30+ Easy Side Dishes for Weeknight Dinners

In need of side dish ideas? I have plenty! Making quick and easy side dishes that are also healthy and delicious is not only possible, but actually very easy. I have here all my favorite side dish recipes plus useful tips that will help you make them happen quickly.

30+ Easy Side Dishes for Weeknight Dinners | Tips and healthy recipes for amazing dinner sides | A Sweet Pea Chef

What’s for dinner? If you’re like me, you can think of the protein or the main entree, but the side gets a little tricky.

Technically, the main dish is the complicated part. Technically, but…

I actually think it’s easier to run out of inspiration when it comes to easy side dishes than when it comes to main dishes. The options seem so limited. Especially when you want to cook clean and healthy side dishes.

Rest assured that’s not the case! And I’m ready to prove it to you. On this list of side dishes, you’ll find your inspiration again.

Ready to feel inspired again? Ok, then let’s not waste any more time and jump into the simple side dishes conversation.

Sauteing kale in a pan on medium heat. Sauteed kale is one of the ingredients used in the Healthy Harvest Buddha Bowl.

TOOLSET FOR RECIPES

I wouldn’t be able to make these easy side dishes without my trusty tools and appliances. To make it easier for you as well, I’ve made a list of all the tools I use to make these easy sides. Here’s how to do it and what you need:

Healthy Broccoli Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing ready in a serving bowl ready to be eaten.

BONUS TIPS FOR MAKING SIDE DISHES EXTRA DELICIOUS

Now some tips to help you make the best side dishes:

  • if you’re making easy veggie side dishes, use fresh, seasonal veggies – the flavors of the side dishes will be amazing;
  • opt for healthy alternatives – sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes, brown rice or cauliflower rice instead of white rice, whole wheat pasta or quinoa noodles instead of white pasta and so on – you have many easy side dishes made healthy here;
  • change the cooking method – to make the best side dishes healthy, bake, roast, saute, and boil instead of deep-frying, add spices and herbs for better taste and you’re set;
  • replace processed, unhealthy ingredients with natural, healthy ingredients in your favorite easy side dish recipes and turn them into healthy side dish recipes.

Cooking zucchini noodles in the Cristel Frying Pan to serve as a side dish for Pan Seared Scallops.

THE BEST EASY SIDE DISHES FOR LUNCH AND DINNER

From quick and easy side dishes to slow cooker side dishes to easy veggie side dishes to classic side dishes with a healthy twist, you have my best side dishes gathered in one place. The list of side dishes includes recipe details (prep time, cook time, and calories) for every recipe so you can easily choose the right side dish recipes for you.

Ready, set, GO!

1.      ROASTED BROCCOLI

Roasted Broccoli | A healthy and delicious vegetarian side! www.asweetpeachef.com

Let’s start with the easiest side dish recipes – roasted veggies. First stop – Roasted Broccoli. A delicious and easy to make classic.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 190 kcal

Get the recipe.

2.      HOW TO MAKE ROASTED ACORN SQUASH

How To Roast Acorn Squash | Learn how to roast acorn squash for an easy autumn fall side dish.  This easy roasted acorn squash is sweet but without any refined sugars and just 4 ingredients. | A Sweet Pea Chef

Moving on to How to Make Roasted Acorn Squash. Roasting acorn squash makes easy side dishes that are full of amazing Fall flavors.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 21 kcal

Get the recipe.

3.      PARMESAN BAKES SQUASH AND ZUCCHINI SPEARS

Parmesan Baked Squash And Zucchini Spears | Easy, Fast, Healthy & Delicious! www.asweetpeachef.com

You want to replace fries with healthy dines sides but… you love fries too much? Make these Parmesan Baked Squash And Zucchini Spears. They are a healthy alternative to fries that you’ll for sure love.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 8 mins
  • Cook Time: 18 mins
  • Total Time: 26 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 171 kcal

Get the recipe.

