32 Simple Side Dish Ideas

There are all kinds of things you can serve as side dishes, but if you’re like me you prefer simple things that don’t require a lot of prep.  Unless the main dish practically makes itself, I normally don’t like to spend time on the sides.

With that in mind, here’s a list of 32 simple side dishes that come together quick.  A few do require baking/slow cooking time, but the hands on prep is minimal.

Salads

32 Simple Side Dish Ideas

Simple Lettuce Wedge Salad

BLT Salad

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Cucumbers and Onions

Quick Cole Slaw

Ranch Veggie Salad

Here are 7 things you can add to your salad to make it more interesting

Fruit

Warm Cinnamon Applesauce with Toasted Marshmallows

 

Warm Cinnamon Applesauce with Toasted Marshmallows

Cranberries and Oranges

Ambrosia – so easy and tastes like more than the sum of its parts

Easy Peachy Fruit Salad

Vanilla Fruit Salad

Vegetables

honey glazed carrots in the slow cooker done

 

Honey Glazed Carrots in the Slow Cooker

How to Cut Cauliflower in 1 Minutes (so you can steam it or eat it raw)

Mashed Cauliflower

Grilled Zucchini

Parmesan Zucchini and Summer Squash in the Microwave

Roasted Broccoli and Red Pepper

Slow Cooked Apples and Butternut Squash

Winter Squash in the Slow Cooker

 

Potatoes/Stuffing/Pasta

apple cornbread dressing done

Apple Cornbread Dressing – 10 minutes to the table

Baked Potatoes with Onions

Southwestern Cornbread Stuffing

Garlic Cream Cheese Smashed Potatoes

Macaroni and Cheese & Macaroni and Tomatoes

Parmesan Fettucini

Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Sweet and White Potatoes

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potatoes and Apples in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

I actually didn’t make this casserole for breakfast, but for brunch after church.  It’s a perfect after church meal, because it’s easy to throw together while you’re trying to rush everyone out of the house.  And the cook time is perfect to have it ready when you get back.

I used potatoes with onions and peppers in them to add plenty of flavor without adding a chopping step.  This one is really just “assembly only”.  Important when you’re trying not to be the last family to slip into the sanctuary.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more...]

Light & Healthier Potato Soup


It is getting to be that time of year when we embrace the saying “eat, drink and be merry!”  (and when I say ‘we’, I mean ‘me’)  Food takes center stage much of the holiday season, with parties, family get-togethers, and goodies everywhere you look.  Just one of the many reasons it is my favorite time of year!  However, as much as I would love to live off pies, cakes and cookies, I need a healthier option to get me through the door cold winter days (for between the times when I am eating the pies, cakes and cookies!)  That is where this soup comes in.  There is just something comforting about a nice, steamy bowl of soup, and potato is one of my favorites. It’s thick, hearty and filling.  However, it is very high in carbohydrates, and often it is loaded down with cheese, bacon, cream…you know, the good stuff! So, instead of depriving myself of this yummy soup, I decided to try out a lighter version.

I have been experimenting with cauliflower for quite some time, and you may  not realize how versatile it is!  Cauliflower can be a great lower carb substitute for potatoes, without sacrificing flavor.  Yes, I said cauliflower….but hear me out!  I came across this recipe and knew I had to give it a try.  I changed it up a little, and the results were delicious! (and I do not even like traditionally prepared cauliflower!)

Light & Healthier Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 russet potatoes - cooked
  • 1 bag of frozen cauliflower florets (or one small head) - cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 cup fat free half and half
  • 1/2 cup plain fat free yogurt
  • 1/4 cup green onions (or to taste)
  • salt and pepper - to taste
  • Toppings (shredded cheese, green onion or chives, bacon bits)

Instructions

  1. Prepare potatoes (wash, dry, then boil, bake or microwave. I like to use microwaveable steamer bags. Potatoes cook in 4-7 minutes) Allow potatoes to cool, then peel.
  2. Prepare cauliflower (steam with water in a large pot until tender), drain.
  3. Puree cauliflower and one potato in a blender or food processor.
  4. Add pureed cauliflower/potato, chicken broth, milk, half and half to a pot on medium heat.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil
  6. Add remaining potato (chopped), yogurt, green onions and salt and pepper to pot.
  7. Cook on low for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. To serve - top with cheese, green onions or chives, and bacon. (I used Hormel Jalapeno Bacon Bits!)
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If you prefer your soup completely smooth, you can puree both potatoes. Also, you can use an immersion blender to blend the potatoes and cauliflower if you have one.  It’s one of the items on my Christmas list :-)  I was pleasantly surprised by this soup, and the fact that I did not miss the extra carbs!  If you go easy on your toppings, I think it is a pretty healthy bowl of comfort food!

KimM can also be found blogging and scarfing up cookies over at Mo’Betta, where life revolves around 3 crazy kids, food allergies and a diabetic husband!

Italian Herb Salted Pork Roast and Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

This is an amazing meal.  First, it only takes a few minutes to put it in the slow cooker.  And it tastes fantastic.  The pork roast is tender and full of flavor, thanks to Italian Herb Salt, garlic and white wine.

