If you’re planning on cooking up a steaming pot of Zuppa Toscana, you might be scratching your head, thinking about what to serve alongside this hearty Italian soup. Fear not, as we’ve curated a scrumptious list of side dishes that beautifully complement Zuppa Toscana, turning your meal into a well-rounded, Tuscan feast.
Dive in, and discover the perfect pairing that tantalizes your taste buds!
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Zuppa Toscana is a hearty Italian soup that is often served with bread for soaking up the delicious broth. The bread can also add a contrasting texture, as the soup is typically quite smooth, and the bread is crunchy.
Examples of breads that pair well include Italian Bread Rolls, Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks, and a crusty baguette. The subtle flavors of garlic, butter, or cheese in the breads can enhance the soup’s flavor profile.
Ciabatta, an Italian white bread, is characterized by its crunchy crust and airy interior, which is perfect for soaking up Zuppa Toscana. Its mild flavor doesn’t overpower the soup’s taste, and it’s readily available in most bakeries
Serve slices of fresh ciabatta on the side of your soup bowl for easy dipping.
This is a slightly more complex option than the Ciabatta Loaf, as it requires some extra preparation. However, the infusion of garlic and butter enhances the savory elements of Zuppa Toscana.
Simply slice a baguette, spread a mix of butter, minced garlic, and parsley, and bake until golden.
This Italian classic is a versatile and delightful companion to Zuppa Toscana.
You can simply toast slices of Italian bread and top them with a mixture of diced tomatoes, garlic, and basil. The tomato’s acidity complements the creamy soup and the bread provides an extra crunch.
This fluffy, olive oil-enriched bread from Italy provides a textural contrast and extra flavor when paired with Zuppa Toscana.
You can make a basic focaccia with rosemary or add other ingredients like olives, tomatoes, or caramelized onions.
Serve warm squares of this bread alongside the soup.
And in case you’re interested, we also got an article covering foods to serve with focaccia.
Sea Salt and Herb Skillet Rolls
For an extra decadent touch, try sea salt and herb skillet rolls. The combination of aromatic herbs and salt complements the rich flavors of the soup. Preparing these from scratch can be somewhat time-consuming, but the result is worth the effort.
Making sourdough bread at home is a rewarding but complex process. Its unique tangy flavor is a great match for the hearty, savory notes of Zuppa Toscana.
(Unless you decide do keep it simple and buy a loaf.)
A slice of fresh sourdough bread is great for dipping into the soup, and its crispy crust provides a pleasant contrast to the soup’s creaminess.
A light and fresh salad can complement the hearty, rich flavors of Zuppa Toscana. The crunchiness of the vegetables contrasts with the softness of the soup, and a tangy vinaigrette can cut through the soup’s richness.
Options include Caprese Salad with its fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, Olive Garden salad with a variety of veggies and Italian dressing, or a Spinach Apple Salad for a sweet and tangy contrast.
Simple Green Salad
A simple green salad made with mixed lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and a simple vinaigrette can be the perfect complement to Zuppa Toscana. The salad’s light and crisp nature contrasts the soup’s creaminess.
Additionally, it’s easy to prepare – just toss together the ingredients, dress lightly, and serve alongside the soup.
This classic Italian salad with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction provides a fresh, creamy contrast to the hearty soup.
It’s slightly more complex to prepare than a green salad, but its flavors pair wonderfully with the Italian undertones of the Zuppa Toscana.
(This Caprese salad also works great as a manicotti side.)
The zesty, briny flavors of a Greek salad can cut through the richness of Zuppa Toscana.
Made with crisp cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, olives, feta cheese, and a tangy vinaigrette, it’s a bit more involved than a basic green salad, but the flavor combination is worth it.
(This Greek salad also works well served as a tomato soup side.)
Spinach Apple Salad
A step up in complexity, this salad offers a great blend of sweet and tart flavors from the apples and a nice crunch from toasted pecans. It’s dressed with a tangy vinaigrette that cuts through the richness of the soup.
This bread salad is a bit more time-consuming to prepare, but its combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and crusty bread soaked in a tangy vinaigrette makes for a hearty side that mirrors the rustic feel of Zuppa Toscana.
(Panzanella also works well as a carbonara side.)
Grilled Caesar Salad
Grilled romaine lettuce with a homemade Caesar dressing, crispy croutons, and shaved Parmesan adds a smoky element to your meal, which can nicely offset the creamy and spicy Zuppa Toscana.
It’s a bit more difficult to prepare due to the grilling process and making the dressing from scratch, but it’s a sophisticated pairing that’s sure to impress.
Check out this delicious Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad with Herbed White Beans recipe from Minimalist Baker.
Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
This salad is the most complex on the list but provides a delightful contrast of flavors and textures. Roasted beets add sweetness, goat cheese provides creaminess, and arugula or mixed greens bring a peppery note. Toasted nuts like walnuts or pecans add crunch, and a honey-Dijon vinaigrette ties everything together.
