With dietary restrictions, side dishes provide a new meaning to traditional holiday meals. These important additions are crucial to ensuring that everyone can get seconds.

The side dishes also need to ensure that they have solid flavor and can spice up the gathering. For me, I make sure that my sides stand out and become the new family classic.

pepper, chili, condiment, cardamom, curry, cereal, spices
Srishti Jain

But yes, it is true that spices and herbs really make a world a difference. Plus, these are spices simply designed to elevate your meals, not create new ones.

Crushed Red Pepper Mac and Cheese:

This is a perfect addition to lend just a hint of spice to any mac and cheese. Whether its homemade or out of the box, this perfect spice is sure to add not just a splash of color, but a dash of heat as well to really rock around the clock.

Crushed Red Pepper is a nice addition to the cheesy classic. If you mix it in after cooking or even bake it into the dish, this ingredient is sure to wow and impress without breaking a sweat.

Rosemary Dinner Rolls:

bread, dough, sweet, pastry, flour, bread rolls, bun
Helena Lin

Who doesn’t like things a littler herby? Making a simple compound butter with rosemary can make your dinner rolls delightful. This easy trick can make the flavors of the rolls complement the turkey and the stuffing nicely.

The fat of the butter and the familiar flavors that the rosemary has, for me, made this a showstopper for my family gatherings. The ease and unlimited possibilities of the spruced-up butter makes this multi-functional.

Vanilla Roasted Sweet Potatoes:

vegetable, tuber, pasture, potato, sweet potato, carbohydrate, yam
Lily Allen

Sweet potatoes are a harvest and winter classic, making their way to the dinner table in soufflés, casseroles and even pies. A great way to level up your sweet potato dishes are with some vanilla.

Personally, I roast up my fresh sweet potatoes instead of mashing them nowadays. This gives it a nice caramelization and tang. To get that caramelization? Vanilla. More concentrated then molasses, a little goes a long way and allows the color stay vibrant orange when roasting then baking.

Cumin-Thyme Roasted Parsnips and Carrots:

It seems there is never enough time to make a good dish, and with your root veggies how can you go wrong with some tasty cumin and thyme parsnips and carrots?

The cumin adds a deep and rich flavor to the vegetables, creating a combination of sweet and savory if roasted with honey. This double dose of richness and earthiness allows the roots to really make a statement. The thyme is a nice addition that I use to really give an herby, harvest note to.

Sumac Creamed Spinach:

Sumac is a unique spice, mainly used for fish or mixing into hummus, though it is a great addition to something creamy and light, like creamed spinach. This flavor palette allows a citrusy and almost lemon-like flavor profile.

In any case, this advancement in your creamed spinach will leave your family wishing you had made more of your recipe.