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

Roasted Honeynut Squash

Rating: 5 stars
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: 5 stars
7
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.

Massaged Kale Salad

Rating: 4.71 stars
21
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.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Rating: 4.49 stars
43
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.

Lemon-Herb Roasted Beets

Rating: 4.33 stars
6
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: 4.75 stars
8
This colorful salad would be a welcome addition to a Mexican-inspired meal.

Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dressing

Rating: 4.4 stars
5
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.

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.

Apple, Fig & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Rating: 4 stars
2
Salad dressing made from sweet and mellow white balsamic vinegar balances out the assertive greens and Brussels sprouts in this healthy winter salad. If you have one handy, a small mandoline makes it easy to slice the Brussels and apple. To make it a dinner salad, top with shrimp or chicken.

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.

Bacon Mashed Potatoes

Rating: 5 stars
2
Serve these bacon-studded chunky mashed potatoes with grilled steak or chicken.

Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Crunchy Pear & Celery Salad
Rating: Unrated
8
Crisp pears are tossed with Cheddar cheese and pecans in this delicious salad. For an Italian twist, try a good Parmesan with some toasted pine nuts or to go British use crumbled Stilton and toasted walnuts.
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Rating: Unrated
1
Whir cauliflower into a creamy low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes. This easy recipe gets a kick of flavor from garlic-infused olive oil, making it a dairy-free (and vegan) vegetable side dish.

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.