Side Dishes & Dips

Side Dishes & Dips Recipes:

The recipes in bold, black text below are links to the updated versions of these recipes. Please click on the names to see the full recipe! 

Fresh Homemade Garden Salsa

Homemade salsa is so much better than store bought – and so fresh! You can make this salsa as sweet or spicy as you want. If you are looking for a sweeter salsa, use mini sweet bell peppers. If you’re looking for a spicier salsa, use regular bell peppers, and add extra jalapeño peppers and chili powder.


  • 4 cups cherry punch tomatoes (I usually just use one container)
  • 12 small sweet bell peppers
  • 1 medium white onion (I only use about ½ an onion because my family doesn’t like too much of it)
  • 3 jalapeno peppers (optional – for spicier salsa)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tsp of chili powder (optional – for spicier salsa)



  • Wash all produce thoroughly and dry using a paper towel.
  • Chop tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos and onions and add to bowl.
  • Chop the long stems off the cilantro, and tear off the leaves. Chop up finely and add to vegetables.
  • Cut limes into wedges and squeeze limejuice over the top of the vegetables.
  • Add cumin, salt and pepper, and chili powder (if desired).
  • Add to food processor and pulse until you reach the desired texture.
  • Serve with multigrain chips or over tacos and enjoy!

I have a Ninja (best purchase ever), so I barely have to chop the vegetables up. If you have a powerful blender or food processor, save yourself some time and let the blender do the work for you!

And voila! Beautiful and delicious. 🙂

Corona not required. ; )

Mexican Greek Yogurt Corn Dip

I’ve made this Mexi-dip countless times and I’d be lying if I said it’s not one of the top 5 most addicting things I’ve ever eaten. You will not be able to walk away from this stuff. 🙂


  • 1 can Mexicorn, drained
  • 1 can Rotel, drained
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt


  1. Drain Mexicorn and Rotel.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Chill in refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving.
  4. Serve with bell pepper strips, carrots, or multigrain chips!

corn dip

Best Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip

I made this for a Fourth of July party, and I immediately fell in love and added it to my top 10 favorite recipes. Why? Because it’s fresh and healthy, but it’s also beautiful! So many colors! I love nothing more than food that is just as tasty as it looks. 🙂 You’ll be very popular at any social gathering if you bring this as your side dish.


  • 15 oz can black beans (no sodium added), drained
  • 15 oz can corn, drained
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped (I used about 1/3 red onion because I don’t like it to overpower the other ingredients)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed then minced
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro (more or less depending on preference)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup Zesty Light Italian salad dressing (I probably only used ~1/3 cup)


  1. Drain and rinse black beans and corn.
  2. Rinse and chop all remaining produce.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then mix to combine.


4. Serve with whole grain tortilla chips.


Note: Recipe can be prepared 1 day ahead of time. Store covered in refrigerator.

Fresh Homemade Guacamole

Now you don’t have to go to Chipotle just to feast on chips & guac – you can make it in your very own home! This recipe can easily be altered to fit your taste. Add or subtract certain ingredients to make it spicier or more garlicky, etc.!


  • 4 ripe Hass avocados, scooped from peel
  • 1.5 Tbsp fresh lime juice (I used the juice from 1 whole lime, which was more than 1.5 T)
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 large Roma tomato, seeds and pulp removed then diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1-3 pinches cayenne pepper, optional (I ended up doing about 10-12 shakes of our little jar of cayenne pepper. I liked the spice and thought it could use the extra flavor.)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

*Just a couple side notes: I wish I would’ve used 2-3 cloves of garlic instead, and I did not add any cilantro. Sometimes I feel like the taste of cilantro can be too overpowering (and some people don’t like it) so I didn’t want to add it this time, but next time I probably will add the 2 tbsp to see how it affects the overall flavor.

Not pictured: cilantro and cayenne pepper. Also, this jalapeño pepper was not harmed in the making of this guacamole, but next time it will be. 🙂



  1. Partially mash avocados with a fork in a large bowl, squeeze lime juice over the top and continue to mash to reach desired consistency.
  2. Add chopped red onions to avocado mixture along with diced tomato, garlic, cilantro, cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.



Serve fresh guacamole with tortilla chips, veggies or along with Mexican dishes.

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