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55+ Diabetic-Friendly Side Dishes

These side dishes are healthy AND delicious. It's a win-win!

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Garlic Asiago Cauliflower Rice

The garlic seasoning and Asiago really pack a punch, making this five-ingredient low-carb side dish a real weeknight winner. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Roasted Italian Green Beans & TomatoesTaste of Home

Roasted Italian Green Beans & Tomatoes

When you roast green beans and tomatoes, their flavors really shine through. The vibrant colors light up a table. What a perfect side dish for the holidays! —Brittany Allyn, Mesa, Arizona

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Parmesan Potato WedgesTaste of Home

Parmesan Potato Wedges

I recommend serving these Parmesan potato wedges alongside a salad for a light lunch or serving them as a side dish with a chicken or beef entree. —Beth Ask, Ulster, Pennsylvania

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Corn Okra CreoleTaste of Home

Corn Okra Creole

This dish is representative of my area of the country, and particularly the Texas-Louisiana border. The okra, corn and Creole seasonings are all popular here. —Ruth Aubey, San Antonio, Texas

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Zesty Garlic Green BeansTaste of Home

Zesty Garlic Green Beans

These green beans travel so well because they can either be served at room temperature or reheated at the party. —Christine Bergman, Suwanee, Georgia

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Red Potatoes with BeansTaste of Home

Red Potatoes with Beans

You can serve this homey blend of fresh green beans, potato wedges and chopped red onion hot or cold. Either way, this easy side dish makes a pleasing accompaniment to Mom's meat loaf or almost any other meat. —Daria Burcar, Rochester, Michigan

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Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and OlivesTaste of Home

Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Olives

This squash is welcome as a side dish, but you can also top it with canned tuna to serve as a main dish. I use my own canned tomatoes for the best flavor. It's easy and so tasty! —Carol Chase, Sioux City, Iowa

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Confetti QuinoaTaste of Home

Confetti Quinoa

If you have never tried quinoa, start with my easy side, brimming with colorful veggies. I serve it with orange-glazed chicken. —Kim Ciepluch, Kenosha, Wisconsin

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Roasted Pumpkin and Brussels SproutsTaste of Home

Roasted Pumpkin and Brussels Sprouts

While traveling to Taiwan, I had the pleasure of trying a unique vegetable dish that included fresh pumpkin. It inspired me to roast pumpkin with Brussels sprouts. —Pam Correll, Brockport, Pennsylvania

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Garlic-Sesame Green BeansTaste of Home

Garlic-Sesame Green Beans

Sauteed bits of garlic and shallot, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, turn ordinary beans into something special. Keep the recipe in mind for your garden crop in summer. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri

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Grilled Street CornTaste of Home

Grilled Street Corn

Mexican food is my grandmother’s favorite. I wanted a perfect side for her legendary tacos, and this chile-lime grilled corn turned out to be just right. —Ashley Crainshaw, Shawnee, Kansas

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Lemon Couscous with BroccoliTaste of Home

Lemon Couscous with Broccoli

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, Colorado

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Golden Zucchini PancakesTaste of Home

Golden Zucchini Pancakes

If your garden is overflowing with zucchini this time of year, make these incredible pancakes to use it up. We squeeze the zucchini well before using to remove excess moisture. —Terry Ann Dominguez, Silver City, New Mexico

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Carrots and Snow PeasTaste of Home

Carrots and Snow Peas

This is without question my favorite side dish, both for flavor and ease of preparation. Sherry adds an amazing spark to the vegetables. —Cheryl Donnely, Arvada, Colorado

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Green Beans AmandineTaste of Home

Green Beans Amandine

It's hard to improve on the taste Mother Nature gives to fresh green beans, but Mom has done just that for years using this green beans amandine recipe. I have always thought the crunchy almonds were a super addition. —Brenda DuFresne, Midland, Michigan

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Pesto Pasta & PotatoesTaste of Home

Pesto Pasta & Potatoes

Although this healthy pasta dish is pretty simple to begin with, it's made even easier because you can throw the green beans and pasta into one big pot to cook. —Laura Flowers, Moscow, Idaho

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Spicy Grilled EggplantTaste of Home

Spicy Grilled Eggplant

This side goes well with any meat you might also be grilling. Thanks to the Cajun seasoning, the zesty eggplant gets more attention than an ordinary veggie. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas

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Roasted Rosemary CauliflowerTaste of Home

Roasted Rosemary Cauliflower

Roasting the cauliflower really brings out its flavor in this side dish. Even folks who aren't cauliflower lovers like it this way. —Joann Fritzler, Belen, New Mexico

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Cranberry Wild Rice PilafTaste of Home

Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf

This tender side dish is perfect for the holidays or any time you want to add a special touch. Dried cranberries, currants and almonds serve up color and texture. My co-workers all make this rice pilaf for their families. —Pat Gardetta, Osage Beach, Missouri

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Gouda Mixed Potato MashTaste of Home

Gouda Mixed Potato Mash

Everything's better with cheese, right? This cheesy two-potato mash is no exception. If you cube the cheese, you’ll discover delicious pockets of melted cheese throughout the dish. —Shelby Goddard, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Dutch BeetsTaste of Home

Dutch Beets

Even people who typically shy away from beets will polish these off. They're quick to make, too, since you start with convenient canned beets.

