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3 awesome side dishes for your Christmas dinner

When it comes to Christmas dinner, it’s not always about the roast, sometimes it’s all the delectable sides coming together that really make the meal.

By Sacha van Niekerk | December 5, 2021 | Recipes

When it comes to Christmas dinner, it’s not always about the roast, sometimes it’s all the delectable sides coming together that really make the meal.

Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing like a succulent roast turkey, chicken, ham or leg of lamb carved into slivers and smothered with gravy. But, the meat alone can be kind of overwhelming if they’re missing all the flavours from having delicious sides to pair with.

If you’re looking to spice up your dinner menu this Christmas with mouth-watering sides that will highlight the amount of effort put into the roast, look no further. Creamy potato bake, sweet and sticky glazed carrots and brussels sprouts oven-roasted to caramelised perfection.

Ultimately, it’s about finding dishes that are sweet, savoury and umami to create the perfect mouthful.

3 Christmas dinner sides you need to try:

Garlic parmesan roasted brussels sprouts

By @ambersketokiss

Brussels spouts – people either love them or hate them. But, when they’re coated in garlic and parmesan and crisped up in the oven until golden, they’re pretty hard to resist. When roasted they lose their bitterness and gain a sweet, nutty, smoky flavour, the perfect side for any roast dinner.


  • 450g brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved, and rinsed
  • 3 tbs olive oil (or melted butter)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste


Heat oven to 200°C and prepare a large baking pan with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.

Pat the brussels sprouts dry with paper towels and place them in a large bowl.

Add olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Stir gently to coat the brussels sprouts evenly.

Place the brussels sprouts on the prepared baking pan, spreading evenly into one layer.

Bake sprouts on the centre rack for 25 – 30 minutes, adjust the time depending on your oven. They’re done when they’re golden brown.

Remove from oven and place in a large serving bowl.

Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley (optional).

Honey glazed carrots

By @unionjerk

Carrots can be kind of bland on the taste buds, especially when boiled or steamed. This recipe roasted them in a savoury and sweet dressing that coats them, allowing for a taste sensation.


  • 1kg large carrots (washed and peeled)
  • ¾ cup of butter
  • 3 ½ tbs of honey
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • Parsley (chopped for garnish)


Preheat oven to 210ºC.

Melt butter in medium heat in a saucepan and continue mixing it until it's brown.

Turn off heat and add honey and garlic.

Add carrots to a baking dish and season them with salt, pepper, and soy sauce then add sauce over them until evenly coated.

Bake for 35 minutes or until they are tender.

When ready to serve, garnish with parsley.

Potato bake

By @yellowblissroad

Roasted potatoes are divine, but when paired with a roast, can sometimes be dry. Instead, try something a little more creamy. With a crunchy, cheesy top layer, bubbling bechamel sauce and melt in your mouth potatoes, a potato bale is ideal for adding some sauciness to a roast dinner.


  • 1kg russet potatoes⁠
  • ¼ cup butter⁠
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour⁠
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper⁠
  • 2 1/2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided⁠
  • Paprika for garnish⁠
  • Fresh chopped chives or parsley for garnish⁠


Preheat the oven to 180 ºC and grease a baking pan with cooking spray.⁠

⁠Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Scrub potatoes and place them, whole, into the boiling water for 20 – 25 minutes. They don't need to be fully cooked but should be easily pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from the water and let sit until cool enough to handle.⁠

⁠Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until flour is golden brown; about 2 minutes. Stir in milk and cook, stirring often, until thickened; about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper.⁠

⁠Gently peel potatoes and slice into 3mm rounds.⁠

Place ⅓ of the potatoes overlapping in a single layer in the baking dish, seasoning with salt and pepper. Spoon about ⅓ of the cheese sauce on top of the potatoes. Repeat for two more layers. Pour all of the remaining cheese sauce over the top layer of potatoes. Spread to ensure all of the potatoes are covered.⁠

⁠Sprinkle with ½ cup shredded cheddar (if desired) and paprika (about ⅛ teaspoon, just for colour).⁠

⁠Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly.⁠

⁠Garnish with fresh chopped chives or parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

This was originally published on IOL.