The holidays are synonymous with calorie-heavy food. And this is definitely is true of side dish recipes — the more butter the better! But what if we told you that this year, you could have your sides without having them stick to your sides, too! If you're hosting a holiday celebration this year, you're probably already thinking about your menu. And as we know from Thanksgiving, sometimes a good side dish can be the star of the show. Worried about what's going to surround your table and be healthily delicious? Check out our suggestions for superstar sides that won't spook your diet. Plus, some even freeze well, in case you want to be super organized this holiday and make them ahead of time. Get going now.
1. Velvety Roasted Mushrooms with Garlic-Thyme SauceCloset Cooking
These roasted mushrooms, cooked delicately in a tiny bit of brown butter, garlic, and thyme sauce, can either be a dangerously addictive appetizer, or a cornerstone for the main meal. Mushrooms are a great source of protein, potassium, and iron. If you want to stay lean, we recommend swapping out the brown butter in this recipe for coconut oil. Check out this richly cooked mushrooms recipe from Closet Cooking. Maybe make two batches because we promise there won't be leftovers.
2. Honey-Garlic Roasted CarrotsCarl's Bad Cravings
Whether you're trying to increase your night vision abilities or just stay on top of your beta-carotene intake, we're loving this recipe for honey garlic roasted carrots! It's important to have a veggie dish on your table, even if you think nobody will eat it because they will this time! We're addicted to these honey garlic roasted carrots from Carl's Bad Cravings, which add a colorful punch to the menu, too. For maximum health benefits, we recommend using organic or Manuka honey. The best part about this recipe? The whole thing takes about 10 minutes to whip up. Boom.
3. Red White and Green: Roasted Beetroot, Goat Cheese, and Walnut SaladThe Cook's Pyjamas
Not only is this Christmas side dish healthy and delicious, but it also combines all the colors of Christmas with reds, greens, and whites contrasting throughout the dish. How pretty and festive is that? Get the recipe from The Cook's Pyjamas. It's an easy side to assemble — simply plate before serving and enjoy your impressed guests!
4. Roasted Cauliflower with Cranberries and Mint
Not only is this side dish from yours truly delicious and calorie-light, but it will look red, white, and green beautiful on your Christmas dinner table, too! It takes just a few minutes to whip with only a few ingredients — red onions, cranberries, mint, and cauliflower. The secret sauce in this recipe? The balsamic honey glaze. Mmm, mmm, good. Get the recipe from us at Better Homes & Gardens right now!
5. Almond Butter Baked ApplesMaking Thyme for Health
Want a healthy side for the sweet tooths at the table? Or how about a healthy alternative to a heavy dessert? We're loving this recipe for almond butter baked apples from Making Thyme for Health because they're jam-packed with protein and just the right amount of sweet. Serve up as a side, a dessert, or save for healthy holiday snacktime. Whichever way you choose to incorporate these into your holiday, we guarantee they'll be a hit! Great for kids too. Win-win.