Eating a variety of vegetables is essential for a healthy diet, but let’s face it, they can sometimes be perceived as bland or boring. Including vegetables in your meal does NOT have to mean a pile of boiled, mushy broccoli on a plate, though! There are countless creative ways to make vegetables more enticing and enjoyable. Often, when I encourage a client to include a vegetable (or two!) with lunch or dinner as part of their protocol, they’ll say, “You mean, a salad?” And a salad is a great option if you love salad! But the options are endless – it doesn’t have to be salad! In this post, I will give you 25 ideas for how to make vegetables taste good and feel more exciting. Enjoy!
Ways to Make Vegetables Taste Good
- Roasted Veggie Medley: Toss a colorful assortment of vegetables, such as bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, and carrots, with olive oil, herbs, and spices. Roast them in the oven until they become tender and slightly caramelized for a burst of flavor. I keep everything simple and roast at 425 degrees for about 24 minutes. No need to overcomplicate it! You’ll learn your oven and your preferred cooking time once you practice. I keep a variety of spices on hand for roasted vegetables, but some of my favorites are: Paleo Powder and Primal Palate.
- Spiralized Veggie Noodles: Swap traditional pasta with vegetable noodles made from zucchini, carrots, or sweet potatoes. These veggie noodles can be used as a base for various sauces and toppings, adding extra nutrients to your meal. Need a recipe? Try this Spiralized Zucchini and Chicken Pesto or these Chicken Fajita Bowls with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes!
- Veggie Skewers: Thread an assortment of vegetables onto skewers, such as cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions. Grill or roast them for a delightful and visually appealing side dish. Tip for kids who are reluctant to eat veggies: let them thread their own skewers with whatever they want. Guarantee they’ll be more excited to eat them when they come off the grill!
- Stuffed Bell Peppers: Hollow out bell peppers and fill them with a flavorful mixture of cooked quinoa, sautéed vegetables, and spices. Bake until the peppers are tender, creating a satisfying and nutritious meal. Need a recipe? Try one of the first recipes on my blog from 2013 (wow!), the Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, or the Watercress-Stuffed Bell Pepper Salad from 2014. Or go for these Comforting Stuffed Peppers or this Whole30 CrockPot Stuffed Peppers version!
- Veggie Stir-Fry: Sauté a medley of colorful vegetables, such as broccoli, bell peppers, and snow peas, in a wok or skillet with a splash of low-sodium soy sauce and your choice of spices. Add a protein and serve over brown rice or quinoa for a quick and nutritious stir-fry. Try this Shrimp, Mushroom, Snap Pea Stir-Fry or this Sesame-Orange Ginger Chickpea Stir-Fry!
- Vegetable Chips: Make your own crispy vegetable chips by thinly slicing vegetables like kale, sweet potatoes, or beets. Lightly coat them with olive oil, sprinkle with seasonings, and bake until crispy for a healthy snack alternative. You can make your own with this recipe, or if you prefer to buy, try Brad’s or Crispy Bites.
- Veggie-Packed Smoothies: Blend leafy greens like spinach or kale with fruits, such as pears or berries, and a liquid base like almond milk or coconut water. The sweetness of the fruits masks the taste of the greens, making it an excellent way to add extra nutrients to your diet. Need some recipes? Try my favorite ever smoothie, the Lyons’ Share Blood Sugar Balancing Smoothie, and here’s a roundup of 20 other recipes I like!
- Veggie Fritters: Grate vegetables like zucchini, carrots, or cauliflower and mix them with beaten eggs, gluten-free or nut-based flour, and herbs. Pan-fry them until golden brown, creating delicious fritters that are packed with veggies. Try these Zucchini Carrot Fritters for a fun option!
- Cauliflower Rice: Grate or pulse cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice grains, or buy it pre-riced at the grocery store. Sauté it with garlic and olive oil for a low-carb and nutrient-rich alternative to traditional rice. I have dozens of recipes with cauliflower rice on my Instagram, including my staple Breakfast Casserole, but I also love this Instant Pot Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup, or this Skillet Taco Cauliflower Rice!
- Veggie Pizza: Load your pizza crust with an array of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. Top it with a sprinkle of goat or feta cheese for a healthier twist on this classic favorite.
- Vegetable Stuffed Omelet: Whisk together eggs with diced vegetables such as onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. Cook them into a fluffy omelet for a protein-packed breakfast or brunch option.
- Veggie Quesadillas: Spread a mixture of sautéed vegetables and cheese or hummus between two healthier tortillas (I love Siete, Egglife, or Carbonaut. Cook until the cheese melts and the tortillas turn golden brown, resulting in a delicious and nutritious quesadilla.
