christmas

114 Festive Christmas Sides to Serve with Your Holiday Dinner

updated Dec 1, 2023
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Finished tatriflette on large circular plate with metal spoon in it and serving dishes near it.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling; Cyd McDowell

The stakes have a way of getting a little higher when you’re cooking a holiday dinner — especially when it comes to sides. No matter what else you’re serving, the sides are inevitably the star of the table.

When narrowing down the options, you want dishes that pair well with the main course and are a little more special than what you’d make for a weeknight meal, without being so complicated they dominate your day. Luckily that’s what we’re good at.

From potato dishes and casseroles to salads and rolls, we rounded up more than 100 of our Christmas side dishes that are easy, impressive, and partner well with a variety of Christmas dinner mains. Whether you’re serving a roast, a ham, or even a Christmas goose, these sides will be right at home.

Potato Dishes

Potatoes have a magical way of pairing perfectly with whatever you serve, whether they’re mashed or roasted.

1 / 19
Brown Butter Miso Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Mixed with nutty brown butter and deeply savory miso paste, these fluffy potatoes will be the Thanksgiving MVP.
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2 / 19
French Onion Mashed Potatoes
Stir onion soup mix and sour cream into mashed potatoes for an easy side dish that will outshine the main course.
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3 / 19
Garlic Confit Mashed Potatoes
Garlic confit improves just about everything, including these buttery mashed potatoes.
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4 / 19
Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Cream cheese upgrades classic mashed potatoes into the creamiest, dreamiest side.
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5 / 19
Garlicky Parmesan Sweet Potatoes
Thick chunks of sweet potato are roasted, then dusted with a snowy layer of nutty Parmesan cheese that crisps up under the broiler.
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6 / 19
Crispy Salt & Vinegar Fingerling Potatoes
We decided to translate our favorite potato chip into a hearty snack. The saltiness against the acidity of the vinegar makes them wildly addicting and kicks back so much flavor in every bite.
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7 / 19
Garlic Parmesan Fries
You can have all the flavor-packed goodness of restaurant-style garlic Parmesan fries at home with this recipe.
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8 / 19
Sour Cream Smashed Potatoes with Fried Shallots
Inspired by potato stuffed pierogi, these sour cream and onion mashed potatoes deserve a spot at your Thanksgiving table.
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9 / 19
3-Ingredient Roasted Dijon Potatoes
Not only do these potatoes have the ultra-crispy, crackly edges you love, but they also have a little added tang and go with everything.
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10 / 19
Slow Cooker Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Smooth, creamy, buttery garlic mashed potatoes in the slow cooker.
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11 / 19
Butter-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
You’ve had roasted sweet potatoes before, so you’ve had them all, right? We used to think the exact same thing until we learned a technique for butter-roasting thick slices of sweet potato until they turned from hard tubers to almost butter themselves.
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12 / 19
Oven-Baked Potatoes
A guide to making an absolutely perfect baked potato every time, from choosing the right type of potato to how long to bake it for.
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13 / 19
Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
Roasted potatoes tossed with rosemary is a classic combination that we will never, ever get tired of eating. The real key is roasting the potatoes past mere tenderness and all the way until they’ve turned golden and crispy on the outside.
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14 / 19
The Best Twice-Baked Potato
These twice-baked potatoes deliver crispy skin plus a velvety, ultra-rich filling. Together they create a twice-baked potato powerful enough to steal the spotlight on your plate, and reminiscent of something you’d order at a fancy steakhouse.
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15 / 19
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
We really enjoy these Hasselback sweet potatoes for their simplicity and ease. (Once you get good at the cutting, that is.)
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16 / 19
Lyonnaise Potatoes
Thinly-sliced potatoes are cooked until tender, with buttery, crisp edges, then tossed with rich strands of caramelized onions.
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17 / 19
Classic Latkes: The Easiest, Simplest Method
The most important element of latkes, symbolically and culinarily, might not be the type of potatoes or which binder you choose. It's all about oil you use to fry them.
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18 / 19
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Mash tender Yukon Gold or russet potatoes with garlic-infused milk and melted butter for the creamiest garlic mashed potatoes.
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19 / 19
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
An easy, step-by-step guide to making creamy mashed sweet potatoes sweetened with maple syrup.
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Brussels Sprout Sides

What began as a trend a few years ago is now definitely here to stay. Crispy, caramelized Brussels sprouts are a cold weather classic.

