10 Healthy Christmas Side Dish Ideas

Last Updated on Feb 28, 2024 by HappyDieter

Looking to add a nutritious green salad twist to your festive feast this holiday season? We’ve got you covered! From vibrant salads bursting with flavor to hearty veggie-packed casseroles, these healthy Christmas side dish ideas, including green beans, will steal the show at your dinner table. Embrace the spirit of the holiday dinner season without compromising on taste or nutrition.

In this listicle, we’ll unveil a lineup of delectable dishes that are as good for your body as they are for your taste buds. Get ready to impress your guests and indulge guilt-free in these healthy holiday side dishes. Scroll down for reviews of our top picks and get inspired to create a spread that’s both delicious and nourishing.

Key Takeaways

  • Incorporate Colorful Vegetables: Opt for dishes like roasted Brussels sprouts with squash and cranberries or roasted broccoli with cherry tomatoes to add vibrant colors and nutrients to your Christmas spread.

  • Try Vegan Options: Experiment with vegan dishes such as vegan stuffed mushrooms or creamy garlic mashed cauliflower and potatoes to cater to different dietary preferences.

  • Balance Flavors: Create a balance of flavors by preparing dishes like cucumber cups with spicy tapenade or chopped apple salad with toasted walnuts, blue cheese, and pomegranate vinaigrette to satisfy varied taste preferences.

  • Explore Unique Ingredients: Embrace unique ingredients like pomegranate, fennel, quinoa, and hearts of palm in recipes like pomegranate fennel quinoa salad and warm artichoke with hearts of palm for a festive twist.

  • Prioritize Nutrient-Rich Options: Opt for nutrient-dense dishes like colorful bean frittata or clementine avocado salad to ensure a healthy and satisfying holiday meal.

  • Offer Variety: Provide a variety of side dishes to cater to different dietary needs and preferences, ensuring that there is something for everyone at your Christmas table.

1. Roasted Brussels sprouts with squash and cranberries

A festive twist on a classic side dish, this recipe combines the earthy flavors of roasted Brussels sprouts with the sweetness of squash and tartness of cranberries. It’s a perfect blend for a healthy holiday meal that your family will enjoy.

  • Sweet and Savory Flavors: The combination of sweet squash, savory Brussels sprouts, and tangy cranberries creates a delightful taste profile that complements any holiday dinner.

  • Nutrient-Packed Ingredients: Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamins K and C, while squash provides fiber and essential nutrients like vitamin A. Cranberries add a pop of color along with antioxidants.

  • Healthy Holiday Side Dish: Offering both nutrition and flavor, this dish is an excellent option to balance out heavier holiday fare without sacrificing taste.

Roasting these ingredients together brings out their natural sweetness while adding a crispy texture to the dish. With its vibrant colors and delicious flavors, this side dish is not only nutritious but also visually appealing on your Christmas dinner table.

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Squash and Cranberries

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts, yellow leaves removed, ends trimmed

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • Salt, to taste

  • 1 ½ pound butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cubed

  • 2 cups pecan halves

  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 380 F.

  2. Use 1 tbsp of olive oil and lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine sprouts, squash, olive oil, and salt to taste and toss gently to combine.

  4. Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 20-30 minutes.

  5. When finished, add pecans, and cranberries, and mix to combine.

  6. Enjoy.

2. Vegan stuffed mushrooms

Vegan stuffed mushrooms are a delightful addition to any holiday meal, offering a plant-based twist that will please even the most discerning guests. These mushrooms are packed with a delectable mixture of herbs, breadcrumbs, and other flavorful ingredients, creating a mouthwatering dish that is both satisfying and nutritious.

  • Flavorful Ingredients: The combination of savory herbs and crunchy breadcrumbs in these vegan stuffed mushrooms adds depth and richness to each bite.

  • Easy Preparation: With simple steps and minimal ingredients required, these mushrooms are easy to prepare ahead of time or whip up on the spot for a stress-free cooking experience.

