Healthy Summer Side Dish Recipes

Find healthy, delicious summer side dish recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Herbed Tomato Gratin

Rating: 5 stars
3
Vegetable gratin recipes often have a crunchy breadcrumb or crouton topping. But summer tomatoes are too gorgeous to hide, so we tucked crusty cubes of bread underneath them instead. Plus, the bread soaks up all the juicy tomato goodness. If you can't find marjoram, fresh basil or oregano makes a good substitute.

Japanese Cucumber Salad

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

Macaroni Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Give classic pasta salad a fresher, more flavorful spin. This fast pasta dish calls for avocado to replace some of the mayonnaise, which makes it extra creamy. Whole-wheat elbow macaroni and fresh vegetables lighten up this healthy pasta salad that you'll be making all summer long.

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.

Chilaquiles Casserole

Rating: 4.78 stars
55
Our version of this enchilada-style chilaquiles casserole is packed with nutritious beans and vegetables. Canned prepared enchilada sauce has great flavor and keeps the prep time quick. It can vary in heat level so find one that suits your taste. If you want to eliminate the heat altogether, try a green enchilada sauce (which is often milder than red) or substitute two 8-ounce cans of plain tomato sauce.

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.

Summer Vegetable Tian

Rating: 4.33 stars
3
This pretty vegan layered casserole is so simple to make. Its only seasonings are salt and garlic-infused olive oil, which you make by sizzling a clove of garlic in olive oil for about a minute. This dish is lovely warm or room temperature. Serve with crusty bread as a vegetarian entree or alongside roasted meats as a side dish--don't forget a glass of chilled rosé.

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.

Balsamic Roasted Zucchini with Feta

Rating: 5 stars
2
We've got a great way to use up your garden zucchini! Zucchini softens while roasting and soaks up the flavor of balsamic vinegar. The sweet flavors are complemented by salty feta cheese sprinkled on just before serving. It's an easy summer side you'll come back to again and again.

Baked Rice with Roasted Corn, Peppers & Onions

This filling rice casserole, loosely based on paella, features seared corn, roasted peppers, garlic and red onions. If you like, include diced zucchini or chopped green beans as well. A flavorful roasted garlic mayonnaise makes a luxurious topping.

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.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Rating: 5 stars
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.
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Inspiration and Ideas


Mojito Blueberry & Watermelon Salad

Rating: 5 stars
3

Inspired by the classic mojito cocktail, this festive and healthy fruit salad gets zing from rum, lime and mint. The optional piment d'Espelette--a sweet, spicy ground pepper from the Basque region of France--adds a hint of heat that's a nice contrast to the sweet fruit. Look for this spice at specialty stores, well-stocked markets or online. You could also swap in chile-lime seasoning blend (such as Tajín) for a similar subtle kick or omit the spice altogether. Feel free to skip the rum if you prefer an alcohol-free salad. With or without the rum, this salad has summertime backyard BBQ written all over it.