Healthy Side Dishes For Weight Loss


Healthy side dishes are an important part of any healthy diet. If you can’t find a weight-loss ally, then it’s your turn to do the cook! In this article, we’ll explore healthy side dishes that cook in 5 minutes or less.


You can make almost anything into a healthy side dish! The tip to making a dish for weight loss is to choose something that’s low calorie, low carb and even keto-friendly! You’ll want to watch your overall calorie intake while opting for vegetables such as steamed broccoli, microwave cauliflower or even air fryer asparagus. If vegetables aren’t your thing, then choose fresh fruits instead.




Is there anything better than fresh corn on the cob? Not only does it complement many meals, but it’s easy to prepare and so flavorful. Here are some handy tips to get it just right!


This recipe quickly uses up those extra potatoes while providing you, your family and guests with a hearty side dish!


Stop here for a healthy and colorful dish that’s bursting with flavor! This side salad is filled with feta, red onion, toasted almonds, pistachios, all drizzled with a flavorful strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. What more could you ask for? 


Boiled Potatoes


Here is the answer to your quest for making a perfect side of boiled potatoes, whether you’re using the stovetop or microwave. Learn everything from picking the right potatoes to checking doneness!


Vegan and gluten-free, these sautéed green beans are an easy side that doesn’t skimp on taste! Prepared in just 10 mins, this dish is perfect for both the weeknight rotation and festive celebrations.


Spiral zucchini noodles are the basis for this salad along with tomatoes, olives and feta cheese. The fresh taste is enhanced with a zesty lemon and oregano dressing!


These spiced chickpeas are a must-try that you can eat on their own or as a salad topper. They’re full of protein and are energy boosting. Just 5 minutes of prep!


Keto Mediterranean Salad


Loaded with cucumbers, tomatoes, cauliflower, and feta cheese, this healthy Mediterranean salad aims to please. You can even make it ahead of time for potlucks and get-togethers.


Easy, fresh, and light! That’s exactly what you’ll get with this Mediterranean watermelon salad with cucumbers! Loaded with creamy feta, a variety of fresh herbs, and a zesty honey-lime dressing!


Be prepared to step up your potato salad game with this recipe! Ditch the mayo here and use greek yogurt with olive oil for a healthy alternative. Super creamy and completely easy to make! 


Cauliflower Fried Rice


Light and fluffy cauliflower is exactly what you’ll get here! Skip the pots and pans and use the microwave to make this dish in a matter of minutes. It’s a restaurant-quality side made right at home!


Here’s a time-tested favorite side dish that’s super-healthy. Learn how to get maximum flavor with a vibrant green color each and every time!


Now’s the time to get an air fryer if you don’t already have one. Use it to cook asparagus and enjoy tender stalks with a bit of crispness. Even the pickiest of eaters will love this one!


This side dish is packed full of protein and carbs that will fill you up and give you energy! Veggies, feta, and quinoa all topped with a lemon oregano dressing. What’s not to love?

Fast & Delicious Side Dishes

Mighty in flavor and low in calories—there’s nothing better.

Healthy apple-sausage stuffing
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Deciding to stay in and cook your dinner instead of dining out is already a step in the right direction if you’re focusing on eating healthier. There’s no better way to know exactly what’s going into the food you’re eating than by making it yourself! Mastering the main dish is only half the battle, though. And once you’ve perfected your chicken, steak, or fish, it’s time to turn your attention to the ever-important side dishes.

A side dish can easily derail your health goals, as sugar, sodium, fat, and calories can all get rather high quickly if you’re not careful. But with our healthy side dish recipes, you won’t ever run into that problem. Our takes on everything from broccoli, potatoes, corn, and stuffing are all 260 calories and under. Plus, they’re super easy to make and don’t require many ingredients or steps, so you won’t have to devote more time cooking the side dishes than your main course.

15-Minute Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

Vegetarian parmesan roasted broccoli
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

PER 1 SERVING: 100 calories, 5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 220 mg sodium

There is no better vegetable to roast than broccoli. It’s low in carbs and high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, fiber, and water content (so it will keep you full). It’ll also help improve calcium absorption, fight skin damage, and prevent constipation. Broccoli is amazing for your health, so we went ahead and jazzed the veggie up with a simple, four-ingredient recipe that’s ready in less than 15 minutes. A truly healthy side dish that takes practically no time at all? The perfect combination.

