Must-Have Holiday Side Dishes for Diabetes
Roasted Heirloom Squash with Sea Salt & Local Honey
Local honey not only supports your neighborhood bee farmers, but it's unprocessed and pure, unlike the filtered honey that's available in your grocery store. Just a couple tablespoons of honey is all that's needed to sweeten this yummy roasted squash recipe. The sweet taste contrasts nicely with the sea salt to make each bite melt in your mouth.
Charred Green Beans with Mustard Vinaigrette & Hazelnuts
Our go-to trick for this crunchy, mustardy vegan side dish: Use a grill basket—it lets you cook all the things that would ordinarily fall through the grill grates, no skewering required. Pick one up from the hardware store or order one online for less than $15.
Fall Chopped Salad with Spinach, Butternut Squash, Apples & Cheddar
Who says spinach salads are only for spring? Use autumn's tender crop of fresh spinach and other seasonal vegetables to make this fall salad with roasted butternut squash, apples, cheddar and pecans. This colorful and healthy salad would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving menu, but there's no reason to save it for holidays—serve it along with chicken or pork for a healthy weeknight dinner, or turn it into a main course by adding some chickpeas or chopped chicken or turkey.
Balsamic Roasted Cabbage
These roasted cabbage wedges with honey and balsamic vinegar make an attractive and healthy side dish that's also very easy to prepare. You can use red or green cabbage—or make a double batch with one of each for a pretty presentation.
Mashed Butternut Squash
For this mashed butternut squash recipe, we start by roasting the squash, which really intensifies its flavor and sweetness. That means you don't need to add much—just a few pinches of spices and a little butter and salt—to make the perfect healthy Thanksgiving side dish or partner for any other fall meal. If you want to dress it up more, add some honey and warm spices, like cinnamon, for a sweet profile; for a savory profile, add a teaspoon or two of rosemary, sage or thyme (or a combination) and sprinkle with Parmesan. Or go sweet and savory, with bacon fat (or bacon crumbles), maple syrup and additional cayenne. Using a food processor gives this mash a very smooth texture, but you could certainly mash it with a fork or potato masher for a more rustic texture.
Spiralized Onions with Crispy Parmesan Breadcrumbs
You may not have considered onions as candidates for the spiralizer, but you should. They create beautiful ribbons that make this recipe reminiscent of fried shoestring onions. And because this onion ring-inspired recipe is baked rather than fried, they're really easy to make. Serve them as a side with burgers or as a crunchy healthy snack for game night.
Dill-Havarti Mashed Cauliflower
This recipe for mashed cauliflower, spiked with dill and havarti cheese, makes a simple side dish for a weeknight dinner. The low-calorie cauliflower complements the rich creaminess of havarti cheese.
Balsamic Roasted Carrots
Roasting carrots brings out their sweetness, which is enhanced further with a tangy balsamic and maple glaze. Serve them straight-up for an easy weeknight side dish or garnish with chopped hazelnuts for holiday meals and dinner parties.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Make this classic comfort food side dish in an electric pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot, to get the potatoes soft and tender in a jiff! This easy, 5-ingredient recipe is perfect for the holidays because it's all done in one pot and doesn't take up any extra oven or stove space.
Roasted Honeynut Squash
Honeynut squash looks just like mini butternut squash, but on the inside you'll find an even sweeter, deeper orange flesh. This winter squash has only been available at farmers' markets and in select grocery stores for a few years. If you see it, grab a few to try! This simple roasting method enhances the natural flavor of the squash with butter and spices.
Homemade stuffing tastes so much better than any mix you can buy at the grocery store, and this recipe is quick and easy. It takes just 25 minutes to prepare and goes well with grilled or roasted beef, pork, chicken, and fish.
Instant Pot Sweet Potato Casserole
Use any multicooker or electric pressure cooker to make this classic Thanksgiving side dish. The sweet potatoes get perfectly tender and almost caramelized while cooking under high pressure, plus using your multicooker saves stovetop and oven space.
Green Beans with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
A much healthier take on the old-fashioned green bean casserole, this version thankfully skips the canned soup and fried onions! Fresh green beans are cooked until crisp-tender and topped with a garlicky-thyme mushroom sauce, shallots and crumbled chèvre.
Roasted Kabocha Squash & Grapes
For this healthy winter squash recipe, we roast grapes in a 450°F oven for a bit to intensify their flavor. We pair them here with kabocha squash, but butternut or acorn would also work. Serve alongside a green salad and roasted chicken for a hearty dinner.
Hasselback Potatoes with Cheese
Hasselback potatoes are the perfect side dish for people who love crispy potato-chip-like slices as well as the tender interior of a baked potato. Simple to prepare, these hasselback potatoes look impressive and decadent with melted Cheddar cheese and a spinkle of paprika on top.
Scalloped Root Veggies
Flavorful, earthy celery root and parsnips are baked in a creamy sauce for a side dish that's perfect for fall and winter special meals.
Sweet Potato & Turnip Mash with Sage Butter
This sweet potato and turnip mash is fragrant with fresh sage.
Roasted Beet Salad
Walnuts, red onion and dill make this roasted beet salad recipe a fantastic accompaniment to chicken or topping for hummus. If you can't find beets with greens attached, use 1 pound of beets and 8 ounces of chard leaves.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Cider Vinegar
Brussels sprouts are a perfect side-dish to any meal, especially when they are drizzled in honey and topped with bacon.
Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds
This skillet-browned Brussels sprouts recipe is a tasty accompaniment for all types of Christmas main dishes including roast beef, pork, or lamb as well as turkey or chicken.
Loaded Bread Stuffing
This bread stuffing has more than your basic celery and onion—you'll love the unexpected addition of mushrooms, red pepper, carrots and water chestnuts! And while it's the perfect addition to your holiday menu, it's also a great choice for serving with chicken or fish any night of the week.
Hasselback Cheesy Garlic Bread
Potatoes were first to benefit from the Hasselback techinique—making thin slices crosswise toward the bottom of the vegetable, but not all the way through, so the potato becomes fanned, seasoned and baked until crisp. Here we've adapted the concept to garlic bread and updated it with cheese for an easy and completely mouthwatering cheesy bread side dish.
Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Don't tell your kids, but we snuck a whole head of cauliflower into these garlic mashed potatoes. The cauliflower, garlic and potatoes are all cooked at the same time and mashed with butter and cream cheese. Your kids will love this side dish and the best part is you won't have to remind them to eat their vegetables!
Sweet Potato and Wild Rice Dressing
Roasted sweet potatoes are the star of this dinner recipe, which is ready in just one hour. Combining different whole grains, such as wild rice and barley, allows for multiple flavor and nutrition profiles to be displayed in this recipe.
Kale Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
The lightly sweet, creamy homemade poppy seed dressing takes this crunchy salad to the next level for a mouthwatering vegetable side dish or light lunch. Top with cooked chicken for a heartier meal.
Cauliflower Rice Pilaf
You'll slash 131 calories and 19 grams carbohydrate when you trade in your brown rice for finely chopped cauliflower in this healthy cauliflower rice recipe. For an even faster rice pilaf, use 4 cups of purchased cauliflower rice instead of making your own. Look for it near other fresh or frozen prepared vegetables.
Shredded Root Vegetable Pancakes
Red beets and golden carrots look especially festive in these zesty horseradish-and-bacon-flecked cakes. Avoid parsnips, which need to be cored, in this recipe, as trying to shred the smaller cored pieces might result in nicked knuckles. Try the pancakes with seared steaks or make them bite-size for a beautiful appetizer.
Arugula Salad with Carrots and Goat Cheese
This arugula salad creation is a quick-and-easy solution to enhance any meal. Use the Maple-Thyme Baby Carrot recipe to add extra flavor and balance to this salad.
Roasted Acorn Squash with Rosemary
Slice acorn squash crosswise to showcase its pretty scalloped edges before baking, then garnish with a light glaze of butter and rosemary for an elegant presentation.
Roasted Kalettes with Pine Nuts & Currants
Kalettes are a relatively new hybrid of kale and Brussels sprouts. When roasted in this healthy side dish, they get crispy on the outside and stay tender on the inside. Look for kalettes near other bagged vegetables in the produce section.
These simple sautéed mushrooms work as a quick, weeknight side dish. To turn them into a main course, toss with cooked pasta and a generous handful of Parmesan cheese or fold into an omelet with Gruyère, fontina or Swiss cheese.