Sometimes, it feels like potatoes get all the glory in the side dish world, but there’s a whole universe of options out there that can add some excitement to your plate. We’ve got a bunch of cozy, comforting options that’ll complement any main dish beautifully, all without a potato in sight. These recipes bring something new and exciting to the table, offering up a delicious mix of flavors and textures that’ll keep your meals interesting.

Parsnip Puree. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Zucchini Ricotta Bake

Zucchini ricotta bake in a white baking dish.
Zucchini Ricotta Bake. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Dive into a zucchini ricotta bake and discover a lighter, yet equally comforting alternative to heavy pasta dishes. This bake layers zucchini with rich ricotta cheese, creating a lasagna-like experience without the noodles. It’s an easy, fuss-free dish that comes together quickly, making it perfect for a cozy family dinner or a casual gathering with friends.
Get the Recipe: Zucchini Ricotta Bake

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin

Cauliflower bacon gratin in a white baking dish with serving spoon.
Cauliflower Bacon Gratin. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Combine the creamy texture of cauliflower with the salty crunch of bacon, and you have a cauliflower bacon gratin that’s the definition of comfort food. Baked until tender, the cauliflower pairs wonderfully with the rich, creamy sauce and bits of bacon, offering a dish that’s sure to please both kids and adults alike.
Get the Recipe: Cauliflower Bacon Gratin

Broccoli Cauliflower Gratin

Broccoli cauliflower gratin with serving spoon in a baking dish.
Broccoli Cauliflower Gratin. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

This broccoli cauliflower gratin takes two beloved vegetables and elevates them with the addition of cheese and breadcrumbs, creating a side dish that’s impossible to resist. The vegetables become tender and flavorful in the oven, while the cheesy topping provides a golden crust that’s both comforting and satisfying.
Get the Recipe: Broccoli Cauliflower Gratin

Pesto Couscous

A bowl of pesto couscous with tomatoes and basil.
Pesto Couscous. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Pesto couscous is the answer when you need a side dish that’s both fast and flavorful. Ready in just 10 minutes, it’s a fantastic way to bring a bit of excitement to your dinner table without a lot of work. The vibrant flavors of pesto perfectly coat the couscous, making it a great pairing for meat or seafood, and an excellent way to make a weeknight meal feel a bit more special.
Get the Recipe: Pesto Couscous

Mashed Rutabaga with Garlic Herb Butter

Mashed Rutabaga with Garlic Herb Butter. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Mashed rutabaga with garlic herb butter is a hearty alternative to traditional mashed potatoes, offering a delightful mix of earthy flavors and creamy texture. The addition of garlic herb butter infuses the rutabaga with a savory depth, transforming this humble root vegetable into a luxurious side dish. It’s an economical option that delivers on both taste and comfort.
Get the Recipe: Mashed Rutabaga with Garlic Herb Butter

Creamy Mashed Yuca

Creamy mashed yuca with melted ghee.
Creamy Mashed Yuca. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Swap out the usual potatoes for creamy mashed yuca and discover a new level of comfort food. This dish boasts a rich texture that’s both smooth and satisfying, making it a perfect companion to any main course. Its natural, slightly sweet flavor is enhanced when mashed to perfection, creating a side dish that stands out for its comfort and simplicity.
Get the Recipe: Creamy Mashed Yuca

Cheesy Quinoa

Cheesy quinoa in a white bowl.
Cheesy Quinoa. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Cheesy quinoa with zucchini is a clever way to sneak more vegetables into your meal while still enjoying that comforting cheesy goodness. This dish combines the nutty flavors of quinoa with the creamy texture of cheese, making it a hearty side that’s both nutritious and comforting.
Get the Recipe: Cheesy Quinoa

Bacon and Asparagus Fried Couscous

Bacon and Asparagus Fried Couscous. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

For a savory side that packs a punch, bacon and asparagus fried couscous is a standout. The couscous is pan-fried in bacon fat, imbuing it with a depth of flavor that’s hard to beat, while the asparagus adds a fresh, crisp contrast. This dish is a fantastic way to bring a new texture and taste profile to your table, easily accompanying a wide range of main courses.
Get the Recipe: Bacon and Asparagus Fried Couscous

Parsnip Puree

Parsnip Puree. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Ditch the ordinary with a bowl of parsnip puree, where roasted garlic, butter, and a hint of rosemary come together to create a side dish that’s not only comforting but packed with flavor. Each spoonful is a creamy delight that proves you don’t need potatoes to achieve that perfect blend of richness and taste.
Get the Recipe: Parsnip Puree

Roasted Radishes with Rosemary and Honey

Rosemary honey roasted radishes on a plate with dipping sauce.
Roasted Radishes with Rosemary and Honey. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Roasted radishes with rosemary and honey offer a unique take on a side dish, transforming the radishes’ peppery bite into a mellow, slightly sweet treat. The roasting process enhances their natural flavors, while the addition of honey and rosemary brings a delightful balance of sweetness and aromatic depth. This dish is a fantastic way to introduce radishes to the dinner table in a form that’s likely to win over even the skeptics.
Get the Recipe: Roasted Radishes with Rosemary and Honey

Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash

Twice baked spaghetti squash with breadcrumb topping.
Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Twice baked spaghetti squash filled with spinach, artichokes, tomatoes, and cheese is a cozy and comforting side that doesn’t skimp on flavor. This dish offers the creamy, hearty textures of a traditional baked pasta but with a lower-carb twist, making it a great option for anyone looking to enjoy the comfort of a baked dish with a healthier edge.
Get the Recipe: Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash

Parmesan Tomato Gratin

Tomato gratin in a white baking dish with serving spoon.
Parmesan Tomato Gratin. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Celebrate the flavors of summer or brighten up a winter meal with a parmesan tomato gratin. This simple dish combines ripe tomatoes with a crispy parmesan and rosemary topping, creating a side that’s bursting with flavor. The tomatoes soften beautifully in the oven, releasing their natural sweetness, while the parmesan topping adds a savory crunch, making this gratin a perfect complement to any main dish.
Get the Recipe: Parmesan Tomato Gratin

Roasted Turnips with Chive Butter Sauce

Crispy roasted turnips with chive butter sauce on a white plate.
Roasted Turnips with Chive Butter Sauce. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Roasted turnips become something extraordinary when served with a chive butter sauce. The turnips gain a caramelized exterior that’s rich in flavor, while the buttery chive sauce adds a layer of decadence, making each bite a perfect blend of taste and texture.
Get the Recipe: Roasted Turnips with Chive Butter Sauce

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *