16 3-Ingredient Side Dishes That Are Simply Delicious

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Complete your dinner with one of these easy side dish recipes. Using just three ingredients, not counting basics like salt, pepper and oil, these sides are tasty and healthy options to add extra flavor to the table. Recipes like our Maple Roasted Carrots and Air-Fryer Corn on the Cob will add more color to your plate.

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Roasted Fingerling Potatoes


Oven-roasted fingerling potatoes can be a special holiday side dish, but they're quick enough to enjoy on a weeknight too. The secret to these crispy roasted fingerling potatoes? Getting the baking sheet nice and hot before you spread the potatoes on it.

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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.

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Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes in a pot on a white tablecloth

These mashed potatoes can be served right away or made up to two days in advance, making your Thanksgiving or any other meal as easy as can be!

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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.

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Grilled Asparagus


Grilling is a simple and fast way to cook asparagus that yields a delicious result every time. Trimming off about one inch of the asparagus yields the best flavor--the ends are tough and hard to chew.

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Cauliflower Rice


When cauliflower is pulsed in a food processor, it magically turns into a vegetable that really resembles white rice. In this easy recipe, cauliflower rice is made into an herbed pilaf.

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Air-Fryer Corn on the Cob

air fryer corn on the cob
Jacob Fox

Air-fryer corn on the cob is a simple way to cook sweet corn with little mess. We like it smothered in butter, salt and pepper, but any spice blend will work well.

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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.

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Steamed Fresh Green Beans

Steamed Fresh Green Beans
Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Margaret Monroe Dickey, Prop Stylist: Phoebe Hauser

Steaming (but not for too long!) is a foolproof way to get perfect, crisp-tender green beans, every time. This easy recipe is a great starting point for other flavors or preparations, like adding cooked green beans to a salad.

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Air-Fryer Asparagus

a platter of air-fried asparagus
Fred Hardy

Use your air fryer to crisp up tender asparagus for a simple and easy side dish. If your air fryer is large enough, you can cook the asparagus in one batch. If it's smaller, cook the asparagus in two batches, keeping the first batch warm as the second batch cooks.

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Easy Roasted Zucchini


A quick roast in the oven brings out the zucchini's delicate, earthy flavor, plus it's an easy hands-off way to cook zucchini for a fast vegetable side.

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Instant Pot Brown Rice


Ever wondered how to cook brown rice quickly and easily? Cook it in your Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker)! This Instant Pot brown rice recipe is as basic as it gets. Cooking brown rice in an Instant Pot is easy, and you get the same toothsome texture and nutty flavor you get by cooking it on your stove--without the fuss.

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Smashed Carrots

Smashed Carrots
Jason Donnelly

Smashing steamed carrots coated in curry powder then finishing them under the broiler lets the flavor set in and gives the carrots a light, crispy edge.

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Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

fire roasted tomatoes
Greg Dupree

Fire-roasted tomatoes are a nice alternative to canned tomatoes. Grilling tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness and intensifies their flavor. No grill? No problem! You can get similar results by roasting them in your oven.

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Roasted Fresh Green Beans


After a few minutes in a super-hot oven, these roasted green beans are delightfully browned but still tender. This simple sheet-pan vegetable side dish is great with grilled or roasted meats.

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Easy Grilled Zucchini


Looking for a new way to cook zucchini? Try grilling it.

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