Holiday Side Dishes Your Vegetarian Guests Will Love
When it comes to any holiday meal, the side dishes make the real difference between a so-so affair and a true Southern feast. Our sides, whether baked in a casserole dish, tossed in a serving bowl, or sautéed in a cast iron skillet, must be tasty enough to head the holiday table at any moment. If you love your vegetable sides the best—maybe more than the Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas roast—or if you have vegetarians on the guest list, these delicious vegetable holiday recipes will serve your crowd easily and deliciously all season long. From creamy casseroles to crispy skillets (and from hearty carbs to fresh fall produce), these sides cover the holiday hostess no matter what.
Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
When your childhood comes calling, answer with a batch of from-scratch macaroni and cheese.This oh-so-Southern delicacy has a place on every dinner table, whether you're preparing sides for your big Thanksgiving dinner or looking for a perfect pairing to fried chicken for the church potluck. This rich, creamy recipe may just be the best macaroni and cheese recipe you've ever eaten. It brings back nostalgic memories around Grandmama's table and we promise that it's much more satisfying than the boxed, powdery stuff. As you're preparing, pick a noodle – like cavatappi or elbow macaroni – that has plenty of nooks for capturing pockets of cheese sauce. We used extra-sharp Cheddar cheese to bring out the rich, creamy taste of this macaroni and cheese, and a pinch of salt, red pepper, and black pepper rounds out the dish. If you're making macaroni and cheese from scratch, you'll definitely want to bookmark this recipe.
Cider-Glazed Carrots with Walnuts
With only 15 minutes of hands-on time, these glazed carrots come together in a flash for a delicious, homemade side dish to put on your holiday table.
Herbed Potato Stacks
Recipe: Herbed Potato Stacks
Transform your basic potato into an elegant holiday side dish with these pretty stacked potatoes. The exterior gets deliciously crispy, while the inside stays creamy and tender.
Balsamic Green Beans with Pearl Onions
These tender green beans are jazzed up with pearl onions that have been lightly caramelized with butter, garlic, tangy balsamic vinegar, and a touch of sugar—and guests won’t believe they come together in 20 minutes.
Savory Corn Pudding
Recipe: Savory Corn Pudding
This savory corn pudding puts a welcome spin on the classic dish with the addition chopped onion and fresh thyme for extra flavor. When the pudding is done baking, it should be golden brown around the edges and slightly jiggly in the center.
Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Collard Greens
The delicious balance of sweet, savory, and hot is great in this slow-cooker greens side dish, making the greens’ liquid more flavorful than any other recipe (despite leaving out the ham hock or bacon!).
Beet, Fennel, and Apple Salad
Recipe: Beet, Fennel, and Apple Salad
Bright beets make for a festive presentation perfect for any holiday table, especially when there are strict herbivores present! Test kitchen tip: Peel beets once they have cooled and are easier to handle.
Roasted Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
Everyone will love this twist on our Best-Ever Macaroni and Cheese recipe, which includes tender spears of roasted broccoli for added texture and savory flavor.
Potato Latkes with Warm Apple Compote and Aged Cheddar Topping
Latkes are the ultimate potato comfort food to try this year because guests will love the top-your-own component. This sweet and savory pairing is our favorite with homemade apple compote and shards of aged Cheddar cheese.
Lemon-Almond Green Bean Casserole
Impress your veggie-loving guests with this fresh twist on traditional green bean casserole sans any cream of mushroom soup. This recipe swaps in panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs) and sliced almonds for a crispy topping everyone will love.
Potato Latkes with Tahini, Yogurt, and Roasted Red Pepper Topping
A creative Middle Eastern-inspired topping of tahini (sesame paste), yogurt, and roasted red peppers takes these holiday latkes to the next level
Classic Cornbread Dressing
Recipe: Classic Cornbread Dressing
We think Southern-style cornbread dressing belongs on every holiday table, and this simple recipe packs a flavorful punch that can’t be beat. You can switch out vegetable broth for chicken broth if needed.
