Healthy Holiday Recipes for Side Dishes


The Most Delicious Healthy Holiday Recipes for Side Dishes

Do you find it overwhelming to find delicious, healthy holiday recipes for side dishes? Here are two of my favorites.

The first is my cranberry sauce, which I like to make all year round (I freeze 6-8 bags that I purchase in December that last me until the spring). This is great as a condiment on leftover turkey sandwiches or even as jam on my peanut butter toast in the morning. Additionally, I add it to my yogurt and granola breakfast twice a week! The taste always reminds me of Christmas and Thanksgiving, and it’s comforting to know I can have it until the weather gets warmer. The difference with my sauce and why it’s a crowd-pleaser is that I decrease the sugar by 25% so it’s not too sweet. The secret ingredient is a huge splash of lemon at the end that gives it an oh-so-good sour/sweet flavor that just can’t be beat! If you want to jazz it up a little more, you can cook it with half a stick of cinnamon as the cranberries are boiling and popping to perfection!

The second is a great little recipe I found on It’s vegetarian, and can easily become vegan if you omit the feta or the goat cheese. I love cheese, so this is definitely staying in my version. You can prepare it under 30 minutes, and the results are spectacular! You are getting a good source of fiber through the mushrooms, green beans and farro, and the walnuts and cheese provide the satiating protein that will keep the munchies at bay. So warm, so delicious, and actually a super healthy side. I recommend you have two servings and call it lunch!

The great thing about both these recipes is that they call for ingredients that you probably already have in your refrigerator or pantry during the holiday season. The last thing you want is to be standing in line two days before your holiday dinner for the fresh thyme in this recipe! Oh, and if it’s fresh thyme you’re missing, don’t be quick to rush to the market, dried thyme will do as well. Just add a little less!

I hope you enjoy these sides as much as my family and I do. Try them, I think they will become your new healthy holiday recipes and side dish favorites!

Voula’s Sweet & Tart Cranberry Sauce


  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Splash of fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cinnamon stick (optional)


  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. You can add a cinnamon stick if you like.
  2. Add cranberries and return to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add a splash of lemon and stir.
  5. Pour sauce in a bowl, cover, and cool completely at room temperature.
  6. Refrigerate until it is time to serve. Makes 2 ¼ cups.

Roasted Mushroom and Green Bean Farro Salad

(Recipe adapted by

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup farro
  • 8 oz mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 lbs green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup feta, goat or blue cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar


  1. Bring the water and farro to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until farro is al dente, about 20 minutes.
  2. Toss the mushrooms and green beans in the oil, thyme, salt and pepper and place them on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Roast the mushrooms and green beans in a preheated 400F oven until they start to caramelize, about 20 minutes, flipping them half way.
  4. Mix everything and enjoy!

If you would like to learn more about how I can help you manage your weight peacefully without the diets, please visit my Services page.

Voula Manousos’ writing is featured in the “Winchester Living Magazine” and “The Winchester Star” of Wicked Local.

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