1 / 10
Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Take roasted Brussels sprouts to a whole new level with smoky bacon and a glaze of maple syrup.
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2 / 10
Fish Sauce Caramel Brussels Sprouts
Upgrade sauteed Brussels sprouts with salty-sweet fish sauce caramel for the perfect side dish.
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3 / 10
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Classic roasted Brussels sprouts are kicked up a notch with a sprinkling of Parmesan, a squeeze of lemon juice, and crunchy bites of bacon.
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4 / 10
Brussels Sprout Casserole
This easy Brussels sprout casserole is loaded with bacon and lots of melted cheese, and comes together in a single skillet.
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5 / 10
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
High heat is the key to the perfect roasted brussels sprouts.
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6 / 10
Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Honey
These easy roasted Brussels sprouts tossed in a sweet and savory honey-balsamic glaze are the perfect holiday side dish.
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7 / 10
Stovetop Brussels Sprouts Hash with Crispy Sage and Walnuts
Sliced into thin ribbons and sautéed with butter, onions, and pancetta, these deluxe Brussels sprouts get dressed up even further with a topping of butter-browned walnuts and crispy fried sage. Yes, please!
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8 / 10
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Garlic
Take your standard roasted Brussels sprouts routine (olive oil, salt, pepper) from good to memorable by adding two ingredients you probably already have around: lemon and garlic.
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9 / 10
Hot Honey Brussels Sprouts
Thanks to a preheated baking sheet and the addition of honey, these brussels sprouts are extra caramelized and extra crispy.
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10 / 10
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan
Halfway through roasting Brussels sprouts how you normally would — high heat and on a preheated baking sheet for optimal caramelization — you’ll shower the pan with a whole cup of Parmesan cheese.
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Leafy Green Sides

Greens like spinach and kale have a lot of potential at the holiday table. They can be dressed up or down depending on your spread and they always go over well.

1 / 9
Creamed Spinach
Tender baby spinach, mixed in a flavorful cream sauce, makes one of the best and easiest side dishes for holiday dinners.
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2 / 9
Smoked Turkey Neck Collard Greens
Smoked turkey neck adds an extra layer of flavor to this comforting collard greens recipe.
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3 / 9
Sauteed Mustard Greens
This quick and easy method results in garlicky, perfectly sautéed greens ever time.
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4 / 9
Easy Lemon-Ginger Spinach
Not only is this easy weeknight side packed with light, refreshing flavors from lemon and ginger, but it also goes with everything.
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5 / 9
Creamy Spinach with Dill
Less creamy than creamed spinach but just as luxurious, this is the simple holiday side you need.
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6 / 9
Braised Bacon and Kale
Slow-cooking kale with chicken broth, onion, garlic, and smoky bacon means the kale gets tender and you’re left with a flavorful broth. This is a side that's good enough to serve at any holiday.
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7 / 9
Easy Skillet Kale with Lemon & Garlic
You can't go wrong with this sautéed kale flavored with lots of lemon and garlic.
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8 / 9
Roasted Cabbage with Bacon
Roasted cabbage wedges are one of the easiest, most delicious ways to eat a hunk of vegetables for dinner, and the bacon just helps it along.
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9 / 9
Roasted Cabbage with Mustard Vinaigrette
Turning a humble cabbage into a delicious side dish is as easy as a hot oven and a tangy six-ingredient vinaigrette.
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Green Bean and Broccoli Sides

If you’re looking for other green vegetable sides, you can never go wrong with green beans or broccoli, no matter if you sauté or roast them.

