Serving lasagne? Get creative with these (not salad) sides.

You can’t go wrong with lasagne. It’s saucy, delicious comfort food at its finest. And it’s a great frozen food option that defrosts easily, so you can store a few good portions in your freezer for those evenings when you feel like serving up hearty goodness without any of the effort.

But what do you serve with all those layers of pasta and cheese? A mixed green salad is an obvious option, but its also a little too predictable. Rather than going the expected route, why not get a little creative and dish up one or two of these (not salad) sides.

6 top side dishes for lasagne

1.More carbs? Why not?

Sure, lasagne is a rather heavy pasta-based dish, so you’d think it would be safest to go with a non-starchy option for a side, and yet still, a generous helping of warm garlic bread always goes down well with this main. You could even mix it up a bit and serve those saucy slices with Gorgonzola or Camembert wrapped in puff pastry or pizza dough and baked in the oven (after all, the oven’s already hot).

2. An Italian classic

You’re serving an iconic Italian main, so why not complement it with a classic side dish from the Mediterranean Basin: baked zucchini stuffed with ricotta. Alternatively, if you’re keen on the idea of using the summer squash, but don’t want to overdo it on the cheese front, you could always throw together a side of zucchini noodles tossed in basil pesto – fresh, light and absolutely delicious.

3. Give it a roasting

A colourful side serving of oven-roasted vegetables sprinkled with herbs and seasoning is a failsafe option. Try a mix of peppers, onion, carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes, or pick a single vegetable, like cauliflower, broccoli or Brussels sprouts, and roast a sizeable helping in garlic, olive oil and butter, with a sprinkling of Parmesan or breadcrumbs.

4. Go raw

The crispy crunchiness of uncooked vegetables offsets the creaminess of lasagne beautifully. So, pick an assortment of alternatives that go down well raw (carrots and cherry tomatoes, for example), wash them, chop them up and toss them in a vinaigrette. The result is healthy, simple to make and tasty. If you prefer, you could also lightly sauté green beans or mushrooms in lemon and garlic butter.

5. Turn to the braai

For a South African twist to an Italian favourite, you could always light up the coals and go for braaied sweetcorn or sweet potato. That fiery smokiness that lingers on all dishes done on the Weber is sure to go down a treat next to the rich flavours of lasagne.

6. Board with the usual suspects?

For a more relaxed option that’s ideal for larger groups, opt for a few snack boards laden with wheels of cheese (because there’s no such thing as too much cheese), cold meats, olives, pickles and vegetables. Or up the complexity a little and try out a spread of prosciutto slices, spinach leaves, figs and crumbled blue cheese – it’s like a deconstructed salad of sorts, only without the predictability of a standard salad.

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