Healthy Side Dish Recipes

Fill your plates with these vibrant, nutrient-rich vegetable- and fruit-based side dishes for a healthy meal.

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Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli

To bring out cauliflower's and broccoli's natural flavors, Ellie simply roasts the florets — dressed in olive oil and sea salt — until they're tender.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli

Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach and Walnuts

This sweet and nutty dish is a nutritional powerhouse, thanks to protein-rich quinoa and vitamin A-packed butternut squash. A measured amount of raisins and walnuts adds flavor and texture, while garlic and leeks round out all the sweetness.

Get the Recipe: Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach and Walnuts

Wilted Greens with Ricotta Salata

Giada turns wilted greens into an anything-but-limp-or-flavorless salad with garlic, yellow onions, chicken broth and crumbled ricotta salata.

Get the Recipe: Wilted Greens with Ricotta Salata

Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables

Roasting root vegetables brings out their natural sweetness, so this recipe needs just a dash of rosemary for balancing earthy flavor.

Get the Recipe: Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables

Winter Citrus Salad with Honey Dressing

Mark Bittman's citrus salad is as vibrant on the plate as it on the palate. Red onions transform the fruity dish into a savory side, and the sweet and tangy honey vinaigrette helps round out the tartness of the grapefruit.

Get the Recipe: Winter Citrus Salad with Honey Dressing

Creamed Spinach

Finished with fat-free evaporated milk and a touch of nutmeg, this low-calorie recipe holds its own against the far fattier ones found at American steakhouses.

Get the Recipe: Creamed Spinach

Carrot Salad

Bobby borrows Moroccan flavors for this vibrant side dish, coating vitamin A-rich carrots with cumin, cayenne and parsley.

Get the Recipe: Carrot Salad

No-Guilt Caesar

Instead of cholesterol-spiking eggs, Alton uses tofu to thicken this Caesar salad dressing, which clocks in at a slimmer calorie count of 85 per serving.

Get the Recipe: No Guilt Caesar

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing

For this multicolored salad, Kelsey plays with a classic flavor combo, tossing roasted beets in a creamy goat cheese and champagne vinegar dressing. Oranges and sliced onions brighten the plate and the palate.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Creamy Goat Cheese Dressing

Baked Kale Chips with Cider Vinegar

Stick a pan of antioxidant-loaded kale into the oven to turn them into crunchy finger food. Nadia G. balances the vegetable's natural bitterness with a simple sea-salt-and-cider-vinegar dressing.

Get the Recipe: Baked Kale Chips with Cider Vinegar

Marco's Polenta

The trick to silky smooth polenta? Constant stirring, says David Rocco, whose traditional recipe can be enjoyed as a steaming porridge or as cooled-down squares.

Get the Recipe: Marco's Polenta

Roasted Beet Salad

Debi and Gabriele's recipe showcases the natural sweetness and gorgeous color of beets. Simply roast, slice and drizzle with a lemon vinaigrette for contrasting tang. Finish the dish with chopped pistachios for color and crunch.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Beet Salad

Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf

By cooking the quinoa in chicken broth, Kelsey adds extra flavor to this bright, superfood-packed side.

Get the Recipe: Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf

Jewel Roasted Vegetables

Beets, carrots and Brussels sprouts are simply roasted with salt, pepper, garlic and thyme to form a rainbow-colored vegetable side dish.

Get the Recipe: Jewel Roasted Vegetables

Green Beans with Mushroom and Shallots

Assorted mushrooms and shallots make the perfect accompaniment for fresh, snappy green beans.

Get the Recipe: Green Beans with Mushroom and Shallots

Grapefruit, Onion, and Basil Salad

Giada tops thick, round slices of grapefruit with onions, olives, fresh basil and chives for a complex salad that takes only a few minutes to assemble.

Get the Recipe: Grapefruit, Onion, and Basil Salad

Crunchy Fennel and Green Apple Salad

Bored with your romaine-only salads? Start with a watercress-and-fennel base for their peppery and anise flavors, mix in sweet-and-sour Granny Smith apple slices and top with a spicy citrus dressing.

Get the Recipe: Crunchy Fennel and Green Apple Salad

The Baked Potato

Sub canola oil for butter in this healthier — but equally satisfying — oven-roasted spud.