It requires more prep work, especially if you roast the beets yourself, but the resulting color and flavor combination make for an impressive pairing with Zuppa Toscana.
Sounds interesting? Check out this Arugula Beet Salad with Candied Walnuts and Goat Cheese from Paint The Kitchen Red.
Appetizers that highlight simple, high-quality ingredients work well with Zuppa Toscana.
For instance, Stuffed Mushrooms or Pan-Fried Artichokes can echo the soup’s rustic Italian flavors. Fritters or Crackers could provide an enjoyable contrast in texture without overwhelming the soup’s complex flavor.
These skewers combine mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil – the staples of a Caprese salad. The cool, refreshing flavors can balance out the richness of Zuppa Toscana.
Just skewer the ingredients on a stick and drizzle with balsamic glaze to create an easy-to-serve appetizer that guests can enjoy while waiting for the main course.
A more indulgent bread option, these soft, warm, and garlicky breadsticks can enhance the soup’s garlic notes and provide a cozy, homely feel to the meal.
Serve them warm and encourage guests to dip them into the soup for a comforting and satisfying bite.
Tempted to cook this? Gluten-Free Vegan Flourless “Cheesy” Garlic Breadsticks from The Healthy Family and Home™ is where you find the whole recipe.
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
This elegant appetizer combines the salty, savory flavor of prosciutto with the earthy taste of asparagus, offering a delightful contrast to the creamy soup.
To pair, place a serving of these wraps on a separate plate or incorporate them as a garnish to the soup bowl.
This Crispy Onion Rings recipe is a great pairing with Zuppa Toscana because the crispy texture of the onion rings complements the creamy and hearty soup.
The sour cream in the dipping sauce also adds a tangy flavor that balances well with the spicy sausage and potatoes in the soup.
Serve the onion rings on the side or sprinkle them on top of the soup for added crunch.
This warm and creamy cheese appetizer enhances the Italian feel of the meal. Infuse the ricotta with herbs like rosemary or thyme to add an aromatic twist that echoes the herbaceous notes in Zuppa Toscana.
Serve it with crostini or crusty bread for guests to spread on.
Arancini (Rice Balls)
These Sicilian delicacies are a bit more time-consuming to prepare, but their crispy exterior and gooey, cheesy interior offer a wonderful counterpoint to Zuppa Toscana.
Made from risotto and often filled with mozzarella or ragu, these can be served as an appetizer before the soup, or on the side for an added crunch.
Italian Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed with a mix of ground meat, rice, and cheese, these flavorful peppers bring a different set of Italian flavors to the table, complementing the soup’s robust character.
Serve them alongside the soup, or as a separate course, to provide a fulfilling, protein-rich complement.
These skewers offer a combination of flavors and textures, including mozzarella, olives, cherry tomatoes, pepperoni, and artichoke hearts. They’re more labor-intensive, as each skewer needs to be assembled, but they present a variety of Italian flavors that all pair well with Zuppa Toscana.
Serve these skewers as an appetizer before the soup or alongside it for an added burst of flavor.
Vegetable-based sides or those with a creamy or cheesy element can complement the robust, meaty, and creamy flavors of the Zuppa Toscana.
Italian Green Beans or Roasted Asparagus could offer a green, crunchy contrast, while Cheesy Bread Cubes or Scalloped Potatoes would enhance the soup’s comforting, hearty aspect.
Garlic Sauteed Spinach
Simply sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt, this side dish brings out the natural, fresh flavor of spinach. It offers a lighter, green contrast to the rich Zuppa Toscana.
To pair, serve a small portion of spinach alongside the soup.
Italian Green Beans
Sautéed with garlic and tomatoes, these green beans carry an Italian flair that works well with Zuppa Toscana. The beans’ crisp texture and bright flavor offer a nice contrast to the soup’s rich, creamy base.
Serve alongside the soup as a refreshing counterpart.
These cheesy, crispy fries made from polenta bring a comforting, carb-based side to the soup, with the corn flavor adding an interesting twist. The crispy exterior and creamy interior of the fries make for a satisfying textural contrast to the soup.
To pair, simply serve a small batch of polenta fries alongside the soup.
Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
Roasting cauliflower intensifies its flavor and brings out a nuttiness that pairs well with Zuppa Toscana. Topped with Parmesan, it becomes a delightful, cheesy side that complements the soup’s hearty flavors.
Serve it as a side dish with the soup, or even add some florets directly into the soup for a vegetable boost.
Dive into deliciousness with this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner from Snixy Kitchen.
Mashed Butternut Squash
Offering a slightly sweet and creamy side dish option, this can pair nicely with the Zuppa Toscana, complementing its savory notes.
Serve a scoop of this squash mash alongside the soup for a fall-themed meal.
Cheese and Garlic Crack Bread
This Cheese and Garlic Crack Bread is a great pairing with Zuppa Toscana because the warm, savory flavors of the bread complement the rich and hearty flavors of the soup. The cheesy, garlicky goodness of the bread also adds a nice contrast in texture to the creamy soup.
