6 easy Christmas side dishes anyone can make

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6 easy Christmas side dishes anyone can make

It's time to deck the halls with boughs of holly, and adorn your table with delicious holiday foods.

Serve up these memorable side dishes that will leave your family going back for seconds. They require very little experience or time, so you can focus on the rest of the Christmas party prep.

Here are our picks for easy, made-in-minutes side dishes for your holiday dinner.

Collard greens sweetened with onions, both from the author's garden. Vegetables can be a surprising source of sweetness. MUST CREDIT: Barbara Damrosch. Barbara Damrosch/Barbara Damrosch

Slow-Cooked Collard Greens in Olive Oil

These effortless collard greens, courtesy of Bon Appétit, require very little preparation.

Time required: 2 hours, Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches collard greens

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • Pinch sugar

Directions:

  1. Remove stems and ribs from collard greens and tear into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and stir in garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 4 minutes until golden.
  3. Add in collard greens, stirring occasionally to wilt greens.
  4. Add 1 cup of water and salt to taste.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Allow greens to cool, then stir in apple cider vinegar and a pinch of sugar.

Farro Salad with Toasted Pecans, Feta and Dried Cherries

This Southern Living salad has all the trimmings - and you can throw it together last minute!

Time required: 45 minutes, Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • Salted water
  • 1 1/2 cups farro
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Boil a large pot of salted water, then add uncooked farro. Cook for 15 minutes until tender.
  2. Drain farro, rinse well and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in pecans, cherries, scallions, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Gently fold in feta before serving.

Spice-Roasted Carrots

Leave it to the experts at Good Housekeeping to put together an outstanding recipe for perfectly-roasted spiced carrots the whole family will love.

Time required: 1 hour 30 minutes, Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 8 large carrots
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup roasted and salted pistachios

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine carrots, oregano, paprika, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a roasting pan, and toss with olive oil.
  3. Roast for 1 hour until tender, then transfer to a serving dish.
  4. Drizzle butter and red wine vinegar over the carrots, then sprinkle with pistachios. 

Martha's Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

Serve Martha's Cheddar Cheese Biscuits and your family will think you spent the whole day covered in flour.

Time required: 30 minutes, Serves 12-16

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2/3 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar and cayenne pepper.
  3. Cut butter into mixture, combine with your fingers to form coarse crumbs, then stir in cheese.
  4. Make a well in the center of the mixture, then pour milk into the well, whisking with a fork until dough just forms.
  5. Turn out on a floured surface, and gently knead the dough 10 to 12 turns.
  6. Form dough into a 1/2-inch-thick circle, and cut out 2-inch circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass.
  7. Place on a greased baking sheet, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until brown. 

Garlic Butter Hasselback Potatoes

Delish delivers an easy-to-make (and easy-to-devour) potato recipe with plenty of visual appeal.

Time required: 1 hour 15 minutes, Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Cut narrow slits along one side of each potato, accordion style, but do not cut all the way through. Place potatoes on baking sheet.
  3. Whisk together melted butter, olive oil and garlic in a mixing bowl.
  4. Coat potatoes with butter mixture using a basting brush, then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until cuts appear golden, then coat potatoes with a second layer of butter mixture and sprinkle with cheese.
  6. Bake for another 25 minutes, garnish with parsley.

Crock Pot Cheesy Spinach Casserole

Set it and forget it with this super simple casserole from Genius Kitchen.

Time required: 5 hours, Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 (16 ounce) bags frozen leaf spinach, thawed
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups low fat cottage cheese
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Grease inside of a crock pot and add in all ingredients. Stir well to combine completely.
  2. Set crock pot to low, and cook for 4 to 6 hours, stirring halfway through.
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