13 Best Side Dishes for Chicken Parmesan

When serving up a classic Italian dish like chicken parmesan, it’s essential to have a side that complements the flavors and textures of the main course. The good news is that there are countless options to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics that can elevate the meal to new heights.

From crisp salads to comforting breads, I’ve had the pleasure of trying out many different sides that pair beautifully with chicken parmesan. In this post, I’ll share my top picks for side dishes that will help you create a complete and satisfying dining experience. Whether you’re looking for a classic Italian-inspired option or something more unique, there’s something on this list for everyone.

Tomato Salad

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When searching for the perfect accompaniment to a quick and flavorful chicken parmesan recipe, look no further than this effortless tomato salad. This delightful side dish requires minimal preparation time while still delivering authentic Italian flair. The key to its success lies in combining fresh basil and onions with a rich dressing, creating a refreshing contrast that beautifully complements the rich flavors of your chicken parmesan.


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When it comes to Italian cuisine, pasta is often the unsung hero. From spaghetti to angel hair to fettuccine, the options are endless. But what’s even better than a single serving of pasta? Pairing it with the rich flavors of chicken parmesan and homemade marinara sauce. The crispy bread crumbs from the chicken add a satisfying texture to the dish, making it a match made in heaven. With boiling time minimal, this side dish won’t keep you waiting long. While your pasta is cooking, you can focus on preparing the star of the show: the breaded chicken parmesan. To take it to the next level, top with fresh basil, grated Parmesan, and a drizzle of tomato sauce, and you’ll be transported to the Tuscan countryside.


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If you’re searching for a nutritious accompaniment to pair with your chicken parmesan, look no further than quinoa. This superfood is renowned for its numerous health benefits and makes an excellent alternative to rice when you want to mix things up. The satisfying crunch of cooked quinoa complements the tender and juicy chicken parmesan perfectly, while the melted parmesan cheese adds a rich and indulgent flavor profile. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also elevate your quinoa game by incorporating other ingredients like olive oil, minced ginger, or lime juice to add an extra layer of depth and complexity. With its versatility and impressive nutritional credentials, quinoa is an excellent choice to round out your meal.

Veggie Noodles

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If you’re craving the satisfaction that regular noodles bring to your dish, but want to reduce the carb intake, consider creating vegetable noodles instead. This way, you can enjoy the same flavors and textures without sacrificing your health goals. To make veggie noodles, a spiralizer is an invaluable tool. Simply spiralize zucchini, spaghetti squash, or butternut squash and toss with parmesan chicken for a delicious combination. Add some garlic and olive oil to give it an extra boost of flavor, and you’ll be enjoying a healthy and tasty meal.

Brown Rice

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Pairing your chicken parmesan with a nutritious side dish can elevate the overall healthiness of your meal, even if it’s a decadent one. One way to do this is by opting for brown rice instead of white rice. Brown rice boasts a higher nutritional profile and is considered a healthier alternative. To take things to the next level, you can also add some veggies like sautéed mushrooms to give your brown rice a boost of flavor and nutrition. The earthy taste of the mushrooms complements the clean, healthy taste of the brown rice perfectly, creating a well-rounded meal when paired with your chicken parmesan.

Caesar Salad

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The quintessential Italian dish, Caesar, is a timeless classic that never goes out of style. The distinctive anchovy flavor remains unparalleled to this day, adding an unmistakable depth to the salad. To elevate your Caesar game, try crafting your own croutons by toasting bread with a blend of Italian seasonings and spices. The crowning glory, however, lies in the high-quality Parmesan cheese that’s sprinkled throughout the dish, imbuing it with an undeniable richness. When you take control of making your own Caesar dressing, you can tailor its strength and potency to suit your taste buds. Before assembling the salad, be sure to set aside some fresh romaine lettuce, as it will provide a delightful contrast to the homemade croutons and dressing. With a crisp, well-crafted salad accompanying your baked chicken Parmesan, you’ll experience a harmonious balance of flavors and textures – crispy, cheesy, and refreshingly light.

