The entrée may get the starring role in any holiday dinner but it’s the side dishes that get us all excited. There may be one or two entrées but the variety of possible side dishes is endless. There are potato dishes, rice dishes, vegetable dishes, and stuffing. And let’s not forget the gravy and biscuits – yum!
Families all have their own traditions. The stuffing may be made of bread, rice or a combination of both. It may be simple with onions and mushrooms or jazzed up with fruit, nuts and vegan sausage. Of course, eggs are not necessary for a delicious stuffing and there are plenty of alternatives to eggs. Stuffing can be gluten-free and even grain-free. Read How to Make Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Stuffing a Success (No Eggs Required!) for everything you need to know to make the healthiest and yummiest stuffing ever!
The potatoes can be mashed, candied, white or sweet. The Brussels sprouts can be roasted while the green beans can be turned into a casserole. Even if there are traditional dishes, change it up a bit by trying new combinations or flavor profiles or making completely new dishes. How does cheesy polenta, fried smashed potatoes with lemon vinaigrette or roasted acorn squash with spiced pumpkin seeds sound? Get the recipes for these 5 Side Dishes Everyone Will Love and check out 15 Epic Christmas Sides That Are Vegan. Then take a stroll through these 30 veggie stuffings and sides that are perfect for your holiday dinner.
1. Sauteed Mushroom Farro
This simple Sauteed Mushroom Farro makes for a comforting entree or a hearty side. Sauteed mushrooms, nutty farro, and fragrant thyme all come together quickly for a healthy dish that will warm you up on a chilly day. It’s a perfect holiday side dish.
2. Chive Mustard Roasted Radishes
Serve a side dish that’s as red as Santa’s outfit with these Chive Mustard Roasted Radishes. Caramelized red radishes in a buttery sauce make this a savory side that pairs well with anything. This will really brighten up the holiday table.
3. Root Veggie Mash
Potatoes aren’t the only thing you can mash! Try a mix of root veggies like celeriac, carrots and potatoes and throw in a little pumpkin for color. This Root Veggie Mash is a wonderful little side dish that pairs well with practically anything!
4. Truffled Mushroom Risotto
Risotto is often served as a main dish but it can also be a decadent side. Whether you’re cooking for an indulgent celebratory meal or just a cozy, stay-home-in-your-PJ’s kind of night, look no further than this Truffled Mushroom Risotto. This risotto is loaded with heady and aromatic truffles and cooks up silky and divine.
5. Creamy Polenta with Baked Cherry Tomatoes and Walnut Pesto
There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl full of polenta but this Creamy Polenta with Baked Cherry Tomatoes and Walnut Pesto takes comfort food to a whole other level. The polenta is topped with juicy balsamic baked tomatoes and nutty, cheesy pesto. It’s super simple to make but it looks absolutely elegant.
6. Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberry, Apricot and Scallion
Here is a take on stuffing that doesn’t involve white bread or corn bread. This Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberry, Apricot and Scallion has healthy wild rice cooked in flavorful broth. Dried apricots and cranberries add chewiness while pecans add crunch to this yummy side dish.
7. Loaded Crispy Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado Roasted Chile Crema
These Loaded Crispy Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado Roasted Chile Crema have a lot of adjectives but we can add a few more. The sweet potatoes are warm and crispy while the avocado is creamy and spicy. Garnished with pomegranate seeds, these potatoes also look fun and festive.
8. Mushroom and Butternut Squash Millet Pilaf
This Mushroom and Butternut Squash Millet Pilaf brings together the flavors of roasted butternut squash, woody shiitake mushrooms, and fresh rosemary sprigs. This colorful and delicious dish comes together in less than 30 minutes so you have time to work on other dishes.
9. Autumn Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas
This dish of Autumn Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas is perfect for your holiday table. With the heartiness of sweet potatoes and the crunch from roasted chickpeas, the textures and flavors in this recipe are extremely comforting on their own or served over a nice bed of quinoa or rice.
10. Sweet Saffron Roasted Cauliflower and Peppers
Cauliflower gets some Spanish-inspired flair in this Sweet Saffron Roasted Cauliflower and Peppers dish. The flavorful combination of turmeric, saffron, and roasted red peppers really makes it something special. This is perfect for your holiday table!
11. Vegan Chestnut Mushroom Stuffing
This Vegan Chestnut Mushroom Stuffing has the best seasonal ingredients. Chestnuts give the stuffing richness without adding excess fat while mushrooms provide a meaty texture and depth of flavor. Whole-wheat bread and olive oil are healthy choices so you can feel good about having seconds.
12. Sweet Potato Biscuits
These Sweet Potato Biscuits are straight up amazing. They are tender, doughy, and slightly sweet. Plus they are insanely easy to whip up. Eat them hot out of the oven or use them to soak up all that holiday gravy.
13. Mashed Cauliflower
Mashed potatoes may be traditional but once you taste this Mashed Cauliflower, you’ll have a new holiday tradition. It’s healthy mashed cauliflower with garlic, leeks, and chives. This dish is delicious and since it’s much lighter than potatoes, you can have seconds.
