These bright and flavor-packed vegetable sides are easy to make and bring extra flavor and color to your meal.
We've listed 40 of our best vegetable sides that can help you jazz up your lunch and dinner with little extra veggies. From sauteed greens and vegetable dips to roasted, and marinated vegetables, you will surely find fresh inspiration here.
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If your oven is already busy, make an easy and quick stovetop side dish in less than 30 minutes. Whether you prefer leafy greens, mashed potatoes, or sauteed veggies, you'll find whole side dish ideas here.
1. Mashed potatoes
This mashed potato recipe is easy to make, light, and creamy, and you can adjust its consistency based on your preference. The best way to serve it is as a side dish with butter and chives, or even better, with a generous amount of our incredible mushroom gravy.
2. Sauteed eggplant
This easy sauteed eggplant recipe is cooked in a pan on the stovetop in just 20 minutes, and it's great as a last-minute dinner. You can serve it on its own as a side dish, on top of toasted bread, or use it as a delicious pasta sauce.
3. Quick sauteed zucchini
A super easy side dish! Use this sauteed zucchini recipe in pasta or risotto, in a frittata, or on pizza. Make it in just about 10 minutes and get ready for the next zucchini season.
4. Caramelized onions
Caramelized onions are great as a topping and a side dish. They are soft and melt in your mouth; they are a delicious addition to starters, soups, dips, salads, pasta, and sandwiches.
5. Pan-fried asparagus
Lemon sautéed asparagus is the tastiest and best way to cook asparagus on the stove. The asparagus turns out tender-crisp in just 10 minutes, and you can use this spring side dish in salads, frittata, and with other stir-fried vegetables.
6. Steamed artichokes
These steamed artichokes are very easy to make but absolutely delicious, soft, and buttery. You'll be able to fully taste the artichoke flavor, and you can jazz them up them with chimichurri, and homemade vegan mayonnaise.
7. Sauteed mushrooms
Here's how to make perfect sauteed mushrooms on the stovetop, with a few simple ingredients, in about 15 minutes. They are not only a delicious side dish on their own; they are also an excellent addition and base ingredient to pasta, salads, and grain bowls.
8. Cauliflower mashed potatoes
Cauliflower mashed potato is now our favorite mashed potato alternative because it's easy to make, tasty, light, and fluffy. You can expect a familiar, comforting flavor, similar to classic mashed potatoes, but with cheesy notes and a mild cauliflower taste.
9. Steamed asparagus
Asparagus is one of our favorite vegetables to steam, its flavor blossoms and they get tender and juicy. You can serve steamed asparagus with a pinch of salt, a twist of ground black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
10. Mashed sweet potatoes
Take your pick from 2 variations of mashed sweet potatoes: sweet or savory. Sweet potatoes are a great autumn and winter side dish and pair well with other veggies, stews, mushroom gravy, and vegetarian meatballs.
Oven-roasted side dishes
These oven-roasted side dishes are perfect with any meal, require little preparation, and can go right into the oven while you prep your main dish. These roasted sides are vegetarian and vegan-friendly and made with whole-food ingredients - great for family dinners and as putlock meals.
11. Easy roasted mushrooms
Oven-roasted mushrooms are a quick and easy side dish you can make with a few staple ingredients and most mushroom varieties. All you need to make them tasty and meaty is salt, garlic, and olive oil at a high oven temperature.
12. Roasted sweet potatoes
Easy and nutritious, these roasted sweet potatoes are the perfect side dish for an everyday dinner. And since they are easy to top with dressing and roasted nuts, they are also ideal for a special dinner, holidays and celebrations
13. Garlic-roasted broccoli
Oven-roasted broccoli is so tasty you won't believe it's actual broccoli. Crunchy, lemony, slightly spicy, and with the perfect twist of garlic, they are perfect as a pre-dinner appetizer, snack, or side dish.
14. Sweet potato wedges
Roasted sweet potato wedges are a quick and easy recipe that takes no time to prepare and only 30 minutes of roasting. You can peel the sweet potatoes or make these wholesome skin-on sweet potato wedges, they make a rustic and wholesome side dish.
15. Roasted eggplant
Roasted eggplant is an easy, delicious side that complements a variety of main dishes. You can easily use it to make other recipes, such as salads, caponata, and curries, and serve as a healthy side dish with a drizzle of salsa verde on top.
