13 Easy Cold Side Dishes for Christmas
Maybe it's cold outside, or maybe you'll be celebrating the season in a warmer climate. Either way, a cool and refreshing Christmas side dish will be a welcome addition to any hearty holiday feast. The best part about cold dishes? They can often be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for less stress on the day off. All of these side dishes can be served cold, require little prep work and few ingredients, and most importantly — they're all deserving of a place on your holiday table.
Cranberry, Glazed Walnut, Orange, Avocado, and Blue Cheese Salad
This seasonal salad is ready in five minutes, start to finish. "A wonderful, easy salad. I made this for Christmas dinner and it was gone," says reviewer Elaine. "I've since made a small version for my husband and I, which is very easy to do with the leftover ingredients such as cranberries and walnuts. I'm very busy, so any quick, delicious recipes like this have a strong appeal for me."
Easy Broccoli Bacon Salad
"I made this salad exactly as written for a potluck and it was gobbled up within the first ten minutes! Extremely tasty and so easy, next time I will double the batch. The dressing is a tad on the sweet side and makes more than enough to coat one batch. I suspect that if you want more vinegar taste and less sugar you could easily cut the sugar back and it would still taste amazing," says reviewer Marie. It doesn't get easier — dump the ingredients into a bowl and toss.
Fresh Cranberry Relish
This cranberry relish comes together in a matter of minutes thanks to a food processor. "Everyone loved it as is, including my boyfriend who loves the canned cranberry sauce. Personally I liked the very orangey taste, and you can still taste the cranberry...Remember that it will get sweeter the longer it sits so be conservative as first. I also sometimes add freshly ground ginger to taste," says reviewer SavannahWild.
Maple-Dijon Brussels Leaf Salad
"This is my go-to unexpected side for Thanksgiving and other pot-lucks," says recipe creator Nicholio. "Aside from being gorgeous, it holds up well when made ahead, tastes great at room temp, and appeals to lots of eaters because it's vegan, paleo, gluten-free, and low-carb friendly. The only thing that takes time is deconstructing the Brussels sprouts. The salad keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 days."
Beets with Mandarin Oranges
Served warm or cold, this sweet and spicy side comes together in the microwave, believe it or not. "I love spiced, chilled foods," says reviewer ooblygoobly. "I just wanted to give a hint to new cooks, after you microwave the cider and spices, stand back when you open the microwave! It will open your sinuses. I'm giving 5 stars for ease and cost."
"I love how easy and delicious this recipe is! Pistachios were too hard to find so I replaced with pecans and also tried with slivered almonds and both were great. I also added 1 large cubed Granny Smith apple for added crunch and tartness," says reviewer TJACOME. "I found that over time the salad becomes a tad bit soggy, so hold back on some of the dressing at the beginning and add more if it needs it before you serve."
Recipe creator Ella describes these mashed peas as, "A quick, easier, and healthier alternative to mashed potatoes." The mint, green onions, and brown sugar give these peas a full flavor profile fit for the holidays.
Cold Asparagus with Prosciutto and Lemon
Served as a side dish or an appetizer, these prosciutto-wrapped asparagus bundles are as delicious as they are striking. "This is a perfect refreshing vegetable dish. Balanced just right between sweet, salty and citrus," says reviewer Todd Rathier.
Find out for yourself why this holiday classic has been reviewed over 2,500 times. "Okay, after nearly 31 years of cooking, my search for the 'definitive' cranberry sauce recipe is over! This recipe is fantastic," says reviewer LEXI, JACK, and COOKIE.
Classic Savory Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are always a crowd pleaser, part of the reason being that they can be made ahead of time with little prep work. "These were great traditional deviled eggs. I tripled the recipe and made them exactly as directed, with the addition of about a teaspoon of dill pickle juice," says reviewer cookin_mommi. "The fresh dill is what makes this recipe so flavorful. I piped the filling in with a pastry bag and sprinkled with paprika and more chopped dill before serving."
Roasted Butternut Squash with Onions, Spinach, and Craisins® Recipe
This deviation from the traditional butternut squash preparation provides a light and refreshing side to a table full of hearty sides. "I served it for the first time last holiday season with prime rib and a wild rice side, and the meal earned high marks. I added extra spinach, a favorite food of my family, and seasoned lightly with salt and pepper," says reviewer MomSal. "It was an easily prepared, quick-cooking, beautiful side dish. Always weight watching, this is a great light addition to any meal, and most importantly, it is delicious."
Mizeria (Polish Cucumber Salad)
Recipe creator VeggieMommy serves this traditional polish dish on Christmas Eve. "Easy and tasty go-to salad. One of our favourites — and very similar to the one my Russian Baba made," says reviewer robin.
Christmas Pasta Salad
"The orzo in this salad is reminiscent of pine needles and when dressed in pesto brings a lovely green hue. Perlini mozzarella balls become ornaments, as do cherry tomatoes and ribbons of basil and pepperoni," says recipe creator thedailygourmet.