16 Side Dishes for Two

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts in a white dish
Photo: Molly

Having side dishes can really make a meal feel well-rounded. But if you're only cooking for two, it's easy to have mountains of leftovers when your side dish is meant for serving a larger crowd. Instead of scaling down, try one of these 15 side dishes that are just the right size for two. Crispy caramelized Brussels sprouts, tender melting potatoes, or lemon-glazed carrots are just a handful of the recipes that can make your evening delicious for a duo.

01 of 16

Quick, Smoky Green Beans

Quick, Smoky Green Beans in a white bowl
Soup Loving Nicole

A healthier twist on green beans, this recipe replaces fatty smoked pork with a dash of hickory smoked salt and crispy bacon bits. Reviewer Soup Loving Nicole says, "Simple and straightforward and the perfect side dish to a meal."

02 of 16

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash in a casserole dish
Reehlben

Hearty enough to be a main dish but versatile enough to also serve as a side, these stuffed squash contain ground beef, sausage, onions, and plenty of cheese for a rich recipe. The sweetness of the acorn squash is balanced out with the savory, garlicky filling.

03 of 16

Instant Pot® Garlic Roasted Melting Potatoes

roasted potatoes on white dinnerware
Soup Loving Nicole

Can't decide between crispy or creamy potatoes? This recipe doesn't make you choose! The Instant Pot allows you to sear the potatoes until a crispy exterior forms, then cook them under pressure for an irresistibly creamy center.

04 of 16

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Parmesan Brussels Sprouts in a white dish
Molly

Even the most hesitant of Brussels sprouts eaters will love this decadent spin on the green veggie. The sprouts are pan fried in a garlic butter blend before being tossed with freshly shredded Parmesan for an extra boost of saltiness.

05 of 16

Baked Butternut Squash

Baked Butternut Squash
Eri Hoshina

This recipe is the perfect example of how a tasty dish doesn't have to mean a bunch of ingredients. Roasted until tender, all these butternut squash halves need is a quick coating of butter plus a sprinkling of salt and pepper to make a lovely side.

06 of 16

Lemon-Glazed Carrots

Lemon-Glazed Carrots
lutzflcat

A little sweet, a little salty, and a whole lot tangy, the humble carrot is elevated thanks to a bold glaze made from lemon juice, brown sugar, and butter.

07 of 16

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallows on a white disg
My Hot Southern Mess

With each spud getting dressed up with cream cheese, brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon, these are like having your own personal sweet potato casserole. If you're not a fan of potato skins, follow reviewer Marie's lead and just combine the ingredients in a dish before baking.

08 of 16

Easy Asparagus

Easy Asparagus on a white plate
Lexa

No one will guess it only took you 20 minutes to whip up this flavorful side dish. Asparagus, red onion, and garlic are sautéed together until tender then finished off with a drizzle of white wine and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

09 of 16

Stuffed Delicata Squash

Stuffed Delicata Squash on a green plate
Linda T

Described by review Linda as "fall on a plate," this recipe makes the most of autumn's bounty. Delicata squash is packed with a blend of rosemary, apples, bacon, and goat cheese for a world of flavors and textures.

10 of 16

Gnocchi with Sage-Butter Sauce

Gnocchi with Sage-Butter Sauce
Photo by Grumpy's Honeybunch.

Delicate little pillows of pasta, gnocchi can make an excellent side to any Italian meal. Here it's tossed with garlic, sage, Parmesan cheese, and plenty of butter.

11 of 16

Squash and Green Bean Sauté Side Dish

Squash and Green Bean Saute Side Dish
naples34102

This trio of yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, and green beans creates a side dish that's equal parts colorful and flavorful. "We really enjoyed this dish! It was a great combination of vegetables and the lemon juice gave it a bright flavor," says Happyschmoopies.

12 of 16

Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash on a decorative plate
BCSCAVMOM

You only need three simple ingredients — acorn squash, butter, and brown sugar — to create this craveable recipe. The squash is baked until almost tender, then flipped over and filled with the remaining ingredients for a sweet and rich glaze.

13 of 16

Pear and Pomegranate Salad

salad with pear and pomegranate on a white plate
Annafur

Don't settle for boring side salads. This recipe includes all your favorite fall fruits, like pomegranates and pears, and is made wow-worthy with a simple sweet and tangy saucepan dressing.

14 of 16

Sweet and Sassy Hash Browns

Sweet and Sassy Hash Browns on a white and blue plate
gapch1026

These hash browns boast a base of sweet potatoes but also have a surprising kick of heat from chipotle chile powder. Reviewer jsrich18 raves, "This was delicious! A surprising variety of flavors."

15 of 16

Fresh Spinach Madeline

Fresh Spinach Madeline
Fresh Spinach Madeline. thedailygourmet

"Most recipes for spinach Madeline call for frozen spinach and they end up rather soupy," says thedailygourmet. "This spinach Madeline turns out creamy with a slight kick."

16 of 16

Baked Acorn Squash with Apple Stuffing

Baked Acorn Squash with Apple Stuffing
lutzflcat

Recipe creator Rebecca recommends serving this recipe as a side for pork for a truly complementary meal. Each half of the acorn squash is stuffed with apples, onions, and celery before being finished off with a drizzle of butter and maple syrup.

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