Ziti, along with other tubular pasta, is incredibly versatile. It can be made into macaroni and cheese or baked ziti.
Baked ziti is a very simple dish that consists of pasta, tomato sauce (either homemade or store-bought), ricotta cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, basil, and garlic bread on the side.
Baked ziti is a favorite dish around America, especially for those who love Italian food.
The dish contains all the basic ingredients of a good pasta: cheese, milk, and tomatoes.
Along with this, though, it has several other great ingredients that add flavor to the mix.
In terms of texture, baked ziti is very hearty and filling.
It can be used as a side dish or eaten alone for lunch or dinner.
You can serve baked ziti with garlic bread on the side.
This is a very common practice and can be done regardless of what you’re serving it with.
There’s no real best way to eat this dish as many people have different preferences for macaroni, sauce, and cheese.
In this article, we will discuss what baked ziti is, the flavor of the dish, and what you should serve it with.
It’s important to note that this dish can be eaten on its own or paired with something like garlic bread.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Baked Ziti?
Baked ziti is a simple Italian dish that you can eat while it’s hot or make ahead and reheat for a quick dinner.
It has a lot of good qualities – it’s easy to make, needs few ingredients, and is tasty.
One thing that can be done to improve this dish even more, is adding side dishes.
Everyone wants their dinner to be the best possible combination of delicious flavors, textures, and aromas, so let’s talk about some other foods that go well with baked ziti.
First, let’s talk about the texture of baked ziti.
A perfect baked ziti dish has a velvety cheese sauce, tender ziti noodles, crispy breadcrumbs, and bits of tomato throughout.
The flavors are traditionally rich with garlic, basil, and oregano.
Deciding on the side dish’s textures is important to create a well-rounded meal – you don’t want the side dish to take away from the creamy sauce of baked ziti, so something light like salad is a good option.
As for taste profiles, something that has similar Italian flavors would be fitting.
That way, the side dish would complement the baked ziti without overpowering it.
This is a great opportunity to try out a new recipe – something you haven’t made before but saw on Pinterest or your favorite food blog – and incorporate it into a more traditional dish.
What to Serve with Baked Ziti – 8 BEST Side Dishes
Here are the eight best side dishes to serve with baked ziti.
1 – Creamed Spinach
Yes, you can have creamed spinach alongside creamy cauliflower rice.
This leafy green dish is healthy and will add a lot of flavor to your meal.
The creamed spinach must be served hot.
Otherwise, it could end up tasting rather cold, which wouldn’t be pleasant for anyone.
This side dish is a great way to add a little more nutrition to your meal.
You can serve it up with some steak or chicken, and you’ll have a balanced, healthy dish that everyone will enjoy.
The best-creamed spinach will be served hot and creamy, with the perfect amount of seasoning.
2 – Salad
Salad is a simple side dish that can be served with any meal.
This is one of the best ways to make sure you’re getting enough leafy greens in your diet.
The salad can be dressed, but it’s important not to dress it too much – you don’t want the sauce from baked ziti or cream sauce from your chicken to make the salad soggy.
A simple side salad is not too spicy but still has flavor.
The best salads are made with fresh greens that aren’t wilted or browning – you don’t want them to look like your dinner has already eaten them.
Pack this up if you’re bringing it on the go – it’s a great healthy option for lunch.
3 – Stuffed Tomatoes
Stuffed tomatoes are easy to make and taste delicious.
This is one of the best ways to use up all your cherry tomatoes.
You can serve them alongside baked ziti or any other Italian dish that has a sauce.
The best-stuffed tomatoes are oven-baked because you want the tomato itself to be hot enough to melt all the cheese inside.
This will make the dish ooey-gooey and delicious, with a nice crispy breadcrumb topping.
The best-stuffed tomatoes have perfectly ripened cherry tomatoes that are still firm, so you don’t end up with squishy tomato insides.
4 – Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole is a simple Thanksgiving classic that has become a staple side dish.
The green beans are crispy, and the creamy mushroom sauce goes great with baked ziti or other Italian food.
Everyone knows what a good green bean casserole tastes like – it’s one of those recipes that can’t be messed with.
The best green bean casserole will be loaded up with crispy fried onions on top.
Make sure the dish is served piping hot to ensure that you get all that great flavor in every bite.
5 – Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is a traditional Italian dish, usually served as an appetizer.
However, it tastes great with baked ziti too.
It’s easy to make and provides some interesting flavors alongside the cheesy goodness of the baked ziti.
Taste-wise, this dish has light flavors – you want to make sure they don’t overpower the baked ziti.
Usually, simple balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top of tomatoes and mozzarella is all you need to balance out this side dish.
It’s important that the flavors be fresh and not too overpowering, so it doesn’t take away from the dish you’re serving it with.
6 – Bruschetta
Bruschetta is a delicious Italian appetizer that tastes great with baked ziti.
It’s made up of roasted tomatoes on top of crunchy Italian bread, so it has some interesting flavors to enjoy side by side.
The best bruschetta consists of fresh toppings – you don’t want the dish to be loaded down with too much oil or too many spices.
The best bruschetta has crunchy Italian bread that’s perfect for dipping in baked ziti sauce or scooping up the chunks of roasted tomato on top.
It’s important to make sure it’s served at room temperature.
7 – Cheesecake
What could be better than serving vegan cheesecake alongside baked ziti? This is one of the best ways to end a meal, and it’s pretty easy to make.
The vegan cheesecake recipe is perfect if you’re looking for something that goes great with baked ziti or any Italian pasta dish.
The best vegan cheesecakes are made with cashews that have been soaked overnight.
This makes the vegan cheesecake filling rich and creamy, so you get that perfect balance of sweet and salty.
The crust usually consists of graham crackers that have been blended into crumbs, then mixed with oil or vegan butter.
8 – Macaroni Salad
Macaroni salad is a classic side dish for southern barbecues.
It’s crunchy and creamy all at once, so you can serve it alongside baked ziti for a great contrast of textures.
Macaroni salad is usually bright yellow, with tasty bits of vegetables and crunchy noodles throughout.
When making macaroni salad to go along with baked ziti, it’s important to use dill pickles – not sweet pickles or relish.
It also has celery and onion to give it that fresh crunch.
The secret to good macaroni salad is the dressing – most recipes call for mayo and mustard, but you can add some vinegar or lemon juice if you want.
Either way, the dressing should complement the flavors of your baked ziti.
Baked ziti is a delicious and cheesy dish that tastes great with almost any side dish.
If you’re looking for an easy Italian dinner or something to bring to your next potluck, baked ziti is always a good choice.
Once you’ve found your favorite sides to eat with baked ziti, don’t forget to master the perfect baked ziti recipe.
There are many different recipes out there that go great with different side dishes, so find the best one for you.
- Creamed Spinach
- Stuffed Tomatoes
- Green Bean Casserole
- Caprese Salad
- Macaroni Salad
- Choose your favorite recipe from the list of options.
- Organize all required ingredients and prepare a delicious meal in 30 minutes or less!