Welcome to a roundup of our 40 best vegetable sides that add flavor and color to your meal.

These recipes cater to all skill levels, making it a breeze to incorporate more vegetables into your daily meals.

Get ready to turn ordinary dinners into extraordinary feasts with these 40 tasty and easy vegetable side dishes.

Vegetable sides to serve with protein

Vegetables are not just a supporting act; they’re culinary powerhouses, capable of transforming any meal into a gastronomic experience.

From crispy roasted Brussels sprouts to zesty grilled zucchini, these recipes will introduce you to exciting ways to enjoy your greens (and reds, yellows, and purples, too!).

Stovetop vegetable sides

1. Mashed potatoes

mashed potatoes with butter and chives

This mashed potato recipe is easy to makelight, and creamy, and you can adjust its consistency based on your preference.

The best way to serve this vegetable side dish is with butter and chives, or even better, with a generous amount of mushroom gravy.

2. Sauteed eggplant

Sautèed eggplant in a bowl

This easy sauteed eggplant recipe is cooked in a pan on the stovetop in just 20 minutes and is convenient for a last-minute dinner served on pasta.

You can serve it as an Italian side dish, on bruschetta, next to your main dish, or upgrade it to a main dish, similar to a pasta alla Norma.

3. Quick sauteed zucchini

sautéed zucchini with red onion

Serve this green vegetable side with pasta or risotto, in a frittata, or on pizza.

It’s a quick vegetable side ready in about 10 minutes, and the sautèed zucchini shines with fresh lemon juice and finely chopped parsley.

4. Caramelized onions

caramelized onions with fork

Caramelized onions are excellent as a topping to appetizers and protein main dishes.

This vegetable side melts in your mouth and is fantastic as an addition to starterssoupshummusvegetable saladsmujadara, and sandwiches.

5. Pan-fried asparagus

sauteed asparagus serve with lemon and almonds

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 stir-fries.

6. Steamed artichokes

steamed artichokes with salsa verde

These steamed artichokes are easy to make and delicious, soft, and buttery.

You’ll be able to taste the artichoke flavor fully, and you can jazz them up with chimichurri and vegan mayonnaise.

7. Sauteed mushrooms

Sauteed mushrooms and white spoon

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 but also an excellent addition to pasta, salads, and grain bowls.

8. Cauliflower mashed potatoes

Cauliflower potato mash with hand holding a spoon

Cauliflower mashed potato is a lighter alternative; it’s easy to maketasty, light, and airy.

You can expect a familiarcomforting flavor, similar to classic mashed potatoes, but with cheesy notes and a mild cauliflower taste.

9. Braised red cabbage

Braised red cabbage with apple

Braised red cabbage requires minimal effort and attention while it simmers for 40 to 50 minutes. It’s an excellent recipe to make ahead because the day after will be even tastier.

You can serve it as a delicious side dish to most meals, such as lentil loaf and stuffed butternut squash. It’s a cozy, tender, sweet, aromatic, nourishing recipe for your family.

10. Mashed sweet potatoes

serving mashed potatoes in a bowl

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 lentil Wellington.

11. Fried zucchini

Fried zucchini with marinara sauce on a platter

You’ll love this fried zucchini recipe because it is easy to make, light without eggs, with simple ingredients, and with minimal mess in the kitchen.

Plus, you can choose your favorite cooking method; the options are deep-fried in oil, “fried” in the oven, or in the air-fryer.

12. Zaalouk (Moroccan eggplant dip)

Zaalouk on a plate with tomatoes and parsley on the side

You’ll love Zaalouk’s creamy yet chunky texture and rich, aromatic, slightly smokey, and savory taste.

This recipe is easy to make in one skillet in less than 30 minutes and is perfect for meal prep.

Vegetable sides in the oven

13. Easy roasted mushrooms

Oven-roasted mushrooms are a quick and easy side dish with a few staple ingredients and most mushroom varieties.

All you need to make them tasty and meaty is saltgarlic, and olive oil at a high oven temperature.

14. Roasted sweet potatoes

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 tahini sauce and fresh herbs, they are also ideal for special dinners, holidays, and celebrations.

15. Garlic-roasted broccoli

Baked broccoli on a platter

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 ideal as a pre-dinner appetizer, snack, or vegetable side dish.

16. Sweet potato wedges

roasted sweet potato wedges on a platter with ketchup

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 healthful side dish served with marinara sauce.

17. Roasted eggplant

roasted eggplant with garlic seasoning

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.

18. Roasted potatoes

Roasted Potatoes with hand and a silver spoon

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 mayonnaisechipotle sauce, and tahini sauce.

19. Roasted vegetable tray

Roasted vegetables on a plate

These roasted vegetables are colorful, tasty, tender, and aromatic, perfect as an all-year side dish.

Follow our roasted veggie mix recommendations, and serve this colorful vegetable side with your favorite pasta, soup, or pizza.

20. Italian roasted zucchini

roasted zucchini on a serving platter

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 are gratin in the oven.

21. Roasted bell pepper

Roasted bell peppers with a fork

Oven-roasting peppers are a simpleclean, and healthy way to make smokey, juicy roasted peppers.

