Side dishes aren’t usually the star of the meal, but we still love them too much to let them fade into the background. After all, they’re part of a meal that you worked hard on, so why not have them share the stage with whatever delicious main piece you’ve prepared? We like to make side dishes that are unique, full of flavour, and likely to impress our family or guests, so we’re always on the lookout for great new recipes to try, especially in the vegetable department. Veggies are healthy, friendly to people with dietary restrictions, and completely delicious!
Check out these 15 fantastic vegetarian side dishes that will amp up your meal every time.
1. Oven roasted garlic cabbage
Paleo Leap guides you through the process of thinly slicing, marinating, and oven roasting fresh cabbage in a way that will make your taste buds jump for joy. Garlic lovers will rejoice at the inclusion of their favourite flavour, but the way the cabbage slices are prepared also won’t overwhelm the taste of everything else you’ve prepared to go along with this side dish.
2. Tomato fennel gratin
Are you looking for something healthy and vegetarian but also something that still lets you enjoy intense flavour and even a bit of sprinkled cheese? Then a gratin is the ideal dish and there are many kinds to choose from, but we think you’ll be especially intrigued by this tomato version from Gourmande in The Kitchen! It tastes fresh and delicious enough to almost pass itself off as a guilty pleasure dish all at once.
3. Harissa green beans with spiced chickpeas and feta cheese
Just because something is vegetarian and health conscious doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious or contain decadent ingredients like smooth feta cheese! As long as one of the dietary restrictions you’re dealing with isn’t a dairy intolerance, we’re pretty sure you’ll be as crazy about this asparagus, feta, and chickpea combination as we are. Check it out in more detail on Floating Kitchen.
4. Roasted radishes with rosemary
When it comes to vegetables that we’d think right away to grill, we can’t say that radishes are the thing that would normally come to mind. It’s not that we don’t like them, but they’ve got quite a strong taste that’s usually used to complement other things, rather than given centre stage in a whole dish. If you pair them with fragrant rosemary, however, we think you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised rather than overwhelmed! Check out the recipe for this side dish on Olive and Herb.
5. Spicy maple glazed carrots
If there’s any way to take vegetables to the next level taste wise, then it’s definitely by using them as a base to combine flavours in new and interesting ways! You’ve probably heard of sweet and salty blends, but have you ever tried combining sweet and spicy flavours instead? That’s exactly what Buns in My Oven did with these mouthwatering carrots, using maple and cayenne pepper to make it happen.
6. Cilantro lime cauliflower
guides you through the process of creating a fresh, almost exotic tasting side dish that’s so flavourful it’s almost hard to believe that it’s so healthy. The combination of cilantro and lime hearkens back to fresher times enjoying barbecue recipes in the sun. See the whole recipe on Skinny Taste.
7. Roasted broccoli with soy sauce and sesame seeds
Just because you’re trying to make a vegetable side dish taste fancy and gourmet doesn’t mean it has to be very difficult or contain unfamiliar ingredients. This roasted broccoli, for example, is simply seasoned with soy sauce and sesame seeds. It’s so easy to make, in fact, that it made us wonder why we never thought to make it for ourselves before! Lucky for us, Kalyn’s Kitchen did think of it.
8. Steamed Butternut Squash Salad with Coconut Lime Dressing
Not every vegetable side dish has to be hot! Technically a cold vegetable side dish would usually be considered a side salad, but Poor and Gluten Free suggests a version that’s so chalk full of big, delicious veggie chunks that the word hardly seems sufficient to describe it!
9. Shredded brussel sprouts recipe with pistachios, cranberries, and parmesan
Perhaps you can’t decide between a salad and a warm vegetable dish but you don’t have time to waver because your guests are almost ready to come over? Then follow Cookin’ Canuck‘s lead and compromise between the two! This shredded brussel sprout recipe contains pistachios, cranberries, and parmesan cheese, giving the dish texture, bold flavour, and a delicious filling nature.
10. Sauteed Swiss chard with blood orange dressing
Perhaps you’ve always been a big fan of simple mandarin orange dressing but you’re actually looking for something a little bit more gourmet than what you normally buy from the store? Then try this roasted Swiss chard recipe smothered in blood orange dressing instead! The Vanilla Bean walks you through the process of making it at home.
11. Charred carrots with griddled goat cheese
When we first read the word “charred”, we were immediately concerned that we’d take the technique too far and accidentally burn the carrots when we tried this recipe at home instead. The whole idea, however, was much easier than we thought and we were nothing short of ecstatic that we chose to make this dish! We should have known that anything containing goat cheese would be worth our time and effort. Casa Yellow will show you how it’s done.
12. Cider braised kohlrabi
This photo might look like a picture of golden French fries, and we’re happy to tell you that it taste just as delicious as a pile of fries, if not better, but believe it or not, that’s actually a plate of vegetables! Don’t believe us? Then you’ll just have to check out how Early Morning Farm used cider to braise these kohlrabi strips to perfection.
13. Beer braised collard greens
Are you intrigued by the concept of braised vegetables but you’re not sure how you feel about kohlrabi? Then perhaps you’d prefer some leafy collard greens instead! Instead of cider, however, Budget Bytes suggests braising your veggies in- you read that right- beer! Talk about bringing some novelty combination onto the dinner table.