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39 Garden-Fresh Side Dishes That Are Diabetic-Friendly

From grilled veggies to salads bursting with garden produce, you'll enjoy these diabetic-friendly summer side dishes all season long.

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Grilled Vegetable Platter

The best of summer in one dish! This pretty grilled vegetable recipe is meant for entertaining. Grilling brings out their natural sweetness, and the easy marinade really kicks up the grilled vegetables’ flavor. —Heidi Hall, North St. Paul, Minnesota

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Summer Avocado Salad Exps Ft21 32459 F 0317 1 5

Summer Avocado Salad

Garden-fresh veggies and a sprinkling of feta cheese make this cucumber, tomato and avocado salad a healthy summer standout! —Deborah Williams, Peoria, Arizona
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Garden Green Beans Potatoes Exps Scbz20 52569 E07 16 2b 3

Garden Green Beans & Potatoes

Fresh green beans paired with red potatoes make for an easy and filling side dish. To make it even better, add crumbled bacon! —Kelly Zinn, Cicero, Indiana
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Cucumbers With Dill Exps Ft20 28619 F 0327 1 Home 6

Cucumbers with Dill

Sprinkling cucumber slices with salt and letting them stand in a colander draws out excess water so they stay crisp when set on a barbecue buffet. Try this cucumber dill salad alongside any grilled entree. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Ravishing Radish Salad

Here is a recipe that showcases spring veggies in all of their glory. The fresh, crunchy radish salad really complements grilled entrees. —Maggie Ruddy, Altoona, Iowa
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Herby Pea Salad Exps Mtbz20 192343 B02 28 2b 2

Herby Pea Salad

We love spring vegetables. One Mother's Day I came up with this flavorful green salad that everyone enjoyed. You could increase the dressing and mix in some cooked small pasta, like acini de pepe, to make it a more robust salad. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Cucumber Coleslaw

I created this cucumber coleslaw recipe so I could use a julienne peeler I received as a gift. I had leftover sparkling wine, so I thought I'd try to use it over julienned cucumbers to make this refreshing slaw. It's a nice way to round out a brunch or picnic. —Merry Graham, Newhall, California
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Four Berry Spinach Salad Exps Scm2bz20 25841 E01 22 2b

Four-Berry Spinach Salad

Nature's candy abounds in the berry-filled salad. Its slightly tart dressing contrasts deliciously with sweet in-season fruit. —Betty Lise Anderson, Gahanna, Ohio
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Easy Tomato Avocado Salad Exps Cf2bz20 30211 E12 10 4b

Easy Tomato Avocado Salad

I came up with this recipe one day when avocados were on sale at the market. It's a nice change from a lettuce salad, plus it's quick to make.
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Asian Cucumber Salad

This colorful Asian cucumber salad makes a simple, cool side dish when we have stir-fry for dinner. —Tari Ambler, Shorewood, Illinois
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Squash Ribbons Exps Cf2bz20 28293 E11 15 3b 7

Squash Ribbons

Steamed and well seasoned, these pretty vegetable ribbons will dress up your dinner plate. The strips of yellow summer squash and zucchini are easy to cut using a vegetable peeler or cheese slicer.
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Sweet Sour Red Cabbage Exps Cf2bz20 9308 E11 15 5b 3

Sweet-Sour Red Cabbage

The first time I bought a red cabbage, I didn’t quite know what to do with it. After some experimenting, I came up with this recipe that’s now my fall comfort food. As a side, it’s compatible with a variety of meat entrees, but I especially like it with a pork roast or chops.—Karen Gorman, Gunnison, Colorado
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Roast Beets With Orange Gremolata And Goat Cheese Exps Toham20 186928 E11 06 8b 14

Roasted Beets with Orange Gremolata and Goat Cheese

My grandma always grew beets then pickled or canned them, but I prefer to prepare them differently. I like these roasted beets in the winter but they can be enjoyed all year with the addition of fresh herbs and tangy goat cheese. —Courtney Archibeque, Portland, Oregon
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Vegan Quinoa Salad

