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.

Staff Picks

Crispy Potato Stacks with Fresh Sage

Rating: 5 stars 1
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.
By Mary-Frances Heck

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.
By Hilary Meyer

Cornbread & Oyster-Mushroom Stuffing

Rating: 5 stars 1
Mushrooms are a rich, meaty addition in this healthy cornbread stuffing recipe. Here we use oyster mushrooms, but you can use any variety you like. If you have time, bake the cornbread a day or two in advance so it has time to dry out a bit, which lets it absorb the flavors more readily.
By Mary-Frances Heck

"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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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

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.
By Hilary Meyer

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Creamed Spinach Casserole

Rating: 3.5 stars 2
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
By Hilary Meyer

Hasselback Potatoes with Cheese

Rating: 5 stars 1
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

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
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Inspiration and Ideas

Honey-Glazed Roasted Delicata Squash
Tangy cider vinegar, sweet honey, crunchy pine nuts and fresh mint come together to make an amazing glaze in this healthy roasted winter squash recipe.
Glazed Haricots Verts
Skip Grandma's mushroom-soup-drenched casserole this year and cook this fresher green bean side dish with a tangy shallot and walnut relish instead.
Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
Rating: 5 stars 1

These scalloped potatoes are surprisingly rich and creamy even though they're made with no dairy (milk, butter or cheese)--vegan comfort food at its best. We use almond milk, herbs and spices to make a flavorful sauce and finish the dish with a crunchy almond topping. This makes a satisfying side dish if you're cooking for dairy-free or vegan diets.