31 High-Fiber Side Dishes That Can Help You Lose Weight

Bulgur & Butter Bean Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette
Photo: Eva Kolenko

Serve up any one of these delicious dishes alongside your favorite main for a meal that will help you meet your nutrition goals. Each of these dishes is high in fiber and low in calories, so you can eat light and stay satisfied. Whether you need a crunchy salad to pair with your panini or a batch of Brussels sprouts to serve up with steak, there is a side dish on this list for every occasion. Recipes like our Crispy Smashed Beets with Goat Cheese and Bulgur & Butter Bean Salad are tasty ways to eat well.

01 of 31

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Vermouth

Brussels Sprouts with Vermouth & Bacon
Greg DuPree

Here we take advantage of the leftover bacon drippings in the pan to cook the sprouts, infusing them with savory flavor. Plus, cooking Brussels on the stovetop gives you perfect crisp-tender texture.

02 of 31

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.

03 of 31

Crispy Smashed Beets with Goat Cheese

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.

04 of 31

Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts


These super-crispy and browned air-fryer Brussels sprouts with sweet onions and salty bacon--all amped up with bright lemon juice--are sure to be a hit, whether you serve them for a weeknight side dish or as part of your holiday spread for Thanksgiving. This recipe makes enough to serve eight but is easily halved, though once you taste it you may well want a double serving. And if you prefer a vegetarian side, simply omit the bacon.

05 of 31

Bulgur & Butter Bean Salad

Bulgur & Butter Bean Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette
Eva Kolenko

The pleasantly sweet-and-sour pomegranate molasses in the tangy vinaigrette here is made by reducing pomegranate juice into a syrup. Look for it at well-stocked grocery stores and Middle Eastern markets.

06 of 31

Olive Oil-Poached Carrots & Shallots

Olive Oil-Poached Carrots & Shallots
Eric Wolfinger

Just like slow-poaching fish in olive oil, Colorado chef-farmer Eric Skokan has found that cooking hearty vegetables the same way is a winner. Not only is the resulting flavor fresh and pure, it gives the veggies a silky texture. Strain the oil (refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month) and use it as a base for a richly flavored vinaigrette or for basting fish or chicken.

07 of 31

Green Beans with Pine Nuts & Gremolata

Green Beans with Gremolata & Pine Nuts
Victor Protasio

A simple combo of fresh parsley, garlic and lemon zest adds bright flavor to green beans for an easy, make-ahead side. Make even quicker work of the gremolata in Step 2 by pulsing the ingredients in a food processor instead of chopping by hand.

08 of 31

Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Salad with Caramelized Lemon Dressing

Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Salad with Caramelized Lemon Dressing
Matthew Benson

When tomatoes and eggplant come into season, the team at Stone Acres Farm in Stonington, Connecticut, combines them in as many ways as possible. This salad is a celebration of these two vegetables. Caramelizing the lemon halves and squeezing their juice into the vinaigrette adds a level of depth you just wouldn't get from straight-up lemon juice. Serve with grilled bread so you can enjoy every bit of the delicious dressing. Read more about Stone Acres Farm here.

09 of 31

Spice-Crusted Roasted Potatoes

Spice-Crusted Roasted Potatoes
Ryan Liebe

Inspired by Lebanese batata harra, these potatoes are coated in lots of spices before they're roasted.

10 of 31

Balsamic Broccoli & Cauliflower

Balsamic Broccoli & Cauliflower
Ted & Chelsea Cavanaugh

Reaching for a frozen broccoli & cauliflower blend to make this flavor-packed side dish helps save time on chopping, plus the frozen veggies cook quicker than fresh!

11 of 31

Quinoa with Peas & Lemon

Quinoa with Peas & Lemon
Ted & Chelsea Cavanaugh

Green peas add a pop of color to this bright whole-grain side dish. Plus, choosing frozen saves you time—no shelling required! Want to save even more time? Use a pouch of precooked quinoa.

12 of 31

Curried Mashed Butternut Squash

Curried Mashed Butternut Squash
Ted & Chelsea Cavanaugh

Using frozen cubed butternut squash helps this side dish come together in a flash—no peeling, roasting or steaming required!

13 of 31

Crispy Salt & Vinegar Potatoes

Crispy Salt & Vinegar Potatoes
Ryan Liebe

This simple side riffs on the traditional pub combination of fries and malt vinegar. They are roasted to perfection, which gives a delicious crispy exterior.

14 of 31

Roasted Cabbage with Horseradish Cream

Roasted Cabbage with Horseradish Cream
Jacob Fox

Our roasted cabbage wedges have a beautiful char on the outside while the insides get slightly tender.

15 of 31

Shaved Root Vegetable Salad with Pistachios

Shaved Root Vegetable Salad with Pistachios
Jacob Fox

This centerpiece-worthy salad calls for buying up the most colorful roots in the produce section. We like using a rainbow of beets and carrots for the most stunning presentation.

16 of 31

Sour Apple Slaw

Sour Apple Slaw

Michael Twitty, a food writer and culinary historian, celebrates Hanukkah's miracle of oil by making fried chicken and latkes. He serves up this sweet and tangy slaw alongside.

17 of 31

Braised Winter Greens with Crispy Mushrooms

Braised Winter Greens with Crispy Mushrooms

Braised greens are one of the easiest and most nutritious side dishes ever. And when you top them with crispy fried mushrooms, they're downright irresistible. Salting the mushrooms helps pull out their water, so they'll fry up crispy. When it's time to get dinner on the table, give them a quick reheat and they're good as new.

