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

Massaged Kale Salad

Rating: Unrated
11
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.

Rosemary-Ginger French 75

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

Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dressing

Rating: Unrated
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.

Roasted Honeynut Squash

Rating: Unrated
2
Honeynut squash looks just like mini butternut squash, but on the inside you'll find an even sweeter, deeper orange flesh. This winter squash has only been available at farmers' markets and in select grocery stores for a few years. If you see it, grab a few to try! This simple roasting method enhances the natural flavor of the squash with butter and spices.

Brown Sugar-Glazed Beets

Rating: Unrated
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.

Lemon-Herb Roasted Beets

Rating: Unrated
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.

Orange & Avocado Salad

Rating: Unrated
5
This colorful salad would be a welcome addition to a Mexican-inspired meal.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Rating: Unrated
20
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.

Asparagus and Wild Mushrooms

White wine and fresh tarragon bring this side dish to life.

Bacon Mashed Potatoes

Rating: Unrated
2
Serve these bacon-studded chunky mashed potatoes with grilled steak or chicken.

Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts

These super-crispy and browned air-fryer Brussels sprouts with sweet onions and salty bacon--all amped up with bright lemon juice--are sure to be a hit, whether you serve them for a weeknight side dish or as part of your holiday spread for Thanksgiving. This recipe makes enough to serve eight but is easily halved, though once you taste it you may well want a double serving. And if you prefer a vegetarian side, simply omit the bacon.

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.

Inspiration and Ideas

Garlic-Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Rating: Unrated
2
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.

Warm Red Cabbage Salad

Rating: Unrated
5
In this quick German-inspired side dish, red cabbage is cooked until just tender and combined with sweet apples, caraway and a tangy vinaigrette. Serve with roasted pork loin or turkey kielbasa.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Rating: Unrated
2

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.