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45 Last-Minute Holiday Side Dishes

Need a side dish but guests will arrive in a half-hour? Cook up a last-minute holiday side dish for a complete and filling dinner spread.

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Au Gratin Peas And Potatoes Exps Ghbz18 11524 E08 08 5b 4

Au Gratin Peas and Potatoes

While this delicious potato skillet is a wonderful side dish, we find it satisfying enough to be a main course, too. The skillet preparation takes less time than it does to bake an au gratin casserole or scalloped potatoes—but it's still good old-fashioned comfort food at its best! —Marie Peterson, DeForest, Wisconsin
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Sauteed Tarragon Radishes Exps Fttmz20 51459 E03 10 2b 1

Sauteed Tarragon Radishes

Who says radishes only belong in salads? These sautéed radishes are cooked in wine and tarragon, and may just change the way you look at radishes forever. These can be served on their own, or added to your favorite au gratin recipe. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Green Bean Bundles Exps Ppt18 3040 E08 21 4b

Green Bean Bundles

I found this recipe in a rural newspaper years ago and have made it often. The bean bundles are excellent with chicken or beef. Sometimes I'll arrange them around a mound of wild rice to make an appetizing side dish. —Virginia Stadler, Nokesville, Virginia
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Walnut Cranberry Orzo

I came up with this delightful side dish after becoming fascinated by the tiny pasta. With red pepper, cranberries, walnuts and Parmesan, it’s as colorful as it is flavorful. —Judith Comstock, Salado, Texas
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Skillet Zucchini and Sausage

I lived on the Oregon coast for 20 years and had plenty of guests dropping by. I often turned to this quick and easy dish, serving it up with skillet cornbread or garlic bread. Judging by the requests for the recipe, everyone loved it! —LaBelle Doster, Vancouver, Washington
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Parsnip-Carrot Medley

Paired with bright carrots, rosemary and just a hint of heat, the natural sweetness of parsnips shines in this easy side. —Taryn Kuebelbeck, Plymouth, Minnesota
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Cauliflower au Gratin

Count on this dish to make new vegetable converts. Whenever I serve it, people ask for the recipe. Sometimes I’ll substitute broccoli for all or half the cauliflower, and the green veggie tastes just as good! —Jacki Ricci, Ely, Nevada
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Minty Peas And Onions Exps Thca19 4008 E01 31 1b 18

Minty Peas and Onions

Mother could always rely on peas and onions when she was in a hurry and needed a quick side. Besides being easy to prepare, this dish was loved by everyone in our family. It was handed down to my mother by my grandmother. —Santa D'Addario, Jacksonville, Florida
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Mediterranean Cauliflower Exps Thfm19 138778 E09 25 2b 8

Mediterranean Cauliflower

I adapted a recipe I received from a friend to make this delicious—and deliciously different—cauliflower dish. It’s prepared quickly in a skillet and uses only a handful of ingredients. What a great way to take ordinary cauliflower to a whole new level! —Valerie Smith, Aston, Pennsylvania
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Lemon Rice Pilaf

No need to buy premade pilaf mix when you can easily make your own in 20 minutes. The lemon zest adds a welcome burst of tang. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Whipped Squash

This is an excellent way to serve one of the season's most delicious vegetables—butternut squash. Its rich flavor and golden harvest color really come through in this smooth vegetable side dish. —Dorothy Pritchett, Wills Point, Texas
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Savory String Beans

I love making this dish when I can pick the beans right out of the garden and put them into the pot. The fresh taste is unbeatable. I've also made it with beans purchased at the store. Either way, you'll find this recipe a winner. There's no need for any extra seasonings at the table. —Ina Reed, Kingman, Arizona
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Parmesan Herbed Noodles Exps Cf2bz20 27889 B11 15 3b 8

Parmesan Herbed Noodles

Looking for a quick, tasty side dish that goes well with all kinds of meats? Try my recipe for tender noodles. For a colorful variation, sometimes I add slightly cooked red and green peppers and a quarter cup of peas. —Denise Elder, Hanover, Ontario Elder
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White Beans And Spinach Exps Sdfm18 9600 B10 06 4b 3

White Beans and Spinach

This skillet side is a variation of a recipe I received from my Italian mother. I've prepared spinach this way for years—because my children eat it happily! —Lucia Johnson, Massena, New York
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Special Creamed Corn Exps Tcbz19 9743 B05 16 4b 2

