Lasagna is one of the most popular dishes in the entire world. This icon of traditional Italian cuisine can be found in many places including fancy gourmet restaurants, local cafes, fast food chains, and even in the refrigerator section of your local supermarket. Over the years, a number of chefs have breathed new life into the humble lasagna by adding some unorthodox ingredients such as different kinds of cheeses and meats. Meanwhile, some chefs like to keep this pasta dish fairly traditional with noodles, beef, and béchamel.
However, we’re not here today to talk about how to make lasagna. There are plenty of cookbooks and online resources that’ll show you how to do just that. What we’re here to tell you about are the side dishes that you can whip up to accompany your delicious lasagna for a dinner party, for instance. Select any one, or even more, of the dishes on this list and you’ll be bound to impress your guests. Also, if you use the best ingredients you can find, we guarantee that there’ll be no leftovers since your lasagna and its sides will be such a huge hit.
The first side dish that you can pair with lasagna is garlic bread. We’ve seen this combination time and time again, but it isn’t always done right. A dish as simple as garlic bread can turn out amazing if enough time and effort are put into it. Some restaurants serve their garlic bread too soft because of putting too much butter or not toasting it enough – not to mention that the former completely ruins the texture and flavor profile of the dish as well. On the other hand, some restaurants have garlic bread that’s too tough due to stale or overworked bread.
To make some amazing garlic bread at home or in your restaurant, you only need to set aside less than half an hour of your time. Before anything else, begin by preheating the oven to 350º F. While the oven is preheating, you can get to work on the garlic and parsley-infused butter that you’ll smear on top of your Italian bread. All you need to do for this is to combine half a cup of melted butter, a tablespoon of dried parsley, and one and a half tablespoons of garlic powder in a small saucepan over low to medium heat to prevent a bad, burnt taste.
While the butter mixture is going on the stove, place a couple of slices of fresh Italian bread on a baking sheet that’s been lined with foil. The foil is important, as it prevents anything from sticking to the surface of the baking sheet. Brush the slices of bread generously and evenly with the infused butter. Once all the slices have been covered, bake them for around ten minutes. You’ll know they’re done if you see that they’re golden brown and toasted. If you want, put some shredded mozzarella cheese on top to add a gooey layer of deliciousness.
Breadsticks are another excellent choice to pair up with some lasagna for a great dinnertime meal. It’s quite easy to make these from scratch. For the dough, you’ll need a little over a cup of water, one and a half teaspoons of instant yeast, two tablespoons of sugar, one and three-quarters tablespoon of salt, three tablespoons of melted, unsalted butter, as well as three and a half cups of plain bread flour. Combine these ingredients in a stand mixer and knead for seven minutes afterwards or until elastic and smooth in texture. This will yield a dozen breadsticks. Divide and shape the dough, then bake in a preheated 400º F oven until golden.
Once the breadsticks are done baking, top them with some more unsalted, melted butter while they’re still warm. This will ensure maximum absorption of the butter for a more delectable end product. Once the breadsticks have been topped with butter, season them with half a teaspoon of kosher salt as well as a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder. You can add more or less of these seasonings according to your preference. You can easily adjust this recipe to make more or less breadsticks depending on how many people you’ll feed.
Tomato, Dill, Red Onion, and Feta Salad
If you’re not a big fan of loading up on carbs in a single meal and would want something a little bit healthier. You could also whip up a simple salad to pair up with your yummy lasagna. One such salad is one that you can whip up with a couple of pantry staples. Grab some tomatoes, dill, red onion, and cheese – feta preferably if it’s available – and toss them together. These flavors are perfect for the summer and help give balance to the “heavier” pasta. Remember to let the red onions sit in a bowl of cold water for a couple of minutes first to remove their strong acidic flavor. It would also be a good idea to add freshly ground pepper at the end.
Another amazing salad you can pair up with a lasagna, or any rich pasta dish for that matter, is a salad that’s filled with lots of green, leafy vegetables. This could be kale, lettuce, asparagus, and artichokes, among others. However, for this example, we’re going to make use of some arugula. To prepare this salad, all you have to do is combine five packed cups of arugula with two ounces of shaved, not grated, parmesan cheese. The dressing for this salad is easy too, as it only requires two tablespoons each of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Finish things off with a pinch of kosher salt as well as some freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Similar to a salad, an antipasto platter could also serve as an amazing accompaniment to lasagna. An antipasto platter is fairly easy to make since it only requires you to put some of your favorite foods in a serving bowl. You can put things like different kinds of meats and cheeses, as well as fruits and vegetables if you’re inclined to do so. Because you can put whatever you want into your platter, the variations you can come up with are practically endless. It could always change from one dinner to the next without much effort from you.
