12 Easy No-Cook Sides That Take Less Than 25 Minutes to Make

Every-Citrus Salad with Almonds and Manchego
Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Sometimes getting dinner on the table is hard enough without having to throw together a bevy of side dishes to complement the main course. And let's be honest, on nights when you need a side (or two) to complete a meal, the last thing you want to do is spend even more time in the kitchen.

With that in mind, we compiled a dozen delicious side dishes that require no cooking at all. Not only will these dishes give your oven and stove a much-needed break, but since you won't be firing up any of your go-to kitchen appliances, all these sides take less than 25 minutes to make. And while you may see the word "salad" in these dishes quite frequently, rest assured that we're not giving you 12 recipes for a plate of leaves. Instead, we've got healthy dishes packed with Brussels sprouts and chickpeas, easy-to-make soups, and more.

Keep reading for some easy, no-cook side dish recipes!

01 of 12

Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels Sprouts Salad
Heami Lee

Wow your dinner guests with this healthy salad, which takes just 20 minutes to throw together and can be made ahead of time if you've got a lot on your plate. Here, thinly sliced Brussels sprouts mingle with colorful strips of bitter radicchio, while pecans and dried cranberries contribute nuttiness and sweetness. A tart apple cider vinegar dressing ties everything together, and shavings of aged provolone offer sharp, savory notes throughout.

02 of 12

Every-Citrus Salad With Almonds and Manchego

Citrus Recipes: Every-Citrus Salad with Almonds and Manchego
Caitlin Bensel

This bright and fresh dish is a great way to add some color to mealtime, courtesy of navel orange segments, grapefruit segments, and vibrant radicchio leaves. The citrus fruits are topped with a zesty orange dressing, and are accompanied by parsley, Manchego, and roasted almonds. The result is a dish that hits every note—crunchy, salty, nutty, bright, sharp, and bitter. Add grilled chicken to make this a complete meal, or serve it alongside a large pork roast or salmon for an easy, elegant dinner.

03 of 12

Salmorejo With Prosciutto and Hard-Boiled Egg

Salmorejo With Prosciutto and Hard-Boiled Egg
Jen Causey

If you're not familiar with salmorejo, think of the Spanish no-cook soup as a less complicated version of gazpacho that's made only with tomatoes, bread, and garlic. This chilled soup can be made in a blender, and can be topped with store-bought prosciutto as well as a grated hard-boiled egg.

04 of 12

Ginger-Lime Melon Salad

Ginger-Lime Melon Salad
Jennifer Causey

There's no lettuce in sight when it comes to this salad, which instead consists of cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon slices topped with a tangy ginger-lime dressing. Serve this fresh dish alongside fish tacos or chicken kebabs for the perfect warm-weather meal.

05 of 12

Spicy Street Corn Salad

Spicy Street Corn Salad
Jen Causey

Fans of elote will love this side, which is made with fresh corn kernels, arugula, cotija cheese, and beans. It also gets a flavor boost courtesy of chopped jalapeño, fresh cilantro leaves, lime zest, and chili powder. Serve this dish alongside grilled proteins like fish, chicken, or steak.

06 of 12

Easy Homemade Salsa

Easy DIY Salsa
Ann Stratton

For a side that's ready in 10 minutes, give this easy homemade salsa a try. Yes, this flavorful tomato mixture is typically paired with chips, but you can totally serve it alongside a main course as well. Try it with fish tacos, grilled chicken or steak, or even scrambled eggs.

07 of 12

Peach and Arugula Salad With Burrata

Peach and Arugula Salad With Burrata
Greg DuPree

Peppery arugula, juicy peaches, and creamy burrata make for one irresistible trio that's made even more delicious thanks to a homemade zingy herb oil. Add salty prosciutto to this dish to make it a heartier meal, or serve it on the side of some fresh pasta, grilled fish, or seared steak.

08 of 12

Chickpea-Tuna Salad

Chickpea-Tuna Salad with greens on a plate
Photo by: Victor Protasio

This take on standard tuna salad skips the mayonnaise in favor of oil and vinegar marinated chickpeas, which are joined by oil-packed tuna, radicchio, red onion, kalamata olives, and capers. While this dish is certainly able to shine on its own, you can also serve it alongside a larger fish dish.

09 of 12

Tex-Mex Gazpacho

Tex-Mex Gazpacho
Romulo Yanes

Believe it or not, this gazpacho can be made in just 30 minutes, and 20 of those minutes are dedicated to cooling the soup in the fridge. The chilled soup, which would go perfectly with grilled shrimp or vegetables, is made with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and red onion. Lime juice, sour cream, pepitas, and cilantro provide flavorful finishing touches.

10 of 12

Nectarine-and-Burrata Salad

Nectarine Burrata Salad
Greg DuPree

Juicy, olive oil-slicked nectarines are nestled with tangy pickled onions and creamy burrata to create a vibrant, flavorful side that's bound to be the star of your next barbecue or summer soiree. Mint leaves and salty Marcona almonds balance the rich flavors, and give this dish the perfect finishing touches. If you simply can't wait for grilling season to give this dish a try, serve it alongside some fresh pasta.

11 of 12

Mozzarella, Salami, and Olive Salad

Mozzarella, Salami, and Olive Salad
Johnny Miller

Think of this savory side as a charcuterie platter for one. You can easily find all of the main ingredients at the grocery store, but this dish is elevated thanks to a delicious oil, honey, and lemon juice drizzle. Additionally, fresh mint leaves add some brightness to this easy side, which pairs well with a grain salad or sautéed vegetables.

12 of 12

Peach, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad

Peach, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad
Ngoc Minh Ngo

When peaches are in season, you can't go wrong with this sweet and savory salad, which gets some earthy notes thanks to fresh mint leaves. Pack this dish as a side for your first spring picnic, or serve it with grilled lamb or chicken.

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