1 / 20
Sautéed Green Beans with Toasted Charleston Benne Seeds
Toasted Charleston benne seeds redefine this classic holiday side dish.
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2 / 20
Blistered Green Beans with Pickled Shallots and Toasted Breadcrumbs
Fresh green beans are stir-fried until blistered, then tossed with tangy pickled shallots and topped with crunchy, salty breadcrumbs.
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3 / 20
Stovetop Steam-Fried Green Beans and Mushrooms
Green beans are a tried and true side dish staple. Try a new method this year and steam-fry your green beans with shallots and mushrooms. Simple but unexpected, it’s a vegetable dish that will please even the pickiest of eaters.
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4 / 20
Perfect Green Beans
For perfectly cooked green beans that are flavorful, crisp, and tender, you have to employ a quick two-step technique. Here's how to do it.
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5 / 20
Lemony Green Beans With Almond Breadcrumbs
Here’s a green bean casserole alternative that’s fresh, zippy, and a nice counterpoint to all the other rich foods on the holiday table. (It’s also vegan-friendly!)
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6 / 20
Caesar Roasted Broccoli Recipe
Toss roasted broccoli with Caesar dressing, then shower it with toasted breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese for the ultimate side dish.
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7 / 20
Cacio e Pepe Broccoli
The beloved pasta meets roasted broccoli florets in this place, feel-good side dish.
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8 / 20
10-Minute Miso Broccolini
Broccolini has long, tender, and very edible stalks topped with a cluster of florets. Its flavor is much less bitter than regular broccoli; its earthiness and sweet, grassy flavor makes it an ideal candidate for getting tossed with savory, umami-rich miso paste.
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9 / 20
Garlicky Roasted Broccoli
This broccoli takes just a few minutes to throw into the oven and emerges toasty around the edges and garlicky and a little spicy.
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10 / 20
Roasted Green Beans with Harissa
Just a couple teaspoons of harissa elevate these simple green beans by adding bright flavors and a touch of heat that kicks in a few seconds after each bite.
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11 / 20
Air Fryer Broccoli
Air-fry slender stalks of broccoli for a tender and crispy-tipped side dish to serve all year long.
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12 / 20
Roasted Broccolini
An easy yet rewarding recipe for crispy-edged Broccolini roasted in the oven.
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13 / 20
Cheesy Broccoli
Broccoli tossed with a creamy cheddar cheese sauce is an easy side dish the whole family will love.
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14 / 20
Air Fryer Green Beans
Here's how to cook blistered, crisp-tender green beans (fresh or frozen!) in an air fryer.
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15 / 20
Roasted Green Beans
Roasting is the easy, hands-off way to cook perfect green beans.
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16 / 20
Garlic Green Beans
This quick and simple way to cook green beans will become an instant favorite.
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17 / 20
Italian Green Beans
Cheesy toasted bread crumbs and a splash of balsamic vinegar ensure these green beans are anything but boring.
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18 / 20
Green Beans Almondine
Snappy blanched green beans served with sautéed shallots and buttery sliced almonds.
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19 / 20
Broccoli Bacon Salad
Broccoli shows off its versatility in this crunchy, nutty make-ahead salad, but the real star is the sweet, creamy dressing.
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20 / 20
Sautéed Broccoli
This simple recipe is sure to become a go-to side dish for any night of the week.
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Carrots and Other Vegetable Favorites

If you think carrots are boring, you haven’t tried roasting them in a bath of honey-garlic brown butter. Or try butter mushrooms or creamy mashed cauliflower.

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Honey Butter Glazed Butternut Squash

This three-ingredient side goes well with almost everything.

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2 / 12
Glazed Carrots
This classic side comes together in minutes.
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3 / 12
Honey-Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots
A simple side dish recipe for roasted carrots tossed in a honey-garlic brown butter sauce.
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4 / 12
Bourbon-Glazed Carrots
The bourbon and brown sugar bring out the natural sweetness of the carrots, but a bright tumble of parsley at the end prevents it from veering too far in that direction.
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5 / 12
Candied Carrots
A delicious syrupy glaze helps to enhance the natural sweetness of carrots in this stunning, glossy, bejeweled vegetable side dish.
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6 / 12
Herb-Roasted Baby Carrots
Young baby carrots are the sweetest little guys around, in both appearance and flavor. This breezy side dish makes the most of the roots, roasting them to bring out their natural sugars and dressing them in nothing but a happy mix of fresh herbs and minced garlic.
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7 / 12
Roasted Carrots with Orange
The sweetness of carrots in a savory recipe can be challenging, so we tossed them with a generous sprinkle of chili powder and orange slivers. Roasting deepens the flavor of oranges; the rind is at once crispy, buttery, and the good kind of bitter, while the sweet flesh caramelizes into the carrots.
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8 / 12
15-Minute Parmesan-Thyme Mushrooms
Just 15 minutes and a handful of ingredients are all you need to bring these hearty Parmesan mushrooms to the table.
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9 / 12
15-Minute Buttered Balsamic Mushrooms
When cooked in a buttery balsamic vinegar sauce, the mushrooms become tender and infused with an intense, slightly sweet flavor.
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10 / 12
The Creamiest Mashed Cauliflower
Mashed cauliflower isn't just a replacement for mashed potatoes — try this hearty side with merits all its own.
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11 / 12
Diane Morgan's Baby Carrots with Dill
This recipe braises and glazes the carrots in butter, chicken stock, and vinegar, and the hit of fresh dill at the ends adds some vibrant green color and bright, herby flavor.
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12 / 12
Garlic Butter Mushrooms
Cooked in an herby garlic butter, these mushrooms are the ultimate side dish.
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Rice and Grains

Rice is often thought of a simple weeknight side, but it can absolutely play festive holiday side if you dress it up.

