Ciabatta bread is a delicious Italian-style white bread, with a slightly crisp crust and chewy interior. It’s perfect for sandwiches, toast, or simply as it is — slathered in butter or olive oil. But if you’re looking to make your meal extra special, why not try pairing ciabatta with some tasty side dishes?
From roasted vegetables to salads and soups, there are plenty of options when it comes to what to serve with ciabatta. If you’re stuck for ideas on how best to incorporate this versatile loaf into your next mealtime spread then look no further! Here are 17 delicious side dishes that will help take your dinner from ordinary to extraordinary.
What To Serve With Ciabatta Bread?
Ciabatta bread is a type of Italian white bread with a crisp crust and an airy crumb. It can be served on its own, but it also pairs well with a variety of dishes. Some common accompaniments to serve with ciabatta bread include olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping, charcuterie and cheese boards, soups, stews, and salads. It is also commonly used as a base for sandwiches, particularly those with Italian or Mediterranean flavors.
1. Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar for Dipping
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are classic accompaniments to ciabatta bread. Not only do they add the perfect layer of flavor, but they also give the bread a nice crunchy texture when it’s dipped in the delicious combination.
When buying a bottle or two of each, be sure to get something high-quality- extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar will make all the difference in your dip. You can add some herbs or spices as well, such as oregano or chili pepper flakes for an extra kick.
For even more versatility, you can create flavored blends with your olive oil by infusing it with garlic or citrus slices such as lemon or oranges. Either way, your ciabatta will literally dip its crunchy edges in pleasure each time.
2. Charcuterie Board With Cured Meats and Cheeses
Charcuterie boards are becoming increasingly popular, and with good reason. Presenting an array of cured meats, cheeses, and other accompaniments on a wooden cutting board can elevate any dinner table.
When it comes to what to serve with ciabatta bread on a charcuterie board, there are plenty of options. Try pairing it with salami, prosciutto, and other cured meats like soppressata. Include a variety of cheeses such as brie, blue cheese, gouda, and cheddar.
And don’t forget to add some pickles, olives, nuts, and dried fruits for an extra burst of flavor and texture. You can also add some sliced onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers for a more salad-like board. Serve this alongside your ciabatta bread, and your guests will be in charcuterie heaven.
3. Caprese Salad With Fresh Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Basil
Caprese Salad with Fresh Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Basil is an iconic Italian dish that pairs wonderfully with Ciabatta Bread. A great way to ensure each bite is loaded up with flavor is to cut the tomatoes into thick slices and layer them on top of fresh buffalo mozzarella along with slices of basil, then dress it all up with a zesty balsamic vinaigrette.
Top it off with some freshly cracked pepper and just like that you’ve got yourself an unbeatable combination made up of tender bread, oozy cheese, crisp tomatoes, and fragrant herbs. Just be careful – if you’re not careful with your portion size the deliciousness of the Caprese Salad could put the Ciabatta Bread in shadow.
4. Beef and Vegetable Stew
If you’re looking for a substantial side dish to accompany your ciabatta then beef and vegetable stew is the perfect option. It’s a hearty dish that’s packed full of flavor, and it pairs particularly well with rustic breads like ciabatta.
To make it, fry some onions, carrots, and celery in a large pot with some olive oil until they’re softened. Then add in some cubed beef and brown it before stirring in a good amount of tomato paste, stock, herbs like thyme and bay leaves, and some red wine.
Simmer for an hour or so until the beef is tender, then serve it up with a generous portion of ciabatta and you’ve got yourself a hearty meal that will keep you full until your next ciabatta craving.
5. Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew
Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew is an easy-to-make, delicious dish that can be served alongside ciabatta bread. The combination of spicy Italian sausage and creamy white beans makes for a hearty, flavorful stew that will satisfy everyone’s hunger.
Start by browning some Italian sausage in a large pot, then add in some garlic and onions to sweat. Pour in some white beans and chicken stock and let the whole thing simmer until all the flavors have blended.
Finally, season with some fresh herbs and a splash of vinegar for a little extra zing. Serve it up with some freshly-baked ciabatta bread and you’ve got yourself an Italian feast.
6. Roasted Garlic Spread
Roasted garlic spread is a delicious and easy way to enjoy ciabatta bread. Roasting garlic not only intensifies its flavorful notes but also breaks down the garlicky sharpness.
All you have to do is roast whole garlic in your oven, lightly smearing it with olive oil and wrapping it in foil until it’s soft and fragrant. Once roasted, mash into a spreading consistency and slather onto your CIabatta – be sure to leave enough room for any sandwich fillings or toppings. Let no crust go unspread!
You could also add herbs like thyme or oregano if you want an extra kick. Whatever your preference, you’re sure to have a deliciously garlicky meal.
7. Seafood Stew
Who says a ciabatta can’t be enjoyed with a seafood dish? This seafood stew is packed full of flavor and pairs perfectly with Ciabatta bread.
Start by sautéing some onions and garlic in a large pot for flavor. Add in some white wine, tomato paste, paprika and oregano then simmer for a few minutes. Throw in your seafood of choice – mussels, squid, prawns and scallops all work great – then pour in some fish stock and let it all cook until the seafood is cooked through.
To finish off, add a splash of cream and season to perfection. Serve it up with some freshly-baked Ciabatta bread to soak up all the deliciousness, and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable meal.
8. Classic Italian Sub Sandwich
Nothing beats a classic Italian sub sandwich when it comes to ciabatta. Start with some freshly sliced salami, ham and mortadella and layer them on your Ciabatta with some creamy mozzarella and tangy pickles.
