Homemade Italian Seafood Cioppino

What to Serve With Cioppino – 33 Sides to Choose From

If you’re simmering up a pot of that aromatic, seafood-loaded delight known as cioppino, you might be wondering what side dishes could step up to the plate and complement its robust, briny goodness. Fear not, because we’ve got you covered with a roster of delicious pairings that promise to elevate your cioppino experience.

So, dive in and discover your perfect match – your taste buds will thank you!

I’ve put all the recipes in specific categories to help you find your favorites faster. Jump around using the navigation below!

Homemade Italian Seafood Cioppino


This includes options such as sourdough bread, pasta, risotto, and garlic bread. These foods provide a hearty substance to the meal, complementing the stew with their diverse textures and flavors.

The bread is excellent for sopping up the flavorful broth, while pasta and risotto can serve as a base, absorbing the cioppino’s robust flavors.

Crusty Baguette

Baguette from unsplash}
Photo by Sergio Arze on Unsplash

A freshly baked baguette provides a simple and effective way to soak up the rich, tomato-based broth of cioppino. It requires no preparation – simply slice and serve alongside the stew. The crunchiness of the crust and the softness of the interior make for a great texture contrast with the cioppino.

And obviously, you can swap that baguette for any kind of bread you have on hand.

Focaccia Bread

No Knead Focaccia from https://cloudykitchen.com/
Photo credit: cloudykitchen.com

This No Knead Focaccia recipe is a great pairing with Cioppino because the fluffy and chewy texture of the bread complements the hearty and flavorful seafood stew. The garlic and rosemary in the focaccia also add a nice aromatic touch to the dish.

To pair them together, simply serve the warm focaccia alongside a bowl of hot and steamy Cioppino for a satisfying meal.

Ready for a culinary adventure? Explore No Knead Focaccia on Cloudy Kitchen for more.

(Looking for a good pairing for focaccia? Check out my article on focaccia pairings.)

Garlic Bread

A step up from the baguette and focaccia, garlic bread adds a savory depth to the cioppino meal.

You can simply rub a cut garlic clove on toasted bread slices, or mix minced garlic with butter, spread it on the bread and toast it until golden. The buttery, garlic flavors marry well with the seafood flavors in the stew.

Simple Spaghetti

Serving cioppino atop a bed of freshly cooked spaghetti turns the stew into a complete, satisfying meal. Simply cook the spaghetti according to package instructions and serve the cioppino on top. The pasta absorbs some of the broth, enhancing its flavor.


Easy Vegan Polenta (Super Creamy!) from https://minimalistbaker.com/
Photo credit: minimalistbaker.com

Creamy polenta can be a delightful alternative to bread or pasta. While it requires a bit more attention to cook properly, its creaminess adds a nice contrast to the cioppino, and it does an excellent job of soaking up the broth.

Just be sure to stir regularly to achieve the right consistency.

Dive into deliciousness with this Easy Vegan Polenta (Super Creamy!) from Minimalist Baker.

Parmesan Risotto

A more complex carbohydrate option, risotto requires attentive cooking to achieve its signature creamy texture.

A simple parmesan risotto could be a great option, providing a subtle, creamy base that allows the cioppino flavors to shine.

Sourdough Bread Bowls

For a truly San Franciscan experience, serve the cioppino in a hollowed-out sourdough bread bowl.

While this requires some effort – you’ll need to bake the sourdough (or buy it), hollow it out, and then warm it before serving – the result is an impressive and deliciously edible vessel for the stew.

Handmade Pasta

Easy German Spaetzle Recipe from https://platedcravings.com/
Photo credit: platedcravings.com

For the most ambitious option, consider making your own pasta from scratch. Whether it’s fettuccine, pappardelle, or German spaetzle, handmade pasta has a unique texture and freshness that pairs beautifully with cioppino.

The pasta-making process can be labor-intensive and requires some skill, but the result can elevate your cioppino meal to a new level.

Ready for a culinary adventure? Explore Easy German Spaetzle Recipe on Plated Cravings for more.


A light, refreshing salad can provide a contrast to the hearty and rich cioppino. It offers a palate-cleansing role and adds a fresh note to the meal.

Mixed Green Salad

The easiest salad option is a simple mixed green salad. Tossed with a vinaigrette made from olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, it offers a crisp and refreshing contrast to the rich cioppino.

Classic Caesar Salad

Classic Caesar Salad Recipe from https://keviniscooking.com/
Photo credit: keviniscooking.com

A step up, but still easy to assemble, a classic Caesar salad with romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing complements the cioppino. The creaminess of the Caesar dressing works well with the tomato-based cioppino broth.

Here’s the Classic Caesar Salad Recipe recipe if you’re interested, courtesy of Kevin Is Cooking.

