When it comes to Thanksgiving, having the right amount of side dishes will be crucial for filling up your belly and satisfying all your guests.
It is a celebration of sharing, giving you everything that you’ll need for a sumptuous dinner that will ensure that everyone will be relaxing and patting their full bellies at the end of it.
But part of what makes thanksgiving great is not the main meal - the turkey or pork centerpiece - it’s the side dishes. What better way to enjoy a meal than by piling up various veggies and creamed items onto your plate, having one flavor compliment another.
Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
These are recipes that you can enjoy either just by yourself, with family, or with friends.
Even if you have vegetarians over, most likely there will be several dishes on this list that you can feed a vegetarian and maybe even a few that you can amend or tweak to feed a vegan. This is your one-stop-shop for feeding everyone, no matter what their dietary requirements.
Need a star for the Thanksgiving dinner? While turkey is classic, you might prefer going a bit unique and making something like this roasted chicken with garlic butter or even this Instant Pot roast recipe with potatoes and carrots. Both are a delicious main dish that goes well with any and all of these sides.
Delicious and Smooth Mash Potatoes
This dish is a cornerstone of any thanksgiving platter. This dish will literally melt in your mouth, so you won’t have to worry about lumpy or dry mash potatoes. You can throw in some sour cream and yogurt to make this dish even more sumptuous and delicious.
Stuffing Done The Same Way As Momma
This is another classic that you won’t want to miss from your thanksgiving spread. It is suitable for vegetarians and is made in the traditional way, with lashings of dried onion, celery, broccoli, and breadcrumbs. You can either add chicken or vegetable stock depending on your dietary preference.
Instant Pot Candied Carrots
Why cook carrots the normal way on thanksgiving? This recipe is the perfect reason to give a little pizazz to your dish. With a little bit of brown sugar with honey, you can really give your carrots that interesting twist. This will be perfect for impressing your friends and family who might not be aware that you possess such culinary skills.
Having a fruity salad might not be exactly your traditional method of salad preparation, but it will certainly give you a reason to try something different. This contains lots of delicious tropical fruits and mushrooms that are drenched in a very tart sour cream sauce. This one is perfect for vegetarians who don’t want to forsake flavor.
Green Bean Casserole
Whether you use a classic recipe passed down from your mother or you use this updated cheesy version, a good green bean casserole is a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table.
This is a staple of any Thanksgiving dinner. Not only does this recipe lay out the few simple ingredients that you need to cook it, but it also gives you the ideal method of preparation. With just a few minutes in the kitchen and a handful of ingredients, you have the perfect complement to your turkey or pork centerpiece.
Brussell Sprouts Plus Pancetta
If you, like many, tend to push this plate to the side when it comes to your Thanksgiving plate, then you won’t have to worry anymore. This recipe contains a mere 5 ingredients and will ensure that your Brussel sprouts have that crisp and crunchy finish. This is caramelized and, coupled with the salty pancetta, is a novel spin on an often dull side dish.
Creamed Swiss Chard
If you are looking to lighten the load on a usually very calorific side dish, then you can’t go wrong with this recipe for creamed swiss chard. This comes in a very light and creamy sauce that won’t leave you having to undo a few buttons on your jeans once you’ve finished. This is also a great option for vegetarians.
Baked Mac and Cheese
This recipe will be a surefire way of preparing your sweetcorn in such a way that you can have a quick and tasty treat for yourself and your family. This is definitely a recipe for those that are always in a rush and might not have the time to prepare a complete banquet for you and your 20 guests on thanksgiving.
Creamed Spinach on the Stove
This is another very healthy side meal that you can use to augment your delicious thanksgiving dinner. The spinach itself is very easy to prepare and only requires a little simmering with some additional parmesan cheese to give it that additional zest. You don’t need to have many cooking utensils to prepare this meal.
Green Beans Almondine
A classic preparation of green beans, this recipe is on almost every Thanksgiving table. Add a bit of crunch with almonds and you have a family favorite.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Why not switch out your regular potatoes for the delicious new sweet potato… but in a casserole! This is a very delicious method of processing your traditional potato dish, giving you and your friends everything that they need for a creamy complement to your meat.
Butternut Squash With A Roasted Finish
There’s nothing nicer than having a butternut squash with your meal. This is very healthy and delicious, coming with lashings of cheese and vegetables. This not only looks lovely on the plate, but it will fill that hole in your stomach.
Leeks - But Sauteed!
This is another very simple dish to make, requiring very few ingredients. All you need is a handful of leeks and a little bit of parmesan cheese. This is a great meal for encouraging your children to eat their healthy vegetable dishes.
Buttered Sweet Potato Wedges
Now we go back to the sweet potato, the ultimate alternative for the classic potato dish. However, instead of having a casserole, why not opt for the classic wedge shape? These wedges are brushed with a hint of oil and sprinkled with maple to give them that wonderful woody texture.
Hassleback Butternut Squash
This next one is a wonderfully seasoned dish that is perfect for vegetarians that want a nice and filling alternative to their meat dish. It comes with nuts and a glaze that is truly to die for! This is also one of the vegan options, as it contains absolutely no dairy!
