Photo courtesy of Davina Choy Credits: Photo courtesy of Davina Choy
Sure, the main dish may get all of the glory, but your holiday feast is only as good as its sidekicks. Here are 20 of our favourite festive side dishes to round out your special meals.
Stovetop space is often limited when preparing big meals, so avoid the crunch and make this classic creamy side in your slow cooker, instead! Bacon makes this dish extra-indulgent, but you can easily omit it if you prefer to keep it vegetarian.
The combination of a creamy potato filling and cheesy breadcrumb crust makes this recipe one of our favourites. Gruyère cheese is notoriously strong-smelling, but it mellows nicely as it melts.
While it may look similar to broccoli, rapini has a distinct and assertive taste that many find bitter. Here, we’ve tossed the green with a sweet and savoury dressing, sweet yellow beans and nutty toasted almonds for a perfectly balanced blend of flavours.
Roasting the garlic takes some time, but it’s well worth the reward. The tender, golden cloves give a deep caramelized flavour to the dish, which pairs nicely with the sweet and peppery turnips that are mixed into the mash.
Sweet potato casserole is a must on holiday tables in the United States, but the traditional marshmallow-topped side doesn’t always have the same appeal here in Canada. For our Canadian twist on this dish, we’ve swapped out the marshmallows for a crunchy pecan and brown sugar streusel that’s the perfect balance of sweet and savoury.
A mix of fresh and frozen peas gives this bright dish the best texture. If fresh sugar snaps aren’t available, simply double the frozen peas or substitute with broccoli or green beans, instead. The three-ingredient garlic butter is a great condiment to have on hand—simply toss with hot pasta or gnocchi and steamed veggies and you’ve got a meal in minutes!
This creamy dish is a cross between decadent creamed spinach and lighter slaw, making it a crowd-pleasing side to satisfy many palates. To make this vegetarian-friendly, simply use vegetable broth.
Toasted walnuts, tangy blue cheese and crisp kohlrabi converge in this simple autumn salad. A slightly spicy, creamy dressing is the perfect balance to the peppery arugula.
Adding Parmesan cheese to stuffing might seem unconventional, but it helps to keep this dish moist and gives it a nice crisp crust. Oyster mushrooms are an elegant addition, but you can easily use inexpensive cremini mushrooms if you prefer.
This rice-based dish is a great gluten-free alternative to traditional bread stuffing. Tossing sliced shallots with cornstarch before frying makes them extra-crispy, making for a delightfully crunchy topping.
Artichokes may seem intimidating, but they’re actually quite simple to prepare. To prep them, first cut off the sharp tips of the leaves, then slice off the top of the artichoke to remove the fuzzy centre. Simmering in water loosens the remaining tough leaves, making them a cinch to pull off. It’s best to do this work a day ahead so that all you have to do the day of the meal is make the topping and roast the artichokes until crispy. The show-stopping end result is well worth the effort.
Goat cheese lends extra creaminess and a hint of tangy flavour to classic garlicky mashed potatoes. Heating the drained potatoes for a minute cooks off any excess liquid, which yields the fluffiest mash.
The trick to giving this simple side dish a company-worthy look is all in the way you slice the carrots. Rather than cutting them in standard coins or sticks, we’ve sliced them on the diagonal to add a hint of drama to your holiday spread.
Delicate oyster mushrooms add easy elegance to this simple sautéed spinach dish, which takes only 20 minutes to make!
The secret to these crispy roasted potatoes is a dual cooking method—you simmer them first, then finish them off in the oven with goose, duck or beef fat. Look for the fat in the gourmet section of major supermarkets or in specialty markets, or simply reserve the drippings from cooking duck, goose or beef.
No holiday meal would be complete without a heaping dish of mashed potatoes, and this one, with its delicious blend of fluffy russets and colourful sweet potatoes, is sure to fit the bill.
Endive can be bitter when eaten raw, but roasting the leafy vegetable mellows the flavour and brings out its sweetness. An herbaceous and zesty dressing adds a welcome hit of freshness. Be sure to rinse the leeks well after halving them, as sand and grit can hide within its layers.
Flavour-packed capers are an effortless way to punch up the flavour of any side, and they work especially well with mild roasted cauliflower. If you find capers to be overly salty, simply give them a rinse before using.
