The phrase “eat your vegetables” is synonymous with the image of unsavory, bland food. You may be surprised however when vegetables are cooked right, you have a real treat on your hands.
Needless to say, vegetables are nutritious. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and all the good stuff that keeps our hearts healthy, our cholesterol low, and our bodies in top shape, vegetables should never be overlooked at mealtime.
Below are 17 amazingly easy and delicious vegetable sides to give carb and protein-heavy meals that extra added goodness.
17 Easy Vegetable Side Dishes
There is no substitute for a good vegetable side dish. If you have trouble getting the kids or your spouse to have veggies, try one of these side dishes tonight.
1. Green Beans and Garlic
A great accompaniment to any meal, green beans (also known as string beans or French beans for another variation) fried in garlic is healthy and delicious.
Pan fry these beans until they are blistered, and then toss in some garlic, salt, and pepper for flavor. It’s as simple as that to make a side dish that the whole family will enjoy.
2. Stir-Fried Boy Choy
Asian vegetables come in an array of varieties, textures, shapes, and sizes. Bok choy is a common and easy “starter” vegetable for those exploring Asian cuisine.
Baby bok choy has smaller and sweeter bulbs that are tender and mild in flavor. Stir fry with garlic, soy sauce, and a pinch of sugar will really hit the spot at dinner time.
3. Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
Thank you, France, for the Hollandaise sauce! This easy-to-make cream sauce is a combination of egg yokes, butter, and lemon.
Asparagus itself is known as a classy side dish at dinner but add some Hollandaise sauce and you’ll not only impress your guests, you’ll have them asking for your secretly simple sauce recipe.
4. Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are the stuff of nightmares for young children. At least back in the day when they were seen as bland and mushy. If you haven’t experienced Brussel sprouts at an upscale restaurant yet, try a simple recipe that will get you thinking about the bulbous vegetable in a whole new way.
Roast your olive oil-tossed Brussel sprouts until they’re slightly charred. It will have a crispy potato chip quality to it when done right. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on them and savor this delectable side dish.
5. Broccoli and Cheese
There is probably no better way to get your kids to eat their veggies than covering them in a flavorful homemade cheese sauce. Forgo the Velveeta and try this not-so-typical cheese sauce.
After you’ve made your cheese sauce, you’ll be delighted to know you can put it on virtually anything. If you need a change from broccoli, try string beans or frozen peas and carrots.
6. Snap Peas in Lemon Butter Sauce
The taste of sugar snap peas in the summer is truly delightful. The crunch and sweetness of properly cooked snap peas are simply to die for.
There are many ways to prepare this vegetable as a side dish but try this lemon butter sauce to really zing things up at a BBQ or a summer garden party. Your tastebuds will thank you.
7. Garlic Parmesan Broccolini
If you’ve never tried broccolini, you should! It’s a hybrid of the Chinese vegetable Gai lan and, you guessed it, broccoli. The tender stalks and fluffy florets are easy on your tastebuds and with some seasoning, can get the whole family eating their vegetables.
Try a parmesan-crusted version or simply add shredded parmesan to your broccolini. The pungent flavor of the parmesan complements this sexy sister of broccoli perfectly.
8. Root Vegetable Medley
Root veggies are a delicious and colorful way to serve your vegetables. Step outside of the box and try a blend of parsnips, carrots, sweet potato, and beets for something truly wholesome and delicious.
The recipe shared here gives your roasted vegetables a little something extra with some optional drizzles. Balsamic vinaigrette is great with the veggies but if you’re looking for a little sweetness try a balsamic reduction too.
9. Honey Glazed Baby Carrots
Honey glazed baby carrots have been making their rounds at the finest restaurants. People started realizing how delicious these carrots are when roasted with a brush of honey.
Carrots are the forgotten superfood in my opinion. They are packed with vitamins and have a number of health benefits. If you’ve never thought of them as a cooked side, try this scrumptious recipe.
10. Sweet Potato Fries
This feels like cheating a little bit but I assure you it’s not. Fries are always a welcome addition to your meal so why not try using sweet potatoes this time.
Easy to make and fun to eat, sweet potato fries pack in the vitamins and minerals you need to call it a day. You can bake ‘em or fry ‘em… just make ‘em!
11. Fried Zucchini
With basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, you can create this easy, kid-friendly side dish in minutes.
Use Italian breadcrumbs or panko as a breading for your summer squash. Whether you are having spaghetti, ribs, or fish, the crispy fried zucchini with its juicy inside makes a great accompaniment to any meal!
12. Crispy Dijon Mashed Potatoes
A seasoned potato served in a form that’s way more guest-worthy than French fries, is smashed baby potatoes.
Start with some boiled red potatoes (the small ones) and give them a smash with a fork, while still keeping them whole. Add your mustard marinade to the top of these and bake until crispy. You’ll have something really special everyone will love without having to fry or dredge in a ton of oil.
13. Lemon Parsley Cauliflower Rice
The name of the game is simple yet flavorful. This lemon parsley cauliflower rice will not disappoint. Now trending, cauliflower has made its heart into the American diet in many forms. Pizza crusts, Buffalo “wings” and rice can all be made with cauliflower.
Take this wholesome and delicious “rice” and serve it with your favorite grilled protein, like salmon and chicken, and have a meal that will check all the boxes when it comes to a healthy dinner.
14. Fresh Black Bean Salad
Black bean salad doesn’t sound like a vegetable side dish but guess what? Black beans are just the tip of the iceberg with this refreshing summer salad.
Start with some juicy sweet cherry tomatoes and diced bell pepper for extra flavor and color. Grab some red onion, corn, avocado, and a combination of vinegar and lime juice. Mix it all together and you have a fantastic vegetable side dish.
15. Caesar Side Salad
Salads are a great way to add necessary vitamins to mealtime. Some may shy away from salad thinking it’s nothing more than a bland and boring “filler” but throw together a Caesar salad and watch everyone scarf down their vegetables.
Caesar salad is made great by the mouthwatering dressing that’s creamy and a little sour to the taste. In addition to that, many Caesar fans like to sprinkle bacon bits and parmesan cheese over easy-to-eat romaine leaves. Doesn’t get any better than that.
16. Cabbage Salad
Another great salad that you might not be aware of is an Asian cabbage salad. Fill your tummy with this nutty, wholesome salad that’s packed with flavor.
A host of vegetables can be shredded and added to create this salad. Top it all off with cilantro, edamame, almonds, and a ginger peanut dressing for a vibrant Asian experience.
17. Cranberry Walnut Salad
Quick, easy, and fabulous, a cranberry walnut salad is the “extra” side dish that will win over your guests at dinnertime.
As the title suggests your salad will have a sprinkle of cranberries and walnuts. In addition to this, you can add apple and bacon bits to make it savory and sweet. The recipe below boasts a secret dressing that will really kick things up a notch.
Can’t get enough veggies? Scour the web for a variety of side dishes that highlight vegetables. The possibilities are endless.
When you eat your vegetables you’re truly doing your body a favor. You’ll feel more energetic, lighter on your feet, and look better as well.
Having a catalog of great vegetable side dish recipes will save you and your family from boring dinners and make an impact on everyone’s health. Don’t delay. Incorporate vegetables into your diet now. You won’t regret it.