What to Serve with Eggplant Parmesan …Besides Pasta
Eggplant parmesan is a classic Italian dish that almost everyone loves. The meatiness of the eggplant, the tanginess of the sauce, and the cheese… ooo, the cheese.
The eggplant is breaded and fried. After that, it’s placed in a casserole dish, covered with marinara sauce.
A layer of cheese is put over that, then it’s all baked to a golden brown perfection.
People often wonder what to serve with eggplant parmesan.
In most restaurants and at most dinner tables, the side dish is a plate of spaghetti with marinara sauce.
That’s fine, but it’s boring. Many times, the spaghetti is left at the table or ends up in a to go box.
This list will give you alternate eggplant parmesan side dishes that will tantalize your taste buds.
From our first featured recipe, Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with it’s crunch and freshness to our last, Angioletti Fritti con Rucola e Pomodori (Fried Dough with Arugula and Grape Tomatoes), we’ve found sides that take this outstanding main dish to a whole new level.
Choosing the right pairing can make all the difference when it comes to wowing your diners.
Eggplant Parmesan Side Dish List: We Share Our Favorites!
Try these 15 “eggcellent” side dishes to have with eggplant parmesan:
1. Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon and Pecorino
Raw Brussels sprouts are rare in most households. Most of us will steam ours, but this recipe gives us the crunch of these tiny cabbage-like greens.
The addition of lemon and the saltiness of pecorino cheese make this a perfect stand alone dish let alone a perfect side dish for your eggplant parmesan.
When placed on the side of a hot, unctuous eggplant parmesan, you have a taste and color contrast that will make all the difference to your guests.
Katie at Mom’s Kitchen Handbook offers up this delicious, fresh salad.
2. Grape Feta Salad
Okay. We don’t hate kale, but it’s close. Mostly, because like mom’s green beans, we’re constantly told we need to eat it.
This is a salad that might make all the difference for you.
The sweetness of grapes, the salty creaminess of feta, and the crunch of kale make a great side salad to your eggplant parmesan.
Chopped walnuts add a nutty crunch and the tangy vinaigrette makes the salad complete!
No more hating kale!
The Girl Who Ate Everything, Christy, gives us this outstanding salad.
3. Red Cabbage, Radicchio, and Endive Salad
Red cabbage. Radicchio. Endive (pronounced en-deev). Three great tastes that taste great together.
Fennel adds a sweetness, along with raisins for that tasty little kick.Toasted walnuts are just the right addition.
There’s even a little goat cheese for that earthy, creamy punch!
With maple syrup and apple cider vinegar as a dressing, there are so many wonderful complex flavors.
As a side dish to your eggplant parmesan, this salad is the texture and taste contrast that creates an awesome complete meal.
Sylvie, the Gourmande in the Kitchen, delivers an awesome salad that will make your meal perfect.
4. Caprese Salad
If you’ve never had a caprese salad, this is a treat. Fresh mozzarella is a soft, clean cheese.
The tangy pop of tomatoes provide a contrast. The basil is a perfect flavorful addition.
This is one of the most popular and traditional Italian salads.
It’s an interesting counterpoint to eggplant parmesan where all of the same ingredients are cooked.
This is an ideal eggplant parmesan side, adding a freshness that can’t be beat for your hot meal.
Anna and Liz at 2 Sisters Recipes deliver a perfect, simple salad.
5. Antipasto Salad
An antipasto salad is delicious combination of everything in the kitchen.
Pepperoni, salami, Italian bread, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and more, all tossed together.
With your hot eggplant parm, this is the meaty, spicy side you’re needing.
The pepperoncinis are the spicy bites that your mouth will look for when you’re eating your eggplant parm.
The freshness of the salad, with the toothsomeness of the meats, will have your guests begging for more!
Don’t miss the opportunity to blow the minds of your diners with a salad that’s as a complete as your main dish.
Frugal Foodie Mama put this recipe out, because it’s inexpensive to make, but delish!!!
6. Italian Green Beans
The description for this side dish says “healthy and flavorful dish!”
The healthy part is nice, but it’s the flavorful part that rocks.
