Healthy Side Dishes to Go with Your Grilled Meats

Healthy Side Dishes - Grilled Meats

Lots of people are getting into cooking as a way to pick up a new skill over the quarantine period.

When it comes to cooking methods, there’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding grilling: some people see it as a healthier option, while others warn against it due to the char marks on the meat. That said, there’s no real reason to avoid grilling meat. Dietitian Georgie Fear says that eating grilled meat is okay once in a while, so there’s no reason to deprive yourself.

To that end, pairing your grilled meat of choice with a side dish is the perfect way to get all your nutrients in without sacrificing taste! Here is a round up of some of our favorite healthy side dishes that pair best with grilled meats.

Vegetable rice

This side dish goes particularly well with grilled chicken or fish while also allowing you to sneak a couple of veggies into your meal. Those who want an even healthier option can go for brown or black rice as these grains aren’t as refined. Whichever pick you choose, preparing this dish is as simple as cooking your rice (don’t forget to wash it before placing it in your rice cooker) and quickly pan-frying it with vegetables of your choice. The mixed bag of frozen peas, carrots, and corn works especially well here.


Coleslaw is a classic side dish, so it’s good to know that there are healthier alternatives you can take advantage of! Rather than dressing your greens in mayonnaise, you can make a simple sauce out of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, a dash of maple syrup, and whatever spices you like. Using fresh vegetables is also key to making sure your healthy coleslaw is as flavorful as possible, but if you have a bit of time on your hands you can also marinate your vegetables overnight to ensure that you don’t need to flavor them up as much once you start cooking.

Sweet potato fries

There’s nothing wrong with eating carbs, and to that end you can’t go wrong with some sweet potato. Aside from being extremely delicious, sweet potatoes are extremely nutrient-dense and easy to prepare. Those who have an air fryer can use it to make some yummy sweet potato fries, but those who don’t can instead bake your fries in an oven. You can also play around with different cuts, depending on whether you want thin and crispy fries or thicker ones.


Tabbouleh is a classic Middle Eastern dish that was made to go with meat. It all comes together quickly in a bowl, and the mix of fresh mint, lemon juice, onions, parsley, and olive oil are sure to get your taste buds going. Traditional tabbouleh requires bulgur as the grain of choice, but the flavors within this dish mean that it’s worth checking out your local grocery store to see if they have any bulgur in stock. You can also swap it for quinoa in a pinch.

Corn on the cob

Of course, we can’t write an article on side dishes without mentioning corn on the cob! This is another classic, all-American side dish that will compliment any meat that you choose. In fact, steaming or boiling your corn is already more than enough especially if you’re dealing with flavorful meat. The natural sweetness of the corn will compliment your grilled dish perfectly without overpowering it.

These five side dishes are extremely easy to prepare without skimping on the flavor! Whether you’re looking to fire up the grill for your family or simply as a way to treat yourself, pairing your favorite meat with any of these dishes will ensure that you walk away with a happy tummy.

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Submitted by Alessa Maxwell