45 Easy and Delicious Christmas Side Dishes

Your holiday meal just got merrier

Vegan barley, wild rice cranberry pilaf

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

No matter what you're serving as the main dish, sides are sometimes the best part of the meal. Looking for the perfect ones to add to your Christmas menu? From creamy mashed potatoes and cheesy scalloped casseroles to a top-rated cauliflower recipe and make-ahead dinner rolls, these fabulous are so delicious, your family will ask for them year after year.

  • 01 of 45

    Creamy Sweet Potato Risotto With Pecans

    Sweet potato risotto

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This elegant risotto is a fabulous combination of sweet potatoes, pecans, and Parmesan cheese. Add an extra knot of butter right at the end of cooking to super-charge the creamy texture.

  • 02 of 45

    Green Beans With Onions and Za'atar Breadcrumbs

    Green Beans With Onions and Za'atar Breadcrumbs

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter

    Tender-crisp green beans are tossed with sautéed onions and toasted breadcrumbs flavored with Middle Eastern za'atar seasoning in this twist on a classic.

  • 03 of 45

    Parker House Rolls

    Parker House Rolls

    The Spruce 

    These puffy soft yeast rolls with crispy edges are a Christmas dinner essential for soaking up gravy and sauces. You can make them a day ahead and simply reheat in the microwave prior to serving.

  • 04 of 45

    Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes

    Perfectly Creamy Mashed Potatoes

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

    Perfect mashed potatoes are a holiday must-have—all you need is lots of butter, salt, pepper, some milk, and a masher. For the fluffiest results, use higher starch potatoes such as Yukon Golds or russets.

    Continue to 5 of 45 below.
  • 05 of 45

    Maple and Bacon Skillet Cornbread

    Maple and Bacon Skillet Cornbread

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Crumbled bacon and maple syrup give this special-occasion, cast-iron cornbread amazing flavor. The sweet glaze on top is the perfect finishing touch.

  • 06 of 45

    Butternut Squash Stir-Fry With Mustard Seeds

    Butternut Squash Stir-Fry With Mustard Seeds

    The Spruce / Molly Watson

    A butternut squash stir-fry looks pretty on your holiday plate and smells fantastic while cooking. When you hear the mustard seeds popping in the pan, it's almost eating time.

  • 07 of 45

    Pear Salad With Walnuts and Gorgonzola

    Mixed green salad with pears, walnuts and Gorgonzola

    Thomas Barwick / Photodisc / Getty Images

    Sweet winter pears are a great flavor match for sharp and salty Gorgonzola cheese in this elegant side salad. Roasted walnut halves add the perfect crunch.

  • 08 of 45

    Spinach Soufflé

    Easy Classic French Spinach Soufflé

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

    Wow your guests with an impressive side dish that doubles as a special way to enjoy spinach. To achieve a light and airy soufflé, use room temperature eggs and fold them in gently—don't overmix.

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  • 09 of 45

    English Pea Casserole With Cornbread Crumb Topping

    English Pea Casserole With Cornbread Crumb Topping

     The Spruce

    This old-fashioned British casserole is creamy and budget friendly. Drained canned peas are layered with boiled eggs, cheddar cheese, and condensed soup under a crunchy cornbread topping to form a delectable holiday dish.

  • 10 of 45

    Traditional Chestnut Stuffing

    Chestnut stuffing recipe

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Here's a fabulous traditional chestnut stuffing for Christmas that you can bake in a casserole dish or inside a bird for a perfect side dish with turkey or chicken.

  • 11 of 45

    Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes

    Home-made potato gratin in vintage dish
    Diana Miller / Getty Images

    A well-seasoned Parmesan cheese sauce flavors this scalloped potato casserole. Russets are a great choice for this dish as their high starch content will boost the creaminess of the sauce.

  • 12 of 45

    Southern-Style Collard Greens

    collard greens with meat

    MonaMakela/Getty Images 

    A down-home Christmas calls for a side of collard greens. This recipe treats them cooks them down the traditional way, flavoring greens with smoked ham hock, onion, and red pepper flakes.

    Continue to 13 of 45 below.
  • 13 of 45

    Green Bean Salad With Clementines, Bulgur Wheat and Feta

    Green Bean Salad with Clementines, Bulgur Wheat and Feta
    Green Bean Salad with Clementines, Bulgur Wheat and Feta. Katie Workman / themom100.com

    Buying clementine oranges for Christmas stockings? Reserve a couple for this lovely salad with green beans and feta cheese. You can cook the beans and marinate them in the dressing up to two days ahead, then add the citrus and cheese just before serving.

