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26 Vegetable Side Dishes in 10 Categories

Looking for easy ways to spruce up the basket of greens on your kitchen table? We’ve got you covered with fresh, fun, and fulfilling vegetable dishes that will make every meal memorable. Healthy yet irresistible, you’ll want to make and serve these veggie treats all year round.

When it comes to vegetable side dishes, the choices are endless. Finding the right one for each family meal can be a bit challenging, though. Some sides take too long to make, while others are loaded with unhealthy or inaccessible ingredients.

The best veggie sides are delectable, nutritious, and quick to prepare, all at the same time. The key to making them is to use the freshest ingredients, flavorful seasonings, and maybe a bit of olive oil.

You’ll also need unique and creative veggie ideas, and we’ll share plenty of that here.

Best Vegetable Side Dishes You Need to Try

Best Vegetable Side Dishes You Need to Try

Ready to refresh your rotation of go-to vegetable sides? Whether you like your veggies baked, stir-fried, or in salad form, there’s something for everyone in this green and leafy collection.

Say goodbye to boring veggies, and say hello to satisfying sides for every occasion.

Easy Veggie Side Dishes

Easy Veggie Side Dishes

Eating vegetables has never been easier, thanks to these quick and tasty veggie sides that come together in around 30 minutes or less. They go with almost any main dish you can think of, and may even steal the show with their vibrant colors and varied flavors.

Crispy Sheet-Pan Broccoli

Crispy Sheet-Pan Broccoli

Baking broccoli allows it to take on a whole new flavor, with brown and crispy edges that’ll have you eating it right off the pan. With just four ingredients and a few simple steps, this broccoli side dish can’t get any easier. All you need is broccoli, olive oil, Kosher salt, and black pepper.

If you have a few extra minutes to level up this dish, you can also add cheese, more spices, and a simple dipping sauce made of sour cream or ranch dressing.

Easy Eggplant Stir-Fry

Easy Eggplant Stir-Fry

Eggplant is a superstar vegetable that absorbs flavor like a sponge, making it a great canvas for exciting spices, herbs, and sauces. Stir-frying eggplant alongside a sweet and salty sauce will make a memorable side dish. A dash of cornstarch is a nice touch that adds to the thickness.

Because it only needs ten ingredients, this dish is ideal for busy weeknights or mornings when you want something delicious while in a hurry.

Honey Roasted Carrots

Honey Roasted Carrots

Honey-roasted carrots are delightfully sweet and tender, you might even mistake them for dessert. Popping your carrots in the oven will caramelize the sticky honey and butter glaze, turning plain and simple carrots into a sensational side dish.

This dish is especially handy if you’ve got kids who are picky eaters, as it’ll make them more than happy to finish their veggies.

Healthy Veggie Side Dishes

Healthy Veggie Side Dishes

Trying to eat healthier doesn’t mean you have to stick to the same vegetable side dishes over and over again. Add excitement to your mealtime by experimenting with new prepping methods, such as marinating, baking, or grilling your veggies.

Don’t forget to include toppings like feta cheese, peanuts, peppers, or sesame seeds to make things crunchier, spicier, or herbier—whatever makes your taste buds happy. Check out these creative and nutrient-dense sides for some foodspiration.

Marinated Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Marinated Cucumber and Tomato Salad

There’s a lot to love about crisp and refreshing side dishes like cucumber and tomato salad. Cool cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and everyday onions work surprisingly well in this dish. What makes it even better is the tart and tangy marinade with apple cider vinegar as a base.

After tossing your veggies in the mixture, all you have to do is store them in the fridge for a few hours. It’s fresh, fuss-free, healthy, and delicious—what more can you ask for?

Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin

Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin

The creamy cheese sauce and moist and chewy potatoes in this classic French side dish make a flavor combination that’s impossible to resist—good thing it’s healthy. Russet or Yukon gold potatoes work best with this dish, and onion slices provide a backbone of flavor.

Making this dish at home will require some slicing to complete your potato layers, but once you taste that melt-in-your-mouth goodness, it’ll be well worth it.

Italian Vegetable Side Dishes

Italian Vegetable Side Dishes

A true Italian-style meal wouldn’t be complete without a few salads and sides to accompany the pasta on the table.

