Top-Rated Sides

Nineteen superior side dishes earned our readers' highest rating.

Slicing the Brussels sprouts horizontally makes for quick cooking, and the addition of toasted pecans add an unexpected crunch and buttery richness to this stunning side.

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Brussels Sprouts with Pecans

Slicing the Brussels sprouts horizontally makes for quick cooking, and the addition of toasted pecans add an unexpected crunch and buttery richness to this stunning side.

View Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Pecans

Carrot Souffle Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Carrot Soufflé

The original version of this delicious holiday favorite was weighed down by a stick of butter and a cup of sugar. Our lightened version eliminates 8.5g fat and 102 calories by accenting the natural sweetness of carrots, and adding a punch with the addition of sour cream.

View Recipe: Carrot Soufflé

Steamed Carrots with Garlic-Ginger Butter Recipes

Steamed Carrots with Garlic-Ginger Butter

Steaming vegetables helps to retain all of the healthful water-soluble vitamins, and these carrots are no exception. The addition of the garlic-ginger butter gives an exotic flair to an otherwise classic dish.

View Recipe: Steamed Carrots with Garlic-Ginger Butter

Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta Vinaigrette Recipes

Photo: Lee Harrelson

Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta Vinaigrette

Orzo pasta is a versatile base for dishes, and this one is chock-full of zesty ingredients. Red onions add crunch and the combination of artichoke hearts, feta cheese, and kalamata olives all add fresh brininess to the salad.

View Recipe: Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Feta Vinaigrette

Golden winter squash adds color to this rich risotto. The bitterness of radicchio is offset by the sweetness of the squash, and a shaving of earthy Parmesan cheese rounds out this festive side.

Photo: Randy Mayor

Winter Squash Risotto with Radicchio

Golden winter squash adds color to this rich risotto. The bitterness of radicchio is offset by the sweetness of the squash, and a shaving of earthy Parmesan cheese rounds out this festive side.

View Recipe: Winter Squash Risotto with Radicchio

Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pilau Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pilau

Hearty pumpkin and creamy sweet potatoes steal the show in this winter-weather pilaf. It’s an ideal way to add fiber to your diet and a beautiful showcase for some underused winter vegetables.

View Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pilau

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

Randy Mayor and Iain Bagwell

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

Caroline's praise doesn't pull any punches: "Best ever recipe for asparagus. Follow directions to a perfect side dish!" This recipe uses all ingredients you probably have on hand now, and its salty-sweet-sour balance is ideal.

View Recipe: Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

Baked Apples - Recipes

Baked Apples

Served as an accompaniment to pork or poultry, these baked apples are a sure way to take advantage of the season’s bounty while adding flair to your meal. Leftovers?  These apples can be served over oatmeal or slices of breakfast bread the next morning.

View Recipe: Baked Apples

Although you can find kale in supermarkets year-round, this leafy green is at its peak flavor in cool-weather months. The jalapeno pepper adds a spicy kick to this side, and the red peppers grant some aromatic sweetness.

Kale with Garlic and Peppers

Although you can find kale in supermarkets year-round, this leafy green is at its peak flavor in cool-weather months. The jalapeño pepper adds a spicy kick to this side, and the red peppers grant some aromatic sweetness.

 View Recipe: Kale with Garlic and Peppers

Perfect with lamb or roast chicken, this cheesy polenta serves as a well-balanced accoutrement to a hearty meal. The warm tomato topping provides sweetness, sharpness, and color to the side dish.

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Creamy Polenta with Warm Tomato Compote

Perfect with lamb or roast chicken, this cheesy polenta serves as a well-balanced accompaniment to a hearty meal. The warm tomato topping provides sweetness, sharpness, and color to the side dish.

 View Recipe: Creamy Polenta with Warm Tomato Compote

Incorporating whole grains into a meal is easy when complemented by sweet-tart dried cranberries and rich toasted pecans. Simmering the rice in chicken broth instead of water gives rice a flavor boost.

Photo: Jan Smith

Pecan White and Brown Rice Pilaf

Incorporating whole grains into a meal is easy when complemented by sweet-tart dried cranberries and rich toasted pecans. Simmering the rice in chicken broth instead of water gives rice a flavor boost.

 View Recipe: Pecan White and Brown Rice Pilaf

Summer tomatoes may need little help, but the oven-drying process greatly improves the quality of winter tomatoes. The concentrated flavor that results from cooking tomatoes at a low temperature for a long time provides instant richness and depth to a meal.

Photo: Randy Mayor

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Summer tomatoes may need little help, but the oven-drying process greatly improves the quality of winter tomatoes. The concentrated flavor that results from cooking tomatoes at a low temperature for a long time provides instant richness and depth to a meal.

 View Recipe: Oven-Dried Tomatoes

This side is a sure hit, boasting the three ingredients almost everyone loves: cheese, bacon, and potatoes. Combining Parmesan and Asiago cheeses provides depth and creaminess, while the buttery Yukon Gold potato stands in for the additional fat and calories.

Photo: Randy Mayor

Asiago, Potato, and Bacon Gratin

This side is a sure hit, featuring the three ingredients almost everyone loves: cheese, bacon, and potatoes. Combining Parmesan and Asiago cheeses provides depth and creaminess, while the buttery Yukon Gold potato stands in for the additional fat and calories.

 View Recipe: Asiago, Potato, and Bacon Gratin

Reminiscent of corn fritters, this skillet-cooked side dish features the additional sweetness of parsnips. A golden brown crust adds crunch and makes this side a crowd pleaser.

Photo: Karry Hosford

Corn and Parsnip Cakes

Reminiscent of corn fritters, this skillet-cooked side dish features the additional sweetness of parsnips. A golden brown crust adds crunch and makes this side a crowd pleaser.

 View Recipe: Corn and Parsnip Cakes

This combination of sweet corn and smoky bacon gives this uncomplicated dish sublime flavor. It’s a delicious way to put early-fall corn to use.

Creamed Corn with Bacon and Leeks

This combination of sweet corn and smoky bacon gives this uncomplicated dish sublime flavor. It’s a delicious way to put early-fall corn to use.

 View Recipe: Creamed Corn with Bacon and Leeks

Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole

A streusel crust on this classic sweet potato side makes the dish extra special. Creamy sweet potatoes and crunchy pecans serve as perfect companions in this no-fuss favorite.

View Recipe: Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole

This lightened version of a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty is kicked up with a tangy-sweet sour cream sauce. Even the most cynical dinner guest will become a lima bean believer upon diving into this comforting side dish.

Photo: Randy Mayor

Mom’s Pennsylvania Dutch Beans

This lightened version of a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty is kicked up with a tangy-sweet sour cream sauce. Even the most cynical dinner guest will become a lima bean believer upon diving into this comforting side dish.

 View Recipe: Mom's Pennsylvania Dutch Beans

Green Bean Salad Amandine, March 2008

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Green Bean Salad Amandine

The classic side dish gets a fresh makeover with the addition of a sherry-Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Haricots verts are the traditional bean, but regular green beans work just as well.

 View Recipe: Green Bean Salad Amandine

Curried Couscous with Broccoli and Feta

Randy Mayor

Curried Couscous with Broccoli and Feta

Couscous cooks quickly, making this side dish a go-to for rushed weeknights. The crunchy carrots and broccoli paired with the filling protein of garbanzo beans not only makes this well-rounded side a welcome and healthful addition to the dinner table, but makes a great lunch the next day as well.

 View Recipe: Curried Couscous with Broccoli and Feta

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