To add even more flavor, lay down some pepperoni, fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil. Then finish it off with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and you’ve got yourself an authentic Italian sub.
This hearty sandwich is a great way to enjoy Ciabatta and its unique flavor – be sure to make extra because it’s sure to go quickly.
9. Bruschetta With Fresh Tomatoes and Basil
Nothing says summer like a plate of freshly-made bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and basil.
Start by making your own breadcrumbs by toasting some Ciabatta bread and crushing it in a food processor. Then, slice up some fresh tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and top with freshly-chopped basil.
Finally, toast your Ciabatta in a toaster or oven until lightly golden and spread your tomato mixture over the top. Sprinkle with some more basil and a little olive oil for good measure, then enjoy your bruschetta with a glass of your favorite Italian white wine. Perfect for summer days!
10. Grilled Chicken Panini With Pesto and Roasted Red Peppers
Grilled chicken panini with pesto and roasted red peppers served alongside ciabatta bread is an irresistibly delicious combination. The crunchiness of the ciabatta bread contrasts the melted cheesy goodness of the panini and the rich basil flavours of the pesto balance out the roasted sweetness of the red peppers.
Perfectly assemble your panini by spreading a generous layer of pesto onto your slices of ciabatta, stack your ingredients in order (chicken on the bottom to prevent sogginess) and don’t forget a sprinkling of cheese.
Once it’s all sealed together in a sandwich and heated until hot, this combo will without a doubt become everyone’s favourite dish. Serve up your masterful creation with some olive oil-dressed start greens and a spotty ripe orange on the side- and you’re all set for a Mediterranean fiesta in no time/
11. Ciabatta Bread Pudding
Ciabatta bread pudding is a delicious twist on the classic dessert. Start with some stale Ciabatta and cut it into cubes. Toast the cubes in a 425°F oven for about 10 minutes until lightly golden, then set aside to cool.
In a bowl, beat together some eggs and milk, then add in canned or fresh fruit (blueberries, peaches or apples work great). Pour the mixture over the toasted Ciabatta cubes and stir until everything is evenly coated.
Transfer the bread pudding to a greased pan and bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve with a scoop of ice cream and some fresh fruit, and you’ll be sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
12. Tuscan White Bean Soup
Nothing goes better with a warm piece of Ciabatta bread than Tuscan White Bean Soup! This soup is packed with not just the beans, but all the flavorful ingredients that make it an ideal Italian-inspired meal.
It begins with white cannellini beans, tomatoes, carrots and celery, which surround the subtle, yet unmistakable flavor of fresh rosemary and thyme. Prep takes less than 30 minutes and very little actual cooking time. Don’t skimp on the Parmesan cheese as you’re finished – it makes all the difference.
13. Lobster Roll With Lemon Aioli
Nothing screams summer like a lobster roll with some zesty lemon aioli and buttery, toasted Ciabatta bread. Start by boiling up some fresh, sweet lobster and removing from the shell.
Mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, and a pinch of salt, and spread generously on the bread slices. Then add some chunks of lobster to the mix and gently fold them together.
Finally, toast the Ciabatta slices in a skillet or toaster oven until golden. Serve with some crispy fries and a lemon wedge, and you’re ready to enjoy a delicious, buttery lobster roll.
14. Chickpea Salad Sandwich With Red Onion and Cucumber
This flavorful sandwich packs a nutritious punch with the addition of chickpeas, red onion and cucumber. Start by combining some mashed chickpeas with diced red onion and cucumber, then add in some fresh herbs like parsley or dill.
Spread mayonnaise on your slices of Ciabatta and top with the chickpea mixture. For an extra touch, add some avocado slices or shredded cheese.
This sandwich is the perfect grab-and-go lunch and pairs perfectly with a cold glass of Italian white wine.
15. Egg Salad Sandwich With Lettuce and Bacon
Egg salad is a classic sandwich option and thanks to the crunchy Ciabatta bread, this version definitely doesn’t disappoint. Start by boiling some eggs and then mashing them in a bowl with mayonnaise, chopped celery, red onion and parsley.
Spread the egg salad onto your Ciabatta slices, then top with crisp lettuce and bacon. Toast these in a skillet or toaster oven, and you’ll have a delicious egg salad sandwich that’s ready to go. Serve with pickles or chips for an extra savory finish.
16. Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini
This delicious crostini is the perfect appetizer for any party. Start by toasting some Ciabatta slices in a toaster oven until golden. Then spread some creamy goat cheese over the slices and top with fresh figs, a drizzle of honey and freshly cracked black pepper.
Pop these in the oven for an extra few minutes to melt the cheese and crisp up the bread. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts or hazelnuts for a savory and sweet finish.
17. Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip
This cheesy dip is perfect for any occasion, and the Ciabatta bread makes it even more irresistible. Start by roasting some red peppers on a baking sheet until charred. Then dice the peppers and add them to a food processor with feta cheese, garlic, olive oil and some lemon juice.
Blend until creamy and then spread over the toasted Ciabatta slices. Bake for about 15 minutes and serve with some fresh parsley or basil.
Ciabatta bread is a versatile and delicious Italian-style white bread that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with many different side dishes. From roasted vegetables to salads and soups, there are plenty of options when it comes to what to serve with ciabatta.
Whether you’re looking for an interesting appetizer or main course accompaniment, these 17 delicious side dish recipes should give you some great ideas about how best to incorporate this amazing loaf into your next mealtime spread.
Now that you know all the wonderful things ciabatta has to offer, why not get creative in the kitchen and start experimenting? Bon Appetit!