Our 21 Best Side Dishes for Ribs—Because Your BBQ Deserves It

Whether they’re dry rubbed or tossed in a sticky-sweet Kansas City-style sauce that leaves stains in unexpected places, baby back ribs instantly turn up the volume on your summer gathering. Pounds of ribs laid side by side is a sight to behold—and the …

Whether they're dry rubbed or tossed in a sticky-sweet Kansas City-style sauce that leaves stains in unexpected places, baby back ribs instantly turn up the volume on your summer gathering. Pounds of ribs laid side by side is a sight to behold—and the smell of them coming right off the grill or being pulled out of the oven guarantees that neighbors will walk over uninvited to say, "what's cooking?" But hey, the more the merrier, especially when it comes to such a crowd-friendly main course like ribs.

And while the meat is plenty filling on its own, a true barbecue feast will also feature an all-star lineup of side dishes like potato salad, coleslaw, grilled summer vegetables, baked beans, sautéed greens, and a whole lot more. Here are 21 of the best side dishes to serve with ribs all summer long.

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21 Stellar Side Dishes for July 4

Sides are the perfect opportunity to add color, punch, texture and variety to the main event, whether that’s a humungo piece of grilled meat or veggie burgers. Personally my favorite kind of feast is when there are lots of sides and you just dig into t…

Sides are the perfect opportunity to add color, punch, texture and variety to the main event, whether that’s a humungo piece of grilled meat or veggie burgers. Personally my favorite kind of feast is when there are lots of sides and you just dig into them like tapas, main dish conspicuously missing. But hey, however you serve it, these sides—which you can grill on the day of or make ahead; serve piping hot or let sit in the sun for hours with no effect on quality—do right by the 4th of July.

1. Asparagus With Lemon-Pepper Marinade From Bryant Terry

Will you be grilling this 4th of July? Then let your main dish scoot over a bit to make room for some sides, like this vegan asparagus wonder where the marinade becomes the sauce.

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27 Stellar Side Dishes for Chicken

So, you’re making chicken for dinner. Maybe it is oven-fried or feta-brined or milk-braised. But it is chicken and it needs a side. That’s where these 27 recipes come in.

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So, you’re making chicken for dinner. Maybe it is oven-fried or feta-brined or milk-braised. But it is chicken and it needs a side. That’s where these 27 recipes come in.

1. Citrus Salad With Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Dates & Almonds

This sweet and sour citrus salad, with juicy oranges, sticky dates, and crunchy almonds, is the perfect foil to rich, fatty roast chicken. Or crispy chicken cutlets, sliced into strips.

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42 Side Dishes for a Traditional (or Nontraditional!) Easter

Main dishes tend to steal the show when it comes to the Easter table—be it the classic honey-glazed ham or an impressive leg of lamb. But with this spring’s festivities affected by the pandemic for the second year in a row, some traditions may have shi…

Main dishes tend to steal the show when it comes to the Easter table—be it the classic honey-glazed ham or an impressive leg of lamb. But with this spring’s festivities affected by the pandemic for the second year in a row, some traditions may have shifted. Regardless of what your Easter (or Passover) looks like, or how many you’re feeding, this year, the holiday provides an opportunity to appreciate spring’s bounty. And really, I’ll take any excuse to celebrate and cook for those I love.

Consider this a master list of both traditional and nontraditional side dishes for Easter, some old standbys and others that are sure to become instant classics. There’s something on here for the whole family, from your vegan sister to gluten-free aunt to picky cousins. Here are over 40 recipes that put side dishes in the limelight, so you’re guaranteed to have your best Easter spread yet.

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Perfect Vegan Caesar Salad

This vegan Caesar salad tastes even better than the original! It features an irresistibly creamy dressing, capers, and crunchy croutons. There’s nothing quite like a great Caesar salad. So there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be an irresistibly tasty vegan version of it in your life. Meet: our perfect Vegan Caesar Salad! Of course, we love ourselves a great classic Caesar salad. But this one comes extraordinarily close: in fact, Alex even said he liked it better than the original! It’s got an irresistibly creamy, savory vegan Caesar dressing, crunchy croutons, and salty pops of flavor from the capers. In fact, the capers are the secret to making it taste so savory and delicious, you barely notice it’s totally plant-based. Ingredients for the best vegan Caesar salad This vegan Caesar salad is a big favorite in our house: especially the salad dressing. In fact, we like making this one more than the original. Here are the elements that make it perfectly delicious: Vegan Caesar dressing: This dressing is so incredibly savory, you’ll forget there’s no mayo, Parmesan or anchovies like the real thing. Capers: Yes, capers are the key! They give a pop of savory flavor to each bite that mimics the […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This vegan Caesar salad tastes even better than the original! It features an irresistibly creamy dressing, capers, and crunchy croutons.

