16 Great Risotto Side Dishes You’ll Love

Risotto, with its rich and creamy textures, makes for a superb centerpiece in any meal. But when paired with the right side dishes, it transforms into an extraordinary culinary experience.

In this article, we bring you 16 delectable risotto side dishes that will elevate your dining experience to new heights.

Risotto Side Dishes

From refreshing salads to garlic-infused bread and flavorful veggies, these accompaniments will complement your risotto beautifully. Prepare to indulge in a symphony of flavors.

Salad Dishes

1. Italian Chopped Salad

Prepare to delight your taste buds with the vibrant and flavorful Italian chopped salad. This salad is a harmonious blend of colors and textures, featuring a mix of fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and red onions.

To elevate the salad, add slices of savory salami and generous shavings of parmesan cheese. The crowning glory is the zesty Italian dressing that brings all the elements together, creating a symphony of tastes with every bite.

Cooking Tip: Toss the salad just before serving to maintain its crispness and prevent wilting.

Pairs With: Serve alongside a creamy mushroom risotto for a delightful Italian combination.

2. Italian Radicchio Salad With Parmesan And Olives

For a slightly bitter and delightful tangy side, try the Italian radicchio salad. Radicchio, also known as Italian chicory, parmesan, and olives, come together with a balsamic vinaigrette to create a bold and satisfying dish.

Cooking Tip: To mellow the bitterness of radicchio, you can soak it in ice water for about 30 minutes before assembling the salad.

Pairs With: Pair with a rich and creamy lobster risotto.

3. Simple Arugula Salad

Elevate your meal with a simple arugula salad. The peppery arugula is dressed in a lemony vinaigrette and topped with shaved parmesan, creating a refreshing and palate-cleansing side.

Cooking Tip: Add toasted pine nuts or walnuts to the salad for a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.

Pairs With: Enjoy with a saffron risotto for a balanced and elegant combination.

4. The Ultimate Caesar Salad

When it comes to classic salads, the ultimate Caesar salad reigns supreme. Crisp romaine lettuce is tossed in creamy Caesar dressing and topped with croutons and parmesan cheese for a satisfying side.

Cooking Tip: Make your croutons by cubing day-old bread, tossing it with olive oil and seasoning, and baking until golden brown.

Pairs With: For a harmonious Italian-inspired meal, try pairing this dish with a lemon and asparagus.

5. Tuscan White Bean Salad

For a hearty and protein-rich side, try the Tuscan white bean salad. Cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and fresh herbs are tossed in a lemon vinaigrette for a refreshing contrast to creamy risotto.

Cooking Tip: Allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving to enhance the flavors.

Pairs With: Serve with a lemon and herb risotto for a delightful Italian pairing.

6. Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

For a unique and vibrant side, try the shaved Brussels sprout salad. Brussel sprouts are thinly sliced and mixed with cranberries, pecans, and a tangy vinaigrette for a delightful contrast of textures and flavors.

Cooking Tip: Use a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer to achieve thin, uniform slices of Brussels sprouts.

Pairs With: Pair with a butternut squash and sage risotto for a delightful fall-inspired combination.

Looking for more sprout inspo? Take a look at these sprout recipes from Ina Garten.

7. Rachael Ray Italian Salad

Rachael Ray’s Italian salad is a colorful and refreshing side that features a medley of bell peppers, red onion, and cucumber in an Italian vinaigrette.

Cooking Tip: Allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving to enhance the flavors.

Pairs With: This salad will go best with a sun-dried tomato and basil risotto.

8. Caprese Salad

Indulge in the timeless simplicity and freshness of a Caprese salad.

This is a beloved Italian classic that brings ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fragrant basil leaves, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil together in a beautiful blend that is as much a feast for the eyes as it is the tastebuds.

The salad is elevated with a pinch of sea salt, a grind of black pepper, and a delicate balsamic reduction that adds a touch of sweet acidity to the ensemble.

Cooking Tip: To enhance the presentation, arrange the tomato, mozzarella, and basil slices in an alternating pattern on a platter or individual plates. This creates an appealing visual contrast.


9. Cheesy Baked Pizza Tomatoes

Indulge in these cheesy baked pizza tomatoes, a savory and cheesy side dish. Sliced tomatoes are topped with mozzarella, parmesan, and Italian seasoning and then baked to perfection.