4.      SAUTEED BABY RED POTATOES

Sauteed Baby Red Potatoes

Turn red potatoes into easy sides with this Sautéed Baby Red Potatoes recipe. So tasty, simple, and easy.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 185 kcal

Get the recipe.

5.      HEALTHY MAC AND CHEESE | MAKE IT HEALTHY

Healthy Mac And Cheese | Make It Healthy - let's enjoy some HEALTHY mac and cheese, shall we? | A Sweet Pea Chef

The best side dishes are the ones everybody loves. Like Mac And Cheese. But you know, Healthy Mac And Cheese is better and possible so replace the classic recipe with this one.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 337 kcal

Get the recipe.

6.      EASY SWEET POTATO HASH

Bowl of sweet potato hash ready to eat, topped with sliced green onions.

Sweet potatoes make so many easy side dishes like this Easy Sweet Potato Hash. So yum. More sweet potato side dish ideas to come so keep reading.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 157 kcal

Get the recipe.

7.      BAKED CARROT FRIES + HOMEMADE KETCHUP WITHOUT SUGAR!

Baked Carrot Fries with Homemade Ketchup Without Sugar | See how super easy it is to make your own fries and sugar-free ketchup at home? Now, who’s up for some guilt-free fries? | A Sweet Pea Chef

You know what other veggies can make easy side dish recipes to replace French fries? Carrots! Make this Baked Carrot Fries and, as a bonus, you get my Homemade Ketchup Without Sugar recipe!

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 114 kcal

Get the recipe.

8.      CLEAN BROCCOLI TOTS

Clean Broccoli Tots | Healthy, clean, and delicious broccoli tots! asweetpeachef.com

Do you want to make your kids enjoy easy veggie side dishes? Try these Clean Broccoli Tots! They are tots and kids love tots. But they are also healthy tots so you win!

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 24 mins
  • Total Time: 44 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 201 kcal

Get the recipe.

9.    CHEESY AU GRATIN POTATOES

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

And nothing beats the comfort factor of Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes! Nothing! For realz. If you want to impress everybody at the dinner table with delicious side dishes, these Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes should be on your list!

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hr 5 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 221 kcal

Get the recipe.

10. SAUTEED ASPARAGUS WITH GARLIC AND SHALLOTS

Plain steamed asparagus is one of the easiest simple side dishes. But it can be too boring after a while. Make asparagus interesting again with this Sautéed Asparagus with Garlic and Shallots.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 60 kcal

Get the recipe.

11. HEALTHIER CROCK POT MASHED POTATOES

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes | Such an easy dinner side, especially when the crock pot does all the work! | A Sweet Pea Chef

Make Healthier Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes – the epitome of easy dinner sides since the crockpot will do almost all the work for you. Plus, mashed potatoes are most people’s favorite side dishes for dinner. Including mine, not gonna lie.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hrs
  • Total Time: 4 hrs 10 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 132 kcal

Get the recipe.

12. 10 MINUTE SUGAR SNAP PEAS WITH LEMON

Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon | This Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon is a 10 minutes recipe that makes a healthy and delicious side dish. | A Sweet Pea Chef

My friends who are looking for quick and easy side dishes, don’t worry, I did not forget about you. I think you’ll like this 10 Minute Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon. I mean… snap peas are yum. And this simple side is ready in just 10 minutes. WOOT!

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 3 mins
  • Cook Time: 7 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 7 kcal

Get the recipe.

13. THYME ROASTED CARROTS

Thyme-Roasted Carrots | This is the easiest, yummiest, vegetarian side EVER. | A Sweet Pea Chef

If you love my carrot fries, you’ll also love these Thyme Roasted Carrots. Carrots are great for easy side dishes. And they make good sides for chicken.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 193 kcal

Get the recipe.

