Healthy Christmas Recipes

We've collected some of our favorite healthy Christmas appetizers, entrees, side dishes and desserts that use far less butter and oil, like avocado-hummus dip, crunchy artichoke crostini, ginger salmon, lemon-rosemary grilled shrimp, and walnut-crusted chicken breasts.

Staff Picks

Carrot Puree

All it takes is a sprinkling of salt and pepper to enhance the earthy flavors of the carrots in this simple side dish.

Fennel and Orange Salad

Rating: 2.88 stars
The classic flavor combination of fennel and orange makes a wonderful winter salad.

Spiced Nuts

Rating: 3.1 stars
A perfect spicy snack for the holidays.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes with Walnuts

The red grapes' sweetness brings out the nutty notes in the sprouts. Walnuts can be swapped for almonds or pecans.

Cream of Celery Soup

Rating: 2.98 stars
This cream of celery soup is garnished with toasted baguette and celery leaf.

Warm Fennel-and-Parmesan Dip

Rating: 3.62 stars
A warm, golden dip always tempts guests to dig in. This one uses Parmesan cheese to season caramelized fennel and garlic.

Shingled Roasted Potatoes

Shingling these potatoes is as easy as thinly slicing each (just not all the way through) before roasting them. The result is a beautiful display. Put them in the oven 30 minutes before the beef goes in so that everything is ready at the same time.

Shrimp and Avocado Salad on Endive Leaves

The secret to the shrimp salad's decadent taste: creamy avocado, which is rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Slivers of scallion and a shot of lime juice brighten the flavor.

Roasted Cauliflower

Rating: 3.77 stars
Take familiar techniques, like roasting, and apply them in new ways for this delicious side.

Sweet Potato Cannelloni

Rating: 3.06 stars
A twist on traditional cannelloni, this vegetarian and gluten-free dish is made with blanched sweet potato slices. They're filled with a cottage cheese, sweet potato, and apple filling, then topping with shaved Parmesan and toasted walnuts. The remarkably rich taste and vibrant appearance make it a worthy and healthy addition to any dinner.

Shaved Parsnip Salad

A surprisingly good source of vitamin C, the raw parsnips in this healthy holiday side have slightly more of the antioxidant than their cooked counterparts.

Easy Mushroom Gravy

Anna Lappe, cofounder of the Small Planet Institute, developed this vegan gravy recipe to be served with her Dried Fruit and Toasted Nut Stuffing, a Thanksgiving dish from her childhood.

Inspiration and Ideas

15 Healthy (and Festive!) Recipes for the Holidays

Family gatherings often seem to be code for tossing out resolutions for healthy eating, but that needn’t be the case. Take full advantage of the spectrum of flavors and colors found in the bounty of the season for dishes that will impress, satisfy, and be celebratory.

Hearty Garlic Greens

Rating: Unrated
Any combination of hearty autumn greens will work well in this recipe; try Swiss chard, Tuscan kale, and mustard greens.

Beet, Fennel, and Carrot Salad

Rating: 3.69 stars

A vinaigrette made with citrus and fennel seeds brightens this colorful, crunchy salad made with beets and carrots.