Lasagne is the ultimate dinner dish, packed with savoury beef, seasoned pasta sauce, rich ricotta cheese, layers of lasagna noodles, and enough cheese to cover a pizza. What’s not to love about this family favourite that’s usually big enough to entertain guests with?
While lasagna could be a meal all to itself, there are some side dishes it goes really well with. If you want to take a great dish and make it into a spectacular meal, then pairing it with the right sides is the way to go, and lasagna is no different.
I have put together a list of good sides to go with lasagna, and i think you will be happy with any of them as partners for your pasta masterpiece.
Table of Contents
Sides To Go With Lasagne
1. Fetta Salad
Let’s start off with something healthy- a fresh salad topped with fetta cheese is a great companion to lasagna. While they both have cheese on them, lasagna offers melted cheese, and this salad is topped with dry, crumbly fetta cheese.
Still, be careful about overdoing it with your cheeses and go light on the cheese in either one dish or the other.
Fetta salad can be made with different kinds of lettuce and topped with black olives, grape tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette dressing.
You could use any salad you like, but one that pairs will with a light dressing is ideal when you are dealing with such a rich dish like lasagna.
2. Roasted Garlic Potatoes
Potato dishes are one of the best vegetable side dishes to go with lasagna, and when you chop them up into bite-size pieces and roast them with some garlic and olive oil, you get a nice, crispy counterpoint to the lasagna’s thick creaminess. Garnish the potatoes with some parsley, salt and pepper to bring out the flavour and add some colour to them.
To make your meal as healthy as possible, you can leave on the skins for the potatoes and give the meal some added fibre and nutrients.
3. Pesto Noodles
You might be thinking that noodles would not pair well with more noodles, and you would normally be right, but this is a very light noodle. The pesto sauce is light as well and offers a nice contrast to the lasagna’s richness.
We recommend adding in some pine nuts, clove, olive oil and parmesan cheese to yours to give it a healthy, flavourful taste that you will love.
4. Garlic Bread
We can’t talk about the best sides to go with lasagna without talking about garlic bread. The light, buttery, slightly crispy bread is perfect for helping counter the richness of the lasagna. Bread and pasta are longtime dinner partners, and we just love how a zesty pasta sauce pairs with zingy garlic bread.
The great thing about garlic bread is that you can make it yourself from basic white bread. Just spread some garlic butter on there and toast it in the oven for a few minutes. Or, you can use regular butter or olive oil, and then sprinkle some garlic powder on the bread to make it just as garlic-y as you like.
Garlic flavour can get out of hand, but it doesn’t have to be overpowering if you control the portions yourself.
5. Snap Peas
One of the under appreciated sides to go with lasagna that we like are snap peas. We know these aren’t everybody’s favourite, but they are surprisingly versatile and, of course, very healthy.
You can cook snap peas in a simple way, searing them in a pan with some butter or zesting them with lemon juice. If you want to make something a bit more complicated and textured, you can add some northern beans and green peas in to make a pea medley.
Try roasting them with garlic for a crunchy treat, or you can cook them up in coconut milk and peanut sauce and put them on top of some rice for some Asian flair.
There are so many ways to have snap peas that will go well with your lasagna, and we hope if you have never tried these veggies before that this inspires you to give them a try.
6. Steamed Broccoli
For vegetable side dishes to go with lasagna, we recommend steamed broccoli as a common crowd-pleaser. They are simple to make as well, and you can top them with parmesan or shredded cheese to suit those who aren’t so thrilled with the idea of veggies.
That’s a great way to get kids to eat their broccoli with few complaints. You may want to try them with garlic as well, and you can give your broccoli extra flavour by cooking it in butter, or just use water to keep it healthy.
Another way to try the broccoli is roasted, and you can put it int the oven at the same time as the lasagna and save yourself some effort.
7. Arugula Salad
If you want a salad that’s a bit different from just a pile of leaves, try arugula. It’s a tart, bitter, grassy leaf that is thinner than lettuce, so it will be a good change of pace from what most people are used to with their salad.
You can top your arugula salad with shredded cheese, cucumbers, olives, parmesan cheese, kosher salt, pepper, lemon juice and more to give it a zestier or sweeter flavour.
8. Roasted Carrots
Here is another way to use that oven when it fired up for the lasagna- put some carrots in there on a pan. Carrots and other veggies are good sides to go with lasagna because they balance all that heart-clogging richness with some healthiness and nutrients. If you don’t want to feel so guilty over how much fat and oil are in the lasagna, then consider having some veggies as your sides.
Carrots should be peeled before they are roasted to help them taste tender, and you can chop off the top since you wouldn’t eat that part, or you can leave it on for decoration.
Carrots can be garnished like any veggie- with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, lemon zest, herbs or whatever else you can think of. You may also want to turn your roasted carrot dish into a vegetable medley, adding in onions, minced garlic, potatoes, or whatever else suits your fancy.
9. Grilled Zucchini
Since we’re on a vegetable kick while talking about the best sides to go with lasagna, let’s add some squash in there as well. Zucchini is a good choice because it is not as flavourful as some of the other squashes, so it is not overpowering like butternut or summer squash might be.
We think zucchini is the best squash to have as a side dish, especially when grilled. It will need some spices, though, and you can always add some pepper, salt and parmesan cheese as a garnish to help bring out its flavours and keep it from being too bland.
Zucchini works great as a grilled side on its own, but you can add some other grilled veggies to it to make for a more robust, varied dish- carrots, onions, potatoes, minced garlic and whatever else you like.
While you are trying to find the best sides to go with lasagna, consider a different variety of lasagna, like chicken or vegetable.
Trying one of those may make you want to go with different sides. For instance, if you decided on a vegetable lasagna, you might want to pair it with some meat sides, like loaded potato skins, buffalo wings or chicken tenders.
What considerations should I consider when choosing a side dish for lasagne?
When choosing a side dish for lasagne, consider the richness and hearty nature of the main dish. Lasagne is typically a heavy, cheesy dish with robust flavours. So a light, fresh side often pairs well to provide balance. Also, consider textures – if the lasagne is soft, a side dish with a bit of crunch can provide a nice contrast. Finally, consider the flavours in your lasagne and try to choose a side dish that complements those flavours without overwhelming them.
Are some side dishes more traditional or authentic to serve with lasagne?
In Italy, lasagne is often served as a stand-alone dish or with a simple side salad or roasted vegetables. Bread is also a common accompaniment, especially for mopping up any leftover sauce. However, the “perfect” side dish can vary depending on personal preferences and regional traditions.
Can these side dishes be prepared beforehand, or should they be made just before serving the lasagne?
The make-ahead ability of your side dishes will depend on what they are. Many vegetable dishes can be prepared ahead of time and re-heated, and some may even taste better when the flavours have had a chance to meld. Bread can be warmed in the oven just before serving. Salads, on the other hand, should typically be dressed just before serving to prevent wilting. Always consider the individual components of your side dishes to determine the best time to prepare them.