Green beans are a fine choice for a side. In fact, millions of people do it every day.
Here’s the trick that Laura shares: They are baked twice. First, with olive oil spices.
Then, with parmesan. Ooo! Parmesan!
The crispness of green beans with the spices are ideal.
This is a simple, classic side that will make every eggplant parmesan dinner wondrous.
Laura at Joy Food Sunshine has the complete recipe.
7. Italian Sauteed Spinach with Garlic and Parmesan
Spinach is one of the healthiest things you can eat, but some of us still aren’t all that excited about it.
The garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese are the perfect mix of green, richness, and spice.
As with many of these eggplant parmesan sides, it’s the simplicity of this dish that makes it outstanding.
If you’ve ever had truly great Italin food, simplicity is the key to success.
The slightly wilted spinach should still have enough crunch to add texture.
Fresh garlic always demands attention when used.
The Fed Up Foodie walks you through this simple process nicely.
8. Ricotta Stuffed Eggplant
Wait, you say, aren’t we already serving eggplant?
Why, yes. How observant of you!
Serving eggplant two ways shows the versatility of this gorgeous plant.
Grill the eggplant and roll up some herbed ricotta and you have a variation of eggplant that can’t be beat.
The eggplant will have the right toothsomeness to be biteable, while the creamy filling will add the ideal touch of flavor and texture.
Every guest at your dinner will love the daring of serving eggplant both ways.
Joanna at Fifteen Spatulas delivers a perfect side dish for eggplant parmesan.
9. Italian Sausage
Italian sausage! One of the truly amazing gifts of the great Italian culture.
Few things in life are as tasty and wonderful!
If you’re wondering what meat to serve with eggplant parmesan, this is an awesome choice.
This dish is perfect as a side to our equally amazing eggplant parmesan.
The peppers add a nice level of zing that pairs well with the marinara sauce.
Cut the Italian sausage into pieces and put it over the top of the parmesan.
It will add a whole new level of flavor.
Or leave it on the side for people to enjoy their way.
You’re gonna love the way Italian sausage goes with this dish.
This recipe from Trisha at Sparkles of Yum is simple, classic, and an ideal side.
10. Classic Meatballs
If you want to make a meat side for your eggplant parmesan yourself, meatballs are the timeless answer.
Made with onion and garlic powder, red pepper, oregano, and pecorino cheese, this recipe is fantastic!
Meatballs are a great side for your eggplant parm.
The meatiness and all the flavors will complement the cheesy, tomatoey goodness of the main dish with class and taste.
Never underestimate the awesomeness of the humble meatball. Well done, like they are in this recipe, they can be a work of art!
This is another answer to what meat to serve with eggplant parmesan.
Bobby Parrish at FlavCity has created one of the best meatball recipes we’ve ever seen. Watch and learn how he does it.
11. Creamy Saffron and Prawn Pasta
So, why have we been avoiding pasta on this list? Because, it’s too obvious.
But we found this recipe, and we couldn’t resist.
After all, saffron! Prawns! Lots of cream!
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world, but it’s worth it.
A pinch of saffron will make any lightly flavored dish outstanding.
This recipe takes the humble eggplant parmesan to a whole new level!
Try this creamy saffron and shrimp dish and you’ll be thrilled.
Claire at Sprinkles and Sprouts blew our minds with this awesome recipe!
12. Risotto alla Milanese
Wait! Here’s more saffron! And wine and arborio rice.
And awesomeness on awesomeness.
Can you really miss with a recipe from a blog called “Cooking with Nonna”?
This is a traditional recipe that will have your guests demanding again and again.
Risotto is a dish you want to see made before you try to make it.
Seeing the timing and how things come together is the best way to learn to make risotto.
Just as if you were at your own Nonna’s side.
Check this out, make it, and then call us. We’ll be right over for risotto and eggplant parmesan.
Rossella and Nonna give us this recipe at Cooking with Nonna. Awww! So sweet!
13. Garlic Bread
Seemingly one of the simplest side dishes, truly great garlic bread is a work of art.
You need the right mix of butter, garlic, cheese, and just the right amount of toasting.
