Nutritious Vegetable Side Dish Recipes
Cooking Light is working with the Partnership for a Healthier America and USDA’s MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to thousands of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov. Find recipes at http://pinterest.com/MyPlateRecipes/.
Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body and should be consumed on a daily basis. MyPlate recommends buying fresh vegetables that are in season and choosing vegetables that are easy to prepare. To keep meals interesting, vary your veggie choices and try crunchy vegetables, raw or lightly steamed.
First up are our Aromatic Slow-Roasted Tomatoes. Slow roasting is one of the best uses for winter tomatoes because it intensifies their sweetness.
Moroccan-Spiced Baby Carrots
Warm spices like cumin and cinnamon play deliciously off the sweetness of the carrots.
Dijon, Thyme, and Pine Nut Broccoli
Tangy dijon mustard, fresh thyme, pine nuts and lemon transform boring broccoli in this recipe that will satisfy even picky eaters.
Celery Root-Arugula Salad
It's a good idea to take a sharp knife to the gnarly celery root (also called celeriac), and cut it as finely as possible. If you have a mandoline, use it to make quick, even matchstick pieces. Although all celery root will be misshapen and scruffy looking, don't buy roots that are shriveled or that give to the touch.
This is an updated take on a traditional three-bean salad. Soybeans are rich in potassium, and matched with other good vegetable sources, this is a side dish that can add 430 milligrams of the mineral to your next meal.
Smoky Haricots Verts and Mushrooms
Haricots verts are slender green beans; look for them trimmed and ready to cook in microwave-safe bags. If you can't find them, use regular green beans and cook a few minutes longer.
Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley
Grain salads make great side dishes. This quinoa salad with artichoke hearts, fresh thyme and parsley, and lemon zest is elegant enough for company, yet quick enough for weeknight dinners.
Snap Pea and Radish Sauté
Cutting half of the peas in half gives the dish a lovely look, but you can skip that step and leave them all whole, if you like.
Roasting kale is amazing—the leaves turn from a dusty dark green to dark emerald with brown-tinged curly edges that crunch. This vegetable side is delicious served hot from the oven; the leaves lose their crisp texture as the dish stands.
Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Healthy antioxidant-rich vegetables get a flavorful punch when marinated in balsamic vinaigrette and grilled.
Arugula and Mushroom Salad
A lemon vinaigrette lightly coats arugula and mushrooms for an unbeatable combination. Make this side salad to complement your favorite pizza.
Spicy Pickled Okra
It's easier than you think to pickle your own okra, and pickling is a great way to make use of an abundant garden harvest. Serve these spicy and crunchy pods as a side dish or part of a relish tray.
Grilled Zucchini with Sea Salt
For more tender zucchini, leave slices in the pan an extra 1 minute on each side. When the flesh starts to look translucent, the zucchini is done.
Artichoke and Pea Sauté
Get a jump on the season with reliable freezer staples—artichokes and english peas—and turn out a supersimple, delicious, spring-inspired dish.
Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Golden Raisins
Sweet golden raisins and nutty roasted garlic pair beautifully with broccoli rabe.
Spicy Squash Pickles
This citrusy take on coleslaw is fresh and pleasantly spicy, making it an ideal side dish or burger or brat topping. Leave the seeds in more peppers for added fire, or seed all of them for a milder dish.
Quick Pickled Dilly Green Beans
A fresh alternative to pickled cukes, these crisp, crunchy treats make a zesty summer snack or condiment in a sandwich or salad. These picked green beans are easy to prepare and will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.
Steamed Sugar Snap Peas
With fresh herbs, butter, and a little salt and pepper, these steamed sugar snap peas turn into a sensational side dish in under 12 minutes.
Sesame-Miso Cucumber Salad
Miso is a thick soybean paste with a salty, slightly sweet flavor. Look for it in the refrigerated part of the produce section or with the dairy products, or substitute soy sauce.
The vivid garlic-and-herb vinaigrette contrasts with the sweet carrots.
Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes
This asparagus recipe is a quick and easy side dish for a weekday night.
To streamline prep, look for bags of prewashed, prechopped kale.
Roasted Summer Squashes with Caper Gremolata
A traditional gremolata (garnish) features lemon rind, garlic, and parsley. We include briny capers in the mix to add excitement to this side.
Mixed Bean-Cherry Tomato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
A bright assemblage of flavors, textures, and colors, this salad can be made early in the day and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Garlic and Red Pepper Asparagus
This flavorful vegetable dish is easy to make and tastes great with roasted or grilled meat entrées.
Less is more. This simple salad comes together quickly and highlights the fresh flavors of seasonal produce.
Grilled Eggplant with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
If you're working on a charcoal grill set up for indirect heat, mound the coals to one side of the grill.
Roasted Beets with Jalapeño Cream
A creamy jalapeño dressing livens up earthy roasted beets. Seed the pepper for less heat.
Ready in just 10 minutes, this simple side salad is the perfect addition to a variety of meat-based main dishes.
With just 52 calories per serving, this fresh and delicious side dish is perfect alongside burgers, chicken, or any summertime meal.
Mardi Gras Slaw
The traditional colors of Fat Tuesday celebrations are purple, green, and yellow, and this vibrant slaw mimics that combo. Use a mandoline or very sharp knife to cut the cabbage, and you'll avoid the rather strong smell that often comes when you shred it.
Basil adds a fresh kick to this summery fruit and veggie salad. Watermelon and cucumber are both fluid-rich and will aid in hydration.
Almond Green Beans
If you're looking for a fresh, fast side dish that requires only a few ingredients, look no further!
Marinated English Cucumber and Onions
If marinating overnight, slice the cucumber a bit thicker so it retains some crunch.
Steamed Green Beans with Lemon-Mint Dressing
Instead of mint, tarragon or basil would be equally delicious. If desired, top with fresh lemon rind for a little extra zing.
Apricot, Cucumber, Pluot, and Lime Basil Salad
If you don't have lime basil, substitute any fresh basil plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind. Plums will also work in place of pluots.
Greek Salad Cucumbers
The vinegar is quite pumped-up because there's not much time for the cukes to pick up much flavor otherwise. Serve with grilled steak or chicken or beef kebabs.
Sautéed Snap Peas with Ricotta Salata and Mint
Floral lemon zest (but no tart juice) allows the sweet pea flavor to shine. Chop mint, grate lemon rind, and crumble cheese while the peas cook. Serve with panini or other sandwiches, grilled chicken, or pork chops.
Roasted Broccoli and Red Bell Pepper
This veggie-licious dish is a cinch to make and pairs perfectly with many favorite dishes.
Wilted Kale with Bacon and Vinegar
Lacinato kale is also called Tuscan, dinosaur, or black kale. You can also use regular curly kale.
Wilted Kale with Coconut, Ginger, and Lime
This sweet and nutty dish is ready to go in just 10 minutes.
Wilted Kale with Golden Shallots
Make sure to stir the shallots frequently for even cooking.
Roasted Red Onions and Delicata Squash
Thin-skinned delicata squash has an edible peel, helping this side come together quickly.
Sautéed Lemony Broccolini
Regular broccoli works just as well as broccolini for this simple side dish.
Slow-Roasted Grape Tomatoes
When we revisited David Bonom's 2010 recipe Chicken and Mushrooms with Marsala Wine Sauce, we loved it but wanted more of the earthy, wine-licked sauce. Our update keeps the soul of the original dish, but with more luscious, 'shroomy goodness. You simply must serve it over mashed potatoes, polenta, or spaghetti to catch all the sauce.
Fresh garlic amps up the flavor of a classic vegetable side dish.
Snap Pea Sauté
Once your pan is hot, this simple side takes less than 5 minutes to cook.
Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Anchovy
Broccoli retains all of its flavor and even gains deliciously crisp bits when roasted.
Snap Pea and Bell Pepper Sauté
You can easily sub in green beans or haricots verts for the snap peas.
Fresh Orange Salad
Pair this citrus salad featuring oranges, red onions, and a Dijon mustard vinaigrette with any main coarse to brighten and balance your meal.
Spinach and Parmesan Salad
A combination of lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of fresh ground pepper give this spinach salad a kick.
Bacon Green Beans
To get the desired flavor, cook center-cut bacon slices on a large skillet over medium high-heat then crumble and cover your finished green beans with the cooked bacon to complete your side.
