Who said vegan sides have to be boring? These mouthwatering vegan side recipes are proof that dairy- and meat-free food can be just as exciting, flavorful, and filling. Check out these recipes, and don’t be afraid to adapt them to your taste and what you already have in your pantry.
1. Charred Orange-Chile Broccoli for Extra Flavor
Roasted broccoli is one of the most perfect bases for delicious meals. In this case, you can add a signature bitter and spicy note by making a soy-orange sauce with a dash of spice. This will bring out the sweet flavor of the broccoli while adding an extra layer of heat through the chile.
To make this vegan dish, you will need:
- 2 heads broccoli
- fresh orange juice
- canola oil
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
- toasted sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons Asian chile-garlic sauce
- dark sesame oil
Just roast the broccoli, make a sauce with orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, and chile-garlic sauce, and drizzle over the broccoli. Voilà!
2. Bok Choy Salad? Yes, Please!
Who doesn’t love bok choy salads? If you’re looking to add a little more character to this vegan dish, try crumbling uncooked ramen noodles on top for a crunchier texture.
Here’s what you’ll need for this bok choy salad:
- 1 bok choy, shredded
- 2 packages of ramen noodle soup mix
- 6 green onions, chopped
- ½ cup sugar
- sunflower seeds
- cider vinegar
- olive oil
- 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
To make the salad, start by crumbling the noodles and baking them together with the almonds and sunflower seeds. Bring the sugar, olive oil, vinegar, and soy sauce to a boil and let it cool. Then, drizzle it over the bok choy and green onions, and add the ramen noodle mixture on top.
3. Guacamole Salad for a Fresh Vegan Side
Looking for a fresh vegan side to your main dish? This guacamole salad is just the thing!
What you’ll need:
- 2 ripe avocados, halved and chopped
- grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup chopped orange bell pepper
- ½ cup peeled and chopped jicama
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- grapeseed oil
- chopped fresh cilantro
- chopped seeded jalapeño chile
- fresh lime juice
- kosher salt
- ground coriander
To prepare it, start by soaking the onion for about 10 minutes. Then whisk the lime juice, salt, oil, and coriander together. Add the veggies to a large bowl, stir in the coriander vinaigrette, and enjoy!
4. Three-Bean Pasta Salad for a Surprising Combo
Ever wondered what would happen if you combine the classic three-bean salad with the pasta salad? Here’s your answer — a flavor-packed vegan meal that is perfect on its own yet doubles as a great side dish.
To make it, you’ll need:
- 8 ounces uncooked small shell pasta
- red kidney beans, pinto beans, fresh green beans
- thinly sliced celery (about 1 stalk)
- olive oil
- thinly sliced chives
- 1 small shallot, minced
- rice wine vinegar
- lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta and beans separately. Combine it all together and make a lemon-mustard vinaigrette to drizzle on top. Sprinkle with chives.
5. Easy Smoky Black Beans? Yum!
Out of time but still looking for a delicious vegan side dish? This smoky black beans meal is always a good choice. While the other recipes take up a bit more time, here, you just need a few minutes and canned black beans.
The recipe calls for:
- Canned black beans
- Smoked paprika, ground cumin, salt, and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Lime juice
- Chopped fresh cilantro
Toast the spices in a pan over medium, add the beans and water, and cook for a few minutes. Stir in juice and cilantro right before serving.