15 Simple Holiday Sides

Get your holiday meal on the table in no time flat with these quick-and-easy side dish recipes.

  • Broccoli with Lemon Crumbs
    Photo: Jim Franco

    Broccoli with Lemon Crumbs

    Make life a little easier during the hectic holiday season by preparing tasty sides that are ready in a flash.And the microwave is not off limits. For a zesty dish your guests are sure to love, top microwaved broccoli with lemon-flavored homemade breadcrumbs. To simplify meal preparation even further, make the breadcrumbs up to 2 days ahead and store at room temperature.
  • Glazed Carrots with Pecans
    Photo: James Baigrie; Styling: Randy Mon

    Glazed Carrots with Pecans

    Make the most of the natural sweetness of carrots by cooking them in a skillet with brown sugar and minced fresh ginger, and add just the right crunch with toasted pecan halves.
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples
    Photo: Ellen Silverman; Styling: Toni Brogan

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples

    Add amazing flavor to Brussels sprouts by combining them with sweet-tart apples and roasting them for about 25 minutes or until they are tender and mellow.
  • Mashed Potatoes
    Photo: Dasha Wright Ewing

    Mashed Potatoes

    With only 5 ingredients, these creamy mashed potatoes are perfect as an easy side dish for both holiday menus and weeknight meals.
  • Whipped Maple Sweet Potatoes

    Whipped Maple Sweet Potatoes

    For a quick and easy alternative to sweet potato casserole, stir maple syrup and butter into mashed sweet potatoes and top with toasted pecans.
  • Cranberry-Almond Wild Rice

    Cranberry-Almond Wild Rice

    Dress up quick-cooking brown rice with the addition of a package of long grain and wild rice, dried cranberries and toasted almonds. Because you are using packaged rice, the entire recipe takes only about 25 minutes from start to finish.
  • Sweet-and-Sour Green Beans
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Sweet-and-Sour Green Beans

    Instead of green bean casserole, go with a simpler dish featuring beans flavored with bacon, onion, sugar, and cider vinegar.
  • Sweet-Potato Gratin
    Ray Kachatorian

    Sweet-Potato Gratin

    Layer sliced sweet potato in a baking dish and bake in a mixture of whipping cream and Parmesan cheese for a luxurious variation of a sweet potato casserole.
  • Spicy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

    Spicy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

    Try this spicy, south-of-the border pasta dish for a fresh twist on traditional mac 'n' cheese. If your family prefers less spicy foods, substitute regular cheese and milder chiles to take the heat down a notch.
  • Gingered Green Beans

    Gingered Green Beans

    Ham bouillon, onion, garlic, ginger, and a toasted pecan topping give this dish its great flavor. All you need are a few minutes to boil and sauté, and these beans are ready to serve.
  • Okra Creole

    Okra Creole

    Dress up okra, a humble but beloved Southern favorite, with spicy Creole flavors for a mouthwatering holiday side. This recipe calls for frozen and canned vegetables, so no chopping required.
  • Green Peas With Crispy Bacon

    Green Peas with Crispy Bacon

    Like the asparagus, this dish takes just 20 minutes to prepare. Plus, you can use either frozen or fresh peas, making it a perfect year-round side. For a lower-fat version, use turkey bacon.
  • Oven-Roasted Asparagus

    Oven-Roasted Asparagus

    Get this tasty–and healthy–asparagus dish on your table in just 20 minutes. It's flavored with olive oil, garlic, and almonds–all very nutritious foods!
  • Pepper Jelly-Glazed Carrots

    Pepper Jelly-Glazed Carrots

    These carrots win the prize for easiest side ever. Baby carrots, chicken broth, butter, and red pepper jelly are all you need for a hot 'n spicy dish that is ready in less than 15 minutes and takes just two steps.
  • Fresh Cranberry-Orange Relish
    Photo: Ellen Silverman; Styling: Toni Brogan

    Fresh Cranberry-Orange Relish

    No Thanksgiving meal is complete without the cranberry relish, and this easy one will help streamline your holiday meal preparation because you can make it up to 3 days ahead.

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