Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur traditionally consumed after a meal.
It’s a beverage made from lemon zest and you’ll find both factory and homemade versions.
According to records and surveys, it’s only next to Campari in popularity.
While it’s traditionally drunk after food, people also drink it before a meal.
Limoncello is a beverage that pairs well with many items including ricotta pie, dark chocolate, fruits and cakes.
Don’t look further if you’re short of ideas and are wondering what to serve with limoncello.
Here, we’ll list ten items you can serve and enjoy with the lovely drink no matter the occasion.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Limoncello?
It’s never fun to eat only one dish and it’s the same for drinks.
Limoncello is flavorful, but it can be boring to drink on its own.
You’ll find its taste is even better when you add something.
If you serve limoncello at a gathering, your guests will also expect some snacks and desserts to have with it.
It will also look awkward if you provide the drinks but nothing else to accompany it.
You’ll also need a few items to refresh your palate as its sweet, citrusy and tart flavor can overwhelm your palate.
What to Serve with Limoncello? 10 BEST Side Dishes
Here are some foods you can enjoy with limoncello.
1 – Dark Chocolate
Who doesn’t love chocolate? It’s yummy and addictive and it complements limoncello.
Dark chocolate is even better because if it has high cocoa content (70%), it’s nutritious.
So you get both taste and goodness.
You’ll find many world-renowned dark chocolate brands at the stores, so it’s convenient to serve at any gathering.
You must check the labels carefully and choose those with a high amount of cocoa, less sugar, and other substances.
Dark chocolate is expensive, so buy bite-sized chocolates if you can find them.
If you can’t find small sizes, break the chocolate into tiny squares, so each piece looks lovely and appealing.
2 – Ricotta Pie
It’s one of the most popular pies in Italy and often served with limoncello so you won’t regret serving it alongside the drink.
Folks will gather near it to grab a spoonful when you serve the pie.
Ricotta pie is a dessert made of ricotta cheese as the main ingredient, along with sugar, chocolate chips, flour and other baking products.
The cheese is inexpensive and readily available so you won’t have a problem finding it.
Making the pie isn’t hard, but you must follow the instructions carefully regardless of the recipe.
The final product would be a sweet, moist, slightly tangy pie that melts in your mouth.
3 – Panna Cotta
It means “cooked cream” in Italian and it’s a dessert created with sweetened milk and cream.
Panna cotta is also a sweet Italian dish but is popular in other places.
It complements limoncello and other drinks as well.
The perfect panna cotta is smooth and creamy and melts in your mouth.
You can have it plain or add toppings according to preference and availability of items.
You can also add a whole lot of ingredients and so you can find the dessert in many different flavors.
You can make panna cotta with coffee, strawberries, watermelon, vanilla, apples, yogurt, chocolate, and more.
The choice is endless so you can try different flavors.
4 – Fruit Platter
Limoncello is made of lemon, so it pairs well with fruits too.
So, if you don’t have time to make cakes and pies, a simple fruit platter will do just fine.
They will add a fresh element and refresh your palate and make you ready for more food.
Making a fruit platter is easy as you can put different fruits depending on the season.
Fruits are abundant in every season so you won’t have much trouble.
Apricots, kiwi fruit, mangos, nectarines, apples, cherries, bananas, oranges, blackberries, and blueberries all pair nicely with lemon so you can add them.
Plums, raspberries, figs, grapes, and tangerines are other fruits you can use.
5 – Pound Cake
Since limoncello tastes good with desserts, you can add as many as you like to your menu.
Pound cake is also an excellent choice to serve with the beverage because they taste superb together.
A pound cake is a cake where all the ingredients weigh a pound each.
Pound cakes are extremely dense so they contain light flavors.
A Bundt pan is the typical utensil used for baking pound cakes.
Some popular pound cake flavors include lemon, key lime, chocolate, banana, cranberry, sour cream and coconut.
You can make any type according to preference.
6 – Tiramisu
Tiramisu means “pick me up” in the dialect of Venice and nearby areas.
Tiramisu is an Italian dessert but loved worldwide since people learned of its taste.
It’s a popular sweet dish often served with limoncello.
Tiramisu has coffee, mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, lady fingers and cocoa (topping) as the main ingredients.
Traditional tiramisu also contains Marsala wine but you can also use other liquor like rum.
Making tiramisu isn’t tricky but it can be daunting for first-timers.
Hence, if you feel you can’t make it, you can ask someone to make it for you or place an order from a nearby bakery or store where they sell it.
7 – Walnuts
If you want to add a simple but tasty snack with limoncello, walnuts fit the bill.
They’re delicious and you don’t have to cook them.
You can arrange them in a bowl and serve them with the liqueur.
Some people like them slightly toasted so you can toast a portion and serve both types.
Your guests can choose whichever they like and enjoy with the drink.
Walnuts have a wealth of the good kind of fats and other nutrients so while toasted is delicious, raw nuts offer more health benefits.
8 – Grilled Pineapple
The drink pairs nicely with raw fruits, but how about grilled ones? They work as well and grilled pineapple is one of them.
It’s sweet and slightly sour like the limoncello so they complement each other.
Grilling pineapple is also easy as you don’t need too many items.
You’ll require pineapple slices, butter, honey, hot pepper sauce and salt.
These will bring out the fruit’s flavor nicely.
The pineapple for grilling should neither be too ripe nor too raw.
It must be at the right stage or your dish will be too mushy or sour.
The perfect pineapple should be vibrant greens and yellows, with the latter being the dominant color.
But they mustn’t have any white or brown spots and if you notice these, reject the fruit.
9 – Rustic Cakes
Typically, rustic refers to a style that associates with the countryside.
In cakes, it means the style or icing which appears homemade.
So, rustic cakes can mean those made at home or those that look homemade.
These cakes also complement limoncello and they taste fantastic.
You can also use various flavors to make rustic cakes because the choice is endless.
Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, lemon, coconut, blueberries and buttercream are some flavors with which you can make rustic cakes.
10 – Fish Tacos
The last item on the list may seem odd compared to the others above, but fish tacos complement limoncello.
Tacos are flavorsome and addictive so be ready for your guests to feel excited.
Fish tacos contain various ingredients depending on the recipes, but the main item is always fish.
Hence, you can make a variety that’s easy but also delicious.
You can choose any white fish for the tacos including cod, bass, halibut, snapper, catfish, mahi mahi and tilapia.
Whether you serve limoncello before or after a meal or on any occasion, the above items can work fine.
You can enjoy any of the above ten according to preference.
Though all are delicious, don’t serve the same food repeatedly or your menu will lack excitement.
It’s also essential to serve different foods for variety.
For example, go with pound cake, fruit platter and walnuts on one occasion and with cheese, grilled peaches and ricotta pie on the next.