Risotto is a star dish in Italian cuisine.
It’s a creamy rice dish usually made with broth (meat or vegetable based) until the rice reaches a creamy consistency.
Depending on where you’re from, the recipe may vary with some including ingredients such as white wine, butter, cheese, etc.
Risotto is also one of the most comforting foods there is – it’s perfect for cold weather or on days when you’re feeling extra hungry.
But don’t you think it’d be rather dull to have just risotto for dinner?
So, if you’re planning on making this delicious rice dish and wondering what to serve with risotto, we have mentioned seven best side dishes below.
With a variety of colors, textures, and flavors, these sides will take your risotto game up a notch.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Risotto?
Who said dishes were meant to be served one at a time?
If you’re looking for a way to liven up your dinner parties, why not try serving multiple dishes all at once? It’s a great way to add variety to your meals and your guests will definitely be impressed.
A great way to do that is to serve side dishes with risotto.
Risotto is a versatile dish that can be made with a variety of different ingredients, so it’s easy to find sides that will complement it perfectly.
Not just for parties, but having side dishes with risotto when you’re home alone can make dinner time more flavorful and interesting for you.
What To Serve with Risotto? 7 BEST Side Dishes
1 – Garlic Roasted Asparagus
Green vegetables on risotto are the perfect combination.
It is appealing to the eyes when you plate rich green asparagus with a bowl of risotto, and it also tastes delicious.
For the best side dish with asparagus, roast it with some finely chopped garlic and sprinkle salt on top.
If you want, you can air fry them or toss them in the oven for a few minutes until they are tender and aromatic.
It’s the perfect balance and salt to the risotto.
2 – Olives Marinated in Brine
Creamy risotto is the perfect bowl of food to pair with something like marinated olives.
Marinated olives taste salty, with a strong kick of flavor from the first bite.
The creamy and plain flavor of the risotto is perfect to balance the strong flavor of the olives.
The best thing about this side dish is that you can get them at the store, so you don’t have to do any extra work, or you can make your own if you have the time.
Marinated olives have a pungent garlicky, citrusy flavor with many spices that can act as a palate cleanser for your meal.
3 – Sautéed Butter Infused Scallops
Seafood and risotto are like a match made in heaven.
Any seafood pair great with a bowl of risotto.
We find that scallops are the go-to seafood for risotto side dishes.
It is the perfect amount of crunch and tender you need in a dish like risotto.
The key to perfectly cooked scallops every time is to dry them well after washing them.
Make sure the fan is hot with oil or butter, in this case, before you toss in your scallops.
Try not to overcrowd the pan, as it will make your scallops all mushy.
You want it to retain its shape and have a little bit of a structured taste.
Let it sit in the butter on low flame until it caramelizes with a beautiful sear.
It should be golden, crunchy looking, soft, and tender on the inside.
This, with a bowl of warm risotto, is the perfect combination for any day.
4 – Sautéed Long Green Beans in Sesame Oil
Green beans with risotto might sound weird initially, but this recipe will change your mind.
- Ensure that your green beans are adequately washed and dried before throwing them into the pan. .
- To cut your time short, give your beans a good blanching in hot water to get them nice and soft. .
- Chop some garlic and let it cook in the pan, and add the beans when the garlic is nice and aromatic.
- After a few minutes, when the greens have wrinkled and look limp, add a dash of sesame oil on low flame and cost everything. the flavors of umami overcome you.
- Add some salt to taste and serve with risotto. .
The salty and almost crunchy texture of the greens with an almost bland-tasting risotto is the perfect combination that will have you coming in for seconds.
5 – Fresh Caprese Salad
A classic dish like the Caprese salad is excellent for pairing with another classic like the risotto.
The trick to a great salad is to find the perfect ingredients.
Get your hands on the freshest organic basil and tomatoes, along with creamy mozzarella, which will tie together the dish well.
Drizzle with a dash of vinaigrette for the kick, and you’re all set.
6 – Slow-smoked Ribs
Although it sounds more like a main dish option, you can have ribs as your sides for risotto.
Red meat is an excellent protein source packed with flavors to go with your risotto.
For the most flavorful ribs, coat it with your preferred seasonings and let it marinate for at least a few hours before you start the smoking process.
Our recommended seasonings and spices for the perfect smoked ribs are rosemary, onion, garlic, paprika, thyme, and cayenne pepper.
Give it a good rub down and let it soak in the flavors.
If you’re running out of time, you can cook it in the oven or a pan after at least 15 minutes of marinating.
The rich flavors of the meat will pair so well with the almost soft and tender risotto flavor.
7 – Airfryer Spicy Shrimps
As mentioned, seafood and risotto are a fair that will never fail you.
If you aren’t into scallops, you can go for shrimp.
It’s easier to cook and will take less time as well.
After adequately washing and prepping your shrimp, give it a good spice mix and throw it in the air fryer.
It should take just a few minutes to cook; with minimal oil.
It’s a healthy, spicy side dish to add to your risotto meal.
The crunch and spice of the shrimp will give your risotto more character and make a wholesome meal.
Risotto can pair well with various side dishes.
The creamy and porridge-like consistency of the dish makes it easy to experiment with different kinds of sides as discussed.
With the perfect side dish, you can transform a simple risotto dish into one of the best-filling meals.
These no-fail sides will surely win you some praise at the dinner table.
Try them out and see what works best in your opinion.