  • 14 of 45

    Classic Leek and Potato Soup

    Leek and Potato Soup Recipe - traditional soup recipes - vichyssoise recipe
    Photo © British Leeks

    Leek and potato soup is a favorite warming bowl enjoyed in Britain at holiday time. Serve it as a first course at your traditional Christmas dinner.

  • 15 of 45

    Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

    Easy brown sugar glazed carrots

    The Spruce

    Whether you prefer ham, prime rib, or roast beef for Christmas dinner, these simply delicious brown sugar-glazed carrots make a wonderful accompaniment.

  • 16 of 45

    Skillet Green Beans and Bacon

    Easy Skillet Green Beans and Bacon

    The Spruce 

    Flavorful and fatty bacon turns this green bean skillet into a tasty and filling side dish, ideal to accompany a roasted turkey or cooked ham during your holiday celebrations.

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  • 17 of 45

    Roasted Potatoes With Bacon

    Roasted Potatoes With Bacon

    Diana Rattray


    Crispy crumbled bacon and sliced onion add flavor to these tender roasted potatoes seasoned with thyme and just a bit of olive oil. You can cut up larger potatoes or use halved baby potatoes for this recipe.

  • 18 of 45

    Creamy Boursin Spinach

    Creamy Boursin Spinach
    Creamy Boursin Spinach. Photo: Diana Rattray

    Creamed spinach tastes extra special when it's made with creamy Boursin cheese. Red onion, Parmesan, and nutmeg add festive flavor to the classic holiday side dish.

  • 19 of 45

    Cabernet Cranberry Sauce

    cranberry sauce recipes

     Ray Kachatorian/ Getty Images

    Plump juicy cranberries are spiked with red wine, cayenne, and cinnamon, then simmered with orange juice and zest to form a winning sauce you'll want to smother everything on your plate with.

  • 20 of 45

    Wilted Spinach Salad With Bacon

    spinach salad with warm bacon dressing horizontal
    Diana Rattray

    Bacon drippings wilt the spinach in this savory side salad that includes crumbled bacon pieces and red onion for festive color and great flavor.

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  • 21 of 45

    Quick Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

    Mashed maple sweet potatoes

    DronG / Getty Images

    A little maple syrup and orange juice jazz up these buttery mashed sweet potatoes that taste great alongside your holiday ham and pork dishes. Top them with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a warming fall touch.

  • 22 of 45

    Cornbread Salad With Bacon and Cheese

    Cornbread Salad
    Diana Rattray

    Southern cornbread salad is a great reason to make an extra batch of bread this Christmas. Here, it's tossed with bacon, cheddar pinto beans, and veggies in a creamy ranch dressing.

  • 23 of 45

    Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

    Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo 

    If prime rib is on the Christmas menu, these horseradish mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish. A typical recipe for mashed potatoes is turned up with the addition of grated horseradish and Greek yogurt, offering a bit of earthy heat and pleasant tang.

  • 24 of 45

    Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

    Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    The tangy, deep flavor of aged balsamic vinegar is a wonderful way to enhance roasted vegetables. This side dish pairs especially well with roasted meats.

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  • 25 of 45

    Hasselback Butternut Squash

    Hasselback Butternut Squash

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Add some color to your table with naturally sweet and buttery hasselback butternut squash. Topped with toasted walnuts, it's a simple but impressive vegetarian dish.

  • 26 of 45

    Sweet Potato Rolls

    Sweet Potato Rolls

    Diana Rattray

    Your family will devour these soft and fluffy sweet potato dinner rolls. Make and freeze them up to a month ahead and simply thaw overnight before serving.

  • 27 of 45

    Gratin Dauphinois

    Gratin dauphinois recipe

    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu

    Gratin Dauphinois is a garlicky, creamy potato dish from France. Make it with soft floury potatoes that will soak up the sauce, such as Idahoes or Russets, and serve it with your Christmas roast.

  • 28 of 45

    Cabbage With Leeks and Bacon

    Cabbage with Leeks and Bacon

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Does your Christmas dinner menu feature ham, roast beef, or corned beef? Pair it with a hearty cabbage side that's flavored with leeks and bacon to make it celebration worthy. Serve drizzled with cider vinegar to balance out the richness.

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  • 29 of 45

    Savory Spinach and Mushroom Strudel

    Spinach and mushroom strudel recipe

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

    Store-bought puff pastry is the secret to this no-fuss vegetarian strudel. The creamy filling is made with meaty mushrooms, fresh spinach, silken tofu, cream cheese, and tahini. Slice it up to enjoy as a side dish or serve whole as a meat-less entree.

