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What To Serve With Pesto Pasta – 11 Delicious Side Dishes

If you’re wondering what to serve with your pesto pasta, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I list 11 of the most popular and tasty side dishes for pesto pasta.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best side sidishes to serve with pesto pasta include grilled salmon, sauteed shrimp, and burrata. For something light, go for an argula or a caprese salad. The best vegetable sides for pesto pasta include grilled eggplants, roasted peppers and onions, and zucchini noodles.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

Grilled salmon

Grilled salmon with pesto pasta is the perfect way to get your daily dose of omega-3s.

It’s nice enough to serve at a dinner party, but also easy enough that you can make it on a weeknight. 

And the pink against the green pesto looks delicious! You eat with your eyes first after all. 

This salmon with garlic and herbs can be grilled, baked, broiled, or pan-seared.

Psst… white fish also tastes great with pesto.

Grilled balsamic eggplants

Eggplants have grown in popularity over the last few years, but miso eggplant isn’t the only recipe you can make!

Try these garlic and herb grilled eggplants on your pesto pasta for a scrumptious veggie-only dish. 

The charred edges will add some welcome smokiness. 

Tip: add some pine nuts to your dish if you want some crunch.


I’ve never been one to follow the crowd, but I’m all about it when it comes to burrata

The centerpiece cheese will elevate the pesto pasta to a dinner-party-worthy dish.

And it will taste great. 

The intense creamy flavor of burrata works really well to mellow out the strong pesto flavor. 

You don’t really need a recipe – just plop the cheese on top of your pasta! But here’s my go-to if you’re curious.

Sauteed shrimp

Simple, yet elegant. 

That’s how I’d describe these sauteed shrimp.

They have a meat texture that helps add some bite to your pesto pasta, and the flavors of garlic and butter help them hold their own in the dish.

If you want a spicy kick, blackened shrimp is another great recipe to try.

Arugula Salad

Craving for a fresh dish to go with your pesto pasta? 

Try this lemon arugula salad. 

It’s zesty, crisp, and bright. Providing a nice contrast to your softer, heavier pasta dish.

And have I brought up how simple it is to make? 

You only need five ingredients and three minutes to get this lemon arugula salad on your plate.

Crusty bread rolls

​​Who said you have to be a master baker to achieve beautiful, artisan bread? 

It’s actually really easy to do at home!

These genius no-knead artisan bread rolls involve just five minutes of work. The rest is rising and baking time.

The thick crust and chewy bread are perfect for mopping up any leftover pesto sauce.

(just don’t think about the double carbs)

Zucchini noodles

These zucchini noodles will blend into your pesto pasta so well that you’ll easily be able to hide them from fussy eaters.

But if you want them to stand out a bit more, simply cut them thicker!

Tip: don’t cook them too much or they’ll become soggy instead of crunchy. 

Loveandlemons have a great step-by-step guide on how to make zucchini noodles.

Soft boiled eggs

This may seem like a strange combination at first, but it’s super tasty.

You’d put pesto on your breakfast sandwich, so why not add eggs to your pesto lunch?

They add protein and they’re zero hassle to cook.

I like soft-boiled eggs because I love a runny yolk, but hard-boiled eggs will work too. Or poached eggs. 

Intrigued? Find out how to get the perfect soft-boiled egg here.

White beans and bacon

If you want something substantial but tasty this side dish will fill the gap.

The mild flavor of the white beans mixes really well with pesto and the bacon adds a hint of meatiness to the dish. 

Warning: it’s really moreish!

Check out this hidden gem of a recipe from Jo.

Want to avoid too much cooking? Throw together a white bean salad instead.

Caprese salad  

From one classic Italian dish to another.

Serving the pesto pasta to a crowd? 

Your guest will definitely be happy to see a plate of tomato and mozzarella next to it. 

And if you want to add some sweetness you your meal, you can roast the tomatoes before adding them to the salad (yum!). 

Get the recipe here

Roasted peppers and onions

This is going to be one of the best-looking dinners you’ve ever eaten – guaranteed. 

It’s like a rainbow on a plate, kids will love it! 

And bonus: it’s healthy. 

The slightly burnt edges of the veggies will add a bitterness that ensures the whole thing doesn’t become overly sweet.

Check out this tasty recipe from eatingwell

Best side dishes for pesto pasta

  • Grilled salmon
  • Grilled balsamic eggplants
  • Burrata
  • Sauteed shrimp
  • Arugula Salad
  • Crusty bread rolls
  • Zucchini noodles
  • Soft boiled eggs
  • White beans and bacon
  • Caprese salad
  • Roasted peppers and onions

What To Serve With Pesto Pasta

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your pesto pasta.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: side dishes for pesto pasta, what to serve with pesto pasta
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 315kcal


  • 1 portion pesto pasta


  • Prepare your pesto pasta according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: grilled salmon, grilled balsamic eggplants, burrata, sauteed shrimp, arugula salad, crusty bread rolls, zucchini noodles, soft boiled eggs, white beans and bacon, Caprese salad, and roasted peppers and onions.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 315kcal

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