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

Cucumber, Tomato & Feta Salad with Balsamic Dressing

This Greek-inspired tomato salad is packed with fresh veggies and flavor boosting ingredients, like balsamic vinegar, kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese. This delicious salad takes just 15 minutes to make and while you could eat it right away, it tastes even better the longer it sits, so plan to leave at least an hour of marinating time before serving.
By Andrea Mathis, M.A., RDN, LD

Japanese Cucumber Salad

Rating: 4.4 stars
5
This Japanese-inspired cool, crisp salad is as elegant and well balanced as it is simple.

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

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.

Green Salad with Edamame & Beets

Rating: 3.33 stars
4
This big salad is a feast for the eyes and an everyday way to incorporate nutrient-rich beets and plant-based protein from edamame (green soybeans). If you're not a fan of cilantro, mix in freshly chopped basil or dill instead.

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.

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.

Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad

Rating: 5 stars
1
In this easy cherry tomato salad, the fresh herbs and bright dressing highlight the natural sweetness of the summery tomatoes. Elevate the look of this easy salad by using multicolored tomatoes if you can find them.

Basic Tomato & Balsamic Salad

It doesn't take much to create a delicious tomato salad. Here we pair juicy grape tomatoes with sliced onion, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar for a flavorful side dish. Once you've mastered this basic tomato salad recipe, you can try adding in extra ingredients to amp up the flavor even more. Think olives, feta cheese, beans or other herbs. While you can certainly eat this tasty salad right away, the flavor gets even more delicious if you let this it sit in the fridge overnight.
By Andrea Mathis, M.A., RDN, LD

Vidalia Onion & Cucumber Salad

Rating: 5 stars
3
For this old-fashioned Southern cucumber and onion salad, thin slices of cucumber and onion marinate just long enough to develop a touch of tanginess without any sharp bite. Serve with sweet dishes like barbecue to lend a refreshing balance.

Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Rating: 5 stars
2
In this watermelon and goat cheese salad, the contrasting flavors and textures of crisp, sweet melon and creamy, tangy goat cheese are magical partners. Top with sliced grilled chicken to make it a meal.

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.
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Inspiration and Ideas

23 No-Cook Side Dishes for Summer

As the weather heats up, turn to one of these no-cook side dishes to stay cool.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Rating: Unrated
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.

Cucumber & Tomato Salad with Preserved Lemon

In this cucumber and tomato salad recipe, preserved lemon adds a tangy, salty bite. Serve this healthy salad as an accompaniment to dishes like grilled lamb or chicken or as a side on a bed of finely julienned purple kale, lightly dressed with more olive oil and lemon juice. Look for preserved lemons at specialty-foods stores. Or, to make your own, see our Preserved Lemons recipe.