15 Easy Vegetable Side Dishes to Serve with Whatever You’re Making for Dinner

updated Nov 11, 2021
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Overhead shot of parmesan crusted carrots on a teal plate, topped with herbs.
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe ; Food Stylist: Ben Weiner

You might already have plans for dinner tonight. Maybe it’s chicken on the grill, baked salmon, or a simple pasta. What are you serving on the side, though? Or maybe you’re still planning your Thanksgiving menu for this week and stumped about what to add to the spread to round out the meal. If you’re still scratching your head, you’ve come to the right place. While side dishes are often an afterthought, they truly are golden opportunities to get some vegetables on the table.

Rather than stress about what to make, we think the best approach is to have a short but sweet roster of flexible veggie sides that go with just about any main dish. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you. Save this list of 15 recipes and turn to it whenever you’re not sure what to serve with your dinner. Whether you’re having your favorite home-cooked meal or simply just takeout pizza, these side dishes will be a perfect match.

1 / 15
Roasted Asparagus
Simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon, it’s the easiest way to prepare the spring vegetable.
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2 / 15
Oven-Roasted Corn
Here's how to make your sweet corn tastier with just your oven — whether it is husk on or off.
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3 / 15
Roasted Broccoli
Perfectly seasoned broccoli florets roasted until crisp and caramelized.
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4 / 15
Parmesan Crusted Carrots
Sweet, jammy roasted carrots get a salty, crispy Parmesan crust.
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5 / 15
Melting Cauliflower
The key to the very best cauliflower is to roast until golden before soaking it in a flavorful broth.
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6 / 15
Easy 10-Minute Garlic Broccolini
An easy recipe for sautéed Broccolini with garlic and red pepper flakes that's the perfect weeknight side dish.
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7 / 15
Easy Fried Cabbage
Cabbage, bacon, and a couple of spices join forces for a quick and easy, smoky-sweet side dish that will forever change the way you think about cabbage.
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8 / 15
Blistered Green Beans with Pickled Shallots and Toasted Breadcrumbs
If you think a side of green beans is boring, you haven't met this blistered version. Charring the beans and tossing them with pickled shallots adds tons of intrigue.
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9 / 15
Garlic Butter Mushrooms
Mushrooms have a tendency to soak up whatever sauce they're in, so drenching them in garlic butter is obviously a great decision.
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10 / 15
Miso Butter Glazed Carrots
Miso is a fantastic ingredient that makes simple roasted carrots into something magical.
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11 / 15
Easy Skillet Kale with Lemon & Garlic
No, kale isn't a trend — it's definitely a vegetable that's here to stay. So learn how to make it as delicious as possible with this no-fuss approach.
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12 / 15
Creamed Corn
Sweet corn kernels simmered in butter and cream is better than anything from a can.
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13 / 15
Caesar Roasted Broccoli
Toss roasted broccoli with Caesar dressing, then shower it with toasted breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese for the ultimate side dish.
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14 / 15
Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
Nothing against classic Caesar salad, but we think this version with crisp and crunchy shaved Brussels sprouts is even better — especially since you can buy them pre-shredded to save time.
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15 / 15
Garlic Green Beans
This quick and simple way to cook green beans will become an instant favorite.
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