Make-Ahead Christmas Side Dish Recipes

Prepping a Christmas dinner can get a bit stressful, but we're here to help! In addition to our make ahead Christmas appetizers, we have a plethora of traditional Christmas sides that can be prepped ahead of time so you don't have to spend your whole holiday in the kitchen.

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Beet Salad

Rating: 4 stars 9
This simple beet salad recipe uses just a handful of ingredients to create a delightful side dish. Roasted beets add a sweet, earthy and aromatic flavor that shines in this side salad.
By Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions

Rating: 5 stars 11
Fresh herbs, onion and sautéed bacon flavor this easy Brussels sprouts recipe. This savory dish is delicious in the fall and winter months, when Brussels sprouts are in season. If you can find them still attached to the stalk, don't be intimidated—buy them, as they're likely more fresh. Recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Rating: 5 stars 15
In this healthy side dish, sweet potatoes are tossed with maple syrup, butter and lemon juice and roasted until golden brown. The delicious glaze that forms transforms this simple dish into something sublime.
By Kathy Farrell-Kingsley

Cauliflower Casserole with Everything Bagel Seasoning

Rating: 4.5 stars 2
The cheesy-seedy crust that tops this healthy cauliflower casserole recipe evokes everything bagels. Serve for the holidays or as a hearty side dish with roast chicken.
By Nora Singley

Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic & Parsley

Rating: 5 stars 6
Learn how to roast squash in this healthy recipe adapted from Alice Waters. Look for squash varieties, including buttercup, kabocha or hubbard, at your farmers' market and try them in this tasty side dish.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Cauliflower-Broccoli Gratin

Rating: 3 stars 1
This creamy broccoli-and-cauliflower casserole is a hassle-free side dish that just about everyone loves. Our healthier version skips the heavy cream and butter found in most recipes--saving about 160 calories and 12 grams of saturated fat compared to a traditional version.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

No-Sugar-Added Sweet Potato Casserole

Rating: 5 stars 2
Instead of loading up this comfort food side with tons of brown sugar and marshmallows, we have turned to sweet spices, vanilla and inherently sweet dried fruit to enhance the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes. A topping of pecans and pepitas replaces traditional marshmallow topping to keep it healthy and add texture and color for a beautiful casserole.
By Carolyn Casner

Layered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casserole

Rating: 4.5 stars 4
Fancy up regular mashed potatoes with a layer of mushroom duxelle—a sauté of finely chopped mushrooms and shallots. We omitted the traditional butter in the duxelle and added chard for a nutritional boost. Serve this hearty side in place of mashed potatoes at any holiday feast or enjoy it as a vegetarian main dish.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Rating: 5 stars 1
Now everyone can enjoy classic Thanksgiving favorites, like this dairy-free green bean casserole. We make a homemade vegan cream of mushroom soup using almond milk for the creamy base that's combined with fresh green beans. Top it off with classic french-fried onions (we have a vegan recipe for that, too!) for a side dish everyone will devour.
Hilary Meyer
By Hilary Meyer

Hasselback Potatoes with Cheese

Rating: 5 stars 2
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 sprinkle of paprika on top.
By Carolyn Casner

"Use a Spoon" Chopped Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 8
When Paul Newman and Michel Nischan opened their Westport, Connecticut, restaurant Dressing Room, Paul's request was that the menu always include a chopped salad that you could eat with a spoon. This chopped salad recipe is full of great flavors, colors and textures, featuring celery, carrots, red pepper, apple, cucumber, greens, cabbage, goat cheese and almonds. This is great for any holiday meal: you can let it stand and it stays crisp.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Loaded Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon, Cheddar & Chives

Rating: 5 stars 2
Imagine a loaded baked potato topped with bacon, Cheddar and chives combined with the creamy goodness of scalloped potatoes, and you have the ultimate comfort food casserole. This scalloped potato recipe is made healthier than original versions by using low-fat milk in place of heavy cream, but it still tastes just as rich and creamy.
Hilary Meyer
By Hilary Meyer
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Inspiration and Ideas

11 Make-Ahead Christmas Side Dishes for an Easier Holiday
Simplify your life this holiday season with these make-ahead sides that are perfect for your Christmas table. From our Loaded Scalloped Potatoes to our Cauliflower Casserole, these are sure to wow while letting you take control of the prep. Make this season happy, healthy and easy.
Easy Scalloped Potatoes
In this easy scalloped potatoes recipe, sliced potatoes are roasted in the oven before being mixed with a simple, creamy stovetop sauce and sprinkled with Cheddar cheese. A few minutes under the broiler turns the dish golden and crispy.
Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes with Spinach
Rating: 5 stars 3

Classic scalloped potatoes get a burst of color, heartier texture and a healthy update with the addition of chopped spinach. The greens in this side dish also create a nice contrast to the creamy, velvety potatoes.