What To Serve With Manicotti? 16 BEST Side Dishes


Manicotti, with its cheesy filling and hearty tomato sauce, is a meal in itself. However, it becomes even more delectable when served with the right side dishes.

Here are 16 amazing side dishes that not only pair perfectly with manicotti, but also elevate your entire dining experience.


Looking for a quick answer?

The best side dishes to serve with manicotti are stuffed mushrooms, garden salad, zucchini fritters, Korean corn dogs, cauliflower pizza bowl, shrimp skewers, potato rosti, caprese salad, garlic bread, roasted Brussels sprouts, Italian sausage skewers, antipasto platter, minestrone soup, and stuffed peppers.

Now, let's get cooking!

1. Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms make a wonderful appetizer or side for a manicotti meal. The earthy taste of the mushrooms coupled with a savory filling like breadcrumbs, garlic, and cheese provides a delightful contrast to the rich, creamy manicotti.

2. Garden Salad

A fresh garden salad is the perfect light and refreshing contrast to the hearty manicotti. The crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and tangy vinaigrette offer a refreshing palate cleanser between bites of the rich pasta.

3. Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini fritters, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, are a lovely complement to the soft, creamy manicotti. Their light, vegetal flavor provides a great contrast to the heavy pasta dish, and their crispy texture adds a delightful crunch.

4. Korean Corn Dogs

Korean corn dogs

Adding a little fusion to the table, Korean corn dogs offer a unique side dish for manicotti. The sweet and crispy battered hot dogs, typically coated with sugar and drizzled with ketchup and mustard, provide a sweet and savory contrast to the Italian flavors of manicotti.

5. Cauliflower Pizza Bowl

Pizza Bowl

A cauliflower pizza bowl brings all the flavors of pizza in a healthier format. The roasted cauliflower, tangy marinara sauce, melted cheese, and your choice of toppings provide a lighter, low-carb counterpoint to the rich, pasta-heavy manicotti.

6. Shrimp Skewers

Grilled shrimp skewers offer a lean protein side dish that complements the hearty manicotti nicely. The charred, smoky flavors of the grilled shrimp and their firm texture offer a nice contrast to the soft, creamy pasta.

7. Potato Rosti

potato rosti

Potato rosti, a crispy Swiss-style potato pancake, offers a crunchy, golden side dish that pairs beautifully with the rich manicotti. The crispy outside and tender inside of the rosti provide a delightful textural contrast to the pasta.

8. Caprese Salad

A caprese salad, with its fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze, offers a light, refreshing side dish that harmonizes with the flavors of manicotti. The fresh, vibrant flavors cut through the heavy, creamy pasta, providing a balance of flavors.

9. Garlic Bread

Garlic bread, with its crisp, buttery exterior and soft, fluffy interior, is a crowd-pleasing side that pairs perfectly with manicotti. The strong garlic flavor complements the cheese and tomato flavors of the pasta, making for a deliciously harmonious meal.

10. Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts offer a delightful contrast to the creamy manicotti. Their natural bitterness is mellowed by roasting, and they bring a bright, earthy flavor to the meal that's wonderfully different from the rich pasta.

11. Italian Sausage Skewers

Italian sausage skewers bring in a meaty element that complements the rich, cheesy manicotti. The smoky, slightly spicy flavor of the sausages offers a delicious contrast to the pasta, making for a more substantial meal.

12. Antipasto Platter

An antipasto platter, filled with a variety of Italian cheeses, cured meats, olives, and marinated vegetables, offers a diverse range of flavors that pair beautifully with manicotti. It's a great way to start the meal and pique your appetite for the main dish.

13. Minestrone Soup

Minestrone soup with pasta noodles, carrot, celery, red beans and parsley

A bowl of minestrone soup, with its hearty vegetables and flavorful broth, makes for a comforting, warming starter. The soup's tangy, savory flavors provide a contrast to the rich, cheesy manicotti, making for a balanced meal.

14. Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers, filled with a savory mixture of ground meat, rice, and spices, provide a hearty, flavorful side dish that matches well with the manicotti. The peppers' sweet, juicy flesh complements the cheese-filled pasta, creating a satisfying combination.

15. Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta

This classic Italian appetizer brings together ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and aromatic basil on a slice of toasted bread. It's a lighter, bite-sized side that complements the rich, robust flavors of manicotti.

16. Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken

A simple lemon and herb roasted chicken provides a protein-rich side that contrasts nicely with the cheesy manicotti. The chicken's citrusy, herbaceous flavors bring a fresh, bright note to the meal, balancing out the rich, creamy pasta.

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What To Serve With Manicotti

Looking for the best sides to eat with your flavorful manicotti? We have 16 delicious ideas for the perfect meal.
4.50 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: manicotti
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Corrie


  • 1 manicotti


  • Make the best manicotti using your favorite recipe.
  • Make a side dish from the list above. You can eat manicotti with stuffed mushrooms, garden salad, zucchini fritters, Korean corn dogs, cauliflower pizza bowl, shrimp skewers, potato rosti, caprese salad, garlic bread, roasted Brussels sprouts, Italian sausage skewers, antipasto platter, minestrone soup, and stuffed peppers.
  • Serve and enjoy a wonderful meal 🙂
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