30 Best Vegetable Side Dishes for Kids

Kids will want to eat their veggies

Vegetable Tempura

The Spruce/Ahlam Raffii

Want your kids to eat more vegetables? You have to make them taste great! These yummy vegetable side dishes are all designed to tempt the taste buds of picky eaters, while sneaking healthy nutrition onto kids' plates. Browse our collection of quick and easy recipes, including suggestions for pairing these vegetable sides with other foods that kids enjoy eating.

  • 01 of 30

    Cauliflower Cheese Bread

    cauliflower-cheese-bread-4772741-09

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    If your kids are fans of cheesy garlic bread, try this easy, gluten-free swap. Cauliflower cheese bread is so gooey and garlicky, kids won’t miss the carb-loaded original. It's also easy for parents to make, by replacing bread with a basic cauliflower dough. Whip it up in the food processor with no tricky ingredients required — just grated cauliflower, eggs, spices, and cheese.

  • 02 of 30

    Oven Fried Zucchini Recipe

    Oven fried zucchini

    The Spruce

    A light breading of Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese adds the perfect texture and taste to healthy zucchini rounds. This no-fuss veggie is "fried" in the oven, for less fat and calories, and no stovetop splatter. It's a great alternative to fries for serving with everything from chicken nuggets to burgers.

  • 03 of 30

    Butternut Squash Noodles

    Butternut Squash Noodles

    Anita Schecter

    Turning vegetables into noodles with a spiralizer kitchen tool is a fantastic way to sneak good nutrition into picky eaters. Butternut squash makes an excellent pasta substitute that you can use in endless pasta recipes. This version tosses spaghetti-like strands of squash in a creamy, cheesy sauce, for a veggie side dish you can serve with chicken, fish, or meatballs.

  • 04 of 30

    Broccoli With Cheese Sauce

    Broccoli With Cheese Sauce

    The Spruce/Chosen Posture

    With only 5 ingredients, you can whip up a glorious, melty cheese sauce that transforms everyday broccoli into a kid-pleasing side dish. Pour it over steamed fresh or frozen broccoli spears or florets, for an appealing side the whole family will love.

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  • 05 of 30

    Vegetable Tempura

    Vegetable Tempura

    The Spruce/Ahlam Raffii

    Vegetable tempura is often the first things go for on Japanese restaurant menus. Recreate this popular dish at home in all its light and crispy goodness with this quick and easy recipe. You only need a handful of basic pantry ingredients to make the batter for dipping and frying up any assortment of vegetables you choose.

  • 06 of 30

    Honey Glazed Baby Carrots

    Honey Glazed Baby Carrots

    Miri Rotkovitz

    Honey, butter, and brown sugar turn plain, boring carrots into the most delicious side dish. Even picky eaters won't be able to resist these cute little carrots coated in a sticky, sweet glaze. Bake them up in 30 minutes for serving with chicken tenders or fish sticks.

  • 07 of 30

    Slow Cooker Creamed Corn

    Slow Cooker Creamed Corn

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    Homemade creamed corn tastes miles better than canned, and this cheesy, buttery version is sure to please even the pickiest palates. This easy version cooks hands-free in the slow cooker, so it's a cinch to prepare. Just mix everything together in the crock pot, set it, and forget it.

  • 08 of 30

    Air Fryer Onion Rings

    air-fryer-onion-rings-4771524-12

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Air fryer onion rings are much less greasy than deep-fried onion rings, with all the satisfying crunch of the original. Kids will love chomping into these crave-worthy onion rings that are crispy on the outside, and soft and sweet on the inside. This addictive side dish goes great with turkey or veggie burgers.

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  • 09 of 30

    Sweet Potato Buns

    Sweet Potato Buns

    The Spruce/Pete Scherer

    Sneak nutrition into kids with these yummy dinner rolls that include a hidden sweet potato in the dough. Kids will enjoy scarfing down these colorful, rich and chewy buns that make a fantastic vehicle for sliders and sandwich stuffings. You can also serve them as a dipping bread at lunch, with tomato or broccoli cheese soup.