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

Heirloom Caprese Salad from https://cookieandkate.com/
Photo credit: cookieandkate.com

Also known as a Caprese salad, this dish requires ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and balsamic reduction. The fresh, bright flavors and the hint of acidity from the tomatoes help cut through the richness of cioppino.

Here’s the Heirloom Caprese Salad recipe if you’re interested, courtesy of Cookie and Kate.

Greek Salad

Greek Salad Recipe from https://www.tamingtwins.com/
Photo credit: www.tamingtwins.com

The combination of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, olives, and feta cheese dressed with olive oil and lemon juice provides a refreshing side to the cioppino. The tangy feta and olives contrast well with the hearty stew.

Feeling hungry? Take a look at Greek Salad Recipe on Taming Twins.

Arugula Salad with Parmesan and Lemon Vinaigrette

Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette from https://www.lastingredient.com/
Photo credit: www.lastingredient.com

A bit more sophisticated, this salad involves arugula, shaved Parmesan, and a homemade lemon vinaigrette. Arugula’s peppery bite and the salty Parmesan complement the rich flavors in cioppino.

Craving this? Check out the Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette recipe from Last Ingredient.

Panzanella Salad

Greek Panzanella Salad from https://www.seasonsandsuppers.ca/
Photo credit: www.seasonsandsuppers.ca

This Greek Panzanella Salad is a great pairing for cioppino because it has a fresh and light flavor that complements the rich and hearty flavors of the stew. The salad’s tangy vinaigrette and salty feta cheese provide a nice contrast to the savory tomato-based broth of the cioppino.

To pair them together, serve the salad as a side dish alongside the cioppino.

Give your taste buds a treat with this Greek Panzanella Salad from Seasons and Suppers.

Persimmon Salad with Citrus Dressing

Persimmon Salad with Citrus Dressing from https://www.feastingathome.com/
Photo credit: www.feastingathome.com

This Persimmon Salad with Citrus Dressing is a great pairing for cioppino because the bright and tangy flavors in the salad complement the rich and savory flavors in the cioppino. The sweetness of the persimmons and pomegranate seeds provide a nice contrast to the spiciness of the cioppino.

To pair it with cioppino, serve the salad as a refreshing side dish alongside the hearty seafood stew.

Craving this? Check out the Persimmon Salad with Citrus Dressing recipe from Feasting At Home.

Seafood Salad

Seafood Salad from https://www.simplejoy.com/
Photo credit: www.simplejoy.com

Seafood salad is a great pairing for cioppino as both dishes feature a variety of seafood and a similar flavor profile. The acidity from the lemon juice and Old Bay Seasoning in the seafood salad complements the tomato-based broth in cioppino.

Serve the seafood salad as a side dish alongside the seafood stew.

Give your taste buds a treat with this Seafood Salad from Simple Joy.

Vegetable Sides

This category covers earthy roasted vegetables and grilled or steamed artichokes. Roasted vegetables like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or root vegetables complement the rich, seafood flavors in cioppino.

Artichokes, a local product of the West Coast where cioppino originates, often accompany it. The natural sweetness of artichokes pairs well with the rich, savory flavors of the stew, while the roasted vegetables add a hearty yet healthy side to the meal.

Steamed Asparagus

cold plate, dish, asparagus from unsplash}
Photo by yang louie on Unsplash

The simplest side option is steamed asparagus. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and you have a quick, easy, and delicious side. The natural flavors of the asparagus complement the hearty seafood stew.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

A slightly more involved option, grilled corn on the cob offers a sweet and smoky contrast to the savory cioppino. Brush the corn with butter and grill it until lightly charred for the best flavor.

Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic + Video from https://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/
Photo credit: www.theslowroasteditalian.com

These require a bit more time and preparation. Tossed with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, and then roasted until crispy, they add a delightful crunch and earthy flavor to the meal.

Here’s the Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic + Video recipe if you’re interested, courtesy of The Slow Roasted Italian.

Steamed Artichokes

Steamed Artichoke from https://triedandtasty.com/
Photo credit: triedandtasty.com

Steamed artichokes are an excellent pairing with cioppino, as the subtle sweetness of the artichoke complements the rich broth. They require some time to steam, but their unique flavor and texture make the effort worthwhile.

Here’s the Steamed Artichoke recipe if you’re interested, courtesy of Tried and Tasty.

Marinated Artichoke Salad

Italian Marinated Artichoke Salad Recipe from https://www.wholesomeyum.com/
Photo credit: www.wholesomeyum.com

Here’s another artichoke option.

This Italian Marinated Artichoke Salad is a great pairing for cioppino because the salad’s tangy and herbaceous flavors complement the rich and savory flavors of the cioppino.

