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Believe it or not, vegan side dishes are more than just boring green salads and roasted veggies. From cauliflower rice pilaf to coconut “bacon” collard greens, these dishes are so delicious, everyone—carnivores included—will want to try them. Plus, they pair with just about every main course so serve one up this week. Here, 21 delicious vegan side dishes.

RELATED: 30 Vegan Slow Cooker Recipes

NISHA VORA

1. Creamy Vegan Lentil and Roasted Vegetable Bake

Chef Nisha Vora's creamy vegan lentil and roasted vegetable bake is the ultimate healthy comfort food. Sweet, caramelized roasted vegetables and hearty lentils are baked in a rich cashew cream; a crispy pine nut topping brings crunchy balance. Tip: To make this gluten-free, omit the topping and garnish the casserole with simply toasted pine nuts.

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HENRY HARGREAVES/AVOCADERIA

2. Vegan Avocado Caesar Salad

Caesar salads get a bad rap. Even though they masquerade as a healthy choice, they’re usually fattening and full of empty calories. But we love this nutritious vegan avocado Caesar salad from Avocaderia: Avocado Recipes for a Healthier, Happier Life by Alessandro Biggi, Francesco Brachetti and Alberto Gramigni.

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PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

3. Vegan Slow-Cooker Detox Coconut Soup

Reset your system with this light (but still magically creamy) slow-cooker detox coconut soup. It’s vegan, diary-free, gluten-free and piled high with fresh, crisp greens.

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PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

4. Turnip Fries

Two things we love: 1) Turning other vegetables into fries and 2) Baking them in the oven instead of, well, frying them. This recipe for turnip fries checks off both of those boxes. They’re healthier and just as tasty.

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Chloe Flavor

5. Vegan Butternut Mac and ‘Cheese’ with Smoky Shiitake ‘Bacon’

Did you know that roasted, pureed butternut squash lends itself perfectly to a silky vegan “cheese” sauce? We’re not exactly sure why (something about its sweet, salty, buttery flavor), but we’re not one to question such a wonderful fact of life. Top off your portion of vegan butternut mac and “cheese” from Chloe Coscarelli’s Chloe Flavor: Saucy, Crispy, Spicy, Vegan with homemade smoky shiitake mushroom “bacon” to achieve next-level deliciousness.

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PHOTO: NICO SCHINCO/STYLING: ARAN GOYOAGA

6. Radicchio, Lentil and Apple Salad with Vegan Cashew Dressing

Let’s just face it: A creamy salad dressing is far superior to all others. But if you’re vegan or dairy-free, your options are suddenly slim. Aran Goyoaga has found a solution in her dreamy cashew cream recipe, which she transforms into a luscious dressing for this radicchio, lentil and apple salad.

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Vegan in the house

7. Vegan Arancini

This vegan arancini from DK’s Vegan in the House, (aka the appetizer we’ll be serving at all of our future cocktail parties) is made with leftover risotto and vegan “cheese.” They’re easy to whip up and even easier to devour.

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PHOTO: MICHAEL MARQUAND/STYLING: NISHA VORA

8. Instant Pot Spicy Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Proof that vegan, gluten-free food can be really damn easy? Chef Nisha Vora’s Instant Pot spicy thai butternut squash soup. The author of The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: Wholesome, Indulgent Plant-Based Recipes says the hardest part of making the recipe is chopping the butternut squash.

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PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

9. Dairy-Free Butternut Squash ‘Fondue’

If you’re dairy-free, vegan or just wanting to eat more plant-based foods, fondue has been pretty much off-limits to you. But why should cheese eaters have all the fun? Our recipe for butternut squash “fondue” is just as smooth, tangy and dippable as the cheese version—but about a billion times healthier.

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10. Roasted Vegetable Salad with Chimichurri

Put those vegetables you’ve had in the fridge to good use.

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Fork and Beans

11. Vegan Creamed Kale

Healthy, creaming and a total crowd pleaser. You won't miss the dairy, we promise.

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12. Greek Cauliflower Rice Pilaf Bowls

Store-bought cauliflower rice will work just as well.

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The Simple Veganista

13. Thai Crunch Salad with Citrus Peanut Dressing

This crunchy and vibrant salad is sure to brighten up any main course.

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14. Vegan Chili 'Cheese' Dip

“Meaty,” “cheesy” and actually spicy. Sign us up.

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15. Simple Seedy Slaw

The homemade lemon dressing is worth it alone.

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16. Coconut 'Bacon' Collard Greens

A great vegan twist on a Southern staple.

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Fork and Beans

17. Italian Quinoa Bites

A crispy side the whole family will love.

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The Simple Veganista

18. Sesame-Ginger Cucumber Soba Noodle Salad

One thousand times better than your sad desk lunch.

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19. Vegan Dirty Rice & Black-Eyed Peas

Mix in any vegan bacon of your choice.

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The Simple Veganista

20. Vegan Naan Bread

Buttery naan without the butter.

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Fork and Beans

21. Baked Zucchini Fries

Veggie based? Baked, not fried? Yep, these truly are the healthiest fries we could find.

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