Christmas dinner wouldn’t be Christmas dinner without all the trimmings. Every spare inch on the table should be filled with serving bowls of those little extras that really make the meal. Think perfect roast potatoes, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Brussels sprouts, the Marmite of vegetables, are a must whether you love or hate them. Red cabbage made with festive spices, glazed parsnips and carrots in mustard and honey should all have a space.
It’s these Christmas sides that everyone will go in for seconds for – plus, you can transform the leftovers into almost anything you like, whether it’s sneaking cold roast potatoes in front of the Christmas specials on TV or making a Boxing Day bubble and squeak. Many of them can be made ahead and reheated on the day, to save you time (and your sanity!) when you’re cooking Christmas dinner.
To make it easy, here are our favourite Christmas vegetables (and a few extra sides), with easy recipes that have been developed in the woman&home test kitchen.
Crispy roast potatoes
This foolproof recipe shows you how to get perfect roast potatoes every time using either oil, goose fat or dripping. The results are indulgent – golden and crispy, but fluffy on the inside.
See the recipe: Crispy roast potatoes
Brussels sprouts with bacon
Transform Brussels sprouts into a salty, zingy Christmas side with just a little bacon and lemon. If this doesn’t convert the haters, nothing will.
See the recipe: Brussels sprouts with bacon
Psst! For all our Christmas food ideas, take a look at our Christmas recipe collection.
A sticky balsamic glaze really enhances the flavour of these roasted parsnips, cooked with red onion and fresh rosemary.
See the recipe: Balsamic-glazed parsnips
Baked onion stuffing
An update on classic sage and onion stuffing, this meat-free stuffing is made with large onions, cranberries and Parmesan cheese with breadcrumbs and porridge oats for texture.
See the recipe: Baked onion stuffing
Carrots in mustard and honey
Roasted carrots in mustard and honey are so simple to make but full of sweet-tangy flavour. It really takes carrots to the next level.
See the recipe: Carrots in mustard and honey
Festive red cabbage
This easy red cabbage recipe is gently spiced with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. All you have to do is layer the red cabbage with sliced apples, cider vinegar and brown sugar and cook on a low heat for 1½ hours. It’s worth the time – but you can always make it the day before and reheat when you’re ready.
See the recipe: Festive red cabbage
For more ideas, take a look at our stuffing recipes.
Homemade bread sauce is so much better than anything you can buy in the shops – if there’s one day to go all out and make it, it’s Christmas Day. Like Brussels sprouts, bread sauce has its super fans (and not such big fans). This easy recipe uses fresh breadcrumbs, stock, black peppercorns and a little creme fraiche.
See the recipe: Bread sauce
Want to get organised? Take a look at our Christmas dinner plan, which includes timings and the quantities you’ll need to feed 8 with no waste.
Homemade cranberry sauce is so much better than shop bought and with this foolproof recipe, you’ll never buy a jar again! It will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days so make ahead for a stress-free Christmas dinner.
See the recipe: Cranberry sauce
Happy Christmas cooking!