If you’re wondering what to serve with your manicotti, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 13 of the most popular side dishes for manicotti.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best side dishes for manicotti are breadsticks, crispy eggplant, flatbread pizza, and potato wedges. Try Italian chopped salad, sauteed broccoli rabe, and stuffed mushrooms for healthier choices. You can also try chicken skewers, ribs, lemon pepper shrimp, pork schnitzel, and frittata.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Italian chopped salad
Manicotti is already a filling meal on its own, but you have to admit, it’s sorely lacking a fresh element.
And that’s where this Italian chopped salad comes in.
Salads are easy to make and pack a flavor punch that will enhance any dish you pair them with.
I particularly like a chopped salad with fresh, zesty Italian dressing.
Sprinkle in some salami and provolone cheese strips, and you’ve got a winning salad.
Feeling hungry already?
Make this salad with A Farm Girl’s Drabbles’ super simple recipe.
Garlicky breadsticks and a tray of cheesy manicotti are crowdpleasers at any party.
Don’t be surprised to find your guests hoarding these breadsticks.
They’re so good, you can eat them as is.
But try to dip these breadsticks in the manicotti’s marinara sauce for a heavenly combination.
Try it out with this recipe from Grandbaby Cakes.
Jocelyn even sprinkles cheese and parmesan on these breadsticks for an extra cheesy treat.
Level up your manicotti and make it a complete meal with a helping of crispy eggplant.
Baked crispy eggplant pairs well with the marinara sauce in manicotti.
This combination is reminiscent of the famous comfort food eggplant parmesan.
Instead of frying, I like to bake my eggplant slices. It’s healthier and means less work for me.
This recipe from Crunchy Creamy Sweet adds a sprinkle of parmesan for extra crispiness and flavor.
Garlic parmesan brussels sprouts
I think people who hate brussels sprouts just haven’t tried them roasted.
Roasting makes them golden and crisp on the outside while being tender inside.
Adding the right herbs and seasonings really helps amp up these brussels sprouts.
Crunchy, flavorful brussels sprouts contrast nicely with pasta dishes such as manicotti.
In the recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny, the brussels sprouts are roasted in the air fryer, which is faster and results in even crispier brussels sprouts than usual.
Pizza and pasta are a classic combination that will leave you happy and happily full.
You might need to lay down for a while after this meal.
It’s easy to make homemade pizza dough, but the store-bought version will work fine if you’re pressed for time.
As for the toppings, I like to go fancy and use arugula, prosciutto, burrata, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
It’s a flavor combination that works well with the tomatoey notes in the manicotti.
Sounds delicious, right?
Try it out with this easy-to-follow recipe from The Secret Ingredient Is.
Grilled chicken skewers
Chicken skewers are an excellent party food.
They taste great and work nicely alongside other dishes like salads and pasta.
They’re also easy to pick up, so even kids can enjoy them.
Serving them with manicotti is guaranteed to be a hit among your guests.
Eat Well 101’s recipe features marinated chicken skewers that are both flavorful and healthy.
Stuffed mushrooms are great bite-sized appetizers, but they’re also excellent as a side dish to manicotti.
Don’t let the simple ingredients fool you – they are so flavorful you’ll have a tough time not going back for seconds.
These sweet and salty morsels complement the manicotti’s creamy ricotta filling perfectly.
And the best part?
These are great to make ahead!
Want to whip up a batch?
Head over to The Genetic Chef for the full recipe.
Lemon pepper shrimp
This lemon pepper shrimp is a fresh and bright dish that goes nicely with manicotti.
It’s extra citrusy, thanks to the addition of fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.
This gives the shrimp acidity that balances with the manicotti.
I like to make this dish with fresh shrimp, but I also use frozen shrimp if it’s all I can find.
With Sweet and Savory Meals’ recipe, you’ll have a delicious plate of lemon pepper shrimp ready in just 20 minutes.
Frittatas are so versatile.
You can make them with anything from your fridge.
Using sausage and vegetables as a filling for frittata makes it a protein-filled dish.
It’s the perfect side dish for a classic, meatless manicotti.
You can even scoop some of the marinara sauce from the manicotti over the frittata.
If you’re a total beginner at making frittatas, don’t worry!
Sauced Kitchen has a foolproof recipe that guarantees you’ll have a perfect, delicious frittata every time.
Oven-baked barbecue ribs
Barbecue ribs are one of my favorite comfort foods.
When done right, they turn out so juicy and fork-tender, perfect for a cheesy and saucy pasta dish like manicotti.
The only problem with barbecue ribs is how time-consuming they are to make.
The solution? Cook them in the oven instead.
Now, you get to have barbecue ribs without firing up your grill.
The Busy Baker’s recipe uses a honey-garlic barbecue sauce that has a delicious sweet-savory flavor.
Sauteed broccoli rabe
When you’re on a time crunch and still want to serve a side dish with your manicotti, sauteed broccoli rabe is the way.
Sauteed broccoli rabe is a quick and easy dish to make.
It is also a healthier alternative to have when watching those pesky calories.
Broccoli rabe has a sharp bitterness that undercuts the richness of the ricotta filling.
The Life of Jolie recipe suggests adding crushed red pepper for an extra spicy kick.
Traditional manicotti lacks a vital component to become a full meal – protein.
This is why pork schnitzel is an excellent dish to serve alongside manicotti.
It’s a simple dish to make and pairs well with virtually any pasta dish.
I use pork cutlets when making schnitzel because they don’t have any bones, so they’re nica and easy to work with.
Jo Cooks has a fantastic pork schnitzel recipe for you to try!
Fries are a great food to serve alongside any main dish – just ask my kids!
But if you want to take things up a notch, make potato wedges instead.
They’re thicker than your usual potato fries, and they carry more flavor too.
I like to make a garlic aioli with these wedges, but you can also smother them with your manicotti’s marinara sauce and ricotta filling.
Potato wedges are already easy to make, but Liv Gluten-Free makes them even easier with her foolproof air fryer recipe.
The best side dishes for manicotti
- Italian chopped salad
- Crispy Eggplant
- Garlic parmesan brussels sprouts
- Flatbread pizza
- Grilled chicken skewers
- Stuffed mushrooms
- Lemon pepper shrimp
- Oven-baked barbecue ribs
- Sauteed broccoli rabe
- Pork schnitzel
- Potato wedges
What To Serve With Manicotti
- 1 portion manicotti
- Prepare your manicotti according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Sides include: Italian chopped salad, breadsticks, crispy eggplant, garlic parmesan brussels sprouts, flatbread pizza, grilled chicken skewers, stuffed mushrooms, lemon pepper shrimp, frittata, oven-baked barbecue ribs, sauteed broccoli rabe, pork schnitzel, and potato wedges.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.