I used to wonder what to serve with chicken parmesan all the time.
Do you double the carbs with fries, or try to make it healthy with vegetables? And what about classic spaghetti and salad?
The truth is that chicken parmesan is a delectable dish that never disappoints.
The combination of crisp chicken, nutty parmesan, ooey-gooey mozzarella, and sweet marinara is delightful!
I am such a fan of chicken parm, I can eat it on its own, all day, every day.
But it’s even more extraordinary when served with side dishes that complement its flavors and textures.
Luckily, it’s great with hearty pasta, crunchy salads, or roasted veggies. So I’ve rounded up 13 tempting side dishes for you to choose from.
I promise, all of these chicken parmesan side dishes are tasty. So make one, or make them all, and let me know which you like best.
Let’s get started with a classic combination. Chicken parmesan is most often served with pasta, with marinara as its sauce.
Boiling pasta is quick and easy, it will be ready by the time your chicken is done baking.
To me, nothing beats simple spaghetti, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy switching things up!
If good old spaghetti is becoming too boring for you, try penne, orzo, tortellini, or whatever pasta suits your mood.
Don’t forget to top that gorgeous pasta with fresh basil and parsley for a more refreshing flavor.
Some freshly grated parmesan and pecorino cheese are highly welcome, too.
If you’re trying to stay away from carbs but want the feel of eating spaghetti, then veggie noodles are a great option for you.
Get your spiralizer ready and serve your chicken parm with zucchini, butternut squash, or spaghetti squash noodles!
If you don’t have the time and energy to do it yourself, don’t worry. Frozen veggie noodles are available in grocery stores.
To give them more flavor, saute your noodles in olive oil and garlic. Top the noodles with the chicken and marinara sauce and boom! You’ll have a lovely, healthy dinner.
3. Caesar Salad
If you want another healthy option, how about a salad?
Classic Caesar salad is perfect because its rich dressing contributes some tanginess to the entire ensemble.
If you think you’ve nailed down the recipe for the perfect Caesar, think again. I’m telling you, this one’s better!
The secret to this irresistible salad is the salty and pungent anchovy garlic paste. And it’s not hard to make at all!
Just chop together anchovies and garlic until you get a paste.
For the dressing, whisk egg yolks until smooth, and add some mustard. Stir in the anchovy garlic paste and pour over a bit of lemon juice.
Whisk until you get a smooth mixture. Then, add olive oil and keep whisking until you get a thick mixture.
Pour in vegetable oil and whisk again. Add some parmesan cheese, and season with black pepper. Yum.
Another secret to this Caesar salad is homemade croutons. They’re perfectly crisp and salty!
Don’t worry, because they’re very easy to make and worth the effort.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add bread cubes to the skillet and season with salt.
Coat the cubes with oil and let them toast for 5 minutes, stirring every so often. Take it out of the skillet and let it cool.
Now, all that’s left to do is to assemble the salad.
Just toss chopped romaine lettuce, the dressing, and the croutons together and garnish with parmesan cheese. Fantastic!
Here’s another healthy salad that will be a hit. It has the same flavors of a classic potato salad, but since it’s made with cauliflower, it’s a lot more nutritious.
For the dressing, mix mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until combined.
Toss in your boiled cauliflower florets, hard-boiled eggs, chopped onions, peas, dill pickles, and bacon bits.
You might be tempted to eat it right away, but let it chill for a few hours in the fridge first. This will allow all the flavors to blend, giving you a ridiculously delicious side.
Aside from cauliflower, broccoli also makes a tasty salad! This one has a tangier dressing, which gives a wonderful contrast to the richness of your chicken parm.
For the dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
Toss in blanched broccoli florets and stems, currants, chopped red onions, and almonds.
Again, don’t give in to the temptation! Refrigerate it for a few hours before serving to get all those flavors to marry.
If you want a healthy, quick, and easy side, this one’s for you.
This cucumber salad will only take a few minutes of your time, and it’s a guaranteed hit.
All you need to do is to combine vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add thinly sliced cucumbers and chives into the mixture and chill for 30 minutes.
This will allow the cucumbers to absorb the tanginess of the vinegar mixture, giving it a nice pickled flavor.
7. Garlic Bread
If you want something heartier than a salad, go for garlic bread! It’s crisp on the outside, tender and moist on the inside, and flavorful all over.
There’s just something about the combination of butter and garlic on bread that’s so irresistible!
Try dipping that savory bread into the marinara sauce, too. Oh my goodness, it’s finger-lickin’ good.
Another hearty side you can’t go wrong with is classic mashed potatoes.
Chicken parm is loaded with cheese, and you know how well cheese goes with spuds!
Together, chicken parm and mashed potatoes make an addictive and hearty tandem.
I do think broccoli and chicken parm pair well together, and that’s why I have another broccoli side for you.
Instead of a salad, just coat those vibrant florets and stems in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and pop them in the oven.
Bake them at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Aside from roasted broccoli, roasted Brussels sprouts also make a fabulous veggie side dish to chicken parm.
They’re crisp, nutty, and creamy. When roasted to perfection, they caramelize beautifully, which gives them a hint of sweetness.
11. Saffron Rice
Since saffron is probably one of the most expensive seasonings known to man, this side is not the most affordable.
But it’s just so darn good, it’s worth every penny.
The saffron adds a distinct flavor and a lovely color to your rice, making it look and taste exceptional.
And don’t worry, you won’t need a lot for this recipe.
To make, just mix in half a teaspoon of saffron threads, ½ teaspoon of turmeric, and 2 tablespoons of fish sauce to 2 cups of cooked jasmine rice.
12. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a healthy (and cheaper) alternative to saffron rice.
I love that it has a chewy bite to it! And that mild nutty flavor also adds a nice dimension to your chicken parm.
You can pair your chicken parm with a simple steamed brown rice, or you can also infuse it with mushrooms to kick things up a notch.
Mushrooms have that beautiful earthy flavor that goes well with brown rice. Together, they make a satisfying side to chicken parm.
Quinoa is a superfood that’s ridiculously nutritious and hearty.
It makes a wonderful alternative to saffron or brown rice because it’s just as filling, but a lot healthier.
And I love its crunchy texture and nutty flavor too! It complements chicken parmesan well.
You can serve quinoa with your chicken parm as is, but you can also turn it into a salad.
Just mix it with spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions, and coat in a dressing of honey, olive oil, lime juice, and minced ginger.
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