Side dishes for Christmas Dinner

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries

 Depending on the size of the your turkey and how much oven space you have this festive vegetable dish can be made the day of or up to two days in advance, then warmed up in the oven while your turkey is having its “time out.”

 Note: recipe can be halved

 Professional home economist tip: if you aren’t using a steel knife the sweet potatoes may brown.


2 lbs. (1 kg) sweet potatoes, scrubbed well and cut into 1×1-inch (2.5×2.5 cm) cubes

1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

¼ tsp (1 mL) cinnamon

2 cups (500 mL) fresh or frozen cranberries

½ cup (125 mL) dried cranberries

1 cup (250 mL) orange juice, divided

1        tbsp (15 mL) pure maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C. Line a 12.5 x 13.5 inch (3.5 L) covered casserole dish with wet parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl toss together the sweet potatoes with the oil and cinnamon. Add fresh or frozen cranberries dried cranberries, toss.
  3. Tip into prepared pan. Pour ½ cup (125 mL) of the orange juice over. Drizzle with maple syrup. Cover with the lid or parchment paper and roast for 40 – 45 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and cool, refrigerate for up to two days. (NOTE: if you are making it for the day of bake an extra 20-40 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are really soft).
  4. On the serving day: remove cover, pour in ½ cup (125 mL) of the reserved orange juice, cover and reheat in a 325°F/160°C oven for 30-40 minutes or until hot.


Makes approx. 6 cups (1.5 L) Makes 12 servings = one serving = ½ cup (125 mL)


Brussels sprouts with Pancetta


Stir Fried Brussels sprouts picture by Suzanne Gardner
Brussels sprouts with Pancetta picture by Suzanne Gardner

 This is the only version my husband, an adamant  Brussels sprouts hater, has ever seconds for. Ladies and gentleman we have a winner! 

2 oz (50 g) diced pancetta or bacon

3 shallots, sliced thinly into rings

1 lb (500 g) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and each cut into 4 slices – a la stir fry look

½ cup (125 mL) fresh whole cranberries

2 tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp (15 mL) pure maple syrup


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until golden brown.
  2.  Add shallots and sauté until golden brown.
  3. Add Brussels sprouts, cranberries and vinegar, sauté and then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 2-4 minutes, please don’t overcook, you don’t want grey blobs of overcooked Brussels sprouts.
  4. Remove lid, drizzle with maple syrup and sauté for 30 seconds. Serve. 

 Makes 3 cups (750 mL) Makes 6 servings = one serving = ½ cup (125 mL)

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