Everyone has a favourite side dish on the Christmas table from roast potatoes to cauliflower bake.
More than seven in ten Australians said they're looking forward to the Christmas side dishes as much, if not more, than the main protein, a survey from Aldi Australia found.
This is great news for the Christmas budget with 50 per cent of survey respondents saying they'd "happily forgo" the meat course for a large serve of roast potatoes.
"This new research really highlights the place the humble side dish has earned in the hearts of Australians, proving that the smallest and most simple dishes are as beloved as the mains," Aldi Australia's Simon Padovani-Ginies said.
Aldi Australia's research was conducted with 1,002 adult Australian grocery shoppers who celebrate the holiday season with a festive meal.
"By focusing on the little things that matter, Aussies can give every dish on their table 'main-character energy' this festive season," he said.
Beloved Christmas side dishes
Roast potato, with sprinkle of salt and a crunchy crust, was the top-rated side dish on Australia's Christmas table, Aldi found.
Almost half of those surveyed said a festive meal without roast potatoes would be "ruined".
Potato bake was the second highest rated followed by roasted root vegetables including carrots and parsnips.
The only cold side dish on the list, potato salad, ranked as the fourth favourite which was followed by a cheesy cauliflower or broccoli bake in fifth.
Make the most of Christmas sides
Side dishes that failed to make an impression on Christmas day were improved by adding fried bacon bits, the survey found.
Aussies also love a side dish with a "fancy glaze or sauce" and they can't resist vegetables that have been fried, Aldi said.
Another recommended tactic was serving dessert hours after savoury dishes "so you can make the most out of Christmas mains and sides".
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Best side dishes for the next day
Christmas may be the reason for the season but 66 per cent of respondents said they look forward to Boxing day leftover sides.
Potatoes dominated the list of beloved leftovers with potato bake in the top position followed by potato salad and roast potatoes.
Who does it best?
Australians generally said their mum made the best Christmas sides while their dad made the worst.
But one in five had "tickets on themselves" saying they made the best dish on the Christmas table.
"Extra guests trying to earn their place" at the Christmas table were reportedly the among the worst side dish preparers, according to 98 per cent of those surveyed.