Wondering what to serve with eggplant parmesan? You've come to the right place—this post has over 81 awesome recipe ideas to tantalize your taste buds for weeks!
Table of Contents
🗝️ Key takeaways
- Eggplant parmesan is a versatile dish that allows you to enjoy a lot of different side dishes along with it.
- Because it's rich and cheesy I recommend crisp salads, vegetables without a creamy sauce, and, of course, good bread.
- A hearty soup or plain pasta also works great with this dish!
Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish that is best known for its tender pieces of breaded eggplant smothered with hearty marinara sauce and finished with a gooey layer of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Garnished with some fresh basil, it's a hearty meal the whole family enjoys.
But you'll need some great side dishes to round out the meal, right? Well, you're in luck - here they are!
🥦 Vegetables and Sides
Don't count out veggies when deciding what to serve with eggplant parmesan. After all, my favorite eggplant parmesan recipe is so rich and tasty, you'll forget you're even eating a vegetable!
Italian green bean salad is tangy and crunchy. It's one of my favorite side dishes to serve with rich, cheesy main dishes like eggplant parmesan.
Maple roasted carrots are quick to make and have a sweet maple glaze. When I'm serving them with a casserole I like to use rainbow carrots to add color along with the flavor.
You might not think of a country style dish like green beans and potatoes going well with eggplant parm but the starchiness of the potatoes really is delish with the saucy eggplant!
Spicy roasted cauliflower is a great addition! It's a little spicy and roasted until just slightly caramelized and still a little crisp.
Tuscan turkey soup can be made with chicken, or leave out the animal protein and opt for a vegetarian version. It really pairs nicely with the eggplant parmesan.
- Pan-roasted broccolini
- Antipasto salad
- Italian sausage-stuffed bell peppers
- Caprese salad
- Grilled zucchini
- Spinach salad with lemon vinaigrette
- Sauteed spinach
- Garden fresh salad with balsamic vinegar dressing
- Steamed broccoli
- Wedge salad
- Sauteed green beans and peppers
- Spaghetti squash
- Broccoli cauliflower salad
- Asparagus spears
- Charcuterie board
It's not a true Italian meal without a pasta dish on the dinner table! Serve these the next time you make eggplant parmesan for a five-star feast.
Pasta fresca is full of flavor! Fresh onions, tomatoes, spinach, basil, and Parmesan are mixed with penne pasta in a quick 15-minute main dish or side.
Tortellini pasta salad has all the tender cheese-filled tortellini (or use your favorite filling), mixed with olives, tender-crisp asparagus, and a tangy dressing.
Pasta con broccoli is covered in a creamy, tomato and cheese sauce.
If you've never made homemade pasta before you've got to try it! It's easier than you think.
Mom's noodles Romanoff is a vintage recipe that has a mild cheesy sauce. It pairs well with the tangy marinara of the eggplant parmesan.
- Spaghetti and meatballs
- Angel hair with olive oil and garlic powder
- Buttered spaghetti noodles
- Orzo with parmesan cheese
- Italian pasta salad (with 20 easy variations!)
- Penne, rigatoni, or ziti pasta
- Gluten-free noodles
- Pan-fried gnocchi
- Baked macaroni and cheese
- Stuffed shells
Bread is one of the best side dishes—probably ever. It's especially great served with eggplant parmesan, so you can scoop up every last bit of fresh tomato sauce.
Whole wheat rolls are light and fluffy with a hearty country flavor. The freeze well so you can make a big batch one weekend and have them often!
Kalamata olive bread is a nice change from regular garlic bread. It's easy to make and has that crispy crust and delicious olive flavor we love.
Garlic knots are the perfect accompaniment to eggplant parmesan.
If you've never made garlic bread in the air fryer you're going to love how crispy it comes out!
If you've only got 30 minutes you can still have homemade dinner rolls with this easy recipe.
- Garlic breadsticks (shown above!)
