Healthy Summer Side Dish Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Zucchini & Mushroom Saute

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

Japanese Cucumber Salad

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

Massaged Kale Salad

Rating: Unrated
11
Here a pungent garlicky dressing is infused into kale by massaging the greens and the dressing together with your hands. Any type of kale will work in this kale salad recipe, just remember to remove the tough stems before you start.

Chilaquiles Casserole

Rating: Unrated
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.

Easy Brown Rice

Rating: Unrated
4
Here's the only recipe you need to make perfect brown rice every time! This healthy whole grain is great on its own as a side dish, or use it in your favorite recipes calling for cooked brown rice.

Broccoli with Balsamic Mushrooms

Rating: Unrated
1
Just a touch of butter adds silkiness to the balsamic sauce that coats broccoli and meaty mushrooms in this easy broccoli side dish recipe.

Vinaigrette Coleslaw

If you prefer, make this salad with broccoli slaw mix instead of the coleslaw mix.

Quick Cucumber Kimchi

Rating: Unrated
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.

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Lemon & Cumin

Rating: Unrated
2
Don't skip salting the cucumbers in this quick cucumber salad recipe--just 10 minutes pulls out some of their excess moisture, concentrating the flavor and keeping the salad from being watered down. Serve as a healthy side dish at a summer cookout alongside burgers and hot dogs.

Loaded Sweet Potato Nacho Fries

Rating: Unrated
2
Bump up the vitamin A and fiber when you swap tortilla chips for sweet potatoes in this healthy recipe. Serve as an appetizer at your next party or turn it into dinner by adding chicken, tofu, shrimp or more beans for protein.

Easy Steamed Zucchini

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.

Sautéed Butternut Squash

Sautéeing butternut squash in olive oil quickly yields perfectly cooked results and slighly caramelizes the squash for extra flavor. This recipe makes a delicious vegetable side dish to pair with roasted meats.

Inspiration and Ideas

Best Side Dishes to Bring to Your Next Summer BBQ

Want to steal the show at your next summer cookout? Make one of EatingWell's quick and easy side dishes, including recipes for coleslaw, colorful fruit salad and sweet and spicy baked beans.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Rating: Unrated
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.

Warm Fava Bean & Escarole Salad (Scafata)

This easy and beautiful vegetable salad recipe features favas, escarole and peas and is inspired by scafata, the healthy spring salad from Umbria, Italy.