Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

The definitive guide to show-stealing Christmas side dishes

by Jessica Lockyer-Palmer

published on 6 December 2016

A perfectly burnished turkey, tender cut of beef or hearty nut roast might be the centrepiece of your festive meal, but, done right, it’s the sides that can often steal the show. Golden roast potatoes, creamy bread sauce, elevated sprouts – in this collection you’ll find all the inspiration you need to take the accompaniments to your Christmas meal from bits on the side to the main event.

Potatoes

A non-negotiable at festive tables up and down the country. Opt for classic roast potatoes or go off-piste with the likes of Jamie Oliver’s turkey dripping hasselbacks.

Roast Potatoes

Roast Potatoes

For top-notch, perfect roast potatoes every time, follow Marcus Wareing’s failsafe guide.

Jamie Oliver Hasselback Potatoes

Jamie Oliver’s Amazing Hasselback Potatoes with Special Pigs in Blankets and Walnut and Polenta Sprinkle

Hasselbacks are made by slicing multiple times into the potatoes, without going all the way through – this allows them to crisp up beautifully, and to absorb plenty of flavour, too. These golden hasselback potatoes, sprinkled with walnuts and polenta for added crunch, make a truly indulgent side dish.

Hasselbacks Turkey Dripping, Blue Cheese & Crushed Hazelnut Crumb

Hasselbacks Turkey Dripping, Blue Cheese & Crushed Hazelnut Crumb

Another hasselback recipe from Jamie Oliver, these potatoes are cooked with turkey dripping and thyme, and served with melting blue cheese and a crushed hazelnut crumb.

Roasted Sweet Potato

Mary Berry’s Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Try Mary Berry’s crisp, semolina coated sweet potatoes instead of (or as well as) your usual roasties.

From the book

Mary Berry

Jessie and Lennie Ware’s Jansson’s Temptation

Jessie and Lennie Ware’s Jansson’s Temptation

by Jessie Ware, Lennie Ware

This traditional Swedish Christmas dish of creamy potatoes and anchovies is pure indulgence. Jessie and Lennie insist that you needn’t be put off by the anchovies as they melt away but deepen the flavour of the dish. Bake with breadcrumbs for a crunchy topping.

Sprouts

These compact little greens are often subject to less than glowing reviews. Luckily, thanks to a spate of recipes featuring clever cooking methods and flavour pairings from the likes of Ottolenghi and Jamie Oliver, they’re having quite the moment.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Sweet and Sour Sprouts with Chestnuts and Grapes

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Sweet and Sour Sprouts with Chestnuts and Grapes

by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage

Put your faith in Ottolenghi to change your mind about sprouts once and for all with this sweet and sour recipe, made with grapes and festive chestnuts.

Crispy Tamarind Sprouts with Peanuts and Shallots

Crispy Tamarind Sprouts with Peanuts and Shallots

Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, these sprouts are packed with flavour thanks to Rukmini’s inventive and playful approach to one-tin cooking. 

Squashed Brussels Roasted with Chorizo & Chestnuts

Squashed Brussels Roasted with Chorizo & Chestnuts

Made with chorizo and chestnuts, Jamie’s sprouts will convert even the biggest sprout sceptic. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomelo and Star Anise

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomelo and Star Anise

Looking to add some Ottolenghi-style flavours to your Christmas spread? Enter this recipe for Brussels sprouts with Pomelo and star anise, an imaginative recipe that brings freshness and vibrancy.

Creamy Cheese, Brussels Sprout and Almond Gratin

Creamy Cheese, Brussels Sprout and Almond Gratin

by Lizzie Kamenetzky

Christmas is synonymous with cheese and we’re all for getting it into as many dishes as possible. Here, sprouts are covered in a cheese sauce and topped with a cripsy Parmesan and bread crumb.

Colourful veg

From platters of rainbow-hued veg roasted with herbs to aromatic spiced braised red cabbage.

Crispy Parnsips

Mary Berry’s Golden Crunchy Thyme Parsnips

Mary’s extra-crunchy roast parsnips are dusted with paprika for a subtly spiced flavour.

Roast Celeriac

Claudia Roden’s Roast Celeriac, Sweet Potato and Carrot with Tarragon Vinaigrette

by Claudia Roden
from Med

A tarragon vinaigrette enhances the natural sweetness of celeriac, sweet potato, and carrot in this simple but elegant side dish from Claudia Roden.

