Our list of swanky holiday side dishes will help you to find the perfect pairings for the showstopping main that you’ve worked so hard on. Glam gratins, bewitching Brussels sprouts, classic cauliflower, and even more sophisticated sides await.

A plate of French onion potato gratin
David Leite
1 of 15

French Onion Potato Gratin

This gratin takes the best flavors of French onion soupmelty cheese and caramelized onionsand pairs them with potatoes, mushrooms, garlic, and thyme for one helluva great side dish that will have you licking the spoon–even when guests are looking. It's that good!
A skillet full of Ina Garten's caramelized shallots, garnished with parsley.
Quentin Bacon
2 of 15

Barefoot Contessa Caramelized Shallots

These caramelized shallots are made by roasting shallots low and slow in butter, sugar, and vinegar until softened and sweet and tangy. An exceptional and impressive side dish for any occasion.
Rosemary buns with olive oil on two plates, all sprinkled with rosemary and sea salt.
Anders Schønneman
3 of 15

Rosemary Buns with Olive Oil

Rosemary buns with olive oil are made with just a handful of ingredients and bake up with a golden crust and chewy interior. Flavored with olive oil and then sprinkled with rosemary and sea salt, they make a perfect snack.
A plate of roasted Brussels sprouts with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar splashing down on it.
Kate Lewis
4 of 15

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

These balsamic Brussels sprouts are first roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then doused (ok, maybe judiciously drizzled) with balsamic vinegar.
A person holding a spoonful of aligot potatoes over a copper pot.
Quentin Bacon
5 of 15

Aligot ~ Pommes Aligot

These aligot potatoes, made with creamy mashed potatoes, cheese curds, and mozzarella cheese, are the richest, cheesiest, and most comforting potatoes we've ever tried.
An oval gratin dish filled with butternut squash gratin
Oddur Thorisson
6 of 15

Butternut Squash Gratin

This butternut squash gratin is a lot like like a scalloped potato casserole except it’s made with winter squash instead of spuds along with onions, garlic, butter, heavy cream, cheese, and bread crumbs. A simple–and simply elegant–side for Thanksgiving as well as a random weeknight.
A white plate of broccoli rabe with balsamic brown butter being poured on top
Quentin Bacon
7 of 15

Broccoli Rabe with Balsamic Brown Butter

This broccoli rabe with balsamic brown butter is a quick and easy side dish made with tender broccoli rabe that is drizzled with a buttery balsamic sauce. Perfect for your weeknight repertoire.
A white plate filled with baked mushrooms, broken bread, and two glasses of red wine in the background.
Earl Carter
8 of 15

Baked Mushrooms, Broken Bread

Baked mushrooms, broken bread is a simple yet sophisticated side that’s inspired by two enduring entertaining icons—stuffed mushrooms and Thanksgiving stuffing—and ends up someplace in between.
A cast-iron baking dish filled with fennel baked in cream on a wooden board.
Todd Coleman
9 of 15

Fennel Baked in Cream

This fennel baked in cream is a gratin baked with Parmesan that’s rich, cream, and easy to make by baking wedges of fennel in heavy cream. Simple, elegant, and surprisingly irresistible.
A white plate topped with roasted cauliflower with jalapeño and capers.
Johnny Miller
10 of 15

Roasted Cauliflower with Jalapeño and Capers

Roasted cauliflower has been the darling of the veggie world for a while. But this version goes beyond with jalapeno peppers, capers, lemon zest, and parsley. Think of it as roasted cauliflower 2.0.
Walnut fennel and pomegranate salad garnished with walnuts and pomegranate seeds, on a white plate.
Steven Joyce
11 of 15

Walnut, Fennel, and Pomegranate Salad

Walnut, fennel, and pomegranate salad is a jewel-toned beauty that makes a colorful statement. This winter salad combines bitter lettuce, fennel, walnuts, fresh dill, hard sheep's cheese, and tangy pomegranates with a light olive oil and lemon dressing. And it's just as tasty as it is pretty.
Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Pancetta on a large white floral platter with 2 serving forks.
Ewgenija Schall
12 of 15

Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Pancetta

Feel free to prepare your Brussels sprouts on the stovetop if you prefer. Just pan fry the veggies and meat in olive oil over high heat until crispy, then toss with the nuts to finish.
Pomegranate roasted beets with goat cheese on a large white serving plate, with a serving spoon.
Kristin Teig
13 of 15

Pomegranate Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese

I like to serve this salad on a bed of lightly steamed beet greens because it’s a nice textural contrast, it looks really pretty, the greens are full of good nutrients that shouldn’t go to waste, and they're free! How many more reasons do you need?
A pile of chanterelle mashed potatoes on a potato masher on a decorative plate.
Simon Bajada
14 of 15

Chanterelle Mashed Potatoes

While these mushroom mashed potatoes are good with meat, they also make an outstanding accompaniment to fish. It's an unexpected pairing but one that you'll find satisfying.
Green beans with browned butter and almonds in an oval white bowl with a serving spoon.
Connie Miller
15 of 15

Green Beans with Browned Butter and Almonds

Lemon zest, shallots, and red pepper flakes—as well as fragrant toasted almonds—give classic green beans amandine a bold update with plenty of texture. The browned butter amplifies the nuttiness of the almonds, adds a touch of richness, and ties everything together.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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