Hosting can be complicated. Many of us (myself included) get wrapped up in the preparations that we forget why we are having people over — to spend time with loved ones. In that vein, it’s time to make things easier and host a pizza party!
Pizza is the ultimate crowd-pleaser and is relatively inexpensive. But it can be tricky to know what to serve alongside.
Want some ideas for the best sides and appetizers for pizza to make your next party one for the books?
Let’s go to The Chalkboard.
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Light Appetizers Before Pizza
We love jar-cuteries here at The Kitchen Chalkboard; these individual appetizers are always crowd-pleasers. Take a salad, place it in individual cups, and put a fork in them.
This word translates to before the meal. Antipasto platters offer endless possibilities. It typically consists of meat, cheeses, olives, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, and more;they make excellent appetizers for pizza. Jaime Oliver has a great antipasto recipe.
Simple Sides For Pizza
Nothing is simpler than garlic bread or knots. Grab some from the pizzeria or heat the frozen variety.
Adults and kids love these fried cheese sticks. We’ve made them from scratch but found store-bought just as good.
This Arugula Salad from Tyler Florence could not be easier; we always make it. The peppery greens provide a great contrast to the pizza. Slowly add the dressing; you want the salad lightly dressed. Place any additional next to the salad so guests can add more if desired.
Olives, Bread, Olive Oil
Keep things simple and serve a platter of green and black olives for guests to graze. Or buy good quality olive oil and crusty bread for dipping.
Italian Sides For Pizza
Pull Apart Pepperoni Garlic Knots
I’m not sure this is traditional Italian, but Pull Apart Pepperoni Bread is DELICIOUS. It takes some time to prepare, but it will surely be a crowd-pleaser. You can probably swap out store-bought dough to cut down on prep time.
Make a salad with the simple red wine vinaigrette for the perfect Italian side to serve with pizza. Once Upon A Chef has a Big Italian Salad that’s easy to prepare, and the dressing is out of this world.
Arancini or rice balls are a great side dish for pizza. We love the standard with rice and cheese, but you can add ground beef and peas, ham, or even pepperoni. If you are looking for a make-ahead dish, try Skinny Taste’s Rice Ball Casserole.
It may translate to before the meal, but antipasto also works as a side dish for pizza. Make a platter of meats, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, olives, and peppers, and serve alongside.
Small meatballs are an excellent side dish for pizza. If you want to make them from scratch, this 100-year-old recipe from Maroni Restaurant is fantastic. If you are pinched for time, Costco meatballs are a perfect size and ready in minutes.
Healthy Sides For PIzza
The freshness of greens makes a great side for pizza. We love the flavors of this Italian Chopped Salad from The Cozy Apron.
The crunch of roasted broccoli is a good texture change from soft pizza. Toss florets with olive oil and salt and roast in a preheated 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes until brown.
Steamed Broccoli Rabe
Light steam for this bitter vegetable is all it takes to make it shine. Top with some red pepper flakes or parmesan for added flavor.
Roasted Chickpeas (Italian spiced)
Here’s your warning, these chickpeas are addicting. Toss garbanzo beans with olive oil and Italian seasoning. Roast in a preheated 375-degree oven for 30 minutes until crisp.
Appetizers For Pizza FAQ
What Should I Bring To A Pizza Party?
Pizza is so versatile that many dishes go well with it. If you are lucky enough to be invited to a pizza party, your best bet is to bring an appetizer or dessert. Always check with the host for allergies and menus.
A great appetizer to bring to a pizza party is salad skewers. They don’t need to be heated and are easy to eat. We love Caprese Salad Kebabs since they pair well with pizza and are easy to prepare.
In keeping with the pizza theme, a Strawberry Nutella Pizza would be an excellent dessert for a pizza party. Chocolate-covered strawberries or pretzels would also be great dishes to bring.
What Do You Think?
What are your favorite side dishes and appetizers for pizza? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to read.
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