15 Heart-Healthy Side Dishes That Complete the Meal
The side dishes to lean proteins can make or break the healthfulness factor of the whole meal. Lean chicken with fried potatoes and buttery carrots? Ehh, that leaves something to be desired. Fortunately, the Allrecipes community of cooks has produced a variety of heart-healthy side dishes that are great with any number of mains. Here are two weeks of easy, heart-healthy sides to pair with main dishes like roasted salmon and grilled chicken breasts.
Vegetable Birdseed Pilaf
This savory veggie pilaf combines chopped spinach, peas, garlic, onion, and tomatoes with protein-rich millet, rosemary, and white wine.
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower
Florets of cauliflower are simply roasted over high heat with olive oil and garlic. "Wonderful," says Dewlanna. "And easy. It baked in the oven while I did other supper things."
Spinach and Mango Salad
This fresh spinach salad features cubed mangoes, slivered almonds, chopped fresh tarragon, and a simple vinegar and olive oil dressing. It's also versatile: "Summer berries are a nice alternative," says GILLIANMCLENNAN.
"A casserole of seasonal vegetables that is so easy to prepare," says Saundra. "It can be made a day ahead — just reheat before serving. Lemon juice can be substituted for balsamic vinegar."
You'll steam fresh kale and then toss it in a bright, lemony dressing with minced garlic and a dash of soy sauce. "Absolutely loved it," says Roni. "I added a teaspoon of agave nectar as well and thoroughly enjoyed it."
Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
These tasty sweet potato "fries" are seasoned with taco seasoning and cayenne pepper and baked until golden brown and crispy. "A great way to use sweet potatoes and cut the fat," says INTEGRA3. "I'll try cajun seasoning next time."
Beyond quick and easy, this recipe is ready in 10 minutes. Broccoli florets get a quick saute in olive oil and a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes. "Really tasty and different texture compared to the same old boiled or steamed frozen broccoli," says Josephine.
Sheet Pan Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables
"These roasted Mediterranean vegetables featuring cherry tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, onion, and garlic make a delicious sheet pan dinner with easy cleanup," says BigDaddy.
Grilled Soy-Sesame Asparagus
"I love asparagus on the grill the smokey charred flavor is delicious. I steamed my asparagus for about three minutes inside marinated then placed on the grill with my pork tenderloin for a couple of minutes to finish," home cook Saveur says.
Roasted Iowa Root Vegetables
"Easy recipe and absolutely delicious. I mixed up veggies by using russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, yellow squash, zucchini, asparagus, and onion, and fresh garlic," Debra says.
White Beans and Peppers
"Any sweet pepper will work in this side dish, but I love the delicate spiciness of the long, pointy gypsy pepper." — MOTTSBELA
Zucchini and Potato Bake
"This recipe is fantastic! I have made it three-four times since I found it with different variations, though I am rating for the recipe itself," says Crystal S. "Definitely five stars!
Quinoa with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
"This one is a keeper! I substituted cilantro for the parsley and added avocados and red onions. Oh my, it even got better after sitting for a while," Linda says.
Indian Eggplant - Bhurtha
"This is a traditional North Indian (Punjabi) Bhurtha made with eggplant and tomato and seasoned with cumin, turmeric, garlic, and ginger. Serve with fresh roti or naan." — SimmiG
Quick Black Beans and Rice
"An easy and delicious recipe. My whole family loved it. I served the beans separate from the rice so everyone could choose how much they wanted. Next time I think I will make double." — MARLALP