Festive Veg Sides

Vegetables can often be overlooked during the festive period, as other foods tend to take centre stage. Here we have 3 different recipes showing you how to make seasonal veg extra special for Christmas time. Maybe getting our 5 a day over Christmas won’t be so hard after all!

Festive Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut squash has a sweet and slightly nutty taste, especially when roasted! It is high in vitamin A and is a source of vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium. Perfect served alongside leftover meat from Christmas day.


  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or any other vegetable oil)
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary (fresh rosemary gives the best flavour but you can use dried too)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50g pecan nuts
  • 40g dried cranberries
  • Around 50g of feta cheese


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190oC (210oC for non-fan assisted).
  2. Peel and chop the butternut squash into cubes. Spread out the chopped squash on a baking tray – use 2 trays if needed, as it is best for the squash not to be overcrowded.
  3. Remove the needles from the stalk of the rosemary and roughly chop them.
  4. Drizzle around 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the squash, then season with cinnamon, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper – shake until evenly coated.
  5. Roast the butternut squash for around 40-45 minutes, giving them a shake half-way through.
  6. Add the pecans and roast for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Once the tray is removed from the oven, crumble the feta over the squash and add the cranberries.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Scotland - Roasted Christmas Sprouts

Roasted Christmas Sprouts

Chestnuts and sprouts are a source of fibre, which is important for gut health and preventing constipation. Sprouts tend to have a bad reputation, but if you cook them right, they can be delicious! This dish would make a tasty side to Christmas dinner. It might even please some fussier eaters!


  • 500g of sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g of pre-cooked chestnuts (these are available in supermarkets around Christmas)


1. Pre-heat the oven to 190oC (210oC for non-fan assisted).
2. Chop off the ends of the sprouts and remove the outer leaves. Cut them in half and add to a roasting dish.
3. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and minced garlic. Drizzle this over the sprouts evenly and season with salt and pepper.
4. Roast the sprouts for 18-20 minutes, giving them a shake half-way.
5. Cut the chestnuts into quarters and sprinkle over the roasted sprouts. Put back in the oven for 3-5 minutes.
6. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Scotland - Crusted root mash

Garlic and Herb Crusted Root Mash

Root mash is a delicious alternative to potato mash any time of the year, but this recipe makes it extra special for the festive period! You can use whatever mix of root veg you like – butternut squash, turnips and sweet potato would also work well! Check out our seasonal veg factsheets to see what root veg are in season.


  • 3 carrots
  • 1 swede
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 large knobs of butter
  • 1 onion
  • 4 slices of bread (any kind of bread – white, brown or seeded)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (you can use dried if you prefer)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of garlic granules (depending on how garlicky you like it)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170oC (190oC for non-fan assisted).
  2. Peel and chop the veg into similar sized chunks. Add to boiling water and cook until tender. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the veg chunks.
  3. Mash the cooked veg with a large knob of butter, salt and pepper. Add the mash to an oven dish.
  4. Melt a large knob of butter in a pan on a medium heat. Finely chop the onion and cook in the pan until softened.
  5. Using a food processor or high-powered blender, blitz up the bread to make breadcrumbs.
  6. Remove the needles from the stalk of the rosemary and roughly chop them.
  7. Add the chopped rosemary, breadcrumbs and garlic granules to the pan with the onions. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the breadcrumb mix on top of the mash and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes (until the crumb topping goes golden brown)
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Our ‘What’s in Season’ page has other recipe ideas and more information on seasonal vegetables!

We’d also like to wish you festive greetings and hope that you all have a Happy New Year! 


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