  • Impress Your Guests: Whether you’re catering to vegans or simply looking to offer a unique side dish, vegan stuffed mushrooms are sure to impress with their taste and presentation.

These vegan stuffed mushrooms not only cater to those following plant-based diets but also provide an opportunity for all guests to enjoy a healthier alternative without compromising on flavor or satisfaction.

Recipe: Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 25 button mushrooms

  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • 1 tbsp vegan butter

  • Ground pepper

  • 1 cup vegan sour cream

  • 1 box frozen spinach

Instructions:

  1. Remove and chop stems from mushrooms and save the caps.

  2. Add butter, stems, and onion to a pan. Stir well, and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Bake on medium heat for 5 minutes.

  4. In a large bowl, combine the vegan cream with the spinach and add to the stems, onion, and butter mixture.

  5. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each mushroom cap.

  6. Place filled caps on two baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes at 190 C.

  7. Remove from the oven, and enjoy your meal.

3. Pomegranate fennel quinoa salad

A refreshing dish, the Pomegranate Fennel Quinoa Salad offers a delightful burst of flavors that will elevate your Christmas table. The combination of protein-packed quinoa and antioxidant-rich pomegranate seeds makes it both nutritious and delicious.

The protein content in quinoa can aid in keeping you feeling full for longer periods, making it an excellent option to balance out the indulgent treats on your holiday spread. The antioxidants found in pomegranate seeds contribute to overall health benefits, supporting your immune system during the winter season.

Moreover, this salad adds a vibrant pop of color to your festive meal. The deep red hues from the pomegranate seeds combined with the fresh green fennel create a visually appealing dish that complements traditional Christmas colors beautifully.

Incorporating this Pomegranate Fennel Quinoa Salad into your menu not only diversifies textures and flavors but also brings a healthy element to balance out heavier dishes typically enjoyed during holiday gatherings. Consider adding this colorful and nutritious salad as a side dish to impress your guests while ensuring they have healthier options available amidst all the feasting festivities.

Recipe: Pomegranate Fennel Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried quinoa

  • 1 fennel bulb, cubed

  • 2 tablespoons fennel fronds, chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, cubed

  • ¼ cup mint leaves, chopped

  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate

  • 1 bunch radishes, cubed

Apple cider vinaigrette dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar

  • ½ tsp Dijon

  • Pepper and salt

Instructions:

  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.

  2. While cooking quinoa, prepare your ingredients for the salad.

  3. Shake the dressing toss over the salad and serve!

  4. This salad keeps well for a couple of days, but the mint will become brown, so the advice is to add the mint just before serving.

4. Cucumber cups with spicy tapenade

A light and refreshing appetizer, these cucumber cups offer a burst of flavor that will tantalize your taste buds. The combination of the crunchy cucumber paired with the zesty olive tapenade creates a delightful contrast in textures, making each bite a satisfying experience.

For those seeking healthier options during the festive season, these cucumber cups provide a simple yet elegant dish that is both visually appealing and delicious. The touch of spice from the tapenade adds an exciting twist to this classic appetizer, ensuring that it stands out on any holiday table.

The simplicity of this recipe makes it easy to prepare, requiring just a few ingredients but delivering a big taste. By opting for these cucumber cups with spicy tapenade, you can offer your guests a guilt-free indulgence that doesn’t compromise on flavor or presentation.

Recipe: Cucumber Cups with Spicy Tapenade

Ingredients:

  • 2 cucumbers

  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed

  • 1 1/4 cup olives, pitted

  • 3 tbsp diced red onion

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 red jalapeño, minced

  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

  • 1 tbsp chopped oregano

  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped tarragon

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Slice cucumbers into 1/2-inch-thin rounds.

  2. To make the cup, scoop out half the seedbed of each round with a small teaspoon.

  3. Set aside and mince the olives and capers, and mix with lemon zest, tarragon, onion, garlic, oregano, jalapeño, and oil in a small bowl.

