Save on Pinterest

35 Healthy Christmas Side Dishes

Whether you're entertaining the whole family or just hosting a small get-together this year, these healthy Christmas side dishes will be a hit with everyone.

1 / 35

Brussels Sprouts & Quinoa Salad

With Brussels sprouts for the green and cranberries for the red, I make a cheery Christmastime salad. Refreshing and versatile, it works with any kind of nut or dried fruit. —Cameron Stell, Los Angeles, California
2 / 35
Crunchy Apple Mixed Greens Salad Exps92077 Baftb2307047b03 02 12bc Rms 3

Crunchy Apple Mixed Greens Salad

Whenever our staff celebrates a birthday or a special occasion, "Mary's Apple Salad" is always at the top of the wish list! The ingredients can also be prepared the day before and put together in a flash for our teachers' 20 minute lunch time.—Mary Robertson, Louisville, Kentucky
3 / 35

Avocado & Garbanzo Bean Quinoa Salad

This delicious quinoa avocado salad is high in protein and holds well in the fridge for a few days. If you make it ahead, add avocados and tomatoes right before serving. —Elizabeth Bennett, Seattle, Washington
4 / 35
Thyme Roasted Vegetables Exps173414 Th133086b07 18 3bc Rms 2

Thyme-Roasted Vegetables

The smell of our house as this is baking calls everyone to dinner. Normally, it serves eight, but my husband’s been known to have more than just one serving at a time. It’s that good.—Jasmine Rose, Crystal Lake, Illinois
5 / 35
Perfect Winter Salad Exps Hc17 42750 D01 20 7b 4

Perfect Winter Salad

This is my most-requested salad recipe. Serve it as a side salad along with your holiday meal, or enjoy it for lunch the next day with cubed turkey or chicken on top. —DeNae Shewmake, Burnsville, Minnesota
6 / 35

Deluxe German Potato Salad

I make this salad for all occasions—it goes well with any kind of meat. I often take this salad to potlucks, and there’s never any left over. The celery, carrots and dry mustard are a special touch not usually found in traditional German potato salad. —Betty Perkins, Hot Springs, Arkansas
7 / 35
Parmesan Roasted Broccoli Exps Sdfm17 198956 B10 04 3b 12

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Sure, it’s simple and healthy but, oh, is this roasted broccoli delicious. Cutting the stalks into tall “trees” turns an ordinary veggie into a standout side dish. —Holly Sander, Lake Mary, Florida
8 / 35
Holiday Lettuce Salad Exps41195 Cw132792b07 09 6bc Rms 4

Holiday Lettuce Salad

Light with a hint of sweetness, this lettuce salad recipe will make everyone excited to eat their fruits and vegetables. —Bryan Braack, Eldridge, Iowa
9 / 35
Roasted Radishes Exps Cwam17 41146 C12 14 3b Basedon 2

Air-Fried Radishes

Radishes aren’t just for salads anymore. These fried radishes make a colorful side for any meal. Plus, they’re quick to make in your air fryer. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
10 / 35

Roasted Carrots with Cilantro-Walnut Pesto

Lightly baked and lightly flavored, this carrot dish uses cilantro, walnuts, olive oil, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese and basil. —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho
11 / 35
Honeydew Prosciutto Salad Exps Jmz18 152605 B03 01 4b 2

Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad

For parties, I turn melon and prosciutto into an easy salad with a honey mustard dressing. To add zip, stir in fresh basil and mint. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington
12 / 35
Easy Grilled Squash Exps Sdon18 132599 C06 14 2b 3

Easy Grilled Squash

This is grilled butternut squash recipe is one of my favorite ways to cook with fresh produce. I usually make it when I am grilling steak or chicken. —Esther Horst, Monterey, Tennessee
13 / 35

Roasted Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Beets, oranges and spinach sprinkled with goat cheese make a scrumptious new blend for a mixed green salad. The combination may seem unlikely, but I guarantee it will become a favorite. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
14 / 35
Exps194616 Th163621c02 17 6b 2

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

We owned an organic greenhouse and business that included classes. I had 100 tomato varieties to work with, so I started oven-drying them and taught my students, too. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
15 / 35
Pomegranate Persimmon Salad Exps Sdon16 189816 C06 07 8b 2

Pomegranate Persimmon Salad

To bring some sunshine to the table, I toss up a bright salad of persimmons and pomegranate seeds, dressed with a puckery vinaigrette. —Linda Tambunan, Dublin, California
16 / 35

Ramen Noodle Salad

With added crunch from ramen noodles and sunflower seeds, plus a sweet, glossy dressing, this lively salad is a definite crowd-pleaser! —Beverly Sprague, Baltimore, Maryland
17 / 35

Pear & Pecan Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

A tart cranberry dressing balances beautifully with sweet, juicy pears in this salad that’s easy to make and sure to impress. This recipe is light on carbs and quick to make—and it’s oh so good! —Jerry Gulley, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
18 / 35
Exps78568 Bhr143425d05 20 4b 1

Great Grain Salad

I can’t think of a better dish to round out a meal. My grain salad features all my favorite nuts, seeds and fruits. Try adding grilled chicken to make it a meal on its own. —Rachel Dueker, Gervais, Oregon
19 / 35

Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad

If you want something new to try for your Thanksgiving menu, toss this salad together. Fresh spinach leaves are tossed with toasted almonds and dried cranberries and drizzled with poppy seed dressing. It’s likely to become a holiday tradition at your house, too. —Michelle Krzmarzick Torrance, California
20 / 35
Fresh Broccoli Salad With Lemon Exps67053 Th143192b02 05 7bc Rms 2

Fresh Broccoli Salad with Lemon

The slightly sweet flavor of this salad's dressing is a great contrast to the rich bacon. You can substitute cauliflower for the broccoli if you prefer. —Janet Roth, Tempe, Arizona
21 / 35
Roasted Apple Salad With Spicy Maple Cider Vinaigrette Exps Mcmz16 177878 B07 12 1b 8

Roasted Apple Salad with Spicy Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

We bought loads of apples and needed to use them. To help the flavors come alive, I roasted the apples and tossed them with a sweet dressing. —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina
22 / 35
Cranberry Pecan Wheat Berry Salad Exps Thfm17 134896 B09 22 3b 1

Cranberry-Pecan Wheat Berry Salad

I love to experiment with different grains and wanted to give wheat berries a try. My whole family goes nuts for this salad, especially my mom. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York
23 / 35

Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

This salad is a simple and delicious way to eat your superfoods! It gets even better in the fridge, so I make it ahead. I use my homemade honey mustard dressing, but any type works just fine. —Alexandra Weisser, New York, New York
24 / 35
Orzo Vegetable Salad Exps48575 Cw1996974b01 27 3bc Rms 2

Orzo Vegetable Salad

Heading to a potluck and need something to share? Tangy lemon dressing over cool orzo and vegetables is everything you want in a light side dish. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
25 / 35

Hungarian-Style Green Beans

A vacation to Hungary inspired this flavorful side of green beans with paprika and mushrooms. Being a vegetarian, I welcome these tasty ideas. —Sherry Johnston, Green Cove Springs, Florida
26 / 35
Exps100714 Sd153320c12 04 6b 4

Bow Tie & Spinach Salad

With pasta salads, it’s easy to change up ingredients. We like to add grilled chicken and pine nuts, and sometimes we substitute black beans for the chickpeas. —Julie Kirkpatrick, Billings, Montana
27 / 35
Steakhouse Mushrooms Exps45635 Th2379806c09 07 2bc Rms 5

Steakhouse Mushrooms

I got this recipe from a friend back when we were in nursing school. Whenever my husband is cooking meat on the grill, you can bet I'll be in the kitchen preparing these mushrooms. —Kenda Burgett, Rattan, Oklahoma
28 / 35
Perfect Winter Salad Exps Hc17 42750 D01 20 7b 4

Perfect Winter Salad

This is my most-requested salad recipe. Serve it as a side salad along with your holiday meal, or enjoy it for lunch the next day with cubed turkey or chicken on top. —DeNae Shewmake, Burnsville, Minnesota
29 / 35
Honey Thyme Butternut Squash Exps Hrbz16 50049 D09 08 1b 2

Honey-Thyme Butternut Squash

This golden, honey-sweetened squash is just as hearty and comforting as your favorite potato dish. With its bright color, it makes an attractive side for special autumn meals. —Bianca Noiseux, Bristol, Connecticut
30 / 35
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower Exps Sdon16 33678 B06 07 1b 2

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

I order cauliflower mash every time we visit our favorite restaurant. Lucky us; one night, I figured out how to make it at home. It was so easy! —Jean Keiser, West Chester, Pennsylvania
31 / 35
Cran Orange Couscous Salad Exps Thjj18 212801 C01 30 5b 10

Cran-Orange Couscous Salad

I often create salads for summer using a variety of healthy, filling grains. This version with tender couscous is amped up by the bright flavors of oranges, cranberries, basil and a touch of fennel. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York
32 / 35

Eggplant Fries

My kids love this snack—and I like that it’s healthy. Coated with Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt, these veggie sticks are broiled, not fried, so there’s no guilt when you crunch into them. —Mary Murphy, Atwater, California
33 / 35
Honey Garlic Green Beans Exps Thn16 194838 06b 23 4b 5

Honey Garlic Green Beans

Green beans are great, but they can seem ordinary on their own. Just a couple extra ingredients give them sweet and salty attitude. This is definitely my family’s favorite way to enjoy them. —Shannon Dobos, Calgary, Alberta
34 / 35
Cranberry-Walnut Sweet Potatoes

Cranberry-Walnut Sweet Potatoes

If you ask me, the best part of a holiday dinner is the sweet potatoes! You can make the sauce up to a day ahead—just leave out the walnuts until you’re ready to serve. —Mary Wilhelm, Sparta, Wisconsin
35 / 35

Crispy Seasoned Polenta Squares

Crisp polenta squares make a delightful side for a variety of main dishes. Sun-dried tomatoes and just the right amount of seasoning make them seem special…a dollop of sour cream adds the finishing touch! Shelly Fisher – Hermiston, Oregon

Christina Manian, RDN
Christina Manian is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist based out of Boulder, Colorado. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, she has been involved with the nutrition departments of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Mass General Hospital. She completed her nutrition education at the Mayo Clinic with a focus on medical nutrition therapy and most recently practiced clinical nutrition at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. While her background has largely been in the clinical setting, Christina embraces and is shifting her focus towards wellness nutrition as the backbone to optimum health.

Newsletter Unit

CMU Unit

cover
Subscribe & SAVE Save Up To 80%!