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Eggplant parmesan is a classic Italian dish loved by most people, from the juicy, meatiness of the eggplant to the gooeyness of the cheese making it a delight to eat. The most common side to have with this dish is pasta, but you can choose from garlic bread to roasted broccoli, so if you’re wondering what to have with eggplant parmesan, do not despair, for I have ideas of all the delicious sides you’ll need!

What Is Eggplant Parmesan?

Italian baked eggplant parmesan is a classic comfort food, resembling lasagne and made by layering breaded eggplant slices with mozzarella cheese, parmesan, basil and tomato sauce, then baking till it becomes all bubbly. The thing about eggplant is that it is absolutely brilliant at holding moisture, and can absorb a hell of a lot of oil, this can make your eggplant mushy if not tackled in the correct way. Lightly salt the raw eggplant slices and let them sit out for a while, the salt will help pull out the moisture from the eggplant. The results are a wonderfully rich eggplant parmesan, without mushy eggplant weighing your dish down.

How To Make Eggplant Parmesan?

This gorgeous, rich and cheesy dish that appears to be the close relative of lasagne minus the meat and pasta is just a delicious meal to have on a cold evening. The marinara sauce can be made a couple of days before you actually plan to eat this meal, simply because the flavours will mingle beautifully, but it won’t hurt to make them on the same day either.

To make this delicious dish you’ll need to start by breading the eggplant: Mix together some oregano and thyme, parmesan, and panko coating in one shallow bowl, and whisk 2 eggs with a splash of almond milk in another.

Dip each sliced eggplant into the egg mixture before tossing it in the panko. Make sure the eggplant is well-coated on either side.

Layer the breaded eggplant slices on a baking try lined with parchment sheets, and drizzle them with olive oil then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they’re a beautiful golden brown, and tender.

Spread some tomato sauce at the bottom of a large casserole dish, add a layer of eggplant slices, some marinara, and mozzarella. Repeat this process layering them evenly, and finish by topping it with leftover mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Pop it in the oven and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, or until you notice that the cheese has started to bubble.

Take it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes, then top it with fresh basil leaves, serve with your favourite salad and dig in!

What Pasta Can You Serve With Eggplant Parmesan?

Amongst the varieties of side dishes that will pair beautifully with eggplant parmesan, there are some pasta dishes that can be eaten alongside your main dish. Here are a few to choose from:

  • Italian Pasta Salad
  • Gnocchi
  • Spaghetti
  • Creamy Saffron and Prawn Pasta
  • Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Italian Pasta Salad

Starting off nice and simple, with a cool pasta salad made with rotini pasta, fresh and vibrant vegetables, dried herbs, means and extra cheese then coated in a tangy homemade Italian dressing. A beautiful blend of textures from chewy to crispy this is an overall treat to have alongside your eggplant parmesan and perfect to serve at a gathering or dinner party, you’ll undoubtedly impress your guests with your delicate creativity.

Gnocchi

Upon first glance and taste it is almost impossible to distinguish the difference between gnocchi and pasta, aside from the combined flavours of the mashed potatoes, flour, cheese and eggs making it such a soft and chewy treat. Topped with mozzarella cheese the textures exploding in your mouth, you’ll leave your guests believing they were served a plate of delicious pasta to go with their eggplant parmesan.

Spaghetti

Since eggplant parmesan holds the key elements of most spaghetti dishes, like cheese and tomato sauce, this side dish seems like a much needed inclusion on this list of types of pasta to serve with our delicious main dish.

You can break off your layered eggplant parmesan and mix it into the long spindly pasta, enjoying the flavours that pleasantly leave your tongue tingling.

Creamy Saffron and Prawn Pasta

You’ll certainly impress your guests with this specially flavoured dish is an amazing addition to the humble meal of eggplant parmesan. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world, and just a pinch of it added to this creamy dish of prawn pasta really makes this side dish taste outstanding.

You’ll need some linguine for this side dish, a large pinch of saffron threads, some boiling water, double cream, grated parmesan, lemon zest, chopped chives, egg yolk, salt and pepper.

Start by adding linguine into boiling water, then place the saffron in a small saucepan and 4 tablespoons of the boiling water from the pasta. Leave it to stand for a few minutes.

Add cream, parmesan, and lemon zest to the saffron and stir over medium heat and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Then add chives, prawns and cook for another minute until heated through.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the egg yolks, drain the pasta, but keep 1 cup of the water. Pour the sauce over the pasta and thin with the boiling water as needed.

Serve with a garnish of chopped chives, and enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Pasta

This pasta may be made from squash, but it really does the job as a faux pasta. Serve this alongside your eggplant parmesan and watch your guests drool at this mouth-watering meal. The soft textures of the squash make it a perfect candidate for pasta, its subtle flavours blend beautifully with pasta sauces which is why it’ll taste fantastic when eaten alongside your eggplant parmesan.

Break off a bite of eggplant parmesan and twirl your spaghetti squash with a fork and let the flavours create invisible fireworks in your mouth.

What Other Side Dishes Go With Eggplant Parmesan?

We know what types of scrumptious pasta can be eaten with eggplant parmesan, but there is a whole other world of complimentary side dish ideas that we have yet to explore.

Let’s take a quick dive shall we?

