Need a hand knowing what to serve with ravioli? I have all the best side dishes for this tasty Italian favorite!
Ravioli is a classic comfort food made with wheat pasta filled with cheese. Believe it or not, ravioli has actually been around since the 14th century!
What makes ravioli such a classic is its versatility. This pasta can be enjoyed in soups, in white or red sauce, olive oil, or brown butter sauce.
While homemade ravioli is delicious on its own, it can also be paired with a wide array of dishes to round out your meal. A side of roasted vegetables or an antipasto salad pair nicely with ravioli, and help add nutrients.
Whether you’re serving traditional ricotta cheese ravioli, lobster ravioli, or butternut squash ravioli, there’s no shortage of complementary dishes.
I’ve put together this list of side dishes, many of which are Italian-inspired, that I always serve with ravioli.
01. Caesar Salad
You can’t go wrong serving any pasta with a crisp Caesar salad.
Ravioli and red sauce with a garlicky caesar salad are a perfect comfort food pairing! The creamy Caesar dressing contrasts nicely with the tangy red sauce and gives the whole meal balance.
Toppings like parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon give this side an irresistible umami flavor. Try adding anchovies to your dressing too–you won’t regret it!
So simple, but so tasty!
Asparagus transforms completely in the oven with the help of a little olive oil and salt. The tips of the spears crisp up so nicely and become filled with smoky, savory flavor.
I like to add a squeeze of lemon juice after the asparagus comes out of the oven. It helps brighten the taste and cuts through any bitterness.
03. Cipollini Onions
These tiny onions pack a big punch.
Cipollini onions tend to be available during the fall, so just in time for comfort food season! These small onions are sweeter than your typical cooking onion, which makes them perfect for eating on their own.
Roast your cipollini onions with balsamic vinegar to get a beautiful tangy caramelization. Earthy flavors like rosemary and thyme help complement their natural sweetness.
Balance out the carbs with a side of these healthy balsamic roasted veggies.
Vegetables are always easier to serve if they’re paired with creamy ravioli! A simple glaze of olive oil, garlic salt and balsamic vinegar gives these vegetables a sweet and tangy flavor.
The types of vegetables you use will depend on your ravioli sauce! I like eggplant for white cheese sauce, and root vegetables like sweet potatoes for a brown butter sauce.
05. Italian Bread
Soft, spongy Italian bread is a must-have for any saucy pasta dish.
Rich dishes like pasta and roasted meat need a neutral side like bread to soak up the oils. This Italian recipe requires no kneading, and only takes two hours to make from start to finish!
If you want more flavor, you can add herbs and seasonings to your dough. Rosemary and oregano are typical in Italian bread, or you could make garlic bread with mozzarella cheese on top!
These five minute green beans are perfect when you’re short on time.
Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables because they require almost no prep, but always taste good! The quickest way to cook beans is blanching, but I find that grilling gives them the most flavor.
A little butter, garlic, and sharp parmesan are all these beans need to shine. What’s great is that these garlic parmesan green beans won’t go soggy at the dinner table, unlike other veggies.
07. Broccoli Rabe
If you love broccoli, it’s time to try its flavorful cousin rabe!
Broccoli rabe has a reputation for being bitter if not cooked perfectly. The trick is to blanch this vegetable before sautéing it in order to cook off the bitterness.
I like to keep things simple by adding chopped garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. The small florets soak up all that savory goodness and become super tender and mouthwatering!
Polenta will balance any dish with its creamy, buttery texture.
Polenta is one of the easiest sides to make because all you need is broth, cornmeal, and parmesan. Chicken stock is typical, but if you want a vegetarian dish you can use vegetable or mushroom stock instead.
Looking for more texture variation in your ravioli dinner? Let your cooked polenta firm up, then fry it on each side to make polenta cakes!
Lighten up your al dente pasta squares with this fresh summery vegetable!
Sugar snap peas always remind me of summer, so they go perfectly with ravioli in an oil-based sauce. Blister the peas in a skillet before serving to caramelize them and add even more flavor.
The brightness of sugar snap peas pairs nicely with some chopped mint for a pop of freshness. You also can’t go wrong with a bit of shaved parmesan.
10. Sourdough Rolls
Fill your home with the comforting aroma of these fresh crispy rolls.
Fermented dough is what gives these no knead sourdough rolls their characteristic tangy taste. Their bright flavor helps add contrast to rich savory meals like tomato sauce ravioli.
Homemade bread rolls freeze well, so go ahead and make an extra batch for later meals. If you have leftovers, these rolls also make great sandwich buns!
11. Antipasto Salad
This salty and savory appetizer can also shine as a side dish!
Antipasto is a tangy combination of marinated vegetables, meats, and cheeses. Olives, artichokes, and tomatoes are popular ingredients and serve as palette cleansers for the rest of the meal.
This refreshing salad is a great option for super garlicky or rich ravioli dishes. The acidity helps cut through the fat and keeps your meal balanced.
What to Serve with Ravioli: 11 Classic Side Dishes
- Choose your favorite ravioli side dish recipe from this list.
- Prepare your ingredients.
- Cook the perfect Italian-inspired comfort meal!