What to Serve with Bolognese Instead of Pasta – 15 Sides to Try

When you think of Italian food, one of the first dishes that comes to mind is probably Bolognese sauce. This beef-based sauce is commonly used with pasta, but there are other ways to enjoy it.

One of the challenges of finding good sides for Bolognese online is that most of the recipes are for pasta dishes. This isn’t surprising, given that Bolognese is a traditional Italian sauce. However, there are many other great dishes that can be used as sides for Bolognese.

I decided to share a list of sides that you can try because I know how much everyone loves Italian food. And, what’s not to love about Bolognese sauce? It’s hearty, flavorful, and goes well with just about anything.

So, if you’re looking for some new ideas for what to serve with Bolognese instead of pasta, look no further

Side Dishes For Bolognese:

  1. Baked potato
  2. Zucchini noodles
  3. Quinoa
  4. Butternut squash noodles
  5. Mashed potato
  6. Sweet potato
  7. Cauliflower rice
  8. Polenta
  9. Roasted cabbage wedges
  10. Tacos
  11. Eggplant noodles
  12. Nachos
  13. Spanish-baked eggs
  14. Couscous
  15. Cottage pie

Baked potatoes

Baked potatoes are the perfect side dish for bolognese. They are filling and nutritious, and their neutral flavor allows the rich flavors of the meat and sauce to shine through.

Plus, baked potatoes are super easy to make. Simply preheat your oven to 400 degrees, wash potatoes and poke a few holes in them with a fork. Then, bake them for about an hour or until they are cooked through.

When they’re done, just top them with your favorite bolognese recipe and enjoy!

Zucchini noodles

Zucchini noodles, or “zoodles,” are a healthy, low-carb alternative to pasta. They are also super easy to make. There are kitchen electronic gadgets that you can use to thin slice or julienne vegetables like zucchini into noodles.

However, if you don’t have one of those, a regular old vegetable peeler works just fine.

Next, cook them in a pan with a little bit of olive oil for three to five minutes. Be sure not to overcook them, as they will become mushy.

Once they’re cooked, top them with your bolognese sauce and enjoy!


Quinoa is a delicious and healthy grain that is perfect for a hearty bolognese. Quinoa is full of protein and fiber, which makes it a filling and satisfying side dish.

Quinoa also has a mild, nutty flavor that pairs well with the richer flavors of bolognese. The pairing works so great because quinoa is a versatile dish that can work with savory and sweet dishes.

When cooked in milk and sweetened with honey or sugar, quinoa takes on a creamy, pudding-like consistency.

Butternut squash noodles

Just like zucchini noodles, butternut squash noodles are a healthy, low-carb alternative to pasta.

Butternut squash noodles are made by spiralizing or julienning butternut squash into long, thin strands. Because of their natural sweetness, they pair especially well with a meaty bolognese sauce.

If you want some extra flavor and depth, you can also add some sage or other herbs to the dish.

Mashed potato

Mashed potatoes make a great side dish for Bolognese for a few reasons.

First, both dishes are made with traditional Italian ingredients. Second, the creamy mashed potatoes provide a lovely contrast to the hearty Bolognese.

And third, the potatoes help to soak up all that delicious Bolognese flavor. So if you’re looking for a classic combo that is sure to please, give mashed potatoes and Bolognese a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to regular mashed potatoes. They have a similar creaminess and can also help to soak up all the delicious Bolognese flavors.

Plus, sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C, making them a healthy and filling side dish.

If you want to try something different, you can also roast sweet potatoes. Just cut them into wedges, toss them with olive oil and salt, and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Cauliflower rice

Cauliflower rice is a healthy alternative to traditional rice. It is low in carbs and calories, and it is packed with vitamins and minerals.

The texture of the cauliflower rice goes well with the texture of the bolognese. In addition, the flavor of the cauliflower rice does not compete with the flavors of the bolognese.

Finally, cauliflower rice is also super easy to make. Just grate a head of cauliflower, and cook it in a pan with a little bit of olive oil for five minutes.


This is another classic Italian dish that pairs well with bolognese. In addition, both dishes are made with similar ingredients.

One common mistake made when cooking polenta is over-cooking it. Overcooked polenta will become thick and gummy.

Another mistake is not stirring the polenta often enough. This can lead to lumps or an uneven texture.