To pair it with cioppino, simply serve the salad as a side dish alongside the cioppino. The salad’s light and refreshing flavors will balance out the hearty and rich flavors of the cioppino.

Dive into deliciousness with this Italian Marinated Artichoke Salad Recipe from Wholesome Yum | Easy healthy recipes. 10 ingredients or less..

Roasted Root Vegetables

Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and beets can be roasted with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. The earthy flavors and caramelized edges of these vegetables provide a wonderful contrast to the cioppino.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Lemon Herb Veggie Skewers from https://buythiscookthat.com/
Photo credit: buythiscookthat.com

For a more visually appealing option, skewers of mixed vegetables (such as bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes) can be grilled for a colorful and flavorful side dish. The grilling brings out the natural sugars in the vegetables, adding a slight sweetness that pairs well with the savory cioppino.

Sounds interesting? Check out this Lemon Herb Veggie Skewers from Buy This Cook That.

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan

Garlic Parmesan Whole Roasted Cauliflower from https://www.spendwithpennies.com/
Photo credit: www.spendwithpennies.com

Roasting cauliflower florets with olive oil, garlic, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese transforms this simple vegetable into a side dish full of flavor and texture. The slight crunch of the roasted cauliflower and the salty, umami flavor of the Parmesan pair well with the rich seafood flavors in cioppino.

Why not try Garlic Parmesan Whole Roasted Cauliflower from Spend With Pennies today?

Light Desserts

Light and refreshing desserts, like sorbet or fresh fruit, can cleanse the palate after the rich stew. These help to end the meal on a light and satisfying note.

Fresh Berries

Fruit Platter from unsplash}
Photo by Cecilia Par on Unsplash

This is the easiest option.

A bowl of fresh, ripe strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or a mix of these can provide a refreshing end to the meal. Their natural sweetness and slight tartness can cleanse the palate after the savory cioppino.

Lemon Sorbet

Lemon Sorbet from https://www.acouplecooks.com/
Photo credit: www.acouplecooks.com

Another simple option, lemon sorbet offers a bright, citrusy note that contrasts nicely with the rich flavors of the cioppino. Most grocery stores carry this, or you can make it at home with just a few ingredients if you have an ice cream maker.

Feeling inspired? Try this Lemon Sorbet from A Couple Cooks.

Fruit Salad

Summer fruit Bowl from unsplash}
Photo by Jo Sonn on Unsplash

A well-curated fruit salad can be a refreshing way to end a cioppino meal.

Use a variety of fresh, in-season fruits for the best flavors. A splash of lime or lemon juice can help bring out the flavors of the fruit.


Italian almond biscotti can offer a light, crunchy treat after the cioppino. Whether store-bought or homemade, they can be served alongside coffee or tea, providing a subtle sweetness without being too heavy.

Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce from https://natashaskitchen.com/
Photo credit: natashaskitchen.com

A classic Italian dessert, panna cotta is a creamy, yet light, dessert that can be flavored with vanilla, lemon, or even topped with a light fruit compote.

It does require some cooking and setting time, but its delicate flavor and texture make it a wonderful end to a meal.

Here’s the Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce recipe if you’re interested, courtesy of NatashasKitchen.com.


This semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water, and various flavorings is a refreshing palate cleanser. A lemon or other citrus granita could be a great choice after cioppino.

This requires periodic stirring as it freezes to achieve the right texture, so it’s a bit more work than some of the other options.


Pavlova from https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/
Photo credit: sallysbakingaddiction.com

This meringue-based dessert topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit is a light yet satisfying option. The crunchy meringue and soft cream offer a delightful texture contrast, while the fruit adds freshness.

It does, however, require careful baking to achieve the right meringue texture.

Fancy this? Check out Pavlova from Sally’s Baking Addiction.


Easy Tiramisu (Chef Recipe) from https://www.recipetineats.com/
Photo credit: www.recipetineats.com

For a more ambitious dessert option, tiramisu provides a layered flavor experience with its coffee-soaked ladyfingers, rich mascarpone cream, and cocoa topping.

It’s a bit more indulgent, but it’s still light enough not to overwhelm the palate after cioppino.

Whip up this Easy Tiramisu (Chef Recipe) from RecipeTin Eats.

(Tiramisu also pairs well with Italian wedding soup.)

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart with Blueberries from https://www.flavourandsavour.com/
Photo credit: www.flavourandsavour.com

The most challenging but rewarding option might be a homemade lemon tart. The buttery crust and tangy, sweet lemon curd offer a fantastic flavor contrast.

It requires making both a pastry crust and a lemon curd, so it’s a bit more labor-intensive than the other options.

However, the bright, citrusy notes make it an excellent pairing with cioppino.

Let’s get cooking with this Lemon Tart with Blueberries from Flavour and Savour.

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