Raw Vegetable Side Dishes – 10 Easy + Delicious Ideas

There are two ways to make your kids eat veggies. One is to go for plant-based weaning and then keep veggies a big part of their nutrition, and one is to tease them with enticing plant-based recipes.

These raw vegetable side dishes are easy to like because they are an excellent and fresh addition to your mains and look colorful and appealing.

Check them out and as usual, let me know if you try them!

Image: Fennel orange salad one of our favorite raw vegetable side dishes.

Raw vegetable side dishes recipes for every occasion

Mixed fresh salad

Possibly the easiest and most common among the raw vegetable side dishes is a mixed fresh salad. Although, let me tell you, so many variations can hide behind this name.

In fact, you can either chop Romaine lettuce and add some halved cherry tomatoes to make it more colorful. Or instead of green lettuce, you can use red radicchio, the bitterness of which is a treat to your digestive trait. You can also add some ripe tomatoes and olive oil to soften the bitter taste.

Or you can massage some kale with a bit of olive oil to make it softer and easier to digest. There are plenty of greens and types of lettuces you can use raw, and combining a few ingredients makes for an easy and healthy side dish.

Zucchini noodles

Call them zoodles, if you like, but raw zucchini is a nutritious and refreshing dish you can serve all summer and if you eat them as spaghetti, it will be more fun. You need a proper tool to make them, either a potato peeler with teeth or one of the many types of spiralizers that make things so much easier.

Since I mainly make them when they are in season in summer to have a refreshing and hydrating meal, the sauce I dress them with is also fully raw. I like to make a fresh tomato and basil sauce by blending together ripe tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and a pinch of salt.

If I want to add some protein, I like to dress my zucchini noodles with a bit of hummus, maybe bell pepper hummus to match the season and give some color.

Pinzimonio of raw vegetables

The vegetables that you can slice raw for pinzimonio include carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, and daikon. Due to both the types of veggies that make good pinzimonio, this is one of those raw vegetable side dishes that are better served in summer.

The classic Italian pinzimonio is made with extra-virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, a bit of black pepper, and a few drops of vinegar. While this sauce is delicious, there are plenty of variations you can invent to make this dish always different and lure your children into eating more veggies. Check my easy pinzimonio recipe and some yummy variations.

Tomato and onion salad

This is a very easy and summery salad. Even though cherry tomatoes are usually very sweet, for this raw side dish, I usually pick heirloom tomatoes, slice them thin, and add the onion. The onion was previously sliced also very thin and soaked in water for a bit to lose its pungent taste.

My favorite dressing for this salad is a simple drizzle of good quality extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Sometimes, I add a bit of oregano which is always a great match with tomatoes.

Fennel and orange salad

In our family, fennel and orange salad is one of the favorite winter raw vegetable side dishes. The sweetness of the fennel perfectly combines with the tangy orange zest. Adding olive oil and salt creates a perfect sweet-and-sour effect.

Image: Fennel orange salad one of the best raw vegetable side dishes.

Tomato and garlic salad

Tomato and garlic salad added on a slice of toasted bread is the most iconic bruschetta. So you can use it as one of the raw vegetable side dishes or as an appetizer.

To make this, I cut cherry tomatoes quite small and finely chop a few garlic cloves. The amount of garlic depends on how much salad you are making and how much you love garlic. We are a garlic-loving family so I usually chop quite a few cloves. Since it’s raw, to make it easier to digest, I remove the internal sprout before crushing it.

I always dress the tomato and garlic salad with olive oil, salt, and either oregano or chopped fresh parsley.

Cabbage salad

For this recipe, you need to slice the cabbage very thin so if you are not a pro with the kitchen knife, you might need to use the mandoline vegetable slicer. I normally use white or savoy cabbage, and before eating you need to let it marinate for an hour or two. The thinner the cabbage, the quicker the marination process.

Add the juice of a lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt, and after resting time, your salad will be crunchy and delicious.

Image:Savoy cabbage salad one of the best raw vegetable side dishes.

Tomato and cucumber salad

This is a refreshing and thirst-quenching summer salad. I prefer the cucumber to be finely sliced but you can also cut the into small cubes. Seasoning with olive oil and salt is the perfect dressing and adding some green or black olives makes it richer and more flavorful.

Fermented veggies

In our home, we typically make sauerkrauts every week or so to be sure to never run out of them during winter. It’s one of our favorite raw vegetable side dishes because it also aids digestion, even though one might think the cabbage is not fully raw as it gets sort of “cooked” by the salt.

We let it ferment for three weeks and while it becomes softer, it still retains its original crunchiness. We eat a forkful after or during every meal. Even though we mainly ferment white or purple cabbage, from time to time we add sliced carrots and beetroot. All strictly raw.

Image: Sauerkraut fermented veggies.

Healthy juices

While juicing fruits means increasing the sugar level because all fibers are removed, this hardly happens with vegetables. You can juice and combine all sorts of veggies, from celery to carrots to beetroots.

This is probably not the most straightforward raw vegetable side dish but you can still have it during lunch or dinner, or even as a healthy breakfast.

How to eat more raw vegetables – Tips and tricks

The secret is in the dressing

To make less boring any type of salad, devote some time to the dressing. Play with herbs, spices, and seasonings. You can change the type of oil and vinegar, and mix them with your favorite herbs, both dried and fresh, and even nut creams.

Add some seeds

I love adding some seeds to my salads. Apart from making it even more nutritious, it also adds some crunchiness that sometimes is just what a salad needs.


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