40 Christmas Side Dishes the Whole Family Will Love

Creamed Greens Casserole
Photo: Atonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Looking for exciting side dishes to add to your holiday menu ? Forget about cooking another batch of plain vegetables. Instead, scroll through our Test Kitchen-approved collection of Christmas side dishes. Nothing can round out your holiday meal better than one (or more!) of our spectacular holiday sides.

Paired with a staple main dish , these festive and unique Christmas side dishes bring delicious variety that your holiday guests will truly appreciate. From our hearty Roasted Tomato Mac and Cheese, to our light, flavorful Christmas salad, you'll find crowd-pleasing vegetable side dishes to suit all occasions. Classic Sweet Potato Casserole will impress any holiday crowd, while Pimiento Cheese Creamed Spinach brings the heart-warming comfort that only Southern soul food can. If a plate of creamy mashed potatoes is the Christmas side dish you desire, upgrade the beloved classic with smooth buttermilk, flavorful brown butter, or rich cream cheese.

So pick one—or five—and serve them up. Only thing is, you might need bigger plates for all these delicious Christmas sides.

01 of 40

Honey-Glazed Spiced Carrots

Honey-Glazed Spiced Carrots
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Honey-Glazed Spiced Carrots

Roasting whole carrots in a hot oven and then giving them a final toss in a sweet glaze yields an unforgettable side dish. Look for multicolored carrots for a stunning presentation. If you can't find them at the supermarket, try a local farmers' market.

02 of 40

Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

garlic parmesan green beans
Photographer: Isaac Nunn, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Recipe: Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

What's not to love about a dish covered in garlic and Parmesan? Nothing, in our opinion, but don't fret: The fresh green beans are not lost in this dressed-up recipe.

03 of 40

Herbed Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

Lisa's Herbed Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Herbed Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

Everyone loves the simplicity of mashed potatoes, so make it a tradition to always have some on your holiday table. Crafting delicious mashed potatoes is not easy, but this recipe shows you how it's done. It also brings the rich flavor of browned butter—those nutty taste you simply can't get any other way!

04 of 40

Roasted Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

Roasted Tomato Macaroni and Cheese
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Roasted Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

This homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe beats the boxed kind any day of the week. For a memorable main dish, sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese and stunning, sliced tomatoes.

05 of 40

Pimiento Cheese Creamed Spinach

Pimiento Cheese Creamed Spinach
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Recipe: Pimiento Cheese Creamed Spinach

Give spinach a decidedly Southern spin in the form of casserole. This dish is made with some of the region's favorite ingredients (like mayo, cream cheese, and Cheddar cheese), and, yes, it oozes with pimiento cheese goodness.

06 of 40

Mixed Greens

Jessica’s Mixed Greens
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Mixed Greens

This recipe comes from culinary historian Jessica B. Harris. The secret ingredients? Southern-style collard greens, bacon, and Spicy Vinegar .

07 of 40

Harvard Beets

Jessica’s Harvard Beets
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Harvard Beets

Another dish from the kitchen of Jessica B. Harris, this recipe is a must-have during the holiday season. She calls it "nostalgia in a can," and we can't describe it any better way.

08 of 40

Roasted Tomato Soup

Roasted Tomato-Cheddar Soup
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos

Recipe: Roasted Tomato Soup

As the temperatures drop, there's no dish as comforting as a warm bowl of soup. Kids and adults alike will love this classic, cheese-topped recipe. Plus, the dynamic red color makes it an especially appropriate addition to Christmas lunch or dinner.

09 of 40

Smashed Baby Red Potatoes

Smashed Baby Red Potatoes
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Smashed Baby Red Potatoes

Round out your meal with a hearty serving of red potatoes. This simple recipe pairs well with a simple menu made up of any vegetable of your choosing and a cut of red meat like beef tenderloin or steak.

10 of 40

Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal

Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal Recipe
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Pan-Fried Okra with Cornmeal

Fried okra is a side dish beloved by Southerners. Elevate this favorite for the holiday season by going with a lighter cornmeal coating.

