What To Serve With Osso Buco? 16 BEST Side Dishes

osso buco

Osso Buco is a luxurious Italian dish that features tender, slow-cooked veal shanks in a hearty tomato-based sauce. While it's often the star of the show, choosing the right side dishes can make the meal truly unforgettable.

Here are 16 delicious sides that pair excellently with the rich and comforting flavors of Osso Buco.

osso buco

Looking for a quick answer?

The best side dishes to serve with Osso Buco are mashed potatoes, polenta, mushroom risotto, Italian rice, caramelized carrots, baked zucchini slices, butter lettuce salad, cauliflower rice, gluten-free bread, sautéed spinach, grilled asparagus, fried polenta, garlic green beans, pasta aglio e olio, and tomato salad.

Now, let's get cooking!

1. Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes new

Creamy mashed potatoes work wonderfully with Osso Buco. The velvety texture and buttery flavor of the potatoes complement the richness of the veal shanks, making each bite a comforting mouthful. Add a hint of garlic or some fresh herbs to kick things up a notch.

2. Polenta


Soft and creamy, polenta is a traditional Italian side that works like a charm with Osso Buco. The cornmeal base absorbs the savory juices from the meat, enhancing its own mild flavors. It's almost like an Italian version of mashed potatoes but with a unique texture all its own.

3. Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom risotto

For a side that's equally luxurious, try mushroom risotto. The umami flavor of the mushrooms and the creaminess of the Arborio rice add complexity and richness to the meal. A sprinkling of Parmesan on top brings out the flavors of both the risotto and the Osso Buco.

4. Italian Rice

When in doubt, stick with what you know. Italian rice, like Arborio or Carnaroli, can be cooked with a bit of saffron and chicken broth to make a simple yet flavorful side. The grains absorb the wonderful flavors from the Osso Buco, making for a satisfying bite every time.

5. Caramelized Carrots

A little sweetness can go a long way in balancing out a hearty, meaty dish like Osso Buco. Caramelized carrots add a touch of natural sweetness and a pop of color. Plus, their soft texture makes them easy to enjoy alongside the tender veal.

6. Baked Zucchini Slices

For a lighter, veggie-centric side, try baked zucchini slices. Season them with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and your favorite herbs. Bake until they're tender and slightly crispy at the edges. The zucchini offers a clean, simple contrast to the complex flavors of the Osso Buco.

7. Butter Lettuce Salad

Sometimes, a simple salad is all you need to round out a rich meal. Butter lettuce, with its tender leaves and mild flavor, is a great choice for a simple salad. Add a lemony vinaigrette and some fresh herbs, and you have a refreshing side that cleanses the palate.

8. Cauliflower Rice

Looking for a low-carb option? Cauliflower rice is a great stand-in for traditional grains. It has a similar texture to rice but with fewer calories and carbs. Season it with a bit of garlic and olive oil for a side dish that's both healthy and delicious.

9. Gluten-Free Bread

Gluten-free bread

For those avoiding gluten but still wanting to soak up every last drop of the Osso Buco sauce, gluten-free bread is a fantastic option. Many brands offer tasty, textured breads that you'd hardly guess are gluten-free. A warm slice can be a comforting addition to the meal and ensures that no flavor goes to waste.

10. Sauteed Spinach

Quick and easy, sautéed spinach is a no-brainer side dish that also adds some greens to your plate. The earthy taste of the spinach works well with the meaty goodness of Osso Buco. A splash of lemon juice or a sprinkle of chili flakes can make the spinach even more exciting.

11. Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus

Another great veggie option is grilled asparagus. The charred tips and tender stalks add both flavor and texture contrast to the rich, slow-cooked veal shanks. A simple seasoning of olive oil, salt, and pepper is all you need.

12. Fried Polenta

Want to add some crunch? Try making fried polenta squares. Once the soft polenta sets, cut it into squares and fry until golden. This gives you a crispy, delicious variation on traditional soft polenta.

13. Garlic Green Beans

A side of garlic green beans offers a bright, crunchy contrast to the tenderness of Osso Buco. A quick sauté with minced garlic and a bit of butter or olive oil, and you've got a vibrant, flavorful side dish.

14. Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Another root vegetable that pairs perfectly with Osso Buco is the humble potato. But there's nothing humble about these rosemary roasted potatoes. The fragrance of rosemary combined with the crispy edges of the potatoes creates a side dish that's full of texture and flavor.

15. Pasta Aglio e Olio

This simple pasta dish, made with garlic, red pepper flakes, and good quality olive oil, is an Italian classic that works very well with Osso Buco. The flavors are straightforward, making sure the Osso Buco remains the star of the show.

16. Tomato Salad

Sometimes, something fresh and simple is the perfect side. A tomato salad, made with ripe, juicy tomatoes, basil, and a splash of balsamic, can be a refreshing palate cleanser that complements the heavy Osso Buco perfectly.

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osso buco

What To Serve With Osso Buco

Looking for the best sides to eat with your flavorful Osso Buco? We have 16 delicious ideas for the perfect meal.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Osso Buco
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Corrie


  • 1 Osso Buco


  • Make the best Osso Buco using your favorite recipe.
  • Make a side dish from the list above. You can eat Osso Buco with mashed potatoes, polenta, mushroom risotto, Italian rice, caramelized carrots, baked zucchini slices, butter lettuce salad, cauliflower rice, gluten-free bread, sautéed spinach, grilled asparagus, fried polenta, garlic green beans, pasta aglio e olio, and tomato salad.
  • Serve and enjoy a wonderful meal 🙂
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