26 Low-Carb Side Dishes Perfect for the Holidays
Complete your holiday meal with these healthy low-carb side dishes. Each side dish has no more than 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving and is full of seasonal produce like squash and broccoli. Whether it’s Maple Roasted Carrots or Parmesan-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, these delicious side dishes will make any holiday table feel special.
Maple Roasted Carrots
Roasting brings out the inherent sweetness in carrots--but add a little maple syrup and butter and you have a caramelized vegetable your kids (and you!) will actually want to eat seconds of.
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.
Creamed Spinach Casserole
This creamy spinach casserole recipe is a more sophisticated cousin to creamed spinach. It's perfect for weekend entertaining or as a holiday side dish.
Sauteed Broccoli & Kale with Toasted Garlic Butter
In this easy vegetable side dish, broccoli and kale are drizzled with a butter, garlic and crushed red pepper sauce. Serve this healthy recipe alongside roasted chicken, turkey or ham--or on top of your favorite whole grain, such as quinoa or farro.
Parmesan-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
These roasted Brussels sprouts are about to be your new favorite side dish. In addition to getting brown and crispy in the oven, they're topped with Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar for a hit of salty, savory flavor. This makes a great vegetable side to serve with roasted meats.
Kale-Butternut Squash Gratin
This colorful gratin dish livens up any holiday plate. Creamy melted Gruyère is comforting, while a blend of cumin, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper lends a warm, spicy note.
Crispy Smashed Beets with Goat Cheese
Cooked beets are lightly pressed and pan-fried for a charred, crispy outer crust--similar to that of smashed potatoes. The herbed goat cheese dip makes this healthy appetizer or easy side dish even more delicious.
Balsamic & Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
This healthy side dish recipe couldn't be simpler--or more delicious. Broccoli is roasted until brown and crispy, then topped with Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar for a savory and sweet flavor combination that can't be beaten. Try this quick vegetable dish along with chicken, fish or really any main course. It's also great in salads or warm grain bowls. Tip: Preheating the pan helps the broccoli to brown and develop nutty flavors.
Sweet Potato & Turnip Mash with Sage Butter
This sweet potato and turnip mash is fragrant with fresh sage.
In this baked asparagus side dish recipe, we smother tender-crisp asparagus spears with a creamy cheese sauce and top the casserole with crispy panko breadcrumbs. Blanching the asparagus first in boiling water helps preserve its vibrant green color. Medium-thick asparagus spears work best for this recipe. If your asparagus spears are very thick, they may need a longer time in the oven.
Roasting cauliflower transforms it into a crispy, tender vegetable. A sponge for other flavors, cauliflower can absorb any spice mix or marinade you add, like this warm and toasty combination of turmeric, cumin and garlic. Serve as a simple side dish, or stir it into salads or grain bowls to add more plant power.
The lightened-up luscious sauce elevates this easy casserole recipe over standard broccoli and cheese side dishes.
Wilted Kale with Warm Shallot Dressing
Vinegar is the key to making this sautéed kale recipe special. Look for vinegar that's cloudy--it likely still has some of the mother in the bottle and will give you a sweet acidity rather than a harsh bite. Organic apple cider vinegar is usually your best bet. For the most eye-catching version of this side, use different colored varieties of kale.
Crispy Potato Stacks with Fresh Sage
These little cute stacks are everything you want in a potato side dish: tender in the middle, devilishly crispy on the outside, and seasoned with sage and butter throughout. For best results, use a mandoline to slice the potatoes extra-thin.
Green Beans Amandine
A rich browned butter and white wine sauce updates this holiday mainstay. Haricots verts are French-style green beans that are slender and delicate. You can usually find bags of them in the produce section. The packaged beans are often trimmed, which saves time. You can sub traditional green beans; steam those about 2 minutes longer in Step 1.
This velvety cabbage side dish melts in your mouth and picks up the flavors of caraway, cumin and garlic as it simmers in broth in the oven. Serve it alongside roasted pork or chicken.
Cauliflower with Peppadew Peppers & Raisins
We sauté the cauliflower to get it slightly caramelized, then steam it to soften the vegetable without burning the spices.
Easy Roasted Root Vegetables
There's nothing easier--or tastier!--than a pan of roasted root vegetables. Clean them, trim them, and season them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and let them roast to perfection in the oven while you focus on the rest of your meal.
Cheese-Topped Acorn Squash
Sage and nutmeg are the perfect seasoning pair for these acorn squash slices. Sprinkled with Parmesan just before serving, this vegetable side dish goes well with any main dish you're serving.
Cheesy Mushroom Gratin
Earthy portobellos are roasted then smothered in cheese in this easy low-carb side dish. Enjoy this gratin alongside pork or steak, or add a salad and turn it into a delicious vegetarian dinner.
Sautéed Carrots with Gomasio
In this quick vegetable side dish, maple-vinegar-glazed carrots are topped with gomasio, a blend of toasted sesame seeds and salt. Find gomasio in the natural-foods section or Asian-foods section at large supermarkets or at Asian markets. Or substitute 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Spaghetti Squash with Ginger-Miso Dressing
Mild-flavored spaghetti squash is a great swap for noodles, but here it's showcased on its own dressed with a healthy dressing spiked with salty miso. Serve with roasted chicken or fish.
Vegetarian Collard Greens with Shiitake Mushrooms
Collards are related to cabbage and have sturdy, thick leaves that hold up well to cooking. They pair well with strong flavors such as garlic, cayenne, and ham or bacon. This vegetarian take on traditional collard greens gets a boost of savory flavor from shiitake mushrooms.
Roasted Salt-&-Vinegar Turnips
In this healthy root vegetable recipe, we take the flavor of salt-and-vinegar chips and apply them to turnips. We found that simmering the turnips with vinegar before roasting infuses the flavor throughout. Try this technique with other root vegetables and potatoes too.
Roasted Rutabagas with Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce & Crispy Sage
Roasted rutabagas become rich and creamy when roasted whole. Then we halve and pan-fry them for a delectable textural juxtaposition. These root vegetables are often waxed to maintain freshness--you'll be able to feel it. It's easy to remove the wax with a quick dip in boiling water, making the skin edible again. Serve the rutabagas as a side or vegetarian appetizer for a special meal, such as Thanksgiving dinner.
Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms & Prosciutto
A quick roast in the oven and this trio melds together to become the perfect vegetable side dish recipe for chicken or steak. Or toss the warm roasted asparagus and mushrooms with baby spinach and a little more oil and vinegar to turn it into a quick salad recipe.