Healthy, Quick & Easy Side Dish Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Rating: 3.5 stars 13
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

Balsamic-Parmesan Sautéed Spinach

Rating: 5 stars 2
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

Balsamic Oven-Roasted Carrots

Rating: 4.5 stars 4
Roasting carrots in the oven brings out their sweetness, which is enhanced further with a tangy balsamic and maple glaze. Serve them straight-up for an easy weeknight side dish or garnish with chopped hazelnuts for holiday meals and dinner parties.
By Marianne Williams

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This incredibly simple and quick recipe for roasted sweet potatoes relies on the most basic of seasonings--olive oil, salt and pepper. Ready in just 30 minutes, it's a great side dish for a family dinner on a busy weeknight but because it's so easy and delicious, it can also be doubled or tripled and served at larger gatherings.
By Diabetic Living Magazine

Steamed Butternut Squash

Rating: 5 stars 1
Butternut squash steams quickly, making this a great cooking technique to enjoy this fall vegetable as a weeknight side dish. For extra flavor, toss the steamed butternut squash with salt, pepper and a little bit of olive oil, butter or Parmesan cheese after cooking.
By Carolyn Casner

Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dressing

Rating: 5 stars 4
Pure maple syrup adds body and rich flavor to the dressing, providing a perfect counterpoint to the smoked cheese.
By Ruth Cousineau

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

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.
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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.
Katie Webster
By Katie Webster

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

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 Roasted Cabbage

Rating: 4 stars 3
These roasted cabbage wedges with honey and balsamic vinegar make an attractive and healthy side dish that's also very easy to prepare. You can use red or green cabbage--or make a double batch with one of each for a pretty presentation.
By Marianne Williams
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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.
Parmesan-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Rating: 5 stars 1

These roasted Brussels sprouts are about to be your new favorite side dish. In addition to getting brown and crispy in the oven, they're topped with Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar for a hit of salty, savory flavor. This makes a great vegetable side to serve with roasted meats.