14 Top-Rated Vegetarian Side Dishes for Any Occasion
Plenty of side dishes appear to be vegetarian-friendly, whether it's grains or veggies, but sometimes sneaky ingredients can be added. Things like chicken broth or even lard (we're looking at you, refried beans) can be hidden in the most well-intentioned of side dishes. But you won't have to worry about that with our collection of vegetarian side dishes. We've rounded up 15 great meatless side dishes, with everything from spuds to squash, and it is all animal-free and delicious.
Sweet and Savory Hasselback Butternut Squash
The sweet honey glaze on this squash creates a caramelized topping that's offset with savory notes from the pistachios, smoked paprika, and garlic.
Easy Garlic Kale
All you need are three ingredients for this ultra easy vegetarian side. For those who like kale extra tender, several reviewers suggest cooking it for an additional minute or two.
Zucchini Herb Casserole
Reviewer ELAM4 says, "My husband doesn't believe in dinner without meat but when he tasted this dish he exclaimed over it for no less than half an hour!"
Baked Sweet Potato Sticks
Naturally delicious sweet potatoes are simply jazzed up with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika. Don't forget to serve with a side of your favorite dipping sauce.
Sheet Pan Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables
Avoid the intricate assembly and still enjoy all the flavors of ratatouille with these easy roasted vegetables. Serve as is on the side, or toss into pasta or rice dishes for a simple main.
Quick Moroccan Couscous
Pearl couscous is the perfect ingredient for soaking up rich Moroccan flavors. Golden raisins add sweetness, the sun-dried tomatoes are a little tart, and there's plenty of savoriness from the onions and garlic.
A Southern classic, fried okra completes any dinner plate. The veggie is battered in cornmeal and seasonings before being fried to golden perfection.
Chef John's Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Zucchini and Potato Bake
"The bread crumbs keep the zucchini from feeling too soft or "slimy" (as my kids say), so even the non-zucchini eaters thought this was delicious," says Robin Smith.
Japanese Zucchini and Onions
Sautéed in a mix of soy and teriyaki sauces, these crisp-tender onions and zucchini will round out your next Japanese-inspired meal.
Yellow Squash Casserole
Cheesy, gooey, and crunchy, this squash casserole well deserves its title as a classic vegetarian side dish.
Roasting cabbages creates a caramelized flavor that will convince even the most staunch of cabbage haters to take a taste.
Lime Cilantro Rice
Complete your Taco Tuesday spread with this simple side. Rice is cooked until tender, then tossed with lime juice and zest, along with a hefty dose of cilantro.