Looking for some quick vegetarian side dish ideas? Get inspired with this collection of veggie-focused side dishes. Each and every one of these recipe suggestions is healthy and packed with flavor – perfect for adding to any lunch or dinner table
Hear me out: side dishes are underestimated. Do you agree? More often than not, the main course gets all of the attention, leaving side dishes to sit ignored in all of their supplemental glory.
But, why? There are a world of options, so why not make your favorites each and every night? (Bonus: having a variety of side dishes helps to round out the nutrition of each meal!)
I’m here to change the side dish rep, because they should be just as exciting, savory, and delicious as the main course. To provide you with some unique ideas, I’ve gathered up a few of my favorite vegetarian side dishes that you can try as early as… right now. These recipes get five stars in my book and definitely battle the main course for attention.
From tabbouleh salad and spring rolls to roasted asparagus and classic air fryer buffalo wings, I’ve got you covered on the side dish front. Many of these can be used as appetizers or quick vegetarian snack recipes too!
(Okay, but do you also need mains? Here’s our best vegetarian lunch suggestions, and vegetarian ideas for dinner.)
Veggie side dishes are our go-to, adding color and variety to the table. Here are a few of our favorites!
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
If you've never been able to get behind Brussels sprouts, try air frying them. This method not only cooks them quickly, it also makes them perfectly golden brown and crispy. Drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper, and fry! You can also top them off with garlic, balsamic reduction, or parmesan.
Ratatouille (Tian Provençal)
This is the side dish to end all side dishes. It's totally gourmet, as vegetables are piled high in an intricate round pattern. This ratatouille is a modern take on the classic French recipe that only requires 15 minutes of prep time and is filled with mouth watering flavor!
Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
Craving hot wings but need an alternative to meat? Try these air fryer buffalo cauliflower "wings!" They're savory, vegan, and the perfect appetizer or side dish. Plus, they pair beautifully with your favorite creamy dip, like blue cheese or ranch!
Asparagus Noodles with Pesto
You've heard of zucchini noodles, but what about asparagus noodles? This fun take on the classic recipe creates bright green fettuccini and is a delicious low carb option. Lather in pesto and top with feta, pine nuts, sea salt, and black pepper for the most delicious (and healthy!) side ever.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Few can say no to a rich and creamy bowl of mac and cheese! With this much flavor, you'll never believe that this version is made using cauliflower! It's an ultra-easy keto recipe that can be made in just 15 minutes.
Air Fryer Cauliflower
For a simple, tasty, low-prep side, try air fryer cauliflower. It uses a combination of cauliflower, olive oil, salt, and pepper to create a unique and comforting flavor. It takes just 20 minutes to make and comes with countless options for toppings (and dipping sauces!).
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic, Garlic, and Grapes
Take your Brussels sprouts up a notch with this delicious roasted Brussels sprouts recipe with balsamic, garlic, and grapes. They're tossed together with feta cheese, making each bite an explosion of flavor!
Greek Salad Sushi
Sushi is delicious, but it's pretty intricate to make (especially for a side)! Instead, try these Greek salad sushi rolls. They're Mediterranean-inspired and take everything good about Greek salad and wrap it up into delicious cucumber sushi rolls!
Roasted Asparagus with Romesco Sauce
Transform your asparagus from blah to absolutely crave-worth with smoky romesco sauce! This recipe is a simple, flavor-packed dish that is sure to brighten up your dinner table. With just one pan and 15 minutes, you'll have a show stopping side dish ready to go.
Slow Cooker Garlic Carrots
These carrots are a great option for when your oven is full (like when you need an easy Thanksgiving side!)
These salads are anything but boring! Salads are a great way to get quick veggie sides on the table. Most don’t require any cooking and can be thrown together in under 15 minutes!
Get refreshed and fill your belly with savory veggie power with this Thai Cucumber Salad. Made with a blend of cucumbers, green onions, and cilantro, then topped off with a savory and slightly hot vinegar and sesame oil dressing.
Grab your tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, and feta for a refreshing Summer Veggie Salad. Sure to satiate your appetite and leave you feeling cooled off, this is the perfect post-sunshine meal!
Here’s a way to make your beets NOT taste like dirt! This Roasted Beet and Radish Salad is loaded with fresh pesto, feta cheese, and a hint of lemon, which help to counter that typical beet taste that so many of us can’t get over.
In need of a quick summer side dish recipe that’s filling and delicious? (I mean, how can you say no to that?) Today we’re whipping up a Chickpea Corn Salad that’s bursting with veggies and herbs, and tied together with a spiced Greek yogurt dressing.
Tabbouleh is an Eastern Mediterranean salad made with cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, and bulgur. Vegan friendly, this dish is made complete with a lemon juice and olive oil dressing.
This vegetarian Caesar Salad recipe is quick to make and perfect for serving as a delicious and healthy side dish.
Grilled zucchini, corn, and feta make this the ultimate refreshing summer salad! Enjoy this Zucchini Corn Salad as a quick dish alongside your main course, or eat it as its own meal.
Rices and Pilafs
Need something a little more filling? Rices are an incredibly versatile vegetarian side dish!
Bulgur Pilaf is a Middle Eastern dish made with vegetables and spices. It’s made in three easy steps and takes less than 25 minutes!
This Lemon Basil Risotto recipe is a versatile dish that can be used as a side or as a main course! It’s made with arborio rice, onion, and plenty of lemon, which creates a zingy, tangy, totally delicious flavor.
Hungry for risotto but looking for something a little healthier? Farro Risotto is the perfect dish. It’s packed with rich flavors and satisfies all of your creamy, cozy meal cravings.
This easy Spanish Rice and Beans recipe is quick to whip up and is a great source of complete proteins!
This Cauliflower Risotto recipe is a low carb, keto-friendly twist on traditional risotto. Creamy and cheesy without all the carbs!
Take your risotto to an unmatched level with this Gorgonzola Pepper Risotto! Packed with fresh ingredients, this is the perfect dish to get a quick yet decadent dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.
For a dinner that breaks from your usual routine while also being a flavorful classic, give this Easy Mushroom Risotto recipe a try! Packed with mushrooms, wine, and cheese…what more could you want from a dinner?
- ½ lb Brussels sprouts 2 to 3 cups
- 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 mL
- Pinch salt and pepper
- Prep: Remove the tough ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any damaged outer leaves. Rinse under cold water and pat dry. If your sprouts are on the large side, cut them in half. Toss in oil, salt, and pepper.
- Cook: Arrange Brussels sprouts in a single layer in your air fryer, working in batches if they don't all fit. Cook at 375°F (190°C) for 8 to 12 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through cooking to evenly brown them. They are done when lightly browned and crispy on the edges.
- Serve: Serve sprouts warm, optionally topped with balsamic reduction and parmesan.
What are your favorite healthy vegetable side dishes? Let us know in the comments below!
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