Get the Recipe: The Baked Potato

Tangled Carrot and Broccoli Sprout Salad

Ribbons of orange, red and purple carrots mix with lentils, broccoli sprouts and chopped pistachios in this nutritious salad, finished with a nutty tahini vinaigrette.

Get the Recipe: Tangled Carrot and Broccoli Sprout Salad With Tahini Dressing

Mixed Greens with Walnut Vinaigrette

Laura Calder's vinaigrette has both walnut oil and toasted walnuts in it, which give it extra rich, nutty flavor. It's a great go-to recipe to add to your dressing repertoire.

Get the Recipe: Mixed Greens with Walnut Vinaigrette

Edamame Salad

Always a crowd-friendly appetizer, edamame becomes a zesty, salty, vegetarian-friendly side or even main dish when mixed with pecorino cheese and a lemon-olive oil dressing.

Get the Recipe: Edamame Salad

Boiled Parslied Potatoes

Butter and parsley are all it takes to dress a boiled potato, in Laura Calder's opinion. If you're looking for a satisfying starch recipe without much fuss, this is the recipe for you.

Get the Recipe: Boiled Parslied Potatoes

Gingered Watercress

Before cooking watercress over the stovetop, Laura Calder adds fresh garlic and ginger to her oil to infuse it with flavor.

Get the Recipe: Gingered Watercress

Sauteed Mushrooms

Cremini mushrooms are a strain of the same species as white button mushrooms, but they have a deeper, heartier flavor and firmer texture, which makes them better for cooking.

Get the Recipe: Sauteed Mushrooms

Jicama Slaw

Kelsey's jicama slaw is filled with a beautiful spectrum of colorful vegetables that deliver sweetness and a crisp crunch.

Get the Recipe: Jicama Slaw

Cabbage Salad

Mark Bittman's cabbage salad recipe is all about the proper preparation. He salts the chopped cabbage and carrots so that they release most of their moisture and then pats them dry, ensuring ultracrisp texture.

Get the Recipe: Cabbage Salad

Mediterranean Farro Salad

Farro is a grain commonly grown in Italy that looks and tastes similar to barley. Giada complements its pearly texture with fresh green beans and crunchy red peppers.

Get the Recipe: Mediterranean Farro Salad

Wheat Berry Salad

Wheat berries are actually just the entire wheat kernel, including the germ and bran, and they're packed with protein. In this salad, Ellie Krieger balances their nutty flavor and chewy texture with walnuts, celery and dried cherries.

Get the Recipe: Wheat Berry Salad

Greek-Style Twice-Baked Potatoes

Salty kalamata olives and earthy pine nuts give these twice-baked potatoes a Greek twist, but Bobby Deen also uses nonfat milk and goat cheese to slim the recipe down.

Get the Recipe: Greek-Style Twice-Baked Potatoes

Ginger, Carrot and Sesame Green Beans

Ching-He Huang stir-fries her green beans with carrots and ginger, then seasons them with sesame oil and soy sauce for a Chinese preparation.

Get the Recipe: Ginger, Carrot and Sesame Green Beans

Papaya and Soybean Salad

Soya beans (commonly known by their Japanese name, edamame) are loaded with protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Paired with tropical, vitamin C-packed papaya, this salad is an exotic, good-for-you side dish or lunch recipe.

Get the Recipe: Papaya and Soybean Salad

Autumn Rice Salad with Dried Fruit and Nuts

Made with a colorful rice mix, this salad benefits from the flavor of white rice and the nutrients found in whole-grain brown and wild rices. Bobby adds cranberries, dates and pecans for sweetness and substance, and then dresses the lot in a honey, vinegar and sesame oil mixture for characteristic Asian tang.

Get the Recipe: Autumn Rice Salad with Dried Fruit and Nuts

Cauliflower with Sweet Potatoes

This five-star side dish recipe from Bal Arneson infuses cauliflower and sweet potatoes with the strong flavors of ginger, coriander and cumin, while turmeric adds color and plenty of potassium.

Get the Recipe: Cauliflower with Sweet Potatoes

I Can't Believe It's Not Potato Salad!

Once chopped and cooked, cauliflower looks similar in texture and color to potatoes, but it's packed with a lot more vitamins and fiber than the starchy spuds.

Get the Recipe: I Can't Believe It's Not Potato Salad!