Some of the most popular vegetables in Italy include squash, celery, and peppers, while basil, oregano, and garlic are responsible for adding Italian fragrance and flavor.

These vegetable side dishes will have you saying bon appétit with every bite.

Classic Caprese Salad

Classic Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is a beloved Italian dish that got its name from the island of Capri, where it’s said to have originated. It’s made by layering slices of yummy mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, and basil leaves on a serving platter.

Sprinkle in your favorite seasonings, drizzle extra virgin olive oil, and add a balsamic glaze. Interestingly, the colors of the Caprese salad are green, white, and red, matching the Italian flag.

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is a creamy Italian staple made with a special starchy and short-grain rice. Think of it as the Italian version of mac and cheese, as it’s warm, comforting, and easier to make than it seems. There are plenty of tasty add-in options to risotto, and mushroom is one of them.

Mushroom risotto has an earthy and savory flavor that wonderfully complements main dishes like roast chicken, beef, or pork. To achieve the perfect texture, keep the broth hot as you simmer the risotto in medium-low heat.

Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Parmesan Polenta

Polenta is a soft and creamy corn dish from northern Italy. When newly cooked, it has a porridge-like texture that’s perfect for meaty and savory sauces. When cooled, Polenta is firm enough to be sliced with a sharp knife and pan-fried.

You can enjoy this simple side dish on its own or stir in a generous amount of Parmesan cheese. Another option is to substitute water for chicken broth and use the Polenta as a base for a hearty stew.

Mexican Vegetable Side Dishes

Mexican Vegetable Side Dishes

Mexican food is one of the most flavorful, fun, and colorful cuisines out there, and an interesting Mexican-inspired dish might be just what you need to spice up your next taco night. These extraordinary veggie sides will look great next to your tortillas, fajitas, burritos, or enchiladas.

Cucumber Salsa

Cucumber Salsa

There’s nothing more bright and refreshing than a cool cucumber salsa, especially on a hot summer afternoon. Of course, cucumber is the main ingredient here, but feel free to add Roma tomatoes, red onions, limes, and a couple of jalapeños for a touch of heat. Refreshing yellow fruits such as mangoes or pineapple can also add some balancing sweetness.

Toss your salsa with some garlic, cilantro, and olive oil, refrigerate for 30 minutes to marry the flavors, and you’re good to go.

Homemade Guacamole

Homemade Guacamole

No Mexican fiesta would ever be complete without Guacamole, a tasty avocado-based dip or spread. It’s prepared using lime juice, mashed avocado, salt, and cilantro. Tomatoes and onions usually make an appearance as well.

Guacamole also happens to be one of the most versatile veggie side dishes. You can spread it on crackers, toast, sandwiches, and tortilla chips, or use it as a dip for fresh vegetables.

Indian Vegetable Side Dishes

Indian Vegetable Side Dishes

Indian spices, such as turmeric, cumin, cardamom, and saffron, have a distinct flavor profile that can take any vegetable dish to new heights. Instead of going for your usual white rice or bread, add heat and eccentricity to your meal with these authentic Indian veggie sides.

Basmati Rice

Basmati Rice

Basmati is a variety of aromatic and nutty-tasting long-grain rice that’s traditionally grown in India. There’s nothing like a steaming, fluffy bowl of Basmati rice to complement a meaty curry or a savory soup on a cozy evening.

The key to making the perfect Basmati rice is to wash the grains a few times to ensure that the excess starch is removed. A good rule of thumb is to use a cup and a half of water for every cup of Basmati rice.

Potato Masala

Potato Masala

Potato Masala, also known as Aloo Masala, is a simple yet irresistible South Indian side dish made from boiled potatoes, onions, herbs, and whole spices.

It tastes delicious with Naan, Roti, or any kind of flatbread you have on hand. Stuffing it in rolls and sandwiches is a great idea, too.

You can prepare potato masala on a stovetop pot or an instant pot. To make the dish extra healthy, you can load up on lentils, coriander leaves, ginger, and turmeric.

Cauliflower Curry

Cauliflower Curry

If you’re looking for a surprisingly spicy veggie side dish, Indian cuisine has plenty. Although not as popular as chicken or tofu curry, cauliflower curry is just as rich and flavorful. You can even add kidney beans for an extra dose of protein and fiber.

