Wondering what to serve with eggplant parmesan? You’ve come to the right place!
Eggplant parmesan is a thing of beauty. Layers of eggplant, marinara sauce, and cheese, baked to perfection — I’ll give you a second to let all that decadence sink in.
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If you’ve never tried this Italian classic before, you might think — no meat? How can that be any good?
The key is in the eggplant. Thanks to its earthy flavor and creamy texture, you won’t miss the meat at all!
It’s also battered and deep-fried, which makes it mimic meat even better.
While the dish is already a meal on its own, the right side dishes will make it even more satisfying.
Nothing rounds out an Italian feast better than delicious sides.
So without further ado, here are 14 delectable dishes to serve with eggplant parmesan. Buon appetito!
1. Antipasto Salad
Start your Italian meal the traditional way with an antipasto salad.
It’s nutritious, delicious, and colorful!
To make your antipasto salad, just check your fridge and dump whatever veggies, meats, cheese, and nuts you find in there in a bowl. It’s that easy!
Try to add as much color as you can for a fun dish. Greens, tomatoes, artichokes, peppers, cheese, salami, prosciutto, mozzarella, and feta all make fine candidates.
The more ingredients, the better the flavor and texture.
For the dressing, you can’t go wrong with a mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and garlic. It’s tangy and refreshing, which gives a nice contrast to your rich entrée.
2. Italian Sausage
This one is for the meat lovers out there. When it comes to perfect pairs for eggplant parmesan, nothing’s better than Italian sausage.
It’s savory, smoky, and loaded with earthy flavors that go perfectly with the creamy parmesan. If you can take the heat, use spicy sausage! The flavor tastes amazing with marinara.
Eggplant parmesan and meatballs make for a mouth-watering Italian feast!
Meatballs and marinara are a phenomenal duo, so you can already tell how epic this dish pairing will be.
Plus, the meaty goodness also goes perfectly with the nutty parmesan!
4. Garlic Bread
Need some carbs in your life? I hear you. I can’t live without bread or rice! The starchy goodness is just too good to skip out on.
I love pairing eggplant parmesan with garlic bread. It’s a super simple side, but it hits all the right notes.
The chewiness of the bread is the perfect texture! And the garlicky and buttery flavors are just divine.
Go ahead, soak the bread in the cheesy marinara for the most mind-blowing bite.
Every pasta dish is special, but gnocchi is in a league of its own.
If you haven’t tried gnocchi before, you’re missing out. To me, gnocchi is THE BEST pasta out there.
The unique texture of these potato-based dumplings deserves a standing ovation.
It’s so superb that it doesn’t take a lot to flavor it. Butter and sage will do.
Serve gnocchi with eggplant parmesan for the most epic Italian dinner.
6. Grilled Zucchini
For a super clean and healthy dinner, pair your eggplant parmesan with grilled zucchini.
Since your main dish is already super rich and creamy, it’s nice to balance it out with something light and refreshing.
Grilled zucchini is also tasty. Grilling adds smokiness to the vegetable, and a little bit of olive oil and lemon juice gives it a wonderful flavor!
7. Roasted Broccolini
Roasted broccolini adds a gorgeous pop of color to eggplant parmesan!
It’s a puzzle to me why most people prefer broccoli over broccolini. Broccolini is just as healthy and tasty, and it’s much easier to cook!
So if you haven’t tried it before, please give it a chance. It deserves the spotlight just as much as its more popular cousin.
8. Fresh Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Yes, another salad. What can I say — it really pairs well with eggplant parmesan.
The crunch, the color, and the flavor! A fresh salad has all the elements that make it perfect with your ultra creamy entrée.
Plus, making a salad could not be easier. Just throw in all the greens, veggies, cheese, meats, and whatever you have on hand!
You need not do much for the dressing, either. A simple lemon vinaigrette is fantastic with eggplant parmesan!
9. Sauteed Green Beans
Your entrée already takes a lot of effort to make, so a quick and easy side is ideal. Crunchy, tasty, and insanely easy to prepare, sauteed green beans perfectly fit the bill.
All you need is to coat the beans in olive oil and your favorite spices, and saute! Top them with lots of parmesan for maximum flavor. That’s it!
10. Spaghetti Squash Pasta
Eggplant parmesan and spaghetti squash pasta: it may be a faux pasta, but it’s definitely no faux pas!
Serve this pairing to your friends for the tastiest, most mouth-watering vegetarian meal.
The soft texture of squash makes it a perfect candidate for pasta.
Since its flavor is very subtle, it also goes really well with any pasta sauce. My favorite is pesto with sun-dried tomatoes!
11. Stir-Fried Cabbage
You won’t believe how garlic, soy sauce, and wine can take cabbage to the next level!
To say that this Asian side dish is packed with flavor is an understatement. So perfectly sweet, salty, and garlicky. Wow. Just wow.
It’s the easiest thing to make, too! Just stir all the ingredients together in a skillet and voila! You’re done.
12. Buttered Noodles
Noodles, parmesan cheese, butter, and parsley. That’s all it takes to make this simple yet show-stopping side dish.
Season your noodles with salt and pepper, and you’ll have the perfect eggplant parmesan pair.
13. Italian Pasta Salad
How can anyone resist classic Italian pasta salad? It’s refreshing, vibrant, and flavorful.
Made with tri-color rotini, vegetables, meats, and cheeses coated in a tangy Italian vinaigrette, it’s an amazing explosion of flavors, textures, and colors!
The best way to finish off your Italian meal is, of course, with an Italian dessert.
End your meal right with a classic Italian gelato. It’s wonderfully sweet, light, and so refreshing.
Vanilla, pistachio, lemon, mango — any flavor works, so take your pick.