15 Healthy Side Dishes That Are So Good, You Might Just Skip the Burger
When it comes to backyard parties, we are find ourselves often loving the side dishes and salads more than anything else offered at most barbecues. Well, we're partial to to desserts too, but remember: it's important to enjoy a nutritious meal before hitting the sweet treats. For side dishes, why limit yourself to mayonnaise-laden potato and macaroni salads? There are so many other options out there! We rounded up some of our favorite sides, recipes and all, so you can enjoy your next BBQ and stay on the healthy path without sacrificing flavor.
Carrot and Cabbage Salad
Add color to your plate with this rainbow veggie salad that's full of vitamins, fiber, and lots of crunch. It's a simple side dish you can throw together in minutes that looks great and tastes even better.
Get the recipe: carrot and cabbage salad
Black Bean and Mango Salad
For a hydrating recipe that's packed with protein, bring this quick black bean mango salad to your special outdoor spread — the addition of mango makes this dish feel extra summery. It's an easy make-ahead recipe everyone will love.
Get the recipe: black bean and mango salad
Tangy Pasta Salad
Many pasta salad recipes are high in fat (hello mayonnaise) and sodium. Swap out your standby by recipe for this fiber-filled side dish; crisp veggies, whole-wheat pasta, plus a tangy low-fat dressing come together to create a tasty pasta dish that's packed with vitamins A and C.
Get the recipe: tangy pasta salad
Rainbow Quinoa Salad
Eat the rainbow with this vibrant quinoa salad that brings a ton of veggies and delectable Asian-inspired dressing to the party. Be sure to save a lunch-size portion at home! This colorful salad will be gobbled up in no time.
Get the recipe: rainbow quinoa salad
Sweet and Sour Cucumbers
In need of a last-minute side dish? There's nothing easier than a quick pickle. Hydrating cucumbers, tasty dill, and a handful of healthy kitchen staples are all you need to throw this popular salad together.
Get the recipe: sweet and sour cucumbers
Avocado Caprese Salad
When you toss in rich avocado and hydrating cukes, it take the classic caprese to whole other level — one that is healthy and refreshing. Follow this easy recipe for a nutrient-rich dish, and chances are high it will become a staple for your barbecue season.
Get the recipe: avocado cucumber caprese salad
Cabbage Hemp Slaw
The bulk of this tart and tasty dish is red cabbage, which not only registers just a blip on the carb scale, but is also packed with antioxidants. Dressed with lime juice and cilantro, it's beyond refreshing.
Get the recipe: cabbage hemp salad
Cauliflower "Potato" Salad
What can't the mighty cauliflower do? In this recipe, cauliflower takes the place of potatoes for antioxidant-rich salad. Trust us, you will not miss the spuds.
Get the recipe: cauliflower salad
Spicy Sweet Potato Salad
Why have regular, old potato salad with you can serve up some sweet potatoes in this especially tasty dish. High-fiber sweet potatoes can regulate blood sugar and help you lose weight, while a spicy, antioxidant-rich red pepper and jalapeño dressing ties everything together.
Get the recipe: spicy sweet potato salad
Doesn't seven-layer dip just scream Summer barbecue! Made with fresh guacamole, yogurt, and black beans, this healthy version of the classic dish has all the flavors and textures you love.
Get the recipe: seven-layer dip
Cucumber Cups With Tapenade
Add some Mediterranean flavors to cucumbers for a side dish that doubles as an app. These cucumber cups hold a spicy tapenade featuring capers, olives, and some spicy peppers. Yum!
Get the recipe: cucumber cups with spicy tapenade
Kale and Farro Salad
This crowd-pleasing salad puts all our favorite ingredients into one incredible side dish: farro, avocado, kale, radishes, and more. The green goddess dressing will keep your guests coming back for more.
Get the recipe: kale and farro salad
Spicy Sesame Carrot Salad
Carrots are not only high in beta-carotene and vitamin A, they also make a great noodle alternative. This sesame carrot salad is like an Asian-fusion pasta salad, only without the pasta.
Get the recipe: spicy sesame carrot salad
Watermelon Caprese Salad
This is the best use of leftover watermelon! We love adding it to the classic caprese for a hydrating side dish welcome on any picnic table.
Get the recipe: watermelon caprese salad
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This dish is meal unto itself but pairs nicely with anything coming off the grill. The quinoa adds some extra protein to the dish and the tangy olives mix with fresh oregano for a taste of the Mediterranean.
Get the recipe: Mediterranean quinoa salad