Looking for the best vegetable side dishes to make your meals even healthier?
From kale chips to parsnip fries to sweet potato salad, these sides are guaranteed to delight.
Including vegetables in every meal can foster the healthiest eating habits at your home.
The good news is you don’t have to settle for plain and boring veggies.
They can be downright tasty, too!
Today is all about turning these nutrient-dense ingredients into exquisite side dishes.
They may not be the star of the table, but hey, they can make things memorable.
Even the kids won’t say no to these hearty, yummy, and easy vegetable dishes that go well with any main course.
I’m here to give you healthy recipes that nourish the body and soul. I hope you don’t skip the main entrée!
1. Parmesan Baked Potato Wedges
Here’s something you can devour without worrying about the calories.
Potato wedges are baked until crunchy and infused with parmesan cheese. It’s an easy yet tasty vegetable side dish.
No fancy ingredients here, just crackly and cheesy potatoes dipped in your favorite sauce!
You can tweak this recipe and intensify the flavor by adding garlic powder or your preferred seasonings.
2. Broccoli and Cheese
Broccoli and cheese is another side dish that the whole family will love.
If you’re going to use a store-bought cheese sauce, then you only need some fresh broccoli, and you’re done!
While this side dish is perfect on its own, you can add other fresh veggies as you like.
Sprinkling bacon bits on top of cheese will make this dish even more appealing to the kids!
3. Green Beans and Garlic
These tender green beans are pan-fried until blistered. Toss in some garlic, and you’ll have a surprisingly delicious side dish in 10 minutes!
Make sure to cook the green beans over high heat to produce dark blister spots, which give extra flavor and crunch. Yum!
Of course, let’s not forget about the health benefits of green beans. They’re low in calories, high in fiber, and a good source of vitamin C.
4. Parmesan Asparagus
Greens and cheese are undeniably a match made in HEAVEN. This recipe is another proof of that.
Come spring, fresh asparagus will be available in farmers’ markets. That’s the perfect time to transform these veggies into an irresistible dish.
The recipe will instruct you to sauté the greens, season with salt and pepper, and then sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese on top. So easy, right?
5. Cabbage Salad
Crunchy cabbage and green apples are tossed in a tangy-sweet dressing. This is not your average cabbage salad. Still, it’s super easy to make!
This recipe is perfect if you have leftover cabbage and want a quick side dish that you can make while cooking the main course.
All it takes is some slicing and tossing. In a few minutes, you’ll have a nourishing dish!
Want to add more flavor, color, and nutrition to the dish? Try mixing other vegetables like carrots, broccoli, or cabbage.
6. Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Irresistibly crispy and caramel-y, these Brussels sprouts are roasted to perfection. Cover them in a tangy maple glaze to create the best recipe ever!
Roasted with olive oil and salt, these sprouts can be turned into crunchy, salty chips. They almost taste the same as french fries!
7. Roasted Vegetables
This recipe could be hands-off, depending on the vegetables you choose.
Use red and yellow peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and red onions for a no-stir cooking process.
Of course, don’t forget the seasoning mix made from garlic powder and Old Bay seasoning.
This brings a savory flavor to the crisp vegetables.
8. Beet Salad
Beets, also known as beetroots, are praised for their impressive nutritional profile. They’re low in calories but rich in vitamins and minerals.
Mighty beets can also improve athletic performance and keep blood pressure in check.
That said, I just can’t help but turn them into a flavorful everyday salad!
This recipe calls for sharp goat cheese and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette that match so well with beets’ earthy flavor.
As for the beets, you can cook them any way you like. Roast them, boil them, or steam them.
I prefer the latter to retain the veggies’ nutrients and flavor.
9. Roasted Zucchini
Following three easy steps — cutting, seasoning, and roasting — you’ll have a low-carb side dish in 25 minutes. Introducing oven-roasted zucchini.
This recipe requires simple seasonings such as sea salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.
Still, you’re free to make other variations. Give it a spicy kick by using Cajun seasoning.
Want to add a Mexican flair? Try using taco seasoning instead.
10. Broccoli Salad
I’ve tried many broccoli salad recipes, but nothing comes close to the tasty rendition of Paula Deen.
Honestly, I’m a fan of her cooking, so I just can’t let this recipe slide!
I’m pretty sure this will be a hit at your dinner table, too. Imagine fresh broccoli swimming in a creamy dressing of mayo, vinegar, and sugar.
Top with cheese, bacon, and nuts. The result? A burst of flavor and a nice crunch in every bite.
11. Baked Parsnip Fries
Healthy fries, anyone? Yup, that exists, but instead of potatoes, you’ll use parsnips.
When sliced finely, parsnip fries will be fully baked in just 18 minutes.
This recipe uses a garlic-paprika mixture and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese at the end.
The end result is a mouthwatering, guilt-free side dish that doubles as a snack!
12. Cauliflower Au Gratin
This recipe is the healthier version of mac and cheese and is bound to become a family favorite.
Creamy with a golden-brown crust, you won’t notice at first that this dish uses cauliflower.
The best part is you’ll just need a handful of everyday ingredients to create this cheesy delight.
