10 Mouth-Watering Side Dishes to Serve with Your Perfect Pasta Bake: From Pesto to Parmesan!

Updated on 
27 April, 2023

What To Serve With Pasta / What To Serve With Pasta Bake / Pesto

Pasta is a staple food that can be served in many different ways. It's versatile enough to be enjoyed as part of a simple lunch, or as an elegant dinner entree. But what should you serve with it?

What To Serve With Pasta / What To Serve With Pasta Bake / Pesto

Whether you're making a pasta bake, pesto or just plain noodles, there are plenty of delicious accompaniments that will make your meal even more enjoyable. In this article, we'll take a look at the best options for side dishes and sauces to serve with pasta.

Read on to find out what goes well with your favorite Italian dish!


A bright, vibrant salad is the perfect complement to a succulent pasta bake.

The aroma of freshly chopped herbs fills the air, and the sight of colorful vegetables and pasta salads arranged on a plate is enough to make anyone's mouth water.

Fresh herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme add an extra layer of flavor, making the dish even more delectable.

These simple ingredients create a light yet flavorful side that pairs perfectly with a hearty pasta bake.

From crunchy cucumbers to juicy tomatoes, there are endless combinations to choose from when it comes to creating the perfect accompaniment for your meal.

As you move on to vegetables, you'll find even more options for delicious sides.


Vegetables are a great accompaniment to a pasta dish or pasta bake.

Roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and squash are an excellent way to add color and flavor to the dish. They can be roasted in the oven with some olive oil and herbs for added flavor.

Grilled mushrooms can also be served alongside the dish for an added texture. The mushrooms can be sautéed in butter and garlic before being grilled until they become crispy.

Vegetables are a great way to add nutrition while keeping the dish flavorful and colorful.

Cheese is another great way to add flavor and texture to a pasta dish or pasta bake.

From ricotta cheese to parmesan, there's something for everyone when it comes to adding cheese on top of the dish. Cheese not only adds flavor but also helps make the dish creamy and delicious.

Transitioning into the next section, let's explore how different types of cheese can enhance a pasta or pasta bake dish.


Cheese is a great accompaniment to pasta, especially when it's melted.

For example, creamy sauces such as béchamel or cheese sauce are delicious when poured over your favorite pasta bake.


Grilled mushrooms also work well with cheese and pasta dishes – they add an earthy flavor that can really bring out the best in any recipe.

If you're looking for something with a bit of a kick, try adding some pesto to your dish.

The combination of pine nuts, olive oil and garlic makes a delicious topping for almost any type of pasta.

It will give your dish an interesting flavor and texture that you won't get from just adding cheese alone.

With all these options available, there's no excuse not to make the most of your pasta meal.

Next up: meat and fish – let's explore the possibilities!

Meat And Fish

Cheese and pasta go hand-in-hand, but with a pasta bake, the options are endless. From hearty meats to light fishes, there's something for everyone.

Grilled chicken and braised beef are two great options for a delicious main dish. The first adds a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with creamy pesto sauce, while the second offers a comforting home-cooked meal that still packs a punch of flavor. Both can be easily cooked in the oven along with your pasta bake, so you can enjoy a complete meal without much fuss.

A variety of sauces and dips make wonderful accompaniments to any pasta bake. Pesto is always popular; its bright flavor complements all kinds of meats and vegetables nicely. Tomato sauce is another classic choice that brings out the flavors of your proteins while adding some sweetness to the mix. For something lighter, try olive oil and garlic or even just some freshly grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top!

Whatever you choose to serve alongside your pasta bake, you can be sure it'll be an unforgettable meal.

Sauces And Dips

When serving pasta, the most popular choice of sauce is a classic marinara. This red sauce is made with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs that give it a delicious flavor. It is rich in flavor and pairs perfectly with any type of pasta.

Another great option for a pasta dish is pesto cream. This creamy green sauce combines basil pesto with cream and Parmesan cheese to create an incredibly flavorful sauce. Both sauces work great when served with a traditional pasta bake or used as a dipping sauce for breadsticks or other appetizers.

Pesto cream can also be used as a topping for pizzas or added to salads for extra flavor. No matter what type of dish you are serving, there's sure to be something that pairs nicely with your pasta!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should I Cook The Pasta For?

Cooking pasta can be intimidating but it doesn't have to be! The most important thing to consider when cooking pasta is the temperature.

Depending on the type of pasta, you should typically cook it at a rolling boil for 8-12 minutes.

Different shapes of pasta may require different amounts of cooking time, so make sure to double check the packaging instructions.

With the right temperature and timing, your pasta will come out perfectly cooked every time!

How Long Should I Cook The Pasta For?

How Do I Make A Creamy Pasta Sauce?

Making a creamy pasta sauce is easy and delicious.

There are many alternatives to the traditional tomato-based sauce, including Alfredo, carbonara, and bechamel.

To make your own creamy pasta sauce, start by heating butter or oil in a pan.

Next, add garlic and other desired seasonings before adding cream or milk.

Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally.

For a richer flavor, add Parmesan cheese at the end.

Enjoy your creamy pasta sauce with your favorite type of pasta!

What Is The Best Type Of Cheese To Use For A Pasta Bake?

Baked pasta is a classic dish that is made even better with the right cheese. Whether you're looking for a savory twist or a cheesy topping, selecting the best type of cheese to use for a pasta bake can be daunting.

Fortunately, there is an abundance of options when it comes to baked pasta toppings. From rich and creamy Parmesan to sharp and tangy Cheddar, each type of cheese has its own unique flavor profile that adds another layer of depth and complexity to your dish.

By adding a variety of cheeses, you can create a delicious, flavorful experience that your family will love.

What Type Of Meat Pairs Best With Pesto Sauce?

Pesto sauce is a classic Italian condiment that can be paired with a variety of meats.

Grilled chicken and roast beef are two of the most popular meats for pairing with pesto.

The creamy texture of pesto compliments the texture of grilled chicken, while the earthy flavors in the pesto bring out the richness in roast beef.

Both meats are delicious when served with a dollop of pesto on top or tossed into a dish.

What Vegetables Can I Add To My Pasta Dish?

Vegetables are the perfect way to make your pasta dish even more divine! Whether you're looking for a light and flavorful addition or something that packs a punch, there's no wrong way to go when it comes to adding veggies.

From roasted peppers to garlic bread, you can turn your dish into an absolute sensation with just a few simple ingredients.

Get creative and add whatever tastes best to you - your taste buds will be in heaven!


The possibilities for creating a delicious pasta dish are endless! With a few simple ingredients, you can whip up something special in no time.

What Vegetables Can I Add To My Pasta Dish?

Whether you're looking for a creamy sauce to accompany your favorite noodles, or want to add some extra flavor with pesto, there's sure to be something perfect for you.

Experimenting with different flavors and textures is half the fun. You'll soon discover that the combinations of pasta, sauce, and accompaniments are truly tantalizing.

So go ahead and get creative - your taste buds will thank you!

Jennifer is a certified nutritionist and weight loss coach with a Master's in Nutrition from Cambridge. With over 10 years experience, she shares healthy recipes and science-backed slimming tips on SheCooksSheEats to help people reach their wellness goals. Jennifer stays up-to-date by regularly attending conferences and continuing her nutrition education. She aims to provide research-backed advice to inspire balanced, happy living.
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