Why not put some of your greens in a casserole? This is a very healthy recipe that is designed to balance out some of the more calorific dishes that you might get on your list. This comes topped with crisp onions that really gives this dish that added jazz!
Acorn Squash - Roasted!
If you want some non-traditional tastes in your Thanksgiving meal, then grab some cumin and spices and treat you and your guests to a roasted acorn squash. Once again, this is a great option for vegetarians or vegans, coming as it does with zero animal products.
Green Mashed Potato
This is definitely one of the most eye-catching dishes that you can get on this list. This a very non-traditional spin on a classic Thanksgiving staple. It is essentially mashed potato without the bland flavor. It is very tangy and spicy, with tarragon, chives and parsley. This is one for those that really enjoy different flavors.
Salad with Pomegranate, Beets and Carrots
This has great flavorings, with plenty of herbs and spices that will complement the wonderful beetroot flavor that just cuts right through the whole thing. Not only does this have some very interesting tastes, but visually it looks stunning!
Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
This cheese and green bean casserole perfectly strikes the balance between flavor and good health. Not only is this meal delicious, but it will keep the calories nice and low. This has a crispy onion crust that will be a nice textural contrast to the green beans contained inside.
Discard the grim connotations of this dish, because it really gives you everything that you need for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. It will lift the spirits of almost anyone, containing hash brown, butter and onions, this is a crispy and melt-in-your-mouth treat that will get grandma and little cousin Timmy both smiling.
This dish has a brown butter base that will get your tastebuds positively dancing with excitement. This contains a healthy (or should we say not-so-healthy) dollop of mozzarella cheese, so if you are looking for a dish that is easy on the waistline, then maybe skip this one!
Salad With Citrus and Avocado
This is something that will really clean the palette, with a variety of rich flavors that are bright with plenty of energy. You can expect this one to dance on your tongue like electricity, giving you a great contrast to thick savory dishes such as butternut squash and potato.
Double Cooked Potato
These potatoes look incredible and they have a taste to match. They are drizzled in maple syrup, which gives them an interesting contrast in both flavor and texture. These are served in their own jackets and combine traditional and left-field flavors.
Brussels Sprouts With Honey And Sriracha
That’s right, this is another spin on a traditional dish. If you like your sweet and spicy flavors combined, then we would recommend that you make some of these.
Walnut With Cranberry Stuffing
Another more traditional dish, this combines the conventional flavors of both walnut with cranberry, giving you that wonderful autumnal flavoring. This is very easy and very quick to make, so you won’t have to worry if you are finding yourself pushed for time.
Traditional Thanksgiving Salad
Aside from the slightly uninventive name, this salad is brimming full of ideas. It comes loaded with cranberry, almonds, feta cheese and seeds. Not only is this tasty, but it has all the nutrients you need for an energetic day.
Sweet Potatoes With Maple And Chipotle
A little spicy number that provides a welcome contrast to the standard Thanksgiving affair. These creamy sweet potatoes have that classic taste, boosted by the maple and the earthy texture of the chipotle.
Corn Souffle… with Jalepeno!
You might be shocked at seeing jalapeno being put in this context, but trust us, it tastes great! This is certainly one for the spice freaks, with a fluffy and wholesome texture that will keep you filled up for the rest of the day.
Buttermilk Blue Cheese Mash
These potatoes are just amazing, coming with that tangy blue cheese taste that really sets it apart from regular mash potato. This is creamy and light and will give you everything that you need for a decent filler just before you tuck into your turkey.
Tarragon Infused Sweet Carrots
How can you jazz up the boring traditional carrot? Easy, but just adding a light glaze of honey and some tarragon. This requires few ingredients and is very easy to make.
Why not change up your regular, sprout-infused dish with something that you can be sure will give you everything that you need for a very healthy side platter. Some balsamic vinegar and glazing will give your spouts that tangy crunch.
Mashed Potato with Brown Butter And Rosemary
Another inventive twist on the traditional potato, this recipe is brimming with interesting flavors and textures. The brown butter will make your potatoes seem super creamy, with a rosemary hint that gives them that extra kick.
Miso Roasted Butternut Squash
This is a great recipe for incorporating Eastern spices with Western foodstuffs. Seasoning your squash with the very rich and flavorsome miso is a great way of putting a different twist on your meal.
Au Gratin Potatoes
This is something more traditional that will probably appeal to even the most conservative of diners at your next Thanksgiving. This is infused with thyme, with a cheesy bake that is both crunchy and deliciously smooth.
Sesame Walnuts with Spicy Green Beans
This is a very simple dish that you can rustle up in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is mix the green beans into a dish with some walnuts. Blanch the beans first and then enjoy the crunchy and soft contrast.
Roasted Potatoes with Sweet Maple
This kind of sweet taste really brings out the best from the traditional potato, giving it a very unusual texture that, if achieved, will make sure that your guests will be talking about your Thanksgiving for years to come.
Delicata Squash Stuffing
This delicata and sausage recipe will give you everything for a very sumptuous and rich Thanksgiving dinner. It also includes pecans, which will give your dish a smoky and wooded flavor.
