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: Unrated
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: Unrated
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: Unrated
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.

Cauliflower Casserole with Everything Bagel Seasoning

Rating: Unrated
1
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.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Rating: Unrated
12
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.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

This healthy recipe is a savory riff on the traditional brown-sugar-and-pecan-topped sweet potato casserole so often found on Thanksgiving tables. Crispy baby kale leaves make a stunning garnish, but any green or herb that suits you will look great, fried or not.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions

Rating: Unrated
6
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.

Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic & Parsley

Rating: Unrated
6
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: Unrated
1
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.

Beet Salad

Rating: Unrated
7
It's time we rescued beets from our childhood nightmares--when they were little better than bland wedges scooped out of a can. Roasted beets are delightful, sweet but very earthy and aromatic--great for a side salad.

Layered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casserole

Rating: Unrated
3
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.

Cauliflower-Broccoli Gratin

Rating: Unrated
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.

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.

Cauliflower with New Mornay Sauce

Rating: Unrated
3

A topping of Mornay sauce is a delicious treatment for numerous vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, fennel, Belgian endive, to name a few. In our revised version, we have replaced some of the high-fat cheeses and cream with low-fat cottage cheese, which contributes a rich dairy flavor without the fat. Even children will eat cauliflower prepared this way.