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6 Side Dishes To Dress Up Your Next Family Dinner

6 Side Dishes To Dress Up Your Next Family Dinner

When we are making dinner, it can be hard to figure out what will perfectly pair with what we have in mind. Side dishes are a fantastic support system jam packed with flavor. Don’t know where to start when finding the perfect side dish? No problem! Here are 6 side dishes to dress up your family dinner. 

Berry Salad
This side dish is the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

1. Berry Salad

This family favorite offers the perfect balance of sweetness and vinegar zing to any meal. This salad offers the sweet taste of berries that compliments beautifully with the romaine lettuce and cherry tomatoes. If you’re in the mood for something sweet and healthy, this salad is a must try. 


  • 1 splash raspberry vinaigrette 
  • ½ cup fresh strawberries, diced
  • ½  cup blueberries
  • ⅓ cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 half red onion 
  • 1 bag romaine lettuce


Thoroughly rinse your romaine lettuce and pat dry with a paper towel. Next, chop up your lettuce and add strawberries, blueberries, cherry tomatoes and red onion. Gently toss to make sure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Lightly drizzle your raspberry vinaigrette over the top. Serve and enjoy. 

Mashed Potatoes
This side dish is a must try for any meal.

2. Mashed Potatoes 

This decadent treat pairs great with any dinner idea. Mashed potatoes are a traditional starchy staple that are a must try for any family dinner. And the best part? You can add anything to them! Mashed potatoes are completely  customizable to your family’s pallet and are easy to make. 



  • 5 pounds of potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 large spoonfuls cream cheese
  • Toppings of your choice
  • 1 pinch of pepper


Cut your potatoes, peeling the skin off is optional. I personally love to keep the skins on to add that little texture. In a large pot filled with cold water, transfer your chopped potatoes. Bring the pot to a rolling boil. Next, stir in your garlic and salt. Once water is brought to a boil, reduce to a medium high heat and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Using a knife, gently poke your potatoes to ensure they are soft. Carefully drain your potatoes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add your milk, butter and salt. Stir until melted on medium low heat. Transfer your potatoes back into the pot and turn on low heat. Next, carefully mash your potatoes.Then, pour half of your melted butter over the mixture and fold it into the potatoes. Plate your potatoes and drizzle the rest of your butter mixture over the top, add your seasoning and toppings. Serve and enjoy. 

Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is a great way to add texture to your next dinner.

3. Pasta Salad

Looking for a healthy side dish with some decadence? Pasta salad is perfect for any dinner. I personally love this recipe because it adds that extra crunch and texture as my side dish. This cheesy veggie delight is a must try for any family dinner. 


  • 1 bag penne pasta
  • 1 cup bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup zucchini, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ⅓ cup scallions, diced
  • ¼ cup banana peppers, diced 
  • 1 cup mixed olives
  • 1 cup grated parmesan 
  • 1 cup mozzarella balls
  • ⅓ cup basil, chopped
  • 5 splashes olive oil


Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add your pasta and cook for 6 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. While your pasta is cooking, in a large bowl, add your olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and banana peppers. Add your drained pasta and mix well. Next, stir in your bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, scallions, parmesan and mozzarella. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. 

Artichoke Hearts
Artichoke hearts are a great way to add some richness to your next dinner.

4. Artichoke hearts 

This rich little side dish is perfectly paired with any meat or rich veggie dish. Artichoke hearts are sweet and buttery. They are completely customizable, depending upon your cravings. You can even add some red pepper flakes to add some zing.  If you’re looking for a side dish to add some depth to your next family dinner, try some artichoke hearts. 


  • 1 jar artichoke hearts 
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup bread crumbs 
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup anchovy fillets
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese


Preheat your oven to 400F. Drain your artichoke hearts and arrange them in a baking dish. Then, squeeze your lemon juice over them. Take a medium skillet and melt your butter over medium high heat. Add anchovies and garlic. Cook until the anchovies have dissolved into the butter. Next, add your breadcrumbs to the skillet and mix well until golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in your parmesan cheese. Add breadcrumbs over the top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly. Serve and enjoy. 

See Also

Chorizo Potatoes
This side dish is a perfect spicy comfort food.

5. Chorizo Sauteed Potatoes 

Do you love chorizo but you’re unsure how to incorporate it into your dinner regiment? Chorizo sauteed potatoes are perfect for you. Chorizo is a fatty beautiful way to add a spice to your potatoes. This recipe offers that special zing to your next dinner with the familiar home comfort of potatoes. If you’re looking for the ultimate spicy comfort food for your next side dish, try this recipe out. 


  • 1 tbsp veggie oil
  • 10 ounces chorizo
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pound red skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper


In a large skillet over medium high heat, add your chorizo. Cook until crispy and the fibers of the meat are breaking down. This should take around 10 minutes. Next, transfer your chorizo onto a paper towel lined plate. Pour out most of the fat from the pan and place back on medium high heat. Add your onions and boiled potatoes. Saute until brown, approximately 12 minutes. Then, stir in your chorizo and season. Transfer over to bowls. Sever and enjoy. 

Miso Soup
This side dish is great for adding a unique warmth to your next dinner.

6. Miso Soup

Looking for something warm and rich to pair with your entree? Miso soup is the perfect combination of salt and sweetness that compliments any dinner idea. This recipe is a healthy option. And with colder weather right around the corner, this recipe offers a unique warmth to your next dinner. 



  • 4 cups veggie broth 
  • 1 sheet nori
  • 4 tbsp white miso paste
  • ½ cup charred green of your choice
  • ½ green onion, chopped
  • ¼ firm tofu


In a medium saucepan, add your veggie broth and bring to a low simmer. Meanwhile, place your miso paste into a small bowl, add some hot water and whisk until smooth. Make sure it doesn’t get clumpy! Set to the side. To your simmering broth, add your charred veggies, green onion and tofu. Cook for 5 minutes. Then, add your nori and stir. Remove from heat and add your miso mixture to your tofu. Stir well. Serve and enjoy. 

When making dinner, it can be hard to find what perfect pairings are right for you. These side dishes are great for adding texture, spice and warmth to your next family dinner.