What To Serve With Eggplant Parmesan

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Eggplant parmesan, also known as Parmigiana or Eggplant Parmigiana, is relatively simple in terms of ingredients and preparation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that picking side dishes is just as easy, however.

That’s where we come in with this list. We’ve taken into consideration that eggplant parmesan is savory and strong in taste, which greatly influences the way that a side dish should be chosen.

While eggplant parmesan can be made with different kinds of meat, such as chicken or veal, for the sake of simplicity we’re only considering traditional eggplant parmesan here. That’s not to say these sides couldn’t work in any case, but still keep this in mind.


17 Side Dishes to Serve With Eggplant Parmesan

Alright, now that we’ve got the intro out of the way, let’s dive straight into our list of seventeen eggplant parmesan side dishes.

1. Antipasto Salad

Eggplant parmesan is a traditional Italian dish, so what better side dish to select to serve alongside it than another Italian classic, Antipasto salad?

This side dish is incredibly easy because it’s so versatile; you can take any combination of vegetables, cheeses, meats, and even nuts you’ve got on hand and toss them together. No fancy recipe is required!

2. Meatballs

Meatballs are often served alongside pasta, which generally incorporates tomato sauce and parmesan cheese- two things that are critical ingredients in eggplant parmesan.

It’s pretty easy to see, then, why meatballs have made our list. They’ll work just as deliciously alongside eggplant parmesan as they would serve alongside any pasta dish.

3. Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is also another staple side dish that’s often served with dishes that heavily incorporate tomato sauce in some form. And for good reason- it’s great for dipping.

Garlic bread can be amplified with the addition of cheeses to help it blend even more phenomenally with eggplant parmesan. Savory tastes abound!

4. Grape Feta Salad

Many people are hesitant to try putting kale in their salad; if you’re in this group, then we definitely suggest trying out this recipe! It might just change your mind about kale.

This salad is sweet and healthy, combining lots of textures to help give your eggplant parmesan dish plenty of variety and floweriness. Eggplant parmesan can sit heavy on the stomach, so a light side dish might just be perfect.

5. Italian Green Beans

Keeping the Italian theme going, we’ve got Italian green beans. These are unique among takes on green beans in that they’re actually baked twice, giving them a very unique taste.

They’re also still healthy, as well. If we couldn’t convince you to try kale with our suggestion above, then this is a healthy alternative that certainly takes care of the boring tastes often associated with green beans.

6. Ricotta Stuffed Eggplant

Alright, so you probably think we’re crazy for suggesting that you serve two variations of eggplant at once. Isn’t that just way too much of one type of food?

We don’t think so. Eggplant is a type of food that really lends itself well to experimentation and variation; by presenting two different styles of doing eggplant at the same time, you’ll really showcase the versatility of this wonderful food. Plus, it tastes great!

7. Spaghetti

Since eggplant parmesan already incorporates cheese and tomato sauce, two things that are often used with and on spaghetti, this pasta seems like a pretty obvious inclusion on a list of side dishes for eggplant parmesan.

Plus, most people typically already have spaghetti in their cupboards. If not, it’s very easy to come by and cheap, as well. If you’re looking for a basic side dish to serve that makes a ton of sense, this is it.

8. Steamed Green Beans

If you’re okay with the tastes of standard green beans, then steamed green beans can work wonderfully as a side dish for eggplant parmesan.

They’re healthy and simple, two great things when you consider that eggplant parmesan is a portion of fairly heavy and savory food. Having a light side dish can be a fantastic idea since otherwise your meal just might be a bit too overwhelming on the stomach!

9. Gnocchi

This is amazing food in and of itself, and can honestly work fine as a main course. But, that doesn’t mean it’s unsuited to stand as a side dish! Gnocchi is really easy to flavor, which is a bonus.

This is heavy food, so keep that in mind when considering it as a side dish. We recommend it if you’re looking for a really heavy, filling meal- perhaps for a special dinner.

10. Grilled Zucchini

If you happen to be making eggplant parmesan in a season where grilling is reasonable, then grilled zucchini can be a great option to present alongside your eggplant parmesan.

Like some of the other side dishes we’ve mentioned above, it’s light and healthy. Grilling this vegetable will give it a nice, smoky flavor that distinguishes it from other vegetable options we’ve presented on this list so far.

11. Broccolini

Many people don’t know about broccolini or even think about it when considering a potential side dish to serve alongside any meal. But they definitely should; it’s a simpler version of broccoli without losing any of the health benefits or flavor.

Broccolini will cause your eggplant parmesan dish to visually pop while also offering a great deal of nutrition. If plain broccolini isn’t for you, try incorporating some cheese!

12. Creamy Saffron and Prawn Pasta

Alright, so we just have to include one really extra, expensive side dish option on this list, just in case anyone out there is looking to make a meal that will really blow someone away.

This is a pretty elaborate side dish with some bold flavors, but considering that eggplant parmesan already stands out strong on its own, we don’t think there will be any issues. Saffron is an incredibly expensive spice, but if you manage to get your hands on some, this side dish is totally worth it.

13. Fried Dough with Arugula and Grape Tomatoes

Also known as Angioletti Fritti con Rucola e Pomodori, this side dish incorporates something that is generally seen in the United States as a sweet dish – that being fried dough – with savory ingredients.

Since eggplant parmesan is already a savory dish, this style of doing fried dough will complement it excellently. This is another elaborate side dish, but it’s more affordable than the one we just talked about above.

14. Steak

This one might seem like a curveball, but we promise it works! The steak is nice and hearty, so it will work excellently alongside the equally-as-filling eggplant parmesan. Plus, if you’re just making eggplant parmesan traditionally, this will add some nice protein.

Add some spices or marinate your steak in your favorite way to add even more flavor and variety to your eggplant parmesan dish!

15. Fresh Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette

We suggested a kale salad above, but we also want to include a standard salad with lettuce as well. This is a really basic salad, but who said that basic was bad?

The inclusion of a lemon vinaigrette will add excellent flavor to your salad without making it seem like your side dish is trying to compete with the eggplant parmesan. It’s perfect!

16. Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Perhaps regular spaghetti isn’t your thing, for whatever valid reason! Taking that possibility into consideration, we’re presenting this as a potential side dish for you to serve with your eggplant parmesan.

This is honestly a healthier option than regular spaghetti, so if health and nutrition are your utmost concern when picking a side dish but you also want something cool and unique, this is great.

17. Stir-Fried Cabbage

Let’s finish this list with a side dish that’s inspired by a part of the world that isn’t Italy- Asia. By taking some cabbage, soy sauce, and wine, you can create an amazing side dish that’s sure to impress.

The flavors in this side dish will complement your eggplant parmesan wonderfully, and will surely bring your recipe to new, savory heights that it’s never known before!


And there you have it! Seventeen extraordinary side dishes to choose from the next time you want to serve up some eggplant parmesan. Remember to take into consideration that eggplant parmesan is a heavier, more savory dish, and that things might change if you add meat to the recipe. Happy cooking!

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