Easy eggplant parmesan side dish ideas, from garlic bread to caprese salad, and grilled zucchini to homemade gnocchi. Discover what to serve with eggplant parmesan today.
Eggplant parmesan is one of the most popular dishes in Italian cuisine, serving up a savory and delicious dish filled tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.
But what kind of side dishes should you serving up to complete your dinner platter? These easy recipes are our favorites for pairing with our classic Italian eggplant parmesan. Let’s get into it.
The first side on our list is perhaps the king of Italian sides, garlic bread. While it does add more grains than proteins to the meal, garlic bread is still an excellent choice in any situation, adding a hit of sharp umami flavor that compliments eggplant parm divinely.
The best part: it’s simple. Just make a mixture of oil, butter, garlic, and herbs, spread it on some French bread, and bake the bread for ten minutes.
Want some more greens to go along with your eggplant parm? Go with the easy, perfectly balanced flavor of a caprese salad. While the tomatoes give a sweet, acidic foundation, the creamy mozzarella envelops your mouth in flavor.
It’s also a highly straightforward, highly customizable salad. Dice some tomatoes, slice up some fresh mozzarella, and lay them alongside each other with basil leaves. Then top with oil, balsamic, or a dressing of your choosing.
Spaghetti Squash Pasta
If you want some sweet flavors and the look of a traditional Italian dish to accompany your eggplant parm, consider dishing out some spaghetti squash pasta. While it might have the same appearance as traditional Italian fare, this option gives you a sweet undercurrent with notes of umami and spice from the turkey sausage.
It’s also a pinch to make: cut open the squash, bake it, cook the turkey sausage, then put it all together with herbs and cheese. Just like that, you’ve got a blast of protein in your eggplant parm.
Gnocchi sometimes qualifies as a meal unto itself, but if you want some sharp, citrusy flavors alongside your eggplant parm, consider making some gnocchi. It’s a more involved recipe, but it’s well worth it to make authentic Italian cuisine from scratch.
To begin, you’ll peel, boil, and mash several potatoes. Then, prepare the pasta dough and wrap bits of potato inside. When you’re done with all the potatoes, give the gnocchi a boil. When they’re done, add your favorite pesto as a light dressing, then serve it up with your eggplant parm.
If you’re looking to make some eggplant parm in the summertime, then you can’t go wrong by firing up your grill and throwing on some zucchini. The soft vegetable and its tangy seasonings go along great with the crisp savoriness of eggplant parm, making your plate balanced as well as colorful.
All you need to do is slice the zucchini and toss it in seasonings, red wine vinegar, and olive oil, then toss it on a hot grill for a few minutes. Once it’s got some nice, crisp grill marks, you’re good to go.
If you want a simple and delicious vegetable to go along with your eggplant parm, you can’t do better than roasted broccolini! This smaller sibling to broccoli is just as excellent a side: simply roast some bunches of broccolini in the oven with some salt, pepper, and olive oil.
After it’s out of the oven, let it cool and then toss it into a plate or bowl with your eggplant parm, giving it a nice balance against the crispy umami of the cheese and the eggplant.
Italian Green Beans
Another simple vegetable side to eggplant parm is Italian green beans. Complementing the savory and acidic flavor of the eggplant parm, it mixes bitter, salty green beans with sharp parmesan cheese and crispy breadcrumbs.
To make this quick-and-easy side, saute bread crumbs in butter and steam some green beans (pre-bagged is totally fine), then add them together. Although it doesn’t add protein to the dish, this is an excellent way of adding savory, filling vegetables to the main dish.
Worried about adding some protein to your eggplant parm? Consider adding this Italian-American classic to your dishes, just like nonna used to make.
Aside from ground beef and tomato sauce, these meatballs can come together with ingredients that you’d already have at home. Simply mix ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, parmesan, onions, and spices, then add milk to form the balls. After you do, cook the meatballs in olive oil and then simmer them in tomato sauce.
These meatballs add a nice meaty richness to an eggplant parm dish and, on top of that, ensures that you get all the nutrients you need from the dish.
“Antipasto” means “pre-meal” in Italian, which is a fitting description for this salad. It loads everything you might need into a salad, including romaine, olives, tomatoes, cheese, artichokes, salami, and pepperoni, and it’s good enough that you could and should eat it with dinner.
This wide range of flavors offers a delicious variance to an eggplant parm dish, bringing in an equal mix of tanginess, salt, bitterness, and sweetness. This makes it a stellar choice for anyone looking to make sure their eggplant is nutritionally and gastronomically full.
Italian sausage is another protein-loaded side that adds a delectable and hearty flavor to the richness of the eggplant parm. While you can make your own sausage with the proper equipment and some ground meat, you can also buy Italian sausage at any grocery store, then cook it on the grill, stove, or oven.
For a solid serving option, consider dicing up the sausage and sprinkling it into the eggplant parm, allowing you to distribute meaty deliciousness into each and every bite.
Italian Sautéed Spinach
If you’re looking for a nutritious and delicious addition to your eggplant parmesan, Italian sautéed spinach is an excellent option that doesn’t take much time to bring together.
Get together about two cups of spinach, season it with spices and oil, and saute the spinach in turns. It’s that easy! In addition to giving a spicy, garlicky flavor to your dish, it also helps you get some Vitamin D-rich vegetables into your diet, which is especially important if you want to counterbalance the effect of the fried eggplant!