This recipe will give you just that.
Follow these instructions and you will have flavorful garlic bread to soak up some of those wonderful juices from your eggplant parmesan.
One of the secrets in this recipe is olive oil. Sure, it’s not exactly a top secret ingredient, but it adds that little extra flavor that butter alone doesn’t deliver.
We love this recipe and you will too. On the list of sides for eggplant parmesan, garlic bread is a perfect choice.
Anna at Crunchy Creamy Sweet has made an awesome recipe for this classic side.
Do you know gnocchi? If not, you should. It’s a gift from the gods of Mount Olympus.
Potato gnocchi, especially like as in this recipe, is a wonderful texture experience.
Many people will think it’s a pasta and that will have them asking you about it after their first bite.
When you crisp it up, it’s crunchy on the outside and firm on the inside.
Don’t miss this. It’s an amazing experience as a side dish to eggplant parmesan.
The basil pesto is a great counterpoint to the tomato sauce on your parm.
An ideal eggplant parmesan combo option.
Two Peas and Their Pod, Maria and Josh, delivered this taste sensation.
15. Angioletti Fritti con Rucola e Pomodori (Fried Dough with Arugula and Grape Tomatoes)
Fried Dough! Yes, please!
We’re always looking for great recipes wherever we can get them and here’s one that will change your life.
Fried dough will add the right consistency to this dinner without having the bread basket like focaccia on the table.
Add the spicy crunch of arugula and the tart pop of grape tomatoes and you have yourself a side dish that will elevate your dinner to Michelin status.
There is so much here to love, you won’t be sure if it’s the arugula or fried dough. (Hint: It’s always the fried dough!)
Saveur Magazine is the source of this amazing recipe!
What to Serve with Eggplant Parmesan: The Sequal
Spaghetti and Eggplant Parmesan (Done Differently)
The great classic is spaghetti. Who says “No”? But you don’t need to be boring and just add marinara sauce.
Take your spaghetti and toss it in some garlic butter. Put that on the plate. Place your eggplant parmesan on top of the pasta.
When you eat it, you can get the complex taste of eggplant parm with every bite, but you’ll also get the clean butter and garlic taste of the pasta.
This is what goes with eggplant parmesan besides plain old spaghetti marinara.
Eggplant Parmesan and Steak
Umm… steak! Yup! A small steak, grilled nicely and topped with a dollop of herb butter will be awesome. It will add a hearty addition to your dinner.
This is a great place for a New York Strip or a Skirt Steak. Cook it to your preference and you’ll have a great meal.
Chicken and Eggplant Parm
Chicken goes with everything. And if you’re looking for chicken parm side dish ideas, check out our list!
Marinate your chicken breasts in Italian seasonings and grill it to perfection. This can be served on the side of the main dish.
Your diners can combine the chicken with the eggplant on their forks and get a great meal.
What Wine Goes with Eggplant Parmesan
While most people would say red wine, like chianti or sangiovese, we like to break the rules.
A pinot grigio is perfect with eggplant parmesan. The light sweetness of wine will pair perfectly with the tangy tomato of the main dish.
Prosecco, a sparkling wine, is another awesome choice. Many of us will only open sparkling wine when there’s a grand celebration. Celebrate your awesome eggplant parmesan!
Sparkling wine is great with Italian dishes, especially cheese heavy dinners like this.
So, “What wine to serve with eggplant parmesan?” Honestly, almost anything will be perfect. It’s a dish that’s really that versatile.
Beer and Eggplant Parmesan
Beer and Italian food might seem like a strange pairing, but, hey, beer goes with everything.
Here’s a great place for a pilsner or other lightly flavored beer. You don’t want anything that’s going to wipe out the flavor of the main dish.
The fruitiness of a pale ale would be excellent with your eggplant parmesan, as well. It’s bright flavor will work nicely.
Still Wondering What to Serve with Eggplant Parmesan -- Your Imagination
If you’re still wondering what to eat with eggplant parmesan, you simply use your imagination.
It’s such a delicious food with a classic flavor that you can serve almost anything with it.