13 Delectable Side Dishes to Serve with Cacio e Pepe

You’ve come to the correct spot if you’re wondering what to serve with your cacio e pepe.

In this essay, I’ll cover 13 of the most popular cacio e pepe side dishes.

In a rush? Heres the short answer.

Protein sides such as grilled salmon, chicken cutlets, or meatballs go well with cacio e pepe. Salads, such as arugula or pear salad, are ideal for a lighter dinner. Vegetable sides such as sautéed mushrooms or roasted peppers are other alternatives. And focaccia bread for sides.

Ready? lets jump right in.

Arugula Salad

Do you want something light and refreshing to go with your cacio e pepe?

Try this lemon arugula salad.

It’s tangy, lively, and refreshing. As a result, it adds a lovely contrast to your soft, creamy pasta meal.

And have I brought up how simple it is to make?

This lemon arugula salad requires just five ingredients and three minutes to prepare.

Italian meatballs

Nothing says “Italy” like spaghetti and meatballs.

You might serve basic spaghetti with meatballs, but there’s nothing wrong with jazzing things up with cacio e pepe.

When you add a cool glass of wine to the mix, you’re in for a treat.

Check out sprinkle some sugar for the whole recipe for these meaty balls of delight.

Chicken cutlets

Want some quick comfort food?

Serve your creamy cacio e pepe topped with breaded chicken cutlets.

The birds are seasoned with Italian spice and optional red pepper flakes for a spicy taste.

And the panko breadcrumbs on the chicken will give the dish some much-needed crunch.

Check out Leannas yummy recipe.

Sauteed mushrooms

These sautéed mushrooms are bursting with umami flavors that will send your taste buds buzzing.

What’s more, the finest part? They’re low in carbs. This makes them an ideal healthful side dish to accompany an indulgent meal of cacio e pepe.

Normally, sautéed mushrooms are slathered in butter (which is excellent).

If you want to take the healthy path, decrease the quantity of butter and replace it with olive oil.

Use this recipe from The Kitchen Magpie to get started.

Garlic parmesan breadsticks

Never worry, the best garlic parmesan breadsticks are on their way!

These breadsticks are buttery and crispy in the finest manner, and they’ll lend a unique flavor to your cacio e pepe without overpowering it.

You could purchase breadsticks at the supermarket, but with these garlic parmesan breadsticks, you can be as creative as you like with the flavorings.

Psst I also like these bacon puff pastry twists.

Sun-dried tomato focaccia

Focaccia is a light and airy bread that is ideal for mopping up any remaining spaghetti sauce.

When I serve focaccia with cacio e pepe, I try to keep it basic, but you may dress it up with whatever toppings you desire.

This tomato variant from a year of yeast will get you started.

A spray of pesto on top of the focaccia may also work wonders.

Char siu

With a dish of char siu, you may add some Asian flavor to your cacio e pepe.

It’s recognized for its moist and succulent meat and sticky sweet barbecue sauce, and it’s also known as Chinese barbecue pork.

Which tastes incredible when combined with the creamy spaghetti sauce (believe me).

This oven-baked char siu takes some time to create, but it is well worth the effort!

Another fusion combo worth trying is Korean fried chicken.

Pear salad

This delicious pear salad is another, somewhat nicer, salad option.It would be ideal for a dinner gathering.

The sweet and juicy pear will complement the peppery cacio e pepe.

The salty goats cheese will also give a cheesy touch to the meal.

Christis’ recipe also includes a honey and balsamic dressing that is sweet yet tart.

Grilled salmon

Grilled salmon with cacio e pepe is an excellent method to get your omega-3s.

It’s elegant enough to serve at a dinner party, yet simple enough to cook on a regular weekday.

This garlic and herb salmon may be grilled, baked, broiled, or pan-seared.

Don’t forget to add a squeeze of lemon to liven things up!

Zucchini noodles

These zucchini noodles will mix so perfectly into your cacio e pepe that you’ll be able to conceal them from picky diners.

However, if you want them to stand out even more, just make them thicker!

To keep the zoodles crispy, add them at the very end of the cooking procedure.