  • 10 of 30

    Snow Peas With Butter and Lemon

    Snow Peas With Butter and Lemon

    The Spruce/Diana Rattray

    Snow peas are a kid-favorite vegetable that take just seconds to cook. Serve these crunchy, delicious, buttery snow peas for a quick weeknight side dish, or dress them up with slivered almonds for holiday dinners. Just don't take your eyes off them as they cook, as over-boiling will cause them lose their crunch — and it truly happens fast. 

  • 11 of 30

    Cauliflower Tots

    Cauliflower Tots

    Molly Watson

    Say goodbye to additive-laden, frozen bags of tater tots. These cauliflower tots are so irresistibly crunchy and tender, kids will gobble them up. They're also delicious, and much healthier than purchased tater tots, not least because they are oven-baked instead of fried. Make a big batch and freeze them ahead, so you always have a yummy side dish on hand.

  • 12 of 30

    Baked Sweet Potato Fries

    Baked Vegan Sweet Potato Fries

    The Spruce-Emily Hawkes

    Ultra-crispy, perfectly seasoned, salty-sweet, and vegan to boot, these oven-baked sweet potato fries deliver all the flavor and texture kids want in French fries, without all the fat and mess of frying. Bake them up easily for a savory after-school snack, or a craveable side dish at dinner.

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  • 13 of 30

    Cheddar Green Bean Casserole

    Cheddar Green Bean Casserole

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

    Beloved as a Thanksgiving side dish, green bean casserole is a family-pleasing comfort food. This one skips the canned condensed soup, instead calling for an easy cheddar cheese sauce with sour cream and mushrooms, to deliver a homey, nutritious casserole that everyone in the family will love.

  • 14 of 30

    Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

    Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

    The Spruce

    Give vegan kids the experience of eating pub-style Buffalo "wings" with this clever recipe that slathers oven-roasted cauliflower florets in store-bought Buffalo sauce. Serve them for a tasty lunch on their own, or to turn garlic bread or a slice of pizza into a filling meal.

  • 15 of 30

    Italian Pasta Salad

    Italian Pasta Salad

    The Spruce

    Packed with colorful fresh and canned vegetables, including black olives, and flavored with prepared Italian dressing, this Italian pasta salad is a weeknight and potluck essential. Toss it together in 10 minutes on busy days, adding cubes of cheese, salami, fresh herbs, and whatever else is handy in the fridge. Tastes great warm or cold.

  • 16 of 30

    Homemade Veggie Chips

    Homemade Veggie Chips

    The Spruce

    Making your own vegetable chips is a great way to manage what your kids are eating. All you need are a few root vegetables, and simple seasonings, to create these potato chip-style goodies, with no weird additives. You'll follow a simple two-step process of oven-drying, and then frying, to make the chips. Serve as a delicious side for burgers, chicken nuggets, and hot dogs.

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  • 17 of 30

    Boiled Edamame

    Boiled Edamame

    Lori Andrews/Getty Images

    If your kids love the salted bowls of edamame in pods served at Japanese restaurants, this is a must-know recipe. It couldn't be easier to boil up a batch of edamame for serving in appetizer bowls, or plating with fried rice or noodles at the lunch or dinner table. They will taste great either warm or chilled.

  • 18 of 30

    Sweet Potato Falafel

    Sweet Potato Falafel

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga 

    Crunchy, oven-baked falafel balls made with ground chickpeas are a fantastic quick vegan family meal. These falafel are boosted with mashed sweet potatoes for an extra-delicious spin on the popular Middle Eastern street food. Stuff them into pitas with chopped vegetables, or drizzle with tahini sauce and serve over steamed rice.

  • 19 of 30

    Vegan Spring Rolls

    Vegan Spring Rolls

    sbossert-Getty Images

    Crunchy, cooling, and made for dipping into peanut sauce, these fresh spring rolls with vegetables and noodles inside are a fabulous, healthy side dish for kids. They are also a snap to assemble in minutes with no cooking required, and make a popular party appetizer, too.

  • 20 of 30

    Strawberry Spinach Salad

    Strawberry Spinach Salad

    Lesyy/Getty Images

    How do you get kids to eat spinach salad? Add fresh and juicy strawberries, and drizzle the whole thing in honey-cinnamon dressing, that's how! Serve this scrumptious, fruity salad with everything from lasagna to baked chicken breasts to give kids a boost of healthy vitamins, minerals, and iron.