Parmesan with Mashed Cauliflower
If you want an alternative to the mashed potato that will still be healthy for you and your guests, then why not try swapping it out for some cauliflower? Often it can be quite enjoyable to watch someone enjoying this dish only for them to find out that it isn’t potato. This is fun, easy-to-make and delicious.
Bacon And Corn Sourdough Stuffing
This stuffing is so brimming with flavor that you probably won’t even have to eat it with the turkey. The bacon gives it that rich meatiness, coupled with the sourdough, you can be sure of having enough that will keep you full for the rest of the day.
Butternut Squash And Mac And Cheese
Why not take your traditional mac and cheese dish and spice it up with a little butternut squash and sage? This is very simple to do and will certainly appeal to members of your family that are traditionalists and those that want to go off the beaten track.
If alien herbs and spices from around the world do not appeal to you, then why not go for the more traditional cauliflower casserole. You can add plenty of your own herbs and spices to this dish. You can also have a side dish that will give you everything that you need for a solid stomach filling dish.
Sweet Potato Casserole with A Peppery Pecan Top
This dish has a cornucopia of flavors that will leave your tastebuds doing summersaults. It comes with a sweet and crunchy pecan pie topping that will wonderfully complement the potato on the inside. This is one for the more adventurous diners amongst you.
Salad With Avocado, Grapefruit and Fennel
This is another dish that has a wonderfully complex blend of flavors that contains very few calories yet has plenty of taste and texture. This is perfect if it is a particularly hot day and you want something to cool you down between courses.
Corn Casserole With Creamy Scallops
This scalloped corn is brimming full of creamy goodness, with sweetcorn on the inside that will simply pop in your mouth. This has crushed butter crackers at the top that give your meal that extra crack in between your teeth.
Stuffing Made From Sausage, Ferro and Dried Cherry
This is a must-have for any vegetarian or vegan who wants to try something new with their Thanksgiving meal. You can also use it for meat, all you have to do is smash up the various ingredients and cook them in the oven and, hey presto, you have a wonderful savory snack.
Green Beans With Shitake Mushrooms
This green bean dish is perfect if you are in a hurry yet want that wow factor when it comes to taste. This dish is easy to prepare, with very few ingredients needed. This has a crisp bite and earthy aftertaste that is both healthy and tasty.
Butternut Squash Casserole
This is something that you might already try your hand at if you are a more experienced chef. It comes with plenty of flavors and is relatively easy to prepare. We guarantee that few guests will be displeased with the way that this one turns out.
A Great Potato Salad
This is a classic staple and should be included in every Thanksgiving meal by law if we had our way. This recipe teaches you how to make a very tasty potato salad without fail. Complete with eggs, celery and green onion, this will be perfect for most Thanksgiving dinner scenarios.
There you have it, the top 50 recipes for side dishes that will no doubt revitalize your culinary arsenal and make you very much look forward to the next holiday. However, there’s no reason why you can’t practice any of these on rotation for any meal.
However, here are a few things that you’ll need to bear in mind before making this stuff:
Prepare Your Ingredients
Getting halfway through making your recipe and having forgotten a key ingredient will be a short way of ruining your meal. We would recommend that you read the list of ingredients thoroughly before you commit to making your meal.
Prepare Your Cooking Area
Having enough space to work is very important, especially when you are cooking for a lot of people. If you have a small apartment, then we would definitely recommend that you make sure you have enough hobs and stoves.
Remember making a Thanksgiving dinner is not easy. If this is your first rodeo, then we would suggest that you start small and gradually try to add new side dishes each year. You can also practice every Sunday dinner to get certain ingredients just right.
Get the Right Utensils
Having the proper utensils for making some of this stuff will be very important, so make sure that you have all your spatulas, ladles, forks, bread knives, dicers, creamers, spoons, whisks and forks.
Often a good Thanksgiving dinner will be determined not by the chef by the tools they use. Try not to cut corners, get your items all in order before beginning your meal.
I always recommend having a good slow cooker and a good electric pressure cooker on hand. These are both excellent for helping cut work time in half!
- Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 6-Quart Pressure Cooker - most popular option includes 13 one touch programs.
- Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 8-Quart Pressure Cooker with Air Fryer - this option includes both pressure cooker and air fryer settings with a specialized lid.
- Instant Pot Ultra 80 10-in-1 8-Quart Pressure Cooker - similar to the Duo Crips, but without the air fryer lid.
- Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 3-Quart Pressure Cooker - smaller version of the Duo.
Read the Instructions Carefully
We all know that it only takes 5 minutes to ruin a turkey or stuffing meal. If you leave something in the oven for too long, then you can expect to experience some issues. Make sure that you check the cooking and preparation times, as getting these two confused could lead to disastrous results.
Pistachio Fluff Salad + 50 Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Whip up a batch of this light and easy pistachio fluff salad to go alongside any of your favorite side dish recipes at your Thanksgiving table!
- 1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 16 oz cottage cheese
- 8 ounce tub Cool Whip
- 1 packet instant pistachio pudding
- Combine all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Can substitute the pistachio pudding mix with cherry jello mix or orange jello mix for a different flavor.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 195Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 7g
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