roasted onions wild rice
Wild Rice with Roasted Buttered Onions. Matt Taylor-Gross
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So you’ve chosen your perfect holiday roast. Now what? Don’t let your roast outshine your sides. Instead, let them accompany one another in perfect harmony, or even let your sides take center stage for a change. From maple-glazed carrots to creamy mashed potatoes and green bean casseroles, Christmas side dishes are the comfort companions for hearty mains. Upgrade your Christmas side dishes for silkier mashes, cheesier gratins, and hearty greens with our best Christmas side dishes. They’ll definitely leave your guests coming back for seconds. For more Christmas inspiration, check out our Christmas Holiday Guide.

"Roasted

Roasted Garlic Polenta “Mash” with Herbs and Mascarpone

Using a medium-coarsely ground cornmeal for this dish leaves some texture in the polenta while getting it as close to the consistency of soft, fluffy mashed potatoes as possible. (If using a more coarsely ground meal, increase both the cooking time and quantity of stock accordingly.) Get the recipe for Roasted Garlic Polenta “Mash” with Herbs and Mascarpone »
"Tuscan

Tuscan Kale and Red Pepper Focaccia

In addition to being baked on an olive oil-slathered pan, this focaccia dough is mixed with olive oil as well as creamy mashed potatoes, giving it a fluffy interior and crispy, oil-slicked edges. Kale and red pepper flakes add color and texture that make an otherwise simple bread a side dish in its own right. Get the recipe for Tuscan Kale and Red Pepper Focaccia »
"Seared

Seared Radicchio with Raisins and Shaved Parmigiano

This warm salad is made with a naturally sweet, high-quality balsamic vinegar to balance the bitterness of the leaves. If top-shelf balsamic vinegar di Modena is unavailable or out of your price range, cooking the grocery store version down by about one-third of its volume over a medium-low flame—and further sweetening it to taste with a drizzle of honey as needed—helps produce a similar level of sweetness.
"fig

Mostarda di Frutta (Spicy Mustard and Fruit Preserves)

Mostarda is not mustard. It is not sweet or acidic, not salty or spicy—at least, it’s none of those things alone. It is made mostly of fruit, but is neither jelly nor jam nor dessert. Get the recipe for Mostarda di Frutta (Spicy Mustard and Fruit Preserves)
"Harvest

Cheesy Mushroom and Pancetta Bread Pudding

Caramelized onions and mushrooms, a pinch of cayenne, and tangy crème fraiche turn this pillowy white bread pudding savory. It makes a delightful brunch, lunch, or dinner with a lightly dressed green salad on the side. Get the recipe for Cheesy Mushroom and Pancetta Bread Pudding »
"Cauliflower

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Souffles

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Souffles
"Cornbread

Cornbread Dressing

This classic Southern-style Thanksgiving dressing is tossed with crumbled breakfast sausage and plenty of sage, then cooked in a casserole dish beside the browning bird. Get the recipe for Cornbread Dressing »
"Apple,

Apple, Sage, and Sausage Stuffing

A combination of apples and sausage lends a nice sweet-savory balance to this simple stuffing enhanced with sage. Get the recipe for Apple, Sage, and Sausage Stuffing »
"Minnesota,

Polenta with Corn and Wild Rice

Wild rice adds a toasted nuttiness to this dish, and breaking it up in a food processor allows the rice to cook at the same rate as the polenta. Cookbook author Amy Thielen advises to scrape the corn cobs with the back of a knife after you grate the kernels to extract as much of the corn liquid as you can. Get the recipe for Polenta with Corn and Wild Rice »
"Brussels

Brussels Spout Gratin

Brussels Spout Gratin
"Broiled

Broiled Spaghetti Squash with Walnut-Miso Glaze

It’s rare that we encounter spaghetti squash not shredded into its eponymous noodle-like threads. But kept intact, it reveals a beautifully yielding texture and a savory, subtle flavor that’s perfectly offset by a rich walnut-miso glaze.
"Sweet

