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20 Best-Ever Christmas Eve Side Dishes

These side dishes will transform your dinner, making the meal the best gift of the night.
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Christmas is a time where you get to make memories with those who mean the most to you, and what's a better gift than an amazing dinner? Though this year might look a bit different, as there's a good chance you'll be sharing a meal virtually with loved ones, you can still make your Christmas Eve dinner memorable. While the main dishes might be pretty standard at this point, the side dishes that accompany your turkey, ham, or chicken let you get a little more creative.

From classic comfort food go-to options to favorites reimagined, Christmas is a time to break out the most hearty and oh so delicious foods.

We rounded up 20 of the best Christmas side dish recipes so you can have an unforgettable holiday meal. And in case you want to take a little trip down memory lane this holiday, here are The Most Popular Christmas Recipes in Every State.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Vegan roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

When in doubt, deciding to make mashed potatoes is never a bad idea, as it's an easy crowd-pleaser that pairs well with tons of main courses. You can customize the creamy side dish however you like, whether you add garlic, freshly chopped chives, bacon, sautéed spinach, roasted onions, or even peppers. Potatoes truly are a gift that keeps on giving.

Get our recipe for Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

Green Bean Casserole

Vegetarian green bean casserole
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This green bean casserole stays true to the classic side dish recipe you most likely know and love already, but instead, we swap in fresh ingredients, allowing for more texture and flavor than the original soup label recipe. This is one throwback side dish that never goes out of style.

Get our recipe for a Green Bean Casserole.

Southern-Style Biscuits

Low-calorie flaky southern biscuits
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

There really is nothing quite like a warm, perfectly flaky, biscuit. You'll want to try our Easy Homemade Gravy Recipe alongside these pillowy delights, too. Topped with warm butter and savory gravy, these biscuits just might steal the show this year.

Get our recipe for Southern-Style Biscuits.

Cranberry Orange Relish

healthy orange cranberry relish
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Perhaps it's the color of cranberry that makes it the perfect addition to a Christmas feast, but this cranberry orange relish is great to pair with any main course. And you just might catch some of your guests coming back for more helpings by the spoonful—we won't judge.

Get our recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish.

Brussels Sprouts Garnished With Bacon and Almonds

Healthy brussels and bacon
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

It's no secret bacon makes everything better, and here, it's paired with Brussels sprouts and almonds for a greens-based side dish that is the perfect balance of savory and salty. Want to know how to make bacon the best way, every single time?

Get our recipe for Brussels Sprouts Garnished With Bacon and Almonds.

Mac and Cheese

Copycat Cracker Barrel mac and cheese in a skillet
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

It's hard to ever resist mac and cheese, and Christmas is the perfect time of year to indulge in the dreamy, creamy classic. This classic mac and cheese is inspired by Cracker Barrel's famous version, so you know you're in for a true treat with dinner.

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese

Roasted Carrots

Vegetarian honey roasted carrots
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

We're going to make a bold statement: roasted carrots are so much better than the bite-sized raw versions. There is just something about the pop of color on your plate, the soft texture of the carrots, and the sweet honey flavor this side dish brings that make us want to eat our vegetables (and maybe even get a second serving).

Get our recipe for Roasted Carrots.

Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin Recipe

Vegetarian yukon gold & sweet potato gratin
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Potatoes au gratin often gets a bad rep, but here, the dish gets a makeover as this version is made with both Yukon gold potatoes and sweet potatoes.

Get our recipe for Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin.

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

Vegetarian parmesan roasted broccoli
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Basic broccoli gets a simple but statement-making upgrade once you add parmesan to it. Plus, this side is ready in just 15 minutes, so you can easily whip this veggie up if you need any last-minute additions to your holiday spread!

Get our recipe for Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli.

Hashbrown Casserole

Finished hashbrown casserole on a table before serving
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Hashbrowns are typically considered a breakfast staple, but with this recipe, you can serve it up at dinner for a side dish that is so cheesy and creamy. Is there really any other way to eat potatoes? Once you serve this in place of mashed potatoes, there will be no going back.

