Cheesy Spring Sides — Sensational Sides

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Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Lynsey Fryers

©Con Poulos

Con Poulos

We dig it on our pizza, require it on our burgers and have even been known to melt it on our fries. It’s cheese, the well-loved ingredient that gets a whole lot richer when things are heated up. In these side dishes, cheese isn’t simply an afterthought to be dashed on top. It’s an integral part, giving things a creamy, rich edge in all the right ways. Tune into our roster of cheesy, decadent sides — each recipe is complete with a good showing of spring vegetables.

Due to Arborio rice’s natural starch content, risotto on its own has a creamy quality. But, according to Ina Garten, you simply can’t have risotto without the Parmesan. Her veggie-packed Spring Green Risotto comes together with freshly grated Parm and smooth, rich mascarpone. In the spirit of spring, Ellie Krieger’s Garden Risotto has a garden variety, with peas, asparagus and baby spinach.

Think of Food Network Magazine’s Spring Shells and Cheese (pictured above) as a grown-up mac and cheese — with its mature fix of veggies, too. Zucchini gives it a nice crunch, while spinach slides in for some good green. Or unload a batch of spring peas into this creamy Four Cheese Pasta With Peas and Ham by Food Network Magazine.

For a cheesy side that still goes heavy on the veggies, Ina’s Spinach Gratin transforms the leafy green into a side that is smooth and creamy, but with that vital crusty surface.

Food Network Magazine’s French Onions are loaded with Gruyere, and they would go idyllically beside a seared steak. Or try Ina’s Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, which douses the tender spears in the sharp Italian cheese.

When you’re squaring away tonight’s dinner lineup, just know that these cheesy, decadent spring sides are sure crowd-pleasers.

More cheesy spring side recipes from friends and family:

Jeanette's Healthy Living: Fresh Tomato Burrata Cheese Pesto Dip

Cooking With Elise: Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas
Made by Michelle: Broccoli Cheese "Meatballs"
Dishin & Dishes: Baked Squash Casserole

The Sensitive Epicure: Frico: Parmesan Cheese Crackers

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Cheesy does it, cheese lovers. Instead of taking your favorite food by the block, use cheese to improve your favorite go-to side dishes.

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