go together perfectly. This is an absolutely simple yet “elegant enough for company” salad.

🍐 Arugula and Pear Salad
🍓 Spinach Strawberry Salad

Baked Feta

5.0 ⭐️ (60 ratings) | 25 mins

Baked feta is a deliciously creamy dish that you can eat as an appetizer, for a snack, or even as a main meal. And it’s absolutely effortless — you won’t even break a sweat while prepping the feta, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Even though it’s baked, it’s not sticky or gooey like mozzarella. Instead, the feta turns into a warm, rich, velvety spread that you’ll want to slather on everything you eat. Including all over your focaccia.

Psst… not a fan of olives? Leave them out or replace them with grape tomatoes instead.

What readers are saying…

“I have made this as directed many times and it’s always a hit.”

“Made it for a Thanksgiving appetizer and everyone loved it! Beautiful flavors and and a sophisticated presentation took the atmosphere up a notch.”

“This is definitely the easiest and best appetizer that I’ve made! It’s always a crowd pleaser.”

🍓 Baked Brie with Jam
🌱 Baked Almond Feta

Olive and Balsamic Vinegar

4.7 ⭐️ (15 ratings) | 20 mins

While this isn’t a substantial side dish, it’s a traditional pairing for focaccia bread. If you’ve ever had this paring at a restaurant before, you’ll know that it’s hard to stop going back for more.

The Food Charlatan also incorporates minced garlic, herbs, and a dash of parmesan cheese to add a delightful savory twist that highlights and enhances the flavors of your focaccia even more.

And what I love about this dip you can easily adjust it to your liking. Add more honey if you prefer it sweeter. Or amp up the garlic if you want a more prominent savory flavor. Anything goes with this dipping sauce!

What readers are saying…

Great recipe! I left out the cheese and it was still fantastic. I can’t wait to make it with cheese next time.

There is nothing quite so satisfying as dunking an awesome slice of bread in oil and vinegar. This looks too good!

I made this for a dinner party along with 2 other oil dipping sauces. This one was my favorite, by far!

🌿 Rosemary and Garlic Infused Olive Oil
🍯 Fig Balsamic Reduction

Caprese Salad

4.99 ⭐️ (62 ratings) | 15 mins

This classic Italian salad is a must-try. It’s made with juicy red tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, peppery basil, and olive oil. Natasha’s Kitchen also adds a finger-licking balsamic glaze for that sweet-tangy kick, but you can skip this especially when tomatoes are in season.

You can serve it alongside your focaccia or you can make an open-faced sandwich and use it as a topping for the bread. 

Psst… for a more indulgent version of this salad use burrata instead of mozzarella.

What readers are saying…

“This was amazing. My garden fresh tomatoes really show off with these ingredients. Yum.”

This salad is so fresh and yummy. We love it and we mostly have it everyday.”

“The BEST summer salad! We eat this daily using tomatoes from our garden…so delish!”

Cranberry Quinoa Salad

5.0 ⭐️ (11 ratings) | 35 mins

One way to whip up a salad without greens is by making a quinoa salad.

This salad has a nutty flavor from the quinoa and a crisp texture from the apples that contrast nicely with your focaccia’s airy crumb.

Also, you can alter it to suit your preferences. It never gets boring! For example, this recipe uses cranberries and apples for a festive feel, but you can use any fruits and veggies you want. I especially love using strawberries and apricots if I want to switch things up.

Don’t forget the vinegarette though. It’s what ties everything together.

What readers are saying…

“This was amazing. My garden fresh tomatoes really show off with these ingredients. Yum.”

This salad is so fresh and yummy. We love it and we mostly have it everyday.”

“The BEST summer salad! We eat this daily using tomatoes from our garden…so delish!”

🥭 Couscous Raw Mango Salad
🥬 Goat Cheese Beet Barley Salad

Egg Salad

4.9 ⭐️ (114 ratings) | 22 mins

Egg salads may be old-fashioned, but they never go out of style in my book. They’re budget-friendly, easy to make, and super tasty.

I especially love this recipe, which features chunks of boiled eggs smothered in mayo dressing. The red onions add a bite that keeps this from becoming overwhelming, but I also like adding chopped celery for added crunch and freshness.

Slather this creamy egg salad over your crusty focaccia bread for a hearty sandwich.

What readers are saying…

“This was amazing. My garden fresh tomatoes really show off with these ingredients. Yum.”

This salad is so fresh and yummy. We love it and we mostly have it everyday.”

“The BEST summer salad! We eat this daily using tomatoes from our garden…so delish!”

🔥 Deviled Egg Salad
🌱 Tofu Egg Salad

Comfort Food

Nothing beats a piping hot bowl of soup or a hearty stew on a cold night. Pair them with a slice of focaccia for the ultimate comfort meal that’ll feel like a warm hug.