16. Roasted potatoes
These tender and buttery roasted potatoes are perfect as an appetizer or side dish; we eat these a lot as a healthier alternative to french fries. You can serve them as they are or with a dip like homemade mayonnaise, chipotle sauce, and avocado spread.
17. Roasted artichokes
Roasted artichokes are crunchy on the outside, and tender on the inside. The recipe is easy, and the artichoke gets incredibly flavourful this way. We love to cook them together with potatoes for a wholesome and winter-friendly side dish.
18. Italian baked zucchini
Tender, aromatic, and delicious, this roasted zucchini recipe is one dish that is easy to prepare and goes well with any meal. The breadcrumb topping gives a lot of flavor to the zucchini and it gets all golden, crisp, and crunchy as the breadcrumbs gratin in the oven.
19. Roasted cauliflower salad
This creamy roasted cauliflower salad is nutty, tender, and with a creamy and tangy tahini dressing. Paired with roasted chickpeas and fresh tomatoes, this salad is a great autumn side dish for any meal.
20. Roasted and marinated bell pepper
Oven-roasting peppers is a simple, clean, and healthy way to make smokey and juicy roasted peppers. Drizzle with an Italian marinade and garnish with fresh herbs for a tender, aromatic and flavor-packed side dish.
21. Tomato confit
Tomato confit is the easiest, meltiest, most delicious tomato recipe. Soft, juicy, packed with oregano and garlic aroma. Tomatoes made this way can elevate any kind of meal; as a juicy side dish, a starter served with toasted bread, or as a topping to a bowl of pasta.
22. Roasted broccoli and cauliflower
A quick and healthy way to prep veggies is by roasting them! Roasted broccoli and cauliflower is a great side dish you can make with almost no effort and a few ingredients for weeknight dinner or the holidays.
23. Smashed potatoes
These smashed potatoes are the perfect finger food, similar to nachos, and you can even top them with cheese or dairy-free cheese if you like. This recipe is excellent for so many occasions; weeknight dinner or Sunday dinner, you can serve them as a side dish and as a substitute for roasted potatoes.
24. Roasted carrots
Roasted carrots are a lovely side dish, perfect for many occasions, from a simple weeknight dinner to a special celebratory meal. These carrots are tender, slightly caramelized, tasty, and can be drizzled with chimichurri, green goddess dressing, or chili oil.
15-minute vegetable sides
These weekday-friendly vegetable sides are quick and easy to make. They require little or no cooking and will elevate any meal with just 15 minutes of preparation.
25. Red cabbage slaw
This red cabbage slaw is perfect for any special occasion - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even new years eve. The recipe is easy: crunchy red cabbage as a base, shredded carrots to add sweetness, sliced green apples to add sour notes, and chopped walnuts to add a nutty and earthy flavor.
26. Microwave sweet potato
Microwave sweet potato is a quick, healthy, and delicious side dish. Eat it as is, as a vibrant vegetable side, or load it with one of our toppings to turn it into a tasty and healthy main dish.
27. Cauliflower rice
This cauliflower rice recipe is cauliflower grated with a box grater or processed in a food processor, then lightly cooked on the stove and served as if it were regular rice. Eat it as a low-carb side dish when you feel like a little extra green next to curries, stews, and stir-fry meals.
28. Shaved Brussels sprout salad
This Brussels sprouts salad is a crispy side dish for the fall and winter seasons when Brussels sprouts are in season. It's a beautiful and different dish for a quick lunch or everyday dinner, and it's also perfect for a special holiday meal, from Thanksgiving through Christmas and new years eve.
29. Green beans salad
Green bean salad is easily upgraded with fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, slivered almonds, and a creamy mustard dressing. In just about 15 minutes, you've got a delicious and super tasty side dish everyone will love.
30. Air fryer asparagus
You can air fry most vegetables, but air fryer asparagus is one of our favorite air fryer recipes. They are similar to oven-baked asparagus, except that they are faster to "roast," crispier on the outside, and juicer on the inside, thanks to the quick cooking time.
31. Easy air fryer green beans
Air fryer green beans are crunchy on the outside and tender juicy on the inside. They cook in just 15 minutes with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and you can serve them with a garnish of fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice.
