24 Vegetable Side Dish Ideas Kids Will Actually Like


We're always looking for new vegetable sides for family meals. Of course, what's appealing to one child might not be for others. I have two kids: one loves spicy foods and puts hot sauce and kimchi on everything. The other is always asking if ketchup can count as his vegetable. We try to meet somewhere in the middle and keep offering new foods and flavors, because you never know what they will try and love. These kid-friendly vegetable recipes are healthy and easy—perfect for weeknight dinners!

01 of 24

Maple Roasted Carrots


Roasting brings out the inherent sweetness in carrots—but add a little maple syrup and butter and you have a caramelized vegetable your kids (and you!) will actually want to eat seconds of.

02 of 24

Kid-Friendly Salad


Make salad something your kids will actually want to eat with this kid-friendly crudité plate. Put it out before dinner and watch them eat all their veggies without a fuss!

03 of 24

Broccoli Casserole


This lightened-up broccoli casserole is sure to be a hit. Learn how to make this classic side dish healthier.

04 of 24

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes


In this easy vegetable side dish recipe, sweet potatoes are tossed with maple syrup, butter and lemon juice and then roasted until tender and golden brown. The delicious glaze that forms on these maple-roasted sweet potatoes transforms this ultra-simple dish into something sublime.

05 of 24

Parmesan Broccoli Bites


Almond flour (aka almond meal) makes the coating on these broccoli "fries" extra-crunchy and flavorful. Find it in the gluten-free section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores.

06 of 24

Mashed Butternut Squash


For this mashed butternut squash recipe, we start by roasting the squash, which really intensifies its flavor and sweetness. That means you don't need to add much—just a few pinches of spices and a little butter and salt—to make the perfect healthy side dish for any fall meal. If you want to dress it up more, add some honey and warm spices, like cinnamon, for a sweet profile; for a savory profile, add a teaspoon or two of rosemary, sage or thyme (or a combination) and sprinkle with Parmesan. Or go sweet and savory, with bacon fat (or bacon crumbles), maple syrup and additional cayenne. Using a food processor gives this mash a very smooth texture, but you could certainly mash it with a fork or potato masher for a more rustic texture.

07 of 24

Quick Cucumber Kimchi

close-up shot of bowl of cucumber kimchi

This cucumber kimchi recipe gets its flavor from garlic, fish sauce and a hint of Korean chile powder. Make this side dish ahead of time to let the flavors absorb into the cucumbers.

08 of 24

Oven Sweet Potato Fries


Baking sweet potato fries in the oven brings out their inherent sweetness.

09 of 24

Cheesy Zucchini Tots

Cheesy Zucchini Tots
Casey Barber

Not one, not two, but three cheeses combine to make these low-carb cheesy zucchini tots live up to their name. Bake them in the oven or fry them in your air fryer for a crisp exterior and a gooey, melted center. Don't use pre-shredded cheese here; shred it fresh for the best and creamiest results. Serve with ketchup, marinara, ranch or your favorite dipping sauce.

10 of 24

Mary's Zucchini with Parmesan


Simple and delicious, in this recipe the almost caramelized zucchini are topped with a Parmesan crust. Serve the zucchini like a wedge of pizza, straight from the pan, with the cheese-side up. We named this recipe Mary's Zucchini after the mom of one of our former Test Kitchen managers. It's perfect for just-picked zucchini.

11 of 24

Ginger-&-Miso-Glazed Broccoli

Ginger-&-Miso-Glazed Broccoli
Jacob Fox

A touch of maple or honey balances the flavor of umami-laden miso while thickening the sauce to coat this stir-fried broccoli.

12 of 24

Parmesan Roasted Corn on the Cob

Parmesan Roasted Corn on the Cob

Savory Parmesan cheese and sweet corn team up in this easy corn on the cob recipe that's good for every season. Wrapping the corn in foil keeps in the flavors of smoked paprika, garlic powder and thyme. Pair with roast chicken, steak or pork or serve as part of a vegetarian meal.

13 of 24

Brown Butter & Sage Acorn Squash

Brown Butter & Sage Acorn Squash
Greg DuPree

We like acorn squash because its skin is tender enough to eat (which saves you the hassle of peeling), but any winter squash will work for this nutty, maple-drizzled side.

14 of 24

Kale Chips


Not a fan of kale? These crispy baked kale chips will convert you! For the best result, don't overcrowd the pans.

15 of 24

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes


This healthy recipe is a savory riff on the traditional brown-sugar-and-pecan-topped sweet potato casserole so often found on Thanksgiving tables. Crispy baby kale leaves make a stunning garnish, but any green or herb that suits you will look great, fried or not.

16 of 24

Skillet Cauliflower Gratin


Nonfat milk and a bit of sharp Cheddar combine to make a rich sauce without all the butter usually found in gratins.

17 of 24

Avocado Fries with Sriracha Aioli

Avocado Fries with Sriracha Aioli

Creamy avocados are a delicious foil to crunchy breading in this healthy oven-fried avocado fries recipe. Dip into spicy Sriracha dipping sauce for a flavor explosion. Save your ripe avocados for guacamole or toast—only firm ones will do when making these fries.

18 of 24

Edamame with Ginger Salt

Edamame with Ginger Salt
Jerrelle Guy

Add zing to convenient frozen edamame with easy homemade seasoning. You'll have leftover ginger salt—try a sprinkle on steamed or roasted veggies.

19 of 24

Brown Sugar-Glazed Beets


Try a sweet glaze on beets or other root vegetables to help balance their earthy flavor. This easy recipe will work with steamed carrots, turnips or rutabaga too.

20 of 24

Honey-Mustard Smashed Carrots

Honey Mustard Smashed Carrots
Rachel Marek

Smashing carrots increases their surface area, allowing them to crisp up beautifully under the broiler with a sweet mustardy glaze. Choose carrots that are on the thicker side for the best results.

21 of 24

Cheesy Pull-Apart Cauliflower with Pesto

Cheesy Pull-Apart Cauliflower with Pesto
Brie Passano

A combination of pesto and mozzarella cheese is tucked into a whole head of cauliflower. The florets "pull away" revealing the ooey-gooey cheese beneath for a fun and festive appetizer or side dish.

22 of 24

Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Vegetables


Give your plate a pop of color with these healthy sheet-pan veggies.

23 of 24

Garlic-Rosemary Smashed Potatoes


A combination of baked, mashed and roasted, these crusty, garlicky smashed potatoes are a healthy and creative alternative. Serve alongside a seared steak or roasted pork tenderloin and green beans.

24 of 24

Air-Fryer Onion Rings

air fryer onion rings
Jacob Fox

These air-fryer onion rings are a great alternative to traditional deep-fried onion rings. The homemade dipping sauce adds to the savory flavor and adds a creamy note to counter the crispy coating.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles