Seven Easy Cooked Side Dishes

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These side dishes make a great quick addition to any meal. I often keep frozen veggies on hand for easier prep, but using fresh squash is better than frozen squash in the case of a quick sauteed side dish.


Chop four cups of cabbage and sauté in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and add salt to taste. My mamaw added sliced jalapeño peppers to her cabbage, but I prefer sliced pepperoncini for milder heat.

Zucchini or yellow squash

Slice and salt, and pat out any excess water the salt draws out of the squash. Chop up a shallot and sauté in oil or butter over medium-high heat until browned. Add pepper and basil or parsley to taste.

Green beans

Sauté a pound of fresh or frozen green beans with garlic and a shallot or a few tablespoons of onion chopped, and few slices of chopped bacon. If desired add a teaspoon of mustard and a tablespoon of brown sugar (no need to pack). Salt and pepper to taste.

Steamed or roasted broccoli

For a fast side steam a few cups of broccoli in an inch of salted water for five minutes. Drain, and add melted butter or margarine. This also goes well with goat cheese sauce.

Alternatively, toss five cups of broccoli with a 1/3 cup of olive oil, 6 cloves of garlic, and a small chopped onion, and bell pepper, salt, and pepper to taste. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes stirring occasionally until nicely caramelized.

Frozen Lima beans

Cook a package of frozen Lima beans in a cup of chicken broth. Add a tablespoon of butter or a teaspoon of bacon drippings, and salt and pepper to taste.

Collard Greens

Take several cups of fresh collard greens that have been washed, or a package of frozen collard greens and cook in a cup of beef broth until tender. Salt generously, tasting as you season it. Greens need salt to balance out the bitterness.

Alternatively, make your own smoked turkey broth. Cook up the broth with smoked turkey wings before adding the collard greens. Serve with hot sauce.

Root Vegetables

Bake sweet potatoes or golden Yukon potatoes. Roast peeled carrots tossed in a little light olive oil and sea salt, cook on a foil-lined sheet pan at 400 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes, or until fork-tender.

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