The Best Osso Bucco Side Dishes

What are the best side dishes for Osso Bucco? Vibrant and refreshing vegetable Crudo or Mediterranean mango salad will brighten up the meal. Add texture and crunch with smashed potatoes, ciabatta bread, and crispy polenta chips. Catch all the delicious gravy with a simple mushroom pasta or pumpkin gnocchi with sage butter. Keep it traditional with a side of risotto alla Milanese.

Osso Bucco (‘bone with a hole’) is Italy’s ultimate definition of comfort food. Tender, melt-in-your-mouth veal surrounded by rich, flavorful gravy and vegetables requires a side dish just as luxurious. Here are some excellent suggestions:

Vegetable Crudo With Parmesan Gremolata

Delicate ribbons of raw, colorful vegetables topped with a gorgeous green and zesty sauce is an elegant side dish that’s guaranteed to impress.

Since your Osso Bucco has been simmering low and slow, there’s no need to stand in front of a hot stove any longer. Vegetable Crudo is a quick and nifty way to get vegetables on the table.

Gremolata sauce also pairs exceptionally well with Osso Bucco, so be sure to make a large batch. Enjoy vegetable Crudo on its own or as a topping for crispy crostini or bruschetta.

To make the sauce, combine ½ cup finely chopped parsley, 3 minced garlic cloves, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the zest of one lemon. Season to taste.

Use a mandolin/vegetable peeler to slice thin ribbons of baby radishes, zucchini, carrots, beetroot, and apples for a hint of sweetness. Arrange on a serving platter and top with gremolata.

Mediterranean Mango Salad

A Mediterranean-inspired mango salad is a stellar accompaniment for a rich and hearty Osso Bucco. This exquisite salad is exploding with color, texture, and flavor.

Juicy mango pairs beautifully with veal and offers a refreshingly sweet contrast to the stew’s robust flavor.

Arrange fresh arugula, baby spinach leaves, and fresh chopped basil on a large serving platter. Scatter with thinly sliced mango, red onion and cucumber.

Top with crumbled ricotta/feta, diced scallions, and toasted almonds.

Season to taste with salt, black pepper, chili flakes, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

Risotto Alla Milanese (Saffron Rice)

According to Italian food purists, the only time risotto can be served as a side dish is with Osso Bucco. Clearly, Osso Bucco would be incomplete without its Lombardian sidekick.

This wonderfully creamy, saffron-infused risotto’s gorgeous golden hue adds a striking contrast to the meal.

Keep 3½ cups of chicken stock warm on the stove. In a wide, deep saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter. Sauté 2 finely chopped shallots until translucent.

Add 1½ cups arborio rice, stir and cook until the grains are lightly toasted. Add ½ cup of good-quality white wine and simmer until it has completely absorbed.

Stir in about 1 teaspoon of saffron threads. Add one ladleful of stock at a time, stirring constantly. Once the stock has been absorbed, add the next ladleful. Repeat this process until the rice is al dente.

Whisk in 1½ tablespoons butter and ¼ cup grated Parmesan. Season to taste and buon appetito.

Crispy Parmesan Polenta Chips

Skip the mash and transform your cornmeal to create something impressive and delightful to eat. Polenta chips add great texture and crunch to the juicy, melt-in-your-mouth veal shanks.

Parmesan and rosemary are perfect partners for veal, while the cornmeal’s subtle sweetness strikes the perfect balance.

Bring 3 cups of chicken stock to a boil and whisk in 1 cup of quick-cook polenta and a pinch of salt. Simmer on low and stir constantly.

As the polenta thickens, remove from the heat and stir in 1½ tablespoons butter, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, and 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary.

Pour polenta into a lined 8×8-inch (20x20cm) baking dish and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until firm.

Slice the polenta into chips, toss to coat in olive oil, pepper, and a light dusting of polenta flour.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 425⁰F (220⁰C) until crispy. Serve on the side or dip into the heavenly gravy.

Pumpkin Gnocchi With Sage Butter

Sweet pillows of pumpkin gnocchi lightly coated in a stunning sage butter sauce is the ultimate side dish for a well-rounded feast.