- Zucchini Boats: Halve zucchinis lengthwise and scoop out the center. Fill the hollowed-out zucchini with a mixture of cooked protein, vegetables, and herbs. Bake until tender for a unique and flavorful dish. Need a recipe? I love this Turkey Variety or this Mexican twist on Beef Stuffed Zucchini Boats.
- Veggie Sushi Rolls: Create your own sushi rolls by wrapping strips of cucumber, avocado, bell peppers, and carrots in sheets of seaweed along with cooked brown rice. Add fish or tofu for protein! Slice into bite-sized pieces for a homemade sushi experience.
- Veggie Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms: Remove the stems from portobello mushrooms and fill them with a mixture of sautéed vegetables, protein, and herbs. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the stuffing is golden brown for a satisfying and meaty-textured dish. These Chicken and Pepper Stuffed Mushrooms are so simple and tasty!
- Vegetable Curry: Prepare a vibrant and aromatic vegetable curry by combining an array of vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and peas with a flavorful curry sauce and your choice of protein. Serve over brown rice or quinoa for a hearty and nutritious meal. Here’s an option for Curried Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and here’s a Tofu and Chickpea Korma Curry.
- Veggie Burger: Make a homemade veggie burger patty using ingredients like black beans, quinoa, grated vegetables, and spices. Grill or pan-fry the patties and serve on a whole-grain or grain-free bun with your favorite toppings for a delicious plant-based alternative. Here’s a recipe for Black Bean Quinoa Burgers!
- Vegetable Salsa: My clients always ask, “Does salsa count?” The answer is “YES!” (if it’s made from vegetables, of course!). Simply chop a variety of vegetables like tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and cilantro. Toss them together with lime juice and spices to create a refreshing and vibrant salsa. Enjoy it with whole-grain tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled meats or fish. Feel free to get fancy with it by adding fruit or other flavors. I love this Chicken with Avocado Mango Salsa or this Salsa-Simmered Fish.
- Grilled Vegetable Salad: Brush slices of vegetables, such as eggplant, zucchini, and onions, with olive oil and grill them until tender. Toss with mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette, and your choice of toppings for a delicious and nutritious salad. Try this Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Bowl!
- Chopped Salads: If you’re in a salad rut, there’s something about a good chopped salad that can get you out of it! I drooled over eating this Italian Chopped Salad and love this Asian-Inspired Chopped Cabbage Salad. Here’s the key: get a great chopper to make things easy, like this one!
- Veggie-Packed Chicken or Tuna Salad: I love adding veggies to chicken or tuna salad! Try this Summer Crunchy Corn Tuna Salad, or this Mediterranean Tuna Salad, or this Avocado Chicken Salad with Cucumbers.
- Veggie packs: I shared my #1 secret to getting in more veggies back in 2015, and it still stands! Veggie packs are the best! Here’s how to make them.
- Farmer’s Market salad: If you’re trying to get out of your veggie comfort zone, I challenge you to head to the Farmer’s Market and grab whatever catches your eye. Even if it’s not your “normal” selection, toss it into a salad or on a roasting pan, and enjoy!
- Loaded sweet potatoes: Stuffing even more veggies into a sweet potato somehow feels comforting and indulgent, even though it’s super healthy! I love this Vegan Loaded Sweet Potato, or these Italian Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potatoes!
- Stuffed spaghetti (or other) squash: Because really, anything is better if it’s stuffed! Squash provides a great vehicle for healthy stuffing and gives the satiety factor that we often crave. Some of my favorites are Paleo Stuffed Acorn Squash, Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash, and Pesto Chicken and Veggie Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.
Let’s (Lettuce) Wrap this Up!
Oh, man! Lettuce wraps are another great way! Consider this your #26 bonus … anything is better in a lettuce wrap! If my food prep meal is getting boring by day 4 or 5, you can be sure I’m going to wrap it in a lettuce wrap, because it puts a fun and healthy twist on something you’ve already been eating for a few days!
OK, now let’s close it out. With these 25 creative and flavorful ways to prepare and include vegetables in your meals, eating a nutritious and vegetable-rich diet can be much more exciting. From roasted veggie medleys to grilled vegetable salads, there are endless possibilities to make vegetables taste good. Remember, when it comes to preparing and enjoying vegetables, the key is to experiment, get creative, and have fun in the kitchen. Have fun, and enjoy!
Now it’s your turn! Which of these are you most excited to try?