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German Red CabbageTaste of Home

German Red Cabbage

Sunday afternoons were a time for family gatherings when I was a kid. While the uncles played cards, the aunts made treats such as this traditional German red cabbage recipe. —Jeannette Heim, Dunlap, Tennessee

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Fiesta Corn and BeansTaste of Home

Fiesta Corn and Beans

Bursting with southwestern flavors, the zesty veggie medley here can be served as a side dish or a meatless meal-in-one. The dollop of yogurt is a cool, creamy finishing touch. —Gerald Hetrick, Erie, Pennsylvania

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Grilled Brussels SproutsTaste of Home

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

During a beach vacation, in an effort to cook our entire meal outside on the grill, I made our not-so-simple veggie choice into a simple grilled side dish. For spicier sprouts, season with red pepper flakes —Tiffany Ihle, Bronx, New York

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Cauliflower MashTaste of Home

Cauliflower Mash

This quick and easy mashed cauliflower is a great alternative to same-old mashed spuds, and it's healthier, too!—Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Quinoa TabboulehTaste of Home

Quinoa Tabbouleh

When my mom and sister developed several food allergies, we had to modify many recipes. I substituted quinoa for couscous in this tabouleh. Now we make it all the time! —Jennifer Klann, Corbett, Oregon

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Beans, Bacon & Tomato BakeTaste of Home

Beans, Bacon & Tomato Bake

Bacon, tomatoes and lima beans combine for a nutrient-packed side dish that makes the perfect accompaniment to turkey. —Karen Kumpulainen, Forest City, North Carolina

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Green Beans in Red Pepper SauceTaste of Home

Green Beans in Red Pepper Sauce

For easy veggies, I make a simple sauce of sweet red peppers, almonds and parsley. We also like this sauce with zucchini or roasted cauliflower. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah

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Cantina Pinto BeansTaste of Home

Cantina Pinto Beans

This dish was inspired by one served at a Dallas, Texas, restaurant. The chef added chunks of ham, but my version is meatless. It makes a great Tex-Mex side or a filling lunch when served with cornbread. —L.R. Larson, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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Baked Parmesan Breaded SquashTaste of Home

Baked Parmesan Breaded Squash

Baked yellow squash is beautifully crispy. You don’t have to turn the pieces, but do keep an eye on them. — Debi Mitchell, Flower Mound, Texas

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Sweet Potato Carrot CrispTaste of Home

Sweet Potato Carrot Crisp

Sweet potatoes take a different twist in this whipped side dish that pairs them with carrots. It's subtly sweet and has just a hint of garlic, while the nut and crumb topping adds a fun crunch to any holiday meal.

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Fried CabbageTaste of Home

Fried Cabbage

When I was young, my family grew our own cabbages. It was fun to put them to use in the kitchen, just as I did with this comforting side. With potatoes, deviled eggs and cornbread, it tastes like home. —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri

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Cilantro PotatoesTaste of Home

Cilantro Potatoes

Fresh cilantro gives exotic Syrian-style flavor to these easy skillet potatoes. They’re a great complement to Mom’s tangy kabobs. —Weda Mosellie, Phillipsburg, New Jersey

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Smoky CauliflowerTaste of Home

Smoky Cauliflower

The smoked Spanish paprika gives a simple side of roasted cauliflower extra depth. This is definitely a favorite. —Juliette Mulholland, Corvallis, Oregon

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Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes with PancettaTaste of Home

Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes with Pancetta

Classic American mashed potatoes take a trip to Italy with the flavors of olive oil, garlic, and pancetta. —Bryan Kennedy, Kaneohe, Hawaii

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Eggplant FriesTaste of Home

Eggplant Fries

My kids love this snack—and I like that it's healthy. Coated with Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt, these veggie sticks are broiled, not fried, so there's no guilt when you crunch into them. —Mary Murphy, Atwater, California

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Honey-Thyme Butternut SquashTaste of Home

Honey-Thyme Butternut Squash

This golden, honey-sweetened squash is just as hearty and comforting as your favorite potato dish. With its bright color, it makes an attractive side for special autumn meals. —Bianca Noiseux, Bristol, Connecticut

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Lemon Parmesan OrzoTaste of Home

Lemon Parmesan Orzo

A splash of lemon and a shower of chopped parsley make this orzo one of my family's most-requested sides. It's fantastic with chicken, pork and fish. —Leslie Palmer, Swampscott, Massachusetts

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Quinoa with Peas and OnionTaste of Home

Quinoa with Peas and Onion

I make this a lot for my son, who’s a picky eater. He loves it! —Lori Panarella, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

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Colcannon PotatoesTaste of Home

