What to Serve With Manicotti (15 Tasty Ideas You Can Make)

As a child, I always loved manicotti. There’s something about the cheese and pasta filling that just makes my taste buds happy. But as I got older, I realized that I was getting a little bit bored with the same old toppings.

So this year, I decided to try some new side dishes for manicotti. And boy, was I pleasantly surprised!

Here are 15 of the best side dishes for manicotti:

Best Manicotti Sides

  1. Sautéed broccoli rabe & garlic
  2. Baked parmesan potato wedges
  3. Grilled vegetables
  4. Crispy fried onions
  5. Creamy mashed potatoes
  6. Vegetable soup
  7. Green salad with vinaigrette dressing
  8. Garlic breadsticks
  9. Caesar salad
  10. Crispy eggplants
  11. Zucchini fritters
  12. Stuffed mushrooms
  13. BBQ ribs
  14. Grilled chicken kababs
  15. Italian chopped salad

Sauteed broccoli rabe & garlic

Sautéed broccoli rabe and garlic are a great side dish for manicotti.

The ingredients in sautéed broccoli rabe and garlic compliment the flavors in manicotti nicely, and the sautéed broccoli rabe adds a healthy dose of nutrition to the meal.

I often serve sautéed broccoli rabe and garlic as a side dish for manicotti, and my guests always enjoy it.

If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy side dish to accompany your next Italian meal, give sautéed broccoli rabe and garlic a try. I think you’ll be glad you did!

Baked parmesan potato wedges

I love potatoes, and as a side dish for manicotti, they can’t be beaten.

Baked parmesan potato wedges are a delicious and easy way to dress up your manicotti.

Simply bake some potatoes (I like to use red potatoes), slice them into wedges, and then top with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of garlic salt. Serve them alongside your manicotti, and enjoy!

Grilled vegetables

If you’re looking for a lighter side dish to accompany your manicotti, grilled vegetables are a great option.

Simply grill up some of your favorite veggies (I like to use zucchini, squash, and onions), and serve them alongside your manicotti. The flavors make for a titillating meal.

Do not leave vegetables on the barbecue unattended; charred veggies have an unappetizing flavor (FYI).

Crispy fried onions

Crispy fried onions are a delicious and easy way to add a bit of crunch to your manicotti.

Simply fry up some onions in a bit of oil, and then top your manicotti with them. The contrast in textures is sure to please your taste buds.

You can use olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil for frying.

Creamy mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a popular side dish and for good reason. They’re delicious!

I like to make my mashed potatoes creamy by adding some milk and butter to the mix. I also add a bit of garlic salt for flavor. Serve them warm alongside your manicotti.

The potato that is guaranteed to give you the right texture for this dish is the Yukon Gold.

Vegetable soup

If you’re looking for a hearty side dish to accompany your manicotti, look no further than vegetable soup.

This filling soup is packed with veggies (any of your favorites will work), and it’s the perfect way to round out a meal. Additionally, it is perfect for those who are keeping an eye on their waistline.

I like to make a big pot of vegetable soup at the beginning of the week, and then enjoy it throughout the week as a side dish for manicotti (and other meals).

Green salad with vinaigrette dressing

A green salad is another great way to add some color and nutrition to your meal.

The rich flavor of manicotti melds well with the lightness of a green salad. I like to use mixed greens, and then top with a simple vinaigrette dressing.

To make the dressing, simply combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Give it a good whisk, and then pour it over your salad.

Garlic breadsticks

No Italian meal is complete without some garlic bread! Garlic breadsticks and manicotti go so well together!

The garlic in the breadsticks enhances the flavor of the pasta dish

I prefer my homemade garlic breadsticks to store-bought. I start by brushing some olive oil on a baguette and then sprinkling it with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

I then bake it in a hot oven until it’s crispy. Total cooking time is anywhere from 9-11 minutes.

Caesar salad

Caesar salad is another great option for a side dish. The bold flavors of the salad c the manicotti perfectly.

Ingredients for Caesar salads are romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and a dressing. I occasionally garnish this salad with nuts, such as almonds or pistachios.

The dressing is made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, anchovies, and egg yolks. Some people also add Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and mayonnaise to the dressing.

