Healthy, Quick & Easy Side Dish Recipes

Find healthy, quick and easy side dish recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Crispy Smashed Cauliflower with Pesto

Cauliflower gets steamed before it gets flattened and flavored with a dollop of pesto. A quick trip under the broiler gives it a satisfying, crispy exterior.
By Carolyn Casner

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

Rating: 4.75 stars
16
You'll never want to eat roasted cauliflower any other way once you try this tasty recipe. Bacon, sour cream and sharp Cheddar cheese coat good-for-you cauliflower in deliciousness for an easy side that will make everyone actually want to eat their vegetables.

Roasted Chicken Thighs, Potatoes & Scallions with Herb Vinaigrette

Rating: 5 stars
1
Roasting chicken thighs directly on top of the vegetables bastes the scallions and potatoes with delicious drippings in this healthy dinner recipe. Serve with steamed broccoli, sautéed spinach or a mixed green salad.

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.

Japanese Cucumber Salad

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

Zucchini & Mushroom Saute

Rating: 4.67 stars
3
Serve this simple side dish with grilled turkey burgers. Other fresh herbs, like thyme or oregano, work well too.

Spiralized Zucchini & Summer Squash Casserole

Rating: 4.86 stars
5
If you don't have a spiralizer to make this healthy zucchini noodle casserole (aka zoodles), use a vegetable peeler to make long thin strips of the squash and zucchini, stopping when you reach the seedy center. Just a few minutes under the broiler gives these ricotta-and-basil-filled nests a light golden top.

Asparagus Casserole

Rating: 5 stars
1
Blanching the asparagus before assembling this casserole helps to maintain its vibrant green color. Feel free to skip that step if you’re crunched for time, but the vegetables will be more army green.

Bacon and Avocado Topped Baked Potato

A baked russet potato is topped with crumbled bacon, diced avocado, salsa, and shredded Colby Jack cheese--a meal in itself!

Air-Fryer Kale Chips

Homemade kale chips are incredibly easy to make. Thanks to the air fryer, fresh kale leaves turn extra crispy in under 15 minutes with much less fat than some store-bought options. Warning: These will go fast!

Smashed Sweet Potatoes

Southwestern spices coat slices of sweet potato that are baked, smashed and then broiled to create a light, crispy exterior. A sprinkle of flaky sea salt finishes the dish.
By Carolyn Casner

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.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Make Garlic-Parmesan Hasselback Zucchini

Thinly slicing zucchini almost to the bottom—known as the hasselback technique—provides an easy avenue to sneak in lots of flavor.

How to Make Mexican Pasta Salad

A quick homemade avocado dressing pulls together the Mexican flavors in this healthy pasta salad recipe.

Stuffed Potatoes with Salsa & Beans

Rating: 4.5 stars
2

Taco night meets baked potato night with this simple recipe for loaded baked potatoes with salsa, beans and avocado. This easy, healthy family dinner comes together with just 10 minutes of active time, so you can make it on even the busiest of weeknights. This recipe is just as delicious with sweet potatoes in place of russets.