Our 20 Most Popular Side Dishes of 2021
We fell in love with all kinds of ways to roast, sauté and bake our favorite veggies this year, from smashing Brussels sprouts to crisping potatoes so they melt in your mouth. These side dishes were the ones folks clicked on most this year, and they're sure to be a great addition to your next healthy dinner. Recipes like our Roasted Honeynut Squash and Loaded Cauliflower Casserole make eating all of your veggies easy and delicious.
Crispy Smashed Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts get crispy and flavorful in the oven when they're "smashed" and seasoned with Parmesan cheese and everything bagel spice.
The name for these spuds hints at their creamy interior. Roasting these melting potatoes at high heat ensures they get crunchy on the outside. Then, adding a little broth at the end allows the potatoes to absorb the liquid, making the insides extra moist.
Loaded Cauliflower Casserole
You'll never want to eat roasted cauliflower any other way once you try this tasty recipe. Bacon, sour cream and sharp Cheddar cheese coat good-for-you cauliflower in deliciousness for an easy side that will make everyone actually want to eat their vegetables.
Roasted Honeynut Squash
Honeynut squash looks just like mini butternut squash, but on the inside you'll find an even sweeter, deeper orange flesh. This winter squash has only been available at farmers' markets and in select grocery stores for a few years. If you see it, grab a few to try! This simple roasting method enhances the natural flavor of the squash with butter and spices.
This velvety cabbage side dish melts in your mouth and picks up the flavors of caraway, cumin and garlic as it simmers in broth in the oven. Serve it alongside roasted pork or chicken.
Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
In this easy vegetable side dish recipe, sweet potatoes are tossed with maple syrup, butter and lemon juice and are roasted until tender and golden brown. The delicious glaze that forms on these maple-roasted sweet potatoes transform this ultra-simple dish into something sublime.
The lightened-up luscious sauce elevates this easy casserole recipe over standard broccoli and cheese side dishes.
Zucchini & Mushroom Sauté
Serve this simple side dish with grilled turkey burgers. Other fresh herbs, like thyme or oregano, work well too.
Blanching the asparagus before assembling this casserole helps to maintain its vibrant green color. Feel free to skip that step if you're crunched for time, but the vegetables will be more army green.
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto
Making risotto has never been easier, thanks to an electric pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot. In this easy recipe, you don't have to stand over the stove constantly stirring. Just add everything into the multicooker and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes and this delicious dinner side dish is ready.
Purple Power Slaw with Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette
Combining a trio of purple vegetables--cabbage, carrots and daikon--makes for a stunning slaw recipe. It would be equally delicious tossed with a classic creamy dressing.
Smothered Cabbage with Ham
Use up your leftover ham in this comforting one-pot dish made with cabbage and potatoes. The simple flavors get brightened at the end with a splash of cider vinegar. Serve alongside roast chicken or pork.
Cheesy Vegetable Bake
This Cheesy Vegetable Bake casserole has 7 grams of protein and only 4 grams of fat per serving, making it an ideal side dish for any dinner. Using reduced-fat cheeses lowers the fat content of this recipe but does not compromise flavor.
Broccoli & Cauliflower Casserole
This cheesy, creamy broccoli and cauliflower casserole carries the perfect amount of sauce to enhance the flavors of the veggies without covering them up. A crunchy, buttery topping adds texture to this easy casserole that will be loved by children and adults alike.
Crispy Smashed Beets with Goat Cheese
Cooked beets are lightly pressed and pan-fried for a charred, crispy outer crust--similar to that of smashed potatoes. The herbed goat cheese dip makes this healthy appetizer or easy side dish even more delicious.
Cheesy Pull-Apart Cauliflower with Pesto
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.
Onions lose their bite and melt in your mouth when they're sliced and roasted with butter and fresh herbs and then tenderized further by braising in broth. Serve alongside roasted chicken or cook them in vegetable broth for an easy, elegant vegetarian side dish.
Balsamic-Roasted Mushrooms with Parmesan
These super-flavorful mushrooms get a hint of sweetness thanks to a splash of balsamic vinegar. Parmesan cheese added at the end lends a savory note. Enjoy them as an accompaniment to steak or on their own as a side dish.
Balsamic Roasted Cabbage
These roasted cabbage wedges with honey and balsamic vinegar make an attractive and healthy side dish that's also very easy to prepare. You can use red or green cabbage--or make a double batch with one of each for a pretty presentation.
Melting Sweet Potatoes with Maple Butter
As the name implies, these sweet potatoes melt right in your mouth. After browning in a hot oven, thick slices of sweet potato simmer in broth and soak up the flavors of maple syrup and lemon. This simple dish is great alongside roasted chicken or pork and makes a great Thanksgiving side dish.