Tomato Bisque

5.0 ⭐️ (3 ratings) | 22 mins

Tomato bisque is a richer version of tomato soup. It’s made with cream and milk, giving it extra body and making it extra creamy. Dip your focaccia in it and watch its thick, buttery broth get soaked up perfectly.

Warning: Don’t let its simplicity fool you —  this dish is easy enough for a midweek lunch, but will also work well for a fancy dinner party.

What readers are saying…

“The cream and the herbs really cut the acid of the tomatoes, so good.”

“This looks so cozy and satisfying. I think this is the next thing I’m going to make for the family.”

🥣 Roasted Red Pepper Soup
🥘 Cream of Tomato-Less Tomato Soup


5.0 ⭐️ (260 ratings) | 30 mins

Preparing for brunch? Skip the usual avocado toast in favor of shakshuka with focaccia. 

Shakshuka is a North African stew featuring runny eggs baked in a luscious tomato sauce with a sprinkling of feta. The focaccia bread will quickly soak up the spiced juices, making each bite incredibly tasty.

Another thing I love about this hearty dish is everything is cooked in one pan, making clean-up a breeze!

What readers are saying…

Made this recipe last night! It’s a winner and definitely going onto my “repeat list.”

“This was so tasty! I went a little off from the recipe because we were low on ingredients and shakshuka is a great clean out the fridge meal!”

“Amazing recipe. It’s my go-to when I either don’t feel like cooking or don’t have a lot of groceries in the house.”

🥵 Eggs in Purgatory
🥬 Eggs Florentine

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

5.0 ⭐️ (31 ratings) | 31 mins

Take a break from tomato-based soups and stews and whip uop this classic broccoli cheddar soup instead.

The broccoli bits are quite noticeable in this recipe, but even your piciest eaters won’t mind, because all they can taste is the cheesy goodness from the velvety broth. It’s so good that you’ll want to mop your bowl clean with a slice of focaccia.

Pro-tip: Use high-quality cheese for the best results.

What readers are saying…

“I love how simple and easy to modify this recipe is.

“This recipe was super easy! The flavor was spot on! I will definitely save this one and use it again and again.”

Hands down the best broccoli cheddar soup recipe I’ve made.

🥦 Cream of Asparagus Soup
🌱 Vegan Broccoli Cheddar

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

5.0 ⭐️ (38 ratings) | 31 mins

This is another must-try if you’re not in the mood for tomato-based soups.

And as a bonus, it’s completely dairy-free, making it a good option for those in a plant-based diet. The roasted cauliflower florets not only add flavor but also make this soup extra creamy without adding cream or milk. Trust me, no one would be able to tell the difference.

And if you want to make this even creamier, you can add coconut or cashew cream.

What readers are saying…

I do not eat cauliflower but I decided to try this recipe.  I love it!

“SO DELICIOUS! I will continue using this recipe every time I go to make cauliflower soup from now on!”

“An easy-to-make, delicious soup! It was surprisingly creamy and filling.”

🍂 Roasted Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup
🍄 Cream of Mushroom Soup

White Bean Stew

5.0 ⭐️ (23 ratings) | 35 mins

Need a cozy dish that’s guaranteed to impress? You can’t go wrong with this white bean stew.

Midwest Foodie Blog uses coconut cream to make this stew velvety, but no worries, you won’t get any coconut flavor here.

Instead, all you’ll taste is the herby, sweet-tangy goodness from the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and herbs like thyme, oregano, and sage. It’s a flavor profile that’ll transport you straight into Tuscany.

What readers are saying…

“This recipe is so delicious! It will be on a regular rotation.”

“This soup is one of my favorites I’ve ever made!! Thank you for the delicious recipe!”

This was delish and super easy to make! My son and his fiancée are both vegans and they ate almost the entire pot!

🇬🇷 Greek Bean Soup
🇲🇽 Mexican Bean Stew

What To Serve With Focaccia

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your focaccia.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: focaccia side dishes, what to serve with focaccia
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 250kcal


  • 1 portion pan-seared steak
  • 1 portion tomato bisque
  • 1 portion antipasto platter
  • 1 portion baked feta
  • 1 portion short rib ragu
  • 1 portion broccoli cheddar soup … and more


  • Prepare your focaccia according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: tomato bisque, olive tapenade, baked feta, pasta puttanesca, Italian hummus, pan-seared steak, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, Caprese salad, cioppino, shakshuka, roasted chicken, fresh green salad, antipasto platter, tandoori meatballs, cranberry quinoa salad, broccoli cheddar soup, and short rib ragu.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 250kcal

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