4 Great Side Dish Recipes. (Bonus: They’re All Delicious, Easy, and Fast!)

Oh, side dishes. So often an afterthought, or a portion of the meal that’s far more time consuming than you’d like it to be. Enter a collection (four, to be exact) of my favorite crowd-pleaser side dishes. These are foolproof: easy, delicious, and fast to prep. (You’re welcome.)

These are all relatively new recipes I’ve found and loved, and so even though they’re not at all similar (aside from their classification of “side dish”), I thought it made sense to group them together and pass them along to you lovely readers. (Also, check out my collection of my favorite grilled sides if you’re interested in going that route instead of staying in the kitchen.)

1. Jicama Green Apple Slaw

Get ready for crisp, refreshing deliciousness with this side dish. It’s a bit of a different take on a traditional cole slaw, and don’t shy away if you’re not a mayo fan — you seriously cannot taste it a bit.


Ingredients (for slaw)

  • 3 cups shredded jicama (about 1 small jicama)
  • 1 green apple, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients (for dressing)

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  • Peel jicama (I use a vegetable peeler — it’s similar to peeling a potato). Shred jicama into a medium bowl (I use a cheese grater on one of the larger-holed sides).
  • Add apple, onion, cilantro, and sunflower seeds to the bowl and toss with jicama.
  • Whisk together dressing in a small bowl. Pour over slaw and combine completely. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • This slaw is ready to be served immediately, or can be chilled in the fridge and served later. (If refrigerated, be sure to toss slaw again before serving to be sure dressing is well distributed.)

2. Roasted Carrots with Honey Ginger Glaze

This dish is not only quick and easy — it’s also lovely (when you go the multi-colored carrot route like I typically do). It’s not an overdone dish, which is what I love about it. The carrot flavor shines through, but is enhanced and dressed up a bit by the honey and ginger.

photo 1


  • 1 pound of carrots, washed (but not peeled!) and cut into quarter-inch thick circles (I like to buy the colorful carrots they often sell at Trader Joe’s — so pretty!)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Sea salt to taste

photo 3


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees an line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
  • Place carrots on the foil and drizzle with olive oil, tossing and rolling carrots to coat evenly. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes.
  • Once the carrots have been roasting for about 15 minutes, combine the honey, butter, and ground ginger in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove carrots from the oven and drizzle them with the honey glaze. Add sea salt to taste, and serve immediately.

3. Leon’s Full Service Warm Chickpea Cherry Salad

I was beyond thrilled to find this recipe thanks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “From The Menu Of…” department. Kevin and I lived in Atlanta before moving to Winston just over three years ago, and we both worked in Decatur. My office, in fact, was right around the corner from Leon’s Full Service (which, as my Atlanta friends know, is a wonderful, wonderful place). Their cocktails are to die for. The atmosphere is delightful (there’s a bocce court in the back!). But my favorite thing about Leon’s, hands down, is this warm chickpea cherry salad. (I’ve very, very slightly modified the recipe and opted to use gruyère rather than aged provolone, and I think it turned out great.) Enjoy!

photo 4 (6)


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1 Tablespoon plus one teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup gruyère, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

photo 1 (9)


  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until just smoking. Carefully add chickpeas and saute until they begin to brown (about five minutes).
  • Stir in cherries and sauté until just warm (about one minute).
  • Add vinegar and continue cooking until vinegar is reduced and pan is almost dry.
  • Remove from heat and add cheese cubes.
  • When cheese is nearly melted, toss in basil.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

4. Honey Mustard Brussels Sprouts Slaw

I leave you with one more slaw recipe — this time using brussels sprouts rather than the traditional cabbage as a base. (I’m a big fan of this switch, and highly recommend this other shredded sprouts based salads for the winter season.)

photo 2 (13)

Ingredients (for slaw)

  • 1 pound shredded brussels sprouts (I highly recommend saving yourself some time by buying the pre-shredded sprouts TJ’s sells)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2/3 cup tart dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Ingredients (for dressing)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  • To toast your almonds, place in a sauce pan over medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and turning golden on the edges.
  • Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, and garlic until well combined.
  • In a medium serving bowl, toss the shredded sprouts with the almonds, cherries, Parmesan cheese, and dressing.
  • Serve and ENJOY!


One thought on “4 Great Side Dish Recipes. (Bonus: They’re All Delicious, Easy, and Fast!)

Leave a Reply