Healthy Summer Side Dish Recipes - Healthy recipes and cooking tips for a healthier lifestyle

Healthy Summer Side Dish Recipes

June 10, 2024
Healthy Summer Side Dish Recipes

Summer is here, which means you’ll most likely be looking for BBQ recipes and fun pool party food ideas. If you are wondering what to bring to a cookout, then we’ve got you covered. These healthy summer side dishes are packed with flavor while staying heart-healthy. Add these healthy, delicious sides to your summer menu, and you’ll be sure to be invited back to the party year after year. From classic favorites with a healthy twist to unique and vibrant new ideas, these recipes will keep your summer gatherings exciting and delicious.

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Pasta Side Dish Recipes

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Ditch the boxed stuff and impress your friends and family with our luscious, healthy mac and cheese. This creamy macaroni and cheese recipe made with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and multigrain macaroni is sure to be a hit at any BBQ. Not only is it delicious, but it also contains more fiber and nutrients than traditional mac and cheese. This dish is perfect for those looking for a comforting yet healthy option. Be sure to add this recipe to your list of healthy side dishes that go with burgers.

Healthy Veggie Pasta Salad

Who said pasta salad can’t be healthy? This healthy veggie pasta salad is made with whole grain pasta, hearty roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and sliced zucchini, then mixed with zesty Italian dressing. The whole grain pasta provides extra fiber, and the vegetables add a burst of vitamins and minerals. It will definitely be a crowd-pleaser, and it’s an excellent way to sneak more vegetables into your diet. This pasta salad is also great for meal prep as it holds up well in the fridge.

Healthy Rotini Pasta Salad

Whether you’re packing a quick lunch or a picnic meal, this healthy rotini pasta salad is the perfect summer side dish to bring to a cookout. It’s packed with heart-healthy veggies like broccoli, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes and is super filling and flavorful. The whole grain rotini provides a good source of fiber, while the veggies add a variety of nutrients. This salad is tossed with a light vinaigrette, making it a refreshing and healthy choice for any summer gathering.

Vegetable Side Dish Recipes

Healthy Squash and Tomato Salad

This healthy squash and tomato salad is vibrantly delicious and gluten-free. It features summer squash, zucchini, and ripe tomatoes that are sautéed together, pulling out all of their fresh, amazing flavors. The sautéing process enhances the natural sweetness of the vegetables, making this dish a super fresh summer delight with tons of flavor. This salad is light, healthy, and pairs perfectly with any grilled main dish.

Healthy Grilled Corn on the Cob

This healthy grilled corn on the cob just screams summer! We’ve added healthy olive oil and a fragrant blend of herbs to make this gluten-free corn on the cob a favorite side dish you’ll crave all summer long. Corn is a great source of fiber and antioxidants, and grilling it brings out its natural sweetness. Serve it with a sprinkle of fresh herbs for an extra burst of flavor.

Healthy Apple Cabbage Slaw

This crisp and vibrant healthy apple cabbage slaw is so easy to prepare and makes a great burger topper or BBQ side dish. The combination of sweet apples and crunchy cabbage creates a refreshing and nutritious side. It’s also one of the tastiest side dishes for chicken. This delicious slaw only takes 6 ingredients to make, is low-calorie, and will make a gorgeous addition to any family cookout. Plus, cabbage is rich in vitamins K and C, making this slaw as healthy as it is tasty.

Healthy Broccoli Slaw

This simple and healthy broccoli slaw is a creamy summer classic with tons of sweet and crunchy flavor. It’s loaded with raisins, sunflower seeds, and turkey bacon, making it a surprisingly delectable fresh summer side dish. Broccoli is rich in vitamins C and K, and the addition of sunflower seeds adds a nice crunch and a dose of healthy fats. This slaw is perfect for those who want a light yet flavorful side dish that pairs well with almost anything.

