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10 Vegetable Side Dish Recipes You Can Make in Under 30 Minutes

April 29, 2024
Courtesy of What's Gaby Cooking

Sometimes we focus so much on the main dish when planning dinners for the week, we forget about the accompaniments. That leaves us scrambling at the last minute to figure out a side, or just having some plain cut-up vegetables (again). To keep you from those less-than-ideal fates, we gathered some nutrient-rich, delicious vegetable side dish recipes that you can have on the table stat.

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You asked: How can I make vegetables more fun to eat?

Though we all know we should be eating more veggies, sometimes it can feel like yet another “have to” on our list. Here are some simple hacks to make vegetables more exciting:

  • Mix it up. If you always buy certain vegetables, try one or two new ones. Add shaved fennel to a dish instead of red onion, try jicama in place of cucumber, or use chard instead of spinach.
  • Change the flavors. Using a different type of vinegar in your dressing, or adding some spices from your pantry, can wake up dishes. Try sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar in your dressing, or toss in some chili powder, Italian seasoning, or another spice mix.
  • Add fresh herbs. Toss parsley, cilantro, basil, or mint leaves into a salad, or chop and sprinkle over cooked vegetables. This adds another layer of flavor, and also boosts the nutrients.
  • Make it crunchy. Sprinkle chopped nuts, seeds, or another crunchy element, like crushed puffed cheese, over vegetables just before serving.

Here are 10 quick vegetable side dish recipes to make your meals complete, hassle free.

1. Mediterranean Tomato Salad

Mediterranean tomato salad

Courtesy of Foodiecrush

This classic Mediterranean salad, with tomatoes, red onion, capers, parsley, and a quick vinaigrette, is boldly flavored and so easy to toss together. Add the optional chunks of feta or sliced mozzarella cheese, as well as kalamata olives and cucumber, if you like.

Try this recipe from Foodiecrush.

2. Honey Roasted Carrots

Honey roasted carrots

Courtesy of Show Me the Yummy

A drizzle of honey helps coax out the natural sweetness of carrots, while pantry spices like dried thyme and rosemary add depth. Roasting caramelizes the carrots, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and creamy goat cheese round out the dish. Top it with toasted sunflower seeds or pepitas for a little crunch.

Try this recipe from Show Me the Yummy.

3. Spicy Mexican Street Corn

Mexican street corn

Courtesy of I Heart Vegetables

This fun twist on Mexican street corn is a great way to use up that bag in your freezer. Combined with lime, jalapeño, diced red onion, and spices, plus a little mayo and queso fresco, this quick corn side dish is sure to become a family fave.

Try this recipe from I Heart Vegetables.

4. Best Simple Tossed Green Salad

Simple tossed green salad

Courtesy of Creme de la Crumb

Sometimes all you need are some leafy greens tossed with a tangy honey-mustard dressing, and in those moments, this salad recipe can be your go-to. It also makes a great jumping-off point; add any chopped raw or cooked vegetables you have on hand, or some toasted nuts, bits of cheese, or any other add-ins you like.

Try this recipe from Creme de la Crumb.

5. Easy Oven Roasted Broccoli

Easy roasted broccoli

Courtesy of Little Broken

A four-ingredient vegetable side dish is a gift at dinnertime, when simplicity is key. You can dress this up easily by adding a spice blend, like herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning, or adding some grated Parmesan, which will crisp up as the broccoli roasts.

Try this recipe from Little Broken.

6. Herby Cucumber Salad

Herby cucumber salad

Courtesy of What’s Gaby Cooking

When it comes to vegetable side dish recipes, we need some that don’t require any cooking. Here’s a 5-minute, no-cook side dish that goes with just about any entree. Combine refreshing cucumbers with olive oil, lemon, parsley, and chives, and it’s done, yet it feels special thanks to the fresh herbs.

Try this recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking.

7. Easy Crunchy Asian Slaw

Asian Slaw

Courtesy of Feasting at Home

Slaws are not just for barbecues, they also can make for quick weeknight sides, especially if you forgo shredding the veggies yourself and opt for a bag of store-bought coleslaw mix. The dressing features soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, ginger, and garlic to give it that Asian-inspired flavor.

Try this recipe from Feasting at Home.

8. Wilted Baby Spinach with Garlic and Oil

Wilted baby spinach

Courtesy of Skinnytaste

With just three simple ingredients and less than 10 minutes, you can have this tasty, healthy side dish on the table. Spinach cooks down a ton, so don’t be alarmed when you buy the giant tub of it at the grocery store. For a spicy kick, add a generous pinch of red pepper flakes during cooking.

Try this recipe from Skinnytaste.

9. Healthy Balsamic Mushrooms

Balsamic mushrooms

Courtesy of Two Spoons

Add umami to your meal easily with these luscious, creamy mushrooms. The recipe’s unexpected ingredient (almond butter!) gives it richness, while the balsamic vinegar and thyme lend flavor. Make extras and spoon over burgers or fold into an omelet later in the week.

Try this recipe from Two Spoons.

10. Pesto Asparagus

Pesto asparagus

Courtesy of Ahead of Thyme

Quickly sauté a bunch of asparagus, toss in some pesto (homemade or store-bought), and you have this dish on the table in 15 minutes flat. It’s quick and easy enough for any weeknight, but nice enough for company. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts or chopped walnuts on top before serving.

Try this recipe from Ahead of Thyme.

Read next: 5 Simple Ways to Eat More Healthy Vegetables at Lunch

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