Finally, many people forget to add salt to their polenta. This can make the dish taste bland. So be sure to season your polenta well with salt, pepper, and other spices of your choice.

Roasted cabbage wedges

This is another healthy and light alternative to pasta. Roasted cabbage wedge has a distinct taste that complements the flavor of the rich and savory beef sauce.

In addition, the roasted cabbage wedge also provides a different texture, which is a nice contrast to the creamy bolognese.

There are various types of cabbage out there, but I recommend using green cabbage for this particular dish. Furthermore, to roast the cabbage wedges, simply cut the cabbage into wedges, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.


Tacos are a great side dish for Bolognese. The tacos provide a crunchy contrast to the creamy sauce, and the ingredients help to bring out the flavor of the meat.

Furthermore, tacos can also absorb some of the excess liquid from the sauce, making for a heartier and more satisfying meal.

Plus, tacos are easy to make and can be made in advance. So if you’re looking for a great side dish for your next dinner party, consider tacos.

Eggplant noodles

Eggplant noodles are a healthy and flavorful dish. They are also packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C.

The most common type of eggplant for this dish is the Japanese or Chinese eggplant. These eggplants have thinner skin and are less bitter than other varieties.

To make the eggplant noodles, simply peel and slice the eggplants into thin strips. Then sauté in a pan with olive oil for five minutes.


Nachos make the perfect side dish for Bolognese sauce. The sauce is packed with ingredients like beef, tomatoes, and garlic, and the nachos help to balance out the flavors.

The chips provide a crunchy contrast to the creamy sauce, and the cheese and sour cream add a touch of richness. Additionally, nachos are also extremely easy to make, so you can whip them up in no time.

Nachos are a great way to add flavor to a dish and they are easy to make. This is a great way to get creative with bolognese.

Spanish-baked eggs

A perfect blend of Spain and Italy in a dish! Spanish-baked eggs are a great dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The eggs are baked in the sauce, so they absorb all the flavors of the bolognese.

In addition, this dish is also packed with protein and other nutrients. Plus, it’s super easy to make. Just whisk some eggs together with the bolognese sauce and bake in the oven.


Couscous is a great side dish for bolognese. The couscous soaks up the excess liquid from the sauce, making it heartier and more filling.

This is a quick and easy dish to make, and it can be made in advance. Simply cook the couscous according to the package instructions. Then add the cooked couscous to the bolognese sauce and stir well.

Finally, couscous is a good source of iron and magnesium. So, you are not only getting a flavorful dish but one high in nutrition.

Cottage pie

This is a great side dish for bolognese. the crust of cottage pie is a good way to absorb the excess liquid from the sauce. I really love the flavors of both dishes together.

Making cottage pie from scratch is not difficult, but it does take some time. So if you’re short on time, you can always use a store-bought crust.

To make the cottage pie, simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then cook the beef and vegetables in a large skillet over medium heat until they are browned.

After that, add the cooked beef and vegetables to a large pie dish. Then pour the bolognese sauce over the top.


What goes well with bolognese?

Many different dishes go well with bolognese. Some of my favorites include green cabbage, tacos, eggplant noodles, nachos, Spanish-baked eggs, couscous, and cottage pie.

What is the best pasta for bolognese?

The best pasta for bolognese is one that will absorb the excess liquid from the sauce. I recommend using pasta like penne, rigatoni, or shells.

How do Italians serve bolognese?

The Italians serve bolognese by using it as a filling for dishes like lasagna, ravioli, and cannelloni. It is also often used as a topping for pizza.


Different dishes can be served with bolognese sauce in place of pasta. Some of our favorites include tacos, eggplant noodles, nachos, Spanish-baked eggs, couscous, and cottage pie. If you’re up for a new and exciting way to serve bolognese, now you can go for it!

25 Best Side Dishes For Bolognese You Must Make Next

A short list of delicious side dishes for bolonese that you will love.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 390 kcal


  • Baked potato
  • Zucchini noodles
  • Quinoa
  • Butternut squash noodles
  • Mashed potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Polenta
  • Roasted cabbage wedges
  • Tacos
  • Eggplant noodles
  • Nachos
  • Spanish-baked eggs
  • Couscous
  • Cottage pie


  • Select the recipe that best suits your dish and preferences.
  • Gather the ingredients required to complete the selected recipe.
  • Make your rice dish in 25 minutes or less!
Keyword Side Dishes For Bolognese