chicken parmesan sides

What To Serve With Chicken Parmesan?

Even if you are not Italian, you surely have tried chicken parmesan before. It is a delicious dish that often requires an equally tasty side dish. You can choose more than one, but the chicken parmesan will shine regardless.

Stay tuned to find out what to eat with chicken parmesan. All these dishes offer a different flavor profile that perfectly complements the chicken.

What Is Chicken Parmesan?

Also known as chicken parmigiana is a dish consisting of breaded chicken with tomato sauce and mozzarella, parmesan, or provolone cheese on top. In some cases, you can also add bacon or ham to the dish. In Italian, the recipe is called Pollo alla parmigiana, which was created by immigrants during the 20th century.

The dish resembles the other very Italian meal called eggplant parmesan. In this dish, baked layers of sliced eggplant are covered with sauce and mozzarella cheese. These days, chicken parmesan does not always come on its own but is included in pies and sandwiches too.

Chicken parmesan is an American invention that became popular in the 20th century thanks to Italian immigrants in the area. Nowadays, chicken parmesan is the main course in many Italian and American restaurants. In some cases, you can find a pre-cooked meal that only requires heat at home.

This recipe is popular elsewhere, including Australia, Argentina, the United Kingdom, and more. Although there are some variations, the dish remains very similar to the original. In some cases, the sauce and cheese can add sugar, fat, and extra calories that you can adjust by cooking at home.

Nutrition Facts

One serving of chicken parmesan (301 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 614 calories
  • 180 g water
  • 48.8 g protein
  • 31.9 g fat
  • 32.8 g carbohydrate
  • 2.71 g fiber
  • 8.4 g sugar
  • 319 mg calcium
  • 2.05 mg iron
  • 78.3 mg magnesium
  • 683 mg phosphorus
  • 882 mg potassium
  • 1610 mg sodium
  • 74.3 µg selenium
  • 135 µg vitamin A
  • 163 mg cholesterol

As you can see, while chicken parmesan offers a good amount of protein per serving. However, it also contains a lot of fat, carbohydrates, and sodium. To make the recipe healthier, try using better nutrients and lowering the sugar and fat content.

The Best Sides for Chicken Parmesan

Below are some chicken parmesan sides that you can serve at any time!

#1. Spaghetti With Zucchini

Pasta always goes with chicken parmesan, no matter the time of day. This recipe adds a little more crunch and flavor with the zucchini.


  • ½ box spaghetti
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your baked potatoes with onions:

  1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot with water and salt. Follow the box instructions.
  2. Drain your pasta but reserve a bit of the cooking water.
  3. Add the olive oil and garlic to a saucepan—Cook the onion for about 5 minutes.
  4. Clean and chop your zucchini. Transfer it to the saucepan. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the pasta water and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the pasta, rosemary, basil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cook everything for another 5 minutes, tossing everything often.
  7. Serve your spaghetti with zucchini warm with parmesan cheese on top.

#2. Modern Caesar Salad

For those that want to save calories, this Caesar salad is the perfect option. You can make it healthier by choosing a different dressing or simply using olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


  • ½ cup croutons
  • Bunch of Romaine lettuce
  • ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your modern Caesar salad:

  1. Wash and clean your lettuce. Set it aside in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the Greek yogurt, olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until the vinaigrette is cohesive.
  3. Slowly stir in the Caesar salad vinaigrette you prepared into the large bowl. Toss well.
  4. Add the croutons and toss once more.
  5. Add the shaved parmesan cheese on top.
  6. Serve your modern Caesar salad cold with shaved parmesan on top and extra vinaigrette on the side.

#3. Homemade Garlic Bread

Nothing says Italian like a good piece of garlic bread. This recipe is easy to make, very tasty, and complements your chicken parmesan better than anything else.


  • 1 loaf baguette
  • ½ stick butter
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your homemade garlic bread:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 375 °F.
  2. Melt your butter in the microwave and transfer it to a small bowl.
  3. Add the garlic, oregano, olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Mix well.
  4. Slice the bread and place it on a lined baking sheet.
  5. Spread the garlic mixture on each bread slice.
  6. Bake the bread for 12 to 15 minutes or until it is toasted.
  7. Serve your bread warm on the side of the chicken parmesan.

