What to Serve With Carbonara: 39 Delectable Side Dishes

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

In this post, I offer 39 of the most popular carbonara side dishes.

Are you in a hurry? Here’s the quick solution.

Bruschetta, scallops, sautéed mushrooms, and parmesan chips are excellent accompaniments to carbonara. For healthier choices, try spinach, filled tomatoes, grilled zucchini, or vegetarian tart. Caesar salad, grilled salmon, Mediterranean chicken, focaccia, or cauliflower nibbles are additional options.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Breads and toppings

Carbonara is a satisfying dinner on its own, but a side of bread or some toppings will always elevate it.

Garlic bread is the standard, but I prefer to go above and above by making crispy focaccia; it’s tasty, spectacular, and simple to prepare!

When it comes to toppings, nothing beats sautéed mushrooms for an umami kick.


With a platter of bruschetta, you can keep things simple and tasty.

It’s a traditional Italian starter that goes well with any pasta entrée, including carbonara.

Preparation tip: I create the tomato topping ahead of time. Allowing it to soak for a couple of hours enhances the flavor.

Garlic is used to this wonderful recipe from Simple Weeknight Recipes to enhance the taste.

Recipe Featured Bruschetta Reduce the carbs. Bruschetta with zucchini Create it from the ground up. French bread prepared from scratch

Parmesan crisps

These thin parmesan crackers will look stunning on your carbonara.

They are stylish and lend a delightful flare to your supper, making it suitable for a dinner party.

You’ll be astonished at how simple they are to prepare!

All you need is parmesan, flour, and a few fresh herbs. Then you’re ready to go.

Just be sure you use high-quality parmesan cheese.

Recipe Featured Crispy parmesan tomato chipsCrispy parmesan tomato chips Make it without dairy. Parmesan cheese that is devoid of dairy

Sauteed mushrooms

Mushrooms are like sponges, soaking up whatever tastes you put in them.

Garlic, butter, and balsamic vinegar are used in this dish. YUM.

If you wish to cut down on the butter, just replace part of it with olive oil.

Lastly, sprinkle some of the sauce over the carbonara before serving for an added taste boost.

Recipe Featured Sautéed mushrooms with garlic and balsamic vinegar Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Crisp it up. Oyster mushrooms fried


Garlic bread is tasty, but focaccia is out of this world.

It’s crunchy and herbaceous on the exterior and light and airy on the interior.

It’s also ideal for soaking up any residual creamy carbonara sauce on your dish.

When I serve the focaccia with carbonara, I keep the seasoning simple, but you may dress it up with other toppings.

Sun-dried tomatoes are a popular ingredient.

Recipe Featured Focaccia Irish soda bread in a hurry Make it seem nice. Country bread made with sourdough

Pickled jalapenos

These handmade pickled jalapenos go well with your carbonara.

They have a wonderful tangy taste with a bit of spice that complements the thick and creamy sauce.

Also, the green hue will stand out against the beige backdrop.

FYI, the jalapeño heat will soften as they rest in the fridge.

Why we like this dish: it’s a no-fail recipe.

Recipe Featured Jalapeno pickles Add additional sugar to taste. Jalapenos candied Go for the crunchCrunchy onion rings


Carbonara is a flexible starchy dish that goes well with any protein!

Chicken is a common choice, while shellfish such as scallops or shrimp are lighter possibilities.

Pan-seared scallops

Prepare a handful of scallops to add to your standard carbonara.

These scallops will give a fresh ocean taste to your carbonara.

Have you ever cooked scallops before? Don’t be concerned; it’s simpler than you think.

Wholesome Yum provides a thorough recipe for perfectly pan-seared scallops.

It also includes a delectable lemon butter sauce to spread over your carbonara.

Recipe Featured Scallops sauteed in butter Start the grill. Lemon garlic scallops grilled Give it a savory kick. Scallops covered with bacon

Grilled Mediterranean chicken

Who can say no to creamy pasta and succulent grilled chicken?