14. EASY PARMESAN ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

Overhead View of Entire Sheet Pan with Cauliflower topped with Parmesan Cheese, Garlic, Onion, and Olive Oil After Roasting

I already said this but I have to say it again – roasting veggies will give you easy side dishes. And delicious ones too. We had broccoli, we had carrots, now it’s time for cauliflower to shine so here’s my Easy Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower recipe.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 142 kcal

Get the recipe.

15. LEMON ROASTED ASPARAGUS

Overhead View of Entire Sheet Pan with Asparagus topped with Parmesan Cheese After Roasting

Another great simple side dish is the Lemon Roasted Asparagus. This recipe makes quick side dishes. When I say quick, I mean very quick. Only 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 118 kcal

Get the recipe.

16. PARMESAN ROASTED GREEN BEANS

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans | Just 5 ingredients and 20 minutes to make this tasty and healthy veggie side! | A Sweet Pea Chef

You want more side dish recipes that are both quick and easy side dish recipes? Add this Parmesan Roasted Green Beans to your list!

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 123 kcal

Get the recipe.

17. CAULIFLOWER GRATIN

Close up photo of cauliflower gratin dish, ready to be plated with a wooden spoon

Transform your favorite gratin recipes into healthy easy side dishes by substituting processed, fatty ingredients with clean, healthy ones. I did exactly that with this Cauliflower Gratin and it’s so yummy.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 378 kcal

Get the recipe.

18. HONEY BALSAMIC ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts | These honey balsamic roasted brussels sprouts are an incredibly easy side recipe for any weeknight dinner. | A Sweet Pea Chef

You know what’s the most delicious way to cook brussels sprouts and to turn them into easy veggie side dishes? Roasting them! Try my Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts if you don’t believe me.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 224 kcal

Get the recipe.

19. EASY SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

This Easy Sweet Potato Casserole uses fresh sweet potatoes, and is perfectly sweet, dense, and crunchy. Say hello to your new favorite Thanksgiving side!

Sweet potatoes are amazing! You can make so many yummy and easy sides with them. Sides like this Easy Sweet Potato Casserole, which is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. Or any other day when you want to indulge in a yummy, crunchy, sweet, dense but healthy side.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 487 kcal

Get the recipe.

20. GARLIC PARMESAN GREEN BEANS

Garlic parmesan green beans lined up on a white plate, garnished with grated parmesan cheese, and ready to eat.

More quick and easy side dishes? Sure, no problem! This Garlic Parmesan Green Beans is ready in 15 minutes and you’ll need only 6 simple ingredients to make it.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 81 kcal

Get the recipe.

21. CRISPY BAKES SWEET POTATO TOTS WITH MAPLE GREEK YOGURT DIP

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Tots with Greek Yogurt Dip | These healthy sweet potato tots are perfectly sweet, crunchy, and especially delicious when dipped into the greek yogurt dip. | A Sweet Pea Chef

This Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Tots with Maple Greek Yogurt Dip is one of my favorite easy sides on this list of side dishes. The sweet potato tots are simply delicious. And sweet. And crunchy. And perfect with a yogurt dip.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 1 hr
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 316 kcal

Get the recipe.

22. EASY SWEET POTATO MEAL PREP – BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES 4 WAYS

Top view of 4 meal prep containers filled with sweet potato fries. The flavors are: garlic& herbs, spicy chile, cajun, and cinnamon sugar.

Starting to like the side dish made with sweet potatoes? Here’s another one. Actually 4! Because you get 4 different amazing flavors with this Easy Sweet Potato Meal Prep – Baked Sweet Potato Fries 4 Ways.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 221 kcal

Get the recipe.

23. OVEN BAKED ASPARAGUS FRIES

Oven Baked Asparagus Fries | If you’re looking for a way to liven up asparagus, this is it, my friends! These Oven Baked Asparagus Fries are a garden-fresh alternative to classic french fries and make a great side dish.  Adding asparagus to your diet has never been easier or yummier! | A Sweet Pea Chef

And since we reached the topic of healthy fries as dinner sides again, I have to mention these Oven Baked Asparagus Fries as well. They are totes amazing!

