Getting picky eaters to enjoy vegetables can be a challenge, but with the right recipes, it’s entirely possible. These side dishes are both nutritious and packed with flavors that will win over anyone. Forget about the unenthusiastic responses to greens; these dishes will have everyone asking for seconds.

A little girl is reaching for an apple.
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Air Fryer Green Bean Fries

Crispy air fryer green bean fries with yogurt dip on a plate.
Air Fryer Green Bean Fries. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Crispy green bean fries from the air fryer come with a spicy dip, making veggies fun to eat. It’s a great way to make a healthy snack that feels like a treat, perfect for anyone hesitant about greens.
Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Green Bean Fries

Spinach Cheddar Cakes

Spinach cheddar quinoa cakes topped with buffalo yogurt sauce.
Spinach Cheddar Cakes. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

These spinach and cheddar cakes are perfect for those who are not big on veggies. The combo of cheese and spinach is so good, it’ll win over even the pickiest eaters. Plus, they’re great as a snack or a side, especially with that creamy buffalo dip.
Get the Recipe: Spinach Cheddar Cakes

Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli

Frozen broccoli florets roasted on an air fryer tray.
Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

If you’ve got frozen broccoli and an air fryer, you’re all set for a side dish that turns out crispy, not mushy. This recipe is super quick and makes broccoli that even veggie skeptics will want to eat.
Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli

Broccoli Cauliflower Gratin

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

This broccoli and cauliflower gratin is loaded with cheese and breadcrumbs, making it a hit for veggie doubters. It’s a great way to enjoy these vegetables, covered in cheesy goodness that makes everything better.
Get the Recipe: Broccoli Cauliflower Gratin

Air Fryer Okra Fries

Spiced air fryer okra fries served with a yogurt dip on a plate with fresh parsley.
Air Fryer Okra Fries. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Okra in the air fryer turns out crispy and crunch, shaking off its slimy reputation. Seasoned to perfection, this okra fries recipe is a fantastic way to get your greens in, even if you think you don’t like okra.
Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Okra Fries

Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon served on a ceramic plate.
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

What picky eater would say no to asparagus when it’s wrapped in bacon? Bacon grease coats the asparagus as it cooks to crispy perfection and the salty addicting bite of bacon in each forkful will convert even the most die-hard green haters.

Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Cheesy Quinoa

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

Quinoa mixed with cheese and zucchini makes a dish that’s both comforting and a smart way to sneak in more veggies. It’s a hit with everyone, making it a great choice for a family dinner side.
Get the Recipe: Cheesy Quinoa

Stuffed Round Zucchini

Quinoa stuffed round zucchini in a baking dish.
Stuffed Round Zucchini. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Stuffed round zucchini is as fun to make as it is to eat, perfect for a healthy side dish. It’s a creative way to serve squash that’s bound to be a hit, even with those usually skeptical about vegetables.
Get the Recipe: Stuffed Round Zucchini

Zucchini Fries

Vegan breaded zucchini fries with dipping sauce on a white plate.
Zucchini Fries. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Baked vegan zucchini fries are so good, they’ll make you forget you’re eating vegetables. With a crunchy texture, they’re a perfect side or snack for anyone, especially those not keen on their greens.
Get the Recipe: Zucchini Fries

Zucchini Ricotta Bake

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

This zucchini ricotta bake is an easy, cheese-filled dish that reminds you of lasagna but simpler and with a veggie twist. It’s a great way to enjoy zucchini, even for those who usually steer clear of it.
Get the Recipe: Zucchini Ricotta Bake

Utica Greens

Cast iron skillet with Utica greens and wooden handle serving spoon.
Utica Greens. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Utica greens come packed with flavors from escarole, prosciutto, and hot peppers, all topped with cheese and breadcrumbs. It’s a side that goes well with anything and is perfect for introducing more greens in a very tasty way.
Get the Recipe: Utica Greens

Spicy Collard Greens and Rice

Spicy Collard Greens and Rice. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Spicy collard greens paired with lemon and brown rice make a complete side that’s great with any protein. It’s an easy way to make a nutritious dish that even those who shy away from greens will find hard to resist.
Get the Recipe: Spicy Collard Greens and Rice

Fried Plantains

Plate of fried plantains on a light surface.
Fried Plantains. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Picky eaters will love the texture and taste of simple fried plantains. Similar to potatoes but sweeter, they’re a wonderful stand-in carbohydrate when you want something a little different on your plate.

Get the Recipe: Fried Plantains

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.

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