Tender, sweet acorn squash and crisp bacon add extra appeal to Brussels sprouts. For even cooking, trim the thick bottom end of the sprouts, remove the outer leaves and halve them lengthwise so they’re about the same size as the squash cubes.
Spicy, aromatic infused oil adds unforgettable flavour to pepper (a.k.a. acorn) squash, especially when finished with a squeeze of lime juice. Make the oil up to five days ahead so you can prepare this dish in just 30 minutes.
Find out which celebrities are switching up their hairstyles, haircuts and hair colours in 2016.
Teigen has been rocking blonde beach waves for as long as we can remember.
Teigen adds bangs to her look as a great fall hair update.
The Game of Thrones star has been brunette for awhile, and we have to admit, it's a stunning look for the actor.
We're loving the star's new lighter shade!
Orlando Bloom's thick, wavy brunette 'do is #hairgoals for men.
Bloom is giving us Legolas flashbacks with his new platinum locks.
Lily Collins tried this bold red hue for the summer—and she pulls it off!
We love that Collins has gone back to her roots with this rich brunette colour for fall.
Earlier this year, Emma Roberts chopped her hair off and opted for a cute, blond bob.
This British supermodel has been consistent with her blond balayage ombre.
Recently, though, she made a drastic change with her bright, new locks. We can't decide whether to call it auburn or ginger but we love it.
If you thought Kim's angled lob was a dramatic change, then you're in for a surprise.
She changed her hair again and this time she's added extensions that trail down to her hips. We're loving how bohemian she looks!
Recently, she went blonder and added some extensions.
Daisy Ridley was absolutely fabulous this year in her long brown bob.
Her short, red bob might just top that! It's chic, summery and we love the colour.
This former Victoria's Secret Angel had been a sandy blonde for as long as we can remember.
She not only went blonder but also added a pretty pink to her beautiful tresses.
We didn't think we could love anything more than that lob on this fan-favourite actress.
Until we met these braids! They're fun and hip and we can't wait to see more looks.
Cara Delevingne has been killing it in 2016 with those long blonde locks.
She chopped them off and opted for a cute low bob. And we heart it!
This 'Jane the Virgin' star has been sporting long brunette waves for quite some time.
Recently, she debuted her cute, new look: a cute blond bob. We have to say, we love the ombre!
Elle Fanning has always rocked her natural blonde locks.
But recently, the actress decided to make a bold change, going for cotton candy pink hair.
This young Game of Thrones star is starting to become a regular style icon...
And recently, she's embraced the new reputation by going for a bold teal hair colour.
Lily Collins' brown hair used to match that of Snow White, the character she played in her breakout role in the movie Mirror Mirror.
Now her red locks are more similar to Ariel's of The Little Mermaid.
Taylor Swift was rocking side fringe and a collarbone lob for a while...
... before chopping her hair into a blunt Anna-Wintour-esque bob.
For her May 2016 Vogue cover, the pop princess made another drastic hair change, going for a super light bleach blonde look.
Christina Aguliera is known for strong set of pipes and her platinum blonde hair.
But recently the The Voice judge decided to make a change by going red.
Victoria Beckham isn't really a stranger to drastic hair changes (remember her blonde pixie cut?), but over the past few months the fashionista has been keeping her hair natural and long.
Until recently when she decided to cut a few inches for a pretty bob 'do.
Rooney Mara has been rocking dark, dark hair for as long as we can remember.
But lately she's been seen out and about rocking a different look: platinum locks.
We're used to seeing Lana Del Rey pairing her vintage outfits with her long brown hair.
As this year's warm weather approached though, the singer decided to lighten her hair to match the summer season.
Eva Longoria Bastón's long, thick hair have always been a trademark of hers—one of the reasons why she's a L'Oréal Paris hair spokesmodel.
But shortly after tying the knot with new hubby José Bastón, the actress went for a cut, opting for a cute lob.
Our favourite Oscar winner from 2016 is usually seen with natural-hued golden tresses.
But with big changes (An engagement! An Oscar!), this celebrity decided to switch up her 'do too for a fiery red. We love it.
Emma Stone has been a redhead for as long as we can remember (minus that blond stint as Gwen Stacey).
But now she's switched up her colour for a deep, sultry chocolate.
