Enhancing Your Italian Pizza Experience: Best Foods to Serve Alongside

Italian Pizza Experience

Italian pizza, with its rich history and diverse flavors, is a beloved dish enjoyed worldwide. Whether you’re savoring a classic Margherita, a hearty pepperoni, or a gourmet veggie pizza, the right accompaniments can elevate your dining experience to new heights. From appetizers to desserts, here’s a guide to the best foods to serve alongside Italian pizza, ensuring a delicious and satisfying meal.

 Italian Pizza Experience
Italian Pizza Experience

Antipasti: Starting Off Right

Antipasti, or appetizers, are an essential part of Italian cuisine that perfectly complement pizza. They prepare the palate for the main course while offering a variety of flavors and textures. Here are some classic antipasti choices:

  1. Caprese Salad: A refreshing combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze. It complements the flavors of a Margherita pizza and adds a vibrant, fresh element to the meal.
  2. Bruschetta: Slices of toasted bread topped with diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil. The crunchy texture and burst of tomato flavor make it an excellent starter that pairs well with any pizza variety.
  3. Olives and Marinated Vegetables: A selection of marinated olives, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, and other vegetables provide a tangy, savory contrast to the richness of pizza.

Primi Piatti: Pasta and More

While pizza can stand alone as a satisfying main dish, adding a small portion of pasta or another primo piatto can create a more substantial Italian meal experience. Consider:

  1. Pasta Aglio e Olio: Spaghetti tossed with garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Its simplicity and lightness make it an ideal companion to any pizza, especially ones with richer toppings like sausage or mushrooms.
  2. Lasagna: Layers of pasta, meat sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese baked to perfection. While hearty, a small portion can be a delicious complement to a lighter pizza, adding variety to the meal.
  3. Minestrone Soup: A hearty vegetable soup with beans and pasta. It offers a comforting, nourishing addition to a pizza meal, especially during colder months.

Contorni: Side Dishes to Round Out the Meal

Contorni, or side dishes, can vary depending on the season and personal preference. These additions provide variety and enhance the overall dining experience:

  1. Garlic Bread: Crusty bread toasted and infused with garlic butter. It’s a classic side that pairs perfectly with pizza, adding a crunchy texture and savory garlic flavor.
  2. Mixed Green Salad: A simple salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette. Its freshness and acidity help balance the richness of pizza.
  3. Roasted Vegetables: Seasonal vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant roasted with olive oil and herbs. They offer a savory, caramelized complement to the flavors of pizza.

Dolci: Sweet Endings

No Italian meal is complete without a sweet treat to finish. While pizza isn’t traditionally followed by dessert in Italy, here are some options that can add a delightful ending to your meal:

  1. Tiramisu: A classic Italian dessert made with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, and cocoa powder. Its creamy richness and hint of bitterness from the coffee complement the savory notes of pizza.
  2. Gelato: Italian ice cream in flavors like pistachio, hazelnut, or stracciatella. Its smooth, creamy texture and intense flavors provide a refreshing contrast after pizza.
  3. Cannoli: Crisp pastry shells filled with sweetened ricotta cheese, often dotted with chocolate chips or candied fruit. Cannoli offer a satisfyingly sweet and creamy ending to a pizza meal.

Beverage Pairings: Drinks to Accompany

To complete your Italian pizza feast, consider beverage pairings that enhance the flavors and refresh the palate:

  1. Wine: Traditional choices include Chianti with red pizzas, Pinot Grigio with vegetarian pizzas, and Prosecco for a celebratory touch.
  2. Beer: A cold, crisp lager or ale can complement the savory and salty flavors of pizza, making it a popular choice among diners.
  3. Soft Drinks: For non-alcoholic options, consider Italian sodas, lemonades, or sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime for a refreshing lift.


Pairing the right foods with Italian pizza can transform a meal into a memorable culinary experience. From antipasti that awaken the palate to dolci that provide a sweet finish, each dish complements the flavors and textures of pizza in its own unique way. Whether you opt for traditional pairings or experiment with new combinations, the key is to create a balanced and satisfying meal that celebrates the rich heritage of Italian cuisine. So, next time you gather around a table for pizza, consider adding some of these delightful accompaniments to enhance your dining adventure. Buon appetito!