Big Zuu Sweet and Sour Carrots

Big Zuu’s Sweet ‘N’ Sour Carrots

by Big Zuu

With a punchy sweet and sour glaze and an irresistibly crunchy chilli and panko topping, this recipe from Big Zuu will transform your carrots.

Ahlam Saeid’s Rainbow Roasted Vegetables

Ahlam Saeid’s Rainbow Roasted Vegetables

by The Hubb Community Kitchen

Add a splash of colour to your table with this platter of beetroot, squash, red pepper, carrots and parsnips flavoured with oregano and chilli.

Meera Sodha’s Roasted Carrot and Cabbage with Gochujang

Meera Sodha’s Roasted Carrot and Cabbage with Gochujang

from EAST

Add Korean fermented red chilli paste, gochujang, to carrots and cabbage roasted until sweet and caramelised, for a side dish with a warming hit of spice.

EAST
From the book

EAST

Red Cabbage Crispy Smoked Bacon & Rosemary, Apple, Fennel Seeds & Balsamic

Red Cabbage Crispy Smoked Bacon & Rosemary, Apple, Fennel Seeds & Balsamic

With crispy smoked bacon, rosemary, apple, dried prunes, fennel seeds and balsamic, this isn’t just any red cabbage recipe. Make this the day before and simply reheat it in a pan on the day itself.

Gratin

The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s Herby Cabbage and Potato Gratin with Gruyère and Ricotta

by The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Team

Layered up with ricotta, Gruyère, and fistfuls of fresh green herbs, this cabbage and potato dish is a cut above a standard gratin.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Clementine and Chilli

Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Clementine and Chilli

Serving as a foil for all of that rich, creamy food, greens play a vital role in a Christmas spread. Liven up your broccoli with Nigella’s recipe, which uses clementine and chilli for a fresh, tangy flavour.

Crunchy Shredded Roasted Cabbage with Parmesan and Breadcrumbs

Crunchy Shredded Roasted Cabbage with Parmesan and Breadcrumbs

by Michaela, Emanuela and Romina Chiappa

Here the Chiappa sisters top their cabbage with breadcrumbs and Parmesan and roast it in the oven for a suitably decadent side.

Sauces and other trimmings

Because it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without the finishing flourishes.

Get-ahead Gravy Perfect for Your Big-day Turkey

Get-ahead Gravy Perfect for Your Big-day Turkey

Save yourself the stress and make your gravy a few days, or even weeks in advance. Jamie uses chicken wings here to make a rich, flavoursome gravy that you can either fridge or freeze before reheating it in the turkey tray on the big day.

Sourdough, Marmite and Butter Bread Sauce

Sourdough, Marmite and Butter Bread Sauce

by Neil Rankin

Just when you thought bread sauce couldn’t be any more inviting, this sourdough-based recipe laced with marmite comes along to change your mind.

Cranberry, Port and Orange Sauce

Cranberry, Port and Orange Sauce

by Kylee Newton

“This is fresh, tart and boozy with a lovely orange-scented aroma”, says Kylee Newton of this quick and easy homemade cranberry sauce. Why not fill up a few jars and give them as gifts?

Sausage and Cauliflower Bread Pudding

Sausage and Cauliflower Bread Pudding

by Claire Thomson

This savoury bread and butter pudding teams sausages and cauliflower. Boosted with fennel, Dijon and garlic and baked until crisp and bubbling, this hearty side is the epitome of Christmas food.

Fondant Swede Gratin

Fondant Swede Gratin

by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ramael Scully

Cabbage and swede are cooked in plenty of butter and baked with mild, crumbly Caerphilly cheese, cream and a herby lemony crust. If you want to get ahead and prepare this in advance, take it up to the point where the gratin is due to go in the oven and just bake it half an hour before you are ready to serve.  

Share

You might also like


View all

Features

9 Ottolenghi recipes to make you fall in love with aubergine

We’ve rounded up 9 of the best Ottolenghi recipes from across his cookbooks, from Middle Eastern-style dips to vegan aubergine dal.

Features

Cooking with za’atar: 6 Ottolenghi recipes to try now

Discover 6 of the best Ottolenghi recipes using Middle Eastern herb blend, za’atar, from braised eggs to mac ‘n’ cheese, salmon to aubergines.

Features

10 of our favourite 3-ingredient bakes from Fitwaffle’s Baking It Easy

Discover 10 of our favourite 3-ingredient bakes from Baking It Easy, the debut cookbook from TikTok baking sensation, Fitwaffle.

newsletter

Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week