35 Easy Side Dishes

These delicious, easy side dishes are tried and true favorites! These tasty recipes pair with just about anything to make it a meal.

Easy side dish recipes

Looking for side dish recipes to round out your meal? You’ve come to the right place! Here at A Couple Cooks, we’ve been cooking up side dishes for years. That means, we’ve had years to weed out the bad ones and find the very best. To use, the best side dishes:

  • Are seriously tasty: It’s got to taste amazing, from crispy roasted Brussels sprouts to a tangy, crisp chopped salad
  • Have a healthy spin: Great sides are full of vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, and whole foods
  • Are easy to make: Some of these are quick, some take longer, but all of them use simple methods and are accessible for cooks of all skill levels.

Each one of these side dish recipes has been tested multiple times in our kitchen, and eaten by our friends and family. And every single one of them has been a hit! A few more side resources, before we get started:

And now, our top easy side dishes!

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Steamed broccoli

Easy Broccoli with Feta

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Steamed broccoli is the definition of an easy side dish recipe! It turns out bright green and crisp tender every time: serve with feta for extra wow. 



  • 1 1/2 pounds (2 large heads) broccoli
  • 1/4 cup red onions, thinly sliced (or substitute green onion)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Chop the broccoli into florets.
  2. If using, thinly slice the onion. Place it in a bowl of water while you’re making the rest of the recipe, then drain. (This helps to reduce onion breath and remove some of the spicy bite. If you use green onion, skip this step!)
  3. Place 1 1/2 cups water into a saucepan or pot and bring it to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, add the broccoli in the steamer basket. Steam with the lid on 3 to 4 minutes until just tender (test with a fork). We like our broccoli on the crisp side: if you’d like it more tender, cook 1 minute more. Just be careful not to cook much longer or the color will immediately fade and it will be overcooked!
  5. Carefully remove the broccoli to a bowl. Toss with the olive oil, kosher salt, feta cheese (optional), and drained red onions. Top with freshly ground black pepper.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Steamed
  • Cuisine: Vegetables

Keywords: Side Dish Recipes, Best Side Dishes

Runner up sides

There are so many great sides, we didn’t even scratch the surface! There are lots more delicious recipes where these come from. Here are some more of our runner up favorites:

Last updated: February 2020

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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