Side Dishes List (100+ Ideas for Instant Dinner Inspiration)

Sharing is caring!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more

My side dishes list can help you find the perfect pairing for your main course.

Proper, balanced meals are always made up of more than one part. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had chicken or salmon in the refrigerator but then struggled to think what to make with it.

That’s why I made this list of sides so that I can quickly get ideas and get on with cooking. I hope this list saves you potentially hours of indecision, too!

Side Dishes List

You should be able to find plenty of recipes for these sides, both online and in cookbooks.

If you want to print it off and stick it to your fridge door, like me, read through to the end of this article. You’ll find a link to download it for free.

Side DIsh Ideas List (ideas from the article)

Popular Side Dishes

No doubt you’ll have heard of these dishes. You can easily find these in your local store – both the raw ingredients and pre-made versions. These dishes pair with so many foods, and you can use ingredients you’ll usually have at home.

  1. Mashed Potatoes
  2. Steamed Rice
  3. Quinoa
  4. Couscous
  5. Baked Potato Wedges
  6. Pasta
  7. French Fries
  8. Green Bean Casserole
  9. Roasted Peppers
  10. Potato Salad

Easy Side Dishes

Feeling tired or pushed for time? These side dishes are super easy and quick to make. Plus, despite how easy they are, they’re all still super yummy!

  1. Corn on the Cob
  2. Baked Potato
  3. Grilled Asparagus
  4. Caprese Salad Skewers
  5. Greek Salad
  6. Orzo
  7. Baked Sweet Potato Fries
  8. Roasted Chickpeas
  9. Seasoned Black Beans
  10. Carrot Salad

Vegetable Side Dishes

These vegetable-based dishes are really tasty. You can pair them with both meat and other vegetable options.

  1. Roasted Eggplant
  2. Roasted Cauliflower
  3. Steamed Vegetables
  4. Sautéed Spinach
  5. Roasted Carrots
  6. Broccoli Salad
  7. Stuffed Mushrooms
  8. Ratatouille (Vegetable Stew)
  9. Zucchini Fries
  10. Vegetable Kabobs

Make-Ahead Side Dishes

This section is probably my most visited one. Once you get into meal prep, it’s amazing how much time you can free up in the following days.

You can make all these dishes ahead of time. Keep them safely stored in the refrigerator, ready to be pulled out and warmed up for those evenings when you’re feeling tired.

  1. Macaroni Salad
  2. Coleslaw
  3. Cornbread
  4. Pesto Pasta Salad
  5. Antipasto Salad
  6. Cucumber Salad
  7. Roasted Vegetable Salad
  8. Quinoa Salad
  9. Marinated Vegetables
  10. Charred Brussels Sprouts

Side Dishes on a Budget

Try some of these side dishes if you’re working with a strict budget. You should be able to pick these ingredients up for pretty cheap at your local store.

  1. Baked Beans
  2. Garlic Rice
  3. Cauliflower Rice
  4. Polenta
  5. Onion Rings
  6. Bean Salad
  7. Peas
  8. Boiled Potatoes
  9. Noodles
  10. Lentils

Indulgent Side Dishes

Feeling like treating yourself? These side dishes are loaded with flavor. They may be a little on the naughty side, but they are so worth it!

  1. Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
  2. Scalloped Potatoes
  3. Creamed Corn
  4. Mac and Cheese
  5. Fried Rice
  6. Hasselback Potatoes
  7. Parmesan Polenta Fries
  8. Twice-Baked Loaded Potatoes
  9. Mozzarella Sticks
  10. Parmesan Truffle Fries


Salads pair not only with mains but also with other side dishes. If you want to keep things light and easy, have a look at these salads. All require minimal to no cooking and can be made by tossing ingredients together with a dressing.

  1. Mediterranean Salad
  2. Fennel Salad
  3. Panzanella
  4. Burrata Salad
  5. Arugula Parmesan Salad
  6. Caesar Salad
  7. Kale Salad
  8. Wedge Salad
  9. Corn Salad
  10. Tomato Cucumber Salad

Bread Sides

Bread is my weakness – there, I said it! You can have bread with practically anything. You should also be able to find these freshly baked at your local store or bakery if you don’t have time to make them yourself.

  1. Buttermilk Biscuits
  2. Corn Muffins
  3. Garlic Bread
  4. Dinner Rolls
  5. Flatbread
  6. Pita
  7. Naan
  8. Focaccia
  9. Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread
  10. Stuffed Bread

More Side Dishes

And I’ve still got plenty more dishes for you. Have a look below and see if anything sounds tasty.

  1. Refried Beans
  2. Smashed Potatoes
  3. Braised Cabbage
  4. Roasted Parsnips
  5. Pearl Couscous
  6. Potato Rolls
  7. Deviled Eggs
  8. Layered Salad
  9. Corn Casserole
  10. Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  11. Stuffed Peppers
  12. Butternut Squash Gratin
  13. Fried Artichokes
  14. Pickled Radishes
  15. Grilled Eggplant Slices
  16. Watermelon Feta Salad
  17. Stuffed Acorn Squash
  18. Spaghetti Squash
  19. Cheese Grits
  20. Fruit Salad

Let me know in the comments which of these sides you love.

Use the download link below to get it for free. Print it off, find a place on the fridge or notice board for it, and take a look when you need ideas.

You Might Also Like to Read

Make sure you have this side dish list on-hand by saving it to one of your recipe idea boards. You can always scan the article, or download the PDF, to help you decide what to make with your mains.

Side DIsh Ideas List (ideas from the article)