Your Christmas, sorted: extra sides

by Great British Chefs 1 December 2021

Don't stop at the classics when it comes to sides for a Christmas dinner. These are a few of our favourite recipes involving ingredients that go beyond the norm.

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Potatoes, sprouts, carrots – these are just some of the side dishes which are an absolute must for Christmas dinner. But once you've covered the classics there's plenty more to choose from to help turn your roast into a real banquet. From the beloved pigs in blankets to cheesy gratins, these additional side dish recipes are great for those wanting to go the extra mile at Christmas.

Pigs in blankets

It's hard to put your finger on what is so amazing about the simple pork-meets-pork combination of chipolatas wrapped in bacon but pigs in blankets often end up being one of the most moreish parts of a Christmas dinner. Making your own rather than buying them in means you can ensure both the sausages and bacon are of the highest quality.

Roast cauliflower and chestnuts

There are just four ingredients in this classic recipe from Paul Foster but they all pair brilliantly to create a simple, wintry dish. The addition of curry powder gives the cauliflower florets a lovely warmth.

Salsify in blankets

For those wanting to cook something a little less meaty than the standard pigs in blankets, these salsify batons wrapped in streaky bacon are a fantastic option. The saltiness of the bacon is perfectly offset by the nutty salsify to create wonderfully balanced little bites.

Roast pumpkin and chestnut purée

You may not have made a purée as part of a Christmas dinner before, but they're actually an easy way of adding a soothing, creamy texture to the meal. Peter Gordon's pumpkin and chestnut purée is given an extra whack of flavour by adding horseradish cream.

Pigs in blankets toad in the hole

This recipe is an excellent way to use up leftover pigs in blankets on Boxing Day (if there are any!) or for serving alongside the main meal on Christmas day if you want a fairly quick and hands-off side.

Braised root vegetables with dill

Root vegetables are a common sight around Christmas but Jeremy Lee gives them the respect they deserve in this alternative festive side. After braising celeriac, swede, carrots, parsnips and turnips, he finishes them with a sprinkling of dill and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Truffled Jerusalem artichoke gratin

The Jerusalem artichoke is a gorgeous ingredient in its own right but by seasoning it with a touch of truffle oil, as Paul Welburn does here, it becomes something even more magical. Finished with gooey Reblochon cheese, this warming gratin is guaranteed to disappear quickly when served with a Christmas dinner.

Roasted garlic and swede hash

Luke Holder elevates the humble swede to new heights in this simple but delicious side. By roasting an entire bulb of garlic and then adding it to the buttery, mashed swede, the dish is given a brilliant sweetness.

Caramelised celeriac mash with spiced walnuts

The ultimate comforting side, Chantelle Nicholson's caramelised celeriac mash has everything you could want from a festive side dish – crunch from the shards of walnut, a touch of winter spice and a beautiful sweetness.

Cavolo nero with hazelnut pesto

This cavolo nero dish form Jun Tanaka is all about the punchy hazelnut pesto that's drizzled on top of the cabbage. What's great about this pesto is that it works well with any iron-rich greens meaning you can knock it up last-minute to go with whatever you have in the fridge at Christmas.

Turnip, bacon and Gruyère gratin

Matthew Tomkinson's turnip, bacon and gruyère gratin recipe showcases the root vegetable by thinly slicing it and covering it in an indulgent creamy sauce. The only worry about serving this dish at Christmas is that it might end up stealing the show.

Caramelised chicory with orange, blue cheese and walnuts

Zingy caramelised chicory is paired with crunchy walnuts and salty Stilton in this recipe from Paul Welburn. Braising the chicory in star anise-infused orange juice, he packs wintery flavours into every element, making it a great alternative side at Christmas.

Jerusalem artichokes with raisins, pine nuts and apricots

For a healthy side dish with a difference, this roasted Jerusalem artichoke recipe from Angel Zapata Martin is a fantastic option at Christmas. After roasting the artichokes in the oven, he slices them before dressing with pine nuts, raisins, apricots and grated nutmeg – all the flavours of winter in one mouthful.

Choose the rest of your Christmas dinner: