15+ Best Pesto Side Dishes That You Have to Try

When it comes to pesto side dishes, there are endless possibilities. You can choose almost any vegetable or starch as your base and create a pesto that will complement your main dish perfectly.

In this article, we will explore some of the best pesto side dishes recipes out there. So whether you are looking for something simple and easy, or something a little more complex, I have you covered!

Pesto Side Dishes

  1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries
  2. Ricotta Toast
  3. Deviled Eggs
  4. Cauliflower Rice
  5. Steamed Vegetables
  6. Creamy Pasta
  7. Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette
  8. Eggplant Parmesan
  9. Roasted Peppers And Onions
  10. Caprese Salad

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Baked sweet potato fries are a fantastic side dish for pesto. Not only do they add a lovely sweetness to the dish, but they also help to balance out the richness of the pesto. Additionally, sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients, making them a healthier option than traditional fries.

When choosing a recipe to pair with your baked sweet potato fries, be sure to select one that has plenty of vegetables and lean protein. This will help to round out the meal and make it more filling.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices and flavors. A little paprika or chili powder can really elevate the taste of your sweet potato fries.

Ricotta Toast

One great way to enjoy pesto is by pairing it with ricotta toast. This simple dish is easy to prepare and can be tailored to your taste. For example, you can add additional herbs or spices to the ricotta cheese spread, or top the toast with other ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, or olives.

Ricotta toast makes a great side dish because it is flavorful but not overwhelming, and it can help to round out a meal. Additionally, this dish is relatively healthy, as it is made with whole wheat bread and low-fat cheese.

Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a delicious and easy way to add a little extra protein and flavor to any dish. They can be used as a side dish for pesto pasta, as a topping for salads, or even as an appetizer.

The benefits of using deviled eggs as a side dish are numerous. They are high in protein and low in carbohydrates, making them a perfect choice for those on a high-protein diet. Additionally, they add creaminess and depth of flavor to any dish.

Many recipes pair well with deviled eggs. Pesto pasta is a classic choice, but this can also be used for salads or as an appetizer. If you’re looking for something a little different, try pairing them with roasted vegetables or grilled chicken.

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is a versatile side dish that can be used in various recipes. Pesto is a classic pairing, but it can also be used as a base for stir-fries or curries. Cauliflower rice is a great way to add extra veggies to your meal without sacrificing flavor. Plus, it’s a low-carb alternative to traditional rice.

When choosing a recipe to pair with cauliflower rice, be sure to select one that has bold flavors.

The pesto in this recipe provides a perfect balance of salty and cheesy flavors, while the lemon adds a bright pop of acidity. This simple side dish comes together in just minutes and can be easily scaled up to feed a crowd.

Steamed Vegetables

Steamed vegetables are a great way to add some extra nutrition to your meal without adding a lot of extra time to the cooking process. In most cases, steamed vegetables can be prepared in just a few minutes, making them a perfect choice for busy weeknights.

In addition to being quick and easy to prepare, steamed vegetables also offer several health benefits. Studies have shown that steaming can help to retain more of the nutrients in vegetables than other cooking methods, such as boiling or frying.

Moreover, steamed vegetables are also typically lower in calories than their cooked counterparts, making them a great choice for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

When choosing steamed vegetables as a side dish, there are many different recipes and dishes that they can be paired with. For example, steamed broccoli makes a great accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish, while steamed carrots can be used as a base for a hearty soup or stew.

Creamy Pasta

Creamy pasta is a versatile side dish that can be used within a variety of recipes. One of the benefits of using creamy pasta as a side dish is that it can help to balance out richer flavors. For example, if you are making a pesto sauce with a lot of olive oil, the creaminess of the pasta can help to offset the richness of the sauce.

Additionally, creamy pasta can also help to absorb some of the excess moisture from other ingredients. This is particularly helpful when working with wetter ingredients like tomatoes.

Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette

A salad with balsamic vinaigrette is a great side dish for pesto. Pesto is a sauce made from basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, and pine nuts.

It is traditionally served with pasta, but it can also be used as a dip or spread. A salad with balsamic vinaigrette pairs well with pesto because the acidity of the vinegar helps to balance the richness of the sauce.

The salad also adds a crunchy texture that contrasts nicely with the creamy pesto. In addition, the colors of the salad – green, red, and purple – complement the green of the pesto.

Finally, the salad with balsamic vinaigrette is a healthy side dish that helps to round out a meal that might otherwise be heavy on carbohydrates.

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish that can make a great side dish for pesto. There are a few reasons why Eggplant Parmesan is a good choice for pesto.

  • Eggplant has a mild flavor that won’t overwhelm the taste of the pesto.
  • Eggplant Parmesan is usually baked, which adds a nice depth of flavor to the dish.
  • The dish is relatively low in calories and fat, making it a healthier option than some other side dishes.
  • Eggplant Parmesan pairs well with a variety of recipes, including pasta, chicken, and fish.

Roasted Peppers And Onions

Pesto is a classic sauce made from Italian ingredients like basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. It’s delicious on pasta, pizza, and sandwiches. And roasted peppers and onions make a great side dish for pesto.

The peppers add sweetness and the onions add zing. Plus, they’re both loaded with nutrients. Roasted peppers and onions are also a great side dish for other sauces and dips. You may want to try them with Alfredo sauce, olive tapenade, or hummus. They’re also delicious when grilled or sauteed.

Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is a delicious and healthy way to spruce up any meal. The classic combination of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil is not only flavorful but also provides a good source of vitamins and antioxidants.

While it is often served as a main course, Caprese salad can also be a great side dish. Pesto is a perfect complement to the flavors of the salad, and the two can be easily combined to create a delicious and healthy meal.

Caprese salad is also a versatile dish that can be used in a variety of recipes. For example, it can be used as a topping for grilled chicken or fish, or as a filling for wraps or sandwiches. It can also be enjoyed on its own as a light and refreshing snack.

Commonly Asked Questions When Choosing Pesto Side Dishes

What are other options when choosing pesto side dishes?

  1. White Beans And Bacon
  2. Soft-Boiled Eggs
  3. Zucchini Noodles
  4. Crusty Bread Rolls
  5. Arugula Salad
  6. Sauteed Shrimps
  7. Burrata
  8. Grilled Balsamic Eggplants
  9. Grilled Salmon
  10. Chicken Pesto Salad

What are some tips when choosing pesto side dishes?

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing pesto side dishes.

  • First, pesto is a very flavorful sauce, so you want to choose side dishes that won’t overwhelm the taste of the pesto.
  • Second, pesto pairs well with lighter foods, so avoid heavy side dishes like mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese.
  • Third, pesto is usually served with pasta, so you’ll want to choose side dishes that go well with pasta.
  • Finally, pesto is a versatile sauce, so feel free to experiment and try new things!


Pesto is a delicious sauce that can be used on pasta, pizza, and sandwiches. It’s made from classic Italian ingredients like basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. And pesto pairs well with a variety of side dishes.

In this article, I’ve shared some recipes for pesto side dishes that will take your meals to the next level. I hope you’ll try and enjoy them!