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12 Best Vegetable Side Dishes

This best vegetable side dishes post features a roundup of our favourite vegetable side recipes, all together in one place. Along with some useful hints and tips to make the most of your easy veggie sides. We have everything here from cheap and easy side dishes for every day cooking, to vegetable side dishes for a crowd. Regardless of your tastes, there is a veggie side dish here to suit everyone.

Enjoying your 5-a-day!

I love vegetables in all their glorious forms, its never been an issue eating my 5-a-day. Vegetables are good for you and they are packed with a multitude of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

It is for this reason that we should all be eating a rainbow of colourful vegetables every day as each vegetable contains different nutrients. I try and aim for a minimum of 4 portions of vegetables with no more than 2 portions of fruit daily.

Why vegetables are best eaten seasonally?

Vegetables are always something to enjoy when they are at their best. Eating seasonally means that you are eating vegetables during their natural growing time, they are not forced. The result is that they simply taste better.

During spring I look forward to the arrival of new season asparagus. Over the summer months I will happily eat any salad vegetable I can get my hands on. When in autumn, the days get shorter, and colder, my thoughts turn to squash and pumpkin with spices. Then in the cold winter months the humble root vegetables and brassicas really do come into their own.

I like eating seasonally as my tastes change with each passing season. For me, there is no doubt that eating seasonal vegetables is the way to go. Now I’m not going to suggest that I only eat veg when it’s in season, because I don’t. Instead, where possible, I try to!

Do I eat tomatoes during the winter? Of course I do. However, they honestly taste far better over the summer months, during their natural growing season. Over the winter months I buy imported tomatoes, but they are neither as flavourful or as sweet.

Now there are some vegetables, like beetroot, that can be grown the year round. Likewise, there are vegetables that, whilst available all year round, taste at their best for a few months of the year. Take asparagus for example, available all year, but at it’s best during the months of May and June.

Additional vegetable based roundups:

This post looks at at a variety of cooked vegetable side dishes. However, to keep things simple we have kept potatoes and salads out of this post. Instead we have those covered in the following separate posts:

Best Roasted Vegetable Sides:

Without a shadow of doubt, roasting is my favourite method when it comes to cooking vegetables. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in the vegetables. Also when it comes to getting the kids to eat their veggies, roasted vegetable sides are the way to go.

Root vegetable sides:

I find that carrots are a much maligned vegetable side, but I think a lot of that comes from them being over boiled and under seasoned. Not the case with our Honey Roasted Carrots with Cumin. This is one of the best vegetable side dishes that I cook. Roast the carrots with honey and cumin seeds to really bring out their sweet flavour.

Our Easy Honey Roasted Root Vegetables is one of those mixed vegetable side dishes that we love, colourful and oh so tasty. Root vegetables are often ignored but roasting them and finishing them with a little honey, makes these humble roots very moreish.

Summer vegetable sides:

A closeup image of roasted vine tomatoes on toast and cheese.

Another favourite healthy vegetable side dish is our fresh tasting Quick Roasted Tomatoes with Balsamic Vinegar. Keep the tomatoes on the vine so they keep their shape better in the oven. Olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar, with plenty seasoning, really brings out the flavours of this easy vegetable side dish.

Oven roasted spears of tender asparagus on a baking tray just out of the oven.

If you want to avoid soggy asparagus, our Easy Oven Roasted Asparagus is the way to go. Keep it simple with some olive oil and a little seasoning to allow the fresh flavour of asparagus shine through. I serve this healthy vegetable side dish at least twice a week during the asparagus growing season as it goes well with so many different dishes.

Autumn/Winter vegetable sides:

Roasting any vegetable is very simple and straight-forward. None more so than our Roasted Pumpkin with Maple Syrup. Simply prepare the pumpkin and pop it into a tray with some oil and seasoning. Then 5 minutes before the end of the cook add some maple syrup or honey. I’ve also used chilli jam for those who like a kick of spice.

I’m not sure any vegetable divides people in quite the way a Brussels sprout does – you love them or hate them! I love sprouts and eat them all through the winter months when they are at their best. Once of my favourite ways with sprouts is Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Chestnuts. The sprouts have a nice bit of char and work perfectly with the salty bacon and creamy, crunchy chestnuts.

Best Braised & Creamed Vegetable Sides:

A grey bowl containing creamed brussel sprouts with a wooden tray of pork belly slices in the back as well as a small pinch pot of smoked sea salt.

I always say that our Creamed Brussels Sprouts is a recipe for those who don’t really like Brussels sprouts. The garlic and creamy help to soften the rather pungent sprout. This is a delicious and versatile side that goes really well with many main dishes and not just over the festive holidays. It works with turkey, chicken, pork and beef so why not give it a try?

A top down view of a small pink bowl of braised red cabbage, some green apples, cinnamon sticks and cloves on a pink napkin.

Spiced Red Cabbage is one of my favourite vegetable side dishes, it’s a classic autumn/winter side to serve with the weekends roast. The cabbage is slowly braised with apple, onion, cinnamon, cloves and anise then sweetened with just a touch of apple jelly.

A large blue pottery serving bowl filled with cabbage cooked with apples, bacon, cider and mustard.

Some ingredients are just meant to be paired together and our Savoy Cabbage with Bacon & Cider is one such veggie side. The cabbage is cooked with smoky bacon, onion, apple, wholegrain mustard, dry cider and finished off with a touch of cream. It is the ideal side to serve with pork or chicken, or serving with the weekends roast.

orange oven proof dish filled with gluten free cauliflower cheese on a wooden board and a plate with a serving of cauliflower cheese, with potatoes and garden peas

Gluten Free Cauliflower Cheese recipe has to be my favorite version. The gluten free cheese sauce is made with double cream (heavy cream) and contains no flour of cornflour.

Best fried and stir-fried vegetable sides:

Crispy onion rings, freshly cooked and draining on kitchen paper.

Spicy Onion Rings are quick to make and always popular with family and friends any time I serve them. Preparation is minimal and they taste so much better than store bought onion rings. We flavour our batter with cumin, chilli, cayenne pepper and garlic powder to create the crispiest most flavourful onion rings you will ever try!

Simple Stir Fry Pak Choi is a savoury side dish that accompanies any Chinese main dish perfectly. We serve ours with a simple Asian style dressing of soy sauce, garlic and spring onion. Even better the whole dish can be cooked and on the table in less than 5 minutes.

Stir fried broccoli on a dark blue platter, topped with sesame seeds and sitting on a dark blue marbled background and a hand using chopsticks to pick up a piece of the broccoli.

Easy Stir Fry Broccoli with garlic, spring onions, soy sauce and sesame oil is a great tasting side. Perfect to accompany any Chinese main dishes. Even better that it’s quick to prepare and on the table in no time.