6 Healthy (and Delicious) Holiday Side Dishes

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Rice Pilaf with Cranberries

‘Tis the season for holiday parties and dinners! This year, don’t worry about looking through cookbook upon cookbook for the perfect healthy holiday side dish. We’ve got some tried and true favorites right here.

Beautiful Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts squash healthy holiday side

For a dish that’s as pretty as it is healthy and delicious, try this Beautiful Brussels Sprouts recipe from The Pioneer Woman. First, roast nutritious butternut squash and brussels sprouts with just a touch of chili powder. Then, drizzle them with pomegranate molasses and top them with pomegranate seeds. Best of all, all the main ingredients in this dish are in season, so you’ll have no problem finding them at your local grocery store or farmers’ market.

Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Bourbon Maple Butter

Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes Holiday Side

Sweet potato puffs topped with sugar-laden marshmallows are a popular holiday staple, but this Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Bourbon Maple Butter recipe from Half Baked Harvest is a much healthier option. While this recipe still has a sweet topping to please traditionalists, the sweetness comes from natural maple syrup rather than processed sugar, while the bourbon gives it a little extra kick.

Ruby Red Grapefruit and Chicory Salad

Grapefruit Salad Healthy Holiday Side Dish

Grapefruit is one of the few fruits that are easy to find during the winter, so take advantage of their availability and whip up this delicious Ruby Red Grapefruit and Chicory Salad from Country Living. The homemade red wine vinegar and cumin dressing bring out the citrusy flavors of the grapefruit, while the chicory adds a nice, crunchy texture to the salad.

Spice Roasted Carrots

If you’re looking for a tasty, inexpensive side that requires very little prep time, this Spice Roasted Carrots recipe from Good Housekeeping is sure to please. All you need to do is toss eight large carrots in a spice medley of oregano, paprika, nutmeg, salt and pepper, throw the carrots in the oven and cook for an hour. Then, top them with roasted pistachios or walnuts, and you’ve got a side dish that will complement your favorite holiday main.

Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf

Cranberry Apple Pecan Rice Pilaf Side

This easy, one-pot Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf recipe from Carlsbad Cravings is a savory-sweet side dish that’s full of flavorful, healthy ingredients. Cook the rice and infuse it with apple juice, Dijon mustard and herbs. The addition of apples, walnuts and cranberries creates a delicious combination of sweet and tart flavors and textures.

Sautéed Cabbage and Apples

Sauteed Cabbage Apples Healthy Holiday Side

For a light side dish that won’t take up any more oven space, try this Sautéed Cabbage and Apples recipe from Cooking Light. At only 73 calories per serving, this savory dish pairs tender, cooked apples with crunchy, sautéed cabbage. The textures and flavors in this dish would go well alongside a seafood main, such as broiled Tilapia.

Next time you’re charged with the task of making a holiday side dish, whip up one of these sure-to-please recipes. They break outside the expected holiday standbys, and everyone will be thankful for a healthier option on the table.

Photo credits: Carlsbad Cravings, The Pioneer Woman, Half Baked Harvest, Natalia Wimberly / Shutterstock.com, Delish, Carlsbad Cravings, Cooking Light