Colcannon Potatoes

Every Irish family has its own colcannon recipe, since it's a classic dish. My recipe comes from my father's family in Ireland. It's part of my St. Pat's menu, along with lamb chops, carrots and soda bread. —Marilou Robinson, Portland, Oregon

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Parmesan Roasted BroccoliTaste of Home

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Sure, it’s simple and healthy but, oh, is this roasted broccoli delicious. Cutting the stalks into tall “trees” turns an ordinary veggie into a standout side dish. —Holly Sander, Lake Mary, Florida

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Shredded Gingered Brussels SproutsTaste of Home

Shredded Gingered Brussels Sprouts

Even people who normally don't care for Brussels sprouts will ask for a second helping of these. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor

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Stuffing from the Slow CookerTaste of Home

Stuffing from the Slow Cooker

If you're hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner this year, add this simple slow-cooked stuffing to your menu to ease entertaining. The recipe comes in handy when you run out of oven space at large family gatherings. I use this Crock Pot dressing recipe often. —Donald Seiler, Macon, Mississippi

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Bacon-Corn Stuffed PeppersTaste of Home

Bacon-Corn Stuffed Peppers

Filled with corn, salsa, green onions, mozzarella cheese and bacon, these grilled pepper halves are sure to liven up your next cookout. They have a wonderful taste and give a fun twist to the usual corn on the cob. —Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland

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Mediterranean CauliflowerTaste of Home

Mediterranean Cauliflower

I adapted a recipe I received from a friend to make this delicious—and deliciously different—cauliflower dish. It's prepared quickly in a skillet and uses only a handful of ingredients. What a great way to take ordinary cauliflower to a whole new level! —Valerie Smith, Aston, Pennsylvania

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Stewed Zucchini and TomatoesTaste of Home

Stewed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Zucchini, tomatoes and green peppers star in this make-ahead dish that offers a fresh take on traditional vegetable sides. Bubbly cheddar cheese adds a down-home feel. —Barbara Smith, Salem, Oregon

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Spiced Carrots & Butternut SquashTaste of Home

Spiced Carrots & Butternut Squash

When I've got a lot going on, my slow cooker is my go-to tool for cooking veggies. I toss in cumin and chili powder to bring out the natural sweetness of carrots and squash. —Courtney Stultz, Columbus, Kansas

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Mashed Peppery TurnipsTaste of Home

Mashed Peppery Turnips

I created this recipe in an attempt to use up a great turnip harvest from our garden, and to lighten up one of our favorite dishes. By using turnips in place of potatoes, I made a low-carb side. Now we rarely serve plain mashed potatoes! —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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Thymed Zucchini SauteTaste of Home

Thymed Zucchini Saute

Simple and flavorful, this recipe is a tasty and healthy way to use up all those zucchini that are taking over your garden. It's ready in hardly any time! —Bobby Taylor, Ulster Park, New York

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Roasted Asparagus and LeeksTaste of Home

Roasted Asparagus and Leeks

No vegetable says spring quite like asparagus. In this recipe, we combine pretty green spears with leeks. Crushed red pepper adds a bit of zest.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Cilantro Ginger CarrotsTaste of Home

Cilantro Ginger Carrots

Peppery-sweet ginger and cooling cilantro have starring roles in this colorful side of crisp-tender carrots. They go from pan to plate in a twinkling. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Vegetable Barley SauteTaste of Home

Vegetable Barley Saute

This wonderful side dish can easily be turned into a hearty entree by adding cooked chicken.

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Roasted Fennel and PeppersTaste of Home

Roasted Fennel and Peppers

Fennel makes for a tasty change of pace in this versatile side that goes great with grilled meats. Best of all, it's full of flavor, easy to do and doesn't seem light at all! —Healthy Cooking Test Kitchen

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Grilled PattypansTaste of Home

Grilled Pattypans

Just a few minutes and a handful of ingredients are all you’ll need for this scrumptious side dish. Hoisin sauce and rice wine vinegar give grilled pattypans Asian flair. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Garden-Fresh Rainbow ChardTaste of Home

Garden-Fresh Rainbow Chard

Chard, a member of the beet family, is prized for its green leaves and colorful stalks. Stir up these good-for-you greens with garlic and red onion. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Spring AsparagusTaste of Home

Spring Asparagus

This fresh and colorful side dish is delicious served warm or cold. I get lots of compliments on the homemade dressing. —Millie Vickery, Lena, Illinois

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Mango Barley SaladTaste of Home

Mango Barley Salad

I made this fresh, colorful mango salad on the fly and it was a big hit! The bright flavor is perfect for a spring or summer picnic, served right away or chilled. —Dan Wellberg, Elk River, Minnesota

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Roasted Peppers and CauliflowerTaste of Home

Roasted Peppers and Cauliflower

Caramelization really enhances the flavors in this easy side dish. The seasoned, roasted peppers and cauliflower are just right with nearly any main course. —Cheryl Wilt, Eglon, West Virginia

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.