Simple is Best: The Easiest Side Dishes You Might Be Overlooking

Vegetable Platter for Dinner

I’ve never been great at side dishes, and our meals often consist of one-dish wonders — simple casseroles that cover all the major food groups — rather than a main dish and sides.

And yet, side dishes are the recipes I’m most drawn to on Pinterest. I love  the idea of perfectly managing multiple dishes in the kitchen and serving deliciously seasoned meat alongside several beautiful and tasty side dishes…even if I’m not very good at it.

What I’ve realized, though, is that the best side dishes for our family (at least at this stage) are often the simplest. Our favorites? Cut-up veggies, sometimes raw, sometimes roasted. Not only are they simple to prepare, but they’re colorful and healthy and oh so easy.

I often keep cut veggies in the fridge ready to go, so serving a veggie platter alongside dinner is as simple and throwing a few things on a plate and adding a bowl of dip. And when we’re done, I can cover the dish and put it back in the fridge for another day.

Because even my pickiest eaters like salad, the girls will often cut up lettuce and a few other veggies and set them out in bowls for everybody to assemble their own salad.

These sides aren’t gourmet or fancy, and they’re certainly not Pinterest-worthy, but that’s okay; they do their job anyway!

Roasted Vegetables

On nights when I think about it early enough in the dinner preparation process, I’ll take those same cut-up veggies, toss them with some olive oil and bake them at 400 for 20 minutes or so. (I sprinkle them with kosher salt when they’re done baking.) The possibilities are endless!

All veggies taste better roasted, but here are a few of my favorites:

  • cauliflower
  • carrots
  • onions
  • brussel sprouts
  • potatoes
  • radishes
  • asparagus
  • bell peppers

I also like serving fruits raw or roasted with a little coconut oil, but we pretty much consider those dessert because they’re so good!

What is your favorite simple side dish?

Mandi Ehman is the blogger behind Life Your Way. She and her husband have four beautiful girls plus one baby boy, and together they live, work and homeschool on a little slice of heaven in wild, wonderful West Virginia. Mandi loves coffee, chocolate, easy meals, beautiful things and minimalist spaces.
  • http://myoverflowingcup.com Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    I have recently discovered that simple truly is best. I usually steam frozen veggies as a quick side dish, but roasted veggies always taste better. A little balsamic vinegar splashed on roasted veggies adds a wonderful flavor. I prefer one pot dinners, too, but I can’t get away with that every night.