Maya has a nice step-by-step tutorial for making zucchini noodles.

Roasted peppers and onions

This is going to be one of the most visually appealing meals you’ve ever had.

It’s like a rainbow on a platter, with the additional benefit of being nutritious!

The slightly burned edges of the vegetables will provide a sharpness to the dish, which will contrast well with the sweetness.

Check out this tasty recipe from eatingwell.

Lemon pepper shrimp

Serve these lemon pepper shrimp with your cacio e pepe.

The shrimp’s lemony tastes complement the peppery pasta well.

This meal does not need any pricey ingredients.

If fresh shrimp are unavailable, you may use frozen shrimp; just be sure to properly clean them.

Get the full lemon pepper shrimp recipe here.

Stuffed tomatoes

These stuffed tomatoes are loaded with gooey cheese and herbs and taste like a margherita pizza without the bread. (as well as the guilt).

They’re the ideal appetizer to get your visitors ready for their cacio pepe.

Allow Simply Recipes to walk you through the process of producing the greatest stuffed tomatoes you’ve ever tasted.

The best side dishes for cacio e pepe

  • Arugula Salad
  • Italian meatballs
  • Chicken cutlets
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Garlic parmesan breadsticks
  • Sun-dried tomato focaccia
  • Char siu
  • Pear salad
  • Grilled salmon
  • Zucchini noodles
  • Roasted peppers and onions
  • Lemon pepper shrimp
  • Stuffed tomatoes

What To Serve With Cacio e Pepe

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your cacio e pepe.

Print Pin Rate

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cacio e pepe side dishes, what to serve with cacio e pepe
Prep Time: 5minutes
Cook Time: 10minutes
Total Time: 15minutes
Servings: 1person
Calories: 181kcal


  • 1portioncacio e pepe


  • Make your cacio e pepe according to your preferred recipe.
  • Meanwhile, select one of the following sides to go with it.
  • Arugula salad, Italian meatballs, chicken cutlets, sautéed mushrooms, garlic parmesan breadsticks, sun-dried tomato focaccia, char siu, pear salad, grilled salmon, zucchini noodles, roasted peppers and onions, lemon pepper shrimp, and stuffed tomatoes are some of the side dishes available.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 181kcal


What is a good side dish for cacio e pepe?

Salad: A fresh, crisp salad, such as Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ranch, Cucumber Tomato Salad, Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Apple Salad, Pear Salad, Roasted Butternut Squash Salad, or Green Bean Salad, complements this creamy Cacio e Pepe.

What to serve alongside pasta?

Vanni, Kristina.
02 of 19. Zucchini Sauté.
03 of 19. Salad with Brussels Sprouts and Dill.
04 of 19. Garlic Bread in Pull-Apart Form.
05 of 19. Salad Caesar grilled on the grill.
06 of 19. Whole roasted artichokes.
07 of 19. No-Knead Crusty Bread.
08 of 19. Eggplant baked in the oven.19 Delicious Pasta Side Dishes
01 of 19. Bread with Cheesy Garlic. Spruce Tree

What makes cacio e pepe so good?


The internet loves three-ingredient recipes. This (which makes Cacio e Pepe deceptively easy) and the cheese + carbohydrates combo, as well as the fact that it can be cooked anywhere in the globe with any pepper and any cheese, are critical components of its media popularity.

Do they eat cacio e pepe in Italy?

Cacio e pepe is as popular in Rome as the Colosseum! So there’s no reason not to try it while you’re in Italy’s capital. The meal gets its name from the two primary ingredients: cacio, which means cheese, and pepe, which means black pepper.

Do you serve red or white wine with cacio e pepe?

Is Red Wine or White Wine Better with Cacio e Pepe? With this meal, white wine is preferable over red wine. This is due to the fact that white wine has more acidity and less tannins than red wine. So, the next time you make cacio e pepe, pick up a bottle (or two!) of white wine to go with it.

Which bread is served with pasta?

Did you know you could create wonderful garlic bread in just 5 minutes? It’s an excellent accompaniment to spaghetti since it tastes even better when smothered in tomato sauce.

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