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20+ Diabetic-Friendly Christmas Side Dishes

Every holiday table needs a few side dishes. And these healthy, diabetic-friendly recipes are sure to please. Find our best ideas for veggies, salads, mashes and more.

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Maple-Gingerroot Vegetables

Maple-Gingerroot Vegetables

My family loves this recipe because it brings out the lovely flavors of the vegetables. Even my children enjoy it—they love the drizzle of maple syrup! It's a tasty way to introduce kids to turnips, rutabaga and parsnips, too. —Kelli Ritz, Innisfail, Alberta

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Quick Green Beans with BaconTaste of Home

Quick Green Beans with Bacon

Green beans with bacon and onions makes such an easy side dish. Fresh beans lend a crisp, bright flavor to any meal. They're best when served hot. —Mari Anne Warren, Milton, Wisconsin

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Roast Beets with Orange Gremolata and Goat Cheese

Roast Beets with Orange Gremolata and Goat Cheese

My grandma always grew beets then pickled or canned them, but I prefer to prepare them differently. I like these roasted beets in the winter but they can be enjoyed all year with the addition of fresh herbs and tangy goat cheese. —Courtney Archibeque, Portland, Oregon

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Brown Rice with Cranberries and AlmondsTaste of Home

Brown Rice with Cranberries and Almonds

I'm always looking to switch things up during the holiday season. This brown rice with cranberries and almonds dish fits the bill. It is on the lighter side and uses ingredients I always have on hand. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Brussels Sprouts & Kale SauteTaste of Home

Brussels Sprouts & Kale Saute

In an effort to add more greens to our meals, I created this dish—and my kids eat it up. The crispy salami is the "hook." —Jennifer Mcnabb, Brentwood, Tennessee

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Parsnips & Turnips au GratinTaste of Home

Parsnips & Turnips au Gratin

This is a delicious variation on au gratin that features something besides potatoes. I sometimes substitute rutabaga for the turnips. It’s a well-guarded recipe in my collection. Until now! —Priscilla Gilbert, Indian Harbour Beach, Florida

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Green Beans AmandineTaste of Home

Green Beans Amandine

It's hard to improve on the taste Mother Nature gives to fresh green beans, but Mom has done just that for years using this green beans amandine recipe. I have always thought the crunchy almonds were a super addition. —Brenda DuFresne, Midland, Michigan

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Hearty Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon DressingTaste of Home

Hearty Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

This warm, hearty spinach and bacon salad offers comfort at any meal. The glossy dressing features a hint of celery seed for a special touch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Spinach RiceTaste of Home

Spinach Rice

I like to serve this Greek-style rice dish alongside steaks with mushrooms. It makes an elegant side that can be doubled for guests. —Jeanette Cakouros, Brunswick, Maine

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Honey-Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Honey-Garlic Brussels Sprouts

At a holiday dinner recently, I had the best Brussels sprouts ever! They were seasoned to perfection and lightly sweetened. I've tried to re-create the dish, and this comes very close. It has just the right amount of garlic and sweetness. —Robin Haas, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

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Cauliflower MashTaste of Home

Cauliflower Mash

This quick and easy mashed cauliflower is a great alternative to same-old mashed spuds, and it's healthier, too!—Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Easy Orange and Red Onion SaladTaste of Home

Easy Orange and Red Onion Salad

Here's an unusual salad that’s easy to prepare when holiday obligations have you short on time. The combination of red onions and oranges may seem unusual, but it's surprisingly delightful. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah

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Waffle-Iron Acorn Squash

I love to get the kids involved in cooking, and this squash is so simple even a small child can cook it with minimal adult supervision. The recipe is fun, fast and no-fuss, and doesn't use valuable oven space before big family meals. —Donna Kelly, Orem, Utah

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with CranberriesTaste of Home

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries

There’s nothing to this recipe—the preparation and cooking times are so quick. I sprinkle in a few dried cranberries, but you can let your imagination take over. Add a handful of raisins or walnuts at the end, or even sliced oranges. If your Brussels sprouts are large, cut them in half. —Ellen Ruzinsky, Yorktown Heights, New York

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Garlic-Sesame Green BeansTaste of Home

Garlic-Sesame Green Beans

Sauteed bits of garlic and shallot, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, turn ordinary beans into something special. Keep the recipe in mind for your garden crop in summer. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri

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Smoky CauliflowerTaste of Home

Smoky Cauliflower

The smoked Spanish paprika gives a simple side of roasted cauliflower extra depth. This is definitely a favorite. —Juliette Mulholland, Corvallis, Oregon

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Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Sure, it’s simple and healthy but, oh, is this roasted broccoli delicious. Cutting the stalks into tall “trees” turns an ordinary veggie into a standout side dish. —Holly Sander, Lake Mary, Florida

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Colcannon Irish PotatoesTaste of Home

Colcannon Irish Potatoes

My mother came from Ireland as a teen and brought the comforting recipe with her. I find that it's a great way to get my family to eat cooked cabbage...hidden in Grandma's potatoes! —Marie Pagel, Lena, Wisconsin

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Mashed Peppery Turnips

Mashed Peppery Turnips

I created this recipe in an attempt to use up a great turnip harvest from our garden, and to lighten up one of our favorite dishes. By using turnips in place of potatoes, I made a low-carb side. Now we rarely serve plain mashed potatoes! —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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Lemon Cranberry Quinoa SaladTaste of Home

Lemon Cranberry Quinoa Salad

As the family cook, I appreciate how easy this is to throw together on a busy weeknight. Plus, this salad never gets boring. One of my favorite variations is to substitute diced fresh mango for cranberries, cilantro for parsley, and lime for the lemon juice and zest. —Mary Shenk, Dekalb, Illinois

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Roasted Italian Green Beans & Tomatoes

When you roast green beans and tomatoes, their flavors really shine through. The vibrant colors light up a table. What a perfect side dish for the holidays! —Brittany Allyn, Mesa, Arizona

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Orange Pomegranate Salad with HoneyTaste of Home

Orange Pomegranate Salad with Honey

I discovered this fragrant salad in a cooking class. If you can, try to find orange flower water (also called orange blossom water), which perks up the orange segments. But orange juice adds a nice zip, too! —Carol Richardson Marty, Lynwood, Washington

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Collard Greens & BeansTaste of Home

Collard Greens & Beans

I never tried collard greens until a friend gave me this recipe that calls for bacon and pinto beans. Now I look forward to serving this Southern staple on Thanksgiving. —April Burroughs, Vilonia, Arkansas

 

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.

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