  • 30 of 45

    Roasted Beet Salad With Bacon

    Beet salad with honey balsamic vinaigrette.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This red salad looks as festive as it tastes. Roast the beets a day in advance, then slice and combine with salad and dressing ingredients when ready to serve.

  • 31 of 45

    Vegan Green Bean Casserole

    Vegan green bean casserole

    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu

    It wouldn't be Christmas without a green bean casserole for many families. This recipe is saucy and creamy, but completely vegan and egg-free, so all of your guests can enjoy it, regardless of dietary preferences and needs.

  • 32 of 45

    Mushrooms Bordelaise

    Mushrooms Bordelaise

    NightAndDayImages / Getty Images

    Hearty rustic mushrooms are sauteed to perfection with butter, olive oil, garlic, and parsley in this traditional steak dinner sidekick. It tastes fantastic on the fork with roast beef or pot roast.

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  • 33 of 45

    Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

    Garlic Cauliflower
    Molly Watson

    Roasting cauliflower brings out the florets' naturally nutty flavor, enhanced in this recipe with Parmesan cheese, garlic, sea salt, and a dash of olive oil.

  • 34 of 45

    Cauliflower Cheese With Leeks

    Elaine Lemm

    This British-inspired cauliflower cheese is traditionally accompanied by roast beef. It also freezes beautifully for a great make-ahead holiday meal.

  • 35 of 45

    Roasted Turnips

    Roasted turnips

    The Spruce

    Turnips become soft and tender in this roasted vegetable side, which can be seasoned with whatever fresh herbs you like. It pairs especially well with roasted chicken or turkey.

  • 36 of 45

    Onion Cheese Mashed Potato Puffs

    Onion Cheese Mashed Potato Puffs

     Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

    These cheesy potato puffs start with an easy mash so it's a smart way to use glam up leftovers. Then, you fold in Parmesan, cheddar, and chives, drop the rounds onto a pan and bake until puffy and golden. 

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  • 37 of 45

    Fennel and Apple Salad With Honey Yogurt Dressing

    Heathy fennel and apple salad recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

    Orchard-fresh apples shine in this light and crunchy salad with a subtle licorice flavor from fennel. Save yourself some prep time by using a mandoline to julienne the ingredients.

  • 38 of 45

    Cranberry Orange Relish

    Cranberry and Orange Relish

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

    Three ingredients are all you need to this ruby red relish: fresh or frozen cranberries, a fresh orange, and sugar. Enjoy with your holiday bird.

  • 39 of 45

    Scalloped Corn Casserole

    Scalloped Corn Casserole

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Frozen or canned corn is used in this fantastic scalloped gratin. Use a colorful mix of red and green bell peppers in the casserole for an extra festive presentation.

  • 40 of 45

    Roasted Chestnut Soup

    Easy vegan roasted chestnut soup

    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak

    Chestnuts pop up at everywhere around Christmastime, making it the perfect occasion to enjoy this vegetarian and vegan recipe for traditional roasted chestnut soup.

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  • 41 of 45

    Chickpea and Brussels Sprout Salad With Tahini Dressing

    Chickpea and Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini Dressing
    Anita Schecter

    Here's a creamy, crunchy side salad that adds texture and flavor to your Christmas dinner plate. Soft, shredded brussels sprouts combine with chickpeas in a tangy lemon tahini dressing.

  • 42 of 45

    Cabbage au Gratin With Cheddar

    Cabbage au Gratin

    Brian Hagiwara/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    A cheddar cheese sauce flavored with dill, pimientos, plus a cracker crumb topping, make this cabbage casserole easy to prepare. Serve it for the holidays with a ham dinner, corned beef, or pork.

  • 43 of 45

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pears, Walnuts and Bacon

    brussels sprouts with pears, walnuts, and bacon
    Diana Rattray

    Roasting Brussels sprouts combine nicely with sweet pears and toasted walnuts in this seasonal side dish infused with balsamic vinegar.

  • 44 of 45

    Butternut Squash Ginger Soup

    Butternut Squash Ginger Soup

    Jeff Wasserman / Stocksy

    Fresh and dried ginger add a kick to this sweet and creamy squash soup. Top serving bowls with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche for a pretty presentation.

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  • 45 of 45

    Oven Roasted Chestnuts

    Roast Chestnuts in the Oven recipe

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    It wouldn't be an old-fashioned Christmas without chestnuts. These bake in your oven in about 20 minutes and make a special side dish for your table—or a fun snack as your open presents.