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35 Healthy Christmas Side Dishes

Whether you're entertaining the whole family or just hosting a small get-together this year, these healthy Christmas side dishes will be a hit with everyone.

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Brussels Sprouts & Quinoa SaladTaste of Home

Brussels Sprouts & Quinoa Salad

With Brussels sprouts for the green and cranberries for the red, I make a cheery Christmastime salad. Refreshing and versatile, it works with any kind of nut or dried fruit. —Cameron Stell, Los Angeles, California

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Crunchy Apple Mixed Greens SaladTaste of Home

Crunchy Apple Mixed Greens Salad

Whenever our staff celebrates a birthday or a special occasion, "Mary's Apple Salad" is always at the top of the wish list! The ingredients can also be prepared the day before and put together in a flash for our teachers' 20 minute lunch time.—Mary Robertson, Louisville, Kentucky

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Avocado & Garbanzo Bean Quinoa SaladTaste of Home

Avocado & Garbanzo Bean Quinoa Salad

This delicious quinoa avocado salad is high in protein and holds well in the fridge for a few days. If you make it ahead, add avocados and tomatoes right before serving. —Elizabeth Bennett, Seattle, Washington

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Thyme-Roasted VegetablesTaste of Home

Thyme-Roasted Vegetables

The smell of our house as this is baking calls everyone to dinner. Normally, it serves eight, but my husband’s been known to have more than just one serving at a time. It’s that good.—Jasmine Rose, Crystal Lake, Illinois

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Perfect Winter SaladTaste of Home

Perfect Winter Salad

This is my most-requested salad recipe. Serve it as a side salad along with your holiday meal, or enjoy it for lunch the next day with cubed turkey or chicken on top. —DeNae Shewmake, Burnsville, Minnesota

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Deluxe German Potato SaladTaste of Home

Deluxe German Potato Salad

I make this salad for all occasions—it goes well with any kind of meat. I often take this salad to potlucks, and there’s never any left over. The celery, carrots and dry mustard are a special touch not usually found in traditional German potato salad. —Betty Perkins, Hot Springs, Arkansas

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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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Holiday Lettuce SaladTaste of Home

Holiday Lettuce Salad

Light with a hint of sweetness, this lettuce salad recipe will make everyone excited to eat their fruits and vegetables. —Bryan Braack, Eldridge, Iowa

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Wild Rice, Quinoa & Cranberry Salad

This fragrant salad is a vitamin and protein powerhouse. Toss in cooked leftover turkey to make it a meal the next day. —Jerilyn Korver, Bellflower, California

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Roasted Carrots with Cilantro-Walnut PestoTaste of Home

Roasted Carrots with Cilantro-Walnut Pesto

Lightly baked and lightly flavored, this carrot dish uses cilantro, walnuts, olive oil, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese and basil. —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho

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Honeydew & Prosciutto SaladTaste of Home

Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad

For parties, I turn melon and prosciutto into an easy salad with a honey mustard dressing. To add zip, stir in fresh basil and mint. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington

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Easy Grilled SquashTaste of Home

Easy Grilled Squash

This is grilled butternut squash recipe is one of my favorite ways to cook with fresh produce. I usually make it when I am grilling steak or chicken. —Esther Horst, Monterey, Tennessee

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Roasted Beet Salad with Orange VinaigretteTaste of Home

Roasted Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Beets, oranges and spinach sprinkled with goat cheese make a scrumptious new blend for a mixed green salad. The combination may seem unlikely, but I guarantee it will become a favorite. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Oven-Dried TomatoesTaste of Home

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

We owned an organic greenhouse and business that included classes. I had 100 tomato varieties to work with, so I started oven-drying them and taught my students, too. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

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Pomegranate Persimmon SaladTaste of Home

Pomegranate Persimmon Salad

To bring some sunshine to the table, I toss up a bright salad of persimmons and pomegranate seeds, dressed with a puckery vinaigrette. —Linda Tambunan, Dublin, California

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Ramen Noodle SaladTaste of Home

Ramen Noodle Salad

With added crunch from ramen noodles and sunflower seeds, plus a sweet, glossy dressing, this lively salad is a definite crowd-pleaser! —Beverly Sprague, Baltimore, Maryland

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Pear & Pecan Salad with Cranberry VinaigretteTaste of Home

Pear & Pecan Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

A tart cranberry dressing balances beautifully with sweet, juicy pears in this salad that’s easy to make and sure to impress. This recipe is light on carbs and quick to make—and it’s oh so good! —Jerry Gulley, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

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Great Grain SaladTaste of Home

Great Grain Salad

I can’t think of a better dish to round out a meal. My grain salad features all my favorite nuts, seeds and fruits. Try adding grilled chicken to make it a meal on its own. —Rachel Dueker, Gervais, Oregon

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Cranberry Almond Spinach SaladTaste of Home

Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad

If you want something new to try for your Thanksgiving menu, toss this salad together. Fresh spinach leaves are tossed with toasted almonds and dried cranberries and drizzled with poppy seed dressing. It’s likely to become a holiday tradition at your house, too. —Michelle Krzmarzick Torrance, California

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Fresh Broccoli Salad with LemonTaste of Home

Fresh Broccoli Salad with Lemon

The slightly sweet flavor of this salad's dressing is a great contrast to the rich bacon. You can substitute cauliflower for the broccoli if you prefer. —Janet Roth, Tempe, Arizona

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Roasted Apple Salad with Spicy Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

Roasted Apple Salad with Spicy Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

We bought loads of apples and needed to use them. To help the flavors come alive, I roasted the apples and tossed them with a sweet dressing. —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Cranberry-Pecan Wheat Berry SaladTaste of Home

Cranberry-Pecan Wheat Berry Salad

I love to experiment with different grains and wanted to give wheat berries a try. My whole family goes nuts for this salad, especially my mom. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York

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Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprouts SaladTaste of Home

Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

This salad is a simple and delicious way to eat your superfoods! It gets even better in the fridge, so I make it ahead. I use my homemade honey mustard dressing, but any type works just fine. —Alexandra Weisser, New York, New York

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Orzo Vegetable SaladTaste of Home

Orzo Vegetable Salad

Heading to a potluck and need something to share? Tangy lemon dressing over cool orzo and vegetables is everything you want in a light side dish. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada

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Hungarian-Style Green BeansTaste of Home

Hungarian-Style Green Beans

A vacation to Hungary inspired this flavorful side of green beans with paprika and mushrooms. Being a vegetarian, I welcome these tasty ideas. —Sherry Johnston, Green Cove Springs, Florida

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Bow Tie & Spinach SaladTaste of Home

Bow Tie & Spinach Salad

With pasta salads, it’s easy to change up ingredients. We like to add grilled chicken and pine nuts, and sometimes we substitute black beans for the chickpeas. —Julie Kirkpatrick, Billings, Montana

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Steakhouse MushroomsTaste of Home

Steakhouse Mushrooms

I got this recipe from a friend back when we were in nursing school. Whenever my husband is cooking meat on the grill, you can bet I'll be in the kitchen preparing these mushrooms. —Kenda Burgett, Rattan, Oklahoma

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Perfect Winter SaladTaste of Home

Perfect Winter Salad

This is my most-requested salad recipe. Serve it as a side salad along with your holiday meal, or enjoy it for lunch the next day with cubed turkey or chicken on top. —DeNae Shewmake, Burnsville, Minnesota

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Honey-Thyme Butternut SquashTaste of Home

Honey-Thyme Butternut Squash

This golden, honey-sweetened squash is just as hearty and comforting as your favorite potato dish. With its bright color, it makes an attractive side for special autumn meals. —Bianca Noiseux, Bristol, Connecticut

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Garlic Mashed CauliflowerTaste of Home

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

I order cauliflower mash every time we're at our favorite restaurant. Lucky us; one night, I figured out how to make it at home. It was so easy! —Jean Keiser, West Chester, Pennsylvania

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Cran-Orange Couscous SaladTaste of Home

Cran-Orange Couscous Salad

I often create salads for summer using a variety of healthy, filling grains. This version with tender couscous is amped up by the bright flavors of oranges, cranberries, basil and a touch of fennel. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York

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Eggplant FriesTaste of Home

Eggplant Fries

My kids love this snack—and I like that it’s healthy. Coated with Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt, these veggie sticks are broiled, not fried, so there’s no guilt when you crunch into them. —Mary Murphy, Atwater, California

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Honey Garlic Green BeansTaste of Home

Honey Garlic Green Beans

Green beans are great, but they can seem ordinary on their own. Just a couple extra ingredients give them sweet and salty attitude. This is definitely my family’s favorite way to enjoy them. —Shannon Dobos, Calgary, Alberta

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Cranberry-Walnut Sweet PotatoesTaste of Home

Cranberry-Walnut Sweet Potatoes

If you ask me, the best part of a holiday dinner is the sweet potatoes! You can make the sauce up to a day ahead—just leave out the walnuts until you’re ready to serve. —Mary Wilhelm, Sparta, Wisconsin

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Crispy Seasoned Polenta SquaresTaste of Home

Crispy Seasoned Polenta Squares

Crisp polenta squares make a delightful side for a variety of main dishes. Sun-dried tomatoes and just the right amount of seasoning make them seem special…a dollop of sour cream adds the finishing touch! Shelly Fisher – Hermiston, Oregon

Christina Manian, RDN
Christina Manian is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist based out of Boulder, Colorado. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, she has been involved with the nutrition departments of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Mass General Hospital. She completed her nutrition education at the Mayo Clinic with a focus on medical nutrition therapy and most recently practiced clinical nutrition at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. While her background has largely been in the clinical setting, Christina embraces and is shifting her focus towards wellness nutrition as the backbone to optimum health.

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