There is nothing quite as comforting and satisfying as a good pasta dish, and fettuccine alfredo is no exception! It’s al dente pasta that is smothered in a creamy, thick white sauce.
But why not elevate your fettuccine alfredo to restaurant standard with 10 delicious side dishes?
After all, fettuccine alfredo is a pretty rich pasta dish, so it’s nice to have some contrasting sides to balance out the rich flavors.
Below, you’ll find protein-rich meaty sides that are sure to fill you up, and some lighter sides that just add a little more depth to your pasta dish.
You’ll also find the recipe for delicious meatballs, and an Olive Garden-worthy salad. Let’s jump right in!
Fettuccine Alfredo is a rich and simple pasta dish, consisting of butter, cheese, and – of course – pasta. So adding meatballs to the dish can give it more interesting flavors and textures, especially if you’re not in the mood for a chicken alfredo.
Making the perfect meatball takes more than rolling ground meat into balls, they need to be perfectly seasoned with herbs and spices, to bring out the most flavor!
This Betty Crocker recipe requires eight simple ingredients to achieve meatball perfection.
Bread and pasta – while heavy on the carbs – is a classic combination. There is nothing like mopping up the excess sauce with a delicious piece of bread, and there are so many types of bread that taste delicious with fettuccine alfredo.
From breadsticks, to Focaccia and French bread, the possibilities are endless!
If you prefer a lighter side with your pasta, why not have a lovely side salad? Salads are crisp, light and are a refreshing side when served with rich, creamy pasta. What you throw into your salad is up to you.
Arugula, kale, romaine, and spinach are leafy greens that all work well in salad, and there are so many fruits and vegetables you can toss into your salad too, from corn, cucumber, olives, onions, peppers, and tomatoes, to mangoes and oranges.
For an extra crunch, you can also add cashews, pecans, or walnuts.
However, when it comes to the dressing you’re going to want a light vinaigrette, as a creamy ranch dressing or yogurt dressing might be a bit cloying with the rich pasta sauce.
You can’t go wrong with a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil, and a touch of salt and pepper.
Or, you can give the above salad recipe a try. It goes well with all pasta dishes, and is an imitation of the famous Olive Garden Italian salad.
It contains bright, leafy romaine and croutons for crunch, cherry tomatoes, red onions, olives and pepperoncinis for that authentic Italian flavor, and grated Parmesan.
Asparagus doesn’t just give your fettuccine alfredo extra crunch, but it also adds a touch of vibrant green color.
The freshness of asparagus also cuts through the rich pasta sauce for a well-balanced dish.
Broccoli is another green vegetable that will provide a nice contrast to the umami flavors of fettuccine alfredo. Broccoli not only gives your alfredo a crisp texture, but makes it much healthier too.
Plus, you get that vibrant green contrast again! Plus, preparing broccoli couldn’t be easier. You just blanch the florets and stems and use them as garnish for your pasta.
You can also steam the broccoli alongside your pasta, killing two birds with one stone!
Grilled Chicken Strips
If you want to add some protein to your fettuccine alfredo, then chicken should be your first port of call. Chicken and creamy, cheesy sauce is just an excellent combination.
You don’t have to coat your chicken in batter and deep-fry it, just grill strips of chicken breast to inject some protein into your fettuccine alfredo.
The flavor and texture of bacon is perfect for cutting through the rich and creamy textures of a fettuccine alfredo. The bacon lends a smoky flavor to the pasta, and provides a delightful crunch.
If you’re not in the mood for bacon though, you can swap it out for pancetta instead.
If you’re a fan of seafood, why not enjoy some grilled shrimp with your fettuccine alfredo?
Shrimp has a delightful crunch, and is juicy and sweet. Just what a fettuccine alfredo needs!
To up your protein game, why not incorporate some steak into your fettuccine alfredo?
Serving fat, juicy steak on the side of your pasta makes for one hearty, decadent meal, and is a perfect dish to whip up for a date night at home, or any other special occasion.
We recommend serving a New York strip with your fettuccine alfredo. All you need to do is season your steak well with salt and pepper, and cook in a hot skillet for 3-4 minutes on each side before covering with foil.
Leave the steak to rest for 10 minutes before you serve it.
Of course, you can enjoy fettuccine alfredo without any sides, as it is hearty and filling enough as it is.
So if you’d rather pass on the sides, why not just enjoy your meal with a glass of wine? We believe chardonnay is the best wine to enjoy alongside fettuccine alfredo.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Make Fettuccine Alfredo Less Greasy?
Your fettuccine alfredo may be greasy because the sauce has been cooking too long on too high a heat and the oils have separated.
You can avoid this by boiling the water for your pasta and cooking it until it is al dente while you are making the sauce.
How Do You Stop Alfredo Sauce From Separating?
You can stop your alfredo sauce from separating by whisking it rather than stirring it with a spatula.
Parmesan cheese is responsible for making the sauce thick and creamy, and the fresher the cheese the better.
How Do You Make Fettuccine Alfredo Sauce Creamier?
There are two reasons why the sauce for your fettuccine alfredo isn’t as creamy as you would like.
The first reason is that your pasta has absorbed all the moisture in your sauce, and the second reason is that your sauce may be too thick.
To solve the first problem, add a little chicken broth when combining the sauce and the pasta to thin it out. To solve the second problem, make the sauce thicker by adding broth, cream, or milk.
How Long Can You Leave Fettuccine Alfredo Sitting Out For?
Cooked fettuccine that has been properly stored will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge.
But bacteria can rapidly grow at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, so cooked fettuccine that has been left out for over 2 hours at room temperature should be discarded.
Fettuccine alfredo is a filling dish that can be enjoyed on its own, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add some sides to it.
Chicken, bacon, shrimp and steak add a little extra protein to the dish, while a salad is a healthy, refreshing side that balances out the rich, creamy pasta.
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