This traditional combo is sure to please your dinner party guests.

When I serve grilled chicken with carbonara, I prefer to prepare a Mediterranean-style marinade.

It has a bright, fresh taste that complements the richness and creaminess of the carbonara.

Are you hungry yet?

Recipe Featured Mediterranean grilled chicken Avoid using the grill. Baked lemon garlic chicken thighs Crisp it up. Chicken with a golden parmesan crust

Roasted salmon

Grilled salmon is a wonderful light protein to offer with carbonara.

I prefer to cook my salmon with lemon, butter, and fresh herbs in season, such as thyme.

It’s a straightforward protein with a crisp, lemony zing that goes well with the carbonara.

For a one-pot meal, flake the fish and toss it into the carbonara.

Recipe Featured Salmon grilled with lemon thyme Add an Asian flair Salmon with soy glaze Back to the fundamentals Blackened cod baked in the oven

Vegetables and salad

A serving of carbonara is high in carbohydrates, so balancing it out with some greens or a fresh salad is a good option.

A basic Caesar salad is always a good choice, but for the complete Italian feast, try a luscious Caprese salad.

Try grilled zucchini or crispy roasted eggplant if you want something warm.

Caesar salad

Traditional carbonara is almost a full dinner on its own; it simply lacks a vegetable component.

Salads are quick to make and add flavor and nutrients to any cuisine.

Together with my carbonara, I like a fresh, crisp Caesar salad.

With the addition of some garlic croutons, you’ve got yourself a winner.

FoodieCrush’s recipe includes a delectable Caesar salad dressing that will blow your mind.

Recipe Featured Salad Caesar Make it unique. Salad with maple bacon and walnuts on greens Leave out the leafy greens. Salad Panzanella

Grilled zucchini

No matter how you make it, zucchini is always delicious.

Grilling zucchini is one of my favorite ways to prepare it.

It imparts a smoky, delicately sweet floral flavor to the zucchini, which pairs beautifully with a creamy dish like carbonara.

And a spray of garlic oil may take the meal to the next level (heres a recipe for homemade garlic oil).

Isn’t it fantastic?

Recipe Featured Grilled zucchini adds umami flavor. Zucchini and mushrooms in a skillet Crisp it up. Zucchini fritters with panko and parmesan cheese

Cauliflower bites

Who said veggies had to be dull?

If you have children or picky eaters who refuse to eat cauliflower, this recipe may persuade them to alter their views.

These cauliflower nibbles have a crispy coating thanks to the panko and parmesan.

When served with carbonara, you won’t even need a dipping sauce. Just dunk the cauliflower bites in the creamy sauce.

This recipe calls for an air fryer, but you can bake your cauliflower bits instead if you don’t have one.

Recipe Featured Cauliflower bites with parmesan cheese Cauliflower with buffalo sauce Make it unique. Cauliflower steaks, roasted

Wilted spinach

Spinach is often paired with a thick, creamy sauce.

That is why it is a no-brainer as a side dish for carbonara.

It’s also really fast and simple to prepare.

You just need spinach, garlic, and olive oil.

How easy! When you’ve left things to the last minute, this is ideal.

Recipe Featured Make it interesting with wilted baby spinach. Spinach spheres Keep it up to date. Salad with spinach that is simple to make

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).

For these filled tomatoes, I prefer to use mozzarella and basil, but you may use whatever cheese and herb combination you can think of.

These filled tomatoes are often grilled, but they may also be baked if time is of the essence.

Recipe Featured Tomatoes with mozzarella and basil stuffing Make it more filling. Bruschetta with garlic bread Remove the oven from the equation. Salad with Tuscan artichokes

The best carbonara side dishes

  • Bruschetta
  • Salad Caesar
  • Scallops sauteed in butter
  • Crispy Parmesan
  • Zoodles grilled
  • Mediterranean grilled chicken
  • Mushrooms sauté
  • Bites of cauliflower
  • Spinach that has wilted
  • Tomatoes stuffed with cheese
  • Focaccia
  • Jalapeno pickles
  • Salmon that has been roasted

What To Serve With Carbonara

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your pasta carbonara.