Add a pop of color and natural sweetness to counteract the meaty flavor of Osso Bucco. Sage butter imparts delicious nutty, herbal notes.

Mix 1½ cups mashed pumpkin/puree, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, one beaten egg, and 1½ cups plain flour to form a dough.

Transfer the gnocchi dough to a floured surface and divide it into 4 portions. Roll each portion into a long rope, slice into 2-inch (5cm) pieces. Shape into oval gnocchi and gently press down with a fork.

Cook gnocchi in boiling water until they float to the top. Heat 3½ tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet, then add 15-20 fresh sage leaves.

Add gnocchi, toss to coat, and cook until golden and crisp. Season to taste and top with grated Parmesan.

Ciabatta With Olive Oil And Balsamic Vinegar Dip

Rich and saucy Osso Bucco calls for some warm, crusty Italian bread. A simple yet completely satisfying way to dip, soak up, and appreciate all the delectable flavors.

Restaurant-style olive oil and balsamic dip is the quintessential accompaniment that adds a special touch to the meal. Perfect for fuss-free entertaining or lazy weekends.

Warm ½ cup good quality olive oil and 3-4 minced garlic cloves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat as soon as it warms. 

Stir in a generous pinch of black pepper, salt, and 1 teaspoon of each dried thyme and oregano.

Transfer to a shallow bowl, pour in ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and add a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy with thick toasted slices of ciabatta bread.

Simple Garlic Mushroom Pasta

Tender and succulent meat that easily falls off the bone onto a bed of heartwarming pasta sounds like a fantastic idea.

A simple, sauce-free pasta is the ideal base for Osso Bucco and its flavorsome veggies and gravy.

The earthy mushrooms and pungent garlic give the meal a flavorful umami kick while still allowing the main course to take center stage.

Cook 8oz (230g) linguine/penne pasta according to package directions and reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté 12oz (340g) sliced mushrooms for about 5 minutes, until browned.

Add 3 minced garlic cloves and a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir and cook for about one minute until fragrant.

Lower the heat and add the cooked pasta, 2 tablespoons of butter, ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, and the reserved pasta water. Toss to combine and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Smashed Parmesan And Garlic Potatoes

Smashed potatoes are soft and fluffy on the inside while deliciously golden and crispy on the outside. It’s like mashed potatoes, only with more structure, flavor, and crunch!

Smashed potatoes have a larger surface area, so they will have more crispy bits- yum! Be sure to make a large batch of these irresistible spuds.

Enjoy as a side dish with fresh burrata, or serve as a base for Osso Bucco and let the potatoes soak up all the glorious juices.

Boil 1lb (450g) baby potatoes until knife-tender, and drain well. Transfer to a greased baking tray, and use a fork or potato masher to gently smash the potatoes to lightly flatten.

Brush with melted butter, and top with minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Grill at 400⁰F/200⁰C until crispy and golden.

Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and return to the oven until cheese has melted. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.

Best Wine Pairings For Osso Bucco

As Osso Bucco contains braised meat and a bold tomato base, it can stand up to rich, tannic wines with an earthy or fruit-forward flavor profile.

Top suggestions are hearty reds like Amarone, Syrah, Malbec, or Barbaresco.

For a truly authentic Italian dining experience, enjoy your Osso Bucco with a glass of Barbera, Chianti Classico, Dolcetto, or Sangiovese.

These light to medium-bodied wines complement the veal’s delicate flavor, and the moderate acidity will counteract the dish’s richness.

White wine is a key ingredient in traditional Osso Bucco, so there is no reason why you cannot enjoy it at the table as well.

Dry, medium-full bodied Chardonnay contains enough acidity to break through the rich flavor of the meal with crisp, fruity notes to offset the savory flavor.

Best Sauces For Osso Bucco

Herbaceous and zesty gremolata is the quintessential Osso Bucco companion.

The parsley, lemon zest, and garlic combination creates a bright, aromatic, and herbal sauce that balances the richness and uplifts the dish’s overall taste with fresh and vibrant flavors.

Add a spicy kick to the gremolata by adding finely grated horseradish- another excellent pairing for red meat.

Add a dollop of whipped burrata with lemon and oregano for a unique twist. The creaminess will offset the acidity of the tomatoes in the dish.