Special Creamed Corn

This corn has earned a permanent place on our special-occasion menus. While my whole family loves it, my son would be especially disappointed if I forgot to include our corn dish. —Deb Hauptmann, Mohnton, Pennsylvania
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Skillet Red Potatoes Exps Cf219 10453 B12 18 2b 16

Skillet Red Potatoes

When I'm in a hurry to prepare potatoes, I resort to this recipe for skillet potatoes that I created myself. The mix of seasonings is just right and makes a delicious, attractive side dish. It's been a family favorite for a long time and fits with most any meal. —Lois Collier, Vineland, New Jersey
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Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes

This garlic and basil linguine is a perfect way to use up your late-summer tomato harvest. It makes a great light supper when paired with a salad, or you can make it heartier with some chopped chicken. —Susan Jones, Downers Grove, Illinois
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Almond Vegetable Stir Fry Exps24670 Cw143433c03 20 4b Rms 2

Almond Vegetable Stir-Fry

While broccoli florets and chunks of red pepper give these stir-fry vegetables plenty of color, it's the fresh gingerroot, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil that round out the flavor. —Mary Relyea, Canastota, New York
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Easy Grilled Squash Exps Sdon18 132599 C06 14 2b 3

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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Red Potatoes With Beans Exps Ff20 27817 B02 25 5b 1

Red Potatoes with Beans

You can serve this homey blend of fresh green beans, potato wedges and chopped red onion hot or cold. Either way, this easy side dish makes a pleasing accompaniment to Mom's meat loaf or almost any other meat. —Daria Burcar, Rochester, Michigan
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Indian Ginger Potatoes

This easy ginger potato dish is so flavorful. Make it even faster by cooking the potatoes ahead of time or using leftover potatoes. —Erin Kelkar, Norcross, Georgia
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Fried Cabbage Exps Sdfm19 28300 C10 10 4b 19

Fried Cabbage

When I was young, my family grew our own cabbages. It was fun to put them to use in the kitchen, just as I did with this comforting side. With potatoes, deviled eggs and cornbread, fried cabbage tastes like home. —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
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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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Sweet N Tangy Carrots Exps Tohon19 27751 B06 19 7b 2

Sweet 'n' Tangy Carrots

With an irresistible brown sugar-mustard sauce, these simple simmered carrots bring bright flavor and color to the table. —Paula Zsiray, Logan, Utah
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Sauteed Garlic Mushrooms Exps Sdfm19 33520 C10 10 10b 3

Sauteed Garlic Mushrooms

These tasty garlic butter mushrooms are so delicious served with steak, chicken or pork. The sauteed garlic is the secret! —Joan Schroeder, Mesquite, Nevada
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Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Saute Exps Sdas17 37159 C04 06 2b 3

Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Saute

This side dish is full of flavor and so quick to put together. The cherry tomatoes and mozzarella are perfect alongside almost any main dish you can think of. —Summer Jones, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Broccoli Cauliflower Combo Exps Cimz18 37554 E08 31 4bc

Broccoli Cauliflower Combo

Shallots, basil and broth rev up the taste of this nutritious vegetable medley. The bright color and fresh flavors will dress up your plate! —Clara Coulston, Washington Court House, Ohio.
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Creamy Mushrooms Exps Cimz18 35138 B09 05 6b 3

Creamy Mushrooms

So simply prepared yet so satisfyingly good, these thinly sliced mushrooms are creamy, mild and comforting.
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Roasted Fennel and Peppers

Fennel makes for a tasty change of pace in this versatile side that goes nicely with grilled meats. Best of all, it's full of flavor and easy to do—and it doesn't seem light at all! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Creamy Bow Tie Pasta Exps Cf2bz19 40826 E12 14 2b 14

Creamy Bow Tie Pasta

Add a little zip to your meal with this saucy pasta dish. It's an excellent accompaniment with almost any meat or seafood. —Kathy Kittell, Lenexa, Kansas
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Festive Corn N Broccoli Exps Cimz19 41184 C01 10 10b 5

Festive Corn 'n' Broccoli

This recipe is delicious and versatile. I often substitute a tablespoon of minced fresh basil for the dried, and two to three ears of sweet corn (about a cup cut fresh from the cob) for the Mexicorn. —Lucile Throgmorton, Clovis, New Mexico
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Gruyere Mashed Potatoes Exps Hca18 46032 D08 25 2b 7