1 / 7
Roasted Mixed Mushroom and Garlic Farrotto
Swap farro in for rice when making risotto and you have something deliciously hearty and flavor-packed.
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2 / 7
Wild Rice Pilaf with Squash, Pecans, and Cranberries
Wild rice studded with butternut squash, pecans, and dried cranberries, which can be enjoyed warm or cold.
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3 / 7
Portuguese-Style Mint Rice
Have an abundance of mint on your hands? Make this Portuguese-style mint rice.
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4 / 7
Creamy Spinach Parmesan Orzo
This quick and easy creamy orzo pasta made with spinach and Parmesan cheese is the perfect addition to the table.
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5 / 7
Lemon Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini
This quick-cooking quinoa recipe is a cross between a comforting rice pilaf and a refreshing grain salad. Best of all, it comes together effortlessly. While your grain simmers, prep the other ingredients — then stir it all together. Done!
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6 / 7
Warm Beet and Farro Salad
When tossed with warm farro and feta, beets come alive in a whole new way.
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7 / 7
Easy Buttery Garlic Rice
This easy rice is extra flavorful, thanks to the addition of browned, garlic-infused butter and crispy garlic chips.
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Holiday Casseroles

Casseroles are a major Christmas win because they can be assembled ahead of time and feed many mouths.

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Cacio e Pepe Potato Gratin
Thinly sliced potatoes get tossed with a flavorful cream sauce, layered with plenty of Pecorino Romano, and baked until browned and bubbly.
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2 / 18
Make-Ahead Creamy Mac & Cheese Casserole
A creamy, dreamy mac and cheese that you can prep days ahead of time and just pop in the oven.
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3 / 18
Spinach Gratin
A blend of spinach, white sauce, and cheese baked together into a hearty, comforting casserole.
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4 / 18
Cauliflower au Gratin
Cauliflower baked in a creamy, cheesy sauce with a buttery, crisp topping.
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5 / 18
Baked Corn Pudding Casserole
It's soft and tender on the inside with just a touch of texture from sweet corn and cornmeal, and blanketed with a delicate golden crust.
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6 / 18
Baked Polenta with Greens, Artichokes, and Gruyère
A vegetable-heavy casserole is a must on any holiday table. Here, a generous mixture of winter greens and tender artichoke hearts is smothered with a crispy topping of thick polenta slices.
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7 / 18
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
This holiday side takes everything you love about a traditional potato gratin — the bath of butter and cream — and tweaks it to play off the flavors of sweet potatoes.
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8 / 18
Potato, Squash & Goat Cheese Gratin
This is an easy, rustic recipe that will look beautiful with your holiday spread. It’s so simple: yellow squash layered in a jumble with sliced red potato and goat cheese. No cream needed at all.
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9 / 18
Kale and Potato Gratin
Here is a simple, nourishing side dish for the holidays: a light gratin with shredded kale and potatoes.
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10 / 18
Creamy Cabbage Gratin with Bacon and Mushrooms
This is what happens when an old-fashioned country recipe called scalloped cabbage gets dolled up and heads into town for a dinner party.
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11 / 18
Twice-Baked Potato Casserole
Every bite of this twice-baked potato casserole is warm and comforting while overflowing with melty cheese and crisp bacon.
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12 / 18
Brussels Sprout Casserole
This easy Brussels sprout casserole is loaded with bacon and lots of melted cheese, and comes together in a single skillet.
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13 / 18
Tartiflette (French Potato, Bacon, and Cheese Casserole)
This cozy casserole made with potatoes, Reblochon cheese, bacon, and onions originating out of Savoy in the Alps.
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14 / 18
Jiffy Corn Casserole
This 1-bowl, 6-ingredient corn casserole comes together in a jiffy (had to).
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15 / 18
Potato Casserole
This easy, cheesy potato casserole can be assembled a day in advance.
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16 / 18
Ham and Potato Casserole
This rich combination of ham and potatoes in a creamy cheese sauce is comfort food in a casserole dish.
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17 / 18
Smashed Potato Casserole
A make ahead-friendly recipe for creamy mashed potatoes baked in a casserole and topped with lots of Parmesan cheese.
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18 / 18
Au Gratin Potatoes
Au Gratin potatoes is possibly the great casserole ever: tender, fluffy potatoes bathed in a rich and creamy cheese sauce, then baked in a hot oven until bubbly and crisp.
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Holiday Salads and Slaws

