Chicken parm is a favourite of ours, and its combination of tangy marinara, melty cheese and fried chicken breast is good enough to eat on its own. A side dish for chicken parm will make it shine even more and also make it feel like less of a guilty pleasure.
Let’s face it, this dish is really unhealthy, so we have put together a list of veggie and low carb side dishes for you to consider pairing with the chicken. If you’re looking to enjoy this tasty comfort food but maybe not feel so guilty about it, then a low carb side or veggie dish might be a good companion to chicken parm. It’s up to you; we’re just supplying some options.
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The best low carb side dish for chicken parm has to be a salad. You could go with anything, but we prefer something that pairs well with a thick, creamy dressing.
The marinara sauce in the chicken parm is heavy on tomatoes, so it’s kind of acidic. You need something to balance that out, which is why we suggest a side salad that will go well with a creamy, thick salad dressing rather than an acidic vinaigrette.
Caesar salad is our top choice for low carb salad side dishes, and it’s best with some olive oil, boiled egg, croutons, shredded cheese, and Romaine lettuce. It’s more complicated than your typical salad, but you can decide how may seasonings and ingredients you want to use and how simple to keep things. We like how flavourful this salad is, as that makes it a good counterpoint to the simple comfort food that is chicken parm.
Like us, you may feel a bit guilty about the impact the rich, fried goodness of the chicken parm is having on your waistline and your cholesterol. Balancing that out with a lean, healthy salad like the Caesar salad certainly makes us feel better about ourselves and makes it more likely that someone who is trying to watch their weight can have chicken parm more than a few times per year.
We wouldn’t exactly call spaghetti a low carb dish, but it is a fitting side dish for chicken parm. You can use the same marinara sauce on the spaghetti if you want or use traditional spaghetti sauce. The two go so well together thanks to some similar ingredients, as long as you don’t mind getting more of the same.
This is actually a classic pairing, and you will find that a lot of restaurants serve their chicken parm with ziti, macaroni or spaghetti. You could pair the chicken with any kind of pasta, and it wouldn’t have to be a pasta with red sauce either. While chicken parm pairs with just about any kind of pasta, it’s traditional to have spaghetti with a red sauce as a side, and once you put these two together, you will see why they are considered a classic pairing.
Just keep in mind that this is not a low carb meal by any means and definitely not part of a standard keto diet, if you are trying to watch your carb intake.
Saffron Rice and Mushrooms
One of our favourite twists on the classic chicken parm recipe is to make little sliders with the dish. We recommend topping them with parmesan cheese, basil and garlic powder. What’s a good side dish for chicken parm sliders?
Our favourite pick is saffron rice with mushrooms. The sliders are great comfort food but kind of elegant with the seasoning on top of the bun, if you follow our suggestion. The saffron rice and sauteed mushrooms make for a nice colour contrast and help fill out the meal beautifully. It’s definitely a healthy addition to the sliders, and this side dish is pretty easy to make.
You can cook up mushroom slices in a pan with some butter and cook your rice as normal, but add a teaspoon of saffron for every cup of rice you use. You can also add other ingredients to spice things up, but keeping it simple still makes for a vibrant and healthy, tasty dish.
Baked Brussel Sprouts
A good side dish veggie for chicken parm is Brussel sprouts. We don’t recommend microwaving them, though that is one of the simplest ways to make them. That creates an aroma that isn’t very appealing for most people.
The most universally loved way to make Brussel sprouts as a side dish is to bake or toast them. You can top them with some butter or olive oil to make them succulent, and then add small strips of bacon or wrap them in bacon, if you like.
Brussel sprouts can be creamy, sweet and nutty when cooked properly, and if you have never tried these before, you won’t know what you are missing out on. They make a great side dish for chicken parm because you already know that the chicken tastes incredible.
It’s a common comfort food that everybody loves, but Brussel sprouts may be unfamiliar to you. Pairing them together ensures you will enjoy some of the meal and then probably be pleasantly surprised by the rest.
Try serving roasted or baked sprouts with a family favourite like chicken parm and see how your kids like it. They may begrudgingly eat the sprouts while greedily consuming the chicken, and you just might end up helping them discover a new favourite vegetable.
Boiled Sweet Potatoes and Ground Provision
This is another Caribbean dish you could try if you can find the ingredients for it. A great veggie side dish for chicken parm, you use sweet potato, breadfruit, cassava (yuca) and whatever other ground provision you can get your hands on. You may have to hit up the farmer’s market for some of the ingredients for this side dish.
Ground provision all have a similar texture and taste to them, but each is slightly different. You can compare them to potatoes, but not all of them will come out as soft and mushy when boiled. Cassava in particularly is quite hardy and fibrous and makes a good contrast in your ground provision medley.
