10 Best Sides to Serve with Risotto

Here are all the best side dish recipes for what to serve with risotto! Green salads and crisp tender vegetables make it into a meal.

What to serve with risotto

Are you planning a meal with risotto? This creamy Italian rice dish is a stunning centerpiece to a meal, or as a side for fish or meat. But what sides to serve alongside it? It can be difficult to make risotto into a meal: especially if you’re looking to round it out as a vegetarian main dish.

Here’s a list of exactly what to serve with risotto! We’ve got crisp green salads with crunchy glazed walnuts, and bright lemony green beans. And if you’re in the mood for cozy indulgence, our best crispy garlic bread. Ready to get started?

And now…what to serve with risotto!

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Arugula Salad

Lemon Arugula Salad

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (12 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x


What to serve with risotto? Lemon arugula salad! It comes together in minutes, and it’s the perfect fresh and tangy counterpoint to a meal.



  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese shavings (about 1.5 ounces)*
  • 1 small shallot
  • 8 cups (5 ounces) baby arugula (do not use standard arugula, usually sold in bunches)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice + zest of 1/2 lemon


  1. If necessary, shave the Parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler. Thinly slice shallot.
  2. In large bowl, place the baby arugula, olive oil, lemon zest (optional), lemon juice, and kosher salt. Use your hands to toss everything so it’s evenly coated. Add the Parmesan shavings and shallot and toss for a few seconds until combined. Taste and add additional salt if desired.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: What to Serve with Risotto, Arugula Salad

And some favorite risotto recipes

Of course, we couldn’t leave you with only what to serve with risotto! Here are some of our best risotto recipes:

  • Asparagus Risotto This flavor-packed dish pairs creamy arborio rice with Parmesan and lemony roasted asparagus.
  • Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto A stunner! Sweet squash contrasts against creamy rice, savory Parmesan and earthy sage.
  • Roasted Cauliflower Risotto This easy recipe features roasted cauliflower and hearty chickpeas. Packed with nutrients, it’s a filling weeknight meal!
  • Parmesan Truffle Risotto A seemingly gourmet dish, it’s pretty simple to put together and the black truffle flavor sends it out of this world.
  • Easy Mushroom Risotto This one comes together in about 30 minutes and is incredibly easy to make.

More sides to go with…

We love helping you find great recipes to pair with main dishes! Here are a few more recipe collections:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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