Healthy Tomato Basil and Avocado Salad

Looking for the freshest salad you can imagine? This healthy tomato basil and avocado salad is heart-healthy and so colorful. Bright cherry tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, and avocado come together to make this perfect summer side dish for your BBQ. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, and avocados provide healthy fats, making this salad both delicious and nutritious. The basil adds a fragrant touch that ties all the flavors together beautifully.

Potato Side Dish Recipes

Healthy Sweet Potato Salad

Our healthy sweet potato salad will knock your socks off. This unique twist on potato salad mixes perfectly roasted sweet potatoes and a creamy mixture of Greek yogurt, light mayo, Dijon mustard, and loads of fresh dill together to make the most delicious summer side dish. Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants, making this salad both flavorful and nutritious. Serve it chilled for a refreshing complement to your summer meals.

Healthy German Potato Salad

Apple cider vinegar and sweet onion give this healthy German potato salad a sweet and tangy flavor without adding extra fat or calories. The addition of crispy, crumbled low-sodium bacon and fresh parsley make this gorgeous, creamy potato salad feel like a decadent treat that your guests will love.

Healthy Summer Salad

This gluten-free, healthy summer salad is a decadent French potato salad recipe that combines red and white potatoes with green beans, Champagne vinegar, and lots of fresh herbs. The addition of kalamata olives and fresh cherry tomatoes adds a juiciness that will have your friends and family coming back for seconds of this seasonal potato salad. This salad is not only visually appealing but also packed with nutrients, making it a standout dish at any summer event.

Mediterranean Side Dish Recipes

Healthy Bell Pepper and Farro Salad

Sweet bell peppers, lemon juice, and fresh parsley with farro make this healthy bell pepper and farro salad so satisfying. Farro is an ancient grain that is high in fiber and protein, making this salad both filling and nutritious. It’s packed with so much flavor that your guests will be begging you for the recipe. The vibrant colors of the bell peppers make this dish as visually appealing as it is delicious.

Healthy Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

For a touch of the Mediterranean, try this healthy chickpea salad. Packed with protein-rich chickpeas, cucumbers, red onions, cherry tomatoes, and kalamata olives, this salad is a nutrient powerhouse. Tossed with a tangy lemon-olive oil dressing and sprinkled with fresh parsley, it's a refreshing and filling side dish perfect for summer gatherings.

FAQ: Healthy Summer Side Dish Recipes

How can I make these side dishes ahead of time?

Many of these side dishes can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. For salads with dressings, consider keeping the dressing separate and mixing it in just before serving to keep everything fresh and crisp.

Are these recipes suitable for a vegetarian or vegan diet?

Most of these recipes can be easily adapted for vegetarian or vegan diets. For example, you can use plant-based alternatives for dairy products and omit any non-vegetarian ingredients like turkey bacon.

Can I substitute ingredients in these recipes?

Absolutely! Feel free to substitute ingredients based on your dietary needs or preferences. For example, you can use gluten-free pasta in the pasta salads or swap out vegetables based on what you have on hand.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Most of these dishes will keep well for a few days, making them great for meal prep and quick lunches.

Are these side dishes kid-friendly?

Yes, many of these side dishes are kid-friendly and can be a great way to introduce more vegetables into your children's diets. The creamy mac and cheese and sweet potato salad, in particular, tend to be favorites among kids.

How can I make these side dishes more flavorful?

Fresh herbs, spices, and a good balance of acids (like vinegar or lemon juice) can enhance the flavors of these dishes. Don't be afraid to adjust the seasoning to your taste.

Can these recipes be made gluten-free?

Yes, many of these recipes are naturally gluten-free or can be adapted to be gluten-free by using appropriate substitutes such as gluten-free pasta or bread.

Feel free to experiment with these healthy summer side dish recipes and make them your own. For light and nutritious options, explore our blog post, Fresh and Delicious Healthy Summer Recipes. If you're in the mood for guilt-free indulgence, check out Try These Surprisingly Healthy Summer Treats. And for those who love to grill, don't miss our Amazingly Healthy Grilling Tips and Recipes



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