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5 No-stress holiday sides in 30 minutes (or less)

By Hilary Meyer, December 17, 2010 - 1:14pm

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I often get hung up deciding what to make for the main dish when it comes to my holiday feast. Then I push the side dishes, well, to the side. Even though the main dish is the star of the meal, it’s usually the easiest. I often served roasted meats, which simply involve pulling together a nice rub or marinade and sticking the roast in the oven.

Recipes to try:
Festive Holiday Main-Dish Recipes
Easy Rubs and Marinades
15 Simply Delicious Christmas Side Dishes

By the time I’m done fretting over the main course, I’ve wasted precious time and I end up scrambling to pull together my holiday side dishes. And like all things, when you rush, it never turns out as well as you would like.

This year I’m taking a different approach. To keep things simple I’m going to choose holiday side dishes that take 30 minutes or less to complete. With a start-to-finish time of less than an hour, I won’t have to rush through a longer recipe or take shortcuts that could lead to disappointing results.

Recipes to try:
30-Minute Holiday Side Dishes
Make-Ahead Holiday Side Dishes

Want more easy entertaining recipes? Check out these:
Holiday Dessert Recipes
Healthy Holiday Recipes, Menus and Cooking Tips

Like my plan? Here are five 30-minute side-dish recipes that will pair nicely with any holiday meal:

Brown Butter & Dill Brussels Sprouts

When you brown butter, as in this recipe, the flavor intensifies so adding just a little to Brussels sprouts still makes a big impact.

Glazed Mini Carrots

Take advantage of convenient mini ("baby") carrots to make this simple but sophisticated classic French side dish.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Our savory cauliflower puree makes a perfect low-carb stand-in for mashed potatoes. It gets its fabulous flavor from garlic, buttermilk and a touch of butter and, best of all, it has about one-quarter of the calories of typical mashed potatoes. If you like, vary it by adding shredded low-fat cheese or chopped fresh herbs.

Crunchy Pear & Celery Salad

Crisp pears are tossed with Cheddar cheese and pecans in this delicious salad. For an Italian twist, try a good Parmesan with some toasted pine nuts or to go British use crumbled Stilton and toasted walnuts.

Orange-Scented Green Beans with Toasted Almonds

Toasted nuts and fresh orange zest adorn these versatile green beans. Toast the nuts while you steam the beans and you have a polished addition to any meal ready in 15 minutes flat.
Double it: Steam the green beans in a Dutch oven instead of a saucepan.

What are your quickest holiday side-dish recipes? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Hilary Meyer, Entertaining, Holidays

Hilary Meyer
Hilary Meyer develops and tests healthy recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

Hilary asks: What are your quickest holiday side-dish recipes?

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