Gruyere Mashed Potatoes

Gruyere cheese and chives take mashed potatoes to a whole new level this holiday season! Don’t have chives? Just use extra green onion instead. Salsarose - Tasteofhome.com Community
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Creamed Garden Potatoes And Peas Exps Hca18 47574 C06 08 5b 13

Creamed Garden Potatoes and Peas

New potatoes and peas are treated to a creamy sauce for this special side. —Jane Uphoff, Cunningham, Kansas
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Spicy Grilled Eggplant Exps Sdas17 48576 C04 06 4b 6

Spicy Grilled Eggplant

This side goes well with any meat you might also be grilling. Thanks to the Cajun seasoning, the zesty eggplant gets more attention than an ordinary veggie. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas
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Lemon Couscous With Broccoli Exps Lsbz18 86546 C01 19 2b 13

Lemon Couscous with Broccoli

I combined two recipes to create this side with broccoli and pasta. The splash of lemon adds nice flavor. Instead of toasted almonds, you could also sprinkle servings with grated Parmesan cheese. —Beth Dauenhauer, Pueblo, Colorado
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Mashed Potatoes With Garlic Olive Oil Exps Gbhrbz18 59820 E06 20 1b 3

Mashed Potatoes with Garlic-Olive Oil

Garlic mashed potatoes are high on our love list. To intensify the flavor, I combine garlic and olive oil in the food processor and drizzle it on top of the potatoes. — Emory Doty, Jasper, Georgia
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Vegetable And Barley Pilaf Exps Lsbz18 149600 D01 19 6b 3

Vegetable and Barley Pilaf

Hearty, colorful, easy and fast were the reviews we gave this good-for-you dish. Barley has a healthy amount of soluble fiber, which aids digestion. And it can help to lower cholesterol, too! You can easily substitute other fresh veggies you have on hand. —Jesse Klausmeier, Burbank, California
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Crispy Mashed Potato Stuffing Patties Exps Cwon18 135791 C05 24 5b 2

Crispy Mashed Potato & Stuffing Patties

Talk about a fun way to use holiday leftovers! Making this turkey and stuffing patty is so fast. The family looks forward to this breakfast treat every year. —Kellie Ferea, Casa Grande, Arizona
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Mashed Cauliflower With Parmesan Exps Ppt18 53004 E08 21 5b 5

Mashed Cauliflower with Parmesan

I couldn’t shake my mashed potato habit—until I tried mashed cauliflower with a similar consistency. I started making my own, and my family loves it. —Meredith Howard, Franklin, Kentucky
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Exps190012 Th163620d11 13 6b 12

Honey-Lemon Asparagus

Everyone who tastes my glazed asparagus takes a second helping, so I usually double the recipe. For another option, try using a root vegetable like turnip or parsnip. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Harissa Sweet Potato Fritters

I had leftover sweet potatoes and had to think up a new way to use them. We love spice, so I flavored these fun fritters with harissa, just enough for flavor but not too spicy. If you want more heat, you can always adjust the spice to please your taste buds. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Asiago Mashed Cauliflower Exps Thfm19 225923 B09 26 11b 15

Asiago Mashed Cauliflower

Asiago and fresh parsley help turn this mashed potato alternative into a flavorful side dish that won't leave you feeling guilty or completely stuffed. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Pressure Cooker Curried Pumpkin Risotto Exps Tohon19 235182 B06 05 1b 4

Pressure Cooker Curried Pumpkin Risotto

This easy pumpkin risotto tastes like fall and gets a flavor boost from the curry. —Andrea Reaves, Stephens City, Virginia
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Exps39068 Hr143571d09 16 3b 5

Confetti Corn

This easy corn dish is sure to dress up almost any entree. I added the crunch of water chestnuts, red pepper and chopped carrot—along with extra nutrition. —Glenda Watts, Charleston, Illinois
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Sweet Carrots Exps Cf219 17192 B12 18 3b 10

Sweet Carrots

Here's a flavorful way to dress up carrots without a lot of fuss. Simply steam the good-for-you veggies, then season with butter, brown sugar, vinegar and a sprinkling of chives. The carrots are not only colorful, but they're tasty, too. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Carolyn Lewis
Carolyn Lewis is a young writer & digital media professional who grew up in Milwaukee. She loves to read graphic novels, write poetry about nature and cook Thai food while listening to podcasts. She has always been a storyteller and animal lover, thus, she has a hamster named Hamlet.