Following a low-carb eating plan can potentially help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes—and that’s not just us saying it; studies back this up. But when following any sort of diet, it’s important that the food actually tastes good (otherwise what’s the point?). Instead of accepting that you’ll be hungry after dinnertime, fill your plate with low-carb and keto-friendly vegetables like cauliflower, zucchini, kale, cucumbers and more. These 45 low-carb side dishes will round out your meal without wrecking your diet, from cacio e pepe Brussels sprouts to melted onions.

RELATED: 55 Low Carb Lunch Ideas You’ll Actually Be Excited to Eat

1. Cacio e Pepe Brussels Sprouts

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, low sugar, ketogenic
The simple combo of black pepper and cheese instantly elevates not only pasta but also pretty much every veggie, plus it’s low carb and flavorful to boot.

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2. Turnip Fries

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, low sugar, low fat
See ya later, spuds. These crispy turnip fries are just as tasty as everyone’s favorite side dish, but a whole lot healthier. They’re dressed up in garlic powder and Old Bay, but you can customize the seasoning if you want.

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3. Ina Garten’s Roasted Broccolini and Cheddar

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, sheet pan recipe, ready in <30 minutes
Who knew that decadent, delightful Ina Garten could go diet-friendly too? This sheet pan wonder is a play on the classic broccoli with cheese sauce, but for adults.

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4. Chilled Cucumber Salad

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, <10 ingredients, gluten free, dairy free, vegan
When it’s too hot to cook, don’t. All you have to do is slice some cukes, season them and then let it all marinate in the fridge for a bit.

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5. Keto Instant Pot Greek Cauliflower Rice

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, Instant Pot recipe, crowd-pleaser
Cauliflower rice is a standby of the keto diet (aka a super low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein eating plan), but it’s pretty plain on its own. That makes it a great blank canvas for all kinds of combinations and meals.

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6. Cauliflower ‘Potato’ Salad

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, under 500 calories, make ahead
Our favorite veggie has done it again. This lightened-up version of the cookout staple is dressed with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, making it lower in fat too.

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7. Kale and Brussels Sprouts Caesar Slaw

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <30 minutes, make ahead, gluten free
The dressing is based on the flavors of a Caesar salad dressing, but uses soaked nuts and seeds as a base, which adds creaminess without adding too much oil. That also means it can be made totally vegan if you omit the blue cheese.

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8. Baby Vegetables with Orange and Thyme

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: under 500 calories, beginner-friendly, sheet pan recipe
Look ma, no dishes! This one-pan recipe involves steaming the vegetables in a parchment parcel, so there’s practically zero cleanup.

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9. Cold Sesame Cucumber Noodles

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <15 minutes, beginner-friendly
The store-bought marinated tofu means these zoodles are hearty enough to be a main course, but you can also serve smaller portions to make them a side dish.

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10. Zucchini and Tomato Ragù

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, low sugar, gluten free
Presenting ratatouille’s chic Italian cousin. This simple dish keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days, plus it has fresh mozzarella. (Drool.)

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11. Roasted Radishes with Butter

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
This recipe takes the classic French combination of radishes and butter and roasts the vegetable. Adding arugula at the end takes it from snack to full-blown side.

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12. Coconut Creamed Spinach

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, dairy free, gluten free, vegan
Whoever decided sautéed spinach was bland had never tried this version, which is creamy without including any dairy at all. (Bonus: It’s made in a single skillet.)

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13. Gluten-Free Cheese and Cauliflower ‘Breadsticks’

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, low sugar, under 500 calories
They’re cheesy, herby and comforting, and—dare we say it?—way tastier than the unlimited breadsticks at a certain chain restaurant we all know.

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14. Cacio e Pepe Zucchini

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, sheet pan recipe
It’s a simple (15 minutes!) yet flavorful (so much cheese) upgrade to your usual summer squash coins. Plus, the recipe can be doubled or tripled for serving a crowd.

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15. Slow Cooker Garlic-Herb Mashed Cauliflower

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: slow cooker recipe, make ahead
While you could make this the traditional, stovetop way, using a slow cooker means you can set it and walk away without worrying about an unattended open flame.

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16. Honeydew, Feta, Jalapeño and Lime Salad

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, gluten free
In our humble opinion, honeydew is the most underrated melon. When you choose a ripe one, it needs little more than fresh herbs and some briny cheese to dress it up. (But go ahead, use cantaloupe or watermelon if you must.)

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17. Celery Salad with Walnuts and Pecorino

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, low sugar, gluten free
As it turns out, we’ve all been sleeping on celery as a star ingredient. It’s crisp, flavorful and unexpected—three traits we look for in a diet-friendly side dish.

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18. Roasted Cabbage Steaks

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, sheet pan recipe, low sugar
Contrary to popular belief, cabbage isn't just for coleslaw. With just a few simple seasonings, it can be a dinner-party-worthy side dish that’s very hands-off and happens to be ready to eat in less than an hour.

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19. Smashed Brussels Sprouts

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, sheet pan recipe, beginner-friendly
Have you heard the word? Brussels sprouts are the new potatoes, at least from a low-carb side dish standpoint. These are crispy and cheesy, but you could skip the cheese and drizzle them in hot honey instead.

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20. Balsamic-Thyme Roasted Mushrooms

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, dairy free
This side dish is making the case for mushrooms beyond a sad, soggy pizza topping. They’re saucy, juicy and go with everything from steak to pasta.

