10 Healthy Sides to Serve at This Year's Holiday Table

Hazelnut and Fresh Brussels Sprout Salad
Photo: France C

The holidays have arrived, and that can mean only one thing: It's time to get prepping on those get-together menus. But if the feasts of the holiday season feel like one heavy and unhealthy side dish after another, never fear. Here, we've compiled 10 truly astounding healthy holiday side dishes that will knock the socks off your guests — and that make an argument for healthier eating. Do you have to give up on flavor to make your holiday meal just a little healthier? The answer is a resounding no. Read on for our picks for this season's healthiest (and tastiest) side dishes.

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Smashed Cauliflower Side Dish

Smashed Cauliflower Side Dish

This healthy holiday side dish recipe substitutes that old holiday standby — potatoes — for cauliflower, and with the addition of butter and garlic, your guests won't know the difference. Stocked with fiber and B vitamins, cauliflower brings more than just deliciousness to the table, and it's particularly well-suited for those looking to eliminate a few extra carbs. "This is a great side dish," says Allrecipes user Rosie. "I'm on a low-carb diet and this is a great replacement for potatoes."

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Italian Baked Zucchini Side Dish

Italian Baked Zucchini Side Dish

This crunchy, savory side, which harnesses the delicious power of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, is a great way to gratin — without all the cream. It's also easy to make: A half hour in the oven, and you have a side that's tasty and good for you. "Always good to have a quick and easy and delicious veggie to go with dinner," writes Allrecipes user Mc-chef.

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Asparagus Side Dish

Asparagus Side Dish on a white plate

Steamed asparagus and grape tomatoes keep their vibrant colors in this festive healthy holiday side dish, which offers satisfaction from a finishing touch of Parmesan cheese. Since they're not sautéed or fried, these veggies are better for you — but they sacrifice none of the taste. "Super easy, very, very tasty, and pretty on the plate, to boot!," writes Allrecipes user Frances S.

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Quinoa Side Dish

Quinoa Side Dish KGora

High-protein, high-fiber, amino acid-rich quinoa is healthy in and of itself. But this craveable dish adds to the mix aromatics like onion and garlic, as well as a spritz of citrus. Replace rice, potatoes, or pasta with this better-for-you grain, while still keeping the delicious holiday spirit intact. "Three out of six of us are gluten-intolerant," says Allrecipes user MIRABLUE. "I happened upon this recipe and it has forever changed our life!"

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Avocado Side Dish

Avocado Side Dish
Yemarie Gonzalez

Potassium-stocked avocado is a healthy addition to any meal. This side dish places the fruit front and center, harnessing its creaminess. "We really enjoyed this dish, and it was so quick and easy to make!" writes Allrecipes user Kristina B.

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Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries
Chef Mo

Just one serving of these sweet potato fries can offer an entire day's worth of Vitamin A — but you'll want to make these fries for the taste, too. They're easy to prepare and a hit with anyone craving a bit of starch this holiday season. "Sweet potato fries are a favorite in our house!" says Chef Mo.

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Anne's Amazing Roasted Green Beans

roasted green beans on plate with lemon wedge

Green beans, tossed with olive oil and salt and finished with a little lemon juice, get their deep, compelling flavor in this dish from the heat of the oven. Allrecipes user vicki936 has a pro-tip for anyone making this recipe: "The dark ones are the best," she says. "Will definitely make again!"

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Pat's Mushroom Sauté

Pat's Mushroom Saute

Balsamic vinegar ups the umami ante on these earthy, delicious mushrooms, which are a low-carb, low-calorie addition to the holiday table. The recipe has plenty of fans, it turns out. "UNREAL!" says Allrecipes user Nikki Filippone. "The balsamic vinegar was the PERFECT touch."

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Roasted Carrots and Onions with Fennel Fronds and Honey

roasted carrots and onions with fennel fronds and honey

Root vegetables find their way to the holiday table in this sweet and savory vegetable preparation that's as compelling as it is healthy. Various textures and flavors marry in the oven to form the perfect healthy holiday side dish. Allrecipes user alanna is a fan: "This turned out sooo yummy. Earthy, sweet, salty, and fresh," they say.

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Hazelnut and Fresh Brussels Sprout Salad

Hazelnut and Fresh Brussels Sprout Salad
France C

If you're sick of the traditional prep for Brussels sprouts (and looking to cut back on a little of the oil required for roasting), try this fresh and beautiful salad, which combines shredded sprouts, fresh herbs, citrus, toasted hazelnuts, and just a touch of bleu cheese. "What a wonderful salad!," writes Allrecipes Allstar Buckwheat Queen. "A very interesting mix of flavors and textures."

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Get More Healthy Holiday Inspiration:

Home-Cured Holiday Ham
Chef John
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