12 Easy Side Dishes to Go with a Piece of Meat

updated Nov 28, 2023
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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.

Sides for Meat

1 / 12
Salt and Vinegar Cucumbers
A recipe for tangy salt and vinegar cucumber salad, which can be made ahead of time and travels well for a picnic or potluck.
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2 / 12
Buttery Corn on the Cob in the Instant Pot
This method for making corn on the cob in the Instant Pot cooks 8 cobs in under 20 minutes. Plus there's a tip for melting butter in the same pot!
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3 / 12
Tangy Cabbage and Jalapeño Slaw
Thanks to the crunchy textures and bold tangy and spicy flavors, no one will ever be the wiser that you pulled this together in just five minutes.
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4 / 12
3-Ingredient Garlicky Red Potatoes
Thick chunks of red potatoes are tossed with a generous dusting of garlic powder, then finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon before they hit the table.
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5 / 12
Roast Any Vegetable
Use your step-by-step guide to learn how to roast any vegetable.
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6 / 12
Easy Lemon-Ginger Spinach
Not only is this easy weeknight side packed with light, refreshing flavors from lemon and ginger, but it also goes with everything.
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7 / 12
Garlicky Parmesan Sweet Potatoes
Thick chunks of sweet potato are roasted, then dusted with a snowy layer of nutty Parmesan cheese that crisps up under the broiler.
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8 / 12
10-Minute Miso Broccolini

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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9 / 12
Roasted Carrots with Orange

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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10 / 12
Arugula & Fennel Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

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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11 / 12
Sesame-Ginger Roasted Broccoli

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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12 / 12
Mexican Restaurant-Style Cauliflower Rice
Just like the savory rice from your favorite Mexican restaurant, this version is made with cauliflower rice and comes together in minutes.
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