  4. When finished, fill each cup with a tablespoon of mixture.

  5. Bon appétit.

5. Colorful bean frittata

A versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a side or the main course, the colorful bean frittata is a protein powerhouse perfect for your holiday table. Combining an array of green beans with fresh herbs, this dish offers both flavor and nutrition in one light and satisfying package.

  • Protein-Packed: Beans are not only rich in protein but also fiber, making this frittata a filling addition to your meal.

  • Nutrient-Rich: The variety of colorful beans used in this recipe provides essential vitamins and minerals, adding a healthy touch to your Christmas feast.

  • Versatile Option: Whether you’re catering to vegetarians or meat lovers, the bean frittata appeals to all tastes with its hearty yet light composition.

Adding the colorful bean frittata to your holiday spread introduces a delightful twist on traditional sides while ensuring everyone at the table gets their share of wholesome goodness.

Recipe: Colorful Bean Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

  • 1 cup black beans

  • 8 eggs

  • 1 tbsp. fresh basil leaves

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 1/2 oz. cubed mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  1. Place the tomatoes and beans in a small pan and pour the olive oil.

  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes on medium-low heat.

  3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, basil, and a little pepper and salt.

  4. Pour the egg mixture into the pan with the tomatoes and beans.

  5. Add the cheese and stir it a few times.

  6. Cook for 20 minutes until the frittata is cooked on top.

  7. Place the frittata on a plate and serve warm.

6. Clementine avocado salad

A delightful combination of creamy avocado and tangy clementines makes this salad a vibrant addition to your Christmas feast. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, it offers a healthy boost while tantalizing your taste buds.

  • Nutrient-Rich Goodness: Avocados are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and various vitamins like C, E, K, and B-complex. Clementines bring their vitamin C punch.

  • Colorful Presentation: The contrasting colors of the green avocados and bright orange clementines make for an eye-catching dish that adds visual appeal to your festive spread.

  • Refreshing Flavor Profile: The zesty citrus notes from the clementines complement the buttery texture of avocados perfectly, creating a refreshing flavor profile that balances richness with freshness.

This salad not only contributes to the overall healthiness of your meal but also serves as a palate cleanser between heavier dishes during holiday gatherings. It’s quick to prepare yet brings a burst of flavors that will leave your guests impressed. It’s another great addition to your list of healthy Christmas side dish ideas, proving that health and flavor can coexist in holiday meals.

Recipe: Clementine Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 clementine oranges, peeled

  • 2 avocados, cut into chunks or sliced

  • 4 tbsp walnuts, toasted

  • 4 tbsp dried figs, chopped

  • 4 tbsp pomegranate seeds

  • 5 cups mixed baby greens

Clementine Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

  • 1/3 cup fresh clementine orange juice

  • 1 minced shallot

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Use clementines and slice them crosswise.

  2. Mix all dressing ingredients.

  3. Take a handful of baby greens on salad plates to serve.

  4. Arrange clementine slices, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, avocado, and dried figs on top.

  5. Pour the dressing right before serving.

  6. Bon appétit.

7. Chopped apple salad with toasted walnuts, blue cheese and pomegranate vinaigrette

A delightful blend of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors awaits you in this side salad recipe. The combination of crisp apples, crunchy walnuts, creamy blue cheese, and a zesty pomegranate vinaigrette creates a perfect harmony for your taste buds.

Featuring a mix of textures and tastes, this salad offers a refreshing addition to your holiday table. It provides the ideal balance between sweetness from the apples, richness from the blue cheese, nuttiness from the walnuts, and acidity from the dressing.

This side dish is not just visually appealing but also packs a nutritional punch. Apples are rich in fiber and antioxidants while walnuts offer healthy fats essential for heart health. Pomegranate seeds are known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Whether served as part of a festive meal or as a standalone lunch option during the holidays, this chopped apple salad is sure to impress your guests with its vibrant colors and delicious medley of flavors. It’s another excellent example of healthy Christmas side dish ideas that not only add nutritional value to your holiday spread but also bring a delightful variety of tastes and textures.