Spicy Candied Yams with Toasted Pecans
For these tender candied yams, minced jalapeño adds heat and ground cumin adds earthy notes, while everything else comes together for a perfectly caramelized (not mushy) texture.
Recipe: Oven-Roasted Asparagus
You can't beat this oven-roasted asparagus recipe for a delicious, simple, and quick side dish for the holidays. When you feel like you need more veggies on the menu, but don't feel like spending way more effort, this dish is a great go-to.
Wild Rice with Mushrooms
Recipe: Wild Rice with Mushrooms
Dress up your long-grain and wild rice to create a standout holiday side dish. With the addition of sautéed sweet onion and fresh mushrooms, you'll have a richer version of your basic rice that'll win with the whole crowd.
Roasted Beet-and-Citrus Salad with Honey-Orange Vinaigrette
Colorful, seasonal, and pretty—this roasted beet salad perfectly combines the crisp citrus flavors with the earthy taste of beets. It will add a bright pop to any holiday table, making for a festive occasion with a healthy dose of vegetables.
Rustic Mashed Red Potatoes with Parmesan
Herbed cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and chives make sure these mashed potatoes are more than an excuse to pour more gravy on your plate. Using red potatoes adds awesome texture and gives a rustic, natural feel.
Sautéed Mustard Greens with Garlic and Lemon
This garlicky, lemony mustard greens dish will compliment your rich holiday meal with its fresh burst of flavor. The mustard greens are lightly coated in olive oil and sautéed with plenty of garlic, red pepper, salt, and pepper to ensure the most bang for your bite.
Sweet Potato-and-Collard Green Gratin
Southerners love sweet potatoes and collard greens during the holidays, and this recipe combines those two tasty ingredients in an indulgent gratin that gets an amazing crisp on top with the help of roasted sweet potatoes and panko.
Recipe: Baked Onions
Sweet and caramelized pearl onions make a versatile side dish for your holiday feast. Cooked in a skillet with white wine, brown sugar, and butter, the Pearl onions develop a fabulous savory and sweet flavor.
Root Vegetable Gratin
Recipe: Root Vegetable Gratin
Our favorite part about this fall root vegetable gratin has to be its wonderful layers of heavy cream and shredded Gruyere cheese that bind the sliced vegetables together in creamy, decadent casserole layers.
Farro Salad with Toasted Pecans, Feta, and Dried Cherries
Loaded with sweet dried cherries, sharp chopped scallions, fresh parsley, tangy lemon juice, crunchy toasted pecans, and crumbly feta cheese, this fresh fall side dish uses tender farro grain to bring a comforting, yet sophisticated addition to your holiday table.
Brussels Sprouts with Cornbread Croutons
Switch out your typical breadcrumb topping with these chunky, crispy cornbread croutons. They add a completely different flavor and texture to the already delicious roasted Brussels sprouts.
Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
This year, take your mashed potatoes over the top by adding creamy goat cheese, rich heavy cream, and chopped fresh chives. These special mashed potatoes will be ready for your holiday table in half an hour.
Zucchini Rice Gratin
Recipe: Zucchini Rice Gratin
This creamy gratin dish is packed full with fresh zucchini, wild rice, and plenty of seasoning and then topped with panko and cheese. It's hard to find a better hearty side dish to include this year.
Classic Skillet Cornbread
Recipe: Classic Skillet Cornbread
Down here, we know cornbread should be homemade and, if done right, in a skillet. We know you’re cooking for a crowd, but can you really pass up the crispy bottom and edges of skillet cornbread? You won’t get that in a baking dish.
Okra and Chickpeas in Fresh Tomato Sauce
If you want to add a fresh and light side dish for your more health-conscious guests, this okra and chickpea recipe will have your bases covered. A tangy fresh tomato sauce lends a light coverage to the ingredients, but adds so much flavor.