10 Of the best Christmas side dishes

Karen Burns-Booth

​As well as the main show stopper—whether it is a golden roast turkey, fragrant roast goose or an aromatic vegetarian pie stuffed with nuts and herbs—the side dishes are just as tasty and important for Christmas dinner. Here we have ten delicious accompaniments to make your Christmas dinner even better.

1. No-fuss honey-roasted parsnips

Image via A Glug of Oil

With these tasty honey basted parsnips, there’s no need to mess about with parboiling as they cook up nicely without all that fuss. A perfect side dish for Christmas or Thanksgiving—and anything that is no-fuss is a boon for busy cooks!

Get the recipe for no-fuss honey-roasted parsnips

Get more vegetable recipes here


2. Savoury sausage and sage baked apples

Image via Lavender and Lovage

How about these delectable-looking sausage stuffed apples to accompany your goose or roast pork? Plump Bramley apples are stuffed with a home-made sausage and sage stuffing mixture, making a lovely meal or imaginative accompaniment for the Christmas dinner table.

Get the recipe for savoury sausage and sage baked apples

Get more apple recipes here


3. Crispy coated roast potatoes

Image via Fab Food 4 All

Every Christmas dinner—whether meat-based or vegetarian—needs roast spuds, and these look amazing! These are also suitable for vegans, as they are cooked in olive oil with a savoury semolina crust for extra crunchiness.

Get the recipe for crispy coated roast potatoes

Get more potato recipes here


4. Braised red cabbage with star anise

Image via Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary

We love spiced red cabbage with our festive fare and this recipe looks amazing. Again, it would be the perfect side for any Christmas dinner. The secret to a good braised red cabbage is slow cooking, with carefully selected spices.

Get the recipe for braised red cabbage with star anise


5. Roasted “Tartan Veggies” with smoked sea salt, honey and thyme

Image via Lavender and Lovage

Here’s another easy, seasonal dish that incorporates carrots, parsnips, potatoes and beetroot—they are all roasted together in a honey and thyme dressing with a bit of smoked sea salt for good measure. This “chuck it all in” roast vegetable medley looks wonderful, however, which belies its easy cooking method.

Get the recipe for roasted “Tartan Veggies” with smoked sea salt, honey and thyme


6. Lentil and Brazil nut roast with sage and onion stuffing and red wine gravy

Image via Tin and Thyme

Nut roasts have had bad press over the last few years, but here’s one that is packed with pulses and nuts and is served with red wine gravy – good enough to accompany any vegetarian Christmas dinner, or as a main veggie meal.

Get the recipe for lentil and Brazil nut roast with sage and onion stuffing and red wine gravy


7. Roasted Brussel sprouts with goat’s cheese, lemon and walnuts

Image via Amuse Your Bouche

I defy all sprouts haters to try this imaginative and tasty-sounding side dish this festive season! Something magical happens when you roast sprouts; their watery texture is replaced by al dente centres, caramelised edges, and... a fabulous flavour!

Get the recipe for roasted Brussel sprouts with goat’s cheese, lemon and walnuts

Learn more about cooking Brussel sprouts here


8. My mother’s bread sauce

Image via Nigella

This fabulous bread sauce from Nigella Lawson is her mother’s tried-and-tested recipe. She says you can’t have Christmas lunch without bread sauce—just the smell of the milk, infusing on the hob and giving off that familiar scent of onion, mace, bay and clove, lets you know it is Christmas!

Get the recipe for my mother’s bread sauce


9. Christmas sausage, sage and bacon stuffing loaf

Image via Lavender and Lovage

Every Christmas lunch needs a moist, fruity stuffing with herbs, sausage, bacon and loads of onions, and this recipe delivers all of that and more! Succulent locally reared pork sausages are studded with cranberries, mixed with breadcrumbs, fried onions and sage before being wrapped in bacon to make the most scrumptious stuffing you'll ever taste.

Get the recipe for Christmas sausage, sage and bacon stuffing loaf


10. Tom Kerridge’s amazing Christmas carrots

Image via Mustard with Mutton

I have made these carrots before and I agree that they are amazing! This dish is a little more time-consuming than most side dishes, with the carrots braising for a good 45 minutes in a rich, buttery, star-anise flavoured sauce. The long cooking time allows the carrots to soak up all the flavour from the liquid to become incredibly tender.

Get the recipe for Tom Kerridge’s amazing Christmas carrots

Find another carrot recipe here


Karen Burns-Booth is a freelance recipe developer, food and travel writer and is a member if the Guild of Food Writers. She writes for her own blog Lavender and Lovage.

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