Healthy Christmas Dinner Side Dish Recipes

Ever struggle with what to bring to Christmas dinner? You want it to be healthy (at least partially) but you also want everyone to eat it. This struggle is extra real if you’re going to a black family function. You don’t want to be known as the siddity sista who brought the kale salad. Here are a few (decently) healthy Christmas side dishes that are crowd pleasers.


Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

Broccoli Rice & Cheese Casserole3-FG



  • 5 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups cooked chopped broccoli florets
  • 2 tsp Tony Chachere’s (or seasoning salt)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 diced green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 oz mild shredded cheese
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 350. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, dice your onion and green bell pepper and cook until soft. Set aside. Cook brown rice according to directions. While rice is cooking chop broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat and sauté broccoli until tender. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray, add cooked rice, sautéed onion and bell peppers, cooked broccoli, cream of mushroom soup, spices and 1/2 cup of water and stir until mixed well. Add extra 1/2 cup of water if the casserole is too thick. Taste casserole to see if it needs more seasoning. Once seasoned to taste, top with shredded mild cheddar and breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.



Toasted Walnut Salad With Mandarin Oranges and Gorgonzola Cheese




  • Melt butter in a sauce pan
  • Stir in walnut pieces and coat with butter
  • Stir for 4 minutes and remove from pan and set aside
  • Allow to cool to room temperature
  • Toss greens, mandarin orange segments and crumbled cheese.
  • Toss with toasted walnuts and serve with raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing


String Beans with Ginger and Garlic



  • 2 ½ pounds string beans, trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup minced fresh ginger (about 6 inches ginger root, peeled)
  • 4 medium-size garlic cloves, minced


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and fill a large bowl with ice water. Working in two batches, boil beans until just tender but still crisp and bright green. Start testing after 4 minutes or so, being careful not to overcook. When done, plunge beans into ice water to stop cooking, lift out immediately when cool and drain on towels. (Recipe can be made to this point up to a day in advance and kept refrigerated, wrapped in towels.)

When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wide skillet over high heat. Add half the beans, half the ginger and half the garlic, and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until beans are heated through and ginger and garlic are softened and aromatic. Sprinkle with salt, and remove to a serving dish. Repeat with remaining oil, beans, ginger and garlic. Serve.

Lebanese Lemon Parsley Bean Salad

Lebanese Lemon-Parsley Bean Salad -

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained, or 3 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced in half or thirds lengthwise and chopped
  • 1 ripe red tomato, chopped (skip if you can’t find a great tomato)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or mint
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • small pinch red pepper flakes
  1. In a serving bowl, combine the prepared kidney beans, chickpeas, onion, celery, tomato, cucumber, parsley and dill (or mint).
  2. Make the lemon dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper flakes until emulsified. Pour dressing over the bean and vegetable mixture and toss thoroughly. Serve immediately for the most flavor, or let it marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for a couple of hours or longer.

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