Diabetic Holiday Sides and Salads

Round out your holiday meals with these low-sugar, low-fat, and high-flavor side dishes.

  • Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole
    Photo: Randy Mayor

    Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole

    Broccoli casserole is always a popular menu items for holiday meals. This one is slightly high in sodium because of the cheese and the canned cream of mushroom soup, so if you need to cut back on sodium even more, use a low-sodium soup.
  • Brussels Sprouts with Browned Garlic
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Brussels Sprouts with Browned Garlic

    Mellow browned garlic and a splash of lemon juice add a punch of low-fat flavor to tender Brussels sprouts.
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes
    Photo: Dana Gallagher

    Mashed Sweet Potatoes

    Just a tiny bit of honey and a sprinkle of nutmeg adds subtle sweetness to these mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Smashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Chives
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro, Leigh Ann Ross

    Smashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Chives

    Get the same creaminess–and a lot more flavor–when you blend goat cheese instead of cream cheese into your potatoes.
  • Rosemary Green Beans

    Rosemary Green Beans

    Perk up fresh green beans with rosemary, green onions, and grated lemon rind, and add crunch by topping with toasted pecans. All of these simple flavors come together perfectly to make an ideal side dish for turkey, beef, or pork.
  • Fruited Acorn Squash
    Oxmoor House

    Fruited Acorn Squash

    Fill the center of a halved squash with a slightly sweetened mixture of raisins and dried cranberries for an impressive side dish that’s not only delicious but also packed with nutrients.
  • Cheesy Squash Casserole
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Cheesy Squash Casserole

    If a cheesy squash casserole is a tradition on your holiday table, this low-fat version won't disappoint. Cook yellow squash and onions together, combine with a low-fat white sauce, then top with reduced-fat cheese and fresh breadcrumbs.
  • Roasted New Potatoes
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Roasted New Potatoes

    Sometimes the simplest sides are the best. Toss quartered potatoes with seasoned breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, then roast until the potatoes are done and the breadcrumb-cheese coating is golden-brown and crispy.
  • Curry-Spiced Sweet Potatoes
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Curry-Spiced Sweet Potatoes

    Instead of a sugary-sweet, high-fat sweet potato casserole, try these mashed sweet potatoes flavored with curry, cinnamon, cumin and just a tablespoon of brown sugar. A small amount of half-and-half makes them creamy, but they still have only 3.7 grams of fat per serving.
  • Pecan White and Brown Rice Pilaf
    Photo: Jan Smith

    Pecan White and Brown Rice Pilaf

    This high-fiber pilaf feature white and brown rice plus bulgur. Dried cranberries add a touch of festive color and sweetness while toasted pecans add a nutty flavor to the blend of grains.
  • Holiday Cranberry Salad
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Holiday Cranberry Salad

    Congealed fruit salads are a staple on many holiday tables, and this low-sugar version is dressed up with fresh cranberries, crisp celery, and tart Granny Smith apple.
  • Honey Grapefruit with Banana
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Honey Grapefruit with Banana

    This 5-minute fruit side dish makes a sweet accompaniment for a hearty holiday brunch. Chopped fresh mint is the magic ingredient that adds a refreshing note to the banana and grapefruit.
  • Field Salad with Pears and Blue Cheese
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Field Salad with Pears and Blue Cheese

    Make the most of in-season fresh pears by using them in a green salad tossed with raspberry vinaigrette and topped with crunchy walnuts.
  • Broccoli and Apple Salad
    Howard L. Puckett

    Broccoli and Apple Salad

    Crisp chopped apple adds sweetness to this crisp red and green salad, with apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard adding tanginess. This is a great salad for the fall holidays because both apples and broccoli are in season. For a creamy version of this salad, try Broccoli Salad featuring grapes, raisins, light mayonnaise, and crisp bacon.
  • Autumn Apple and Spinach Salad
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Cindy Barr

    Autumn Apple and Spinach Salad

    Combine tart apples with spinach and toss with a tangy citrus vinaigrette for a versatile salad that’s a good match for any main dish.

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