15 Easy, Super-Tasty, and Nutritious Side Dishes

15 Easy, Super-Tasty, and Nutritious Side Dishes

Serve these with a simple protein for a fast, satisfying family meal any night.


By Lorraine Allen

Move over mac and cheese and frozen tater tots! We’ve got some delicious, easy, and healthy sides that are too good to miss. They cook up fast, and are hearty kid-pleasers, too. My favorite part about making sides like these is that you can cook more than one batch at a time and freeze them to speed up your weeknight family dinners in the future. All you need to complete a great family dinner, besides a side or two like these, is a simple protein like roasted, baked, or braised meat or seafood (or your favorite protein-rich vegetarian entrée).

1. Roasted cubed butternut squash with a hint of nutmeg.

2. Roasted acorn squash, cut into wedges and drizzled very lightly with maple syrup.

3. Roasted broccoli or broccoli with minced garlic.

4. Steamed and mashed sweet potatoes with orange zest and cinnamon.

5. Roasted cauliflower with BBQ sauce.

6. Sautéed rainbow chard with raisins.

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7. Sautéed spinach with garlic, olive oil, and chili pepper flakes.

8. Diced and roasted root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and turnips with rosemary.

9. Pan-roasted mushrooms with sage (add a splash of cream to the pan to turn this into an instant, amazing gravy for any meat dish).

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10. Steamed and mashed celery root.

11. Stewed lentils with cumin and paprika.

12. Roasted and mashed parsnip puree.

13. Thinly sliced, roasted beets and/or sweet potato “chips” with rosemary.

14. Caramelized onions.

15. Boiled or roasted corn on the cob with Mexican crema and cilantro.

What are your family’s favorite simple side dishes?


Lorraine Allen is a writer and mom to one spunky first-grader and one squirrel-obsessed dog. You can follow their delicious, allergy-friendly cooking adventures at FeedingLina.com.

Image ©iStock.com/KM6064


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