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Must-Make Holiday Sides

Created December 5, 2019
We predict these Christmas dinner sides will be the first to go when everyone gathers around the table this year!
If your Christmas main is one of the big three—ham, turkey or roast beef—chances are it’s a family favorite that remains the same year after year. The good news about that is you can pour all your creative efforts into the sides. Whether you’re looking for kitchen-tested classic dishes, twists on those traditional dishes or something completely new and different, we’ve got all the recipes you need to round out your menu among these perfect side dishes for Christmas dinner.

If you’re excited but a little overwhelmed, we can relate. The framework below can help you narrow down your list to the recipes that’ll play nicely together.

  • 1-2 make-ahead dishes will make your life much easier. Mashed potatoes are a good option, because they take a little while to make, so they’re nice to check off the list early. Also, their flavor won’t suffer from a night spent in the fridge. The same goes for root vegetable purees.
  • 1 dish that can easily be prepped ahead and assembled at the last minute will keep you feeling calm and in control. Think about green salads, slaws and homemade rolls here. Often dough can often be made ahead and then shaped and baked at the last minute.
  • 1-2 dishes that don’t take a lot of time, like 30 minutes or less, so you can leave them until the last minute. Consider the classics here, green bean casserole, candied sweet potatoes, homemade gravy, creamed spinach and biscuits are all good candidates here.
  • 1 extra special dish that you’re truly excited to make, even if it is a little involved, is a must on any Christmas menu. Having a dish like this lets you stretch your creativity, show off your cooking skills and keeps your ambition in check. What we mean by that last point is that you’ll be less tempted to take on any unnecessarily complicated versions of the other side, if you have this star side to focus on.

If you’re starting to ask yourself exactly how many side dishes are necessary, we’ve got the answer. Find it in our article, All the Secrets to Simplify Hosting.

Now, it’s time to tackle the rest of the Christmas menu.