Toasting the grain before it simmers isn't essential, but it does add a pleasant nuttiness to the flavor of this vegan quinoa salad. Mix and match whatever fresh herbs and veggies you have on hand. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Italian Tomato Cucumber Salad

This yummy medley of vegetables is a cool complement to zesty dishes like my fish, and also barbecued meats and poultry. —Florine Bruns, Fredericksburg, Texas
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Asian Snow Pea Toss Exps Ft19 90457 F 0709 1 5

Asian Snow Pea Toss

My love for Asian flavors sparked the idea for this easy, healthy side dish. For this Asian salad, I use just-picked peas from our garden and serve it with grilled chicken. — Mary Ann Dell, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
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Three Pepper Coleslaw Exps Tohas19 48202 B05 31 6b 5

Three-Pepper Coleslaw

There are never any leftovers when I make this dish for a picnic, barbecue or any social gathering. —Priscilla Gilbert, Indian Harbour Beach, Florida
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Zucchini In Dill Cream Sauce Exps Tcbz19 7878 B05 17 7b 5

Zucchini in Dill Cream Sauce

My husband and I were dairy farmers until we retired, so I always use fresh, real dairy products in my recipes. This creamy sauce combines all our favorite foods! —Josephine Vanden Heuvel, Hart, Michigan
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Spaghetti Squash With Tomatoes And Olives Exps Sdas18 175709 D04 03  1b Basedon 6

Pressure-Cooker Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes

This squash is perfect as a side dish, or top it with canned tuna to serve it as an entree. I use my own home-canned tomatoes for the best flavor. The dish is easy, tasty and light! —Carol Chase, Sioux City, Iowa
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Carrots And Snow Peas Exps Cimz19 41502 C01 10 6b 6

Carrots and Snow Peas

This is without question my favorite side dish, both for flavor and ease of preparation. Sherry adds an amazing spark to the vegetables. —Cheryl Donnely, Arvada, Colorado
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Veggie Stuffed Tomatoes Exps Cf2bz19 40111 C12 19 4b 3

Veggie-Stuffed Tomatoes

This recipe is my wife's favorite, she loves when I cook it for her. The tasty, meatless stuffing is perfect for a side dish, but it's also filling enough for a whole meal. — Scott Szekretar, Islip, New York
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Fried Cabbage Exps Sdfm19 28300 C10 10 4b 13

Fried Cabbage

When I was young, my family grew our own cabbages. It was fun to put them to use in the kitchen, just as I did with this comforting side. With potatoes, deviled eggs and cornbread, fried cabbage tastes like home. —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
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Roasted Carrots With Thyme Exps Sscbz18 178887 B08 30 1b 2

Roasted Carrots with Thyme

These roasted carrots are so simple but always a hit. Cutting the carrots lengthwise makes this dish look extra pretty.—Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Minted Beet Salad Exps Ppt18 166394 E08 21 7b 10

Minted Beet Salad

We have neighbors who share vegetables from their garden, and every year my husband and I look forward to their beets. My interest in Mediterranean food inspired this beet salad recipe—the vinegar and oil dressing with fresh mint will tone down the sweetness of the beets, and the kalamata olives add a salty touch. —Barbara Estabrook, Appleton, Wisconsin
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Roasted Peppers And Cauliflower Exps Sddj19 30434 E07 20 7b 3

Roasted Peppers and Cauliflower

Caramelization really enhances the flavors in this easy side dish. The seasoned, roasted peppers and cauliflower are just right with nearly any main course. —Cheryl Wilt, Eglon, West Virginia
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Bohemian Collards Exps Thn18 157471 B05 30 3b 9

Bohemian Collards

I've added unconventional ingredients to these collards that make them unique and exquisite on the palate and on the plate. —Ally Phillips, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
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Stewed Zucchini And Tomatoes Exps Sdas18 130433 D04 03  4b 4

