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.

Loaded Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon, Cheddar & Chives

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

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.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Rating: 4.86 stars
43
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.

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Rating: 5 stars
1
If you're looking for a twist on classic scalloped potatoes, this recipe using roasted sweet potatoes and melty Gruyère has all the creaminess of the original with a new flavor twist. The sweet potatoes and lightened sauce--made with flour and low-fat milk--keep it healthier than butter- and cream-laden versions. Don't cut your sweet potatoes too thin--they'll turn mushy under the sauce.

Beet Salad

Rating: 4.13 stars
8
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.

Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic & Parsley

Rating: 5 stars
23
Winter squash becomes tender and sweeter when roasted--a delicious side for a holiday dinner. Look for interesting squash like kabocha or hubbard at your farmers' market and try them in this recipe. Recipe adapted from Alice Waters.

Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes with Spinach

Rating: 5 stars
2
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.

Layered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casserole

Rating: 4.82 stars
11
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.

Creamed Spinach Casserole

Rating: 3.4 stars
5
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.

"Use a Spoon" Chopped Salad

Rating: 4.57 stars
14
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.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions

Rating: 4.93 stars
15
Fresh herbs, onion and bacon sauté alongside Brussels sprouts in this easy vegetable side dish 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.
Advertisement

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.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Rating: 4.67 stars
3

What could be more satisfying than mashed potatoes? In this garlic mashed potato recipe, the potatoes are flavored with poached garlic, thinned with chicken stock and enriched with a small amount of sour cream. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you're cooking for a crowd--say for Thanksgiving dinner.