Top Veggie Side Dishes
Green, yellow, red or rainbow, we love bulking out our lunches and dinners by serving them with vibrant veggie-filled side dishes. Not only do they bring a pop of colour to your spread, they’re also nutritious, flavoursome, easy to prepare and budget-friendly. Our favourite slimming-friendly vegetarian side dishes are so yummy, even the fussiest eaters at the table love them! We’ve listed our top side dishes based on how long they take to prep and cook, so you can pick the right veggie side for your schedule (even if you’re in a time pinch!).
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Mexican Corn on the Cob (10 minutes)
Impossible to miss in bright, sunny yellow, our crunchy Mexican Corn on the Cob recipe is the perfect accompaniment to a Mexican-inspired spread. If it’s a balance of sweet, spicy and savoury flavours you’re after, these crunchy corn cobs have it ALL in abundance. By coating ours in a lime-infused yoghurt with a touch of chilli powder, we’ve recreated the best parts of a Mexican street food classic for fewer calories.
You don’t want to be waiting long for a side that tastes this good, so we’d recommend using an Instant Pot if you have one! It’ll have your cobs crunchy and ready to enjoy in a matter of minutes.
If you’ve not got an Instant Pot at home, don’t worry! They taste just as good fresh from the grill. Our biggest tip for this recipe is to never skip the lime wedge – it adds a whole new level of flavour (and colour!).
Greek Salad (10 minutes)
Vibrant veggie side dishes don’t come much quicker or tastier than a fragrant salad! Our Greek Salad recipe has all the trimmings you’d expect from a bowlful of fresh Greek-inspired greens, without taking you off track. The key is in our homemade dressing; it’s just as vinegary, pickley and zesty as classic versions, without calorie-laden oils or olives included. Mix together and drizzle over tossed crunchy salad leaves, fresh red onion, tomatoes, cucumber and the all-important diced feta cheese…
Coleslaw (15 minutes)
One of the most versatile sides on our list, Coleslaw’s creamy, crunchy deliciousness can be served in so many different ways. Enjoy coleslaw on a sandwich, as a jacket potato topping, as part of a fresh salad or as a standalone side at your next barbecue spread. Wherever your shredded veggies end up, with our version, you’re only ever adding 80 calories to your plate – what a winner! We love that there’s room to play around with this recipe. Try being bolder with spices or different types of veggies to find what works for you.
We’re never shy with curry powder and we’re always looking for ways to give stray ingredients a new lease of life, and that’s how our spicy Coronation Coleslaw was born!
Broccoli and Sweetcorn Fritters (15 minutes)
Our Broccoli and Sweetcorn Fritters are the perfect excuse to dust off that unloved tin of sweetcorn at the back of your store cupboard. With broccoli, sweetcorn, grated sweet potato and spring onion, these moreish 202-calorie bites are a winner whether you enjoy them for breakfast, as a lunchtime accompaniment or as a grab-and-go snack.
Don’t forget the dip! We’ve flavoured our fragrant yoghurt dip with coriander, chilli and lime, so you’ll want to take more than just your fritters for a dip (carrot sticks work a charm mopping up any leftovers!). To make this recipe even quicker, you can always prepare the dip ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready for it.
Spinach and Parmesan Orzo (16 minutes)
On the lookout for a veggie side dish that pairs nicely with fish? Our Spinach and Parmesan Orzo is a banging option. We’re obsessed with the fact that the rice-shaped orzo pasta cooks up in less than half the time of risotto rice, and still has all of its signature creamy deliciousness.
Stir the orzo in the pan with the garlicky cream cheese sauce until it’s cooked through but still has a ‘bite’ to it. So satisfying and full of spinach-y goodness.
Sweet Potato Pakoras (20 minutes)
Some of the most magical side dishes only need a few simple ingredients, and that’s definitely true with our Sweet Potato Pakoras. Using only sweet potato, onion and a handful of staple spices, you can create an Indian-inspired side dish that packs a flavour punch! The finer you can slice your red onion, the better. We use a mandolin to get the job done as quickly and safely as possible!
Get stuck in and roll your pakoras into evenly-sized balls, ready to be oven baked until crisp. Once you try them, you’ll want them with everything!
Cajun Style Green Beans (20 minutes)
Ready to spice up your plate? With one simple swap, our Cajun Style Green Beans make a crunchy and flavourful veggie-friendly dish that’s so good, you’ll never want plain greens on your plate again! Simply swap out the smoked bacon pieces for a vegetarian alternative, or remove them altogether (they’re just as moreish, either way!).
To keep our ingredients list short and sweet, we’ve used a pre-mixed Cajun-style seasoning from Schwartz – so there’s no need to worry too much about prep!
Throw your frozen green beans into the pan and let the Cajun-style spices, garlic and lemon juice do the rest.
If you love this one and you want to keep your flavours fresh week-by-week, simply swap out the Cajun-style seasoning for an alternative flavouring of your choice. We bet spicy green beans would go down a treat…
Nando’s Spicy Rice (25 minutes)
Nando’s Spicy Rice has become such a firm favourite in our house, not a week goes by without restocking our freezer! A batch cook’s dream, this slimming-friendly rice dish pairs well with just about anything, so it’s ideal to have on hand!
We’ve used peppers, onions, frozen peas and a careful blend of spices to make sure our version is slimming friendly and budget friendly, without losing out on that signature Nando’s experience (the only thing it doesn’t have is unlimited refills!).
Chipotle Hasselback Potatoes (40 minutes)
Looking to get a little more creative in the kitchen with your spuds? Our Chipotle Hasselback Potatoes are a dreamy place to start. Crispy on the outside with flavourful skin and a satisfying, fluffy texture on the inside, you’ll be glad you gave this recipe a whirl. Smaller potatoes like Charlottes or baby potatoes are ideal for this recipe, as they’re waxier than the bigger varieties – so they’ll hold their shape better!
To save some energy and avoid switching the oven on, you can always crisp them to perfection in an air fryer instead.
From veggie-filled rice and pasta dishes to crispy salads and baked potatoes, there are so many ways you can transform your veggies into filling, slimming-friendly side dishes that level up your plate in an instant.
Ready to rustle up a veggie side dish?
We’d love to know which of our slimming-friendly veggie recipes you’ll be making! Tell us over in our Facebook group, where there are almost 1 million members sharing ideas and inspiration.
Our PON gallery’s a really handy place to go for recipe tips or inspiration if you’re in a bind over what to cook up next. You can even share your photos with us – if they make us hungry, chances are we’ll send you some SWAG!