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.

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 healthy broccoli salad.

Best Ever No Mayo Broccoli Salad with Blueberries and Apple! This healthy and easy side dish has a creamy poppy seed dressing, cranberries, and sunflower seeds. It will be the hit of your summer BBQ or 4th of July party!

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 Kale Superfood Salad with Quinoa and Blueberries is loaded with super foods! This healthy salad is make ahead friendly for quick lunches. Goat cheese, avocado, and a honey lemon dressing bring lots of flavor to this gluten free power salad!

This classic fruit salad is always the hit of the meal!

Fruit salad in a white bowl with a serving spoon.

Try this light no mayo apple slaw as both a side dish and on top of pulled pork or barbecue chicken sandwiches.

A creamy no mayo apple coleslaw made with Greek yogurt. This healthier coleslaw comes together in minutes and you'll love the addition of the sweet apple! |

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.

Greek Yogurt Waldorf Salad

Make the kids happy with this berry salad. Don’t skip the honey-lime dressing – it makes this fruit salad extra special!

Everyone loves this easy and healthy recipe for Very Berry Fruit Salad with light honey lime dressing! A yummy summer side dish!

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.

Tomato, Avocado and Basil Salad


How gorgeous would this berry spinach salad look on your dinner table?

Triple Berry Spinach Salad with Creamy No Mayo Poppy Seed Dressing. A light and healthy vegetarian salad!

Sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, toasty walnuts, tangy feta, and a honey-lemon vinaigrette will make this Kale Salad your new favorite!

Massaged kale salad with cranberries, pepitas and goat cheese in a bowl with a fork.

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!

This Summer Grilled Corn Salad is full of avocado, black beans, and Cotija cheese, along with a chili-lime Mexican dressing. A yummy side dish for summer!

These grilled sweet potatoes are coated in a tasty cilantro-lime dressing! Recipe from Simply Recipes.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Fresh grilled corn, zucchini and bell pepper are so delicious in this basil lime charred corn and zucchini salad! Recipe from Flavor the Moments.

Basil Lime Charred Corn and Zucchini Salad

These grilled vegetables in foil packets are an easy, hands-off grilling recipe!

Grilled Vegetables in Foil Packets - easy & yummy veggies, without turning on your oven | Kristine's Kitchen

Customize these summer pesto grilled vegetables to whichever veggies you have on hand! Recipe from Whole and Heavenly Oven.

Pesto Grilled Vegetables

Feta cheese, shallots, and sliced almonds complement the fruits and vegetables in this barley salad with grilled asparagus.

Barley Salad with Grilled Asparagus and Nectarines, plus tangy feta, crunchy almonds and a light honey-lemon dressing! The best side dish or lunch!

Feeling fancy? Try this grilled eggplant with ricotta and balsamic drizzle.

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!

Corn on the cob with butter in front of an Instant Pot.

This creamy Instant Pot mac and cheese is made completely in the Instant Pot.

Creamy Instant Pot mac and cheese on a serving spoon over an Instant Pot.

Perfect Instant Pot baked potatoes, ready for your favorite toppings.

Instant Pot baked potato with butter, sour cream and chives. How to cook potatoes in a pressure cooker.

This homemade Instant Pot Pinto Bean recipe is a favorite healthy side dish to Mexican-inspired meals. 

Pinto beans cooked in an Instant Pot, served in a white bowl with jalapeno and cilantro garnish.

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!

Red Potato Salad Recipe | Learn how to make a good potato salad! This no mayo red potato salad is my healthier version of the summer side dish! You can make this creamy red potato salad up to two days ahead.

Classic macaroni salad is always welcome at a summer BBQ!

Macaroni salad in a white serving bowl with parsley garnish.

This Italian pasta salad is a healthy vegetarian side dish, full of veggies, cheese and olives.

Side view of pasta salad in a white bowl.

Crisp, fresh green beans are an easy side dish that you’ll want to make again and again!

Sauteed green beans with garlic and red pepper flakes in a serving bowl.


Try these vegetarian bbq baked beans for your next bbq! Recipe from She Likes Food.

Stove Top BBQ Baked Beans

You can prep this refreshing quinoa black bean salad ahead of time. Recipe from Sweet Peas and Saffron.

Refreshing Quinoa Black Bean Salad

This pesto pasta salad is dressed up with colorful veggies!

Make this colorful PESTO PASTA SALAD for your next BBQ or potluck! It's full of healthy vegetables all coated in a basil pesto sauce!

This quick asparagus salad is low-carb, gluten-free and packed with flavor! Recipe from Kayln’s Kitchen.

Asparagus Salad with Tomatoes

Southwestern pasta salad with a slightly spicy chili-lime dressing.

You will LOVE this Southwestern Pasta Salad with a spicy chili-lime dressing | Kristine's Kitchen

This cilantro lime avocado shrimp salad screams summer! Recipe from Peas and Crayons.

Cilantro Lime Avocado Shrimp Salad

Tahini adds delicious flavor to this creamy tahini Greek pasta salad. Recipe from She Likes Food.

Creamy Tahini Greek Pasta Salad

Leftovers of this orzo salad would be delicious for lunches! Recipe from Valerie’s Kitchen.

Orzo Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Feta

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!

Oven roasted sweet potatoes in a bowl.

If you love mushrooms, these roasted mushrooms with garlic and rosemary are a must-make! Recipe from Pumpkin ‘N Spice.

Roasted Mushrooms with Garlic and Rosemary

Quinoa adds filling protein in this healthy garlic roasted mushrooms and quinoa.

Balsamic Garlic Roasted Mushrooms and Quinoa. An easy holiday side dish recipe, plus ideas for make ahead lunch bowls! |

Roasted broccoli is the best kind! Even the kids will gobble this up.

How to roast broccoli in your oven. An easy roasted broccoli recipe with garlic and Parmesan cheese options. A healthy side dish for any meal!

These simple roasted carrots are one of our favorite quick healthy side dishes!

So EASY Simple Roasted Carrots are a yummy and healthy side dish for any meal! |

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