30 Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes Guaranteed to Please
Thanksgiving side dishes don't need to be time-consuming in order to be delicious. Streamline your Thanksgiving meal prep with these easy side dish recipes, including sautéed and roasted seasonal vegetables and favorite potato and sweet potato dishes to seamlessly complement your turkey.
Gather round the table and give thanks for family, friends, health, happiness…and these easy Thanksgiving side dishes. Sure, the turkey is dubbed the star of the show, but if you ask your loved ones what their favorite Thanksgiving dish is, you'll almost always be met with a side. From Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes to a sweet, fragrant Cranberry Sauce, all of the classics are making an appearance at Thanksgiving this year and our recipes couldn't be easier to perfect. While making homemade cranberry sauce isn't as simple as opening up a can, it's not actually all that complicated—in 20 minutes time (with very little hands-on work), you can have a much more delicious version that will certainly draw oohs and aahs from your guests.
When we state that a recipe is easy, it means a few things: First, these recipes don't require any hard to find or expensive ingredients. Everything should be readily available at your local grocery store (and you probably have a lot of these ingredients in your pantry already). Next, the active time is minimal, which means that even if a recipe takes an hour or more to cook, the hands-on work required is simple and fast. Finally, these easy Thanksgiving side dish recipes don't require any fancy techniques or a culinary school degree.
For example, dinner rolls are essential for the Thanksgiving meal, but making them from scratch can seem daunting. Consider baking homemade cornbread instead. It's a quick bread, so no kneading, folding, or shaping is required. There are two versions to choose from here—Cheese and Sweet-Pepper Cornbread and Classic Cornbread. Whether you like traditional flavors or prefer to spice things up, both are delicious options.
Ahead, easy Thanksgiving side dish recipes that will be gobbled up by all.
Classic Cranberry Sauce
Shredded Brussels-Sprouts Salad with Hazelnut Crunch
Fancy something green for the table? Shred Brussels sprouts through a food processor or with a very sharp knife; it's simple and will taste fresher than the pre-shredded bags found in grocery stores. After that, the sprouts get tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, and a fragrant homemade hazelnut crunch for a crisp, healthy side.
Roasted Red Potatoes
Move aside, mashed potatoes! Some of us like crispy roast potatoes with our roast turkey. Prep the potatoes ahead and crank up the oven when the turkey comes out to rest, then you'll have piping hot roasted potatoes to pop on a platter once you've organized all the other sides.
This is the only cornbread recipe you'll ever need. Buttermilk keeps this quick bread moist and helps to create a fine crumb. This recipe serves eight, so there's plenty to go around if you're hosting a more intimate feast.
Fried Brussels Sprouts
Rutabaga-Sweet Potato Mash with Garlic and Sage
Lemon-Pepper Green Beans
For something a little different on the side, serve soft polenta in place of mashed potatoes. This easy, creamy cornmeal mush can be made ahead and kept warm over low heat while you finish the rest of the meal.
Roasted Delicata Squash with Garden Herbs
A dainty delicata squash is much easier to cut than butternut or acorn squash. In this recipe, they're simply sliced into rounds, brushed with olive oil, and roasted for just 15 minutes. A combination of fresh rosemary and sage adds an appealing, autumnal finish.
Roasted Carrots with Oak Dukkah
Choose rainbow carrots rather than a single hue for an eye-catching vegetable side. Dukkah refers to a crunchy combination of nuts, seeds, and spices. This version calls for rolled oats, sesame seeds, cumin, shelled pistachios, coriander, and fennel seeds to top the carrots.
Wild-Rice Stuffed Squash
Vegetarians will love feasting on colorful and hearty stuffed acorn squash. The squash is roasted and then filled with a mixture of wild rice, pecans, and dried cherries.
Try a sweet and tart fruit chutney in place of classic cranberry sauce this year. Make it up to three days in advance to cut down on prep work immediately before the big feast.
Garlic-Thyme Mashed Potatoes
Test Kitchen's Favorite Stuffing
Julienned-Carrot and Kale Salad
Cheese and Sweet-Pepper Cornbread
Raw Swiss Chard, Cabbage, and Brussels Sprout Salad
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Vegan Stuffing with Mushrooms and Leeks
Herbed Green Beans with Warm Mustard Vinaigrette
The key to these delicious green beans is blanching them just until crisp. Afterwards, toss them in a mustard vinaigrette for a mild kick and voila!