I’ll definitely be making this one again.  Next time, I will add more whole cloves of garlic.  Jim and I were searching in the potatoes to find the cooked garlic.  They were perfect with the potatoes.

I love a meal that tastes like you’ve slaved over the stove, when you really only spent five or ten minutes putting it in the crockpot.  That’s my kind of cooking.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this:  [Read more...]

Garlic Cream Cheese Smashed Potatoes – 2 Ingredients!

I’ve made these potatoes twice now.  They are so simple, but they taste like you’ve really put in a lot of effort.  I love a good cheat!

This is more method than recipe, but I’ll add it in Ziplist below.  I’ve made this with about 1 lb. of potatoes and half a container of Philly Cooking Creme.  I thought that was a perfect amount of creaminess.  I’ve also made it with 3 lbs. potatoes and a whole container of Cooking Creme.  I thought that was a little dry, but Jim liked it better that way.

So, do what suits you and your family.  If you want to up the creaminess, but don’t want to use more cream cheese just add a splash of milk.

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more...]

Turkey Legs, Italian Sausage and Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

Have you ever made a recipe that just didn’t turn out?  I’ve done it a lot of times, but one I remember well.

Jim and I were recently married and I was just learning to cook.  We used to invite friends to come to dinner and I would make a new recipe.  Most of our other meals during the week consisted of ramen noodles or instant potatoes.  We were college students and had no money, so it was a splurge to buy ingredients for a nice meal once a week.

On this occasion, I made a dish that had chicken, Italian sausage, potatoes and tomatoes in it.  The recipe called to bake it in the oven for 1 hour.  Needless to say, that was not nearly a long enough cooking time for so much meat and raw potatoes.  When I served it, we cut into raw chicken.  Yuck!

Thankfully, the guests we had were also college students.  They were easily satisfied with a bowl of cereal until the dinner had more time to cook.

I never tried making that recipe again, but I remember that when it finally cooked it did taste good.  So when Frigidaire recently asked me to share a “do-over” recipe, I knew this would be the one.  Except this time I made it in the slow cooker to give it a good, long cook time.

Frigidaire has a new Gallery dishwasher that features an OrbitClean Wash Arm that gets the dishes clean the first time.  Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to have a do-over on a load of dishes.  Frigidaire invites you to visit Facebook.com/Frigidaire to share your own “do-over” moment.  It doesn’t have to be food related.  One lucky visitor is going to win the ultimate do-over!  And Frigidaire is also donating $1 to Save the Children for every do-over submitted.  So pop over and share your do-over moment.

Back to my do-over recipe.  Here’s what you’ll need to try the slow cooker version, which worked out much better than the oven method I used so many years ago.  [Read more...]

Loaded Cheesy Potato Casserole

The credit for this recipe goes entirely to my sister.  She knows how to kick things up a notch or three.

This variation on Hashbrown Casserole includes peppers, bacon, extra sour cream and french fried onions on top.  It may not win any nutrition awards, but I guarantee if you take it to a potluck your dish will come home empty.

Here’s what you’ll need (add a container of french fried onion topping that didn’t make it into the photo):   [Read more...]

Ham and Swiss Scalloped Potatoes

Yesterday, we talked about how to make white sauce.  That is the basis for this dish too.  The simple white sauce poured over layers of potato, ham ans shredded Swiss cheese makes for a wonderful dinner.

In order to keep the baking time to a minimum and ensure the potatoes get cooked all the way through, I boiled the whole potatoes and then sliced them.  Since everything is hot going into the oven, it only needs about 20 minutes to melt the cheese and finish off the dish.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:  [Read more...]

Baked Sweet Potatoes Topped with Chicken Apple Sausage and Apples and Baked Potatoes Topped with Creamed Chicken

Would you believe that delicious stuffed potato is a 15 minute meal?  Now that’s fast food!

It’s super easy to fix, thanks to the sweet potato.  They are all scrubbed, wrapped and ready to microwave from Express Bake PotatOH!

As soon as I was contacted by the Express Bake PotatOH! people I knew what I wanted to do with the sweet potatoes.  And it didn’t disappoint.   Sweet potatoes have never been topped so well.  While the potatoes took a spin in the microwave, I fixed the sausage and apple topping.  The entire meal was ready in about 15 minutes.

I also had the opportunity to try baked potatoes and fingerlings.  Delicious and so easy!  I topped the baked potatoes with creamed chicken.  My kids loved it.  The potatoes bake perfectly in the microwave.  Express Bake PotatOHs are perfect for nights when you’re in a hurry.  They can be topped with all kinds of things or eaten as a side dish.  Either way, they are quick and healthy.

Here’s what you’ll need for  the Sweet Potatoes topped with Chicken Apple Sausage and Apples:  [Read more...]

Italian Parmesan Herb Chicken and Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

I put this together before church one Sunday morning.  It smelled (and tasted!) fantastic when we got home.  If you have garden fresh tomatoes, they make a wonderful side dish.  A simple tossed salad would be good too.

I don’t have an ingredient picture this time.  I think I was too busy getting ready for church, cooking as fast as I could.  I forgot to snap the photo.

I did use frozen chicken tenders and skipped thawing them.  They cooked just fine.  You can also save time by estimating the herb measurements instead of measuring.

Here’s the how-to:  [Read more...]

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