12 Easy Side Dishes to Go with a Piece of Meat

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

So, you’ve got a few chicken breasts in the freezer or a steak ready to throw in a screaming-hot cast iron skillet. That’s the easy part. Deciding what to serve alongside your main can feel tricky, but I’m here to show you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 12 veggie-heavy sides that are just as easy to pull off as they are delicious and satisfying.

This simple, bright and tangy side is a breeze to pull together and has a knack for partnering well with whatever’s on the menu. It’s even better when you have time to make it a day in advance.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

If you’ve ever shied away from making corn on the cob because you didn’t have time to bring a giant pot of water to a boil, this is the method for you. Pressure-steaming in the Instant Pot gives us the same, soft sweet corn we adore from boiling but in a fraction of the time.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Start with those convenient bags of pre-shredded veggies, and this crunchy slaw comes together in minutes.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This recipe for garlicky, lemon potatoes makes a lot, but it’s super easy to scale down. I usually stick with making just a third for a weeknight dinner.

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Roasted vegetables are my simple solution anytime I can’t think of a side to pair with dinner. I always count on having some hearty vegetables on hand, and it’s also a good way to clear out the crisper.

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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

If you, like me, are plagued by choosing the right side to pair with dinner, this spinach recipe deserves a standing spot in your meal plan rotation. Not only is it packed with light, refreshing flavors and ready in minutes, but it also goes with just about everything you’re making.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

For this super-simple side, thick chunks of sweet potato are roasted and then dusted with a snowy layer of nutty Parmesan that turns irresistibly crisp around the edges after a few minutes under the broiler.

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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Since Broccolini can come with a hefty price tag, I’ve taken to making this recipe with a regular head of broccoli. Cut it into small florets, and consider adding an extra few minutes on to the cook time.

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(Image credit: Elizabeth Stark)

A squeeze of orange, along with a dusting of smoky chili powder and some fresh herbs are all it takes to turn humble carrots into an easy and impressive side.

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

When you need a simple salad to make the meal complete, this tumble of arugula and shaved fennel is all you need.

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(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

If roasted broccoli is a staple in your dinner routine, try this recipe to shake things up a little, with some help from nutty sesame oil, soy sauce, and spicy ginger.

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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Inspired by the savory, tomato-tinged rice you know and love from your favorite Mexican restaurant, this version brings all of that plus an extra dose of veggies to the dinner table.

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