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.
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?
First up in what to serve with risotto: this easy arugula salad! This might be one of the easiest salads you'll make! It doesn't even have a salad dressing: just toss the arugula with olive oil and lemon juice! Throw in some grated Parmesan and thin sliced shallots, and you've got a salad. To make a filling meal with risotto, we'd suggest adding some nuts as well: walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts or pecans.
Asparagus is one of our favorite sides to serve with risotto because it looks elegant and adds a good source of fiber. Bake it in a hot oven until tender, then spritz it with lemon! The finishing touch: gooey melted Parmesan cheese. It’s a side dish that’s easy enough to whip up while you’re in the midst of cooking a main. For plant based, try Roasted Asparagus or Sauteed Asparagus. Or make it into a salad: Asparagus Salad with Feta.
Here's a tasty salad that's as easy as it is delicious! It features tangy apples and juicy pears served over baby spinach with our best balsamic dressing. The best part? Maple glazed walnuts or pecans, which add a light sweetness and crunch! They also compliment risotto with protein, helping to make it a meal.
A simple answer to what to serve with risotto: broccoli! This steamed broccoli is truly the best: it's bright green and crisp tender, flavored with olive oil, kosher salt and feta cheese. It's so flavorful: and it only takes a few minutes to whip up! This one is also great with risotto because it adds fiber and nutrients. (You also can make this recipe in an Instant Pot, or use our Sauteed Broccoli or Roasted Broccoli methods.)
This crispy, crunchy garlic bread is great to serve with risotto: it's a crowd pleaser that makes your kitchen smell incredible. It's made simply with butter and garlic, then topped with Parmesan and broiled until it's crispy. (And it uses less butter than the standard recipe!) To make as part of a healthy meal, make sure to add one of the vegetable or salad options as well to add nutrients and fiber.
This fennel orange salad features vibrant juicy oranges and a famous pairing: sliced raw fennel, which adds a subtle licorice essence. Throw it over greens with a few garnishes, top with a zingy homemade citrus vinaigrette, and wow! There’s so much going on flavor and texture-wise, it’s one of the most unexpectedly delicious salads we’ve ever made.
Here's a classic side to serve with risotto: lemony green beans! These beans are elegantly long and crisp tender, mixed with lemon juice and zest for a zing! They're the perfect tangy counterpart to creamy risotto, and they add freshness and fiber to the meal. (You also can make them in an Instant Pot.)
What's better than a meal with homemade bread? If you have time to make a bread recipe, there's nothing better to pair with risotto. Again: make sure to add a salad or side vegetable from this list to make it a complete healthy meal. This bread is pretty simple to make and is baked in a Dutch oven to make a crusty exterior and tender interior. Or see our Artisan Multigrain Bread for a heartier and even simpler option.
This beet salad has all the right elements: roasted beets, baby greens, creamy goat cheese and a tangy balsamic beet dressing. We like to make this with our Instant Pot beets, which take only about 30 minutes to cook! You can also roast them in the oven (or find pre-cooked beets, which have become popular in grocery stores). Stir the roasted beets into the dressing, which turns it a vibrant shade of pink and adds a sweet flavor undertone!
And last but not least in what to serve with roasted vegetables: these best roasted vegetables! Here's a mix of vegetables that's full of beautiful colors and incredible flavor, featuring sweet potatoes, broccoli, red peppers, red onions, and cauliflower. This recipe makes for 2 large sheet pans of veggies: so if you're making a meal for 4, make half! The veggies can roast while the risotto simmers to creamy perfection.
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:
Classic Risotto Creamy and savory, flavored with Parmesan and a splash of white wine.
Asparagus Risotto Flavor-packed! It pairs creamy arborio rice with Parmesan and lemony asparagus.
If necessary, shave the Parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler. Thinly slice shallot.
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.
Keywords: What to Serve with Risotto, Arugula Salad
More sides to go with…
We love helping you find great recipes to pair with main dishes! Here are a few more recipe collections: