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When eating healthy, it’s nice to have some go-to sides to pair with your meal. Healthy side dishes don’t have to be vegetables, nor do they need to be hard!

More Collections: Green Salad Recipes, Family Dinner Ideas, Healthy Dinner Ideas

Collage of healthy side dish recipes.

We Love a Healthy Side Dish!

A healthy side dish should complement the main dish by completing a balanced meal. They are typically low in calories and rich in nutrients and often include fruits, vegetables, or whole grains.

Why we love healthy sides:

  • Avoids processed foods. The closer a food is to its original state, the healthier and more nutrient-rich it is. 
  • Easy. It’s simple to include nutrient-rich fruits and veggies.
  • Flavorful. Healthy dishes doesn’t mean we skimp on flavor, and these are packed with taste!
Roasted Brussel sprouts served on a white plate.

How to Eat Healthy

  1. Be cautious of cooking methods. Steaming vegetables keeps a higher nutrient count than boiling.
  2. Eat intentionally and slowly. 
  3. Choose whole grains.
  4. Plan your menu and do your shopping accordingly.
  5. Instead of deep frying try an air fryer or roasting.
  6. Serve dressing and dip on the side.
  7. Control the ingredients by cooking at home.
  8. Avoid short-term “diets” and make adjustments for long-term eating plans. 

Healthy Substitutions

  • Rice. Substitute white rice with something similar with more nutrients like brown rice, Cauliflower Rice, quinoa, barley, couscous, or riced cabbage.
  • Mashed potatoes. Mashed cauliflower, mashed carrots, butternut squash, and mashed turnips are all healthy alternatives to traditional mashed potatoes.
A blue plate filled with cauliflower rice.

Preparing Vegetable Side Dishes

  • Raw vegetables can be quite refreshing and delicious all on their own or used to dip in other things.
  • Sauté vegetables with a bit of olive oil in a hot pan. Make them savory by adding in some of your favorite herbs and spices like basil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, green onions, salt, and pepper.
  • Roasted vegetables make an easy healthy side dish. Simply toss with olive oil & salt or flavored with other herbs and spices. Cut the vegetables the same size, don’t overcrowd the pan, roast at high heat, and flip halfway.
  • Grilled vegetables. Similar to roasting but with added texture and flavor from the char. Place directly on the grill grates or use a grill basket. Chop them into similar sizes and thread them on a skewer.
  • Steamed vegetables. Cut all the vegetables the same size. Bring the water to a boil then add the veggies to the steamer basket. Be sure no water is touching the veggies. Test one with a fork and steam longer if necessary. Toss them with butter and add flavor with salt and fresh herbs or brighten them up with a splash of lemon juice.

Best Healthy Side Dishes

These are some of our favorite healthy side dish recipes. They include our go-to’s that even the kids love and some classics!

1 Oven Roasted Vegetables Recipe

Side Dish Oven Roasted Vegetables Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 30 votes
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2 How to Boil Corn on the Cob Recipe

Side Dish How to Boil Corn on the Cob Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 10 votes
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3 Roasted Brussel Sprouts Recipe

Side Dish Roasted Brussel Sprouts Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 204 votes
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4 Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes Recipe

Side Dish Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 128 votes
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5 Fruit Salad Recipe

Side Dish Fruit Salad Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 49 votes
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6 Roasted Green Beans Recipe

Side Dish Roasted Green Beans Recipe
Total Time: 17 minutes
5 from 13 votes
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7 Summer Corn Salad Recipe

Salad Summer Corn Salad Recipe
Total Time: 7 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 87 votes
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8 Zucchini Tots Recipe

Appetizer, Snack Zucchini Tots Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes

Recipe Video

4.91 from 50 votes
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9 Baked Parmesan Asparagus Recipe

Side Dish Baked Parmesan Asparagus Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 4 votes
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10 Roasted Red Potatoes Recipe

Side Dish Roasted Red Potatoes Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 90 votes
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Healthy Vegetable Sides

Vegetables are dairy & gluten-free, lower in fat & sugar, and high in nutrients like fiber, making them great healthy side dishes for any meal at home or to take to a potluck.

11 Honey Glazed Carrots Recipe

Side Dish Honey Glazed Carrots Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 15 votes
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12 Roasted Carrots Recipe

Side Dish Roasted Carrots Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 4 votes
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13 Sauteed Green Beans Recipe

Side Dish Sauteed Green Beans Recipe
Total Time: 12 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 2 votes
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14 Herb Roasted Potatoes Recipe

Side Dish Herb Roasted Potatoes Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes
4.93 from 14 votes
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15 Corn on the Cob on the Grill

Side Dish Corn on the Cob on the Grill
Total Time: 17 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 7 votes
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16 Microwave Corn

Side Dish Microwave Corn
Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 41 votes
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17 Roasted Broccoli Recipe

Side Dish Roasted Broccoli Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 16 votes
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18 Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts

Side Dish Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts
Total Time: 40 minutes
5 from 14 votes
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19 Air Fryer Zucchini Recipe

Appetizer, Side Dish Air Fryer Zucchini Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes
5 from 9 votes
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20 Zucchini Chips Recipe

Side Dish Zucchini Chips Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes
5 from 12 votes
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21 Grilled Asparagus

Side Dish Grilled Asparagus
Total Time: 8 minutes
5 from 10 votes
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22 Zucchini Fries Recipe

Side Dish Zucchini Fries Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 28 votes
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23 Green Bean Bundles Recipe

Side Dish Green Bean Bundles Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 19 votes
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24 Zucchini Chips Recipe

Side Dish Zucchini Chips Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes
5 from 12 votes
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25 Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Side Dish Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 8 votes
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26 Parmesan Crusted Zucchini Recipe

Appetizer, Side Dish Parmesan Crusted Zucchini Recipe
Total Time: 16 minutes

Recipe Video

4.95 from 18 votes
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27 Mashed Cauliflower Recipe

Side Dish Mashed Cauliflower Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes
5 from 8 votes
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28 Potatoes and Asparagus Recipe

Side Dish Potatoes and Asparagus Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes
5 from 7 votes
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29 Parmesan Brussel Sprouts Recipe

Appetizer, Side Dish Parmesan Brussel Sprouts Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 12 votes
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30 Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Side Dish Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 5 votes
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More Healthy Sides

Enjoy even more healthy side options. With so many to choose from, you’ll never run out of tasty choices.

31 Veggie Cups Appetizer

Appetizer Veggie Cups Appetizer
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 3 votes
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32 Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

Side Dish Roasted Tomatoes Recipe
Total Time: 22 minutes
5 from 7 votes
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33 Naan

Bread Naan
Total Time: 1 hour 26 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 912 votes
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34 Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

cropped-cilantro-lime-rice-resize-2.jpg
Side Dish Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 62 votes
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35 Coconut Rice Recipe

Side Dish Coconut Rice Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes
5 from 4 votes
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36 Spanish Rice Recipe

Side Dish Spanish Rice Recipe
Total Time: 45 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 5736 votes
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37 Crockpot Spanish Rice Recipe

Side Dish Crockpot Spanish Rice Recipe
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
5 from 111 votes
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38 Baked French Fries Recipe

Appetizer, Salad Baked French Fries Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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39 Roasted Chickpeas Recipe

Snack Roasted Chickpeas Recipe
Total Time: 32 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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40 Broccoli Slaw Recipe

Salad, Side Dish Broccoli Slaw Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 8 votes
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41 Fruit Kabobs

Side Dish Fruit Kabobs
Total Time: 30 minutes
5 from 15 votes
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42 Homemade Applesauce Recipe

Breakfast Homemade Applesauce Recipe
Total Time: 37 minutes
5 from 1 vote
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43 Crock Pot Pinto Beans Recipe

Side Dish Crock Pot Pinto Beans Recipe
Total Time: 12 hours

Recipe Video

5 from 45 votes
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44 Caprese Stuffed Avocados Recipe

Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish Caprese Stuffed Avocados Recipe
Total Time: 5 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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Healthy Side Salads

Don’t forget the side salads. All of these are great sides to add to your main dish and can be modified by adding your favorite healthy ingredients.

45 Kale Salad Recipe

Salad Kale Salad Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 8 votes
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46 Arugula Salad Recipe

Main Course, Salad, Side Dish Arugula Salad Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 7 votes
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47 Brussel Sprout Salad Recipe

Salad Brussel Sprout Salad Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 9 votes
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48 Tuna Salad Recipe

Side Dish Tuna Salad Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 24 votes
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49 Southwest Caprese Salad Recipe

Salad Southwest Caprese Salad Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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50 Tomato Mozzarella Salad Recipe

Salad Tomato Mozzarella Salad Recipe
Total Time: 8 minutes
5 from 10 votes
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51 Quick Caprese Salad Recipe

Salad Quick Caprese Salad Recipe
Total Time: 5 minutes
5 from 2 votes
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52 Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad Recipe

Salad Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 10 votes
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53 Asparagus Salad Recipe

Salad Asparagus Salad Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 9 votes
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54 Strawberry Harvest Salad Recipe

Salad Strawberry Harvest Salad Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 14 votes
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55 Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe

Salad Strawberry Spinach Salad Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
5 from 14 votes
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A Favorite Healthy Side

We love to Roast Veggies because they make the perfect side dish to most meals.

We love to do a mix of veggies, but our go-to recipe includes butternut squash, brussels sprouts, carrots, and potatoes. We also like to throw in yellow squash and zucchini on hand. This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prep and the result is incredible.

Here is the recipe:

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5 from 5 votes

50+ Healthy Appetizers – Roasted Vegetables

By: Lil’ Luna
Simple, flavorful, and healthy roasted vegetables that are prepped in less than 10 minutes and so delicious!
Servings: 6
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Ingredients 

  • cups baby carrots
  • cups brussel sprouts
  • cups potatoes Yukon Gold, cubed
  • cups butternut squash cubed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
  • ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • cup Parmesan cheese grated
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Place veggies in a bowl and add olive oil, garlic salt, and Italian seasoning. Toss to coat.
  • Place on greased foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping over half way through the bake time.

Nutrition

Calories: 108kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 647mg, Potassium: 292mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 8323IU, Vitamin C: 27mg, Calcium: 68mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Making this recipe? Tag us!
Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

On the Lighter Side

Whether it’s to accompany a special meal or regular week-night dinner, you are sure to find the perfect recipe that’s both healthy and delicious!

More Collections: Healthy Soup Recipes, Healthy Pasta Recipes, Healthy Appetizers

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    5 stars
    I love the sheet pan veggie recipe. I’ll often add sliced apple sausage for a complete meal.

  2. April says:

    5 stars
    So many great options here! Can’t wait to try those sheet pan veggies, yum.

  3. Jamie says:

    5 stars
    Loved these sides dishes! The roasted vegetables were so good! Now on repeat!

  4. Dana G says:

    5 stars
    This such an amazing collection! I bookmarked it for later. Love the roasted veggies!

  5. Olivia says:

    5 stars
    It’s not always easy making the right choices. Having all these healthier choices makes it so much easier and takes a lot of the guesswork out for you.