Garlic Prosciutto Brussel Sprouts
If you’re not the biggest fan of salads or antipasto platters, but still want to meet your daily required intake of vegetables, you could consider roasting them instead. In the culinary world, a proper roasting gives a dish a charred flavor that is hard to replicate using other cooking techniques. Roasting can help turn a bland selection of vegetables into flavor bombs that’ll shine alongside the star of the dinner table – your lasagna. It’s also a great way to change the opinions of people who hate eating certain vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Garlic prosciutto Brussel sprouts are a certain crowd pleaser at any dinner function. They’re pretty easy to make as well. You’re only going to need a few readily available ingredients to make something extremely delicious. Firstly, preheat your oven to 400º F. Add some melted butter to a skillet over medium heat then add some prosciutto so it’ll crisp up. Bacon is an acceptable substitute if you can’t find prosciutto. Put that to the side for now. Add some more butter and sauté two cloves of garlic. Add back the prosciutto once the garlic is cooked and season with salt and pepper. Add the Brussel sprouts then roast in the oven for eight minutes.
Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
You can also roast some cherry tomatoes if they’re in season. For this side dish, you’ll need to start by preheating your oven to 300º F. Afterwards, dress your cherry tomatoes in some olive oil, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and finely chopped garlic. Once the ingredients have been well incorporated, transfer the contents of the bowl to a baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes in the oven for approximately one hour until they have softened and become fragrant. You can top these off with more olive oil in an airtight container for storage.
Honey Roasted Carrots
The roasting doesn’t stop there; however, since there are plenty more flavors you can add to your vegetables aside from garlic. For instance, you can also whip up some honey-glazed roasted carrots. You’ll only need four ingredients for this side dish. If you haven’t guessed by now, you have to begin by preheating your oven – this time to 300º F. Afterwards, combine two pounds of peeled small carrots with three tablespoons of sunflower oil, salt, and pepper in a roasting pan or baking sheet. Roast the carrots for around half an hour. Coat them in two tablespoons each of white wine vinegar and honey then return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
Buffalo Chicken Wings
There are those who like to eat their lasagna with a side of bread to mop up the remaining cheese, beef, and sauces. There are also those who like to eat their pasta with a side of salad to help give a lighter juxtaposition to the heavy dish. Meanwhile, there are also those who like to eat lasagna with a side of some more meat. If you’re one of these people, then you’ll surely enjoy these recipes for some of the best chicken wings you’ve ever tasted in your entire life. Buffalo style chicken wings are a classic, so let’s start off with those.
You’re going to want to coat four pounds of chicken wings in aluminum-free baking powder. Make sure that the baking powder you use doesn’t have any aluminum in it or else it will give off an undesirable flavor. Remember that you shouldn’t be using baking soda as well, as there’s a vast difference between the two of them. Aside from a tablespoon of baking powder, you also want to add the following flavors to the chicken wings to make them even more delicious: half a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, two teaspoons of garlic powder, and a bit of cayenne pepper. Bake the wings in an oven that’s been preheated to 450º F for approximately 50 minutes.
For the iconic buffalo sauce, you’ll need to mix together a quarter cup of unsalted butter, one or two tablespoons of honey or sugar to taste, and half a cup of Frank’s original Red Hot Sauce – the ingredient which makes Buffalo wings, well, Buffalo wings. You’re also going to want to make some blue cheese sauce to dip these in. You need to combine half a cup of crumbled blue cheese, a third of a cup of sour cream, a quarter cup of mayonnaise, two cloves of minced garlic, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and some salt and pepper.
Fried Chicken Wings
If you want something simpler that’ll let the flavor of the lasagna shine through, consider cooking some traditional fried chicken wings. Not only will these let the pasta be the star of the show, they also open up the avenue for all kinds of dipping sauces. To make these wings, you need to coat two pounds of chicken wings in a combination of generous pinches of both salt and pepper, a teaspoon of garlic powder, half a teaspoon of mustard powder, a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and two cups of all-purpose flour.
Heat two inches of a neutral oil such as vegetable oil in a shallow pan at 350º F. You’ll know to put the wings in once the oil starts shimmering. Cook the chicken wings in batches so that they’ll cook evenly and to prevent them from sticking together. It will take them about eight minutes to be fully cooked, golden brown, and crispy. Once the wings are finished cooking, place them on a paper towel lined tray or plate in order to get rid of any excess cooking oil. It’s best to serve these wings warm with a side of sauces such as ranch or honey mustard.
Those are just a couple of the side dishes you can pair up with lasagna. If you want to host a dinner that’s unforgettable, don’t just serve one of these sides. Whip up a couple of them to make sure that your guests enjoy at least one of them – though we’re pretty certain that these are all crowd pleasers.