11 of 40

Classic Candied Yams

Classic Candied Yams
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Classic Candied Yams

This vegetable side dish is flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, making it almost too sweet (and delicious!) to even count as a veggie. No doubt, the kids will be fans of this nostalgic recipe.

12 of 40

Creamed Greens Casserole

Creamed Greens Casserole
Atonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Creamed Greens Casserole

Move over, creamed spinach—there's a new steak house side in town. Give the packaged collards an extra chop with a sharp knife to get them to bite-size pieces.

13 of 40

Sweet Potato Stacks

Sweet Potato Stacks
Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch

Recipe: Sweet Potato Stacks

For a sophisticated twist on sweet potatoes, consider lining slices up in small sweet potato stacks. Trust us: These little towers, topped with rosemary and pecans, taste as pretty as they look.

14 of 40

Easy Squash Casserole

Squash Casserole
Aaron Kirk; Prop Styling: Sarah-Elizabeth Cleveland; Food Styling: Julia Levy

Recipe: Easy Squash Casserole

Two words that can sell a Southerner on basically any dish? "Easy" and "casserole." This recipe delivers on both, coming together in just 30 minutes.

15 of 40

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
Emily Laurae/Southern Living

Recipe: Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

This mouthwatering sweet potato casserole will satisfy lovers of crunchy pecans and cornflakes as well as marshmallows.

16 of 40

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Twice-Baked Potatoes

This recipe is a sure crowd-pleaser made with butter, cheese, milk, bacon, sour cream, and green onion, all mixed together and packed inside a crispy crust. Yum!

17 of 40

Asparagus Gratin

Asparagus Gratin
Photography and Styling: Karen Rankin

Recipe: Asparagus Gratin

Whole-grain mustard laced with fontina and Cheddar cheese turns a simple dish of asparagus into company fare.

18 of 40

Potato Gratin with Rosemary Crust

Potato Gratin with Rosemary Crust, christmas recipes
Jennifer Davick

Recipe : Potato Gratin with Rosemary Crust

This gratin is awesome with prime rib or beef tenderloin. Rosemary is a bossy herb that can take over a dish, so use it sparingly.

19 of 40

Andrew's Potato Latkes

Andrew’s Potato Latkes
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell

Recipe: Andrew's Potato Latkes

These potato pancakes are a classic Hanukkah dish. Make a variety of flavors and add distinctive garnishes to clue guests in on the different flavors.

20 of 40

Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey

Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey

Use any combination of citrus on hand to compose this vibrant, fresh salad, and present it however you like. No matter how you serve it, sweet and sunny citrus complements any roast or fish.

21 of 40

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Creamed Spinach

It's not hard to eat your greens when they're dressed up in butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Such is the case with this crowd-pleasing recipe.

22 of 40

Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Buttery Chive-and-Mustard Drop Biscuits
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos

Recipe: Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits deserve a spot on any Southern table, but especially so at the holidays. This recipe calls for fresh chives and Parmesan.

23 of 40

Skillet-Roasted Carrots

Skillet-Roasted Carrots
Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Christina Daley

Recipe: Skillet-Roasted Carrots

Looking for an easy side that can be made in a single skillet? Whip this recipe right up! Tip: It's made even better (and more beautiful) with a multi-colored bunch of carrots.

24 of 40

Smoked Corn on the Cob

Smoked Corn on the Cob
Photographer: Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Smoked Corn on the Cob

Corn is a vegetable that is welcome at any holiday gathering, from a Memorial Day barbecue to Christmas dinner. This recipe is smoked on the grill and topped with jalapeño chile and cilantro.

25 of 40

Hasselback Sweet Potato Casserole

Hasselback Sweet Potato Casserole
Photo: Linda Pugliese; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Hasselback Sweet Potato Casserole

Potato casserole, but make it fancy. Thinly sliced potatoes make for an impressive presentation, while the filling—made of heavy cream, brown sugar, hazelnuts and butter—adds extra layers of deliciousness.

