8 Healthy Side Dishes That Your Dinner Guests Won’t Be Able To Resist

Deciding on a side dish for a dinner party can be an intimidating task. Here are eight simple, healthy side dishes that are bound to be a hit with your dinner guests no matter their dietary requirements and personal tastes.

December 18, 2017
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The holiday season is upon us, and many of us will be hosting dinner parties and brunches for our loved ones. Holiday season or not, having dinner guests can be both exciting and overwhelming.

One of the tricky aspects of cooking for a crowd is deciding which side dishes to serve. As the host, you want sides that suit your entree and the tastes and dietary requirements of your guests. You also want to cook up something interesting that won’t take too much time to prepare.

We have you covered! Here are some delicious and healthy side dishes your guests will love, no matter the occasion.

1. Roasted Cumin Carrots With Creamy Turmeric Sauce (gluten-free, vegan)

This takes a bit of time to roast, but the flavorful combination of spices makes it worth it. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, and turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, healing addition to any meal. It’s an excellent side to any meat dish. Make more turmeric sauce than necessary and keep it on hand to add to vegetables, eggs, roast potatoes, and sandwiches.

2. Mashed Sweet Potatoes (vegetarian)

Sweet potato mash is a fun, vibrantly colored alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins A, B6, and C, making them a healthy addition to any meal. It would go well with any meat-based entree as well as a veggie dish that doesn’t already include sweet potato. Even better? This recipe only takes about 25 minutes to prepare!

3. Hot Pink Coconut Slaw (vegetarian, gluten-free)

Did you know that red, purple, and pink vegetables are usually full of antioxidants? This recipe embraces the nutritional and aesthetic appeal of red cabbage and radishes to make a delicious, antioxidant-rich slaw. It also incorporates coconut, a well-loved and tasty superfood. Enjoy the slaw with tacos, chicken, or a range of other salads.

4. Garlic Parmesan Green Beans (gluten-free, vegetarian)

If you’re pressed for time, this 15-minute side is a huge winner. Although this dish is really healthy and simple, it’s far from boring. After all, who doesn’t like copious amounts of garlic? Green beans complement any meat or fish entree, and they’re packed with vitamins and fiber.

5. Roasted Beets (gluten-free, vegan)

Rich in antioxidants, beets makes a versatile and delicious side dish, and they add a pop of color to your dinner table. Excluding baking time, this dish takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, which means you have more time to work on the entree. This pairs particularly well with roast beef or poultry, especially since you can pop the entree in with the beets at the same time.

6. Spicy Couscous With Salmon and Yogurt

If you want a particularly interesting side dish, this is a fantastic choice. It’s deceptively easy and quick to make. It makes a great addition to a poultry meal or to a spread of different salads. Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, and couscous is also a nutrient-rich, tasty ingredient.

7. Strawberry and Kiwi Salsa (gluten-free, dairy-free)

We often associate strawberries and kiwis with dessert, fruit salad, and breakfasts, but this salsa is brilliant as a side to a savory meal. It works well with chicken or fish, and it could also be enjoyed as a dip with chips and guacamole. If you’d like a side that’s vegan and Whole30 compliant, simply omit the honey. Strawberries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, so the more opportunities you have to eat them, the better.

8. Cauliflower Rice (gluten-free, vegan)

Cauliflower rice is a plant-based, grain-free alternative to traditional rice that suits nearly everyone’s dietary needs! It has a great taste that isn’t too overpowering or bland. It’s even easier to make than rice: The entire side dish can be made in about 10 minutes. This can be served with nearly anything from stir-fry to curries to stew.

A side dish is just as important as the main part of a meal but we don’t always have time or energy to create something elaborate and interesting. May these healthy side dish ideas provide some inspiration for your next dinner party or luncheon!

Bonus Dish

Check out our video for a squash apple cranberry bake. Super simple, nutritious, and delicious!

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