A good tip is to cook the cauliflower for around ten minutes until tender, before sprinkling in some garam masala for an authentic Indian flavor.

Green Veggie Side Dishes

Green Veggie Side Dishes

A green veggie side dish is a must-have for a healthy dinner, and if you have the right recipe, it can also be a downright delicious addition to the table. These green dishes will nourish both your body and soul, and might even make you want to skip the main entrée.

Roasted Asparagus With Garlic

Roasted Asparagus With Garlic

This easy but elegant dish complements salmon, lamb, lasagna—you name it. It only requires eight to ten minutes in the oven and emerges tender, vibrantly green, and fragrant. Seasonings like minced garlic, fresh parsley, and onion powder make it aromatic and flavorful.

It’s worth mentioning that the roasting time for this side dish will depend on the thickness of the asparagus spears. Larger and thicker ones might need 3 to 5 minutes of extra cook time.

Coconut Creamed Greens

Coconut Creamed Greens

Coconut milk is one of the most versatile ingredients used in plant-based dishes. It has a unique mixture of sweet, nutty, and salty flavors that serve as a delicious base for creamed greens. Kale, chard, spinach, and nutmeg taste phenomenal when bathed in a decadent coconut sauce.

Coconut creamed greens is also the perfect side dish if you’re looking for something rich and creamy, yet dairy-free. Serve with a roast, Thanksgiving turkey, or pan-seared tofu if you wish.

Asian Veggie Side Dishes

Asian Veggie Side Dishes

Asian cuisine is known for bringing everyday ingredients to life using extraordinary flavors. Whether you’re craving a spicy, pungent, or umami-tasting meal, you’ll surely find an Asian side dish that highlights the best of what the continent has to offer.

Take your chopsticks out and prepare for an explosion of flavor as you try these veggie sides:

Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish usually consisting of seasoned and fermented veggies. It can be spicy, sour, salty, or all three, with your choice of ingredients influencing the final taste of the dish. Classic kimchi includes Napa cabbage, radishes, onions, garlic, and ginger.

This dish allows you to use any leftover rice you might have at home to make the side dish more filling and balance out the flavor. To make it even yummier, serve it with a sunny-side-up egg.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Stir-fried bok choy is another classic side dish with Asian origins, plenty of veggies, and a special ginger garlic sauce that makes for a flavorful weeknight meal. Aside from the baby bok choy, this dish uses carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, and sesame seeds.

Since it’s fairly easy to make, bok choy can be your go-to vegetable side dish for any occasion. You can also switch things up by using sweet and crunchy bok choy leaves in a salad.

Thanksgiving Vegetable Sides

Thanksgiving Vegetable Sides

Although roast turkey is usually the star of the show on Thanksgiving, the holiday season won’t be complete without an array of veggie-packed side dishes lining the table.

In addition to being loaded with health benefits, these light and refreshing sides can help to balance out the heavier, starchier, or stronger flavors from the main dishes. Add them to your dinner menu and watch your guests come back for seconds.

Here you’ll find more thanksgiving side dishes.

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

The secret to making an unforgettable green bean casserole is to swap the canned cream of mushroom soup for an aromatic, creamy, and homemade sauce.

Combine with fresh green beans, crunchy fried onions, and your choice of cheese for an indulgent Thanksgiving treat.

To avoid the holiday rush, you can prepare this dish ahead of time by assembling the casserole, covering it with plastic wrap, and refrigerating it until you’re ready to bake.

Air Fryer Squash Soup

Air Fryer Squash Soup

Squash soup is a hearty and healthy side dish that doubles as a colorful comfort food. Best of all, it only takes minutes to prepare using your air fryer, leaving your oven free and unoccupied for the turkey.

When serving, don’t forget to add sour cream for flavor, spiced pepitas for crunchiness, and crusty bread to soak up the orange goodness.

Corn Pudding

Corn Pudding

Corn pudding is the creamy side dish that’ll satisfy all your holiday cravings. You can add a savory twist to this classic by including aromatics, like onion and fresh thyme.

Another option is to make a three-cheese corn pudding by adding white and yellow cheddar and parmesan.

Whichever version you choose, you’ve got yourself a veggie side dish that’ll soon become a family favorite.

Veggie Sides for Burgers

Veggie Sides for Burgers

Burgers are a staple in American cuisine. Everybody loves them and they’re so easy to put together for a weeknight dinner.

