Italian sausage doesn’t refer to traditional Italian sausage, as too many of the latter exist. Instead, it’s a North American sausage with fennel-based flavors. But that doesn’t mean it won’t go great with Italian-inspired sides.
Thus, if you’re planning to have Italian sausage as your entree, it’s no problem. This article has 14 classic sides if you can’t decide what to serve with Italian sausage.
Sausages and eggs are a classic combo. While you can have your Italian sausage with simple, sunny-side-up, or scrambled eggs, you might prefer something new – like this frittata. It is an Italian omelet and stands out for the many varying ingredients you can add. This recipe, for instance, combines eggs with dairy, salt, crumbled cheese, and chopped vegetables or greens for the ultimate taste!
A recommended pairing to Italian sausage is minestrone, which is also Italian-inspired, like the frittata. This soup is a savory blend of pasta, vegetables, beans, and tomato flavors – heartwarming and flavorful. It takes 45 minutes to prepare and cook, plus you’ll have to find the medley of vegetables needed for this recipe, from celery to spinach leaves.
The many recipes combining Italian sausage with peppers and onions prove that the three are impeccable. But if you want to separate them, have a side of peperonata instead, try this recipe. It’s an Italian side made from bell peppers, onions, tomato passata, garlic, olive oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper. So many unique flavors contribute to a harmonious taste profile!
The fennel flavors in Italian sausage are mild, so the hints of sweetness, licorice, and anise are subtle. But if you want to emphasize them, serve your sausage with braised fennels instead. Braising caramelizes the fennels, making them sweeter and richer, suited for your main. The seasonings are also simple – olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and vegetable broth – so the fennel isn’t overpowered.
The Italians are known for pasta, so it’s no surprise that Italian sausage goes perfectly with it. The two are incredibly rich, savory, and satisfying – just what you need for a complete dinner. You’ll love this roasted cherry tomato pasta as it has bright and balanced flavors from cherry tomatoes, spices, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Spaghetti marinara is a classic pasta dish the world has come to love. It is rich, saucy, and delicious, a great treat on its own but also perfect with homemade Italian sausage. This spaghetti recipe takes only 20 minutes to make. You’ll need olive oil, peeled San Marzano tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, pasta, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
Italian sausage is well-recommended with potato side dishes, from mashed to roasted. But to deviate from the usual and stick to Italian flavors, go for this creamy, light, and fresh potato salad instead. Besides the potatoes, there are string beans and cherry tomatoes, all tossed in a homemade parsley vinaigrette. Get ready to enjoy!
Another great summer salad that’s perfect with Italian sausage is this antipasto pasta salad, made with fresh herbs, cheese, veggies, and meat. This recipe’s flavors are even more complex, as you get hints of sweet, savory, spicy, hearty, herby, and acidity altogether. But even with all these distinct tastes, they come out beautifully and harmoniously.
Make a bowl of this rustic tomato and cucumber salad if you prefer a simple salad. It takes pride in its refreshing, light, and balanced flavors, which are excellent with your flavorful Italian sausage. The tomatoes and cucumbers are combined with seasonings, spices, and a homemade dressing made from olive oil, red wine vinegar, black pepper, salt, garlic, sugar, and oregano.
10. Panzanella Salad
Panzanella is a well-loved, Tuscan-style salad made from crusty bread, fresh tomatoes, onions, basil, and a homemade vinaigrette. It’s a great way to reuse stale or leftover bread, but the recommended types are ciabatta, baguette, sourdough, and focaccia. The salad is light, refreshing, and delicious, perfect for elevating flavorful meats like Italian sausage.
11. Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is an Italian classic – recipes hardly deviate from the traditional triad of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Each element provides a distinct taste to the dish, like the refreshing juices, creaminess, and subtle herb flavors. What makes this Caprese salad stand out is the addition of garlic balsamic dressing, which efficiently contributes to the balanced complex of flavors.
Like other sausages, Italian sausage is excellent with plain-flavored carbs, such as bread. Many types of bread are available, but why not stick to the theme and serve it with homemade Italian crusty bread? Kneading and baking dough might seem intimidating, but with this recipe, even beginners like you can make fresh, warm, and tasty bread.
13. Creamy Polenta
Polenta is an Italian, cornmeal-based porridge that, when cooked and prepared perfectly, is impeccably creamy, light, fluffy, and gorgeously golden. It is highly recommended to serve with protein mains, such as Italian sausage. To make this recipe, you’ll need classic ingredients like water, salt, polenta or ground cornmeal, and butter. But what makes this one stand out is the addition of cream cheese, which adds flavor and creaminess.
14. Parmesan Risotto
If you prefer rice over cornmeal, make parmesan risotto instead. Risotto is an Italian classic loved for its creaminess and balanced flavors. Such is achieved through the unique yet balanced combination of rice, garlic, butter, onion, wine, and parmesan. It takes only 35 minutes to make, then served with a sprinkle of cheese and black pepper.