Vegan caesar salad

There’s nothing quite like a great Caesar salad. So there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be an irresistibly tasty vegan version of it in your life. Meet: our perfect Vegan Caesar Salad! Of course, we love ourselves a great classic Caesar salad. But this one comes extraordinarily close: in fact, Alex even said he liked it better than the original! It’s got an irresistibly creamy, savory vegan Caesar dressing, crunchy croutons, and salty pops of flavor from the capers. In fact, the capers are the secret to making it taste so savory and delicious, you barely notice it’s totally plant-based.

Ingredients for the best vegan Caesar salad

This vegan Caesar salad is a big favorite in our house: especially the salad dressing. In fact, we like making this one more than the original. Here are the elements that make it perfectly delicious:

  • Vegan Caesar dressing: This dressing is so incredibly savory, you’ll forget there’s no mayo, Parmesan or anchovies like the real thing.
  • Capers: Yes, capers are the key! They give a pop of savory flavor to each bite that mimics the salty punch of Parmesan shavings.
  • Homemade croutons: If you have time, homemade croutons are crazy good. Tear the bread into uneven pieces to make fluffy, crunchy orbs.
  • Avocado & lemon zest (optional): Use avocado to add even more richness, and lemon for a zing.
  • Tuscan kale & romaine: Use a mix of greens to add variety and contrast in flavor.
Vegan caesar dressing

Secrets to homemade vegan Caesar dressing

The hardest part about making a vegan Caesar salad is…the dressing! A classic Caesar dressing relies on mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and anchovies to make an umami-packed flavor sensation. A plant-based Caesar dressing gets none of these easy shortcuts to flavor. What does it use?

  • Chickpeas AND aquafaba make it creamy! Aquafaba is the liquid inside a can of chickpeas, and it’s an amazing way to add silky texture to sauces (like avocado mayo). You can even use it for things like vegan meringues! It adds just the right silky richness to the dressing here.
  • Miso paste adds massive savory flavor. Miso is a fermented Japanese soybean paste that adds great flavor to vegan dishes. Look for yellow or white miso paste; red or brown is not recommended.
  • Dijon mustard also brings in tangy, savory flavor. Dijon is key here!
  • Garlic, lemon and oil round it out. Speaking of the oil…

Why to use a mix of olive oil and neutral oil

This vegan Caesar dressing uses a mix of olive oil and neutral oil. Why is this necessary?

  • All olive oil makes a bright yellow dressing. You can certainly use 100% olive oil in this dressing, especially if you like cooking with olive oil for health reasons. Olive oil is one of the healthiest cooking oils in the world. But it does make the color quite bright!
  • Neutral oil keeps the color closer to a Caesar dressing. It also adds a nuance to the flavor. Use grapeseed oil or organic canola or vegetable oil: anything that has a lighter color and a neutral flavor.
Vegan Caesar salad

Capers are the key!

Capers are part of the magic behind this vegan Caesar salad: because they really mimic the burst of flavor that comes from Parmesan shavings. Here’s a bit more info about this beautiful ingredient if you’ve never worked with it:

  • Capers are a berry of the caper bush that’s native to the Mediterranean. They’re round and dark green gray, about the size of a peppercorn. You’ll find them in Italian and Mediterranean recipes.
  • What do capers taste like? They have a bright, briny and salty flavor.
  • Where to find capers? Capers are served pickled, so you’ll find them in small, thin jars near the olives at the grocery store.
  • What recipes use capers? Make Roasted Eggplant Pasta, Salmon with Capers or Remoulade Sauce.
Vegan caesar salad

Variations: make it a main dish!

If you take all this time to make Caesar salad…why not turn it into a main dish meal? At least, that’s the way we think around here! We love it as a side, but it’s fun as a main dish too. Here’s how to add plant-based protein and turn it into a meal:

How would you serve it? Let us know in the comments below!

Vegan Caesar salad recipe

This vegan Caesar salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten free, omit the croutons or use gluten free bread.

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Vegan caesar salad

Perfect Vegan Caesar Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This vegan Caesar salad tastes even better than the original! It features an irresistibly creamy dressing, capers, and crunchy croutons. 


Ingredients

For the Vegan Caesar Dressing (makes 1 cup)

  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained + 1/4 cup aquafaba (liquid from the can)
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons yellow miso paste (or any miso marked light or white*)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons neutral oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1 cup croutons, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 head romaine or 2 romaine hearts
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 1 ripe avocado (optional)
  • Lemon zest (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the croutons (optional): If using, make the Homemade Croutons, tearing the bread into pieces before baking instead of slicing it into cubes. Or, use purchased croutons. 
  2. Make the dressing: Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Drain the chickpeas into a liquid measuring cup: save 1/4 cup of the liquid (aquafaba) for the dressing. In a large blender, place the garlic, chickpeas, aquafaba, lemon juice, light miso paste, Dijon mustard, olive oil, neutral oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Blend until a creamy dressing forms. Makes 1 cup; serve immediately or refrigerate up to 1 month; bring to room temperature before serving. 
  3. Prep the fresh ingredients: Chop the romaine and Tuscan kale. Chop the avocado, if using.
  4. Serve: To serve, place the greens in serving bowls and top with drained capers, avocado, croutons, lemon zest (optional), and a few tablespoons of the dressing. 

