I combined two recipes to create this side with broccoli and pasta. The splash of lemon adds nice flavor. Instead of toasted almonds, you could also sprinkle servings with grated Parmesan cheese. —Beth Dauenhauer, Pueblo, CO
I've been eating cornmeal mush ever since I was a little girl. Now it's become popular with my family. I especially love this version because the batter is made ahead of time and fried the next morning.
A great alternative to pasta salads, this colorful side dish adds refreshing herb flavor to corn, barley, and red and green peppers. Bring it to your next get-together and see how fast it disappears! —Mary Ann Kieffer of Lawrence, Kansas
Vegetarians will be happy to see this hearty meatless grain pilaf on the holiday buffet table. I like to make this when I have extra cooked lentils, barley, quinoa and rice on hand. —Juli Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia
I have fond memories of standing at the stove cooking this hearty Italian rice dish with my Nona. I’ve altered the recipe a bit to save on time, but it still delivers just as much home-cooked love.—Amanda Cable, Boxford, Massachusetts
With garlic, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese, it's a great side dish for just about any entrée. “It relies on a boxed item to get started; then it's just a matter of adding a few ingredients,” says Elizabeth Tomlinson of Morgantown, West Virginia
Bits of sweet red pepper peek through these pretty polenta squares that have a slightly sweet corn flavor and are generously seasoned with sage. Serve this traditional ethnic side dish with Italian entrees...or even Southwestern fare, suggests our Test Kitchen staff.
Cilantro comes through in this colorful side that's zesty but not too spicy. It also makes a great luncheon dish when served with sesame breadsticks, sherbet and sugar cookies. It's sure to satisfy!
—Tommi Roylance of Charlo, Montana
If you're tired of potatoes, try this quick-and-easy pilaf for a change of taste. "I put it together while trying to use up left-over rice," writes Marilyn Bazant of Albuquerque, New Mexico. "I've experimented with many variations, such as adding broccoli florets and asparagus."