38 easy vegan side dishes

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one, I may earn a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

I hold my hands up, I used to be awful at making vegan side dishes. I’d cook up an incredible vegan dish, forget to make anything to go with it and then plonk some microwaved frozen veg or a bread roll on the side. You can do better!

I’ve contacted expert food bloggers from across the globe and asked them to suggest their favourite easy vegan side dishes. I’ve collated the suggestions, categorised them and added links to the recipes.

So, whether you’re making a vegetable curry, a stew, veggie burgers or anything else, you can easily find an effortless side to accompany your meals.

Vegan potato side dishes

1. Air fryer roasted potatoes

I find that making roast potatoes in my air fryer is not only the quickest and easiest method, but it’s also the healthiest as it uses just a fraction of the olive oil that you would use in the oven. Since I bought my air fryer I’ve used it almost every day and I can’t imagine not having it in my kitchen.

You will need:

  • Potatoes
  • Oil
  • Seasonings

See recipe


2. Mashed sweet potatoes

Using sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes is a healthier and tastier way to make mashed potato. This dairy-free mashed potato recipe uses coconut milk for a lovely creamy taste that kids and adults will both love.

You will need:

See recipe


3. Vegan dauphinoise potatoes

Dauphinoise potatoes go by many names including scalloped potatoes and potato gratin. But whatever you call them, I’ve sure you’ll agree that they’re a delicious accompaniment to almost any meal. Simple to make, all you need to do it throw the ingredients in a blender, pour over sliced potatoes and bake.

You will need:

  • Potatoes
  • Cashews
  • Plant-based milk
  • Water
  • Olive oil
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Stock powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried rosemary
  • Salt
  • Pepper

See recipe


4. French potato salad

I like to make potato salad with Hellmann’s vegan mayo, but this mayo-free version is so much healthier and definitely a contender for the best vegan potato salad of all time!

You will need:

  • Potatoes
  • Spring onion
  • White wine
  • Champagne vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt pepper

See recipe

Vegan vegetable side dishes

5. Broccoli with garlic and lemon

Have you been serving your broccoli naked? You’ve been doing it wrong! This broccoli is sauteed in crushed garlic and lemon for a tasty, zingy flavour that’s totally worth the extra five minutes. You could even add some chilli flakes if you’re feeling spicy.

You will need:

  • Broccoli
  • Oil
  • Garlic
  • Lemon

See recipe


6. Balsamic roasted asparagus

Balsamic roasted asparagus is an easy vegan side dish that’s ideal to make in the springtime when asparagus is in season. The best thing about baking asparagus is that the balsamic vinegar caramelizes and the tips go crispy. Yum!

You will need:

  • Asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic

See recipe


7. Sticky sesame cauliflower

Sticky sesame cauliflower is a Korean dish but it tastes so great that, honestly, you’ll want it on the side of everything. I often mix up sides like this to create an ‘Asian fusion’ feast.

You will need:

  • Cauliflower
  • Spring onion
  • Garlic
  • Soy sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Cornstarch
  • Oil
  • Sesame seeds

See recipe


8. Creamy beetroot salad

If you have a steamer pot or a steamer basket then you’ll find this recipe to be really easy to make. As well as the obvious beetroot it uses kohlrabi, which is also known as German turnip. If you don’t have one of those don’t worry, this salad tastes just great without it.

You will need:

  • Whole raw beetroot
  • Kohlrabi
  • Parsley
  • Tahini
  • Lemon juice

See recipe


9. Kale with garlic and onions

Kale is one of the healthiest vegan side dishes there is, but raw kale is bitter and boring. The solution is to sautee the kale with onions and garlic to soften it, sweeten it and add a deliciously moreish flavour.

You will need:

  • Kale
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Vegetable broth
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

See recipe


10. Garlic bok choy

Ready in just ten minutes, this easy bok choy recipe is bursting with flavour. Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage, so this side goes well with Chinese-inspired dishes. Although honestly, you could serve it with anything.

You will need:

  • Baby bok choy
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil

See recipe


11. Maple glazed carrots

Another easy ten-minute vegan side dish is maple-glazed carrots. Most maple carrot recipes are baked, which takes ages. But this recipe uses the stove so your glazed carrots will be done in no time.

You will need:

  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Vegetable stock
  • Maple syrup
  • Water
  • Vegan butter
  • Dried parsley

See recipe


12. Vegan creamed corn

So sweet and creamy, you’d never know that this creamed corn was dairy-free. If you don’t have time to cut fresh corn off the cob, then frozen sweetcorn will work just as well for this easy vegan recipe.