Sweet Potato Casserole with Bourbon and Pineapple

A variation of traditional sweet potato casserole gets its depth of flavor from bourbon and pineapple. Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole with Bourbon and Pineapple »
"Maple

Maple Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Maple syrup enhances the sweetness of this simple sweet potato mash. Get the recipe for Maple Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes »
"Soy-Braised

Soy-Braised Kabocha Squash

Braising—with a healthy dose of soy—is one of our favorite ways to bring out the texture and flavor of winter squash.
"Green

Green Beans with Lemons and Capers

Inspired by the briny flavors of veal piccata, this elegant side dish is simplicity itself: blanched green beans tossed in a vinaigrette of capers, bright lemon, and a beautiful olive oil. Get the recipe for Green Beans with Lemons and Capers »
"Egg

Egg and Cheese Soufflé

Its name derived from the French verb souffler, meaning “to breathe” or “to puff”, a soufflé’s pillowy top will naturally rise in the oven but slightly deflate just moments after removal. The eggy treat’s fleeting moment of perfection is one of the reasons the dish is handled so delicately by chefs and cherished so deeply by diners. This savory cheese version is courtesy of chef Daniel Skurnick of Le Coucou restaurant in New York City. Get the recipe for Egg and Cheese Soufflé »
"Paprika

Braised Paprika Kraut

This hearty, chicken stock—braised kraut is smoky, spicy, and well balanced, with sweet onions, garlic, and bacon fat nicely contrasting the brightness and brininess of jarred sauerkraut. If you prefer the end result even more sour, feel free to add a splash more brine from the jar. Get the recipe for Braised Paprika Kraut »
"Freekeh

Freekeh Pilaf with Sumac

Freekeh—sun-dried and roasted unripe wheat berries—is a popular grain in Mediterranean cuisines, and has a mildly smoky flavor and pleasant chew. Here, chef Mehmet Gürs of Istanbul’s Mikla cooks it pilaf-style and spices it with sumac, a bright red spice that lends color and a lemony zing to anything it hits. Get the recipe for Freekeh Pilaf with Sumac »
"Skillet-Braised

Skillet-Braised Swiss Chard

Skillet-Braised Swiss Chard
"Lee

Sour Cream Corn Bread

This simple Southern-style cornbread harkens to cookbook author Lee Bailey’s Louisiana upbringing and highlights his simple entertaining and cooking style. Bailey calls for baking the cornbread in a cast-iron skillet, but you can substitute a well-greased 9-inch metal baking pan. Get the recipe for Sour Cream Corn Bread »
"Baked

Baked Cardoons with Parmigiano Bread Crumbs

The bitterness of cardoons shoots through a rich bechamel, topped with cheesy parmesan bread crumbs, in Chef Mario Batali’s homestyle Italian gratin. Get the recipe for Baked Cardoons with Parmigiano Bread Crumbs »
"Cannellini

Cannellini Bean Salad with Radicchio and Celery

Cannellini Bean Salad with Radicchio and Cele
"Green

Green Bean Casserole

This recipe is an adaptation of the one developed in the 1950s by the Campbell’s Soup Company. Get the recipe for Green Bean Casserole »
"Pasta

Pasta e Fagioli

This version of the soup bean and pasta dish reverses the order of its stars turning it into a pasta dish laden with creamy beans and a creamy sauce. Get the recipe for Pasta e Fagioli »
"Lima

Lima Bean Gratin with Herbed Bread Crumbs

Think of this gratin as a meatless cassoulet, meant to accompany a roast, or as a stand alone, next to a tartly-dressed green salad. Get the recipe for Lima Bean Gratin with Herbed Bread Crumbs »
"Sweet

Shredded Collard Green Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Shredded Collard Green Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes
"Slow-Roasted

Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Labneh

Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Labneh
"Root

Root Vegetable and Quinoa Salad with Pickled Sunchokes

Root Vegetable and Quinoa Salad with Pickled Sunchokes
"Spicy

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini
"Moroccan

Moroccan Carrots with Aleppo Pepper and Mint

Moroccan Carrots with Aleppo Pepper and Mint
"Twice-Cooked

Twice-Cooked Eggplant with Sherry Vinegar and Paprika

Charred until nearly burnt, then mashed with earthy paprika and sour sherry vinegar, we love this dish as a condiment on roast lamb or served as a dip with pita chips. Get the recipe for Twice-Cooked Eggplant with Sherry Vinegar and Paprika »
"Sautéed

Sautéed Collard Greens with Six-Hour Caramelized Onions

Rich, sweet caramelized onions are swirled into this simple side dish, giving the sautéed greens an umami-like bittersweet flavor. Get the recipe for Sautéed Collard Greens with Six-Hour Caramelized Onions »
"Blue

Blue Cheese, Grape, and Gem Lettuce Salad

Blue Cheese, Grape, and Gem Lettuce Salad
"Celery

Celery Root, Carrot, and Potato Gratin

Celery Root, Carrot, and Potato Gratin
"Roasted

Roasted Apples and Bacon with Onions and Thyme (Æbleflæsk)

In a classic Danish treatment, sweet red apples are roasted with onions, caramelized in bacon fat, and served under thick steaks of smoked belly bacon. Get the recipe for Roasted Apples and Bacon with Onions and Thyme (Æbleflæsk) »
"Fried

Wok-Fried Brussels Sprouts and Bacon with Crispy Chestnuts

This spin on a popular Sichuan stir-fry—with bacon, ginger, and garlic; garnished with sliced chestnuts—swaps traditional cauliflower for Brussels sprouts. Get the recipe for Wok-Fried Brussels Sprouts and Bacon with Crispy Chestnuts »
"Homemade

Homemade Pasta With Spicy Cabbage and Bacon

Cabbage is a staple vegetable in Slovenia; here it is wilted in bacon fat and spiced with cayenne before being tossed with homemade noodle dough for this traditional pasta dish. Get the recipe for Homemade Pasta With Spicy Cabbage and Bacon »
"Roasted

Don’t waste your carrot tops

Roasted Carrot Salad with Burrata
"Creamed

Creamed Swiss Chard with Gorgonzola, Rye Bread Crumbs, and Walnuts

In this bulked-up version of the classic side dish, chard replaces spinach, and Gorgonzola adds depth and a creamier texture. Get the recipe for Creamed Swiss Chard with Gorgonzola, Rye Bread Crumbs, and Walnuts »
"Sweet

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble

This sweet potato casserole is an especially festive, over-the-top take on the Thanksgiving classic, topped with a crisp pecan crumble and dotted with marshmallows. Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble »
"Fingerling

Fingerling Potatoes with Bacon

The secret to this simple dish is to use the best quality bacon available. Delicious and straightforward, you can whip this dish together quickly while keeping the oven available for other jobs.
"Julia

Julia Child’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Thirty cloves of garlic go into this creamy side dish, adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 1 (Alfred A. Knopf, 1961). The cloves are first blanched whole, which enhances their sweetness, then used to make a rich béchamel sauce that’s stirred into mashed potatoes with cream and parsley. Get the recipe for Julia Child’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes »
"roasted

Wild Rice with Roasted Buttered Onions

Wild Rice with Roasted Buttered Onions
"Green

Green Beans with Pancetta and Mint

This green bean dish is mildly creamy, thanks to a quick blanching in milk, which also sweetens the beans slightly. A garnish of toasted chopped hazelnuts adds a lovely nutty crunch. This recipe appeared with Irene Sax’s piece Small Wonders (November 2008), a tribute to Thanksgiving side dishes–though we think it works well anytime of year. Get the recipe for Green Beans with Pancetta and Mint »
"Sage

Sage Mashed Potatoes

This fragrant recipes involves a few ingenious methods for infusing the herb’s brisk flavor into the mash. Get the recipe for Sage Mashed Potatoes »
"Potato

Potato and Rutabaga Gratin

Earthy rutabagas and aged Gruyere add intrigue to a classic potato gratin. Get the recipe for Potato and Rutabaga Gratin »

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