5 Classic Side Dish Recipes for a Nostalgic Christmas Dinner

A Christmas dinner setting with Christmas-themed plates

by Patricia LaCroix, Contributing Writer

Ah, the sights, smells, and tastes of Christmas dinner! They can evoke such wonderful memories of the holidays.

Are you getting nostalgic for those dinners of Christmas past? You know — the dishes you enjoyed when you were young! The ones Grandma always used to make.

Look no further! Care & Comfort at Home has pulled together a list of some of the most iconic and memorable Christmas dishes, as well as links to their recipes, so you can enjoy them again and again!

Broccoli Rice Casserole

What’s a holiday dinner without a casserole? They are easy to make and easy to serve. Especially warm and inviting are the casseroles that are made with cheese. This cheesy broccoli rice casserole recipe has been around for more than 40 years. It’s a great way for kids to love eating their vegetables! You can get the classic recipe by clicking HERE.

Mashed Potatoes

What would Christmas dinner be without mashed potatoes? This quintessential comfort food is simple to prepare —and with a little brown or turkey gravy on top, extra special! Click HERE to get a recipe that makes it a cinch to serve it this Christmas.

Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is the grand finale to many Christmas dinners, especially in the south. That’s probably because the pecan is native to the southern United States. In fact, there’s evidence of its use by Native Americans in Texas more than 8,000 years ago! Today, we get to enjoy them in the gooey goodness of a pie. Click HERE to get a quick and easy version of the much-beloved holiday dessert!

Jello

As the company’s commercials use to say, there’s always room for Jello! Over the years, Jello-brand gelatin dishes have appeared as all sorts of shapes and types. Back in the 1950s, savory Jello dishes made with ingredients like olives and carrots were all the rage. Today, the sweet versions are the most popular. Click HERE to get a recipe for a simple yet sweet and delicious creamy strawberry gelatin dessert that goes great with any holiday meal!

Tamales

Every culture has its own classic holiday favorites. For people of Mexican descent and for many people living in America’s Southwest, no Christmas meal would be complete without tamales on the table. Tamales are made with cornmeal that is filled with a meat — usually pork, chicken, or beef — in a chile sauce. The ingredients are wrapped in a corn husk, and then steamed until cooked. They are delicious with a dollop of sour cream on the side! Traditionally, tamales are enjoyed with a warm beverage also popular around Christmas time called “atole” — a thick Mexican drink made out of hot milk and either cornmeal or oatmeal. Atole is usually flavored with sugar and cinnamon, and sometimes it also includes chocolate. Warning! While simple to make, tamales do take time to prepare, and assembling them can be a very physical task. You can click HERE to learn how to make traditional tamales. If you’d like to try making atole as well, click HERE for that recipe (this one uses oatmeal).