Healthy No-Cook Side Dish Recipe

Find healthy, delicious no-cook side dish recipes. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Radish, Celery & Cucumber Salad

It’s worth using that special bottle of olive oil and seeking out Parmigiano-Reggiano, which is bolder than basic Parm, for this simple salad. Use a mandoline to shave the veggies if you have one.
By Alanna Lipson

Quick Cucumber Kimchi

Rating: 4.18 stars
6
While slowly fermented cabbage and pungent garlic are the ingredients most people associate with kimchi, there are dozens and dozens of other versions of Korea's national dish, featuring all manner of vegetables, such as these quickly pickled cucumbers with just a trace of garlic.

Summer Tomato, Onion & Cucumber Salad

Rating: 4.42 stars
6
Fresh wedges of tomato, thinly sliced onion and sliced cucumber dressed simply with vinegar and oil makes the most simple salad possible--think of it as the Southern counterpart to the classic Italian tomato-and-mozzarella salad. It is best enjoyed at the height of summer, when tomatoes and cucumbers are fresh from the garden.

Cucumber-Yogurt Salad

Rating: 5 stars
2
A refreshing accompaniment to a main course of meat or fish, this cucumber-yogurt salad also makes a tasty filling for pita bread. If the cucumbers are grated instead of chopped, this mixture can be served as a dip.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Rating: 5 stars
2
This refreshing fruit salad is a classic combination that will be the favorite at any potluck or cookout. Serve with a creamy yogurt dressing to take this side (or dessert) to the next level.

Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

Rating: 4.75 stars
7
Seek out several varieties of heirloom tomatoes for this simple salad. Sweeter and juicier than conventional tomatoes, they add the perfect pop of color.

Citrus-Arugula Salad

Rating: 5 stars
1
This easy salad recipe makes a stunning side dish for anything you've got cooking for dinner. The bright flavor of the citrus pairs perfectly with peppery arugula and avocado, plus a bit of jalapeño for a slight kick.

Salad of Avocado & Romaine with Black Olive Dressing

Rating: 5 stars
1
John Willoughby helped to launch Cooks Illustrated, was executive editor at Gourmet and has authored several cookbooks, including Big Flavors of the Hot Sun, from which this salad was adapted for a March/April 1995 EatingWell story about olives. It's one of the favorites--chosen from more than 1,000 salad recipes--that we revisited in our 30th anniversary issue.

Marinated Cucumber & Tomato Salad

This marinated salad is such a healthy way to enjoy those fresh summer veggies and can be easily customized. Try adding in some fresh herbs or feta cheese for a little added flavor. You can also swap in seasoned pepper, which is amped up with additional seasonings, in place of the plain ground pepper for an additional flavor boost. This recipe is part of our Juneteenth Family Cookout Menu.
By Andrea Mathis, M.A., RDN, LD

Moroccan Kidney Bean & Chickpea Salad

Rating: 4 stars
4
The bold flavors of the lemon-cumin dressing in this healthy bean salad recipe make it a wonderful side dish to grilled beef and lamb, yet it's also a stellar meatless main when served with whole-wheat couscous.

Easy Pineapple Coleslaw

This easy pineapple coleslaw is a fresh take on the traditional coleslaw recipe—it contains those familiar savory flavors plus a touch of sweetness thanks to the pineapple. If you prefer a more tart-tasting slaw, feel free to add an additional tablespoon of lemon juice. This recipe is part of our Juneteenth Family Cookout Menu.
By Andrea Mathis, M.A., RDN, LD

Basic Green Salad with Vinaigrette

Rating: 3.5 stars
2
Make a larger batch of this basic vinaigrette to have on hand for salads throughout the week.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Broccoli, Chickpea & Pomegranate Salad

Rating: Unrated
2
Simple steps give this broccoli salad recipe a more nuanced flavor: soaking the onion tempers its bite and toasting the cumin enhances its aroma. Serve alongside grilled chicken, pork or fish.

Zucchini Noodle "Pasta" Salad

This healthy zucchini noodle salad has all the flavors you love in a classic Mediterranean pasta salad but we've swapped in zoodles for wheat pasta, which makes the salad lighter, lower in carbs and gluten-free. Serve it with grilled chicken or fish for a light and healthy summer dinner.

Creamy Coleslaw

Rating: 4 stars
2

Red and green cabbage and bright orange carrots make a colorful, healthful combination. For an especially nutty flavor, use Savoy instead of regular green cabbage.