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21. Zesty Chargrilled Broccolini

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, ready in <15 minutes, dairy free, gluten free
If you want to take a vegetable from boring to brilliant, look no further than citrus zest and something crunchy to finish it off. (Here, that’s pumpkin and sunflower seeds, but any nut would work too.)

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22. Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients
Wait, this luscious, cheesy dish is on your diet? Believe it. It’s all thanks to cauliflower, which is a blank slate just like pasta—minus the carbs.

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23. Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, sheet pan recipe, crowd-pleaser
Roasting naturally sweet tomatoes and bell peppers makes them taste even more intense, while the eggplant turns soft, creamy and luscious in the oven. If you’re wondering what to do with your recent farmers market haul, this is the answer.

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24. Melted Onions

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients
Florals for spring? Not so groundbreaking. Onions as a side dish? Now we’re talking. These four-ingredient beauties are naturally sweet and melted, thanks to a simple caramelizing technique that involves your muffin tin.

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25. Strawberry, Basil and Arugula Salad with Lots of Black Pepper

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, no cook, <10 ingredients
It’s the salad that dresses itself. Giving the strawberries a quick bath in vinegar and honey makes them extra juicy, so you don’t have to break out the blender or rely on bottled vinaigrette.

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26. Poached Egg with Frisée and Arugula Salad

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, <10 ingredients, dairy free, gluten free
You want to feel like you’re enjoying a salad at a fancy restaurant, but you don’t actually want to go anywhere. We get it. This pinkies-out side dish looks impressive but is secretly easy to make.

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27. Charred Cauliflower with Crunchy Garlic Chile Oil

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, ready in <30 minutes, gluten free, dairy free
The smoky cauliflower is delish, but can we talk about that chile oil? It can be made ahead and keeps for up to a month, and yeah, you should make a double batch.

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28. Turmeric-Spiced Cauliflower and Broccoli with Capers

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, crowd-pleaser, sheet pan recipe
For those that think cauliflower is bland and soggy, serve them this star of a side. The turmeric and capers maximize the flavor, and the whole thing happens to be keto-friendly.

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29. Broccoli Rabe and Burrata with Lemon

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, <10 ingredients, high protein
A diet-friendly dish that features burrata? Say no more, we’re coming over for dinner.

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30. Blistered Green Beans with Tomatoes, Pounded Walnuts and Raw Summer Squash

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, gluten free, dairy free
Instead of boiling those green beans to mushy oblivion, blister them in a cast iron skillet for an entirely new texture and flavor. Plus, they’ll cook up in record time.

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31. Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, special occasion–worthy
You could babysit that skillet until your sprouts are crisp. Or you could wrap them in bacon and roast them in the oven. You get the same satisfying crunch, without all the effort.

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32. Cauliflower, Olive, Pepper and Caper Salad (Insalata di Rinforzo)

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser
This Italian recipe is a holiday staple, but we love its pickle-y flavor enough to serve it year-round. Pair it with a lean white fish for the full Neapolitan experience.

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33. Brussels Sprout Sliders

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, low sugar, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser
We bet you didn’t know that Brussels sprouts happen to make the cutest slider “buns” in the universe. These bites are a nice option for summer dinners on the patio, when you’re tired of grilled corn and pasta salad.

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34. Light and Tangy Coleslaw

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, dairy free
Nothing spoils a picnic quite like a bowl of gloppy, store-bought slaw at the end of a picnic table. Here, we lay off the mayo and use a zesty vinegar base instead. The result is a lighter and more flavorful take on a classic.

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35. Creamed Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
Meet the mac and cheese equivalent of veggies. It’s comfort food for sure, but with a healthy dose of green.

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36. Sweet Potato, Tomato, Kale and Halloumi Sheet Tray

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, <10 ingredients, low sugar, gluten free
This sheet pan meal serves two as a vegetarian main course, but we also like to serve it as an unexpected low-carb side. After all, who doesn’t love halloumi?

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37. Easy Zucchini Chips

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, sheet pan recipe
Skip the bag of potato chips and serve these at your next barbecue. They’re just as crisp, only without as many carbs.

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38. Tomato Salad with Grilled Halloumi and Herbs

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, ready in <15 minutes, gluten-free
We know no one is asking, but if forced to choose, we’d be team cheese over team steak any day.

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39. Cauliflower Rice

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, ready in <30 minutes, low sugar, ketogenic
It’s kind of a low-carb staple, no? And compared to regular rice, it takes so much less time to make.

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40. Cold Lemon Zoodles

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, no cook
It may be too hot to turn on the stove, but dinner isn’t a lost cause. A light dressing and no actual cooking required make this an ideal substitute for a carb-y pasta salad.

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41. Zucchini Rice

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, one pan, beginner-friendly
If cauliflower rice isn’t your thing (we get it), try zucchini as a low-carb substitute instead. It pairs well with everything from grilled flank steak to roast chicken.

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42. Crispy Parmesan Brussels Sprout Bites

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
Are we obsessed with crispy Brussels sprouts? Maybe, but there are worse vices. Just wait until you dip them in that tangy Dijonnaise.

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43. Pesto Zoodles

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, ready in <30 minutes
Proof that pesto makes everything taste better, whether it’s pasta or a low-carb pasta stand-in.

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44. Whole Roasted Radishes

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, <10 ingredients, one pan
Raw radishes are peppery and intense, but when you roast them, they magically become sweet. Considering this side dish calls for just five ingredients, you have nothing to lose.

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45. Kale Caesar Salad

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, <10 ingredients, low sugar
Yep, croutons are on your diet. You’re welcome.

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RELATED: 30 Tasty Keto Side Dishes You Can Eat with Anything

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