Janet's Notebook
Easy Christmas Side Dish Recipes

Family Fav Crock Pot Corn Casserole

One of the easiest ways to add something to a holiday meal is to amp up the side dishes. Ham, roast beef and turkey are traditional main courses. And for sides, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole is the norm. It's great to stick to tradition, but this year add a few new easy side dish recipes for a stellar holiday meal.

"This Sweet Potato Casserole Delight is better than sweet potato pie," thinks Tara Guthrie Lucas (Sanford, NC). "The pecan topping is perfect for those who do not like marshmallows in their sweet potato casserole." Yum, this sweet potato casserole is certainly a delight!

Using fresh sweet potatoes is what makes this dish special. You could take a shortcut and buy the canned stuff, but it's worth the extra time. Once roasted, the sweet potatoes are creamy and luscious. The praline topping is crunchy, sweet and nutty, giving you that perfect praline flavor. It's definitely on the sweeter side. You could put this on the dessert table and no one would know it wasn't a dessert. If you love marshmallows, but not on your casseroles, I highly suggest giving this a try.

Jo Webb's (Blair, OK) My Stuffing Dressing is an easy to prepare cornbread dressing recipe everyone is sure to love. "This tastes wonderful with the apples and onion in it," explains Jo. "The cranberries and pecans are optional, but the stuffing is great with them."

In the Test Kitchen, we left the optional pecans and cranberries out of the recipe so we could try the dressing alone. It's savory, lightly sweet and very moist. I sprinkled some pecans and dried cranberries on top of when tasting and loved the addition. They add a nice tartness and crunch. This will be a delicious and pretty addition to your holiday table.

For me, creamed spinach is a must on the table and I love Kim Miller's (Maui, HI) Holiday Spinach Casserole. It's a twist on the classic side. "This casserole is so cheesy and creamy," says Kim. "The casserole with all the ingredients sort of sets like a souffle."

This is one of those easy holiday casseroles that you can prepare ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when ready to eat. It is cheesy, creamy and oh so good. The spinach flavor really shines through. Plus, it's super easy to prepare.

I love the method of cooking Diana Perry's Family Fav Crock Pot Corn Casserole. This holiday favorite is prepared in the Crock Pot which opens space in the crowded oven.

"I have requests every year for this dish, especially around the holidays," shares Diana. "I've never found anyone who didn't like it and I've served this to so many friends, neighbors, and family members!" The corn casserole turns out sweet and creamy with a hint of savory flavor from the seasoning. One bite and it'll become your favorite too.

Skip the store-bought rolls this year and serve Nancy Allen's (St. Louis, MO) Gruyere Rolls. They are fantabulous! "These are the best rolls, they melt in your mouth," Nancy says. Gruyere cheese is creamy with a nutty taste and adds so much flavor to the rolls.

As Nancy mentions, these do take a little bit of time but it's worth it. They're actually simple to prepare. The hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise.

Pam Schroeder (East Freetown, NY) made these for Thanksgiving and thought they were amazing. "Definitely worth the expense for a nice treat," Pam shared. Pam also substituted smoked gruyere for regular gruyere which I think is an excellent choice. It would add a yummy smoky flavor to the rolls. Try not to eat them all before they make it to the table. In the Test Kitchen, they disappeared very quickly.

While the meat is always the star of the meal, serve any of these delectable side dishes and they'll shine brightly too. They're easy and will add something new to your holiday dinner. Happy Pinching!

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