Healthy Summer Side Dish Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Japanese Cucumber Salad

Rating: 4.4 stars 6
This Japanese-inspired cool, crisp salad is as elegant and well balanced as it is simple.

Steamed Fresh Green Beans

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.

Quick Cucumber Kimchi

Rating: 4.18 stars 7
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.

Chilaquiles Casserole

Rating: 4.78 stars 74
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.

Loaded Sweet Potato Nacho Fries

Rating: 4.5 stars 4
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 Brown Rice

Rating: 4 stars 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.

Little Gem Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese & Herb Dressing

Rating: 5 stars 1
Little Gem lettuce is like a cross between romaine and butterhead. It's perfect for making an updated take on the wedge salad in this healthy recipe. If you can't find Little Gem, use half a romaine heart for each serving. You can order Point Reyes Original blue cheese online from pointreyescheese.com or substitute another raw-milk blue cheese.

Zucchini & Mushroom Sauté

Rating: 4.67 stars 4
Serve this simple side dish with grilled turkey burgers. Other fresh herbs, like thyme or oregano, work well too.

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.

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.

Broccoli with Balsamic Mushrooms

Rating: 5 stars 2
Just a touch of butter adds silkiness to the balsamic sauce that coats broccoli and meaty mushrooms in this easy broccoli side dish recipe.
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Inspiration and Ideas

27 Side Dishes You'll Want to Make All Summer Long
From refreshing salads to mouth-watering grilled veggies, these side dishes are the perfect summertime companion to any meal.
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.
Microwaved Fresh Green Beans

Steaming green beans in the microwave is quick and convenient, helping you to get dinner on the table in minutes. This basic recipe is a great starting point for the seasoning of your choice--a little butter, toasted nuts or a creamy sauce.