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What Pasta to Serve with Eggplant Parmesan: 11 Options

When it comes to pairing pasta with eggplant parmesan, you really can’t go wrong.

But choosing the right kind of pasta will help your dish go from good to GREAT.

What Pasta to Serve with Eggplant Parmesan

When you’re planning the meal, think about how you want your guests to experience it.

Do you want them to be able to taste the eggplant?

Or do you want their attention on the pasta?

It all depends on what kind of experience you want them to have, and how many different flavors you’re willing to include in one meal.

If you want your guests to taste the eggplant, I would recommend serving a lighter pasta with a mild flavor.

But if you want your guests to really focus on the pasta, then I would go with something heartier.

Just make sure that the flavor of the pasta doesn’t overpower anything else in the meal.

So if you’re looking for a great pasta to serve with your next batch of eggplant parmesan, keep reading!

What Pasta to Serve with Eggplant Parmesan: 11 Options

When you’re serving pasta with eggplant parmesan, you’ll want to choose pasta that’s slightly al dente and moist. For example, ziti or fusilli would be good choices.

Eggplant Parmesan

Here are our top 11 picks for the best kind of pasta to serve with eggplant parmesan:

1. Linguine

Linguine

Linguine might seem like a surprising choice for a main dish, but it pairs perfectly with eggplant parmesan.

The thin, flat noodles are sturdy enough to stand up to the meatiness of eggplant without overwhelming it, yet mellow enough not to compete for your attention.

Eggplant parmesan is also a fairly heavy dish, and linguine’s subtlety is a good way to balance that out.

Plus, linguine’s long shape makes it easy to twirl around your fork—and who doesn’t love twirling their pasta?

A few tips for making this work as a meal:

  • Don’t cook your linguine too far in advance. It’s best when it’s freshly cooked and still warm, so wait until you’re just about ready to serve before putting it on.
  • Make sure the water you cook it in is salted well—linguine pasta should be cooked in water that tastes salty like the sea!
  • Finally, don’t forget the parsley—it adds freshness and looks lovely when sprinkled on top of your plate.

2. Farfalle

Farfalle

Farfalle has a delicate flavor that blends well with the sharpness of the eggplant parmesan sauce.

It’s a nice contrast that really helps balance out the meal.

When it comes to pasta, texture is just as important as flavor.

The sauce in eggplant parmesan can be thick, so you want something sturdy enough to stand up to it.

Farfalle’s bow-tie shape gives it more surface area than other pastas, which makes it perfect for soaking up sauces and adding some extra texture to your meal.

If you’re looking for an easy way to serve your guests something delicious and unique, try pairing farfalle with eggplant parmesan! They’ll be impressed by how well these two flavors complement each other.

3. Spaghetti

Spaghetti

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but spaghetti makes a great side dish to eggplant parmesan.

When trying to pair pasta with an eggplant parmesan base like this, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re looking for something that is going to complement the dish.

Spaghetti does just that!

In my own experience, I’ve found that serving spaghetti with eggplant parmesan has many benefits.

It’s easy to make, which means you can spend less time preparing your meal and more time enjoying it.

It’s also easy to serve—you can even add it on top of the eggplant parmesan or mix it in with the leftovers for a new flavor combination.

And let’s not forget about the taste! Pasta pairs well with eggplant parmesan because of its neutral flavors and versatility as an ingredient.

You can make it spicy, sweet, salty, or savory depending on what kind of spices you use and how long you cook your sauce!

I personally like adding some garlic powder and red pepper flakes while cooking my pasta then topping off each serving with grated Parmesan cheese before serving alongside some freshly baked garlic breads slices!

4. Fettuccine

Fettuccine

If you’re looking for a delicious pasta to serve with eggplant parmesan, you really can’t go wrong with fettuccine.

It’s easy to cook, and it’s super versatile—you can find it dressed in butter or olive oil, or as part of a classic cream sauce (my favorite!).

If you’re making your own eggplant parmesan from scratch, I recommend going with the classic tomato sauce recipe.

It pairs perfectly with the fettuccine and adds an extra layer of flavor—plus, who doesn’t love some extra veggies?

If I were cooking this meal tomorrow night, I’d definitely be serving it up with some fresh-made fettuccine—and a little sprinkle of Parmesan on top!

5. Penne

Penne

Penne is a classic Italian noodle, and it can hold its own against the heavier eggplant without weighing you down.

It’s also not too heavy on the sauce, so if you’re making a light marinara (with lower fat content), it will be able to stand up to that as well.

If you do decide to go this route, I recommend serving it with a side of garlic bread or some fresh fruit salad.

Pairing these lighter sides with the meal will help you balance out the heaviness of the eggplant and sauce while still ensuring that your guests are full at the end of the meal.

