TBH, deciding on the main course for dinner isn’t that hard. It’s figuring out what to serve on the side that’s the difficult part. Do you want roasted vegetables? Or maybe your go-to cheesy pasta recipe? Does this dish go with steak or chicken better? If this part of meal planning gets you in a tizzy, listen up! We found 19 simple side dishes that all have five ingredients or fewer. As long as you have salt, pepper and some type of cooking oil, you’re ready to get cookin’. Keep reading to discover all the colorful side dishes you need, from gluten-free gnocchi to cauliflower tots and everything in between.


1. Arugula Salad With Parmesan, Lemon and Olive Oil: This is one salad recipe that everyone needs to know. Whether you’re throwing a last-minute dinner party or it’s just a random Wednesday night dinner, this salad needs a permanent place in your recipe stash. (via Gimme Some Oven)


2. Baked Garlic Fries: Burger night happens so regularly, you need a go-to French fry recipe that doesn’t come from a bag. These are flavorful and crispy, just like what you would get at a restaurant. (via KitchMe)


3. Creamy Mashed Potatoes: You haven’t fully reached adulthood until you can make perfect mashed potatoes without a recipe. Until then, study this one like your life depends on it. (via POPSUGAR Food)


4. Five-Ingredient Broccoli and Quinoa Mac and Cheese: Side dishes that combine your grains, vegetables and dairy are what we call winners. You can even convince kids to eat it… because cheese. (via Simply Quinoa)


5. Five-Ingredient Baked Cauliflower Tots: Tater tots just got a non-tater transformation. We’re all about the current cauliflower trend and these tots are the perfect way to test it out on the kiddos. (via Just a Taste)


6. Cilantro-Lime Coconut Rice: If taco Tuesday is a requirement in your house, then you should already have this recipe. It’s very similar to that of your favorite fast casual restaurant, but with the addition of creamy coconut milk. (via Little Broken)


7. Creamy Spinach Tortellini: You could make this as a side dish to roasted chicken, OR you could even serve it as your main dish, if you like. Either way, you’re going to be full and happy after dinner. (via Cooktoria)


8. Fresh Peach and Basil Salad: Peaches, honey, basil and goat cheese are all you need for this simple, sweet side. This one would be great served with a juicy grilled pork chop. (via A Spicy Perspective)


9. Five-Ingredient Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Don’t be intimidated by making homemade gnocchi. It’s as easy as making mashed sweet potatoes and mixing with GF flour. Enjoy it simply dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of flaky salt. (via HeartBeet Kitchen)


10. Lazy Baked Zucchini Parmesan: Easy Italian side dishes are few and far between. This baked zucchini parm is simple to prepare but complex in its flavor. You can even sub for eggplant if it happens to be on sale that day. (via iFOOD Real)


11. Parmesan Garlic Spaghetti: Some nights call for carb-loaded comfort food. For those nights, make a lean protein as your main dish and indulge in a bit of cheesy garlic pasta on the side. (via Damn Delicious)


12. Sautéed Snap Peas With Garlic Balsamic Reduction: Getting the whole family to eat their greens can prove to be a difficult challenge. Douse them in a flavorful garlic balsamic reduction and they won’t have much of a choice. (via The Real Food Dietitians)


13. Five-Ingredient Sweet Potato Spinach Quinoa Salad: It doesn’t get much healthier than a bowl of spinach with sweet potato and quinoa. Dress it in a lemon and olive oil combo and you may be saving some for lunch the next day. (via Two Raspberries)


14. Strawberry Pesto Caprese Salad: Hack your way to a tasty side dish with ingredients like store-bought pesto. Spoon it on top of ripe strawberries and fresh mozzarella for an elegant accompaniment to your meal. (via HeartBeet Kitchen)


15. Roasted Green Beans With Parmesan and Basil: Green beans are a kitchen staple that goes with just about any dish. Make sure to shock them in cold water after blanching to keep them nice and crispy. (via Rachel Cooks)


16. Rosemary and Lemon Roast Potatoes: Aromatic ingredients like lemon and rosemary make a dish seem much fancier than it really is. Slice your baby potatoes Hasselback style to infused the most flavor into them. (via Just Easy Recipes)


17. Five-Ingredient Slow Cooker Creamed Corn: Your grandma’s creamed corn may have had more ingredients, but this one takes the flavor award. Whip it up for holidays or alongside a barbecue chicken during the week. (via Foodiecrush)


18. Five-Ingredient Sweet Potato Quinoa Fritters: We all know how healthy sweet potatoes and quinoa are, but it’s easy to find yourself in a recipe rut. These fritters solve that problem by mixing the two together in a side dish that the whole family will ask for again and again. (via Simply Quinoa)


19. Baked Parmesan Zucchini: These tender and juicy oven-baked zucchini sticks are coated with crispy Parmesan on the outside. If you think you don’t like zucchini… think again. (via Damn Delicious)

Follow us on Pinterest for more quick weekday recipe ideas.