Feeling uninspired by the sight of your vegetable drawer? No problem. You can easily turn those normal veggies into superstar vegetable side dishes with the recipes below. They are easy to make and put a fresh twist on your standard veggies. Follow along with the vegetable side dish recipes to inject some excitement and flavor into tonight’s dinner.
Why It’s Important To Eat Veggies
Vegetables provide essential nutrients and minerals, like fiber, potassium, folic acid, and vitamins. All that good stuff can help support healthy cholesterol levels and heart health, and help facilitate digestion. As if that weren’t enough, vegetables are also naturally low in fat and calories.1
Despite all that goodness, most adults don’t eat enough vegetables. Hopefully, these recipes will inspire you to load your plate with nutritious veggies. The ease and assortment of exciting new flavors can help make your vegetables an anticipated part of any meal.2
All The Best Vegetable Side Dishes (With Instructions)
Try your hand at a few of these vegetable side dish recipes. The quick prep and limited ingredients make them a breeze to assemble. Plus, they taste great and provide much-needed nutrients.
Take note, some of the recipes call for cheese. But, you can use dairy-alternatives to make these into tasty vegan side dishes as well.
Summer Panzanella With Tomatoes And Basil
Turn a loaf of bread into a tasty summer salad by making croutons for panzanella. This simple dish from Italy brings the bright flavors of summer to center stage. It also happens to go great with chicken recipes and other summer favorites.
- 3 cups diced bread, preferably sourdough
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup diced tomatoes or whole cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup basil, picked and rinsed
- ¼ cup red onion, sliced thin
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut your bread into ¼ cubes. Dress the diced bread with ¼ cup olive oil and season with salt.
- Place the bread on a lined baking sheet and into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Remove, and let cool.
- While the croutons bake, dice the tomatoes, mince your basil, and slice your onion.
- Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl and toss. Serve immediately.
Easy Grilled Corn With Cotija Cheese
This corn recipe takes its cues from Mexico’s venerable elotes. It goes great with other classic dishes, like tacos and black beans. For extra flavor, sprinkle this delicious side dish with cayenne pepper and garlic powder.
- 6 husks of corn
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup cotija cheese
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 limes
- 2 tsp paprika
- Prep your grill. While it heats up, shuck the corn, and place on a large plate or tray. Apply the olive oil evenly across the corn.
- Grill the corn until golden brown lines appear all over. Remove from the grill, and place on a serving tray.
- Sprinkle the cheese, cilantro, and salt over the cooked corn. Squeeze the lime juice over the top. Finish with a dash of paprika.
Smashed Cucumber Salad With Sesame Seeds
Tap into the wondrous flavors of Japan with this refreshing take on a cucumber salad. This goes great with a vegan bowl of ramen or some simple white rice.
- 4-5 cucumbers, partially peeled
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp miso paste
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp black sesame seeds
- Use a potato peeler to peel three stripes down each cucumber. Or, you can completely remove the skins based on preference.
- Cut the cucumbers lengthwise. Then, cut ½ inch cubes. Place these in a mixing bowl.
- Add all the wet ingredients into a bowl, and mix well. Pour over the cucumbers.
- Use a fork to gently press the cucumbers as you stir in the sauce.
- Finish with the sesame seeds and serve.
Roasted Beets With Herbed Goat Cheese
The mild sweetness of a beet’s flavor balances well with the salty kick of a good goat cheese. You can enjoy this dish as a salad any time of day.
- 4-6 medium beets
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup goat cheese
- ¼ cup dill
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Rinse the beets, and place in a deep baking tray. Pour in the orange juice and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cover with foil, and place in the oven.
- While the beets cook, blend the dill and goat cheese with a spatula, and place back in the fridge.
- Roast the beets for 30-40 minutes or until you can easily push a fork through. Remove, and let cool.
- Use a spoon to scrape off the skins. Dice the peeled beets into cubes, and place in a mixing bowl. Dress with remaining olive oil, salt, and lemon juice.
- Place the beets on a serving plate. Use a spoon to place pieces of goat cheese around the beets. Serve and enjoy.
Grilled Carrots With Harissa Yogurt
Here’s another great side dish recipe to make if you have the grill up and ready. The harissa, a ground chili pepper paste, adds a great zing to the carrots. You can make this one of many great vegan side dishes by using dairy-free yogurt.
- 8-10 carrots
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp harissa paste
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp chili pepper flakes
- ½ cup unsweetened yogurt
- Dress the carrots with olive oil and salt. Place on a warm grill, and cook until tender.
- Remove the carrots, and season with lemon zest and chilli flakes.
- Mix the yogurt and harissa in a small serving bowl.
- Serve the carrots with the yogurt on the side.
Butternut Squash Soup
Step into the cozy embrace of some classic comfort food with this soup. You can also use delicata squash or acorn squash for this recipe. Make it vegan by using extra virgin olive oil in place of the butter.
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 leek, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut the butternut squash in half, and remove the seeds. Place in a baking tray, and cover with olive oil and the black pepper.
- Bake the squash for 40-50 minutes with the flesh-side down. Remove when you can press through with a fork.
- Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, leek, and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent.
- Scrape the squash out of the skin with a spoon into the pot with the other veggies. Add the veggie stock.
- Simmer for 20-30 minutes on low heat.
- Transfer the mixture from the pot into a blender with a ladle. Puree until smooth.
- Pour the soup straight from the blender into the serving bowls.
Veggies Can Help Bring Life To Any Meal
Your vegetable side dishes don’t need to consist of boring food that you simply boil and serve. Veggies are full of life and potential. Take advantage of all that untapped possibility with some innovative vegetable side dish recipes.
The ideas above are a great place to start. The simple ingredients and flavors are easy-to-assemble into memorable vegetable or vegan side dishes. Your dining experience and health all stand to gain from that kind of veggie innovation. So, give these simple recipes a try for your next meal.
Check out our Nucific BBB Reviews