Stewed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Zucchini, tomatoes and green peppers star in this make-ahead dish that offers a fresh take on traditional vegetable sides. Bubbly cheddar cheese adds a down-home feel. —Barbara Smith, Salem, Oregon
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Slow-Cooked Summer Squash

We love squash, but I got tired of fixing just plain squash and cheese. I decided to jazz it up a bit. This was a huge hit with the family. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Watermelon Tomato Salad Exps Sdjj18 33024 D02 15 8b 9

Watermelon Tomato Salad

Watermelon and tomatoes may seem an unlikely pair, but they team up to make a winning combination in this eye-catching salad. —Matthew Denton, Seattle, Washington
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Shaved Fennel Salad Exps Sdjj18 213668 B02 14 7b 3

Shaved Fennel Salad

This salad tastes even more impressive than it looks. It has an incredible crunch thanks to the cucumbers, radishes and apples. And the finish of fennel fronds adds just the faintest hint of licorice flavor. —William Milton III, Clemson, South Carolina
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Zucchini Panzanella Salad

I learned how to make panzanella from my friend's grandmother. Once I discovered how to make the perfect vinaigrette, it became a dish I crave during the summer. It's also a great way to use day-old bread and your garden's bounty of zucchini. —Felicity Wolf, Kansas City, Missouri
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Summer Salad By The Lake Exps Thjj18 213944 C02 01 2b 10

Summer Salad by the Lake

I came up with this recipe to show appreciation to all the teachers at my son’s school. The dish had to be as special as the teachers, who always go the extra mile for their students. I think this salad did the trick! It's hearty, earthy, sweet and loaded with nothing but good stuff. —Ramya Ramamurthy, Fremont, California
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Kohlrabi Cucumber And Tomato Salad Exps Thjj18 212499 C02 01 3b 3

Kohlrabi, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

This chilled, refreshing salad is wonderful on hot days. It has a nice crunch and a delicious balance of sweet and spicy flavors. —Kristina Segarra, Yonkers, New York
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White Balsamic Blueberry Corn And Feta Salad Exps Thjj18 211893 C01 30 2b 2

White Balsamic Blueberry, Corn and Feta Salad

I'm not typically a huge fan of summer corn, but when it comes to this sweet, salty, refreshing salad, I can't put my fork down. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Flamboyant Flamenco Summer Salad Exps Thjj18 208065 C01 30 3b 2

Flamboyant Flamenco Summer Salad

I came up with this salad simply by choosing the best-looking vegetables at a local farmers market—the colors are so beautiful! Turn it into a full vegetarian meal by adding roasted garbanzo beans or cooked white beans as protein. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Radish Asparagus Salad Exps Fttmz18 43401 C11 17 4b 7

Radish Asparagus Salad

Lemon zest and mustard in the dressing add the perfect punch to crisp asparagus and crunchy radishes in this fresh spring salad. My family loves it! —Nancy Latulippe, Simcoe, Ontario
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Sour Cream Cucumbers Exps Fttmz18 26502 B11 16 6b 4

Sour Cream Cucumbers

We have a tradition at our house to serve this creamy cucumber salad with the other Hungarian specialties my mom learned to make from the women at church. It’s especially good during the summer when the cucumbers are freshly picked from the garden. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio
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Grilled Cabbage Exps Fttmz18 25369 D11 15 3b 4

Grilled Cabbage

The first time I made this, I couldn’t believe how good it was! We served it with grilled burgers and our dinner was complete. I never thought I’d skip dessert because I was full from too much cabbage! —Elizabeth Wheeler, Thornville, Ohio
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Asparagus Squash Red Pepper Saute Exps Tham18 133358 B10 08 4b 8

Asparagus, Squash & Red Pepper Saute

The appealing vegetable trio is enlivened by a wine-scented saute. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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