You will need:

  • Corn
  • Vegan butter
  • Onion
  • Flour
  • Coconut milk
  • Plant-based milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper

See recipe


13. Curried parsnips

I’ll be honest with you, curry powder and parsnips was not a combination I’d ever thought of. Yet somehow, the earthy taste of the parsnips is wonderfully enhanced by the spices. So don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

You will need:

  • Parsnips
  • Oil
  • Curry powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

See recipe


14. Mashed swede

Bored of mashed potatoes? It’s time to try mashed swede! This delicious, peppery vegetable is just as easy to cook as a potato and makes a healthy and tasty alternative that goes with everything.

You will need:

  • Swede
  • Vegan butter
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Pepper

See recipe


15. Brocolli and sweet potatoes in coconut oil

Never thought of using coconut oil to roast vegetables? Me neither! However, the coconut oil enhances the sweetness of these sweet potatoes, plus it has a whole host of health benefits.

You will need:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

See recipe


16. Spanish garlic mushrooms

This Spanish garlic mushroom dish is a delicious vegan tapas or side dish that takes less than ten minutes to make. This recipe is so simple, you basically just throw everything in a pan, but the result is very impressive. If you like mushrooms, of course.

You will need:

  • Mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Chilli flakes
  • Paprika
  • Lemon juice
  • Parsley

See recipe


Vegan pasta side dishes

17. Vegan mac and cheese

I never thought that vegan mac and cheese could be featured on a list of easy vegan side dishes but this recipe is surprisingly simple to make! All you need to do is cook the pasta and throw everything else into a blender to make a creamy and delicious dairy-free cheese-style sauce!

You will need:

  • Macaroni pasta
  • Cashews
  • Carrot
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Silken tofu
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Turmeric
  • Chilli flakes
  • Water
  • Fresh parsley

See recipe


18. Orzo salad

Who said that pasta salad needs cheese and mayo? This vegan pasta salad uses orzo pasta, chickpeas and finely-chopped veggies coated in lashings of olive oil and lemon juice.

You will need:

  • Orzo pasta
  • Aubergine
  • Tomatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Parsley
  • Olives
  • Olive oil
  • Onion powder
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt

See recipe


19. Courgetti

Okay, so it’s not strictly pasta. Courgetti is another name for courgette spaghetti – a healthy and gluten-free alternative to wheat pasta. A vegetable spiralizer is a must for this dish which is ready in around fifteen minutes.

You will need:

  • Courgettes
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Chilli
  • Salt
  • Pepper

See recipe

Vegan side dishes for BBQ

20. Summer roast potatoes

Roast potatoes are an easy vegan BBQ side. These ones are jazzed up with dill and spring onions and taste delicious whether served hot or cold at your barbecue.

You will need:

  • Potatoes
  • Dill
  • Spring onions
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

See recipe


21. Sliced tomato salad

I love to make this sliced tomato salad for a barbecue because not only can your guests enjoy the tomatoes on their own, they can also slide them inside a vegan burger. This is a dish that’s best saved for summer when tomatoes are in season and are ripe and juicy.

You will need:

  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh basil
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

See recipe


22. Quinoa salad

This fresh and tasty quinoa salad is the perfect vegan side to bring to a barbecue or potluck because it travels well and doesn’t need reheating. I’d recommend making it the day before a party and leaving it in the fridge overnight so that the quinoa can fully-absorb all of the flavours.

You will need:

  • Quinoa
  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Spring onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Red onion
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

See recipe


23. Courgette and carrot salad

This delicious summer salad is an easy side dish for a barbecue and tastes so good that you’ll want to put it in your burgers as well as on the side. If cutting the veg into matchsticks seems like too much work, you could use a spiralizer to do the job for you in seconds.

You will need:

  • Courgettes
  • Carrots
  • Spring onions
  • Peanuts
  • Fresh chilli
  • Peanut butter
  • Soy sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Sesame oil
  • Water

See recipe


24. Bean salad

This easy bean salad is made with canned beans, meaning that it only takes five minutes to prepare. The perfect summer salad for your barbecue, it’s packed with protein and fibre. So you won’t feel too bad about helping yourself to a second vegan hot dog.

You will need:

See recipe


25. Kale and apple slaw

Crunchy and tangy, this slaw is the perfect healthy side for a vegan barbecue. It’s light and refreshing and packed with nutrients. You can make it 24 hours before your party and keep it chilling in the fridge until you’re ready to tuck in.

You will need:

See recipe

Vegan curry side dishes

26. Turmeric rice

This vibrant yellow rice is coloured with turmeric which not only makes your rice look pretty but also has many scientifically-proven health benefits such as improving symptoms of depression and arthritis as well as potentially helping to prevent heart disease and cancer.