Drizzle with an Italian marinade and serve with focaccia bread for a Mediterranean, aromatic, and flavor-packed side dish.

22. Tomato confit

Confit tomatoes with garlic in a round tray

Tomato confit is the easiestmeltiest, most delicious tomato recipe. 

Softjuicy, packed with oregano and garlic aroma. Tomatoes made this way can elevate any meal: as a juicy side dish, a starter served with toasted crostini, or as a topping to a bowl of pasta.

23. Smashed potatoes

Smashed potatoes and fork

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 substitute for roasted potatoes.

24. Roasted carrots

Roasted carrots in a white bowl

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 caramelizedtasty, and can be drizzled with chimichurri, green goddess dressing, or chili oil.

25. Roasted Brussels sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with lemon and pomegranate

Roasted Brussels Sprouts are tender and buttery, but the dressing makes them extra special.

A creamy mustard vinaigrette coats the crevices of the oven-roasted Brussels sprouts with sweettangyacidic, and slightly spicy notes.

26. Roasted butternut squash

baked butternut squash with cinnamon

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 or holiday dinner, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations.

Easy vegetable sides

27. Moroccan carrots

Moroccan carrot salad on a white plate with a silver spoon

This warm carrot salad is a warming and wholesome side dish for any meal.

To build a beautiful mezze platter, serve the carrots with couscous, falafel, and Moroccan couscous salad.

28. Pickled red onions

Pickled red onions in a glass jar

Pickling vegetables is a quick and healthy way to prep veggies (and add extra zest to your meals).

Make them in 30 minutes without cooking and with four ingredients. We are sure you’ll want to put them on everything, including bowls, tacos, sandwiches, and salads.

29. Red cabbage slaw

red cabbage slaw with mayonnaise and fork

This red cabbage slaw is perfect for any special occasion – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and more.

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.

30. Microwave sweet potato

Microwave sweet potato with butter

Microwave sweet potato is a quick, healthy, and delicious side dish. 

Eat it as is, as a vibrant vegetable side, or load it with chickpea salad or quinoa salad to turn it into a tasty and healthy main dish.

31. Cauliflower rice

cauliflower rice with hands

This cauliflower rice recipe is 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 lowcarb side dish when you feel like a little extra green next to curries, stews, and stirfry meals.

32. Shaved Brussels sprout salad

shaved brussels sprouts 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 excellent for a special holiday meal from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

33. Green bean salad

vegan green bean salad with nuts

Green bean salad is easily upgraded with fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, slivered almonds, and a creamy mustard dressing.

In about 15 minutes, you’ve got a delicious and super tasty side dish everyone will love.

34. Air fryer asparagus

air fryer asparagus served on a plate with lemon

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.

35. Sautèed green beans

Green beans with honey mustard dressing

Sautèed 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.

36. Tomato and cucumber salad

cucumber tomato salad with basil

Cucumber tomato salad is a vibrant, crisp, and refreshing dish you can have as a light mealcolorful appetizer, or versatile side dish with most mains.

37. Zucchini salad

zucchini salad on a serving platter

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 10 minutes to prepare.

38. Sautèed kale

Sauteed kale on a white platter

Sautéed kale tastes delicious, and the beautiful thing is that as the kale cooks, it gets flavorful and tender, the chewy fiber softens, it loses its roughness, and it gains an almost buttery texture.

This recipe takes 10 minutes to make. You can use any kale and only need extra virgin olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, and garlic.

39. Air fryer zucchini

Air fryer zucchini on a plate with garlic

Air fryer zucchini is an easy, healthy, and tasty way of preparing this delicious vegetable.

The air fryer’s hot air and quick cooking time produce a tender-crisp zucchini with minimal use of oil.

40. Coleslaw

Coleslaw with cabbage with red apple

We finish this list with a creamy and refreshing coleslaw recipe.

You’ll love our homemade coleslaw because it’s easy to make with a few simple vegetables; you can prep it in advance, and it’s light and refreshing.

The secret is all in the dressing, which we make with a combination of mayonnaise (we use our homemade vegan mayo, but any other mayo works) and Greek-style yogurt (non-dairy yogurt works well too).

More vegetable side dishes

If you want more side dishes to choose from, get healthy ideas from these salads and vegetable recipes:

tabouli on a mixed mezze platter

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:

For many more easy and healthy side dishes make sure to check out our Sides Recipes Page!

vegetable sides with roasted and marinated veggies

40 Best Vegetable Sides

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 5 votes
Over 40 best and tasty vegetable side dishes that are easy to make, healthy and delicious. Browse through, and pick your favorite roasted, steamed, salad, or marinated vegetable side.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Side dish
Cuisine: American Italian


  • 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.


Roasted Eggplant with a twist


Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can eat them at room temperature, or reheat them in the microwave. We do not recommend freezing salads and raw recipes.


Serving: 150g, Calories: 220kcal
Tried this recipe? Leave a comment below or mention @theplantbasedschool on Instagram. We are also on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.

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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I am not a vegan or vegetarian but your recipes are making a big difference to my eating habits

    1. That’s fantastic to hear, Marissa! Thank you very much for your kind feedback, we’re so delighted you like our food 🎉

      All the best, Louise