Side Dish Recipes You Can Make in 15 Minutes or Less

A delicious side dish is just as important as the main dinner entrée. But after preparing the main dish, often the last thing you want to do is spend another hour making sides to serve with it. Fortunately, there are plenty of quick and delicious dishes that will complement your main course perfectly. From coconut pineapple rice to kale with garlic and peppers, we’ve found six recipes that taste great and can be whipped up in 15 minutes or fewer. Side dishes don’t have to be hard or time consuming, and these recipes prove it!

1. Honey-Glazed Baby Carrots

Honey glazed baby carrots

Honey-glazed baby carrots |

You only need 15 minutes and six ingredients to make Damn Delicious’ honey-glazed baby carrots. Honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this side dish, while dill and thyme ensure it’s bursting with fresh and fragrant flavors.

Melt butter in a skillet, and add carrots, honey, brown sugar, dill, and thyme, gently tossing to combine. Cook until the carrots are tender, and then your side dish is ready to serve. Easy and delicious, we promise this recipe won’t disappoint.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Directions: Melt butter in a large skillet set over mediumheat. Add carrots, honey, brown sugar, dill, and thyme. Cook, stirring carefully every so often, until carrots are tender and glazed, about 15 minutes. Serve at once.

2. Broiled Tomatoes with Feta Cheese

Plum tomatoes, halved

Tomatoes |

You only need to set aside 10 minutes to make Southern Living’s broiled tomatoes with feta cheese. It makes 6 servings.


  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup Italian dressing

Directions: Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise, and place, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper to taste, Italian seasoning, and feta cheese. Drizzle evenly with ¼ cup Italian dressing. Broil 3 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes or just until cheese starts to brown.

3. Squash Ribbons with Lemon and Parmesan

squash ribbons

Squash ribbons |

To make Real Simple’s recipe for squash ribbons with lemon and Parmesan, cut the squash and zucchini into long, thin strips, and toss with a mixture consisting of olive oil, lemon juice, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. This 10-minute recipe yields 4 servings.


  • 1½ pounds summer squash and zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, shaved (¾ cup)
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Directions: Cut the squash and zucchini into long, thin strips using a vegetable peeler. Place in a large bowl. Add the oil, lemon juice, Parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.

4. Creamed Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts

swiss chard with pine nuts

Swiss chard with pine nuts |

Rich, creamy flavors abound in Food Network’s side dish, which stars our favorite leafy green, Swiss chard. Begin by cooking the Swiss chard with onions and water in a large pot. Mix the cream cheese, nutmeg, and water in a saucepan, heat, and cook, whisking frequently, until the cheese melts. Transfer the chard to the pan with the cheese mixture, mix well, season, and garnish with pine nuts. Feel free to use kale or collards in this dish, but do note that you’ll have to adjust the cooking time to ensure the greens are nice and tender.


  • 1 large bunch rainbow Swiss chard, stemmed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 6 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped toasted pine nuts

Directions: Combine the Swiss chard, onions, and ½ cup water in a large pot. Bring to a simmer over high heat, lower the heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until the chard is very tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, nutmeg, and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking frequently, until the cheese melts and the mixture just bubbles around the edges. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chard to the pan with the cheese mixture. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the pine nuts.

5. Coconut Pineapple Rice


Pineapple |

Looking for a great side to serve with fish, pork, or chicken? Home Cooking Memories has the dish for you. Coconut pineapple rice pairs perfectly with meat and is filled with fresh, tropical flavors. If you’d like to add a little more nuttiness to this dish, toast the coconut before tossing it into the rice. The recipe serves 4.


  • 4½ cups water
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 2 bags whole-grain, boil-in-a-bag brown rice
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • ⅓ cup coconut flakes
  • ⅓ cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • Salt, to taste

Directions: In a large saucepan, Combine water and coconut milk in a large saucepan and add rice bags. Bring to a boil and let cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove rice bags from pot using a fork. Carefully cut open and transfer to a large bowl. Add pineapple, coconut flakes, and nuts. Season with salt, toss, and serve.

6. Kale with Garlic and Peppers


Kale |

Cooking Light takes kale to a whole new level by seasoning it with jalapeños and garlic. Not only can this dish be whipped up quickly, but it’s also quite nutritious. Each serving has 157 calories and 4.1 grams of fat and is a good source of iron and protein. Feel free to substitute collard greens for kale if you’d prefer.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 cups chopped kale, stems removed (about 1 pound)
  • ½ cup organic vegetable broth
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

Directions: Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add red bell pepper, jalapeño, salt, and black pepper; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add chopped kale and broth; cover. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring once. Stir in garlic; increase heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.