Healthy, Quick & Easy Side Dish Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Grilled Zucchini with Parmesan

Rating: 5 stars 1
Grilled zucchini is one of the great food joys of summer. In this easy recipe, the crunchy, bright breadcrumbs offset the sweet, soft zucchini in the most delightful way. Serve this healthy side with grilled chicken, fish or shrimp or as part of a vegetarian summer meal. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled if you have a bumper crop of zucchini.

Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad

Rating: 5 stars 6
Here's a healthy salad recipe to make at the height of summer when watermelon and cucumbers are at their juiciest and most flavorful. Feta adds the perfect creamy, salty, tangy edge, and mint makes this salad taste even brighter. This is one easy side salad you'll want to serve at all your summer BBQs.

Zucchini & Mushroom Sauté

Rating: 4.5 stars 5
Serve this simple side dish with grilled turkey burgers. Other fresh herbs, like thyme or oregano, work well too.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Steamed Fresh Green Beans

Rating: 5 stars 1
Steaming (but not for too long!) is a foolproof way to get perfect, crisp-tender green beans, every time. This easy recipe is a great starting point for other flavors or preparations, like adding cooked green beans to a salad.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.

Stuffed Potatoes with Salsa & Beans

Rating: 4.5 stars 3
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.
By Devon O'Brien

Balsamic-Parmesan Sautéed Spinach

Rating: 5 stars 1
Tender spinach with a hint of garlic, Parmesan cheese and sweet balsamic vinegar makes a quick and flavorful side dish. The sturdy leaves of mature spinach hold up best during cooking.
By Carolyn Casner

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.

Cucumber-Yogurt Salad

Rating: 5 stars 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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
By Katie Webster

Simple Sautéed Spinach

Rating: 5 stars 10
Sautéed spinach (or any greens) with garlic and a squeeze of lemon (or vinegar) is a simple formula that lets spinach shine and will never go out of favor.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Easy Steamed Zucchini

Rating: 3 stars 2
This foolproof way to cook zucchini is also the easiest and fastest. Just steam it on the stovetop for a few minutes and you have a healthy vegetable side dish to add to dinner. Toss with a little pesto for extra flavor.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen
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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.
Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
Rating: 4 stars 14

A sprinkle of Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil transform tomatoes into the perfect side dish. Or try sandwiching them between slices of your favorite whole-wheat country bread.