26 of 40

Roasted Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

Roasted Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Roasted Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

Roasted broccoli and macaroni and cheese are two sides that are often served at large gatherings, and this recipe marries the two. The result? A delicious, cheesy way to eat your greens—and enjoy them too.

27 of 40

Potato Rolls

Potato Rolls
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck

Recipe: Potato Rolls

Turn one russet potato into a basket of delicious potato rolls that can be passed around the table. This recipe makes two dozen!

28 of 40

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Diana Miller

Recipe: Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Making perfect mashed potatoes is not as easy as it sounds, so this recipe is designed to get you spuds from whole to whipped in a jiffy, and to get your family from skeptical to enjoying scrumptious mashed potatoes. The secret here is the cream cheese.

29 of 40

Christmas Salad

Christmas Salad
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Christmas Salad

A warm vinaigrette will soften these sturdy greens, but their structure will hold up for up to an hour or two. Prep all the ingredients ahead of time, and store in individual zip-top plastic freezer bags in your refrigerator until ready to toss with warm vinaigrette.

30 of 40

Potatoes Patio

Pecan-and-Dill-Crusted Salmon
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Potatoes Patio

A mixture of Gruyère and Parmesan cheese makes this luxurious baked dish all the more delicious.

31 of 40

Browned-Butter Farro

Browned-Butter Farro
Alison Miksch; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Recipe: Browned-Butter Farro

Farro is an ancient form of wheat that has seen a resurgence in recent years. This toasted farro recipe is made surprisingly flavorful with the addition of browned butter.

32 of 40

Creamy Parmesan Grits

Creamy Parmesan Grits
Photo: Alison Miksch

Recipe: Creamy Parmesan Grits

Cheese grits? Yes, please. Look for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which adds nutty flavor and an earthy depth to the grits.

33 of 40

Home-Style Butterbeans

Home-Style Butterbeans
William Dickey

Recipe: Home-Style Butterbeans

Bacon, onion, and brown sugar pack these beans with holiday flavor. This recipe calls for butterbeans, but lima beans can easily be swapped in too.

34 of 40

Fennel-and-Potato Gratin

Fennel-and-Potato Gratin
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Fennel-and-Potato Gratin

This cheesy potato gratin gets a punch of flavor from nutmeg and fennel. It's impressive enough for a holiday party, but easy enough to put together on a busy weeknight.

35 of 40

Sweet Potato Soup

Simple Suppers Challenge: Sweet Potato Soup
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Sweet Potato Soup

This batch-soup recipe can be made the day before. Simply complete the first two steps, then reheat and stir in the lime juice before serving.

36 of 40

Herbed Wild Rice Dressing

Thanksgiving Classic Bread Dressing Recipe

Recipe: Herbed Wild Rice Dressing

For this earthy salad, make sure to use wild rice, not a blend, to get a nice chewy texture.

37 of 40

Two-Cheese Squash Casserole

Two-Cheese Squash Casserole
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Two-Cheese Squash Casserole

Cheddar and Parmesan combine forces with yellow squash in this creamy casserole. For a tasty and colorful twist, substitute sliced zucchini for the yellow squash.

38 of 40

Green Beans with Garlic

Green Beans with Garlic
Photo: Jim Franco; Styling: Leslie Siegel

Recipe: Green Beans with Garlic

Sauté fresh garlic to jazz up this simple yet delicious side dish.

39 of 40

Hurry-Up Homemade Crescent Rolls

50 Best Thanksgiving Homemade Crescent Rolls
Beau Gustafson

Recipe: Hurry-Up Homemade Crescent Rolls

This from-scratch recipe is suited for any level of cook—even first timers.

40 of 40

Butternut Squash Bread Pudding

Butternut Squash Bread Pudding
Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch

Recipe: Butternut Squash Bread Pudding

Serve this savory bread pudding in slices as a side dish, or dump it in the middle of the breakfast table as a serve-yourself casserole. Either way, guests will no doubt be coming around for seconds.

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