10 Unique Christmas Side Dish Recipes

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Make your Christmas special with these delicious Christmas side dish recipes

While we all love traditional holiday fare, adding a few unique side dishes can truly elevate your Christmas dinner and leave your guests impressed. This list of 20 unique Christmas side dishes recipes offers a blend of flavors and textures that go beyond the classics, bringing excitement and diversity to your festive table.

#1 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

This dish takes the often-underappreciated Brussels sprout and turns it into a showstopper. The sprouts are roasted until they have a beautiful caramelized char, which brings out their natural sweetness and nutty flavor. Tossed with vibrant, juicy pomegranate seeds and crunchy pecans, this dish is a feast for the eyes and the palate. The addition of pomegranate not only gives a pop of festive color but also introduces a sweet and tart flavor that complements the earthiness of the sprouts perfectly.

#2 Maple Pecan Roasted Acorn Squash

A perfect blend of the natural earthiness of squash and the sweetness of maple syrup. The acorn squash is sliced in half and roasted with a glaze of maple syrup, which caramelizes in the oven, imparting a rich, sweet flavor. This dish is not only visually appealing, with its golden-brown edges and deep orange color, but it also offers a comforting, slightly nutty taste that’s a welcome addition to any Christmas table.

#3 Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

An elegant salad that combines the crisp sweetness of fresh pears with the creamy, tangy bite of Gorgonzola cheese. The pears are sliced and laid atop a bed of mixed greens, and the salad is dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette, which adds a sweet and tangy depth of flavor. The addition of Gorgonzola, a rich and flavorful blue cheese, introduces a luxurious element to the dish, making it a sophisticated and refreshing side.

#4 Truffle Mashed Potatoes

These are not your average mashed potatoes. Infused with the decadent flavors of truffle oil and sour cheese, they offer a gourmet twist on a classic comfort food. The earthy flavor of the truffle oil pairs beautifully with the sharpness of the sour cream, creating a creamy, luxurious side dish that’s sure to impress.

#5 Sweet & Spicy Cranberry Salsa

A vibrant and zesty alternative to traditional cranberry sauce. This salsa combines fresh cranberries with ingredients like jalapeños, cilantro, and lime, resulting in a side that’s both sweet and spicy. It’s a perfect accompaniment to turkey or ham, adding a lively burst of flavor and color to your Christmas spread.

#6 Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

A simple yet elegant side dish that pairs the earthy flavor of asparagus with the salty, savory taste of prosciutto. The asparagus spears are wrapped in thin slices of prosciutto and roasted or grilled until the asparagus is tender and the prosciutto is crisp. This dish is not only delicious but also visually appealing, making it a great choice for adding sophistication to your holiday menu.

#7 Moroccan-Spiced Carrots

These carrots are roasted with a blend of Moroccan spices, including cumin, cinnamon, and paprika, which provide a warm, aromatic flavor profile. The spices complement the natural sweetness of the carrots, creating a side dish that’s both exotic and comforting. The addition of a sprinkle of fresh herbs before serving adds a pop of color and freshness.

#8 Brie and Apple Tarts

Mini tarts that offer a delightful combination of flavors and textures. They feature a flaky pastry crust filled with creamy Brie cheese and topped with thinly sliced apples. The tarts are baked until the cheese is melty and the apples are tender, resulting in a harmonious blend of sweet and savory in every bite.

#9 Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

A side dish that transforms broccoli into a flavorful, crispy delight. The broccoli florets are tossed with garlic and Parmesan cheese, then roasted until they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The roasting process intensifies the broccoli’s flavor, and the garlic and Parmesan add a savory depth that makes this dish irresistible.

#10 Honey-Thyme Roasted Butternut Squash

A side dish that perfectly encapsulates the flavors of the season. The butternut squash is cut into cubes and roasted with honey and fresh thyme, which caramelizes in the oven, enhancing the squash’s natural sweetness. The thyme adds a subtle, earthy aroma, creating a side dish that’s both simple and sophisticated.

#11 Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese

This is a creamy, comforting side dish with a gourmet twist. The smoky flavor of Gouda cheese melds beautifully with the classic macaroni and cheese, creating a rich and indulgent experience. The dish can be baked to achieve a golden, crispy top, adding a delightful textural contrast to the creamy interior. Perfect for cheese lovers, this side dish brings a luxurious touch to the Christmas table.

#12 Savory Bread Pudding with Mushrooms and Leeks

A hearty and rustic addition to any festive meal. This dish combines crusty bread with earthy mushrooms and sweet, tender leeks, all soaked in a savory custard mixture and baked until golden. It’s a comforting dish that offers a deliciously savory alternative to traditional sweet bread puddings.

#13 Beetroot and Feta Gratin

A visually stunning and flavorful dish. Layers of thinly sliced beetroot are interspersed with crumbled feta cheese and baked, resulting in a beautiful melding of sweet, earthy beetroot and tangy, salty feta. This gratin is not only a feast for the eyes with its vibrant colors but also a delightful combination of flavors.

#14 Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini and Mint

A Middle Eastern-inspired dish that features roasted cauliflower florets, which become nutty and caramelized in the oven. Drizzled with a creamy, sesame-flavored tahini sauce, this side dish is both nutritious and packed with flavor. The addition of a sprinkle of fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon juice can brighten the dish further.

#15 Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Spinach and Artichoke

Large portobello mushroom caps are filled with a creamy mixture of spinach, artichoke, and cheese, creating a rich and satisfying vegetarian option. Baked until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is bubbly, these stuffed mushrooms are a flavorful and elegant addition to the Christmas spread.

#16 Bacon and Cornbread Stuffing

A Southern twist on classic stuffing. This dish combines sweet, crumbly cornbread with salty, crispy bacon, along with onions, celery, and herbs for added depth of flavor. The result is a comforting, hearty side that’s a perfect complement to traditional holiday meats.

#17 Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tart

A savory tart that features a flaky pastry crust filled with sweet caramelized onions and tangy goat cheese. This elegant dish is a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors and can be served as an appetizer or side. The golden, caramelized top makes it a visually appealing addition to any festive table.

#18 Grilled Radicchio with Balsamic Glaze

Grilled radicchio brings a slightly bitter yet sophisticated flavor to the Christmas menu. The grilling process softens the leaves and imparts a smoky flavor. Drizzled with a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze, this dish offers a unique and striking taste that can refresh the palate amidst richer fare.

#19 Creamy Polenta with Roasted Mushrooms

Creamy, smooth polenta serves as a comforting base for this dish, topped with garlic-roasted mushrooms that provide an umami-packed punch. The combination of the soft polenta and the flavorful mushrooms makes for a warm, comforting side that’s a delightful alternative to traditional potato or rice dishes.

#20 Red Wine Braised Red Cabbage

This dish features red cabbage braised slowly in red wine and a mix of spices, resulting in a tangy, slightly sweet side with a deep, rich flavor. The cabbage becomes tender and infused with the flavors of the wine, making it a sophisticated and flavorful addition to the Christmas dinner table.

These 20 unique side dishes are sure to add an extra touch of excitement to your Christmas feast. From sweet and savory tarts to spiced vegetables and gourmet takes on traditional favorites, there’s something here to delight every palate. So this holiday season, why not try something new and watch your guests marvel at your festive spread!

Looking for some good cookies for after dinner? See our article about 100 delicious christmas cookies to make this year!

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