25 Christmas Side Dishes That’ll Go With Any Main Dish
Categories: Recipes

25 Christmas Side Dishes That’ll Go With Any Main Dish

LBH, ham and turkey are great and all, but sides are where it’s at during Christmas dinner (looking at you, mac and cheese). Think about it — a tiny portion of your plate is dedicated to the main dish and the rest is always piled high with sweet potato and green bean casseroles. Obviously, this means that great thought must go into choosing the sides for your cozy Christmas dinner. The good news is, we’ve done all the work for you! Pour yourself a cocktail and bookmark the following Christmas sides that’ll be perfect for your menu, no matter what main dishes you’re serving.

1. Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf: Rice pilaf makes a great alternative to a traditional stuffing. Customize it as you like, but diced apples, pecans, and dried cranberries are a great place to start. (via Carlsbad Cravings)

2. Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Tart: Truth be told, this isn’t a quick dish to prepare. But it’s nice to pick and choose a few laborious sides to really steal the show. Roast the beets the day before and you’ve saved yourself a nice chunk of time. (via Alexandra’s Kitchen)

3. Brussels Sprouts, Cranberry, and Quinoa Salad: Brussels sprouts are no stranger to the Christmas table, but they’re usually roasted. Try this fresh approach by shredding them and tossing with an orange vinaigrette for a crunchy winter salad. (via Gimme Some Oven)

4. Garlic Herb and Cheese Pull Apart Bread: Why should you have plain frozen rolls when you can easily make a cheesy pull-apart bread? Bake a couple of loaves to sit in the middle of the table and watch everyone fight for the next slice. (via Chew Town)

5. Easy Creamed Corn: Any dish with easy in the name is essential for a smooth Christmas dinner. Prep everything ahead of time and then pop the corn in the oven at the last minute to ensure it stays piping hot. (via Damn Delicious)

6. Cranberry Whiskey Gravy: Whatever you do, don’t forget the gravy! Spike yours with a bit of whiskey to add a depth of flavor and take the edge off slightly. (via Mantitlement)

7. Creamy Garlic Thyme Potatoes: Mashed potatoes are a shoo-in for Christmas dinner. Try offering up a second potato option for guests who are just too adamant about lumps vs. no lumps. (via Rasa Malaysia)

8. Italian Green Beans: Green bean casserole can be heavy, and if you leave it to Aunt Shirley, there’s no telling what’s lurking in it. Steam a bundle of green beans and toss with garlic, breadcrumbs, and Italian seasoning for a lighter alternative. (via Tastes of Lizzy T’s)

9. Maple Pecan Hasselback Butternut Squash: Hasselback preparation isn’t just for potatoes. It helps this butternut squash cook quicker and allows the maple and butter to penetrate every bite. (via Seasons and Suppers)

10. Slow Cooker Balsamic Brussels Sprouts: Any excuse for you to give your slow cooker a workout on the biggest cooking day of the year is a good one. All you have to do for this side is trim the Brussels and make the balsamic reduction, and the rest is hands-off. (via Damn Delicious)

11. Maple Roasted Carrots in Tahini Sauce With Pomegranate and Pistachios: This stunning dish looks like it should be on the cover of a foodie magazine. If you want to make maximum impact with minimal effort, these carrots need to be on your Christmas menu. (via Closet Cooking)

12. Saffron Rice With Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts: This flavorful Middle Eastern rice dish will pair wonderfully with your other sides. It’s sweet, savory, and fragrant with a unique contrast of textures. (via A Spicy Perspective)

13. Roasted Mushrooms in a Browned Butter, Garlic, and Thyme Sauce: If there’s a dish to convert someone into a mushroom lover, this is it. The mushrooms act like sponges that soak up the nutty browned butter, garlic, and herbs. What’s not to love? (via Closet Cooking)

14. Roasted Beetroot, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad: If you have to transport a dish to Christmas dinner, a simple salad like this one will be perfect. You can even bring all of the components separately and assemble right before the meal. (via The Cook’s Pyjamas)

15. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: There would be anarchy if there weren’t mashed potatoes at every family gathering. Guarantee that they’ll turn out just right every time by using a consistent recipe that everyone will love. (via Cooking Classy)

16. Scalloped Sweet Potato Ring: Sweet potatoes have never looked so inviting. Carefully use a mandoline to get uniformly thin slices throughout the dish. (via The Healthy Foodie)

17. Marinated Slow Roasted Onions: Just hear us out. These onions are marinated overnight and slow-roasted to achieve a sweet and rich flavor. You can then use them to enhance your proteins or simply eat them in conjunction with your other sides. (via Kevin Is Cooking)

18. Baked Polenta With Bacon and Gruyère: Try this baked polenta instead of cornbread stuffing. Crispy bacon and nutty Gruyère make it ultra decadent. (via Hungry Couple)

19. Hedgehog Roasted Rosemary Potatoes: You’ve heard of hasselback potatoes, but these hedgehog roasted potatoes might have them beat. They’re tender inside but full of crispy bits and have plenty of nooks and crannies to fill with butter and gravy. (via Sprinkles & Sprouts)

20. Au Gratin Potatoes With Pumpkin: Pumpkins shouldn’t just be relegated to the dessert table. Combined with heavy cream, they make this potato dish as luxurious as all holiday side dishes should be. (via Feeding Gluten Free)

21. Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto: Risotto is usually a main dish, but on special occasions, it makes for an elegant side. Serve it in roasted mini pumpkins for an even greater festive impact. (via The College Housewife)

22. Creamy Parsnip and Carrot Bake: Carrots pair well with parsnips, their earthier veggie cousin. In this recipe, they’re baked in a creamy, dairy-free sauce that coats every bite in deliciousness. (via Full of Plants)

23. Sautéed Cabbage and Kale With Bacon: It’s always good to get your greens in, even when you’re celebrating. Boost the flavor, in this case, with a little bit of smokey bacon. (via The Nutrition Adventure)

24. Cranberry Walnut Apple Stuffing: Give your stuffing some extra flair with dried cranberries and apples. The crunch of walnuts keeps the dish from tasting too mushy. (via Ahead of Thyme)

25. Apple Cider Green Beans: Sometimes you need a lighter side dish to help balance out a heavy meal. With a slight tangy sweetness from apple cider, these green beans do just the trick. (via Joy Food Sunshine)

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(Additional reporting by Justina Huddleston)