What To Serve With Penne Alla Vodka? 16 BEST Side Dishes

Penne Alla Vodka

There is something utterly irresistible about Penne Alla Vodka, affectionately known as vodka pasta in many households. This creamy, slightly spicy pasta dish is a real crowd-pleaser. But just as the pasta soaks up that flavorful vodka sauce, it begs for the perfect side dish to balance it out.

From crispy vegetables to comforting classics, let's explore 16 delicious side dishes that make each bite of your pasta even more enjoyable.

Penne Alla Vodka

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The best side dishes to serve with penne alla vodka are crispy green beans, caprese salad, stuffed mushrooms, chicken nuggets, ratatouille, kale chips, brussels sprouts with bacon, crispy garlic bread, Italian antipasto salad, grilled chicken, roasted asparagus, shrimp scampi, and Italian stuffed peppers.

Now, let's get cooking!

1. Crispy Green Beans

Crispy Green Beans

Let's start with crispy green beans, a simple yet delightful side dish that you can whip up in no time. Toss the beans in some olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast them until they're beautifully browned and crispy. They provide a wonderful crunch that contrasts the soft texture of the penne alla vodka, and their fresh flavor balances the pasta's richness.

2. Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

Next, we have Caprese salad. Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, drizzled with balsamic glaze, it’s simplicity at its finest. The acidity of the tomatoes and the balsamic cuts through the creamy richness of the vodka pasta, while the soft mozzarella cheese adds an extra layer of indulgence to your meal.

3. Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are also a great accompaniment to penne alla vodka. The earthiness of the mushrooms combined with whatever you choose to stuff them with (cheese, breadcrumbs, herbs, or even sausage) offers a bite of different flavors and textures that pair well with the creamy pasta.

4. Caesar Salad

A classic Caesar salad is an excellent match with penne alla vodka. The crunchy romaine lettuce, tangy Caesar dressing, and crispy croutons provide a refreshing counterpoint to the rich, creamy vodka pasta. It's also an easy way to add a bit of green to your meal. Plus, you can customize your Caesar salad by adding grilled chicken or shrimp for extra protein. This side dish is sure to leave everyone at the dinner table satisfied.

5. Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets are a kid-friendly favorite that also pairs well with vodka pasta. The crispy outer layer and tender interior of the nuggets provide a nice contrast to the creamy pasta. Plus, their mild flavor won’t overshadow the pasta's delicious vodka sauce.

6. Ratatouille


A classic French dish, Ratatouille can be a fantastic side to penne alla vodka. Made with eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes, this dish adds a medley of flavors and a healthy dose of vegetables to your meal. Its vibrant flavors and colors make the pasta dish even more appealing.

7. Kale Chips

Kale Chips

Kale chips, when baked to a perfect crisp, are a light and healthy side that can balance out the richness of vodka pasta. Seasoned simply with salt or spiced up with chili and garlic, these chips bring an unexpected twist to the meal.

8. Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

brussels sprouts mixed with chopped bacon in white bowl

Lastly, Brussels sprouts with bacon combine the earthy flavors of the sprouts with the salty, smoky notes of the bacon. The sprouts can be roasted until they're crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, making them a fantastic side to the creamy pasta.

9. Crispy Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is a classic side for any pasta dish, and it's no different with penne alla vodka. The crunchy, garlicky, buttery delight that is garlic bread serves as the perfect utensil for sopping up that extra vodka sauce, ensuring no delicious drop goes to waste.

10. Italian Antipasto Salad

Consider an Italian antipasto salad, a colorful arrangement of cured meats, cheeses, olives, and vegetables. It adds a variety of flavors and textures that can offset the richness of the pasta dish, making each bite exciting and flavorful.

11. Grilled Chicken

A side of grilled chicken is also a great pairing. The simplicity of a well-seasoned, perfectly grilled chicken breast can complement the pasta without overshadowing its flavors. Plus, it adds a healthy dose of protein to your meal.

12. Roasted Asparagus

Roasted asparagus, with its subtle sweetness and slight crunch, can be a delightful accompaniment. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper, and roast until tender. The freshness of the asparagus balances out the creaminess of the pasta sauce.

13. Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon

For a touch of elegance and a burst of contrasting flavors, try prosciutto-wrapped melon. The salty prosciutto and sweet, juicy melon work together to create a side dish that's both flavorful and refreshing.

14. Artichoke Hearts

Marinated artichoke hearts can be a wonderful addition to your meal. Their tangy and slightly sweet taste can provide a counterpoint to the pasta's creamy sauce, adding a new dimension to your dining experience.

15. Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi, with its rich garlic and lemon flavors, can provide a seafood twist to your pasta dish. The succulent shrimp and tangy sauce complement the pasta, creating a meal that's satisfying and full of flavor.

16. Italian Stuffed Peppers

Last but not least, Italian stuffed peppers can bring a pop of color and a variety of textures to your table. The peppers, filled with a mixture of rice, vegetables, and possibly some ground meat, are hearty without being heavy.

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Penne Alla Vodka

What To Serve With Penne Alla Vodka

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


  • 1 penne alla vodka


  • Make the best penne alla vodka using your favorite recipe.
  • Make a side dish from the list above. You can eat vodka pasta with crispy green beans, caprese salad, stuffed mushrooms, chicken nuggets, ratatouille, kale chips, brussels sprouts with bacon, crispy garlic bread, Italian antipasto salad, grilled chicken, roasted asparagus, shrimp scampi, and Italian stuffed peppers.
  • Serve and enjoy a wonderful meal 🙂
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