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Chicken parmesan (also known as chicken parm or chicken parmigiana) is an American dish inspired by the eggplant parmesan (or eggplant parmigiana) from Italian cuisine. Although it is derived from this other dish though, the chicken parmesan has proven to be incredibly well-loved, especially in America, with it even eclipsing the popularity of the original dish. As such, you may be curious to try this piece of American cuisine yourself. However, if you’ve never had it before, then you may be unsure what to serve with chicken parmesan?

What Is Chicken Parmesan?

As mentioned above, the chicken parmesan is an American dish that was inspired by the Italian eggplant parmigiana. This rich and tasty dish traditionally consists of a breaded chicken breast that is covered in a tomato sauce and topped with melted cheese. Often this cheese will be either mozzarella, parmesan or provolone potentially a mix of these. Additionally, a common optional addition to the chicken parmesan is to also add a generous amount of bacon or ham as an additional topper between the sauce and cheese.

The result of this is a dish that is layered with an assortment of different tastes and textures with juicy and crispy breaded chicken breasts, tangy and rich tomato sauce and creamy, gooey cheesy and sharp parmesan cheese. These flavours all combine to form a dish that is hearty and delicious due to the various sensations you enjoy when eating it.

What Goes With Chicken Parmesan?

With the above in mind, when deciding on a side dish to serve with chicken parmesan you should take a similar approach as you would when picking sides for enchiladas. This is because the main part of your meal should of course be the chicken parmesan. As such, the sides you choose should let the multitude of flavours and textures really stand out.

That said though, this doesn’t mean that you should choose side dishes that are completely dull or bland. Instead, you should go for options that either synergise with your chicken parmesan or contrast it in a way that complements the flavours.

What to serve with chicken parmesan? 8 best side dishes

What To Serve With Chicken Parmesan?

With the above in mind though, you may be wondering what you can pair with your chicken parmesan as your options may seem initially limited. That said though, like with other sides for other rich and saucy dishes such as pulled pork, your options are actually quite varied. With that in mind then, some of the best options you choose from can be found below:

  1. Mashed Potatoes
  2. Garlic Bread
  3. Pasta
  4. Veggie Noodles
  5. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  6. Roasted Broccoli
  7. Caesar Salad
  8. Rice

Mashed Potatoes

A wonderfully hearty side dish that will go well with near enough any main dish is of course some mashed potatoes. However, whilst they pair well with most main dishes, mashed potatoes make for a particularly wonderful combination when paired with both the textures and tastes of chicken parmesan.

When the two are combined, the naturally excellent combinations of melted cheese and light, fluffy mashed potatoes blend yet contrast perfectly. Meanwhile, the contrast between the crispy bread crumbs and the airy yet fluffy mash makes for an excellent combination and the tangy tomato sauce becomes extra creamy when dunked in the mash.

The result is that this creates an incredibly hearty meal that is incredibly filling and deliciously varied dish. Mashed potatoes earthy and creamy flavours help to contrast the tangy, juicy and cheesy tastes of the chicken parmesan, along with the various textures. Additionally, if you use sour cream, garlic, salt and pepper in your mash then they will add even more layered and nuanced flavours to the overall meal.

Garlic Bread

Like with mashed potatoes garlic bread is always an excellent choice for serving on the side of near enough dish with chicken parmesan being no exception. In fact, pairing garlic bread with this variation on the classic Italian dish is a natural and inspired combination.

Texture-wise, the crispy texture of the breaded chicken and the crusty and crispy bread makes for an excellent synergy of textures. Meanwhile, the doughy middle of the bread is wonderfully soft and the doughy middle of the bread adds some contrast to the affair.

The flavour of the garlic adds extra layers to the dish, especially so when dunked into a marinara sauce that is often used in parmesan chicken. Additionally, it will also play wonderfully with parmesan cheese as garlic bread and cheese also pair perfectly together.

What to serve with chicken parmesan? 8 best side dishes

Pasta

Perhaps the most iconic side dish when deciding what to serve with chicken parmesan is of course some pasta. Of course, this will typically be done with spaghetti noodles. However, if you want to make things slightly more interesting then using other types of pasta such as angel hair, penne, tortellini or orzo is an excellent way to do it.

The texture of the al dente pasta makes for a wonderfully refreshing contrast to the sensations provided by your chicken parmesan. Meanwhile the sauce from your chicken parmesan pairs excellently with the pasta it will coat and be soaked up by the grains/noodles.

Additionally, you can make this dish even richer and more indulgent by serving your pasta with an additional sauce. One classic option is to use a tomato sauce like that on your chicken parmesan to make this dish have an even more distinct tomato and/or marinara flavour. Alternatively, whipping up a quick fettuccine alfredo will make for a dish that is more creamy, cheesy and deliciously rich.

Another option is to add extra herbs such as fresh basil and parleys to make things more refreshing. Meanwhile, some grated cheese such as pecorino or more parmesan is an excellent choice.