18 of 31

Creamed Cabbage & Sauerkraut with Rye Breadcrumbs

Creamed Cabbage & Sauerkraut with Rye Breadcrumbs

Hot Hungarian paprika gives this casserole subtle heat but you could use sweet instead. Adding sauerkraut to the mix adds bites of salty tangy flavor throughout. Try leftovers layered with turkey, Swiss and Russian dressing on a panini for a Reuben-inspired sandwich.

19 of 31

Green Beans with Pistachios & Orange

Green Beans with Pistachios & Orange

Pistachios are a relatively recent addition to commercial agriculture in New Mexico, where abundant sunshine makes them easy to grow. New Mexican chef and five-time James Beard Award semifinalist Jonathan Perno showcases them in an otherwise straightforward green bean dish. The nuts and roasted beans create a toasty flavor that blends beautifully with the chile-infused turkey and potatoes.

20 of 31

Horseradish-Cheddar Mashed Cauliflower


This mashed cauliflower recipe with butter and sour cream mimics the taste and texture of mashed potatoes. The swap saves you 40 grams of Carbohydrates and 100 calories per cup, plus it quadruples the vitamin C, giving you 82% of your Daily Value of the immune-boosting nutrient.

21 of 31

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes


Slowly cooking summer-ripe tomatoes in a low oven makes them candy-sweet. Turn to this recipe to preserve the summer bounty from your garden or farmers' market; it freezes well for up to 6 months. Tuck these tasty bites into sandwiches; stir them into risotto; or chop them and mix with Kalamata olives, olive oil and fresh herbs to scoop up with pita chips.

22 of 31

Stewed Lima Beans


This lima bean recipe is the creation of Mable Clarke, a South Carolina cook and activist. This side dish is on the menu for Clarke's monthly fish fry that she started to save the Soapstone Baptist Church. No need for ham hocks with this recipe--her onion-rich roast turkey stock gives these humble beans a rich, savory flavor, but store-bought will also do the trick. A long, slow simmer coaxes the creaminess out of the limas.

23 of 31

Collard Greens with Ham Bone or Ham Hocks


Mable Clarke, a South Carolina cook and activist, serves this collard greens recipe at monthly fish fries to support the Soapstone Baptist Church in the community where she grew up. There, farmers' markets overflow with big, leafy collards that are typically simmered with ham stock to make up this traditional Southern side dish. Clarke uses premade ham stock but it can be hard to find. We adapted the recipe with chicken broth and a ham bone or hock. As the bone simmers it adds flavor to the broth and yields enough meat to serve with the collards.

24 of 31

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Parmesan & Marcona Almonds


Chef Fabio Viviani, of Siena Tavern in Chicago, shines a bright light on Brussels sprouts with this side dish. In this Brussels sprouts salad recipe, the sharpness of the sprouts gets tamed with honey, toasted almonds and shaved Parmesan cheese. It comes together in about 20 minutes--you can thinly slice the Brussels sprouts with a knife or mandoline, but it's overkill for weeknights. A food processor with a slicing blade will give you pro results. Or grab a bag of shredded Brussels sprouts from your supermarket.

25 of 31

Grilled Broccoli with Smoky Yogurt Sauce


Blanching broccoli florets before charring ensures the broccoli's tender all the way through, helping it crisp up quickly in a very hot pan. Firing up the grill? Cook the blanched broccoli in a grill basket over medium-high heat instead.

26 of 31

Tajín Waffle Fries with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dipping Sauce


The Mexican seasoning Tajín, with its mild spiciness and tangy undertones, pairs beautifully with sweet potatoes. Waffle-shaped fries are the perfect vessel for capturing the flavor. A creamy dipping sauce completes the experience.

27 of 31

Vietnamese-Style Coconutty Brussels Sprouts


In this easy Brussels sprouts recipe, the sprouts get a double hit of coconutty flavor from coconut oil and coconut water, and a salty, umami kick from fish sauce. The coconut water is a tropical nod to the southern Vietnamese practice of cooking with coconut water, which is often used in braises and dipping sauces. Don't have a pan large enough to cook the sprouts in one batch? Cook them in two batches in a medium (10-inch) skillet. No coconut oil in your pantry? Substitute unsalted European-style butter or vegetable oil. Serve these simple but flavorful Brussels sprouts as a side to any protein for weeknight dinners or special meals--they'd be a great addition to your Thanksgiving dinner.

28 of 31

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 Thanksgiving side dish or partner for any other 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.

29 of 31

Broiled Fennel with Parmesan Cheese


The nutty saltiness of Parmesan cheese is an excellent match for the sweet, delicate licorice flavor of fennel in this quick and easy side dish recipe.

30 of 31

Sautéed Broccoli with Peanut Sauce


Peanut butter, balanced with a little soy sauce and vinegar, makes a delicious and kid-friendly sauce for broccoli and other vegetables. Giving the broccoli a head start by steaming it before sautéing it with the other vegetables ensures that all the vegetables are nicely cooked at the same time.

31 of 31

Roasted Koginut Squash


This unique squash hybrid is smooth and silky like kabocha squash with the rich, sweet flavor of a butternut. Use it as a base for a grain bowl or slice into wedges and serve with a creamy yogurt sauce.

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