#4. Roasted Broccoli With Pine Nuts

Broccoli always goes well with any Italian meal, and roasting it adds some crunch and smokiness too. The pine nuts in this recipe add creaminess to the dish and make it much more delicate.


  • 1 broccoli head, cut into smaller pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your roasted broccoli with pine nuts:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 375 °F.
  2. Wash, clean, and break your broccoli into smaller pieces.
  3. Line a baking sheet and place your broccoli on it.
  4. Slice the onion and place it on the baking sheet too.
  5. Drizzle your vegetables with olive oil and garlic. Toss well.
  6. Roast your broccoli for 20 minutes or until the broccoli softens. 
  7. In the meantime, add the pine nuts to a skillet. Toast them for about 2 to 4 minutes. 
  8. Transfer your broccoli to a serving dish and sprinkle the pine nuts on top.
  9. Serve your roasted broccoli with pine nuts warm on the side of your chicken parmesan.

#5. Sauteed Mushrooms With Red Wine

Mushrooms are a delicate yet complex vegetable that goes very well with chicken parmesan. Adding a red wine sauce makes your mushrooms even more tasty and aromatic.


  • 3 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your sauteed mushrooms with red wine:

  1. Add the butter to a skillet. Once it starts to melt, add the garlic.
  2. Clean and slice your mushrooms, and then place them in the skillet too, and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the red wine. Allow everything to simmer for 5 more minutes.
  4. Season with oregano, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper. Toss well.
  5. Serve your sauteed mushrooms with red wine warm on the side of the chicken parmesan.

#6. Caramelized Brussels Sprouts With Bacon

These caramelized Brussels sprouts with bacon are a fantastic choice that adds density and flavor. You can use pancetta instead of bacon if that is something you prefer.


  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 5 strips bacon
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your caramelized Brussels sprouts with bacon:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  2. Wash, clean, and trim your Brussels sprouts. Slice them in half and transfer them to a lined baking sheet.
  3. Heat a saucepan on the stove. Once warm, add the bacon and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes or until crispy.
  4. Drain the bacon and return to the saucepan. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  5. Pour the balsamic vinegar and bacon mixture onto the Brussels sprouts. Toss well until the sprouts are covered in the sauce.
  6. Bake the Brussels sprouts for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tender and crispy.
  7. Serve the caramelized Brussels sprouts warm next to your chicken parmesan.

#7. Polenta With Cauliflower

Polenta is one of those side dishes that are creamy and delicious, perfect for any occasion. In this case, adding the cauliflower gives your polenta a bit of crunch too.


  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your polenta with cauliflower:

  1. Wash, clean, and break your cauliflower into smaller pieces.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
  3. Add the water and milk to a pot. Once it boils, stir in the polenta. Reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the parmesan cheese and mix well—season with oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  5. Transfer the polenta to a baking dish and spread the cauliflower pieces on top. Mix well.
  6. Bake your polenta for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft.
  7. Serve your polenta with cauliflower warm with the chicken parmesan on the side.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Chicken Parm Side Dishes?

The chicken parmesan is a classic and unique meal for many individuals. You can make it your own by serving it with a delicious side dish. Choose any of the ones above and mix and match if you want.

For a side dish that is also an Italian classic, you can go with comfort foods that always pair well. The homemade garlic bread is crunchy, decadent, and very delicious. You can also go with the spaghetti with zucchini that never disappoints.

If you want to serve something that has more fiber and fewer calories, a vegetable side dish is a way to go. Try the modern Caesar salad for a twist on another classic meal. You can also serve the roasted broccoli with pine nuts that is decadent but very healthy.

Finally, in all other scenarios, there are plenty of options to choose from. Try the sauteed mushrooms with red wine that are decadent and sweet. You can also go with the polenta with cauliflower for a creamy side dish or the caramelized Brussels sprouts with bacon for crunch, sweetness, and savory.


Do not serve your chicken parmesan alone ever again. Go with any of these side dishes that are all equally tasty. Your meal will never be boring, and your guests will all be satisfied.

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*image by myviewpoint/depositphotos

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