Saffron Rice

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While many of us may not regularly stockpile pricey saffron, this aromatic spice is a game-changer when it comes to elevating the humble rice dish. The recipe itself is surprisingly straightforward and quick to prepare, making it an ideal accompaniment to more substantial meals like chicken parmesan. In fact, serving the rice as the base and topping it with your chicken parm creates a delightful combination that showcases the saffron’s unique flavor profile with each satisfying bite.

Cauliflower Broccoli Salad

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Indulge in this cauliflower broccoli salad, a quick and nutritious option that won’t leave you feeling guilty about devouring an entire bowl. The combination of cauliflower, sunflower seeds, craisins, and bacon bits provides a satisfying crunch and flavorful bite. Meanwhile, the creamy mayo-based dressing will tantalize your taste buds. For optimal results, consider letting the salad sit in the fridge for a bit before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together seamlessly and the cooling effect helps balance out the heat from accompanying dishes like chicken parm.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Brussels sprouts offer a distinctive flavor profile that lends itself to various preparation methods, making them an ideal accompaniment to healthier dishes like chicken parmesan. For added depth of flavor, consider tossing the sprouts with garlic and olive oil. The texture of Brussels sprouts also provides a pleasant contrast to other side dishes, particularly when they’re cooked until crispy on the edges, resulting in a satisfying golden brown hue.

Broccoli Salad

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When it comes to serving chicken parmesan, pairing it with a delightful side dish can elevate the entire meal. One such option is a crisp and refreshing broccoli salad that boasts a delectable dressing you’ll be hard-pressed to ignore. The combination of crunchy almond, sweet cranberries, pungent onion, and tangy feta cheese creates a harmonious medley of flavors that linger pleasantly on the palate. Like its cauliflower counterpart, this salad requires a brief sojourn in the refrigerator, allowing the dressing’s essence to permeate the broccoli and other ingredients, resulting in a symphony of flavors.

Roasted Broccoli

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When it comes to pairing vegetables with Italian-inspired dishes, broccoli is an ideal choice. Its mild flavor makes it a perfect complement to many popular dishes, including chicken parmesan. When you combine roasted broccoli with crispy chicken parmesan, the result is a harmonious blend of flavors that’s both simple and satisfying. To prepare this easy side dish, simply toss your broccoli florets with salt, pepper, and olive oil, then let them roast in the oven while you focus on cooking your main course. This quick and effortless recipe allows you to devote most of your attention to preparing the star of the show – your chicken parmesan.

Cucumber Salad

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While indulging in the rich flavors of easy chicken parmesan, it’s essential to strike a balance with a revitalizing salad that complements its bold taste. Enter this refreshing cucumber salad recipe, which effortlessly satisfies our cravings for something light and flavorful. The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity – requiring minimal effort from start to finish, freeing you up to focus on the main event: your chicken parmesan masterpiece. To create this delightful side, simply combine sliced cucumbers with chopped onions, a touch of sweetness from sugar, a pinch of salt, and a splash of white vinegar. Finish it off with a sprinkle of dill for an added burst of freshness, perfect for those sweltering summer days.

Mashed Potatoes

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The harmonious union between perfectly whipped mashed potatoes and crispy chicken parmesan is a match made in culinary heaven. The light and airy texture of the spuds provides a delightful contrast to the crunch and gruffness of the chicken, while the panko breadcrumbs that fall into the potatoes add an irresistible crunch. A pinch of salt, pepper, and a pat of butter can elevate this comforting combination to new heights.

Garlic Bread

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When it comes to completing a satisfying meal, a perfectly toasted garlic bread is the unsung hero that brings everything together. The harmonious balance of its crispy exterior and soft interior complements the textures found in dishes like chicken parmesan. Moreover, this versatile side can even be used to clean up any stray mozzarella cheese or pasta sauce leftover from your main course, making it an indispensable addition to your meal.

What to Serve With Chicken Parmesan (+Tomato Salad)

These recipes are sure to impress your loved ones. Bring everyone together and indulge in the delightful flavors. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these scrumptious dishes!

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