It also goes well with various protein sources like chicken, fish, and steak.
13. Collard Greens
Lemony and garlicky leafy vegetables are cooked Brazilian-style. These collard greens perfectly complement black beans and rice.
The Mediterranean taste also makes it a great pair with Italian dishes like pasta or lasagna.
To infuse more flavor, you can add bacon and onions to the side dish. Or perhaps, mix in more red pepper flakes if you’re into spicy foods.
14. Sweet Potato Salad
Easy, colorful, and a tad sweet, what’s not to love about this sweet potato salad?
If you still don’t have a side dish to bring for your next potluck, this is it! It’s a true crowd-pleaser.
This salad combines flavors and textures from simple ingredients available in any grocery store.
But just like other recipes here, you can change it up to suit whatever you have in your kitchen pantry.
Want to turn this side dish into a complete meal? That’s easy, just serve it over rice or quinoa and enjoy!
15. Kale Chips
Baked to crispy perfection, kale chips are another must-try vegetable side dish. It’s a no-fail recipe, plus you just need three ingredients!
Baking kale chips won’t be long — about 20 minutes in the oven. Just make sure to remove the kale stems to avoid a woody flavor.
Ah, and the seasoning. A pinch of sea salt is always a classic. For extra flavor, try adding garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, or nutritional yeast.
16. Simple Spinach Salad
One of the most straightforward recipes for a side salad is here.
Spinach salad combines easy-to-find ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, Romano cheese, walnuts, black pepper, and of course, baby spinach.
All you’ll have to do is mix all the ingredients until combined. Make sure the walnuts are toasted to achieve a nice crunchy texture.
Spinach salad is best served with savory main dishes, be it chicken, beef, pork, or lamb.
Looking for variations? Add watercress for a boost in Vitamin C, or throw in some avocado and prawns for a refreshing Asian-style salad.
17. Fiesta Salad
Fiesta salad is a Mexican-flavored dish packed with salsa, ranch dressing, sour cream, and a mix of veggies.
Fiesta is a Spanish word for feast. And with this bright and delectable dish on the table, you’d feel like you’re in a celebration!
Don’t be fooled by the long list of ingredients because they’re easy to find. There’s no baking or cooking required, just plain tossing.
Want to spice things up? Add some green chiles to create a spicy version of this southwestern salad.
18. Corn on the Cob
There are various ways to cook corn on the cob. The most common one is to boil them in plain water.
The best way? Boil it in a cup of milk and a stick of butter!
Final touches just include drizzling a little salt and pepper.
If your corn is lacking in sweet flavor, feel free to add some sugar.
19. Mashed Turnips
Mashed turnips make a delightful, creamy side dish for roasted meats and savory stews.
They have a sharper flavor than mashed potatoes but are less starchy.
Turnips can indeed be a bit bitter than potatoes. Nevertheless, you can get rid of the bitterness by leaving the pot uncovered when cooking.
Also, try using small turnips as they tend to be sweeter than large ones.
20. Radish and Gorgonzola Salad
Crunchy radishes, fresh cabbage, and Gorgonzola crumbles are held together by a creamy blue cheese dressing.
This is heaven in the form of a side dish!
This recipe offers you a guide in creating a homemade blue cheese dressing. Just because it’s “homemade” doesn’t mean it’s hard to make.
Even beginner home cooks can do this, as it only involves whisking and stirring.
You can also use the dressing for other purposes. Drizzle it onto your pizza, or use it as a dip for veggie sticks!
21. Cauliflower Rice
Squeeze more vegetables into your diet by having some of this cauliflower rice.
You can also use this vegan dish in place of white rice and save around 190 calories!
All you need is one large head of cauliflower and the patience to grate it into rice.
You can enjoy it raw or saute it in a large skillet with your desired seasonings.
For a complete meal, top your cauliflower rice with something amazing.
The choice is plentiful, but my top picks are garlic chicken and broccoli, Chinese-style ribs, and honey-glazed meatballs. So good!
22. Green Peas With Mint
Green peas can be used in soups and salads. But I love to use them as a side dish.
Mushy peas are a perfect choice. Serve them with some chopped mint and your preferred meat.
Want to make a fancy twist on this recipe? Try adding some lemon juice into the mix.
You can also add the peas to Asian-style pancakes for a delicious appetizer.
23. Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are a variation of the ever-so-popular french fries.
This oven-baked delight gives a mild smoky flavor. It’s absolutely crispy and will be gone in seconds!
However, take note that this recipe requires more than just chopping and tossing potatoes into the oven.
You’ll want to make evenly-cut fries, about ¼-inch thick. This helps to get nice and legit-crispy fries. Soggy ones are always a tragedy!
You can give life to these fries any way you like it. Spicy, sweet, or savory, these fries can be seasoned to create various delicious combos.
24. Smashed Potatoes
For the last recipe, we’re going smashing! This is a step to make one of the best potato recipes out there.
With crunchy ridges and soft insides, these crispy and buttery smashed potatoes are insanely good.
Boil, smash, drizzle, and bake — these are the things you need to do to complete this super hit recipe.
What to drizzle, you ask? Butter for flavor and a bit of olive oil for browning and crisp texture.
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