Baked Pickle Chips
We lightened up this favored side dish starting with an ingredient swap using low-sodium pickles and egg whites. We then baked the chips instead of frying, cutting 300mg sodium and 120 calories.
Browned Butter Peas and Carrots
Ready in just five minutes, these snap peas and carrots are a perfect punch of fiber to add to any meal.
Cabbage with Mango Slaw Vinaigrette
Use the slicing blade of your food processor to shorten cabbage prep time.
Substitute Sriracha sauce or another chili paste if you can't find sambal oelek.
Sautéed Broccoli Rabe
Packed with potassium, iron, and calcium, fiber as well as vitamins A, C, and K, broccoli rabe is one of the most nutritious leafy greens to add to your diet.
Our stewed greens contain no bacon fat (or even oil)— just tender greens in a small amount of unsalted chicken stock for a healthy side.
Sesame oil, minced ginger, and garlic make these stir-fried vegetables burst with flavor and an excellent side dish to fish curries.
We love the combination of Asian flavors in this quick and simple side salad.
Skillet-Blistered Green Beans
Just a dash of red pepper, drop of white wine, and sprinkle of salt give a quick boost of flavor to these skillet-blistered green beans.
Warm Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad
Serve this Mexican-themed salad on any taco night for a healthy side, and save the leftovers for a quick and easy lunch the next day.
The sweet taste and tender texture of broccolini makes this green a fast side that needs little to create big flavor.
Asparagus with Red Pepper and Manchego
Sautéed asparagus and red peppers, sprinkled with paprika and shaved manchego cheese, create a delicious side in just a few quick steps.
Asparagus with Chanterelles and Hazelnuts
Start with a pound of trimmed asparagus; top with sautéed chanterelle mushrooms, toasted hazelnuts, and freshly chopped thyme. If you can’t find chanterelle mushrooms, substitute white mushrooms instead.
Refrigerator Scallion Pickles
These delicious pickles make great stirrers for Bloody Marys, add bright flavor to a crudité platter, or become a tangy garnish for fish or grilled meats.
Radish Salad with Avocado Dressing
If you like guacamole, you’ll love our avocado dressing. The fresh flavors of cilantro, avocado, hot sauce, and lime juice are blended together to deliver a creamy, Mexican-inspired dressing.
Radish Salad with Buttermilk-Herb Dressing
A play on ranch, this buttermilk-herb dressing yields fresh, classic flavor for a light salad dressing. Radishes, sugar snap peas, and toasted sliced almonds bring a delightful crunch to a simple bed of greens.
Radish Salad with Sesame-Honey Vinaigrette
You’ll love this spring salad with an Asian flair. Featuring radishes and cashews, this side salad delivers balanced flavors with a delicious crunch.
Radish Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Fresh radishes add peppery heat and crunch, while a splash of orange juice lends a refreshing, citrus zing in this spring salad.
Shaved Cucumber and Red Onion Salad
Vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar make a bright and balanced vinaigrette for this refreshing side salad.
Toasted walnuts give a delightful, nutty crunch to this pan-charred green. For a flavor swap, try parsley instead of tarragon.
Pan-Charred Green Beans with Tarragon
This will become your new favorite way to do green beans. We love the light anise flavor of tarragon, but you could use parsley, chives, or thyme as well.
This side of Broccolini gets a double hit of sesame flavor from the seeds and oil. Only a couple minutes, and this delicious side is ready, making it a quick and easy green to whip up while your main course is cooking.
Arugula Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette
The milder tasting green onion pairs perfectly with the sweet anise taste of fennel.
Corn with Chile-Cheese Mayo
Give your average corn on the cob a flavorful kick with fresh cilantro, grated Parmesan cheese, and a touch of chili powder.
These Toasty Tomatoes are broiled with a panko-parmesan mixture sprinkled on top for a warm, flavorful, staff-favorite side that’s ready in less than five minutes.
Wilted Kale with Toasted Shallots
Eating healthy doesn't have to take long. This nutritious side is simple, easy, and ready in just a few short minutes.
Zucchini Ribbons with Lemon and Pecorino
Just a squeeze of lemon, dash of salt and pepper, and sprinkle of shaved Romano cheese is all you need to dress up this light and refreshing side of zucchini ribbons.