10 Ultra-Creamy Side Dishes Ready for the Holidays


We’ve partnered with Hood®—makers of great-tasting, high-quality heavy cream and half-and-half made from premium Hood Milk—to make your holidays even more delicious with our favorite creamy side dishes.

What’s a holiday dinner without a bunch of dreamy, creamy sides? I can’t leave the store between the months of September to December without a quart or two of heavy cream in tow—my pick is Hood® Heavy Cream for the silky, rich creaminess it brings to all sorts of dishes.

I know I’ll need it even before I know exactly what I’ll need it for. That’s because heavy cream is one of those ingredients that always comes in handy at a moment’s notice. If a dish needs a velvety finish, pinch of richness, or luscious fat, a dash of Hood Heavy Cream delivers on demand; for a lighter, yet equally delicious touch, you can also try Hood Half-and-Half.

When planning a festive dinner this season, consider these creamy, cozy side dishes to complement (and possibly outshine) the main entrees at the dinner table.

1. Cream of Brussels Sprouts Soup With Crispy Bacon

Brussels sprouts like you may not have seen them before: Halved Brussels sprouts simmer in a creamy cooking liquid of Hood Heavy Cream and vegetable stock, then are gently seasoned with ground coriander and black pepper and blended till silky-smooth. Thick-cut bacon strips and shredded Brussels are fried to peak crispness with sugar and red wine vinegar to finish the soup with a balancing combination of salty, tangy, and sweet.

2. Orecchiette With Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale & Caramelized Red Onion

Butternut squash is one of the fall season’s all-star vegetables. Here, it’s cubed and roasted, then accompanied by orecchiette, kale, caramelized red onions, heavy cream, goat cheese, and a bit of heat (from the cayenne). This dish can double as a side or dinner, depending on the occasion.

3. Suspiciously Delicious Creamed Cabbage

I’ll have to admit that I too was suspicious of creamed cabbage. However, I am here to report that creamed cabbage is indeed a dish that has proven its deliciousness. With over 200 reviews, multiple five-star ratings, and a short ingredients list, you can’t pass up the opportunity to see what all the hype is about.

4. Creamed Spinach & Parsnips

If you’ve ever passed over parsnips in the grocery store, I hope this recipe—which gives ordinary creamed spinach a lift—makes you think twice about this root vegetable. Parsnips roast in the oven with honey and butter for a glaze-y finish, while the spinach wilts in a sauté pan. To tie the two together, combine them in a cream sauce thickened with heavy cream (you can also use Hood Half-and-Half) and flour.

5. Rich & Creamy Stovetop Mac & Cheese

If you ask me, you can never have too many mac and cheese recipes in your back pocket. Instead of baking like a casserole, this version finishes on the stovetop and features a few unexpected ingredients (like Dijon mustard) plus a mix of cheeses (provolone, Gruyère, and Parmesan). Each cheese has its own distinctive flavor profile, and together, they combine their cheesy superpowers to make one heck of a mac and cheese.

6. Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Crème Fraîche & Herbs

Sweet potato dishes served during the holidays typically include some combination of brown sugar, cinnamon, and marshmallow. But here, Food52 co-founder Merrill Stubbs was inspired by Chef Marcus Samuelsson to take a savory turn. The sweet spuds simmer in a dairy-rich broth of whole milk and heavy cream (Hood Dairy products would be delicious here), plus garlic, thyme, and a bay leaf; the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes pairs well with the herbaceous seasonings. The finishing touches of tangy crème fraîche and Parmesan cheese give the dish a nutty, salty, and luxurious finish.

7. Maque Choux (Fried Corn With Green Peppers)

Shared by author Monique Wells and adapted by Toni Tipton-Martin, this version of creamed corn includes aromatics such as onions, garlic, bell pepper, and thyme for a bold base flavor that melds into the sweet corn. Red pepper flakes add a slight undertone of heat, while heavy cream thickens the dish to a silken finish.

8. Scalloped Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

This 2013 “Your Best Recipe for Potatoes” contest finalist stands the test of time (and for good reason). The addition of caramelized onions and Gruyère cheese makes this take on the classic stand out from the rest. It’s the perfect dish to make ahead of time and store before its final debut on the dinner table.

9. Penne with Creamed Greens & Pancetta

Kale is a versatile vegetable that has many different sides—in this recipe, Food52 co-founder Amanda Hesser pairs it with broccoli rabe to make a green pesto-like pasta dish. The pancetta is optional, but I recommend you include the salty, fatty pork product ( if you eat it) for a crispy bite. The combination of heavy cream and crème fraîche rounds out the dish to creamy perfection.

10. Tomato Soup With a Whole Head of Garlic

Nothing screams fall and winter like a good ole’ bowl of creamy tomato soup. Rolling out of the summery days of tomato season and into the cooler months, this quick and effortless soup boasts a full head of garlic for an undeniable roasty, pungent flavor and umami punch.

What’s your all-time favorite creamy side dish? Tell us in the comments below!

Our friends at Hood® have been around since 1846, so they know a thing or two about making top-notch dairy products. This fall and winter, we’re stocking up on Hood Heavy Cream, Half-and-Half, and Whole Milk—they’re must-haves for pulling together a host of holiday-ready recipes, from rich macaroni and cheese to velvety cream of Brussels sprouts soup.

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