32. Panzanella bread salad
A quick and practical side dish idea: Italian bread salad. The flavorful soft stale bread, combined with crisp cucumber, meaty tomatoes, tangy red onion, and fruity extra virgin olive oil, creates a palette of textures and flavors that are irresistible. And all that with very basic, everyday ingredients.
33. Zucchini salad
This raw zucchini salad will exceed your expectations because it's delicious, refreshing, and easy to make. We use a vegetable peeler to slice the zucchini thinly. It's an easy technique and a super easy side dish that takes just 5 minutes to prepare.
34. Easy side salad
Here's our house salad; a classic and authentic Italian recipe you'll find in most restaurants and homes in Italy served as a side salad. It's the queen of side dishes! Make it with leafy greens, tomatoes, and carrots to make it colorful and crunchy, and dress it in extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, and salt.
Family-friendly vegetable sides
Sweet, crisp, or colorful, these family-friendly side dishes please everyone around your table. They're great for putlocks, and family dinners with kids, and they are meal-prep-friendly too.
35. Maple-roasted Brussels sprouts
Roasted Brussels Sprouts are tender and buttery, but the dressing is what makes them extra special! A creamy mustard vinaigrette coats and penetrates the crevices of the oven-roasted Brussels sprouts with sweet, tangy, acidic, and slightly spicy notes. When you bite a sprout, all the flavors pop in your mouth at once, making this simple side dish hard to resist.
36. Kale chips
Kale is a tremendous superfood with plenty of nutritional benefits. Kale chips in the oven are a fun and easy way to add some of this nutritional powerhouse to your diet. If you like crispy vegetable chips, take a look at our sweet potato chips.
37. Rainbow roasted vegetables
Roasted vegetables are an easy side dish that will come in handy for weeknight dinners and special meals such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. You'll learn how to roast multiple veggies to perfection on the same baking tray and with a simple seasoning.
Caponata is a traditional Sicilian recipe typically served as a starter or a side dish. In essence, caponata is an eggplant salad or a quick eggplant stew that you can eat warm or at room temperature. This recipe is with roasted eggplant or air-fried eggplant to keep it light and healthy.
39. Grilled zucchini
A perfect summer side dish for barbecues and picnics. Grilled zucchini is a great way to enjoy this healthy vegetable in spring and summer. They're tasty, juicy, and perfectly charred. They are easy and quick to make and you can customize them with your favorite dressing.
40. Roasted butternut squash
Make them sweet or savory, this tender roasted butternut squash recipe is the ultimate fall side dish. One is with garlic and fresh herbs, The other is with cinnamon and maple syrup. Both recipes are delicious as a side for an everyday dinner or a holiday dinner, from Thanksgiving through the winter holidays.
More vegetable side dishes
If you want more side dishes to choose from, get healthy and colorful ideas from these salads and vegetable recipes:
- 45 easy salad recipes or these 25 easy vegan salad ideas
- Favorite recipes with eggplant, zucchini, or sweet potato
- 15 best sides for lasagna and 25 ideas for what to eat with hummus
- Or see our best asparagus recipes and list with best artichoke recipes
What to serve with vegetable sides
These healthy side dishes go well with protein, pasta, and any main dish. Take your pick here for some easy dinner inspiration:
- 25 easy tofu recipes with curries, soups, and stir-fry dinner ideas
- 40 easy pasta recipes with Italian pasta favorites, vegetarian and vegan pasta ideas
- 29 easy dinners with stews, soups, vegetarian meals, and salad recipes
- 60 vegan Italian recipes: appetizers, mains, and desserts, all Italian and vegan-friendly recipes!
For many more easy and healthy side dishes make sure to check out our Sides Recipes Page!
40 Best Vegetable Sides
- Pick your favorite vegetable side dish
- Read the recipe for ingredients required
- Make the recipe by following the instructions
- How to store: Most of these vegetable sides keep for 3 days in the refrigerator, best if stored in an airtight container. We usually reheat it in the microwave, but a pan with a dash of water would do too.
- How to reheat: Most of these recipes can be reheated in the microwave, on a pan with a dash of water. Check the individual recipes for full make ahead, reheating and storage instructions.
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