I like to make my own Caesar salad dressing, but you can also use store-bought if you do not have the time.

Crispy eggplants

Now, I don’t know what your feelings are about eggplants but I will tell you, they make a mouth-watering companion to manicotti.

Eggplants work as a side dish because they are versatile, and can be prepared to suit any taste or preference.

They can be baked, grilled, or fried. However, I enjoy the taste of fried eggplant. I fry the eggplant in a bit of olive oil until they’re crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Once they’re done, I sprinkle them with salt and pepper. You can also garnish with Parmesan cheese or fresh parsley.

Zucchini fritters

Zucchini pancakes close-up on a white plate

Zucchini fritters are easy to make and can be served as a side dish or appetizer. To make zucchini fritters, you’ll need zucchini, eggs, all-purpose flour, Parmesan cheese, baking powder, salt, and pepper.

First, you’ll want to shred the zucchini using a cheese grater. Then, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, flour, Parmesan cheese, baking powder, salt, and pepper.

Add the shredded zucchini to the bowl and mix evenly. Next, heat some oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Scoop the batter into the hot oil, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.

Stuffed mushrooms

This side dish is fancy but quite simple to put together. This is my go-to dish when I’m entertaining because it always looks impressive.

For this dish, you’ll need mushrooms, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Next, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. When the mixing is done, stuff each mushroom with the mixture and place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake.

BBQ ribs

The smoky flavor from the grill pairs perfectly with manicotti. This dish can be made ahead of time, and then reheated when you’re ready to serve.

I like to use a dry rub on my ribs before grilling. The dry rub consists of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and sugar.

Sugar might seem like an odd choice but it enhances the flavor of the other spices. Overall cooking time depends on the level of heat.

I usually cook my ribs on low heat for about two hours.

Grilled chicken kebabs

This is a great side dish, especially when you want something just as filling as manicotti. The chicken is marinated in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.

You can also add other herbs and spices to marinate the chicken, such as sage, fresh rosemary, and thyme.

After the chicken has marinated, thread it onto skewers and grill for about 15 minutes.

When it comes to chicken to use for this dish, I prefer to use chicken breast because it is more tender. However, you can also use chicken thighs if you prefer. Just make sure to cut the chicken into even pieces so that they cook evenly on the grill.

Italian Chopped Salad

This is a light and healthy salad that is perfect for a side dish. The salad includes Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, salami, mozzarella cheese, and a homemade vinaigrette dressing.

You can use a simple vinaigrette dressing, or you can make your own. I like to use a combination of olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Just mix all of the ingredients and drizzle them over the salad. This salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.


What sides go with manicotti?

Many sides go well with manicotti. Some of our favorites include fried eggplant, zucchini fritters, stuffed mushrooms, BBQ ribs, grilled chicken kebabs, and Italian chopped salad.

What is a serving of manicotti?

A serving of manicotti is typically two pieces.

Can I make manicotti ahead of time?

Yes, you can make manicotti ahead of time. Just store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

What should I do if my manicotti is dry?

If your manicotti is dry, you can add a little bit of sauce or cheese to moisten it up. You can also add a little bit of water to the pan when you’re reheating it. This will help to prevent the manicotti from drying out.


I hope this article helped give you some great ideas for side dishes to serve with manicotti. The best part is a lot of these dishes do not require much cooking time, which is always a good thing!

What to Serve With Manicotti (15 Tasty Ideas You Can Make)

Check out these 15 remarkable recipe pairings to elevate your dinner.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 390 kcal


  • Sautéed broccoli rabe & garlic
  • Baked parmesan potato wedges
  • Grilled vegetables
  • Crispy fried onions
  • Creamy mashed potatoes
  • Vegetable soup
  • Green salad with vinaigrette dressing
  • Garlic breadsticks
  • Caesar salad
  • Crispy eggplants
  • Zucchini fritters
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • BBQ ribs
  • Grilled chicken kababs
  • Italian chopped salad


  • Choose your preferred side dish recipe to serve with Manicotti
  • Prepare the ingredients needed to complete the recipe
  • Prepare your side dish
  • Enjoy
Keyword Manicotti