Emma Stone's been busy in the hair department in 2016. She went from red, to brunette and now you'll see her sporting a platinum shade.
Kristen has been sporting a short, choppy 'do in her natural brunette for 2016.
But now she's gone bleach blonde.
Emma Roberts has been sporting a blonde lob for a while now.
But she's recently switched up her look in favour of a reddish-brownish shade that we love for spring. (The braided 'do is a nice touch too!)
Cate Blanchett has been rocking blonde hair for awhile—and who can blame her? It looks great.
We were tickled pink (sorry!) when we saw that our favourite red carpet regular, Cate Blanchett dyed her blonde hair pink. Is there anything she can't pull off?
Kaia Gerber (Cindy Crawford's daughter for those drawing a blank) has rocked long and soft brunette waves which doesn't fail to draw comparisons to her famous mom.
Brunette, be gone! Gerber switched in her flowing locks for a choppy, bright blonde lob.
Ever since Woodley chopped off her waist-length hair several years ago, she's been shorter and blonder, especially in the Divergent movie series.
With the release of the latest Divergent movie, Woodley is back in the spotlight—and sporting a wavy, brunette lob.
Chrissy Teigen has sported long, flowing, beach-bombshell waves since before we can remember.
Mom-to-be Teigen asked for the "Rosie-Khloe" and got a blunt, textured lob in 2016.
Emma Watson is no stranger to dramatic hair cuts (she rocked a pixie for a while), but she's kept it safe lately with longer, layered locks.
Watson debuted a choppy, bob hairstyle in early 2016.
Sarah Hyland has been on the ombre train for some time, whether her hair has been long or shorter.
The actor decided to take a walk on the dark side with this new almost-black 'do.
Stacy Martin's long, natural hair is reminiscent of some of our favourite ladies from the 1960's. Think Joni Mitchell and Jane Birkin.
She's since opted for a short, choppy lob—and we love it!
Kylie Jenner is no stranger to dramatic hair transformations, but lately she's been sporting her natural dark brown.
Say goodbye to natural and hello to navy blue!
Allison Williams' long, cascading waves are the definition of #hairgoals.
The Girls actor added fringe this year for a hairstyle change.
Go on, have another slice of pumpkin pie.
There are few things better than a great big Thanksgiving feast shared with family and friends. If you choose your outfit wisely, you're free to indulge without worrying about rigid waistbands or fitted dresses holding you back.
We've got outfit ideas that will keep you comfy and stylish, no matter how you celebrate this totally indulgent holiday.
A cozy Thanksgiving with your immediate family
Not all families have large gatherings around the holidays. Maybe you're cooking a turkey breast (or tofurky) instead of the whole bird, or maybe there's no dinner at all and you'll spend the evening watching movies on the couch. If you're planning something small with just your partner, or your parents, or your kids, keep your outfit simple. We love the idea of an oversized shirt dress (bonus points for season-appropriate tartan), topped with a maxi cardigan. Flat, menswear-inspired shoes and sparkly socks keep this look from being too casual—you still want to look nice, after all.
Thanksgiving at the cottage
Whether you're going with only a few people, or your entire family, Thanksgiving at the cottage has something going for it other than the scenery—the very casual dress code. We recommend a stretchy, long-sleeve top paired with boyfriend jeans (the baggier, the better) and a roomy turtleneck sweater (the one shown below is actually a vest). Finish off the look with simple (waterproof) boots, just in case you decide to walk off that second serving of mashed potatoes after dinner.
The big family affair
If you're attending a fam jam with all of your relatives, you need to look on point—especially if someone in the group is an amateur photographer. There will be pictures. And you will be tagged on Facebook. We recommend opting for roomy trousers (a drawstring helps) in a stylish fabric like velvet, which also happens to be extremely comfortable. Pair with a long, roomy sweater in a flattering colour (this eggplant works with all skin tones) and sparkly accessories. For shoes, try a comfortable ankle boot with a trendy western-inspired twist.
If you're having a friends-only Thanksgiving event, we recommend playing with texture for added interest in your oversized ensemble. Keep it comfy with an A-line blouse (the one shown is in classic denim) and faux-leather leggings, which are both fancy and comfortable. Top it off with your favourite blanket scarf or poncho and some cool boots. This outfit will keep you covered, whether you indulge in drinks, turkey or cake—or all of the above.