Are you on the hunt for the ultimate sides to serve with your lasagna dinner? I’m thrilled to share a list that’s just as cozy for winter as it is vibrant for summer that’ll match every delicious layer of your go-to Italian classic.
Whether you’re layering up a hearty lasagna with all the savory flavors of the season or opting for a lighter vegetable lasagna, choosing the right side can turn a great meal into an unforgettable one.
Think of fresh salads drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, garlic knots glistening with garlic butter, or a simple recipe for roasted summer squash that brings a lightness to a hearty lasagna.
Get ready to win over your taste buds with delicious side dishes that are not just fillers but show-stoppers in their own right!
Of course, I have to start with a few classics. And from my point of view, garlic bread is the perfect side dish for lasagna. Its crispy edges and soft, buttery center smeared with the aromatic blend of garlic, butter, and herbs create a harmonious balance with lasagna’s rich and meaty layers.
The trick here is to not skimp on the garlic – it’s the heart and soul of the bread. And if you’re feeling adventurous, add a sprinkle of parmesan and mozzarella on top before baking for an extra cheesy crunch.
And garlic bread is perfect for after you reheat lasagna to give your meal that fresh taste and an extra boost.
A Caesar salad brings a refreshing crunch to the table that cuts through the density of lasagna. The creamy dressing, sharp parmesan, and rustic croutons offer a textural contrast that’s downright delightful.
My best tip is to dress the salad just before serving to keep the lettuce crisp, and don’t forget those anchovies in the dressing – they’re the silent umami bomb that elevates the whole dish.
The crispness of a Greek salad, with its cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives, dressed in a zesty vinaigrette, offers a palate-cleansing counterpart to the rich layers of lasagna. The feta cheese adds a tangy touch that pairs with the savory flavors of the pasta. Serve it chilled to provide a temperature contrast that’s as refreshing as a gentle breeze on a warm day.
Marinated Olives & Veggies
Marinated olives and veggies are the unsung heroes next to lasagna. Their vinegary bite and variety of textures, from crunchy peppers to juicy tomatoes, make each mouthful of lasagna taste new again. Tip: let the olives and veggies marinate overnight to develop a full-bodied flavor that can stand up to the lasagna’s robust taste.
Burrata salad is a creamy dream next to the structured layers of lasagna. When broken into, the fresh, milky cheese oozes over-ripe tomatoes and basil, creating a creamy sauce that melds with the lasagna in your mouth. A drizzle of good-quality olive oil and a crack of black pepper is all the prep you need for this dish of simplicity and elegance.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
When roasted to a caramelized perfection, Brussels sprouts introduce a nutty and earthy dimension to the meal. Pairing them with lasagna allows their bitterness to complement the sweet acidity of the tomato sauce. A tip for the sprouts: roast them with any type of onion, bacon or pancetta to infuse a smoky flavor that echoes the lasagna’s hearty character.
Grilled zucchini’s charred stripes and tender flesh offer a smoky counterpart to lasagna’s rich and meaty profile. It’s a lighter side that won’t weigh you down but still stands up to the bold flavors. Slice them thick and grill until tender to maintain a slight bite contrasting the soft pasta layers.
Polenta fries are a delightful twist with their crispy exterior and creamy interior. They’re a nod to lasagna’s Italian flavors and provide a playful texture that’s fun to dip into a marinara sauce. For the best polenta fries, let the polenta set and chill well before slicing and frying to golden perfection.
Roasted Mixed Veggies
With their charred edges and tender hearts, roasted mixed veggies bring a rainbow of flavors and textures to your plate. They’re a healthful balance to lasagna’s indulgence and can be customized to whatever’s in season. Roast them until just charred – they should still have a bite to keep things interesting.
Zoodles are your low-carb best friend that still lets you twirl your fork into something noodle-like. They soak up the lasagna’s sauce beautifully and add a fresh, crisp element to the dish. Just a quick sauté in olive oil and a sprinkle of salt is all they need – keep it simple to let the lasagna shine.
Spaghetti Squash Bake
Spaghetti squash bake mirrors the comforting texture of lasagna with a fraction of the carbs. Its stringy, tender strands are a delightful vehicle for cheeses and herbs, making it a cozy side that hugs the lasagna right back. Bake it until the edges are golden and crispy for a contrast in textures.
Garlic knots, with their twisty, doughy goodness, are perfect for sopping up that last bit of sauce on your plate. They’re a playful addition that’s as fun to eat as they are tasty. Brush them with garlic butter fresh out of the oven to ensure they’re as aromatic as they are delicious.
Focaccia, with its airy crumb and herby topping, is a rustic Italian bread that’s made for dipping into lasagna’s rich sauce. Its olive oil-infused crust adds a subtle fruitiness that complements the savory pasta. Tip: sprinkle with coarse sea salt before baking for a crunchy finish.
Balsamic Caprese Salad
Balsamic Caprese is a dance of fresh flavors and creamy textures. The sweet balsamic reduction drizzled over ripe tomatoes and soft mozzarella is a refreshing side that cleanses the palate. It’s a simple dish, so use the best ingredients you can find – it makes a difference.
Garlic spinach is a quick and nutritious side that packs a garlicky punch. It wilts down to almost nothing, so you get a concentrated flavor that goes a long way with lasagna. Just a quick sauté is all it takes – any longer, and you’ll lose that vibrant green that looks so good next to a slice of lasagna.
Herb mushrooms sautéed in butter are a juicy, earthy complement to any Italian dish. Their savory flavor profile marries well with the lasagna tomato sauce, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs lifts the dish. Don’t overcrowd the pan to ensure each mushroom gets a nice sear.
Green Beans Italiano
Green beans Italiano is snappy, bright, and tossed with a hint of garlic and tomato like a veggie confetti on your plate. They bring a much-needed crunch to the meal, and a quick blanch and sauté is all it takes to keep them vibrant and crisp.
Eggplant stacks are a hearty yet vegetarian-friendly option that echoes lasagna’s layered concept. They have a meaty texture that satisfies and a mild flavor that absorbs the accompanying sauces and cheeses. Grill or bake the eggplant slices before stacking to ensure they’re fully tender.
Arugula Parmesan Salad
Arugula Parmesan salad is peppery, fresh, and slightly bitter, which makes it a natural foil for the sweet and tangy tomato sauce in lasagna. The parmesan adds a salty, umami kick. Toss it with a lemon vinaigrette just before serving to keep the leaves sprightly.
Squash risotto is creamy, comforting, and subtly sweet, contrasting to lasagna’s savory layers. The key here is to roast the squash first to concentrate its flavor before stirring it into the risotto. It’s a bit of a labor of love, but the creamy result is worth every stir.
Artichokes with Aioli
Artichokes with aioli bring a unique, slightly tangy flavor and a fun, interactive element to the meal. Dipping the leaves into a rich, garlicky aioli is a treat that shouldn’t be rushed. Steam or boil the artichokes until the leaves pull away easily, and serve with a homemade aioli for dipping.