Are you looking for some easy side dishes to add to your meals? You've come to the right place. While some side dishes can take hours to make, there are also side dishes that only take a few minutes to prepare. In this article, I'll go over some simple side dishes to consider adding to your meals. These simple side dishes are also healthy sides, making them the perfect addition to a healthy meal. Some of these easy side dishes only require a few ingredients, making them even easier to make. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you'll be ready to start cooking some of these simple side dishes. Let's get started.
Top 6 Simple Side Dishes To Try
1. Potato Salad
Potato salad is one of the most popular side dishes. Not only is it delicious, but it is also one of the most simple side dishes you can make. To make potato salad, cover the potatoes in a large pot with water and season them with salt. Bring the water to a boil and let them cook until the potatoes can easily be pierced with a knife. Drain the water and let it slightly cool. Once the potatoes are soft, you can chop them up. You can also remove the skin if desired, but remember that the skin is very nutritious. Next, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and vinegar in a large bowl. You can also add other ingredients if desired, such as pickles, herbs, mustard, and eggs. Mix the ingredients in the large bowl with the potatoes.
2. Mashed Potatoes
Another classic side dish is mashed potatoes. While it is easy to buy a packet of mashed potatoes at the store, it is just as easy to make your own. What's nice about making your own mashed potatoes is that you can add different ingredients to them if you want. For example, you may want to mix in herbs, garlic, and even chopped vegetables. You can also decide if you want to leave the skin on the potatoes. Here are the steps to making mashed potatoes.
To cook mashed potatoes, begin by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook them until they are tender but still firm. Once they become tender, drain the water. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat butter and milk over low heat until the butter is melted. Using a potato masher or electric beater, slowly blend the milk mixture into the potatoes until they are smooth and creamy. Add any desired seasonings to your mashed potatoes.
3. Roasted Vegetables
If you are looking for healthy side dishes, consider serving roasted vegetables. Not only are they healthy vegetable side dishes, but they taste delicious too. There are so many different vegetables you can roast. Popular vegetables used for roasting include cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and asparagus. Below are a few simple side dishes you can create using roasted vegetables.
Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
Recipe by Delish
- Preheat oven to 400º. Add potatoes to baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Roast until crispy, stirring occasionally, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Add more rosemary sprigs for serving.
Recipe by Delish
- Preheat oven to 400º. On a large baking sheet, toss carrots with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Roast until tender and lightly caramelized, 30 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley, if desired, before serving.
Recipe by Delish
- Preheat oven to 400º. On a large baking sheet, toss asparagus with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Roast until tender and slightly charred, 25 minutes.
4. Steamed Sweet Potatoes
Another healthy side dish option is to steam sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are loaded with health benefits and are so easy to steam. To steam sweet potatoes, first, you'll want to slice them. If you want to have smoother sweet potatoes, you can peel them first. But if you want extra texture, you can leave the skin on. The skin also has nearly ten times the antioxidant power as the flesh. Once you have sliced and perhaps peeled your sweet potatoes, the next step is steaming them. Put your sweet potato slices into a steam tray, which is a metal device that sits in a pot above the boiling water. Place the full steam tray in a large pot with two cups of water at the bottom. A small metal strainer will work too if you don't have a steam tray.
Next, place the pot and steam tray onto the stove over high heat. Put a lid on top of the pot. Once the water reaches a strong boil, reduce the heat to medium. Allow the sweet potatoes to cook until they are soft all the way through. You can test if they are soft by poking them with a fork. Once they become soft, serve them either plain or with seasonings. Such seasonings could be salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Another option is to cook the sweet potatoes with chopped garlic or onions. The garlic or onions will help flavor the sweet potatoes. Serving the sweet potatoes with butter is another option.
If you can't steam the sweet potatoes, you could boil them instead. Boiling sweet potatoes is similar to steaming them, but instead of placing them in a steamer, you will place the potatoes directly into boiling water. While this method may not seem healthy, it is actually considered the healthiest method for cooking sweet potatoes. Keep in mind that boiling sweet potatoes is different than deep-frying them. Deep-frying, obviously, is much more fattening and unhealthy. The last option for cooking sweet potatoes is baking them. While it is possible to bake sweet potatoes in an oven, a lot of people bake their sweet potatoes in the microwave. Whatever you choose to do, sweet potatoes is one of the healthiest and most simple side dishes you can make.
It doesn't get any simpler than making a salad as a side dish. Salads can be made in many ways. You could stick with lettuce as the main ingredient, or you could use kale, spinach, or chard. Tomatoes, olives, carrots, beans, celery, cheese, bell peppers, and sunflower seeds are great ingredients to add to your salad. You can either leave it as a vegetable salad, or you could add meat to it. Chicken, steak, and shrimp are great ingredients to add to your salad. As for the dressing, olive oil or avocado oil are a great option. These two oils make dressings and are much healthier than regular dressings.
Another interesting dressing option is to use honey. While honey is a sweet ingredient often used in desserts, it can add a unique to your salad. You can either add the honey plain, or you can mix the honey with balsamic vinegar, oil, and mustard. This helps even out the sweetness while also providing more interesting tastes to the salad dish. You can learn how to make your own balsamic honey dressing here.
6. Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
Recipe Source: Bon Appétit
These dinner rolls make a perfect side dish for any meal. They are easy to make, and the results are delicious. The potato flakes are what give these wheat dinner rolls a unique texture. You can serve these dinner rolls plain or with butter on them. Whatever you do, these dinner rolls will surely become a favorite in your household. Here's the recipe:
- Bring 3/4 cup whole milk and 3/4 cup water to simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add butter; stir until melted. Attach an instant-read thermometer to inside of pan; let the milk cool until thermometer registers 120°F to 130°F.
- Meanwhile, combine 3 cups flour, potato flakes, dry milk powder, sugar, yeast, and salt in large bowl; whisk to blend. Add warm milk mixture. Stir to blend; mix in egg yolk. Knead mixture in bowl until dough comes together (dough will be sticky). Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until very smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls as needed, about 8 minutes. Place dough in buttered bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Butter 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan or small baking sheet. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and divide in half. Knead each piece lightly until smooth. Cut each dough half into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into an almost smooth ball. Arrange dough rounds in 4 lengthwise and 4 crosswise rows in prepared pan, spacing about 3/4 to 1 inch apart (rolls will not fill pan). Cover shaped rolls with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm draft-free area until rolls have almost doubled in volume and have expanded enough to touch each other, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Gently brush rolls with egg-white glaze, then sprinkle generously with oats. Bake dinner rolls until light golden brown, about 28 minutes. Let rolls cool in pan 5 minutes, then pull rolls apart and cool on rack at least 15 minutes.
As you can see, there are so many simple side dishes you can make. These simple side dishes usually only take 5 to 10 minutes to make and only require a few ingredients. These recipes can be used as side dishes for chicken, side dishes for steak, side dishes for ham, Asian side dishes, potluck side dishes, or side dishes for just about anything else. Hopefully, this article has inspired you to start adding these simple side dishes to some of your meals. Enjoy!
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