Christmas Side Dishes With Star Quality

Broccoli, pecans and blue cheese on a serving plate with small glass jar of maple dressing, all on board made of a slice of tree trunk

Take a little time to make everything on the plate a delight. Here’s our collection of fabulous festive accompaniments…

Tenderstem® Broccoli with Pecans, Blue Cheese & Maple

So quick and easy – so stunning and full of flavour!

Preparation time: 5min
Cooking time: 5min
Serves 4


  • 200g packet of Tenderstem®
  • 2tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 80g blue cheese, crumbled
  • 50g pecans, roughly chopped
  • 6tbsp maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper

To Make:

  1. Toss the Tenderstem® in the rapeseed oil so that it is lightly coated.
  2. Heat a griddle pan until it is smoking hot. Place the Tenderstem® on the griddle and cook for 1min or so on each side.
  3. Once cooked, place in a serving dish and crumble over the blue cheese, chopped pecans and drizzle with maple syrup.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Sausage & Mushroom Stuffing Wreath

Ring shaped sausage stuffing scattered with herbs, centre filled with sliced mushrooms

Create the perfect edible centrepiece – a delight to the eyes and tastebuds from Just Add Mushrooms.

Preparation time: 30min
Cooking time: 1hr
Serves 6-8


  • 300g closed cup mushrooms, finely diced
  • 500g sausage meat
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 200g chestnuts, cooked, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced mushrooms, fried, to serve

To Make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan. Grease or line a loaf tin or 25cm cake tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the mushrooms and sausage meat.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and add the onion and celery. Fry for 5min until the onions are soft, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1min, before adding the sausage and mushroom mix. Cook until the sausage meat has browned, around 5min, stirring frequently.
  5. Take off the heat and leave to cool for 10min. Add the chestnuts, herbs, egg and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper and stir all the ingredients together thoroughly.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and press down firmly. Bake in the oven for 50min until firm to the touch.

Roasted Parsnips With Honey Mustard Dressing

Roasted parsnips in a dish

A humble side dish worthy of a Supporting Actor nomination!

Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time: 25min
Serves 4-6 as a side dish 


  • 4tbsp Crisp ‘n Dry oil
  • 500g parsnips, peeled
  • Good pinch sea salt
  • Few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped

For the dressing:

  • 1tbsp Crisp ‘n Dry
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 1tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar

To Make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/ 170ºC fan/ gas 5. Heat a large shallow roasting tin or heavy baking tray.
  2. Peel the parsnips and halve lengthways, then halve again lengthways if they’re very large. Place in a large bowl. Drizzle over the Crisp ‘n Dry and season with a good pinch of salt.
  3. Transfer to the hot tray and roast in the oven for 15min. Remove and turn the parsnips then roast for another 10min or until they’re a lovely golden colour and cooked through. Transfer to a warm serving dish and sprinkle over the thyme leaves.
  4. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl or jug. Pour into a jar or bowl and allow people to drizzle a little dressing onto the hot parsnips. This works well with roast pork or chicken or alongside sausages.

Brussels Sprouts and Parsnip Gratin

Oven dish of creamy mixed parsnips and sliced sprouts

A rich, creamy sauce transforms your Brussels into a dish in themselves in this recipe from Dobbies.

Preparation time: 30min + resting
Cooking time: 55min
Serves 6-8


  • Unsalted butter, softened, for greasing
  • 500g parsnips
  • 500g Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 300ml double cream
  • 200ml full fat creme fraiche
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1tsp fine sea salt

To Make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas 6. Grease a deep 30cm x 20cm baking dish.
  2. Trim the parsnips and slice as thinly as possible. Trim the Brussels sprouts, reserving any pretty leaves that detach, before slicing the rest – they don’t have to be too thin. Layer up in the prepared dish.
  3. Put the cream, creme fraiche, garlic and bay leaves in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in salt and plenty of black pepper.
  4. Pour the cream over the vegetables, pressing them down in the liquid so they’re just covered. Arrange the bay leaves on top, then cover the dish tightly with foil.
  5. Bake for 25-30min until the vegetables are almost tender. Remove the foil, press down again if needed, and cook for a further 10-15min, or until set on top and starting to brown at the edges.
  6. Leave to cool for 5min before serving. Remove the bay leaves and scatter with the reserved sprout leaves, if preferred.

Sarah Proctor

I've worked on a variety of regional newspapers and national magazines. My Weekly and Your Best Ever Christmas are fantastic, warm-hearted brands with an amazing, talented team. I'm a sub-editor and particularly love working on cookery, fiction and advice pages - I feel I should know all the secrets of eternal life, health and happiness by now, but hey, we all need that regular reminder!