  • Italian Sausage
  • Meatballs
  • Garlic Bread
  • Grilled Courgette
  • Roasted Broccoli
  • Fresh Salad
  • Sautéed Green Beans
  • Stir-Fried Cabbage
  • Buttered Noodles
  • Gelato

Italian Sausage

For all the meat lovers out there, this side dish is the perfect accompaniment to have with eggplant parmesan. You can cut the Italian sausage into little pieces and sprinkle them over your beautifully mountain of eggplant parmesan, adding a whole world of flavours that will have you licking your fingers appreciatively.

Why not make this scrumptious side dish at a dinner party and impress your guests with the contrasting flavours that burst in their mouth, leaving a zingy after taste, truly a delight to have.

Meatballs

These wonderful globes made with onion and garlic powder, red pepper, oregano, and pecorino cheese these will taste fantabulous, alongside a meal like eggplant parmesan.

Just crumble the beef in a large bowl, and add eggs, water, onion, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, minced garlic and your desired seasonings. Mix these ingredients well, and start to shape it into little balls. Transfer them to the oven and bake them uncovered till they’re a wonderful golden brown.

The meatiness combined with the cheesy, tomatoey flavours of the main dish will compliment each other perfectly, a true delight to have on the table.

Garlic Bread

A little bit of bread with eggplant parmesan never hurt no one, especially if it was garlic bread. A super simple side dish with the perfect amount of chewiness to combine with the cheesy veggie-meatiness of the main meal that will simply have flavours of garlicky buttery goodness exploding in your mouth.

Try soaking the bread in the gooey, cheesy marinara for a hot amazing tingling sensation on the tip of your tongue, burning your teeth in the most beautiful ways. Trust me this stuff tastes great when it’s piping hot.

Grilled Courgette

For a light and refreshing addition to your heavy creamy meal, try grilled, smoky courgette.

Make these by tossing the sliced courgette with oil, lemon zest, and chilli flakes with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook these on a grill, flipping them occasionally then once they’re tender remove them and place them on a plate, garnish with basil and more chilli flakes.

Serve with a generous helping of eggplant parmesan for double veggie deliciousness.

Roasted Broccoli

For a delicious and vibrant addition to your main meal, try these delightful roasted broccoli, just bake them at a relatively high temperature so that they achieve their beautiful golden edges.

A crunchy contrast to your gooey cheesy eggplant parmesan filled with soft and chewy textures, this side dish was made for dishes like these!

Fresh Salad

You can never go wrong with a plate of crunchy, fresh salad with juicy ingredients that compliment your eggplant parmesan perfectly.

You can either choose to chop up your desired greens in a bowl, and munch on them whilst you take a bite of your main meal. Or you can get a little creative and thinly slice onions, olives, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and baby spinach toss them in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and you’re good to go.

Sautéed Green Beans

A quick and effortless side to accompany your perfected plate of eggplant parmesan is with these sautéed green beans. You’ll get your nutrition, plus deliciousness that will have you rotating back to these delightful beans for most of your main meals.

Boil the green beans in salted water, then drain and set aside. Heat oil and butter in a pan, then once it has melted sauté the green beans, moving them around in the pan to coat in the oily buttery mixture. Add some minced garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté until the sweet aroma of garlic wafts in your nostrils.

Take the beans to a plate and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over them and serve instantly.

Stir-Fried Cabbage

A wonderfully sweet, salty and garlicky side dish to have with your cheesy, tangy main meal is with stir-fried cabbage. Steam or boil the cabbage for a few minutes until it just starts to become tender, then drain well.

Heat some oil in a frying pan, add some thinly sliced garlic cloves and fennel seeds, then cook for a minute. Toss in the cabbage and stir fry on the highest heat for 3-4 minutes. Season with a little salt and serve with eggplant parmesan for a delightful dinner.

Buttered Noodles

This wonderful side dish is perfect to have with eggplant parmesan, with the flat surface of these buttery noodles it’s perfect for mixing cheesy main dishes, twirling your fork around the noodles and breaking off a cheesy piece of eggplant parmesan, combining the soft textures to make a delightful meal that you and your family will love.

Gelato

Here’s a wonderfully sweet, light and refreshing addition to a delicious meal, with this Italian frozen dessert rounding off with a cold exit, that will have your belly grumbling in excitement.

Take your pick from vanilla, pistachio, lemon or mango whatever tickles your tongue in the best way.

So What Goes Well With Eggplant Parmesan?

You can go for light and crunchy, or meaty and hearty. For the vegetable lovers there’s always a wonderful way to incorporate more vegetable’s into your dinner, whether you boil, fry or bake them, giving you a delightful variety of healthy side dishes to have with your eggplant parmesan.

FAQs

What Is a Good Side Dish For Eggplant Parmesan?

Some people may prefer a variety of pasta dishes to have with eggplant parmesan, such as spaghetti, gnocchi, spaghetti squash, and prawn pasta. You can even have a meaty side dish to compliment the eggplant parmesan such as Italian sausage, or meatballs.

What Vegetable Goes Good With Eggplant Parmesan?

Antipasto salad, grilled courgette, roasted broccoli, fresh salad, sautéed green beans, and stir-fried cabbage.

What Do You Eat Eggplant With?

You can cut the vegetable into thin slices or cubes and turn it into a curry, stir fry them, roast, peel and serve over pasta, bread and bake them. Or grill them with kabobs on a skewer and enjoy the contrasting textures with chewy chicken.

How Unhealthy is Eggplant Parm?

Whilst eggplant is tasty and a good, healthy addition to your diet, eggplant parmesan is traditionally loaded with oil, soaking it up like a sponge whilst its frying which leads to a very high in fat dish.