Get our recipe for a Hashbrown Casserole.

Pesto Gnocchi with Green Beans and Tomatoes

Vegetarian pesto gnocchi with green beans and tomatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Perhaps the red, green, and white colors of this side dish really bring on all the Christmas vibes, but this is one gnocchi you're going to want to have on hand. It'll be a great special side on your table, as well as a vegetarian-friendly main option for those who don't eat meat.

Get our recipe for Pesto Gnocchi with Green Beans and Tomatoes.

Caprese Tomato Tower Salad

Vegetarian caprese tomato towers
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Tomato and mozzarella are better together, and here, they are paired with basil and dressed in balsamic for a salad no one will resist. Plus, the presentation is restaurant-worthy and will bring some flair to your holiday feast. Plus, the red and green looks festive!

Get our recipe for a Caprese Tomato Tower Salad.

Smashed Potatoes

Vegan smashed potatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You truly can make potatoes so many different ways, but this version might just be the most fun, especially if you have some helping hands in the kitchen. You just have to first boil some Yukon Gold potato spuds until tender, and once cooled, simply smash them so they are flat. Sautée the spuds in a cast-iron skillet and you're ready to serve them up. They're crispy, crunchy, and perfect for Christmas.

Get our recipe for Smashed Potatoes.

Apple-Sausage Stuffing

Healthy apple-sausage stuffing
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Make stuffing a standout side this year. Instead of reaching for the usual boxed mix, try this homemade version made with delicious mix-ins like apple, sausage, onion, garlic, and sage. It's a savory stuffing that'll pair well with your turkey.

Get our recipe for an Apple-Sausage Stuffing.

The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

Stuffed Tomatoes

Vegetarian stuffed tomatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This side dish works well with any meat or main course, as it's a juicy piece of warm tomato stuffed with feta cheese and bread crumbs. Pop these out of the oven, and get ready to wow your guests.

Get our recipe for Stuffed Tomatoes.

Asparagus With a Fried Egg and Prosciutto

Healthy asparagus with fried eggs and prosciutto
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

For an extra-special touch of flavor, this recipe shows you don't need to go crazy for a crowd-pleasing side—sometimes, simple is best. And wouldn't you like one less thing to worry about over the holidays? This six-ingredient veggie-based dish is so simple to make, but it still looks like a standout side.

Get our recipe for Asparagus With a Fried Egg and Prosciutto.

Cranberry Mustard Mini Tuna Melt

Cranberry mustard mini tuna melts
Waterbury Publicatons, Inc.

Now this might just be the side dish that steals the show. Cranberry, mustard, and tuna come together for a rather unique dish that packs a ton of flavor. Plus, because they're in a muffin tin, it's easy to plan for a crowd.

Get our recipe for Cranberry Mustard Mini Tuna Melts.

Sweet Potato Toasts

sweet potato toasts on blue plate with butter
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Say goodbye to crackers and instead, break out the sweet potatoes. Here, thinly sliced sweet potato are baked to perfection and then loaded with toppings such as almond butter and sweet cherries. Truly makes for an unexpected yet tasty side dish.

Get our recipe for Sweet Potato Toasts.


wendy's copycat chili in three bowls on a marble counter with cheese and sour cream
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

There really is nothing quite like a warm bowl of chili on a winter's night. And if you were ever a fan of Wendy's take on the dish, you're in luck, as this recipe is inspired by the fast-food favorite. With a healthier take, of course!

Get our recipe for Copycat Wendy's Chili.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

bowls of copycat broccoli cheddar soup
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

This creamy soup is a great addition to your holiday feast. And the best part is that you can make it all in one pot—no need to dirty more than one!

Get our recipe for Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

Browse more holiday recipes:

The Best Christmas Dish in Every State

25 Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes

17 Best Christmas Brunch Recipes

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Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more about Jennifer