Recipe: Chopped Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 4 apples, cored and cut into ½ inch dice

  • 2 ounces baby spinach

  • 2 large heads of endive, sliced crosswise

  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

  • 2 cups blue cheese such, crumbled

  • Kosher salt and pepper

Pomegranate Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses

  • 2 tbsp wine vinegar

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl place the apples, endive, spinach, blue cheese, and walnuts.

  2. Make pomegranate vinaigrette by whisking together honey, pomegranate molasses, vinegar, and salt.

  3. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss to evenly coat.

  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Serve and enjoy.

8. Roasted broccoli with cherry tomatoes

Roasting broccoli with cherry tomatoes creates a simple yet delicious side dish that perfectly complements any main course. The tender broccoli florets, when oven-roasted alongside juicy cherry tomatoes, offer a burst of flavor and color to your holiday table.

This dish not only tastes great but is also packed with nutrients. Broccoli is rich in vitamins K and C, while cherry tomatoes provide a good dose of antioxidants like lycopene. This colorful combination adds vibrancy to your Christmas spread while being healthy at the same time.

By roasting these vegetables together, you enhance their natural sweetness and create a delightful caramelization effect that elevates the overall taste profile. Moreover, this dish is quick to prepare – simply toss the veggies in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast for about 20 minutes until they are tender and slightly crispy.

Incorporating roasted broccoli with cherry tomatoes into your holiday menu not only brings a pop of freshness but also offers a hassle-free cooking option. This is one of the healthy Christmas side dish ideas that will surely impress your guests without keeping you tied up in the kitchen for too long. It’s a testament to the fact that healthy and delicious can go hand in hand during the festive season.

Recipe: Roasted Broccoli with Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups broccoli florets

  • 1-pint cherry tomatoes

  • 2 shallots, chopped

  • 6 smashed garlic cloves

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence

  • Pepper and salt, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 °C.

  2. In a large bowl, add Herbes de Provence, garlic, shallots, broccoli, tomatoes, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Place all vegetables in a single layer onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.

  4. After the first 10 minutes toss vegetables around, and roast for 10 more minutes, until just tender, but also with some crunch.

  5. Serve while still warm.

9. Creamy garlic mashed cauliflower and potatoes

Combining the best of both worlds, this dish offers a healthier alternative to traditional mashed potatoes by incorporating cauliflower. The marriage of creamy potatoes with the lightness of cauliflower creates a satisfying texture that will please your taste buds.

Roasted garlic elevates the flavor profile, infusing each bite with a rich and savory taste that complements the creaminess of the dish. This side dish is not only delicious but also packs a nutritional punch, providing essential vitamins and minerals from both cauliflower and potatoes.

For those looking to reduce their carb intake or incorporate more vegetables into their diet, this creamy garlic mashed cauliflower and potatoes recipe is an excellent choice. It’s a versatile option that pairs well with various main dishes while adding a touch of sophistication to your holiday table spread.

Whether you are catering to health-conscious guests or simply want to offer something different this holiday season, this healthy Christmas side dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. With its flavorful blend of cauliflower, garlic, and cream, it’s one of the many healthy Christmas side dish ideas that can add a touch of wellness to your festive spread. It’s not just about the taste, but also about promoting a healthier lifestyle during the holiday season.

Recipe: Creamy Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 trimmed cauliflower

  • 5 peeled potatoes cut into pieces

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

  • Pepper and salt

  • Virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Add enough water to a large pot just to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil.

  2. Add potatoes and place steamer basket over potatoes. Place cauliflower on top and steam for 10 minutes and remove when done.

  3. Cover the pot and continue to cook potatoes for another 10 minutes.

  4. Put cauliflower in a food processor and mix until smooth.

  5. When potatoes become tender, drain and place in a mixing bowl.

  6. Add garlic and mix until smooth.

  7. Add processed cauliflower, and yogurt and mix until blended.

  8. Season with salt and pepper.

  9. Sprinkle extra virgin olive oil and serve.

10. Warm artichoke with hearts of palm

A warm artichoke with hearts of palm is a delightful appetizer that’s both simple to make and satisfying. The combination of tender artichoke hearts and delicate hearts of palm creates a sophisticated addition to your Christmas spread. This dish offers a refreshing change from traditional holiday sides, adding an elegant touch to your festive menu.