Simply serve the bread on the side or tear off pieces to dip into the soup for a delicious and comforting meal.
With a creamy, cheesy, and slightly crispy top, these scalloped potatoes make for a rich, hearty side that mirrors the comfort factor of Zuppa Toscana.
To pair, serve a portion of these potatoes alongside the soup, letting the creamy elements of both dishes complement one another.
A charcuterie board featuring a variety of Italian cheeses, cured meats, and olives can provide a plethora of flavors and textures that pair well with the soup.
The salty and umami flavors of the charcuterie items can stand up to the hearty soup.
An assortment of Italian cheeses such as fresh mozzarella, pecorino, and gorgonzola offer varying degrees of creaminess, saltiness, and sharpness that can contrast and complement the rich, hearty flavors of Zuppa Toscana.
A mix of green and black Italian olives, perhaps marinated in herbs and olive oil, provides a salty, briny contrast to the creamy soup. Olives also add a different texture to the meal.
This Italian dry-cured ham offers a salty, savory element that can stand up to the robust flavors in Zuppa Toscana. Its delicate texture contrasts the hearty texture of the soup.
Offering a different flavor profile and texture than prosciutto, salami provides a peppery and savory note that pairs well with Zuppa Toscana.
Grissini (Italian Breadsticks)
These thin, crispy breadsticks can provide a contrasting texture to the soup and are a traditional component of an Italian charcuterie board. They’re easy to eat and provide a base for the meats and cheeses.
This Italian cold cut, studded with pistachios and peppercorns, offers a different texture and a unique flavor profile. Its rich and smooth taste can complement the hearty flavors of the soup.
Simple pasta dishes, particularly those with a light olive oil or garlic-based sauce, can complement Zuppa Toscana without overwhelming it.
Dishes like Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, Pesto Pasta, or Linguini with Clam Sauce can echo the soup’s Italian origin while providing a substantial accompaniment.
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
This simple pasta dish uses garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes for a light yet flavorful dish that doesn’t overpower the rich Zuppa Toscana. Its simplicity allows the soup to shine.
To pair, serve a small portion of the spaghetti alongside or prior to the soup.
The spicy tomato sauce of this dish can provide a nice contrast to the creamy soup, and the penne offers a different pasta texture. However, it’s still simple enough not to compete with the Zuppa Toscana. Pair it by serving a modest portion alongside the soup or as a separate course.
The creamy, cheesy sauce of this pasta dish can echo the creaminess of the Zuppa Toscana. The wide fettuccine noodles provide a different texture experience.
To pair, serve a small portion as a separate course or alongside the soup for a truly indulgent meal.
Loaded with fresh vegetables and tossed in a light garlic and olive oil sauce, this pasta dish can provide a refreshing, crunchy contrast to the Zuppa Toscana.
Pair it by serving it as a separate course before the soup to introduce a variety of vegetables and flavors.
Pasta alla Norma
This Sicilian pasta dish with eggplant, tomatoes, and ricotta salata offers a hearty vegetable-based option. The flavors are robust yet different enough to complement the soup, with the eggplant adding a unique texture.
Serve a small portion either before or alongside the soup.
Light and fruity desserts can provide a sweet ending to a meal featuring Zuppa Toscana.
Traditional Italian desserts such as Tiramisu, Panna Cotta with a berry sauce, or a Lemon Ricotta Cake can all complement the hearty soup with their light, creamy, or tangy flavors.
To pair, serve these after the soup.
This simple Italian dessert requires just two ingredients – vanilla gelato and a shot of hot espresso. The contrast between the cold, sweet gelato and the hot, bitter espresso makes for a delightful end to a meal featuring Zuppa Toscana.
This 3-Ingredient Mango Sorbet is a refreshing and light dessert that pairs well with the hearty and savory flavors of Zuppa Toscana. The sweetness of the sorbet complements the spicy and creamy soup, creating a well-rounded meal.
Serve the sorbet as a palate cleanser between bites of soup or as a refreshing dessert after the meal.
Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce
Panna cotta is a creamy, light dessert that can complement the rich flavors of Zuppa Toscana. The berry sauce adds a tangy, sweet component that contrasts the soup.
Lemon Ricotta Cake
The combination of tart lemon and creamy ricotta creates a moist, flavorful cake that can be a delightful end to a hearty soup meal. The light, citrusy flavors can balance the richness of the Zuppa Toscana.
Why not try Flourless Lemon Almond Ricotta Cake with Blackberry Coulis from Flavour and Savour today?
This classic Italian dessert with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and a creamy mascarpone mixture offers a balance of bitter and sweet that can complement Zuppa Toscana.
It requires some effort to prepare, but its luxurious texture and flavor make it worth it.
These twice-baked Italian cookies require a bit of time and effort but make for a crunchy, sweet ending to your meal. The chocolate dip adds an extra layer of flavor that can complement the Zuppa Toscana.