Baked or simply coated and stuffed with pasta sauce, ziti is an exceptionally versatile noodle shape. It needs few ingredients to make, it’s easy to prepare, and tastes delicious.
From cheesy texture and rich taste, this classic comfort dish can be consumed on its own for dinner or lunch. However, it tastes much better when accompanied by side dishes.
What to eat with ziti? Traditionally, ziti goes best with chunky and thick sauces, even meat based, so that it easily gets trapped in the hollow centers. As a result, it is a popular pasta for baked or casserole dishes with lots of cheese and sauce.
Whether the ziti is baked or stuffed with sauce, it goes wonderfully with side dishes such as roasted vegetables, salads, bread, cheese, sausages and meat.
Ziti is similar to rigatoni and lasagna because it is easy to prepare and a fan favorite dish. The ingredients can be same, but the way the plate is garnished can make these dishes different than each other.
The combination of inviting aromas, delicious flavors, and incredible textures is what makes ziti so irresistible. That being said, let’s look at the vegetables, cheeses, sauces, and side dishes to serve with ziti.
What do you eat with ziti?
Since ziti is loaded with cheese and flavorful sauces, it tastes great on its own, but it’s even better when paired with other dishes including nuts, dessert, bread, and wine.
Some classic ziti pairings include:
- Seafood: crab, shrimp, scallops, lobster, mussels
- Fish: salmon, rockfish, white fish, bass
- Nuts: almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts
- Salads: Italian, mix greens, caprese salad
- Herbs: sage, rosemary, dill, oregano, basil
- Spices: red pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika
- Desserts: fruit crumble, chocolate cake, lemon trifles, banana pudding, tiramisu, ice cream
- Bread: garlic bread, sourdough, baguette
- Wine: Zinfandel, Chinati Classico, Barbera, Valpolicella, Pinot Noir
What sauce goes well with ziti?
Traditionally ziti pasta is served with tomato-based sauce, however there are other flavorful sauces that you can replace with. From thick to light, here are classic sauces that blend well with ziti.
What cheese goes well with ziti?
Ziti pasta is mostly served with tomato-sauce and garnished with cheese as a topping before baking to make a crispy top. Exchange for extra creamy and browned ziti by using cheeses that can be quickly melted and are easy to grate.
The classic cheese that goes well with ziti are:
What meat goes well with ziti?
Ziti pasta is popular Neapolitan-style, which is generally served with tomato-based sauce. The refreshing and sweet sauce pairs wonderfully with any type of meat.
Here are classic meat options to add on the side or in the sauce to accomplish meaty flavor that goes well with ziti.
- Beef: ground beef, stew meat, meatballs
- Chicken: chicken breasts, rotisserie, tenders, ground chicken,
- Pork: tenderloin, Boston butt, ground pork, sausage, pork shoulder
The flavor of meat paired with sauces brings out an unforgettable ziti dish. Ground beef, beef slices, or meatballs are ideal to take the dish to a whole new level.
What vegetable goes well with ziti?
When ziti is baked, roasting vegetables in a casserole is classic way to serve the meal. In one pan, you will get nutritious and colorful veggies to garnish the plate.
Accompanying ziti with roasted vegetables makes the meal healthier and adds taste, flavors, and texture as well. The vegetables that can be added to baked ziti or as roasted vegetable side dishes include:
- brussels sprouts
- green beans
- bell pepper
What side dish goes well with ziti?
No matter what sauce you use to coat ziti pasta, it is already filled with an abundance of flavor. When choosing the ideal side dish for ziti, go for options that complement without overpowering.
Some of the side dishes to pair with ziti include:
- Creamed spinach: This leafy green side dish adds lots of flavor to ziti. This side dish must be served hot, otherwise nobody will enjoy it. Try adding some chicken or steak to give flavor and balance the meal with more protein.
- Salad: When looking for light and refreshing sides or appetizer to serve before the main dish, Italian, green, or Caprese salads are the best addition to ziti. However, be sure not to add too much salad dressing as it will turn soggy or overpower the flavor. Additionally, try not to make it too spicy as it will overwhelm the sweet and natural taste of ziti.
- Stuffed tomatoes: The best tomatoes to use on ziti are oven-baked hot house tomatoes will be hot enough to melt cheese, especially when dealing with baked ziti. With herbs and drizzle with olive oil, smokey and roast tomatoes will be amazing sides to ziti pasta.
- Bruschetta: This unique Italian appetizer pairs perfectly with ziti. Made of Italian or baguette bread with some roasted tomatoes on top, this appetizer has interesting flavors that go well with pasta.
- Garlic bread: Just like any other pasta, garlic bread goes beautifully with ziti pasta. The buttery, crispy, and garlicky taste of this appetizer or sides can enhance the experience as well as help to soak up any pasta sauce left behind.
- Roasted vegetables: Whether it is baked or coated with pasta sauce, adding vegetables on a side is healthy option. Roasted vegetables offer nutrients, and also bring color and texture to the dish. Include veggies such as asparagus, broccoli, green beans, spinach, Brussel spouts, zucchini, carrots, kale, eggplant, green beans, squash, and bell pepper.
Eat with Ziti: Conclusion
Whether you are adding cheese, thick sauce, meat, or veggies, there’s one thing we have to agree on, ziti is very delicious and easy to prepare.
It’s also quite versatile, so there’s really no need to worry about what to pair with it. This pasta traps sauce in the hollow center to make every bite explode with flavors whether you bake them or serve with simple sauce on top.
Ziti pasta is a classic comfort food that pairs well with any side dishes from roast vegetables to fresh salads, garlic bread, variety types of cheese, spicy or mild sausages, and any meat, seafood or fish.
With this show-stopper, there are endless pairings to get the taste and texture you crave whenever you want ziti pasta for lunch or dinner. Use these flavor and ingredient recommendations to enjoy your ziti pasta today.