Best 10 Side Dish Recipes of 2011

Barefoot Contessa's Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Food Network

Tara Donne, Food Network

What’s a burger without fries? Fried chicken and no greens? A lonely steak without a baked potato? Side dishes aren’t merely second string players of a meal, they often complete the dish and can be as impressive as the main event. Check out Food Network's top 10 side dish recipes of the year and cook up a few to balance your favorite mains.

10. Red Beans and Rice — Fresh herbs and a pinch of cayenne add flavor and subtle spice to Emeril’s Creole-inspired dish.

9. Collard Greens — This traditional southern side is the ideal accompaniment to crispy fried chicken.

8. Broccoli Salad — Broccoli, onions, raisins and sweet cherry tomatoes are tossed in a mayonnaise-based dressing to create a veggie-packed salad in just 15 short minutes.

7. Sauteed Kale — Olive oil and sliced garlic bring classic Italian flavor to this leafy green dish.

6. Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes — Alton uses starchy russet potatoes to yield a smooth and creamy mashed mixture, laced with fresh garlic and nutty parmesan cheese.

5.  Corn Casserole — Paula uses whole kernel and creamed corn to add variety in texture to her cheesy casserole.

4. Baked Sweet Potato Fries — A healthful alternative to classic deep-fried French fries, these sweet potato slices bake in the oven until golden.

3. Green Bean Casserole — Ready in just 30 minutes, this family favorite is made with fresh mushrooms, green beans and crispy French-fried onion rings and is topped with cheddar cheese.

2. Roasted Brussels Sprouts — Ina tosses Brussels sprouts (pictured above) with olive oil and seasoning and bakes them until they’re tender and a warm brown color.

1. The Baked Potato — As versatile as it is wallet-friendly, a baked potato is the ultimate side dish, complementing perfectly beef, chicken and fish dishes.

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