14. Roasted Vegetables Phyllo Bundles
Roasted veggies are a favorite side dish but these Roasted Vegetables Phyllo Bundles are going to be your new favorite. These little veggie bundle of bliss are basically just little flaky bowls of roasted veggie goodness. Veggies never tasted so good.
15. Peas with Shallots, Mushrooms and Tarragon
Peas Please! These Peas with Mushrooms, Shallots and Tarragon is a wonderful side dish to share at your holiday dinner or any dinner for that matter. The fresh flavor of the green peas goes so with the buttery shallots, rich mushrooms, and peppery tarragon. So yum!
16. Vegan Wild Rice, Cranberry and Pine Nut Stuffing (Gluten-Free Option)
Even people who claim to not like stuffing will love this Vegan Wild Rice, Cranberry and Pine Nut Stuffing. It’s made with both wild rice and bread cubes so it satisfies everyone. Mushrooms add meaty flavor while pine nuts and dried cranberries add crunchy and chewy texture.
17. Jeweled Yellow Rice with Pignoli Nuts and Golden Raisins
If you’ve ever made boxed rice pilafs, don’t do that anymore! This Jeweled Yellow Rice with Pignoli Nuts and Golden Raisins is easy, fragrant and so delicious. You’ll never make boxed rice again and that’s okay, because you’re worth it.
18. Foragers Pie: Wild Mushrooms, Herb Gravy, and Sweet Potato Mash in a Flaky Spelt Crust
Sweet pies are common at holiday dinners, but how about a putting a savory pie on the menu? A savory sweet potato pie, to be exact! This Foragers Pie is filled with a creamy sweet potato mash and accompanied by wild mushrooms and a rich herb gravy. It’s a showstopper of a pie perfect for the holidays.
19. Cheesy Polenta with Creamy Artichoke Pesto
Instead of potatoes, try polenta for a change. This Cheesy Polenta with Creamy Artichoke Pesto combines all the best things in life: soft polenta, nutty pesto, and tangy artichokes. It’s a hearty and comforting side dish everyone will love.
20. Easy Roasted Sunchokes
If you’ve never tried sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes, start with these Easy Roasted Sunchokes. They taste like a cross between artichokes and potatoes. These are simply roasted to perfection with garlic, thyme, and olive oil for an easy and delicious dish.
21. Onion, Celery and Mushroom Stuffing
This Onion, Celery and Mushroom Stuffing is a simple recipe that can easily be made gluten-free if needed. This stuffing is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. It’s full of herbs and spices like sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, nutmeg, bay, and garlic so it’s stuffed with flavor.
22. Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin
Everyone loves potatoes made au gratin, but that can be heavy. This Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin is a lighter way to enjoy those same flavors and textures. They’re rich, creamy and cheesy. To make them extra-special, use purple and orange cauliflower for their bright colors!
23. Rosemary “Buttermilk” Biscuits
You can’t have a holiday table without buttermilk biscuits on it. These Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuits from Blossom Du Jour are the epitome of comfort food. There is nothing more comforting than buttermilk biscuits except knowing the biscuits are entirely dairy-free.
24. Masaledar Sem (Spicy Green Beans)
Masaledar Sem is an Indian-spiced dish perfect for changing up your usual green bean recipe. Made with chile, spices, and a ginger garlic paste. The smell alone will have everyone at the table drooling before they even taste the dish.
25. Twice-Baked Potato Bites with Creamy Chive Dip
If you’re looking for a simple side dish, look no further than these wildly simple Twice Baked Potato Bites with Creamy Chive Dip. Leave the skins on – the red is a great indicator that that’s where the nutrients live and also adds a nice bit of texture. Then dip these potatoes in the creamy chive dip and you’re in heaven.
26. Garlic and Thyme Pan-Seared Mushrooms
If you like mushrooms, you’ll love these Garlic and Thyme Pan-Seared Mushrooms. They’re simple to make and you can use any kinds of mushrooms you like – chanterelles would be extra-fancy. Just add garlic, a splash of white wine, and a generous pinch of thyme. Everyone will devour them.
27. Caramelized Leeks with Romesco Sauce
Leeks are so much more than a skinny onion that gets tossed in a soup. They can be the star of a dish like these Caramelized Leeks with Romesco Sauce. This unique, elegant and Spanish-flavored veggie side is easy to make and delicious. Leeks will never be in the shadows again.
28. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Chestnuts
The holidays are that time of year when Brussels sprouts are welcome on the table, especially when they’re roasted to perfection. These Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Chestnuts have roasted sprouts cooked in a buttery sauce and topped with chopped apples, chestnuts, and cranberries for a dish that screams Christmas.
29. Easy Roasted Root Veggies
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. These Roasted Root Veggies are easy and delicious. Choose whatever veggies you like. This recipe has pumpkin, beets, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, and onions.
30. Calcium-Packed Navy Bean Biscuits and Roasted Garlic Gravy
No holiday dinner table is complete without biscuits and gravy. These Calcium-Packed Navy Bean Biscuits and Roasted Garlic Gravy have navy beans in the two main components of this savory plate of biscuits and gravy. The roasted garlic flavor will have you pouring this gravy over everything!
The entrée is great and the soup and salad is delicious. But we all know that the side dishes are the best part of any dinner. Please pass the potatoes!
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Lead image source: Truffled Mushroom Risotto