All you need to do is boil most of these, though you may want to dry fry the cassava. Add a little butter and salt and serve with some ketchup or just plain. It’s a healthy and simple veggie side dish for chicken parm that is a good way to shake up the usual array of side dishes.
We have to list at least one bread here as side dishes for chicken parm, and garlic bread is our top choice. This bread goes well with any Italian food, so it makes sense to pair with this version of fried chicken. The same marinara sauce used on the chicken parm can be used as a dipping sauce for the garlic bread, especially if you opt for garlic bread sticks.
You might think that the chicken parm is already a lot of work and you don’t want to add a lot of extra labor to your meal by making garlic bread from scratch.
Besides buying frozen garlic bread to heat up in the oven, another simple way to add this dish to your meal is to take sliced bread you buy from the grocery and simply make it into garlic bread. It’s simple enough to spread some butter on it along with some garlic powder and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes on a low heat.
Don’t try to make it in the toaster, though, as you should never put buttered bread in there. Making it in the oven is simple, and you’ll have a great addition to your chicken parm meal.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Looking for another low carb side dish you can try? Broccoli and cauliflower might not be the best low carb side dish for chicken parm, but it is a very simple one. We recommend steaming these veggies together, and you can do that with a steamer bag, in a pot or in the microwave. It comes out about the same with any of these methods.
The microwave is definitely the easiest method, and you just need to put the veggies in a bowl of water and defrost for a while, if they are frozen. Once the ice has melted, you can keep warming them in the microwave, using the regular heat setting and cook them for about a minute, until they are tender and juicy. Drain your water and add parmesan cheese or salt, if you like.
This is one of the simplest sides you can add to your meal, so it’s a good one to make part of larger meal so that some of your dishes can be very easy and quick. If all of the dishes you make for your meal are as complicated and time consuming as chicken parm, you will tire yourself out. Why not choose an easy one like steamed broccoli and cauliflower?
Roasted Potatoes and Tomatoes
Potatoes make such a fitting side dish for chicken parm, and while most people opt for mashed potatoes, you can do something more colourful and healthier. We like adding tomatoes or some kind of pepper to the dish for a burst of color and some added nutritional benefits. Roasting your veggies helps them to retain a lot of their nutrients, so it’s a good way to balance out the high fat content of chicken parm.
One of the simplest ways to make this dish is to preheat your oven while you slice your tomatoes and potatoes into bite-size pieces. Then, brush them with a little olive oil and sprinkle parsley, salt and pepper on them. Stick them in the oven for about 20 minutes and enjoy!
Did you find a side dish that seems like a perfect fit for your chicken parm? We certainly hope so, and of course there are tons more options you could go with. You don’t have to be very skilled or too adventurous to try most of these, as we have kept the dishes fairly simple so that anyone whose interest is piqued by our list should be able to try each of them.
What are some traditional Italian side dishes that pair well with Chicken Parmesan?
Traditional Italian side dishes that pair well with Chicken Parmesan include Caprese salad (tomatoes, basil, mozzarella), sautéed spinach or broccolini with garlic, or a classic spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and oil). Risotto and polenta are other Italian side dishes that would complement the flavors of Chicken Parmesan.
Can you suggest some low-carb side dishes that would complement Chicken Parmesan?
Grilled or roasted vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or eggplant would make a good low-carb side dish. A large mixed salad with an Italian vinaigrette could also work well. For a low-carb alternative to pasta, you might consider spaghetti squash or zoodles (zucchini noodles).
What are the best vegetable sides to serve with Chicken Parmesan?
Many vegetables pair well with Chicken Parmesan. Consider options like roasted asparagus, garlic green beans, or a simple mixed salad with a tangy vinaigrette. Eggplant Parmesan can also be a flavorful and hearty vegetable side that complements the dish.
How can I incorporate seasonal ingredients into side dishes for Chicken Parmesan?
The ingredients in your side dishes can definitely be switched out depending on what’s in season. In the spring, consider using fresh asparagus, peas, or leafy greens. In the summer, a tomato and cucumber salad would be a fresh and vibrant addition. In the fall and winter, roasted root vegetables or a warm Brussels sprouts salad could provide a comforting counterpoint to the chicken.
What are some quick and easy side dishes I can make to accompany Chicken Parmesan on a busy weeknight?
Quick and easy side dishes could include a bag of mixed salad greens with Italian dressing, steamed broccoli or green beans, or a box of couscous or quick-cooking pasta. Garlic bread is another fast and easy side dish that pairs well with Chicken Parmesan.