Cooking Tip: Use ripe and juicy sun-dried tomato and basil risotto for a delightful Italian fusion.

Pairs With: Enjoy with a sun-dried tomato and basil risotto to fully lean into the pizza angle.

10. Sauteed Green Beans

For a simple yet delicious side, opt for sauteed green beans. Crisp and tender green beans are quickly cooked with garlic, butter, and lemon juice for a burst of flavor and freshness.

Cooking Tip: Blanche the green beans briefly in boiling water before sauteing for vibrant color and texture.

Pairs With: Pair with a wild mushroom risotto for a balanced and earthy combination

11. Italian Stuffed Artichokes

Indulge in Italian stuffed artichokes, a delightful side dish that marries artichoke hearts with savory breadcrumbs and parmesan stuffing.

Cooking Tip: When preparing artichokes, be sure to remove the fuzzy choke from the center to reveal the tender heart.

Pairs With: Pair with spinach and parmesan risotto for a flavorful Italian fusion.

Have we piqued your interest? We have more Italian vegetable sides for you here.


12. Crusty Garlic Bread

No Italian meal is complete without crusty garlic bread.

This side dish features toasted baguette slices rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil for a fragrant and crunchy delight.

Cooking Tip: Broil the bread for a minute or two after adding the garlic and oil to achieve a golden, crispy delight.

Pairs With: Enjoy with a classic parmesan risotto for a comforting Italian meal.

13. Super Easy Bruschetta

Elevate risotto night with super easy bruschetta. This classic Italian appetizer combines diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar atop toasted baguette slices for a burst of fresh flavors.

Cooking Tip: Use ripe plum tomatoes for the juiciest and most flavorful bruschetta.

Pairs With: Pair with a sun-dried tomato risotto for a Mediterranean-inspired combination.

14. Paula Deen Zesty Garlic Bread

Paula Deen’s zesty garlic bread is a flavorful twist on classic garlic bread. It’s infused with zesty seasonings and baked until golden brown for a satisfying side.

Cooking Tip: Adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less crushed red pepper flakes to the garlic butter mixture.

Pairs With: Enjoy with a spicy Cajun shrimp risotto for a bold and hearty meal.

Unique Risotto Sides

15. Paula Deen Italian Potatoes

These Italian potatoes from Paula Deen’s kitchen are a comforting side dish featuring tender potato slices layered with butter, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning, then baked to perfection.

Cooking Tip: To achieve a crispy top, broil the dish for a few minutes at the end of the baking time.

Pairs With: Pair with a creamy lemon and asparagus risotto to get the most out of the flavors.

16. Ina Garten Herbed Orzo With Feta

Herbed Orzo with feta is a delightful side dish featuring orzo pasta tossed with fresh herbs and crumbled feta. Straight from Ina Garten’s kitchen to yours, this side dish is sure to satisfy anyone at your table.

Cooking Tip: Rinse the orzo with cold water after cooking to stop the cooking process and maintain its texture.

Pairs With: Pair with a creamy wild mushroom risotto for an earthy and satisfying meal.

Final Thoughts

These great risotto side dishes are sure to delight your taste buds and elevate your dining experience.

From vibrant to garlic-infused bread and flavorful veggies, there’s a perfect accompaniment for every type of risotto.

So, head to your kitchen and prepare a meal that’s filled with delicious flavors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these side dishes in advance for a dinner party?

Yes, many of these side dishes can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. However, for dishes like garlic bread or bruschetta, it’s best to assemble them just before serving to maintain their freshness and texture.

Are there vegetarian or vegan options among these side dishes?

Absolutely! Many of these dishes can be adapted to vegetarian or vegan diets by making simple ingredient substitutions. For example, use dairy-free cheese or butter alternatives and omit ingredients like Parmesan cheese in salads.

Can I pair these side dishes with other main courses besides risotto?

Certainly! These side dishes can complement a variety of main courses, including pasta dishes, grilled meats, seafood, and more. Feel free to mix and match to create your ideal meal.

16 Great Risotto Side Dishes You’ll Love

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: Other Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Choose your favorite side from above
  • Gather your ingredients
  • Prepare your dish
  • Enjoy with risotto.
Barbara Hunt


No Spam, just delicious recipes, cooking tips and quality kit for your kitchen!

Scroll to Top