Quick & Easy Christmas Side Dish Recipes

Find healthy, delicious quick & easy Christmas side dish recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Garlic-Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Rating: 5 stars 5
Speed up roasting vegetables, like these lemon-and-thyme-infused Brussels sprouts, by cooking them on two large baking sheets instead of just one. This basic roasting technique also works for other root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and potatoes.

Massaged Kale Salad

Rating: 4.71 stars 16
Here a pungent garlicky dressing is infused into kale by massaging the greens and the dressing together with your hands. Any type of kale will work in this kale salad recipe, just remember to remove the tough stems before you start.

Brown Sugar-Glazed Beets

Rating: 5 stars 4
Try a sweet glaze on beets or other root vegetables to help balance their earthy flavor. This easy recipe will work with steamed carrots, turnips or rutabaga too.

Rosemary-Ginger French 75

Rating: 5 stars 1
Rosemary and ginger add a flavorful twist to a classic citrusy gin cocktail topped with a little bubbly for a festive libation.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Rating: 4.49 stars 24
This creamy cauliflower mash makes a perfect low-carb stand-in for mashed potatoes. Here we take simple mashed cauliflower and mix in garlic, buttermilk and a touch of butter to create a flavorful side dish that has about one-quarter of the calories of typical mashed potatoes. If you like, vary it by adding shredded low-fat cheese or chopped fresh herbs.

Roasted Green Beans with Applewood Bacon

Cooking bacon and green beans on a sheet pan together simplifies holiday meal prep. Red-wine vinegar and lemon juice provide a balanced, bright flavor.

Winter Salad with Toasted Walnuts

This salad was one of the favorites chosen from over 1,000 salad recipes for our 30th anniversary issue. In 2004, Deborah Madison waxed poetic about winter ingredients, particularly nuts. “In the chill air of winter, nuts move up to center stage as do their warming, substantial, golden oils--so good with winter salad greens and vegetables, such as shaved fennel, all of which are likely to end up in a salad together,” she says. Madison suggested using a mix of lettuces that balance each other here--a mild, tender variety, such as Boston, with a more intense and sturdy green, such as escarole, for instance.

Bacon Mashed Potatoes

Rating: 5 stars 4
Serve these bacon-studded chunky mashed potatoes with grilled steak or chicken.

Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dressing

Rating: 4.4 stars 2
Pure maple syrup, as opposed to artificially flavored and colored “pancake” syrup, is an extraordinary cooking ingredient. Here it adds body as well as rich flavor to the dressing, providing a perfect counterpoint to the smoked cheese.

Lemon-Herb Roasted Beets

Rating: 4.33 stars 5
We love how roasting brings out the sweet flavor of beets. Golden beets look especially pretty when tossed with the fresh herb and lemon seasoning mix, but any type of beets will work in this recipe. If you're a lemon lover, be sure to add the squeeze of fresh lemon juice after the beets are roasted.

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.

Lemon-Dill Green Beans

Rating: 4.71 stars 4
This lemon and dill vinaigrette is a natural complement to green beans. It's also great tossed with steamed asparagus or drizzled over sliced fresh tomatoes. To make this recipe serve 10, multiply all the ingredients by 2 1/2: Use 2 1/2 pounds green beans, 3 tablespoons dill, 2 1/2 tablespoons each shallot, oil and lemon juice, 2 1/2 teaspoons mustard and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Advertisement

Inspiration and Ideas

Simple Green Salad with Citronette
Frisée and radicchio are both assertive, slightly bitter greens that add color and texture to any salad. Match them with mellower-flavored greens, such as red leaf lettuce, baby spinach or even Boston lettuce.
Apple & Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese
Rating: Unrated 2
Apples and blue cheese are a heavenly match in this fennel and apple salad recipe dressed with a tangy cider-vinegar dressing.
Massaged Mustard Greens Salad
Rating: 5 stars
2

A few minutes of judicious massaging will transform bitter mustard greens into a mellow, well-balanced salad spiked with hints of lemon, garlic and Parmesan.