Healthy Sides – A Guide to Healthy Side Dishes – Choosing the main protein is relatively easy, but finding a healthy side dish is a different story. This guide features 65 recipes for healthy side dishes, including quick 15-minute side dishes, slow cooker, and Instant Pot dishes, meal prep options, lighter versions of traditional fare, and seasonal favorites. All of these healthy recipes are delicious and nutritious and are the perfect complement to a nutritious main dish. They also contain fewer calories and harmful fats and sodium than their traditional counterparts.

Making Simple and Healthy Food

To make cooking dinner easier for yourself and your family, look for healthy side dishes that are low-carb, paleo, Whole30, and low-carb options. When choosing side dishes, focus on vegetable-forward, low-fat, high-fiber sides packed with essential nutrients. Try roasted or sauteed potatoes or a simple baked potato topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a few diced tomatoes. Choose sides that pair well with your main dish to make meal prep time easier.

Another great option for a delicious side dish is a simple vegetable salad. Kale pairs well with many dishes, including burgers and pizzas. Fresh garlic, basil, and oregano add flavor to this dish. To add some flair, try adding cheese, thyme, oregano, and a little balsamic vinegar to the mix. If you’re feeling ambitious, try a healthy side dish inspired by Thai cuisine.

Baked asparagus is a quick and easy side dish. Simply bake asparagus until tender, spritzing it with lemon juice makes it more flavorful. A slice of melted Parmesan cheese on top adds the perfect finishing touch. You can prepare this dish while you cook the main dish. And don’t forget the avocado! Avocado is a powerhouse of potassium! Its rich flavor adds zest to any meal. If you’re looking for a healthy side dish, try these delicious ideas.

Choosing Healthy Side dishes

A tasty side dish can jazz up an ordinary sandwich. You can choose from a variety of healthy side dishes, including salads and soups. These side dishes will add a new flavor to your meal, and they’ll also be much healthier than fries or chips. And if you’re a vegetarian, try using fresh vegetables for your sides instead of roasted or canned vegetables. Then, serve them alongside your main course for a nutritious, filling lunch or dinner.

To get extra nutrition from your side dishes, try adding berries to your meals. Blueberries and raspberries have the highest antioxidant content, which protects cells and helps to reduce the risk of disease. Strawberries are also high in Vitamin C, which lowers cholesterol levels. For a refreshing side dish, try a berry salad. The combination of these two fruits is sure to please your guests! It is not just a delicious way to increase the number of nutrients in your meal, but it will also make your dinner more fun and exciting.

When choosing sides, choose those with high protein and low carbohydrate content. Beans and quinoa are good examples of high-protein side dishes. Both are naturally high in protein. You can also choose to skip through the main recipes and go straight to the high protein side dishes by using the table of contents. Also, remember to use the search bar or CTRL+F on your keyboard to find specific recipes. These healthy side dishes are not limited to grains, but they do provide good sources of fiber and protein.

Healthy and Delicious Vegetables Add Flavor to Food

Another healthy vegetable side dish is sugar snap peas. These have a crunchy texture and can be served with your favorite dipping sauce. Alternatively, you can also roast them in the oven and add cheese for a cheesy and delicious side dish. Roasted potatoes, broccoli florets, and bell peppers are all great choices for sides. A variety of vegetables are healthy and delicious and add a great flavor to your meal.

Brussel sprouts contain high amounts of Vitamin K and Vitamin C, both of which support the immune system. Asparagus and broccoli are low in calories and packed with nutrients. They also increase the quantity of green vegetables in your diet and provide more flavor. Asparagus and broccoli are also high in fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar. A tangy drizzle of balsamic vinegar helps to improve digestion and supports the heart.

Cauliflower potato salad is another healthy side dish. This low-carb dish has a twist of Ukrainian cuisine by replacing potatoes with cauliflower. Instead of mayo, this salad uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo. The result is a creamy side dish that pairs well with a flavorful meal like barbecued cod. In addition to cauliflower potatoes, there are many healthy sides to choose from. Some of these dishes have gluten-free and dairy-free options.


Wand, Benedict Martin, et al. “Lumbar tactile acuity is near identical between sides in healthy pain-free participants.” Manual therapy 19.5 (2014): 504-507.

Ferrante, Mackenzie J., et al. “Switching up sides: Using choice architecture to alter children’s menus in restaurants.” Appetite 168 (2022): 105704.

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