Notes

*Do not substitute brown or red miso, as the flavor is too strong and it makes the dressing too dark in color. Yellow, light or white miso is best here. 

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: Vegan caesar salad

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Quick Broccoli and Cheese

This quick broccoli and cheese recipe is everything cozy, cheesy, and warm: in less than 10 minutes! It’s the ideal easy side dish. What’s more comforting than broccoli smothered in Parmesan and cheddar? Meet this perfect Broccoli and Cheese, aka Cheesy Broccoli. Alex whipped this up for me and one bite in, memories from childhood flooded back. “What’s in this?” I asked. Somehow it transported right me to nostalgia land! This cheesy broccoli has just the right nuanced flavor from the Parmesan and cheddar cheese, the best tender texture, and the perfect warming vibe. Even better, it’s done in under 10 minutes! It quickly became part of our regular rotation: and we’ll show you how to do it! Ingredients in this quick broccoli and cheese This broccoli and cheese recipe is designed for quick weeknights, when you need a great side dish to pair with your meal. Most nights we make this Pan Fried Broccoli, but when we’re feeling fancy we whip this one out. It’s always a hit with kids, but perhaps more so with adults. Here’s a quick run-down of the ingredients: Fresh broccoli Olive oil Kosher salt Grated Parmesan cheese: The powdery kind, not the kind that […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This quick broccoli and cheese recipe is everything cozy, cheesy, and warm: in less than 10 minutes! It’s the ideal easy side dish.

Broccoli and cheese

What’s more comforting than broccoli smothered in Parmesan and cheddar? Meet this perfect Broccoli and Cheese, aka Cheesy Broccoli. Alex whipped this up for me and one bite in, memories from childhood flooded back. “What’s in this?” I asked. Somehow it transported right me to nostalgia land! This cheesy broccoli has just the right nuanced flavor from the Parmesan and cheddar cheese, the best tender texture, and the perfect warming vibe. Even better, it’s done in under 10 minutes! It quickly became part of our regular rotation: and we’ll show you how to do it!

Ingredients in this quick broccoli and cheese

This broccoli and cheese recipe is designed for quick weeknights, when you need a great side dish to pair with your meal. Most nights we make this Pan Fried Broccoli, but when we’re feeling fancy we whip this one out. It’s always a hit with kids, but perhaps more so with adults. Here’s a quick run-down of the ingredients:

  • Fresh broccoli
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: The powdery kind, not the kind that looks like sticks (that’s shredded Parmesan)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
Broccoli and cheese recipe

How to make cheesy broccoli: a few tips!

You might think that broccoli and cheese is as simple as throwing broccoli in a pan, adding cheese, and cooking. Well, it’s partially that simple! But cooking broccoli requires just a few special tips to get the right tender texture and gooey cheese. Broccoli can get dry when pan frying it, so often you’ll need a little water for cooking. Here’s what to know:

  • First, sauté the broccoli in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes. This gets it mostly cooked and a little brown.
  • Add the cheese, then 1/4 water and cover! Cook 1 minute. This both steams the broccoli and melts the cheese.

That’s it! Remove the lid and you’ve got a gooey, warm, perfectly tender pile of cheesy broccoli. Even better: you don’t have to wait to bake a casserole! it’s done in less than 10 minutes: perfect for hangry moments.

Broccoli cheese

Why it’s a healthy side dish…with cheese!

Adding cheese to vegetables is one of the oldest tricks in the book to try to get people to eat their veggies. Here’s the thing…it’s not a terrible idea! Especially when you’re not adding loads of the stuff. Here’s why this broccoli and cheese can be considered a healthy side dish:

  • You get all the fiber and Vitamin C in broccoli! 1 cup of raw broccoli has 2.3 grams of fiber (source) and 140% of your daily vitamin (source).
  • The cheese is moderate. The cheese adds 68 calories and 5 grams fat per serving. This is better than many cheese sauces that load on calories and fat.

Want to go super healthy? Try our Pan Fried Broccoli: it’s got no cheese but lots of great flavor.

Cheesy broccoli

More great broccoli recipes

Broccoli is one of the vegetables we love most in our house! We make it as a side dish all the time. But it’s great in soups, stews, stir fries, and more. Here are some more fantastic broccoli recipes:

This broccoli and cheese recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print
Broccoli and cheese

Quick Broccoli and Cheese (10 Minutes!)