You will need:

  • Long grain rice
  • Turmeric
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Oil
  • Bay leaves
  • Salt

See recipe


28. Green beans with coconut

Green beans and coconut is a South Indian dish that goes great served with a vegan curry. If you like Indian cooking, you’d be crazy to ignore this super-simple vegan side dish. The recipe uses two types of lentils – urad dal and chana dal. However, you could just use toor dal which is a god multi-purpose lentil for Indian cooking.

You will need:

  • Green beans
  • Oil
  • Mustard seeds
  • Urad dal
  • Chana dal
  • Salt
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Chilli

See recipe


29. Baked tofu

This baked tofu is marinated in a simple tahini marinade for the perfect combination of sweetness and spice. I love to add baked tofu to a vegetable curry for a side helping of plant-based protein.

You will need:

  • Tofu
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Tahini
  • Maple syrup
  • Sriracha
  • Soy sauce

See recipe


30. Asian noodle salad

Made with lots of healthy green veggies, this easy Asian noodle salad would be a great accompaniment to lots of Asian recipes inclusing many kinds of curry. You could even serve it on its own as a main meal.

You will need:

  • Noodles
  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Cardamon
  • Limes
  • Peanuts
  • Chilli
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Nigella seeds
  • Olive oil

See recipe

Vegan Mexican side dishes

31. Pico de gallo

Also known as salsa fresco, pico de gallo is a traditional Mexican vegan side dish that’s cheap, quick and easy to make with just six ingredients. You don’t even need any herbs or spices!

You will need:

  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Jalapeno
  • Cilantro
  • Salt
  • Lime

See recipe


32. Mexican black beans

These easy Mexican black beans taste great inside vegan tacos and burritos or you could serve them on the side of pretty much any Mexican main dish. This recipe uses canned black beans and a bunch of dried herbs and spices that you probably already have at home.

You will need:

  • Canned black beans
  • Taco seasoning mix
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Onion powder
  • Bay leaf
  • Lime juice
  • Cilantro
  • Salt

See recipe


33. Refried beans

A hearty bowl of refried beans is one of my favourite vegan Mexican side dishes. But sometimes premade refried beans aren’t vegan as they contain animal fat. Yuk! Luckily, these vegan refried beans are easy to make and taste much better than the store-bought variety.

You will need:

  • Canned pinto beans
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Lime juice
  • Salt

See recipe

Vegan side dishes for stew

34. Baked polenta

Creamy baked polenta is a gluten-free vegan side dish that goes well with stews, casseroles and other saucy mains. It’s made mostly from cornmeal and plant-based milk. You can also add sauteed mushrooms on top if you wish.

You will need:

  • Cornmeal
  • Plant-based milk
  • Water
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary

See recipe

35. Jalapeño cornbread

What is homemade bread doing on a list of easy vegan side dishes, you may wonder! Well, this vegan jalapeño cornbread is super-simple to make from scratch and is definitely worth the time that you’ll invest in baking it. It’s great for dipping in a bowl of stew, but honestly, you could just eat this on its own.

You will need:

  • Flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Vegan yoghurt
  • Plant milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Salted vegan butter
  • Baking powder
  • Flax egg
  • Jalapenos

See recipe

Vegan side dishes for Christmas

36. Maple roasted butternut squash

Roasted with sliced onions and thyme and tossed in maple syrup, this butternut squash dish is the perfect accompaniment to your vegan Christmas dinner. It would also be great to serve at Thanksgiving or a Sunday dinner with your family.

You will need:

  • Butternut squash
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Maple syrup

See recipe


37. Maple and mustard sprouts and carrots

If you usually avoid Brussels sprouts on your Christmas dinner then you haven’t tried these ones yet. Glazed with maple syrup and mustard and roasted until crispy, this vegan Christmas dinner side dish will have you begging for more.

You will need:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Maple syrup
  • Mustard
  • Pecans
  • Aquafaba or olive oil
  • Salt

See recipe


38. Braised red cabbage

A simple accompaniment to your Christmas Dinner, red cabbage is also super healthy and packed with vitamins. Cinnamon and star anise give this dish a lovely festive flavour.

You will need:

  • Red cabbage
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Brown sugar
  • Red wine
  • Star anise
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Salt

See recipe


The bottom line

When you’re looking for vegan side dishes, it’s tempting to throw some peas or beans in the microwave. However, with minimal effort you can easily create some spectacular sides that will wow your guests. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue, making Christmas dinner or just cooking for yourself, be sure to bookmark this page so that you can return to it later.

Related posts: