Fettuccine Alfredo is a delicious and creamy pasta dish that’s pretty special on its own, but if you’re looking for something to accompany it, here are 21 complementary side dishes!
Fettuccine Alfredo is a creamy, delectable pasta dish made from butter, parmesan, and of course, heavy cream. It also gets a nice contrast of spicy black pepper and fresh parsley. It’s a comfort food recipe at heart that’s good any time of year in my book.
What starts as a simple pantry-style recipe, can easily be added to by topping protein like chicken or shrimp, (shrimp fettuccine alfredo is my favorite). Classic chicken alfredo is a delicious main dish that has more protein than regular alfredo (so it’s more filling). Add a side salad to either of these to really round out the meal and all your food groups!
This creamy Italian sauce is rather simple and cooks in the time it takes to make your fettuccine. In a large skillet, you’ll cook together the cream, butter, pasta water, parmesan cheese, and seasonings. After the butter melts into the cream and the sauce gets nice and warm – you’ll toss in your pasta and any other add-ins you choose and that’s all!
If you’re looking for a healthier version of an easy fettuccine alfredo recipe this lightened-up version will not disappoint. That recipe eliminates the cream for a lighter take, so it uses butter, parmesan, pasta water, cornstarch to thicken, seasonings, and a secret ingredient I’ll let you see for yourself.
ALFREDO SIDE DISHES
If you are looking to add something on the side of your fettuccine alfredo because it feels like it needs to be accompanied by something – then you’ve come to the right place! I’ve put together this list of the best side dishes that I believe go really well with an alfredo sauce. From protein, to vegetables, or more carbs – you’ll find something from this list of side dishes to accompany your main course for sure.
21 Side Dishes for Fettuccine Alfredo:
- Garlic Bread – Kicking this list off with a super traditional side dish is none other than garlic bread. It’s easy and with the bounds of garlic, butter, and parsley, goes perfectly with something just as equally buttery. If you want to take it up a notch, stuffing your garlic bread with mozzarella would do just that. This Stuffed garlic bread is one of my favorites and really doesn’t disappoint.
- Chicken Cutlets - Golden brown chicken breast get pan-fried to crispy perfection while staying juicy on the inside. Chicken cutlets are one of the most traditional side dishes for fettuccine alfredo as it's usually served right over top! You can also grill some chicken, slice it, and toss it right in for some creamy chicken Alfredo. This will add lean protein to your meal, making it filling!
- Stuffed Mushrooms – I absolutely love stuffed mushrooms. Here they’d be an awesome side dish that matches in indulgence. You can also try these Buttery Garlic Mushrooms which is a great recipe, especially if you love mushrooms!
- Shrimp – Adding shrimp to your Fettuccine Alfredo is a perfect addition for all special occasions. It takes the dish over the top. Simply sauté the shrimp in some melted butter, minced garlic, lemon juice, and salt & pepper before tossing them right over the top of your pasta. You can also throw in some peas to complete the dish.
- Arugula Salad - To lighten things up and also keep them simple, you can just make a house salad or an arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette. Instead of using vinegar, this dressing gets its acidity from lemon juice. It keeps things light and fresh in comparison to heavy foods.
- Roasted Potatoes – I’m not usually one to suggest potatoes and pasta together since it’s kind of carb overkill, but I’ll make an exception here. The reason is that the crispy roasted potatoes do pair really nicely with the alfredo sauce. Potatoes also are a very popular side dish for anything in the US, so this makes it approachable. Add some green vegetables on the side too so your dish has a little bit more nutrition, otherwise – happy carb loading!
- Caesar Salad – Another salad to add to the list here that’s maybe not the healthiest, but who can really resist a Caesar salad? It’s an easy side dish that makes the perfect side salad for countless meals.
- Panini – This is more of a lunch option (or easy dinner!) that’s half a panini and half a serving of pasta! It’s like having half of two entrees. Try this Prosciutto & Parmesan Panini that pairs perfectly.
- Fried Calamari – I don’t know what it is about seafood and alfredo – but they just go REALLY well together. You can keep your calamari on the side, like an appetizer, but the crunchy/creamy duo is really satisfying.
- Veal Cutlets – Similar to chicken cutlets, veal cutlets are also crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. This is a popular side dish to have with some Alfredo alongside.
- Roasted Carrots – Here are more vegetable options for a lighter side dish. These roasted carrots are delicious and are an alternative option or addition to the endless green vegetables that go well here.
- Fresh Spinach – Have it creamed or sautéed with a little olive oil on low heat for a light side full of vitamins.
- Burrata Prosciutto Salad – I really love this burrata salad for all the delicious flavor it has in it. Between prosciutto, burrata, roasted butternut squash, arugula, pignoli nuts, and balsamic glaze – this salad is completely unique in flavor. Have it as a starter to an Alfredo main dish or right alongside.
- Broccoli Rabe – Broccoli Rabe is an excellent choice for this Italian dish because the bitterness and creamy sauce pair so well together. Simply boil it in a large pot of very salty water, then blanch it in cold water. You can then quickly sauté your broccoli rabe with olive oil, garlic, and pepper for more flavor.
- Meatballs – Here’s a side dish the whole family will love. While meatballs are only really thought about with red sauce, dare to think outside the box. Meatballs are wonderful with vodka sauce or alfredo too! Here’s a recipe that will get you to nail your meatballs every time.
- Asparagus – I love asparagus with my alfredo too. Roasted asparagus on the side of an entrée makes a perfect side dish for something simple, but can also be fairly elevated too! If you’re making Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo, I might try asparagus as a side!
- Roasted Squash – There’s quite the variety of vegetables on this list, but I do think they counter all the cream and butter really well to make a well-rounded meal. This option’s different from all the green vegetables and it will really stand out on your plate too! Squash could be good for a summer meal when it’s in season.
- Roasted Brussels – Here’s yet another lighter option to add to your plate. Roasted Brussels are a good addition to anything – but the bitterness and creamy combo here work really well together, just like the broccoli rabe.
- Bruschetta – I can imagine bruschetta serving as the perfect appetizer to your alfredo main dish during a summer meal. Light, refreshing, and minimal effort in the heat of course. A simple recipe for bruschetta is diced tomato, diced red onion, minced garlic, some olive oil, some balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and thinly sliced basil. That’s all! Let it marinate together for at least an hour for the best taste.
- Big Italian Antipasto Salad - A healthy side dish doesn’t have to mean boring! This antipasto salad combines everything and then some. From italian cured meats, roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, olives, cucumbers, and cheeses. Have it as an appetizer course or serve right alongside your pasta.
- Green Beans – The last side dish is the last green vegetables to choose from! Green beans can be so versatile in that they can elevate a main course, but also be something quite simple to add to your everyday dish. They’re full of good nutrition for you, so if you like them – more power to you!