- Frozen garlic toast slices
- Rustic bread made in a cloche (or use a dutch oven)
- Cheesy garlic bread
- Homemade baguettes
- Focaccia with Italian seasoning
- Grocery store sourdough slices
- Buttered Ciabatta slices
- Homemade garlic bread
- Cheese and bacon fougasse
- Don't forget garlic butter for serving!
When considering what to serve with eggplant parmesan, don't you dare forget about dessert! A little something sweet perfectly complements a hearty meal.
- Lemon bars with gingersnap crust
- Panna cotta
- Italian butter cookies
- Old-fashioned fudge
- Cinnamon cream cheese crowns
- Chocolate cherry cupcakes
- Frozen custard
- Pistachio cannoli
- Strawberry angel food cake
- Italian Easter bread
🍷 Wine and cocktails
My favorite way to make any meal feel special is by pouring something fun into a fancy glass! Serve these beverages for a perfectly-paired eggplant parmesan dinner.
- Sangiovese wine
- Easy red sangria
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Barbera wine
- Jameson Irish Redhead cocktail
- Negroni cocktail
- Cranberry Moscow Mule
- Pinot Noir
- Barolo wine
- Aperol Spritz
- Old Fashioned with muddled fig
- Prosecco Bellini cocktail
- Sparkling red grape juice (a great non-alcoholic option)
Garnish doesn't just add some pizzazz, but it really brings extra flavor to your dish, too. Serving these garnishes with eggplant parmesan will earn you the title of "best hostess ever!"
- Fresh parsley
- Extra parmesan cheese (serve freshly grated for bonus points!)
- Red pepper flakes
- Chiffonade-cut basil
- Fresh-cracked black peppercorn
- Gremolata (a green Italian condiment made from fresh herbs)
💭 Things to know
These tips will help you to have the best eggplant parmesan, or eggplant parmigiana, as some like to call it. (Though, its name on a menu in Italy will read "melanzane alla parmigiana!")
- Buy fresh mozzarella and shred it yourself. The texture is so much better than prepackaged cheese.
- If the mozzarella is too soft to shred easily, pop it in the freezer for a bit.
- Salt the eggplant slices to draw out the moisture, then dab them with a kitchen towel. This is a great way to ensure your dish isn't watery!
- A beaten egg (or egg wash) helps the breadcrumb mixture stick to the eggplant, but you can also use melted butter or olive oil.
- You can use an air fryer to quickly and easily "fry" the eggplant slices—air fryer eggplant tastes just as good as the original, but healthier!
- Opting for the traditional fried route? Be sure to set the fried eggplant slices on a paper towel to drain, otherwise, your meal might taste oily.
- If the eggplant is tender and cooked, but the cheese isn't melted enough yet, pop it under the broiler for a few minutes.
- Eggplant parmesan is a tasty freezer meal. Feel free to cover the leftovers tightly and consume within three months of freezing!
These side dishes also go with...
Too many easy side dishes to choose from? Try them with one of these meals, instead!
- Baked Ricotta Chicken is a half-hour recipe full of creamy cheese and so much saucy flavor.
- Crunchy and crisp, Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken is also juicy, tender, and goes great with your favorite Italian pasta side dishes.
- Alfredo Chicken with Ravioli tastes straight out of an Italian kitchen—no flight to Europe necessary!
- So satisfying after a long, chilly day, Herbed Baked Chicken with Cream Gravy fills you up and tastes great with pasta, rice, or veggies!
These side dishes DO NOT go with...
Tasty dishes, but not with these sides. Save 'em for a meal all on their own!
- This Cheesy Mexican Lasagna is easy to make, affordable, and a full meal on its own! Add some guac, if you want, and you're good to go.
- A Cracker Barrel copycat-favorite, Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Casserole is easy to make ahead and store for another time!
- Spicy and delicious, Tamale Pie Casserole with Cornmeal is a Tex-Mex staple that doesn't really need any sides at all.
First published February 14, 2023. Last updated February 3, 2024 to add more side dish ideas and more images.