The best winter salads are ones that are studded with good stuff like nuts and cheese and tossed with a rich dressing. These recipes check off all the boxes.

1 / 9
Make-Ahead Holiday Salad
Layer crunchy greens, sweet date-pickled onions, and crisp fried shallots up to a full day in advance for the ultimate holiday salad.
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2 / 9
Crunchy Cabbage Slaw with Farro, Pecorino, and Dates
A make-ahead friendly salad made with crunchy red cabbage, shredded kale, dates, farro, and Pecorino cheese.
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3 / 9
Marinated Feta-Beet Salad
Beet salad sounds like such a cliché dish, but I think there’s good reason for its popularity. When rock-hard beets are roasted until soft and sweet, then tossed with a vinaigrette to cut through all the sweetness, there’s something amazing that happens.
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4 / 9
Chicory Salad with Anchovy Dressing
One way to subvert the usual lettuce narrative is to expand the idea of lettuce itself — as in this crisp, bitter chicory salad from the bright minds behind Bar Tartine in San Francisco.
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5 / 9
Couscous Salad with Butternut Squash and Cranberries
There are a lot of parts to this dish, but you’ll find it comes together surprisingly quickly. While the squash and onions are roasting, you can plump the cranberries and make the couscous. All that’s left is to toss everything together with the vinaigrette.
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6 / 9
Kohlrabi and Cabbage Salad with Maple Lemon Dressing
This salad is a great make-ahead side dish because the kohlrabi and cabbage are sturdy enough that they won’t wilt very much as they sit and the flavors just meld together really well.
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7 / 9
Roasted Cabbage Slaw with Hazelnuts & Lemon
This slaw is warm and roasted, with the sweet, smoky edge that a detour under the broiler brings to cabbage.
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8 / 9
Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
An easy Caesar salad made with shredded Brussels sprouts and homemade croutons.
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9 / 9
Arugula Beet Salad
Goat cheese has a way of convincing even those who think they don’t like beets into getting behind them. For that reason, it’s a classic match we’d never think of disrupting.
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Bread, Rolls, and Biscuits

Bringing warm, homemade dinner rolls to the table is not as fussy as you might think. These easy recipes prove it.

1 / 10
Parker House Rolls
These buttery, tender Parker House rolls are perfect for your holiday bread basket.
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2 / 10
Rosemary Focaccia
This no-knead focaccia is a simple Italian flatbread topped garlic, rosemary, and flaky salt.
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3 / 10
Easy Buttery Crescent Rolls
Flaky, buttery crescent rolls ready in less than an hour.
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4 / 10
1-Hour Dinner Rolls
Fresh-baked dinner rolls seem to fall into two categories: the kind you bake from the tube from the grocery store, or the kind that takes you most of an afternoon to mix, rise, and bake. Looking for a somewhere-in-between solution, we discovered the one-hour dinner roll.
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5 / 10
Savory Sweet Potato & Parmesan Muffins
Bring your breakfast baked goods to the dinner table with these savory muffins.
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6 / 10
Buttery Cheddar Herb Rolls
These tender, rich, pillowy dinner rolls are flecked with herbs and crowned with a toasty cheddar cheese crust.
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7 / 10
No-Knead Skillet Focaccia
A simple no-knead rosemary focaccia recipe that's a perfect bread to serve at the dinner table.
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8 / 10
Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls
There’s something wonderful about a basket full of warm dinner rolls on the dinner table, but for many gluten-free eaters, the bread basket has been off-limits for too long. Not anymore!
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9 / 10
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
The best thing about Southern biscuits is that they expertly walk the line of being both tender and flaky.
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10 / 10
Herbed Olive Oil Fantail Rolls
Trust us, your guests will love peeling away all those thin, flaky layers and eating them one by one.
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