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 98 kcal

Get the recipe.

24. HOW TO MAKE SWEET POTATO FRIES

Sweet Potato Fries - A delicious and healthy take on regular fries. Recipe and photo by Lacey Baier from www.asweetpeachef.com #asweetpeachef

Also, learn How To Make Sweet Potato Fries from my original sweet potato fries recipe. These are awesome fries too!

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 88 kcal

Get the recipe.

25. HOW TO MAKE CAULIFLOWER RICE

Cooking cauliflower rice.

I bet you think rice makes simple side dishes that are easy to make. And I agree with you. But so does cauliflower rice. Learn How to Make Cauliflower Rice for a quick low-carb and low-calories weeknight dinner side.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 85 kcal

Get the recipe.

26. LOADED CAULIFLOWER TOTS RECIPE

Tin of baked loaded cauliflower tots that are ready to grab and enjoy.

What type of tots we had on this list of side dishes so far? I think we had broccoli and sweet potato. How do Loaded Cauliflower Tots sound to you? Delicious, am I right? Good news – the Loaded Cauliflower Tots are also healthy!

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 51 kcal

Get the recipe.

27. ROASTED POTATO SALAD

Side view of the roasted potato salad, ready to eat

This Roasted Potato Salad makes a simple side that’s perfect for summer. No mayo involved. So this is a classic transformed into a healthy option.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 195 kcal

Get the recipe.

28. BAKED ZUCCHINI FRIES

Baked Zucchini Fries | A healthy and fun new way to eat your veggies | A Sweet Pea Chef

When I talked about healthy fries alternatives as dinner sides I almost forgot about these Baked Zucchini Fries! Thank goodness I didn’t cuz’ they are amazeballs.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 224 kcal

Get the recipe.

29. HOW TO COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND MAKE SPAGHETTI SQUASH NOODLES

How To Make Easy Spaghetti Squash Noodles

We made healthy French fries, healthy rice, what else can we make healthy and enjoy as easy side dishes? How about spaghetti? You can learn How To Cook Spaghetti Squash and Make Spaghetti Squash Noodles and problem solved!

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hr
  • Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 47 kcal

Get the recipe.

30. HEALTHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

Healthy Green Bean Casserole | Healthy, easy, delicious, and so much better than the original! | A Sweet Pea Chef

Green beans casseroles are good sides for chicken. Or for turkey. They are also yummy and easy to make healthy. My Healthy Green Bean Casserole recipe teaches you how to make green bean casserole from scratch with clean ingredients.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 221 kcal

Get the recipe.

31. 3-INGREDIENT HEALTHY MASHED SWEET POTATOES

Up close bowl of mashed sweet potatoes recipe which is topped with crushed pecans and ground cinnamon.

Sugar-free and vegan, the 3-Ingredient Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes make perfect side dishes for dinner for those who love their sides a little bit sweet. But healthy. And nutritious.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 84 kcal

Get the recipe.

32. CREAMY PARMESAN CAULIFLOWER MASHED POTATOES

Cauliflower mashed potatoes in a bowl that are topped with sliced chives and ready to eat with a hand coming in with a spoon, about to eat.

When it comes to simple side dish ideas, mashed potatoes are always on the list. But you can also make Creamy Parmesan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes if you want a healthier, low-carb, and low-calories alternative.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 103 kcal

Get the recipe.

33. HOW TO COOK SOUTHERN STYLE GREEN BEANS

An overhead image of a spoon stirring the Southern Green Beans in a pan, made with fresh green beans, cooked bacon, low sodium chicken broth, onion and garlic.

Side dishes can be healthy comfort food too, you know! Learn How to Cook Southern Style Green Beans and make comfort food healthy.

Recipe Notes:

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 124 kcal

Get the recipe.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Content