Is a dinner really complete without one (or a few) sides? We don’t think so. While we love fluffy dinner rolls and buttery mashed potatoes with our whole heart, it’s good to have balance—namely, in the form of vegetables, which have lots of vitamins and plenty of fiber to fill us up. Luckily, these 65 healthy side dishes—including favorites like sriracha lime sweet potatoes and cacio e pepe Brussels sprouts—are so tasty, they just might steal the dinnertime show.
A Note About Pairing Sides and Mains
While there’s really no wrong way to create your dinner menu, some sides are more natural choices depending on main course you’re serving. Here, a few helpful guidelines:
- If you’re making pasta or something carb-heavy, try a light, bright side dish to balance things out (like a Greek wedge salad or kale and Brussels sprouts slaw).
- Meat entrées like beef, chicken and pork also pair well with salads, especially ones with citrusy, acidic dressings (like a roasted beet and citrus salad) to cleanse your palate.
- Slow-cooked meals, like braises and roasts, partner well with hearty vegetables (like a roasted winter vegetable platter).
- Seafood and fish like crisp, cool, raw veggie sides (such as a chilled cucumber salad or watermelon salad).
At the end of the day, though, it’s your dinner—make the side dish you want to eat!
1. Maple-Cinnamon Squash Agrodolce
Agrodolce is Italian for ‘sour and sweet,’ aka the ideal flavor pairing for this Instant Pot winter squash.
2. Pan-Roasted Broccoli ‘Steaks’ with Garlic-Sesame Vinaigrette
Roasted broccoli gets all caramelized and sweet in a way we can’t resist. This version is cooked on the stove, so you don’t even have to turn on your oven.