Salads & Sides

Sides like French fries and mashed potatoes are traditionally cooked in oil and doused in butter. Here we offer dairy-free and oil-free vegan side dishes that can be enjoyed guilt-free. We've combined vegan salads with side dishes in this category, but that doesn’t mean that our salads aren't meal-worthy on their own. Most contain beans and/or whole grains to make them very hearty. If you’re making your salad ahead for lunch the next day, just be sure to pack your dressing on the side.
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four jars filled with green beans and onions
Spicy Pickled Green Beans
If you find yourself with more beans than you can handle, these spicy pickled green beans are a flavor-packed way to use them up and make an excellent addition to salads, grain bowls, burgers, and sandwiches. If you’re new to pickling, these refrigerator pickles are a great place to start. Place trimmed green beans in sterilized jars, with crushed red pepper, garlic, and fresh dill (or dill seeds) for added flavor. Then heat a simple four-ingredient pickling liquid and pour it over the veggies.
two red plates filled with food on top of a table next to utensils
Tropical Fruit Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing
Sweet watermelon combines with juicy papaya, crisp cucumber, and tangy pomegranate seeds to create a drip-down-your-chin-delicious salad that'll wow any crowd. A lemongrass-infused ginger-lime dressing lends bright flavor, with nori flakes and dulse flakes and crumbled dried oyster mushrooms adding salty and umami notes that complement the sweet fruit. Round things out with fresh herbs and peppery radishes.
a bowl filled with carrots, lentils and lemon wedges on top of a wooden table
Za’atar Carrots and Lentils
Sweet, colorful carrots tinged with the warming tones of za’atar seasoning stand front and center in this delicious dish brimming with Middle Eastern flavors. A hefty base of earthy lentils simmered with tomato paste, veggie broth, and fresh thyme perfectly complement the tender carrots. Plump raisins and salty olives add depth to the lentils, while lemon juice and zest tie everything together. Served as a main or a side, this vibrant dish is more than the sum of its parts!
three plates of salad with strawberries, cucumbers and radishes on them
Strawberry-Radish Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing
This light spring salad makes a bright and fresh side dish when the weather starts to warm up. Here, a bed of tender mixed greens and fresh mint leaves is piled high with thinly sliced radishes, jammy strawberries, and refreshing cucumber to create a tantalizing trifecta of toppers. A creamy lemon dressing—which gets its velvety texture from silken tofu—adds a delightful pop of citrus to tie everything together.
two white bowls filled with artichokes on top of a blue tablecloth
Instant Pot Artichokes with Lemony Vegan Aioli
Not sure how to steam a whole artichoke? An electric multicooker such as the Instant Pot turns this delicate task into a walk in the park. With this recipe, we show you how to cook artichokes to tender perfection in the Instant Pot and how to serve and eat them. We’ve also paired the steamed veggie delicacy with a lemony vegan aïoli dipping sauce to provide a kick of bright acidity that complements the rich artichoke flesh. Enjoy these Instant Pot artichokes as an appetizer or side dish.
a black bowl filled with salad on top of a gray table next to silverware
Dreena Burton’s Easy 3-Bean Salad
This is a fresh, oil-free variation on the three-bean salad often found in grocery store delis. It tastes best after a day in the fridge so the flavors can meld, but you can absolutely eat it fresh. The hearty combination of chickpeas, kidney beans, and black beans is complemented by crunchy celery, sweet apple, and bell pepper so each bite is equal parts refreshing and satisfying. A light Dijon vinaigrette rounds out the flavor profile to create the perfect grab-and-go salad for busy weekdays.
some food is laying out in a bowl
Quick and Easy Injera
A spongy sourdough-like flatbread, injera serves as an edible utensil (and sometimes the entire platter) for an Ethiopian meal. The tangy taste pairs perfectly with richly spiced Ethiopian dishes, while the absorbent texture is great for soaking up extra sauce. Traditional injera batter is fermented over four days, but this quick version gets its tang from lemon juice and requires less than an hour to be ready to eat.
a salad in a bowl on top of a table next to two glasses and spoons
Orange Farro Salad with Pan-Roasted Tomatoes
This hearty salad is packed full of hunger-busting ingredients that will power you through a busy day without a problem. Chewy farro soaks up the tangy flavors of a citrusy vinaigrette while pan-roasted tomatoes add their sweet juices to the jumble of fresh veggies. Red onions offer a pop of bright acidity, cannellini beans bring creamy heft, and fresh basil rounds everything out with fresh herbal flavor. A sprinkle of crunchy hazelnuts finishes off this scrumptious salad.
a white bowl filled with vegetables and fruit next to a glass of wine on top of a table
Cornucopia Kale Salad Cornucopia Kale Salad
This eye-catching kale salad features roasted sweet potatoes, tart pomegranate arils, and crunchy pumpkin seeds to create an abundant main course–worthy meal. A homemade dressing that’s equal parts creamy, tangy, and savory adorns each bowl with a drizzle of gold. If you want to get creative and add some extra toppings, a few pickled onions or extra roasted veggies would really take this dish over the top.
a baking pan filled with cooked sweet potatoes next to a bowl of dipping sauces
Butternut Squash with Orange Glaze Butternut Squash with Orange Glaze
Not sure what to do with that extra butternut squash lying around? We’ve got you covered: Chop it into cubes, coat it in a tasty orange glaze, and then roast it to tender perfection. The citrusy marinade features garlic and allspice to bring some savory balance to the zesty fruit, while a dash of maple syrup complements the squash’s natural sweetness. Serve this as a side dish during the winter months when you’re craving something warm, bright, and nourishing.
a white bowl filled with broccoli covered in seasoning on top of a table
Panko Broccoli with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Panko Broccoli with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Supercharge your side dish skills with this colorful, crunchy, and totally crave-worthy panko broccoli recipe. Each floret is simmered in flavorful veggie broth until tender, and then mixed with garlic-infused whole wheat bread crumbs for a crispy textural contrast. Strips of sun-dried tomato add bursts of umami-rich flavor and really dial up the intrigue of this five-ingredient dish.
a white bowl filled with mashed potatoes covered in onions and garnished with herbs
Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
Equal parts savory and sweet, caramelized onions are a surefire way to add a special touch to any dish. Here, creamy mashed potatoes get a boost of flavor from the deeply browned onion slices and are sprinkled with chives for an herbaceous finishing touch. But the toppings aren’t the only ingredients that make these spuds extra tasty: A blend of creamy cashews and cheesy nutritional yeast are mixed into the mash to create a velvety texture that melts in your mouth.
a purple bowl filled with meat and vegetables next to a spoon on a black plate
Middle Eastern Red Rice Pilaf Middle Eastern Red Rice Pilaf
Red rice is named for its red bran layer, which gives it a higher antioxidant content than brown rice. Here, this vibrant grain is cooked in a medley of warming Middle Eastern spices to produce the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors. Cubes of earthy acorn or butternut squash and a sprinkling of tangy raisins add delightful contrast to the fragrant rice, absorbing the flavors and adding a slightly creamy texture to the chewy grains.
two black bowls filled with food on top of a table
Black Rice, Roasted Beet, and Orange Salad Black Rice, Roasted Beet, and Orange Salad
Black rice creates a dramatic backdrop for colorful pops of produce in this delightful grain-forward salad. Antioxidant-rich beets are roasted in the oven until tender and sweet, then piled onto the bed of rice alongside juicy orange segments and crunchy green apple. A creamy garlic and mustard dressing ties everything together, uniting the sweet and earthy flavors for a wholesome meal that looks just as good as it tastes.