Veggie Noodles

If you want a mouthfeel similar to that of eating spaghetti but with more of a vegetable type feeling and taste, that veggie noodles make for an excellent choice. In particular zucchini noodles (or zoodles) as they’re also known makes for a particularly excellent choice. Aside from zoodles though, other options include spaghetti squash or butternut squash noodles depending on the taste you want.

These can be easily made from home with the use of a spiraliser and the veggie of your choice to make your own veggie noodles. However, if you don’t have a spiraliser, or lack the time to make your own then some frozen or store-bought veggie noodles make for an excellent choice.

Like with regular pasta, marinara or alfredo sauce make for excellent choices. However, simply sauteing them with some olive oil and garlic will add some extra flavour.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts often get a bad rap, especially from those who haven’t eaten them since they were a kid. Often this stems from eating them boiled which causes them to become very bland taste and mushy texture. However, when trying brussels sprouts, many ardent haters of this green veggie often find themselves being converted.

When roasted, brussels sprouts make for a delicious side dish to near enough any main dish. This is because roasted Brussels sprouts have a diverse array of sweet, nutty, smoky and earthy flavours along with a hint of sweet caramelisation. Additionally, they will have deliciously crispy, crunchy and creamy textures.

All these factors are wonderfully complementary to near enough any rich and meaty main with chicken parmesan being no exception. This is especially true if you want to add some sweetness to the meal with honey or balsamic vinegar glaze. Alternatively though, some olive oil, salt, black pepper and garlic also make for great seasonings.

What to serve with chicken parmesan? 8 best side dishes

Roasted Broccoli

In Italian cooking, broccoli is often considered a staple side dish due to being incredibly versatile and pairing well with a variety of different dishes. As such when talking about sides for a dish inspired by Italian cuisine like chicken parmesan, roasted broccoli makes for an excellent choice.

When roasted, broccoli is more crispy than the steamed variety with it also has more of the distinct and vibrant earthy and slightly bitter flavours. In addition, when seasoned with olive oil, salt and black pepper they will have more distinctly layered flavours whilst still ensuring that the chicken parmesan is the focus of your dish.

Caesar Salad

Both of the previous options are quite healthy choices for pairing with chicken parmesan and you may think that this option is continuing that trend. However, whilst true to an extent, the classic caesar salad is probably not the most healthy option if that is what you’re truly concerned about.

That said though, the combination of crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons and sharp parmesan shavings are truly delicious when topped with a caesar salad dressing and serve alongside your chicken parmesan. This dressing consists of olive oil, egg yolk, anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, mustard, garlic and pepper and adds delicious creaminess and layer variety of delicious tastes.

Truly when accompanying your chicken parmesan this makes for an excellent side choice due to the romaine lettuce and croutons bringing contrasts to the texture and taste. Meanwhile the parmesan cheese and caesar salad dressing help to enhance the flavours already present in your main dish.

Newman's own creamy caesar salad dressing, 16-oz. (pack of 6)

Rice

Another classic side dish that works in near enough any culinary context is of course a lovely bowl of steaming rice. Naturally, this adds a wonderfully fluffy texture and slightly nutty and earthy taste that really allows your chicken parmesan to shine. Additionally, it will also soak up some delicious sauce used in your main dish.

The beauty of using rice as a side dish though is that there is a multitude of different ways to take things. Obviously, a simple and effective option is to prepare a bowl of brown rice which can either choose to infuse with mushrooms or not for extra umami flavour. Alternatively though if you really want to push the boat out with something special, then preparing a delicious bowl of saffron rice will be an automatic winner.

Answered: What To Serve With Chicken Parmesan?

Chicken parmesan is truly an incredibly delicious, decadent and layered dish that hosts an assortment of different tastes and textures. With this in mind then, when you’re picking side dishes you will more than likely wish to pick choices that are relatively simple and play more a supportive role to the main dish.

However, whilst this may seem somewhat restrictive at first, the options open to you are still quite broad. As such, when picking out your sides, whether it’s garlic bread, mashed potatoes, pasta or even an idea of your own, there a plenty of ways you can make this dish your own.

FAQ – What To Serve With Chicken Parmesan?

What is a good accompaniment to chicken?

There are a wide variety of options you can serve with chicken with near enough any side dishes being perfect. As such, whether it’s a cheesy pasta, spicy stir fry or in a delicious sandwich you will not find yourself lacking for options.

What cocktail goes with chicken parm?

A wide variety of cocktails can pair excellently with chicken parm. Some excellent options being the Marmolada Spritz, Marmolada Spritz or the Martini Reggiano.

Is chicken Parmesan always served with pasta?

Parmesan cheese will often be served with pasta. That said though, some other excellent choices include mashed potatoes, garlic bread, rice and roasted Brussels sprouts.

What sides go good with chicken Parmesan?

A wide variety of side dishes will pair excellently with chicken parmesan. Some excellent choices include pasta, mashed potatoes, garlic bread, rice and roasted Brussels sprouts.