Printing Pin Rate

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: carbonara side dishes, what to serve with carbonara
Prep Time: 10minutes
Cook Time: 15minutes
Total Time: 25minutes
Servings: 1person
Calories: 191kcal


  • 1 cup parmesan crisps
  • 1 tbsp pickled jalapenos
  • 1 grilled Mediterranean salmon portion
  • 1 cup wilted spinach
  • 1 pound roasted salmon
  • 1 piece stuffed tomatoes and other ingredients


  • Make your carbonara according to your preferred recipe.
  • Meanwhile, select one of the following sides to go with it.
  • Broccoli, Caesar salad, pan-seared scallops, parmesan crisps, grilled zucchini, grilled Mediterranean chicken, sautéed mushrooms, cauliflower bits, wilted spinach, filled tomatoes, focaccia, vegetable spiral tart, and roasted salmon are among the side dishes.
  • Serve right away and enjoy.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 191kcal


What side dish goes well with carbonara?

Bruschetta, scallops, sautéed mushrooms, and parmesan chips are excellent accompaniments to carbonara. For healthier choices, try spinach, filled tomatoes, grilled zucchini, or vegetarian tart. Caesar salad, grilled salmon, Mediterranean chicken, focaccia, or cauliflower nibbles are additional options.

How do you pair carbonara?

These are our favorites:
Oaked white wines – the oak adds structure as well as toasted, vanilla flavors that enhance the creaminess of the carbonara.
Mild reds, such as Pinot Noir, will pair well with the pancetta or bacon, and the wine’s acidity will help cut through the richness of the meal.

What is the best meat partner for carbonara?

Carbonara is most often made using pork, although beef, lamb, and chicken are all excellent options. Although pork is the typical option, this Italian classic may be made with any sort of meat.

What protein goes well with carbonara?

1. The chicken. You probably think of chicken when you think about protein in your pasta. Chicken is a very adaptable protein that can be paired with any sauce or taste pallet.

What is the best side dish for pasta?

16 Delicious Side Dishes to Serve with Your Spaghetti Dinner
01 of 16. Salad with Kale. Page 2 of 16. Bruschetta with balsamic glaze. … 04 of 16. Traditional Restaurant Caesar Salad. Asparagus wrapped with prosciutto… 05 of 16. Salad Caprese with Balsamic Reduction… 06 of 16. … 07 of 16. Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan. Broccoli with Roasted Garlic and Lemon.
Additional details…•April 29, 2020

Is carbonara a main dish?

Spaghetti carbonara (spaghetti alla carbonara in Italian, pronounced spa-GET-tie alla KAR-boh-NAA-rah’) is a main meal made out of spaghetti (long thin strands of pasta) in a creamy sauce made up of eggs, bacon, cheese, and black pepper.

What is the secret to good carbonara?

“The key ingredients for the ideal carbonara are dried spaghetti rather than fresh; guanciale rather than pancetta; and a blend of parmesan and pecorino.” Guanciale is a considerably fatter cut of pig than pancetta and is not smoked.

What is the golden rule of cooking a carbonara?

#1 Choose the appropriate pasta and cook al dente.

All pasta dishes should be cooked ‘al dente’ (firm to the bite), but this requirement is particularly vital for Carbonara.

What should not be added to carbonara?

The components in the original Italian carbonara recipe are minimal and of high quality. The excellent quality of the ingredients is a must for the recipe’s success. DO NOT ADD ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: GARLIC, PARSLEY, ONION, CREAM, MILK, PARMIGIANO, PANCOTTA, OR BACON.

Do Italians put cream in carbonara?

Carbonara is a traditional Roman and Lazio area dish composed with eggs, pig cheek (guanciale), pecorino cheese, and pepper – and no cream, as any Italian would tell you.

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