Roasted Carrots

Vegetarian honey roasted carrots
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

PER 1 SERVING: 110 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 285 mg sodium

Raw carrots make for a solid snack, but roasting the veggie elevates it to a perfect dinner side dish. It goes well with so many dishes and is very simple to make, too. There is no reason why you shouldn’t roast carrots a few nights a week!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Vegan roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

PER 1 SERVING: 180 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 360 mg sodium

Mashed potatoes are never a bad idea. You can customize the creamy side dish however you like, whether you add garlic, freshly chopped chives, bacon, sautéed spinach, roasted onions, or green peppers. The possibilities are endless!

Crispy Rosemary Potatoes

Gluten-free crispy rosemary potatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

PER 1 SERVING: 150 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 330 mg sodium

Roasted potatoes are the perfect pairing for almost anything you decide to whip up for dinner. Plus, roasting is one of the easiest ways to cook up spuds—you just have to chop a few potatoes, toss them with olive oil, rosemary, and a little salt and pepper, and then cook them on a baking sheet. Simple and good for you? You can’t beat that.

Curry With Cauliflower and Butternut Squash

Vegetarian curry cauliflower with butternut squash
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

PER 1 SERVING: 260 calories, 8 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 510 mg sodium

This Indian-style vegetable stir fry takes no more than 25 minutes to prepare. The creamy coconut milk, the sweet squash cubes, and the subtle heat of the curry powder work perfectly together, creating a dish that will even make the most devoted meat eater forget they’re eating only vegetables.

Grilled Mexican-Style Corn

Vegetarian grilled mexican-style corn
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

PER 1 SERVING: 210 calories, 9 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 430 mg sodium

This recipe was inspired by how corn is served on the streets of Mexico. It’s covered in a thin layer of mayo (instead of the typical butter) and is topped with a sprinkling of chili powder and cheese. It makes for a great side dish to an outdoor picnic and is an elevated way to eat the vegetable!

Apple-Sausage Stuffing

Healthy apple-sausage stuffing
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

PER 1 SERVING: 160 calories, 7 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 290 mg sodium

Stuffing doesn’t have to be cooked inside of a bird! In our recipe, we let you have more control, as you can cook this stuffing all on its own, combining the sausage, apples, and fresh sage into a stuffing that’s much different than any you might’ve had before. This dish works well paired with garlic-rosemary roast beef, a bourbon-glazed ham, a roast chicken, or, yes, even a Thanksgiving turkey.

Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin Recipe

Vegetarian yukon gold & sweet potato gratin
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

PER 1 SERVING: 210 calories, 7 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium

We make sure the gratin stays as the side dish it was meant to be in this recipe, letting the protein portion of the meal take center stage and keeping the side dish as, well, a side that just enhances the overall meal. We trade in lower-fat milk instead of the traditional cream and add in some nutrient-dense, fiber-loaded sweet potatoes to the mix. Pair this with a roasted chicken or grilled steak, and your family will be nothing short of impressed.

Healthy Side Dishes For Weight Loss

Mashed Potatoes Side 

272 calories 


  • 1 Potato, white, medium, 5 inches – 160 calories
  • 1 Tbsp Butter (Tbsp) – 103 calories
  • 1 Tbsp Milk, 2% (Tbsp) – 9 calories
  • 1 Garlic salt, dash – 0 calories


  1. NOTES: You can make multiple servings at once. This “meal” is an “easy add”. It is not a meal by itself.
  2. Chop up the potatoes into small pieces.
  3. Add potatoes to a pot of water, and bring it to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes, or until you can bite into a potato piece & it’s cooked through.
  4. Drain away the water, then add in your butter, milk, and garlic salt and pepper to taste to the pot with the potatoes. Turn heat to low-medium, and cook on low heat ~5 minutes, stirring occasionally until pot’s contents are well-combined.
  5. No dairy? Use oil instead of butter and dairy-free milk of choice.

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

Depending on the main dish and how hungry you are, this can be even for 2 people, when used as a side.

403 calories


  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts – 112 calories
  • 3 Uncured bacon, slice – 132 calories
  • ⅓ cup Cheese, crumbled, blue cheese – 159 calories


  1. Cut bacon into small pieces with kitchen shears.
  2. Add bacon to pan, cook on lowest heat ~10 minutes stirring occasionally, until cooked through.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Chop hard ends off of Brussels sprouts & then cut them in half.
  5. Spray oven safe pan or casserole container with an oil spray – add in all ingredients.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, mixing around ingredients midway through.
  7. Notes: No pork? Use turkey bacon or soy bacon. No dairy? Use oil instead of the oil spray.

Baked Potato Side

160 calories


  • 1 Potato, white, medium, 5 inches – 160 calories


  1. Poke holes with a fork in the top & bottom of the potato.
  2. Microwave for 3 minutes on top & bottom (6 minutes total).
  3. Remove from microwave and enjoy.

Blue Cheese Salad with Tomatoes

If used as a side, this should probably be good for 2 people, not just one. You can even eat this as the main dish sometimes, it’s truly amazing.

457 calories


  • 2 cups Mixed greens – 20 calories
  • 1 Tomato, medium – 22 calories
  • ⅓ cup Cheese, crumbled, blue cheese – 159 calories
  • ⅛ cup Pecans (cups) – 94 calories
  • ½ Avocado, small – 116.5 calories
  • 2 Tbsp Dressing, creamy (e.g. ranch), light (less than 50 calories per 2 Tbsp) – 45 calories
  • 1 Salt, dash – 0 calories


  1. Chop tomato and avocado
  2. Mix all ingredients
  3. No dairy? Use additional nuts and a light vinaigrette 
  4. Any creamy dressing is fine, try Bolthouse Blue Cheese dressing if your store carries it

Stir Fried Spinach with Chickpeas Side

162 calories


  • 4 cups Leafy greens, spinach, raw – 28 calories
  • ½ cup Beans & legumes, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), cooked – 134 calories
  • 1 Pepper, dash – 0 calories
  • 1 Garlic salt, dash – 0 calories


  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
  2. Spray a pan with an oil spray. Stir-fry spinach and chickpeas ~1-2 minutes on low-medium heat or until spinach has wilted.
  3. Top with seasonings.

Garlic Broccoli Side

This is one of my favorite low calorie sides – it goes so well with any protein, it’s super healthy, and tastes amazing. It’s also gluten free, if that’s what you need. 

31 calories


  • 1 cup Broccoli – 31 calories
  • ½ tsp Garlic, minced (tsp) – 0 calories
  • 1 Salt, dash – 0 calories


  1. Cut broccoli into small pieces, if not already.
  2. Spray a pan with an oil spray. Add in garlic.
  3. Stir fry broccoli ~6 minutes on low-medium heat.
  4. Top with salt.

Cauliflower Bake

This recipe works the best if you make more servings at once, so it’s amazing to make as a side when you have people coming over, or if you’re bringing a side to a gathering. Everyone will definitely love it.

342 calories


  • 2 cups Cauliflower florets – 50 calories
  • ⅓ cup Cheese, shredded, cheddar – 152 calories
  • ⅓ cup Cheese, Parmesan, grated (cups) – 115 calories
  • 0.0625 cup Heavy Cream (cups) – 25 calories
  • 1 Garlic salt, dash – 0 calories
  • 1 tsp Red pepper flakes, dash – 0 calories


  1. This recipe works best when making 2+ servings at once.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Spray an oven-safe dish with an oil spray.
  4. Cut cauliflower pieces into small pieces.
  5. Spray a pan with an oil spray.
  6. Stir fry cauliflower pieces for ~6 minutes.
  7. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, transfer to oven-safe dish.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes.



110 calories


  • ½ cup Rice, cooked – 110 calories


  1. This “meal” is to be used as an addition to a meal, so you can easily increase calories

Parmesan Green Beans Side

64 calories


  • 1 cup Green beans – 39 calories
  • ¼ tsp Garlic, minced (tsp) – 0 calories
  • 1 Tbsp Cheese, Parmesan, grated (Tbsp) – 25 calories


  1. Spray a pan with an oil spray.
  2. Add in garlic.
  3. Stir fry green beans ~5 minutes on low-medium heat.
  4. Top with cheese.
  5. No dairy? Use a dairy-free cheese, or use oil instead of the oil spray.

Stove Top Roasted Carrots Cinnamon Carrots Side

144 calories


  • 1 Carrots, whole, medium – 25 calories
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil (Tbsp) – 119 calories
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon – 0 calories


  1. Peel carrots. Slice carrots into thin strips.
  2. Add oil to a pan.
  3. Stir fry on low heat, covered with a lid ~15 minutes.
  4. Top with cinnamon.

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