Does anyone else struggle more with the sides than the main dishes? Well, struggle no more! We've rounded up more than 30 easy side dish recipes for you to try.

roasted smashed potatoes, from Shelf Cooking

If you're tired of serving the same sides over and over again, you're going to love this post! Never wonder which side dish to make again. We've got veggies, fruits, bread, and starches to suit any palate.

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Best of all? These side dish recipes are quick, easy, delicious, and shelf cooking friendly! So round up a few kitchen staples and get ready to make some magic. Here we go!


roasted buffalo cauliflower, from Shelf Cooking

Are you tired of steamed vegetable medleys? We've got something better! Try one of these veggie varieties:

  • Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts – These roasted Brussels sprouts are full of flavor and super easy to make!
  • Roasted Carrots – Boiled carrots? Boring! Give these roasted carrots a try.
  • Asparagus – Sautee it, roast, or toss it in a casserole. We've got some yummy asparagus recipes to try!
  • Easy Green Beans – Whether you've got canned, frozen, or fresh green beans, give them a little flavor! Boil them with two tablespoons of butter, a pinch of fresh garlic, and some bacon bits or crumbles.
  • Roasted Broccoli – Preheat your oven to 450°F, then line a baking dish with foil or parchment paper. Toss fresh or frozen broccoli in olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little garlic. Squeeze some lemon juice on top, then bake for about 20 minutes.
  • Spinach Strawberry Salad – Any tossed salad makes a great side, but we happen to love this easy spinach strawberry salad. Make sure to try the homemade dressing!
  • Zucchini Rounds – Try one of these simple zucchini recipes.
  • Green Bean Casserole – There are so many ways to make green bean casserole, but the recipe on the French's fried onions can is our go-to.
  • Corn on the Cob – Here are five different ways to make corn on the cob!
  • Baked Squash Rounds – Slice your squash into rounds, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then top with shredded Parmesan cheese and bake at 425°F for about 15 minutes.
  • Buffalo Cauliflower – This side dish tastes as good as your favorite wings but has way fewer calories! Give our buffalo cauliflower recipe a try.

We bet your kids won't complain about those veggies! Ready to move on to fruit?


cool whip fruit salad with bananas, from Shelf Cooking

Veggies get all the love at dinnertime, but fruit can make a good sidekick, too. Try one of these sides:

  • Easy Cool Whip Fruit Salad – For the record, we'll never say no to Cool Whip. Have you tried our easy Cool Whip fruit salad?
  • Baked Apples/Pears – We've got pear recipes galore! They work for apples, too.
  • Pineapple Casserole – It might sound like a weird flavor combo, but this pineapple casserole recipe from A Southern Soul is a must-try.
  • Grilled Fruit Kabobs – Slice and skewer your leftover fruit, drizzle with honey, brown sugar, or fruit juice, then grill for 5-10 minutes over medium heat.
  • Baked Apple Pie Fries – You could probably count these as a dessert, too, but holy moly! How yummy does this baked apple fries recipe from Averie Cooks look?!

When you're running short on time, you can always serve sliced watermelon, berries, or grapes on the side. Mix them up for a colorful fruit salad!


sliced homemade rustic bread, from Shelf Cooking

If you're serving soup as a main dish, then serve a salad and bread on the side to round out your dinner. You can't go wrong with these:

  • 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits – These buttermilk biscuits taste just like grandma made them, but they're so stinking easy to whip up!
  • Rustic Bread – We're a little obsessed with the crust on this deliciously easy rustic bread. We love to serve ours with soup, but it goes well with just about anything!
  • No-Knead Bread – If you're a novice baker, give this no-knead bread a try!
  • Cornbread – We love making cornbread when it's cold outside! Try our easy homemade cornbread recipe, then check out all the ways to use leftover cornbread.
  • Garlic Cheese Bread – Add this cheesy garlic bread recipe to your go-to pile!

To be honest, we sometimes eat garlic cheese bread as a main dish, but that's another story for another time. 😉 Ready to talk about another group of carbs?


creamy macaroni and cheese, from Shelf Cooking

Running low on meat? If you serve a pasta or rice dish on the side, it will help your meal go the extra mile. Try one of these:

  • Easy Pasta Salad – This 15-minute pasta salad can double as a main dish, too.
  • Creamy Macaroni and Cheese – The sauce for this creamy homemade macaroni cheese comes together in just a few minutes with a handful of ingredients.
  • Doctored Box Mac ‘N Cheese – Make your Easy Mac even better. Try one of these boxed mix mac ‘n cheese recipes.
  • Cilantro Lime Rice – If you've never eaten at Cafe Rio, you're in for a treat. This cilantro lime rice is the real deal!
  • Mexican Rice – Take your Taco Tuesday up a notch! This Mexican rice tastes just like it came from a restaurant.

Whatever you do, skip the boxed rice mixes. You can make them yourself for a fraction of the cost!


glass bowl of potato salad, from Shelf Cooking

If you're serving chicken, meatloaf, or pork chops for dinner, try one of these potato side dishes:

We're over here drooling now. Are you hungry too? Sorry about that, you guys!


Now you've got more than 30 side dish ideas to try. So, no more boring canned carrots or plain steamed broccoli for you!

Did we miss one of your favorite sides? Tell us all about your best side dish recipes in the comments!

Several side dish recipes including macaroni and cheese, smashed potatoes, potato salad, and buffalo cauliflower from Shelf Cooking.

Looking for some yummy entrees to try?

Bon appetit!