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

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This quick broccoli and cheese recipe is everything cozy, cheesy, and warm: in less than 10 minutes! It’s the ideal easy side dish.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, stem on (about 3 large heads or 6 heaping cups florets)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (the powdery kind)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Chop the broccoli into medium sized florets (leave a good amount of the stem for a nice shape; see the photo or How to Cut Broccoli).
  2. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat it on medium high heat. Add broccoli and salt. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until starting to brown, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the broccoli, followed by the cheddar cheese. Add 1/4 cup water to the bottom of the skillet and cover with a lid. Cook another 1 minute until cheese is melted and the water cooks out. Serve immediately! 
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetables

Keywords: Broccoli and cheese, broccoli cheese, cheesy broccoli

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

It’s Steak Night, Baby—Here Are 27 Creamy & Crunchy Sides

There’s something about steak that feels celebratory. You might have a go-to ribeye recipe for a holiday or anniversary, or you like to throw a New York strip on the grill to spruce up an otherwise ordinary weeknight. Countless variations in cut, tempe…

There's something about steak that feels celebratory. You might have a go-to ribeye recipe for a holiday or anniversary, or you like to throw a New York strip on the grill to spruce up an otherwise ordinary weeknight. Countless variations in cut, temperature, rub, and sauce make the slabs of beef all the more distinguished. I love a recipe that incorporates a side along with a steak—hey there, skirt steak and smashed cucumbers and Caesar-inspired flank steak (both of these meat marinades also act as a dressing for the side salad!)—but on a special “steak night,” I like to go big with the sides.

And just as there is a steak for every occasion, there is an ideal side (or three) for every steak. Here are 27 crunchy, spicy, creamy accompaniments that will further enhance your meal. Whether you’re looking for a flavor-packed counterpart to brighten up the table (think: citrusy asparagus and fiery kimchi fried rice), or prefer classic steakhouse fixin's (looking at you, scalloped potatoes and creamed spinach)—we’ve got sides that will put up a fight for center stage.

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Persian-Inspired Crispy Rice & Chicken Perfect for Thanksgiving (or Dinner Tonight)

While I love the spirit of Thanksgiving—gathering around the table, drinking and eating all day with loved ones—I have to admit that I’m not a roast turkey fan. If you’re thinking that it’s because I haven’t had a really good one, whether fried, spatch…

While I love the spirit of Thanksgiving—gathering around the table, drinking and eating all day with loved ones—I have to admit that I’m not a roast turkey fan. If you’re thinking that it’s because I haven’t had a really good one, whether fried, spatchcocked or with super crispy skin and tender, juicy meat, then please rest assured that I have. I’m still not that into it. What I love most are the side dishes. Maybe it’s because I’m typically in charge of them on Thanksgiving Day, so I take a certain amount of pride in making them interesting, or because I love these late fall vegetables. Maybe both!

For anyone who shares my feelings on turkey, I created a menu that is centered around tahchin, a chicken-and-rice dish from my childhood, and served with a variety of vegetables—think: golden mushrooms with creamy labneh, sheet-pan crispy kale and squash, and saffron-infused skillet potatoes.

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16 Vegan Side Dishes So Good, You’ll *Almost* Forget the Mains

When planning a menu, the focus tends to steer towards the entrees of the spread. Break the norms and rewrite the narrative with side dishes like creamy tahini potato salad or stuffed zucchini with freekeh pilaf and currants worthy of stealing the show…

When planning a menu, the focus tends to steer towards the entrees of the spread. Break the norms and rewrite the narrative with side dishes like creamy tahini potato salad or stuffed zucchini with freekeh pilaf and currants worthy of stealing the show.

Satisfy both the omnivores and herbivores among your friends and family with these 16 vegan side dishes featuring plant-based ingredients like miso, tahini, and tons and tons of delicious vegetables.

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Skillet Mexican Zucchini

Skillet Mexican Zucchini is incredibly delicious with a little bit of a kick from the jalapeño topped with melted queso blanco. So easy and quick, a must try! Mexican Zucchini I can’t get enough of zucchini in the summer, in fact I have an entire section of Zucchini Recipes in my index if you need […]

The post Skillet Mexican Zucchini appeared first on Skinnytaste.

Skillet Mexican Zucchini is incredibly delicious with a little bit of a kick from the jalapeño topped with melted queso blanco. So easy and quick, a must try!

This zucchini is incredibly delicious with a little bit of a Mexican kick from the jalapeno then topped with melted queso blanco. It's also easy and quick, a must try!
Mexican Zucchini

I can’t get enough of zucchini in the summer, in fact I have an entire section of Zucchini Recipes in my index if you need more ideas.

(more…)

The post Skillet Mexican Zucchini appeared first on Skinnytaste.