21 Alternatives To Garlic Bread To Serve With Pasta (With Recipes)

Pasta is so delicious and versatile that you can serve a simple spaghetti and meatballs for a family supper or a truffled alfredo for a dinner party. One of the most beloved sides for any pasta dish is buttery, crunchy garlic bread. What can you serve alongside pasta if your family doesn’t like garlic bread, can’t eat wheat, or is on a weight-loss diet?

Instead of garlic bread, try plain baguette, a garlic-free cheese loaf, bruschetta or potato wedges. To avoid carbs, try Italian salads, keto bread or cheesy kale chips. For vegetables, try grilled asparagus, zucchini, carrots, peas, Swiss chard, or onions.

There are many tasty and nutritious alternatives if you don’t want to serve garlic bread with your pasta meal. You can serve delicious loaves without garlic, replace the bread with a fresh, leafy salad, or add a helping of vitamin-rich vegetables.

Let’s look at 20 recipes to substitute garlic bread when serving pasta.

21 Side Dishes For Pasta That Aren’t Garlic Bread

Sliced French Baguette

I think this is one of the easiest and best! The crusty bread can mop up the sauce which is pretty key for a good side with pasta. You can make your own but easier to just go to your local bakery or grocery store.

Quick Cheese Loaf

For a family that is avoiding garlic, bake this scrumptious cheese loaf. The bread bakes up soft and tender, delicious with lashings of butter. Because no yeast or kneading is involved, your bread will be ready when the pasta is ready.

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Bruschetta With Tomatoes

Bruschetta is just Italian toast, but topping it with gorgeous fresh tomatoes makes this a winning side for pasta. All you need to do is grill slices of baguette with olive oil – you can do this in the oven.

Meanwhile, cut and deseed tomatoes. Chop the tomatoes and combine them with a dash of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh basil, salt, and pepper. Top the grilled bread with generous dollops of tomato and serve immediately.

Potato Wedges

When you need to produce a breadless side dish alongside a pasta dish, try a hearty serving of potato wedges. This recipe includes spicy paprika and a dash of garlic powder, so you won’t miss the garlic bread kick.

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Keto Cauliflower Bread

You can pair your pasta zoodles with cauliflower bread for those following a keto lifestyle or avoiding carbs. This recipe has only four ingredients but produces a cheesy, herby slice that’s perfect as a side.

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Sautéed Zucchini With Parmesan

This quick dish involves sautéeing sliced zucchini and onion in butter and olive oil and topping it with a gorgeous layer of Parmesan cheese. Zucchini goes well with spaghetti and meatballs.

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Grilled Asparagus

When you’ve cooked up a creamy, decadent carbonara, pair it with a fresh, vitamin-rich vegetable. There’s nothing more delicious than spring asparagus, which you can grill in a few minutes.

You simply need to break off the woody ends of your asparagus spears, place them in an oven pan or griddle with plenty of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill. You’ll need to cook the asparagus for two to four minutes to develop flavor as the spears brown. Serve the fork-tender asparagus with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Garlicky Kale Chips

Another healthy option for those looking for a carb-free and low-calorie side is making chips with kale. Kale is a superfood, full of fiber, calcium, and vitamins. It’s also cheap, so you can make a heap of these chips and scatter them over pasta or serve them in abundance for snacking on the side. You only need lots of kale, olive oil, salt, and Parmesan cheese.

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Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

The fussiest eaters will love this glazed carrot dish. Roast these sugar and butter-tossed carrots until golden, and serve alongside a simple weeknight supper of pasta with a tomato sauce. This combination is ideal for meatless Monday nights.

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Spring Peas With Mint

Fettucine primavera is an easy, fresh pasta with the best seasonal spring vegetables. You can put your newly picked peas in the pasta sauce or let them shine as a quick side vegetable with salmon pasta.

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Air-fryer Broccoli

Using an air-fryer in the kitchen has saved many moms’ sanity on a rushed weeknight. Throw together pasta with a jarred sauce and add this tasty broccoli to ensure the kids get their veggies. Within 10 minutes, you’ll have a platter of crispy broccoli with deliciously charred edges.

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Braised Swiss Chard With Bacon

When you’re serving a crowd, it’s handy to have a hearty side dish. This delicious sautéed chard is cooked with smoky bacon and can be whipped up just before serving. You’ll need a big braising pot to fit in the two bunches of greens.

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Herb-Roasted Onions

Roasted onions in a mustard and herb dressing can cook in the oven alongside lasagne. These tender, juicy onions can be served warm or at room temperature, so it’s a forgiving dish if you’ve got a lot going on in the kitchen.

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Mixed Green Salad

In summer, you’ll want a refreshing salad alongside your pasta rather than rich, hot garlic bread. Combine butter lettuce, rocket parsley, and fresh chives. Dress with a basic vinaigrette to accompany cheesy tortellini.

Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is a classic that shows off the best of ingredients. It’s worth investing in good-quality olive oil, Roma tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and freshly picked basil. Top with balsamic glaze, and serve.

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Although it sounds like a character in a Disney movie, Panzanella is a hearty Tuscan tomato and bread salad. Originally, you’d have used up yesterday’s slightly stale bread, so it’s also an economic side dish. If bread salad sounds unappealing, make this tangy, zesty mixture once, and you’ll be transported to Italy.

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Italian Green Salad

Up your green salad game with this antipasto-style salad packed with vegetables, olives, and pepperoncini, topped with a light mayonnaise dressing. It’s a fantastic salad for a relaxed outdoor lunch with friends and family.

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Pomegranate And Pear Salad

The beautiful festive salad is ideal for celebrations and holidays. This colorful salad platter includes delicacies like pomegranates, goat’s cheese, pecans, and tender pears. The dressing is spiked with ginger and apple cider vinegar. Bring out this salad for a vegetarian feast with goat’s cheese lasagne or baked manicotti.

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Fennel Coleslaw

Coleslaw isn’t a traditional side for pasta, but this isn’t a traditional coleslaw. Instead of being heavy with sweet, claggy mayonnaise, this tangy salad is bright with the licorice sweetness of fennel, carrots, cabbage, and a punchy mixture of Italian herbs.

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Winter Salad

An ideal salad for an elegant evening, winter salad combines leafy greens, apples, cherries, and pecan nuts with onion and a maple syrup dressing. This salad is perfect for a grown-up pasta dinner with its fruity components and lovely color combination.

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Avocado And Mango Salad

You can’t go wrong when you combine avocado, mango, lettuce, and cranberries, add almonds for crunch and drizzle with white wine vinegar dressing. A family favorite, this salad upgrades a pasta supper to a festivity.

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Related If You Love Garlic


While garlic bread is a much-loved side for pasta, several tasty and healthy alternatives exist. Make a lovely cheesy loaf or bruschetta if you don’t enjoy garlic. Gluten-free ideas include potato wedges and keto cauliflower bread. Go low-carb with freshly grilled vegetables, or serve a gorgeous salad full of vitamins. In the end, you might not even miss the garlic bread.

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