Healthy Side Dishes
Delicious, healthy side dishes to go with any meal! Here you’ll find vegetables, pasta, salads, beans and potato side dishes for dinner or your next bbq, potluck or picnic.
When we’re meal planning, we often think first about the main course. But let’s be honest. Much of the time, it’s the sides that make the meal!
Thanksgiving side dishes often outshine the turkey. And in the summer, fresh and light side dishes have the potential to be the hit of the party!
In this post I’ve collected over 30 of the best healthy side dishes. There’s something here to go with any meal! From fresh and colorful vegetable dishes to lighter potato and pasta salads, I’ve got your every craving covered. Most of these healthy side dishes are quick and easy to make, so you can spend your time enjoying your family and the outdoors this summer, not working away in your kitchen.
Side dish recipes are a great place to include more nutritious vegetables and fruits in your meals. Easy side dishes are a great opportunity to eat seasonally, which means eating the fresh fruits and vegetables that are currently in season in your area.
When you eat seasonally, fruits and vegetables taste better. It’s hard to beat biting into a fresh, juicy strawberry or enjoying sweet, ripe tomatoes on your salad. In season produce often contains more nutrients because it’s fresher, especially if you are able to purchase your fruits and vegetables at your local farmers market.
When foods have to travel long distances to reach your grocery store they lose some of their nutrients and flavor along the way. Grocery store produce is often picked before it’s ready to avoid over-ripening during travel. This is another reason why grocery store produce isn’t as tasty as what you buy at the farmers market… or grow yourself!
So head to your local market and look over the side dishes below. I bet you’ll find something that you can add to your menu this week!
I’ve organized these healthy side dish recipes into four categories:
- no cook side dishes
- grilled side dishes (where at least part of the dish is cooked on the grill)
- stove side dishes (some cooking on the stove)
- roasted vegetable side dishes
I plan to cook my way through this list this summer! Let me know which of these healthy side dishes you try, and how your family likes them! You will find more side dishes in my sides and salads category.
No Cook Side Dishes
These no cook side dishes are perfect for summer! Skip turning on your oven, stove or grill and whip up these quick recipes in minutes!
With crisp broccoli, sweet apple and a creamy dressing, this is our favorite broccoli salad.
This kale quinoa salad packs a nutritional punch! It can be made ahead and will last in your refrigerator for up to three days.
This classic fruit salad is always the hit of the meal!
Try this light no mayo apple slaw as both a side dish and on top of pulled pork or barbecue chicken sandwiches.
This Greek Yogurt Waldorf Salad has crunchy apple, celery and pecans, all dressed in a lightly sweet Greek yogurt dressing. Recipe from A Latte Food.
Make the kids happy with this berry salad. Don’t skip the honey-lime dressing – it makes this fruit salad extra special!
If you can get your hands on some fresh cherry tomatoes and ripe avocados, this tomato, avocado and basil salad is a must-make! Recipe from The Blond Cook.
How gorgeous would this berry spinach salad look on your dinner table?
Sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, toasty walnuts, tangy feta, and a honey-lemon vinaigrette will make this Kale Salad your new favorite!
Grilled Side Dishes
Fire up that bbq and add delicious flavor to your veggies or salad. These grilled side dishes include tasty ingredients such as grilled corn, grilled sweet potatoes and foil grill packets!
If you grill corn this summer, please use some of it to make this corn salad! Everyone who tries this recipe loves it!
These grilled sweet potatoes are coated in a tasty cilantro-lime dressing! Recipe from Simply Recipes.
Fresh grilled corn, zucchini and bell pepper are so delicious in this basil lime charred corn and zucchini salad! Recipe from Flavor the Moments.
These grilled vegetables in foil packets are an easy, hands-off grilling recipe!
Customize these summer pesto grilled vegetables to whichever veggies you have on hand! Recipe from Whole and Heavenly Oven.
Feta cheese, shallots, and sliced almonds complement the fruits and vegetables in this barley salad with grilled asparagus.
Feeling fancy? Try this grilled eggplant with ricotta and balsamic drizzle.
Instant Pot Side Dishes
Your Instant Pot makes these delicious side dishes so easy to prepare!
Once you try this Instant Pot corn on the cob, you won’t want to cook corn any other way. It’s so quick and easy!
This creamy Instant Pot mac and cheese is made completely in the Instant Pot.
Perfect Instant Pot baked potatoes, ready for your favorite toppings.
This homemade Instant Pot Pinto Bean recipe is a favorite healthy side dish to Mexican-inspired meals.
Stove Side Dishes
These stove side dishes are crowd-pleasers! From skillet green beans to the best light potato salad, it’s worth spending a few minutes in your kitchen to cook these healthy sides!
This healthy red potato salad is irresistible!
Classic macaroni salad is always welcome at a summer BBQ!
This Italian pasta salad is a healthy vegetarian side dish, full of veggies, cheese and olives.
Crisp, fresh green beans are an easy side dish that you’ll want to make again and again!
Try these vegetarian bbq baked beans for your next bbq! Recipe from She Likes Food.
You can prep this refreshing quinoa black bean salad ahead of time. Recipe from Sweet Peas and Saffron.
This pesto pasta salad is dressed up with colorful veggies!
This quick asparagus salad is low-carb, gluten-free and packed with flavor! Recipe from Kayln’s Kitchen.
Southwestern pasta salad with a slightly spicy chili-lime dressing.
This cilantro lime avocado shrimp salad screams summer! Recipe from Peas and Crayons.
Tahini adds delicious flavor to this creamy tahini Greek pasta salad. Recipe from She Likes Food.
Leftovers of this orzo salad would be delicious for lunches! Recipe from Valerie’s Kitchen.
Roasted Vegetable Side Dishes
Sometimes you just can’t beat the flavor of roasted vegetables. On cooler days, pop some fresh veggies in your oven to make one of these easy side dishes!
Our very favorite honey roasted sweet potatoes – try not to eat the whole pan yourself!
If you love mushrooms, these roasted mushrooms with garlic and rosemary are a must-make! Recipe from Pumpkin ‘N Spice.
Quinoa adds filling protein in this healthy garlic roasted mushrooms and quinoa.
Roasted broccoli is the best kind! Even the kids will gobble this up.
These simple roasted carrots are one of our favorite quick healthy side dishes!
This is such a wonderful round up Kristine! There are so many that I want to make and thank you for including my recipe!
Thank you, Marcie! I want to cook my way through this list as well! Your corn and zucchini salad looks delicious!