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  • 21 of 30

    Zucchini Pancakes

    Zucchini Pancakes

    The Spruce/D.L. Rattray

    Tasty, savory zucchini pancakes are like zucchini bread, but in pancake form. Kids love their crisp and puffy texture, and you'll love how quickly they cook up. They are great for a quick dinner or make-ahead breakfast, topped with a dollop of sour cream, or to serve alongside fish or chicken . Plan ahead to let shredded zucchini drain for 1-2 hours, before mixing the batter.

  • 22 of 30

    Guacamole

    Guacamole

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

    Creamy, delicious fresh guacamole makes a tasty garnish for tacos and burgers, livens up a vegetarian burrito, and is great with chips as an appetizer. This easy version with only 7 ingredients, plus salt and pepper, is destined to become a classic in your kitchen.

  • 23 of 30

    Eggplant Parmesan

    Eggplant Parmesan

    Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images

    There's nothing quite like cheesy, baked eggplant Parmesan. The Italian-American comfort food classic makes a satisfying vegetarian meal on its own, or a filling side dish for spaghetti. To make it ahead, assemble the unbaked casserole, wrap tightly with foil, and freeze up to 3 months (thaw before baking).

  • 24 of 30

    Carrot Raisin Salad

    Carrot Raisin Salad

    a_namenko/Getty Images

    Carrot raisin salad is a nostalgic favorite that kids still enjoy eating. This simple, 5-ingredient recipe is entirely vegan, and includes diced pineapples for an extra jolt of sweetness. Make a batch for your fridge, and add it to soup-and-salad lunches, or as an easy side for tacos and burgers.

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  • 25 of 30

    Greek Village Salad (Horiatiki)

    Greek Village Salad

    Patricia Fenn Gallery-Getty Images

    Village-style Greek salad is simple and refreshing, with big chunks of tomato and cucumber, thinly sliced red onion, tangy feta cheese, and Kalamata olives. It's a kid-favorite side dish for grilled meats of all kinds, and tastes great packed into pitas. Use pitted olives, and skip the hot peppers, if serving to little ones.

  • 26 of 30

    Irish Mashed Potatoes With Cabbage (Colcannon)

    Traditional Irish Colcannon

    The Spruce

    Fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes with hidden cabbage inside is a comforting side dish for kids and adults alike. Colcannon is traditionally served alongside corned beef at St. Patrick's Day dinner but makes a yummy vegetable side for other meats at any time of year.

  • 27 of 30

    Mexican-Style Corn With Peppers

    Mexican-Style Corn With Peppers

    Diana Rattray

    Bell peppers, diced pimientos, and basic seasonings flavor this tasty, Tex Mex-style corn dish. Use fresh or frozen corn kernels, and serve as an easy side for burritos, ribs, and burgers. Or crumble in some feta cheese to turn it into a potluck salad.

  • 28 of 30

    Vegetarian Pumpkin Dumplings

    Vegetarian Pumpkin Dumplings

    The Spruce

    Pumpkin dumplings are a fun and delicious vegetarian side that make great use of fresh or canned pumpkin puree. These boiled vegetable dumplings come together easily, and make a family-pleasing side dish at everyday fall dinners and holiday gatherings alike.

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  • 29 of 30

    Easy Black Bean Salsa

    Easy Black Bean Salsa

    Leah Maroney

    Simple, fresh, and high in healthy plant protein, black bean salsa with corn, tomatoes, and red onion is incredibly easy to whip together at home. It makes an excellent after-school snack for kids with tortilla chips, or a colorful side for chicken, beef, and veggie burgers.

  • 30 of 30

    Ham, Hash Browns, and Spinach Casserole

    Ham, Hash Browns, and Spinach Casserole

    Diana Rattray

    Want to trick kids into eating greens? Sneak them into a fully-loaded hash brown casserole. They'll be so busy wolfing down the cheesy potatoes studded with nuggets of juicy ham, they won't even notice the vegetable nutrition inside. Cut it into squares for an easy side dish, or make it breakfast with a glass of orange juice on the side.