We can’t let Thanksgiving sides have all the fun, can we? Christmas side dishes are a chance to revel in the indulgence of the most wonderful time of the year. The weather’s colder, and you need heavy, comforting sides to warm you up. Luckily, we kind of specialize in heavy, comforting, and, most importantly, very low effort sides here at Sporked. When you’re planning your big holiday meal this year, save the prep and planning for your mains, and pick up these easy, tasty sides for Christmas dinner.
- Beecher’s “World’s Best” Gluten Free Mac & Cheese
A well-made mac and cheese is the perfect thing to warm your soul when the temps outside have been flirting with freezing for weeks. Now, I will warn you that while this Beecher’s mac and cheese definitely one of the best Christmas side dishes, it still technically isn’t a mac and cheese. It’s penne and cheese. But we think you’ll be okay with it give how good this stuff is—and it’s gluten free, so everyone at the table can enjoy. The gluten free “mac” they use rules, but the cheese is the star. As Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart puts it, “Beecher’s eschews a homogenous mystery cheese sauce for one that’s redolent of sharp white cheddar and plenty of paprika.” It’s rich and satisfying and honestly tastes as good, if not better, than homemade mac and cheese. Add this to your list of Christmas sides and everyone will thank you (and crib from your list the next time they host).
Read the full ranking of the best frozen mac and cheese
- Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes
No Christmas side dish is heartier or more satisfying than mashed potatoes. That said, making mashed potatoes from scratch can be an enormous pain when all you want to do is drink spiked eggnog and play whichever new video game your nephew got from Santa. That’s where microwavable premade mashed potatoes come in. Bob Evans Original are the best. They’re rich and creamy and have a wonderful potato flavor. Garnish them with bacon bits and shredded cheese. Smother them in gravy. Or, hell, just eat them as is. Even Mythical Kitchen‘s Nicole Enayati vouches for this easy Christmas side.
Read the full ranking of the best premade mashed potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Wright Hickory Smoked Bacon
Brussels sprouts get a bad rap and I’m sick of the slander. We’re not making the same bland and floppy Brussles sprouts your grandma made for you. Oh no. We’re making one of the best sides for Christmas dinner by charring the hell of these bad boys and throwing in some diced bacon for good measure. Wright Hickory Smoked Bacon, to be exact. These thick, fatty slices are a perfect addition to a pile of roasted Brussels sprouts, adding indulgent fatty flavor with a blast of hickory smoke. Green vegetables can be hearty, filling, and comforting, too!
Read the full ranking of the best bacon
- Pepperidge Farm Garlic Bread
Bread may not seem like a Christmas side dish, per se, but if you don’t have bread at the table, you WILL ruin the holiday for everyone. Fair warning. I’m partial to garlic bread for the occasion. It’s such an indulgent bread. It’s so oily, garlicky, and pillowy that you simultaneously want to devour it and savor the excellent flavor. Pepperidge Farm’s garlic bread loaf is the best of the best, in part because it gives you options. You can put it in the oven whole if you like your garlic bread very soft in the middle, or you can split it into halves if you want them to toast up a bit. Either way, this stuff rules, especially if lasagna or baked ziti are on your Christmas dinner menu.
Read the full ranking of the best garlic bread
- Cappello’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi
You might associate sweet potatoes with Thanksgiving, but trust us, Cappello’s sweet potato gnocchi make a great, gluten free Christmas dinner side dish. They’re fluffy and sweet, but have excellent nutty undertones since they’re made with almond flour rather than wheat flour. Brown up some butter. Toast a little sage in it. And then toss in these bad boys. Sometimes the best Christmas sides are unexpected Christmas sides, and that’s where these gnocchi come in.
Read the full ranking of the best gnocchi