Crafted with care, this appetizer can be the star at any gathering, impressing guests with its unique blend of flavors and textures. The warmth emanating from each bite provides comfort on chilly winter days while still maintaining a light and fresh appeal.

For those seeking healthier options during the indulgent holiday season, the warm artichoke with hearts of palm presents itself as a nutritious choice without compromising on taste or presentation. It serves as an excellent conversation starter at family gatherings or dinner parties, sparking interest in trying new dishes that are delicious for you.

Consider incorporating this healthy Christmas side dish into your Christmas feast for an unexpected twist. This dish will not only leave everyone pleasantly surprised by its delectable taste and elegant appearance, but also contribute to a healthy and balanced holiday meal. It’s one of the many healthyChristmas side dish ideas that can add a touch of wellness to your festive spread.

Recipe: Warm Artichoke with Hearts of Palm

Ingredients:

  • One 12-ounce bag of frozen artichoke hearts,

  • One 14-ounce can heart of palm, rinsed, drained

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 ¼ tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat to 425 degrees.

  2. In a medium bowl, toss together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, artichoke hearts, garlic, hearts of palm, and thyme.

  3. Place on a parchment paper-lined and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until garlic is cooked through.

  4. Remove vegetables from the oven and using your fingers strip thyme leaves from branches mixing the leaves in with the vegetables.

  5. Discard the branches place vegetables in a food processor and mix until the mixture is almost smooth, adding olive oil through a feeding tube.

  6. Season to taste with pepper and serve.

Conclusion

You’ve now got a treasure trove of healthy Christmas side dish ideas at your fingertips. From roasted Brussels sprouts to creamy garlic mashed cauliflower and potatoes, these recipes promise to elevate your festive spread. So, why settle for the same old dishes when you can surprise your taste buds with these flavorful and nutritious options?

Go ahead, give theserecipes a try, and watch as your holiday table transforms into a vibrant feast that will have everyone coming back for seconds. Your guests will be impressed by your culinary skills, and you’ll be proud to serve dishes that not only look fantastic but also nourish your body. This Christmas, let your <strong>healthy Christmas side dish ideas steal the show and make your celebration truly unforgettable!

FAQ

If you’re looking for healthy options, consider trying roasted Brussels sprouts with squash and cranberries, vegan stuffed mushrooms, pomegranate fennel quinoa salad, or creamy garlic mashed cauliflower and potatoes. These dishes are not only nutritious but also delicious additions to your holiday spread.

How can I make a colorful bean frittata that stands out on the Christmas table?

To create a vibrant bean frittata, mix different colored beans like black beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans with eggs and vegetables. Bake until set for a visually appealing dish that’s packed with protein and flavor – sure to impress your guests this holiday season!

Are there any easy-to-prepare Christmas side dishes I can whip up quickly?

For quick yet impressive sides, consider making cucumber cups with spicy tapenade or warm artichoke with hearts of palm. These recipes require minimal effort but deliver maximum taste – perfect for busy hosts who want to serve something special without spending hours in the kitchen.

Can you suggest a festive salad option that combines sweet and savory flavors for Christmas dinner?

For a delightful blend of flavors, try the chopped apple salad with toasted walnuts, blue cheese, and pomegranate vinaigrette. The combination of crisp apples, crunchy walnuts, tangy cheese, and sweet vinaigrette creates a harmonious balance that will elevate your holiday meal.

How can I incorporate seasonal fruits into my Christmas side dishes for added freshness?

Incorporate seasonal fruits by preparing dishes like clementine avocado salad or roasted broccoli with cherry tomatoes. These recipes use fresh produce to bring brightness and flavor to your table while celebrating the best of what the season has to offer.