Finding the perfect pairing for your beef, chicken, or fish patties can also be a breeze if you have a couple of tried and tested veggie sides up your sleeve.

Keep these delicious, crunchy, and healthy options in mind the next time you fire up the grill.

Zucchini French Fries

Zucchini French Fries

This veggie side is a healthier alternative to your typical French fries, but it’ll still be a hit with kids and adults alike.

Tender zucchini coated in crispy breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese plus a creamy ranch dressing dip sounds like a match made in food heaven.

Air-Fryer Kale Chips

Air-Fryer Kale Chips

Who wouldn’t want a plate of crispy and crunchy kale chips to go with their burger? Simply pop fresh kale leaves in the air fryer for 15 minutes for a quick side dish that’ll be gone in minutes.

Take the flavor up a notch by using abundant herbs and adding a dash of cayenne pepper.

Baked Onion Rings

Baked Onion Rings

Thyme and paprika enhance the savory flavor of lightly browned onions baked to perfection. They go great alongside an all-American hamburger or a grilled chicken sandwich.

For the dipping sauce, feel free to use ranch, Thousand Island dressing, or plain ketchup if you prefer.

Typical Veggie Ingredients to Use for Vegetable Sides

Typical Veggie Ingredients to Use for Vegetable Sides

A healthy mix of vegetables adds much-needed nutrients and a burst of flavor, color, and texture to any side dish. But with so many veggie varieties available in grocery stores, it can be challenging to decide on what to include in your next meal.

If you need a dose of culinary inspiration, here are some popular and health-boosting veggie ingredients worth adding to your daily diet.

Broccoli

Broccoli

Broccoli is America’s most liked vegetable, according to a 2022 “favorite veggie” survey involving 5,321 consumers across the nation. It’s rich in vitamin A, folate, potassium, and manganese, and tastes great as a steamed side dish, a blended soup, and even in raw form.

Carrots

Carrots

Carrots are another widely consumed vegetable that often makes an appearance in veggie trays, paired with a creamy dipping sauce like hummus. This versatile veggie is vital for good your eyesight, abundant in beta carotene, and is associated with cancer-fighting properties.

Spinach

Spinach

Spinach is a low-calorie leafy green that’s packed with calcium, iron, antioxidants, and other essential vitamins and minerals. It works well as a refreshing soup or salad, but can also be sauteed with some lemon juice, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are immunity-boosting root vegetables that are a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, among others. For a simple side dish, you can bake crispy potatoes and top them with feta cheese and pumpkin seeds for added yumminess.

Tasty Veggie Appetizers

Tasty Veggie Appetizers

No matter what kind of event you’re having, you can never go wrong with serving some fun, fresh, and flavorful veggie appetizers on the table.

Aside from being easy to make and quick to prepare, you’ll find that veggie appetizers can provide a delightful pop of color to your plates.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Platter

Grilled Summer Vegetable Platter

Grilling veggies is one way to bring out an abundance of flavor and enjoy a crisp texture at the same time. You can easily make this appetizer at home using cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, squash, eggplant, green onions, and other favorite veggies you have on hand.

All you have to do is cut up your veggies into small pieces, brush them with a few tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper, and grill away. Air fryer vegetables can be an awesome alternative if you’re not a fan of grilling.

Caesar Salad Bites

Caesar Salad can Easily be Turned Into Bite-Sized Treats

Add a creative twist to your classic Caesar salad by turning it into a bite-sized appetizer that everyone will love. Simply arrange romaine lettuce leaves on a large platter and spoon Caesar dressing and an assortment of your chosen veggies on top.

The best part about this appetizer is that it pairs perfectly with any main dish, whether you plan on serving pasta, steaks, or a hearty soup.

Parmesan Cauliflower Bites

Parmesan Cauliflower Bites

This delicious finger food will surely impress your cauliflower-lover guests, and fans of Parmesan cheese won’t want to miss it, too. It’s prepared by dipping cauliflower pieces in egg and rolling them in a mixture of bread crumbs, cheese, Kosher salt, and additional seasonings.

After popping them in a hot oven, the end result is a golden brown and crunchy goodness that goes incredibly well with Marinara sauce. This appetizer is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.

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