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

Simple Cabbage Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 6
Cabbage maintains a nice crunch when it's tossed with an easy dressing in this simple cabbage salad recipe. This easy salad is perfect for fall when cabbage is at its sweetest.
Karen Rankin
By Karen Rankin

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Rating: 3.5 stars 12
These healthy peanut butter and chocolate energy balls deliver a mixture of simple and complex carbohydrates to help fuel you up whenever you need a little boost.
By Lisa Valente

Sunomono (Japanese Cucumber Salad)

Rating: 4.5 stars 6
This version of sunomono uses more readily available English or slicing cucumbers, but if you live near an Asian market you could substitute Japanese cucumbers. Some recipes call for salting the cucumbers first, but we found that squeezing them in paper towels removed enough excess moisture without adding additional sodium. This Japanese-inspired salad is cool, crisp and simply delicious.
By Jessie Price

Marinated Cucumber & Tomato Salad

Rating: 5 stars 2
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.
Andrea Mathis Headshot
By Andrea Mathis, M.A., RDN, LD

Avocado Tuna Salad

Rating: 5 stars 1
Jazz up a can of tuna with this easy avocado tuna salad recipe. Silky avocado adds creaminess that's cut with a hit of acidity from lemon and a briny punch from feta cheese. Romaine hearts and cucumber offer refreshing crunch.
Karen Rankin
By Karen Rankin

Bean Salad with Lemon-Cumin Dressing

Rating: 4 stars 6
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.
Katie Webster
By Katie Webster

Green Salad with Edamame & Beets

Rating: 3 stars 9
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.
Katie Webster
By Katie Webster

Eat-the-Rainbow Chopped Salad with Basil & Mozzarella

Rating: 5 stars 5
This fresh and colorful salad has all of the delicious flavors you love from the classic caprese salad, plus even more healthy veggies. Double this and top each portion with 3 ounces grilled or roasted chicken to take it from a simple side to a quick main dish.
By Carolyn Casner

Quick Cucumber Kimchi

Rating: 4 stars 9
This cucumber kimchi recipe gets its flavor from garlic, fish sauce and a hint of Korean chile powder. Make this side dish ahead of time to let the flavors absorb into the cucumbers.
By Jamie Purviance

Copycat Chick-fil-A Kale Salad

Rating: 5 stars 1
This copycat Chick-fil-A kale salad has a sweet and tangy dressing coating tender kale and cabbage leaves that have been gently massaged. This salad can sit for an hour or two; just be sure to toss it before serving to redistribute the dressing.
By Carolyn Casner

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Rating: 5 stars 1
This creamy cucumber salad is an easy side dish for any summer BBQ. Bright dill and white-wine vinegar add fresh tartness to cucumbers and red onions. Enjoy this salad the day you prepare it so the ingredients don't turn watery.
By Carolyn Casner

Apple-Cranberry Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese

Rating: 5 stars 3
The tangy-sweet dressing in this spinach salad beautifully amplifies the apples and cranberries--and the creamy goat cheese transforms it into the perfect salad. Tasters raved about this easy fall salad. If you can't find Pink Lady apples, any sweet, crisp apple is a worthy substitute. Want to make this salad a main meal? Top with some rotisserie chicken, chickpeas or tofu.
By Pam Lolley
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Inspiration and Ideas

20 No-Cook Side Dishes for Summer
As the weather heats up, turn to one of these no-cook side dishes to stay cool.
Cucumber-Yogurt Salad
Rating: Unrated 3
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.
Creamy Apple Salad

This creamy apple salad is crunchy, sweet and just a tad bit tart thanks to dried cranberries. Make this easy salad ahead for your next lunch, brunch or picnic.