6. Bucatini

Bucatini

Bucatini is one of the most versatile pastas around, and it’s a perfect fit for the rich flavors of eggplant parmesan.

Serve these together, and you’ve got a meal everyone will love.

To make this work as a meal, I like to start off by boiling the pasta in salted water.

While the pasta cooks, I’ll heat up a hearty tomato sauce on another burner—and if my guests are willing to wait for leftovers (which they always are), I’ll make some extra so we can enjoy it again the next day.

Once the pasta’s ready, I’ll mix in the sauce before serving everyone up a piping hot plate.

It goes great with a light side salad and some fresh bread with garlic butter on top—and don’t forget about dessert!

If there’s room in your stomach once you finish your meal, you might want to try out this delicious tiramisu recipe.

7. Orecchiette

Orecchiette

Orecchiette—which means “little ears” or “little ear-shaped things” in Italian—is the perfect pasta for this dish.

If you’re making eggplant parmesan, chances are good that you’re going to be making a tomato sauce, and orecchiette is going to help you make the most out of that sauce.

It fits nicely into all those crevices and helps scoop up as much of the sauce as possible, so every bite is filled with flavor.

Eggplant parmesan can take a while to make, so I like to use this time to also cook a fresh green veggie to go with it.

Broccoli works great with both the pasta and the sauce in this dish, but asparagus or green beans would work too.

Just cook them in boiling water until they’re tender but not mushy (about 3-5 minutes) and then toss them in with the rest of your meal before serving.

8. Cavatappi

Cavatappi

I love it when I can make my favorite meal even better. And I believe that serving your eggplant parmesan with cavatappi will do just that!

Cavatappi is a great choice for many reasons:

  • It’s versatile. You can serve it either dry, or with a sauce, and it will still taste good.
  • Cavatappi holds up well in the oven. This means that you won’t have to worry about the sauce getting absorbed into the pasta while your eggplant parmesan bakes.
  • It gives you a chance to vary the texture of your meal. If you’re making a creamy dish like eggplant parmesan, having some pasta that will hold its shape will give a nice contrast to your meal.

If you want an easy way to incorporate cavatappi into your meal, consider making some homemade sauce, and adding some cooked cavatappi to it before tossing it into the oven.

Then you’ll get all of the benefits of this pasta without much extra work at all!

9. Conchiglie

Conchiglie

Conchiglie, also known as shell pasta, are the perfect shape for catching all the delicious sauce that goes with Eggplant Parmesan.

Not only that, but if you get the gluten-free kind, you can feel great about serving a classic Italian dish to your guests without worrying about any allergies or sensitivities.

For my part, I would also buy some vegan meatballs to serve on the side.

This lets your guests enjoy some traditional meat as well as the main course of Eggplant Parmesan, so you don’t have people feeling like they didn’t get enough protein in their meal.

10. Orzo

Orzo

I think that orzo is a great choice, in part because it’s so versatile.

You can serve it hot or cold, so if you’re not sure what kind of weather you’ll be having for dinner, orzo is a great bet.

And because the eggplant parmesan itself makes such an incredible sauce, you don’t have to worry about pairing the pasta with a specific sauce like Alfredo or pesto—it all just works together!

My personal favorite way to serve eggplant parmesan and orzo as a meal is to just throw some shredded chicken and fresh spinach into the sauce and call it lunch.

But that’s just me! The world is your oyster when it comes to this pairing, so get crazy with it!

11. Campanelle

Campanelle

A dish like this is best served family style, and campanelle pasta holds up well in that setting.

The ruffled edges of this type of noodle will hold onto whatever sauce you serve with it, making sure every bite is packed with flavor.

Plus, the unique shape makes each serving look more like a work of art than just a plate of food—so you can impress by serving it on a large platter instead of individual plates.

To make this even more special, finish off the dish by sprinkling fresh basil (or some other herb) over the whole thing.

You can add it before cooking if you want the flavor to be infused through the entire dish, or add it as a finishing touch for an extra burst of freshness.

what pasta to serve with eggplant parmesan

11 Kinds of Pasta to Serve with Eggplant Parmesan

Pasta is a great pairing for eggplant parmesan, because both are so rich and flavorful that they deserve their own spot on the plate.
Eggplant parmesan is such a strong dish that it's better to serve it with something simple like pasta rather than an equally strong Italian side dish.
Pasta also helps you sop up all the saucy goodness from the eggplant parmesan.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 11 mins
Total Time 16 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 360 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Linguine
  • Farfalle
  • Spaghetti
  • Fettuccine
  • Penne
  • Bucatini
  • Orecchiette
  • Cavatappi
  • Conchiglie
  • Orzo
  • Campanelle

Instructions
 

  • Pick your favorite pasta from this list to serve with your meal.
  • Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Be ready to eat in no time!
Keyword what pasta to serve with eggplant parmesan