13 New Veggie Side Dishes in Three Steps or Less

Garlic-Butter Cabbage Wedges on a sheet pan
Photo: Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food stylist: Annie Probst

Need some fresh recipe inspiration? Try one of these new veggie sides, from cauliflower salads to sheet-pan roasted vegetables. Not only are these recipes delicious, they are easy to make, coming together in just three steps or less. Recipes like our Cucumber & Celery Salad and Roasted Garlic Butter Cabbage Wedges are great sides that can be paired with any main dish.

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Loaded Cauliflower Salad

a recipe photo of the Loaded Cauliflower Salad
Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food stylist: Annie Probst

This loaded cauliflower recipe has all the fixings—Cheddar cheese, red onion and bacon along with chopped cauliflower, all held together with a tangy, creamy dressing. The cauliflower holds its color and crispness well, making this salad perfect for a picnic, potluck or barbecue.

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Cucumber & Celery Salad

a recipe photo of the Cucumber and Celery Salad
Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Margret Monroe Dickey, Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

This cucumber and celery salad is crunchy and fresh and strikes the perfect balance between salty and sweet. Gochugaru, a coarse Korean chili powder, brings mild heat to the dish. Gently smashing the cucumbers helps to evenly distribute the flavor. This is the perfect salad to eat with rice and tofu or grilled fish or shrimp.

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Roasted Garlic-Butter Cabbage Wedges

Garlic-Butter Cabbage Wedges on a sheet pan
Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food stylist: Annie Probst

Garlic butter seeps into the folds of tender-crisp green cabbage wedges for a savory side that pairs well with everything from seafood to steak. Drizzle on an extra splash of vinegar after roasting if you prefer a little more tang.

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Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables on a sheet pan
Cooking Light

A mix of colorful root vegetables may be your star side. Peeled, pre-chopped butternut squash saves time, but pieces tend to be irregular and small—we prefer peeling and cubing it yourself.

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Potato & Leek Gratin

a dish of Potato & Leek Gratin

A mandoline will slice the potatoes quickly and to the exact same thickness, though a sharp knife will also work. Instead of burying the potatoes and leeks in cream, a drizzle of milk is added to every layer of the gratin; the potatoes get wonderfully crisp and tender, and the cheeses form a melty, golden crust. The result is a rich, rustic potato side with contrasting flavors and textures—a bit of crunch to round out the stuffing, sauces, and mashes on the plate. Reheat leftovers in the oven until crisped and warmed through, and then serve with eggs and a side of fruit for breakfast.

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Easy Baked Spaghetti Squash

Easy Baked Spaghetti Squash in baking dish
Colin Price

Recipes for baked spaghetti squash are often overly complicated, but our version has just two ingredients: squash and water.

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Butter Lettuce Salad

a recipe photo of the Butter Lettuce Salad served on a plate
Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Margaret Monroe Dickey, Prop Stylist: Shell Royster

This light and fresh butter lettuce salad pairs a citrusy-sweet dressing with tender butter lettuce, whose mild flavor complements the fresh herbs in the dressing as well as the other flavors without overpowering them.

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Air Fryer Cilantro-Lime Corn on the Cob

Mexican-Style Corn on the Cob on white serving plate
Karen Rankin

Your air fryer can turn out a fantastic batch of corn on the cob. A quick turn halfway through cooking yields crispy, juicy corn that soaks up the tasty garlic-lime butter like a champ. Pick out small ears, or trim them slightly so that they fit into the air fryer basket. If you have any leftovers, cut the kernels off the cob and stir into a dip or sprinkle over a salad.

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Crispy Air-Fried Sweet Potato Wedges

Crispy Air Fried Sweet Potato Wedges on a plate
Adam Hickman

Side dish or snack? We say both! If you think sweet potatoes are just for Thanksgiving, give these spicy wedges a try. The smoky spice blend is easy to whip up ahead of time, but the potatoes are best eaten while hot. Though it's tempting to crowd the air-fryer basket and cook everything in one batch, resist the urge—air flow is crucial for maximum crispiness. Not a fan of cilantro? Try basil, parsley or fresh thyme leaves.

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Crunchy Cucumber Salad with Creamy Burrata


Say hello to your new go-to summer salad! Paired with sweet melon and peppery arugula, this cucumber salad is gorgeously green. The burrata scattered over the top adds creamy texture. Serve it alongside anything from the grill—chicken or salmon would be particularly nice with it, or enjoy it on its own as a light meal with crusty bread.

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Caprese Salad with Basil & Tarragon Chimichurri

a recipe photo of the Caprese Salad with Basil & Tarragon Chimichurri served on a plate
Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Margret Monroe Dickey, Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

This is a caprese salad like you've never had before! Chimichurri with lime zest and juice, capers, serrano and tarragon adds new flavors to the classic ingredients of ripe tomatoes, basil and creamy mozzarella. Ripe green tomatoes offer a striking green hue, but any fresh ripe tomato will work well.

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Southern Green Beans & Potatoes

Southern Green Beans And Potatoes in a white serving dish
Jennifer Causey

If you're looking for green bean recipes, there's a good chance you'll stumble on a Southern interpretation of this soulful side. Our version uses fresh green beans and potatoes, but we have a fun trick—we peel a thin strip around the middle of each potato before cooking for textural contrast and pretty presentation.

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Blistered Shishito Peppers

a recipe photo of the Blistered Shishito Peppers
Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

These toasty blistered shishito peppers are nutty and bright thanks to a combination of sesame oil and lime juice. The creamy dipping sauce tames any heat that may creep into these usually mild peppers. This is the perfect healthy appetizer for a small get-together.

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