Dried tomatoes cooked on a pan

Healthy side dishes for your holiday dinners

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. This year may look a little different, but it’s still a perfect opportunity to create memorable traditions.  This holiday season cook up some healthy alternatives to lighten up your spread. With these flavour-filled options, you won’t even miss the heavy stuff! 

Root vegetable smash with coriander 

This side dish from Heart & Stroke will be a sure hit during the holidays. It’s made with a yummy spice blend that will give this side a delicious kick. Did you know that eating spicy food in small quantities can be good for your overall health? Coriander is rich in immune-boosting antioxidants and can protect heart and brain health. Red chilies, another ingredient in this dish, is packed with vitamin C, which helps improve your immune system and combat chronic diseases. Not into spicy food? Skip the spicy seasoning and opt for flavourful aromatics like lemon, basil and mint. A stellar recipe that only takes half an hour to prepare.  

Healthy crispy roasted potatoes 

When we think of holidays, we think of roasted potatoes. Potatoes are a versatile starchy veggie that contains nutritional benefits improving blood sugar control and digestive health. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, check out this recipe from A Virtual Vegan. Super simple to make with only 3 ingredients and not a drop of oil. If you prefer your golden spuds with oil, you have the option to include it. There’s also a way to keep this recipe gluten-free by using cornmeal instead of semolina. A delicious dish that will surely please everyone at your table! 

Best ever vegan gravy 

Gravy’is a comforting side dish that you can still put on your menu when prepping for a healthier holiday feast. Brand New Vegan has come up with a simple recipe to enhance your side dish options. This tasty sauce only takes minutes to whip up and includes a delicious vegan essential ingredient: nutritional yeast, a highly nutritious food product that will give your dish a pleasant cheesy flavour and is packed with B vitamins. This gravy is a must-try.  

Lemony green beans with hazelnuts 

A quick and delightful side dish from Feasting at home that will certainly make everyone happy at the dinner table. Made withof vibrant and crisp greens beans, this recipe can be ready in only 15 minutes. This veggie is packed with key nutrients such as dietary fibre, folate and vitamin K. An elegant side that incorporates some zesty lemon, known to protect against anemia and reduce the risk of cancer.  

For foodies who want to up their game, consider adding a little truffle oil to the dish. A sure-fire way to impress your loved ones. Roasted hazelnuts provide a nice crunch to the dish and is truly the perfect finishing touch.  

Wild mushroom stuffing with fennel and leeks 

This flavourful dish can complete any holiday menu. This vegetarian stuffing recipe from Feasting at home is the ideal side dish and it can easily be veganized! It’s so hearty it could even pass as a main dish and includes several ingredients with many nutritional benefits. Mushrooms can help lower cholesterol and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Fennel is high in vitamin C, which can act as a potent antioxidant in your body. Leeks are a good source of dietary fibre and contain iron which is important for red blood cells. All the more reason to give this side a try! 

Easy quick roasted tomatoes 

A no-fuss and flavour-packed dish that can be ready in less than an hour. This tasty recipe from Foodie crush can add some savoury sweetness to your holiday meal. Keep in mind that the type of tomatoes used will determine the cooking time in the oven. You can experiment with flavours by using various vegetable oils – like avocado or olive oil – and a blend of fresh herbs . Marjoram is known for its citrusy and sweet-pine taste and nutrients that can help combat viruses and other illnesses as well as fight bacterial infections. Another herb that can be added is parsley which can support bone health and contains antibacterial properties.  

Cheesy broccoli cauliflower bake 

Baked casserole dishes are always a hit during the holidays. This gluten-free side from Primavera Kitchen is delicious, easy to make and packed with veggies. Broccoli and cauliflower are both high in fibre and a key nutrient that supports cardiovascular health. For those who are lactose intolerant, consider using lactose-free mozzarella or a vegan substitute. The panko crust adds a nice crunch to the warm and cheesy veggies. A great way to include some nutritious veggies on your holiday dinner table.  

Roasted red peppers stuffed with kale and rice 

This nutritious side dish from Eating Well is a fun way to incorporate some vibrant colour to your festive table. A versatile recipe that can please all foodies. You can vary the stuffing by substituting robust mustard greens or collards, or milder greens such as spinach, escarole or Swiss chard. You can also add green or orange peppers for a more creative touch. Peppers are full of health benefits. They are an excellent source of vitamins A and C and potassium.  

Holiday salad with apple cider dressing  

This recipe from Detoxinista is a sure crowd-pleaser – and it’s very quick to put together. It’s made up of a wonderful combination of flavours and textures. The key ingredients are the crisp lettuce and apple cider vinegar, which can help improve cardiovascular health and contains anti-aging properties. This will become your go-to holiday salad!  

Pomegranate and pear green salad with ginger dressing 

A red and green creation that will add some cheerful spirit to your table. This fancy salad from Cookie + Kate is easy to prepare and is a terrific way to incorporate pomegranate and pears to your feast. It includes fresh ginger, a beneficial ingredient, which may help relieve arthritis pain and curb cancer growth. A perfect addition to lighten up your menu. 

Herby vegan gluten-free biscuits 

Who doesn’t love a freshly baked biscuit: crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside? A Saucy Kitchen offers a wonderful vegan and gluten-free alternative for this yummy side dish. These biscuits are packed with herbs and spices and is very easy to make with only 9 ingredients. You can substitute the ingredients with what you have on hand and create your own unique blend. A foolproof way to get the family involved in the kitchen and bake.  

Cranberry sauce with blood orange, balsamic and rosemary 

Homemade sauces are a lot tastier and healthier than the canned versions. This recipe from Meatified is one you won’t regret trying. Blood oranges are packed with antioxidants, minerals and other nutrients that can provide many health benefits such as cholesterol regulation and immune system support. This delicious recipe also includes honey which is considered nature’s sweet superfood. Raw honey has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help boost your immune system and fight sickness. A lovely sauce that is jam-packed with wonderful ingredients and will add the perfect finishing touch to your meal.  

What are you waiting for? Get cooking and enjoy the holidays!