10 Healthy Sides to Make All Season Long

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Healthy sides
Photo Credit: Love & Lemons

Updated Nov 21, 2018 @ 1:30 pm

The winter season brings the opportunity for so many gathering which means you’ll need a batch of healthy sides to lean on when it comes to putting together the meal. Whether you’re hosting Friendsgiving or a guest at Thanksgiving this year here’s how to make something in the better-for-you realm. No one will scoff at platter of roasted vegetables or a stuffing packed with squash and leeks. In fact, these side dishes are so tasty, you don’t even have to reveal that they’re healthy!

Healthy Potato Gratin with Herbs

Whew—this dish is show-stoppingly beautiful, but also simple to prepare, with few ingredients. Plus, did you know red potatoes are rich in potassium and vitamin C?

Quinoa salad
Photo Credit: Cookie + Kate

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale and Pesto Vinaigrette

Back away from the goopy sweet potatoes with marshmallows. This flavorful and colorful salad is loaded with flavor and good nutrition, with a bright, herby pesto to bring it together. Bonus: It’s vegan, so perfect for any plant-based diners at the table.

Sweet Potato Casserole

If you really prefer a dessert-y sweet potato dish, here’s one that won’t cause a sugar crash. Made with no refined sugar and topped with a yummy nut streusel, you get all of the indulgence and you can feel good about it.

Garlic Mashed Butternut Squash

Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Ah, cauliflower—a healthy eater’s best friend. This luscious dish will fulfill your lust for mashed potatoes, with roasted garlic to add a fancy element. And the best part: You can make it in advance, so it’s no muss, no fuss.

Butternut Squash and Leek Stuffing

Don’t even suggest Thanksgiving without stuffing, what would be the point? This one gets a healthful boost from gut-friendly sourdough bread, plus butternut squash, leeks and pearl onions, and plenty of nutrition-packed fresh herbs. Even though it’s healthy, it will be the hit of the table.

Thanksgiving side dish recipe for roasted root vegetables
Roasted root vegetables are the perfect Thanksgiving side dish. (Photo Credit: Joanna McCracken)

Roasted Root Vegetables

Sometimes there are so many competing flavors on your Thanksgiving plate, you start to crave something simpler. This nutrient-packed dish fits the bill. With a mélange of super-seasonal roots veggies, olive oil, garlic and thyme, it’s pretty, hearty and deliciously simple.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Maple and Orange

Please don’t tell us you’re still eating that weird, gelatinous can-shaped mess that people pass off as “cranberry sauce.” (Please?!) Instead, whip up a batch of this refined-sugar-free, tart sauce. You’ll never go back to the canned stuff. (Pro tip: Put a spoonful on yogurt in the morning.)

Brussels sprouts salad
Photo Credit: Iowa Girl Eats

Fall Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad

We love to shred Brussels—it makes them easier to handle for those intimidated by the strongly flavored mini cabbages. Plus shredding allows for more surface area to soak up the dressing. This salad has everything we want: Pears, gorgonzola, fried shallots, pecans, dried cranberries—plus a maple balsamic dressing that’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

Squash with Dates and Thyme

A few simple ingredients come together to make a sophisticated, well-balanced dish everyone will love. Sweet acorn squash, dates and coconut oil meet garlic and thyme, and it’s a love match for sure.

Whole30 green bean casserole
Photo Credit: 40 Aprons

Whole30 Green Bean Casserole

So you decided to do your Whole30 in November… okaaaaay. No worries—here’s a green bean casserole to rival the traditional one, but with super-clean ingredients so you can enjoy it, too.

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