Healthy Side Dish Recipes

In my experience, most of us 4th of July cooks don’t have a problem figuring out what the main dish will be – especially if we’re firing up the grill. We’re confident that our guests expect burgers and maybe a few pieces of chicken.

The question is what we’ll serve on the side of all those juicy burgers.

These days we need to please the vegetarians in the family, the folks with food sensitivities, and those who want to indulge their sweet tooths. Not to mention the kids!

It’s time to bring out my arsenal of tried and true side dish recipes and salads . . .

When it comes to salad recipes, anything with kale is the new king for the health conscious, and this Emerald City Salad from PPC Natural Markets is a hit for everyone. They’ll never know they’re eating kale.

PCC Emerald City Salad

PCC Emerald City Salad

If kale isn’t on your list, Cat Cora’s Broccoli Slaw is as simple as can be, but probably won’t go over well with the kids. Hmmmmm . . . how about this Taco Dip? Who doesn’t love a Mexican inspired dip with lots of avocado and black beans!

Mother Rimmy's Taco Dip

Mother Rimmy’s Taco Dip

If salads don’t do it for you, let’s add a few side dishes . . .

This easy vegetable tian adapted from For the Love of Cooking would be terrific with your grilled chicken, and it’s a great use for summer squash.

Sweet Potato Vegetable Tian

Sweet Potato Vegetable Tian

Or maybe you’re a green bean fan. If so, this green bean side dish packed with crunchy walnuts and sweet dried cranberries works just as well hot or cold.

Green Beans with Roasted Walnuts and Sweet Cranberries

Green Beans with Roasted Walnuts and Sweet Cranberries

And what 4th of July celebration is complete without dessert!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I don’t bake or make desserts unless under duress. Therefore, any sweet treat I make has to be simple.

This lemony refrigerator pie from Emeril is incredibly quick to put together, and can be dressed up with a variety of fresh berries and a dollop of whipped cream.

Emeril’s Lemon Ice Box Pie Dessert

But the chocolate lovers in the group need to be pleased too, right?

I guess I’ll concede to one more treat and dip a few strawberries into some melted chocolate and a few chopped nuts. I can handle that. Maybe I’ll even dip a few banana chunks into my chocolate and freeze them for the kids.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries missing one due to hubby

Done! I have a plan for side dishes that I believe will please the crowd.

I’d love to hear what you’ve planned to serve or share at your barbecue. Leave a comment, there’s still time for me to change my mind and serve something new!

Have a happy and healthy 4th of July!

If you’re looking for more healthy and low calorie Weight Watchers recipes, check out my Recipe page. You’ll find hundreds of recipes that include nutrition information and Weight Watchers points. 

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Please see disclaimer for further details. Nutrition information is compiled with MacGourmet. If you find discrepancies, please let me know. It’s important to  me that I provide you with accurate information.


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Thank you for sharing!



    • says

      Hi Kati – I hope you had a terrific 4th of July. Seattle saw some sun yesterday, so we were a happy group. Enjoy the rest of your week. :)

  1. says

    The burgers sound great, along with all the dishes, I think you will have a very satisfied crowd with you on the 4th. I love the green bean salad, it looks yummy.

    • says

      Strawberries are just coming into season around here, so they have some very nice plump ones available. Have a terrific weekend Irena!

  2. says

    I was actually thinking about the same thing. Usually people have their favorite bbq recipes to go to that they are comfortable feeding many people – not trying new one and fail or anything – but the sides… that’s most difficult menus because you want guests to try something new, not the ones you prepared before. Great roundup and looks delicious!!

  3. says

    The classic dilemma :) I tend to have the problem where I plan way too many side dishes. Thanks for the rundown and ideas, I still remember that kale salad (still meaning to make that) and that adapted tian looks gorgeous.


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