50 Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Recipes by Love and Lemons

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by Sil Pancho

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11.15.2021


Whether you’re seeking classic Thanksgiving recipes or something totally new, you’re sure to love one (or more!) of these 50 Thanksgiving side dishes.


Best Thanksgiving side dishes


Roast turkey and pumpkin pie may have permanent spots on your Thanksgiving menu, but if you’re anything like me, you like to throw new Thanksgiving side dishes into the mix every now and again. If you’re looking for new Thanksgiving recipes, read on to find over 50 of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. With ideas ranging from classics like mashed potatoes and green bean casserole to inventive stuffings and soups, you’re sure to find a dish (or two!) you’ll love.

Potato Thanksgiving Side Dishes

3 mashes, plus 1 delicious recipe for crispy roasted potatoes! Try any of them – among these Thanksgiving side dishes, you really can’t go wrong.



Creamy mashed potatoes



Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
I make these creamy mashed potatoes without any sour cream or butter! They get their luscious texture and rich flavor from olive oil, roasted garlic, and a good splash of starchy potato cooking water.



Oven Roasted Potatoes in bowl with serving tongs



Oven Roasted Potatoes
Crispy on the outside, creamy in the middle, and tossed in a zingy lemon-rosemary dressing, these easy roasted potatoes are always a hit.



Best Thanksgiving side dishes - Instant Pot mashed potatoes



Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Score yourself some extra space on the stove this Thanksgiving, and make your mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot! They’re smooth, creamy, rich, buttery, and SO darn convenient. One of our new favorite Thanksgiving side dishes!



Cauliflower mashed potatoes



Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
If you’re a fan of creamy mashed potatoes, you’ll love this recipe! You can’t taste the cauliflower, but it makes these mashed potatoes extra fluffy, smooth, and light.

Sweet Potato Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Casserole, mashed sweet potatoes, and more…



Sweet potato casserole



Sweet Potato Casserole
You won’t miss the marshmallows in this savory sweet potato casserole. I top a creamy, gingery layer of sweet potatoes with a crisp, toasty pecan crumble and plenty of fresh herbs.



Best Thanksgiving recipes - Mashed sweet potatoes



Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Jack goes crazy for regular mashed potatoes, but me, I’m obsessed with these mashed sweets. They’re super smooth and creamy, and ginger and rosemary fill them with cozy fall flavor.



Baked sweet potatoes on a plate



Traditional Baked Sweet Potato
Good Thanksgiving recipes don’t have to be complicated! With crispy skins and smooth, sweet flesh, these easy baked sweet potatoes would be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving menu.



Best Thanksgiving side dishes - twice baked sweet potatoes



Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli
The ultimate twice baked potato recipe! These guys are filled with a bright, lemony broccoli salad, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, and an irresistible sweet potato rosemary cream.



Stuffed sweet potato recipes for Thanksgiving



Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Many Ways
These stuffed sweet potatoes are one of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving side dishes! They’re fun, flavorful, and easy to put together. I especially like the Fall Harvest variation for a Thanksgiving feast.

Stuffing Thanksgiving Recipes

Once you try making stuffing from scratch, you’ll never get the boxed kind again. It’s richer, more nuanced, and more satisfying. In my book, it’s the all-star of Thanksgiving side dishes.



Best Thanksgiving stuffing recipe



Best Stuffing
Based on my mom’s classic recipe, this rich, savory stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. It’s moist and gooey in the middle, crisp on top, and brimming with flavor from leeks, celery, and fresh herbs.



Mushroom and Sage Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe



Vegan Stuffing
This hearty stuffing is made with crusty bread, fresh herbs, celery, onions, and mushrooms for an umami kick. You won’t miss the butter one bit!



Thanksgiving Cornbread stuffing recipe



Cornbread Stuffing
If having cornbread stuffing on your Thanksgiving table is a must, try this recipe for a fun twist! Mixed with poblanos and dried currants, it’s delectably spicy and sweet.

Vegetable Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Looking for that best-ever green bean casserole? The crispiest Brussels sprouts? A few out-of-the-box recipes to freshen up your holiday rotation? These are the Thanksgiving side dishes for you.



Roasted Brussels sprouts in bowl with spoon



Roasted Brussels Sprouts
A zingy lemon Parmesan dressing takes these crispy roasted Brussels sprouts over the top.



Green bean casserole



Green Bean Casserole
A fresher version of the Thanksgiving classic, this green bean casserole recipe includes fresh green beans, crispy baked onions, and a rich, creamy homemade mushroom sauce.



Best Thanksgiving side dishes - Creamed spinach



Creamed Spinach
This recipe is the perfect last-minute Thanksgiving side dish. You can make it in 15 minutes, and it’s fresh, bright, and delicious. Use coconut milk to make it dairy-free!



Sautéed Brussels sprouts



Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
Oven at its max? Sauté your Brussels sprouts instead of roasting them.



Thanksgiving sides - Roasted vegetables recipe



Roasted Vegetables
Sage, rosemary, and an apple cider vinaigrette add bold autumn flavor to these colorful roasted veggies.



Green beans almondine



Green Beans Almondine
Not one for green bean casserole? Add these glossy green beans to your Thanksgiving menu instead! They’re remarkably simple and absolutely delicious.



Best Thanksgiving side dishes - mashed cauliflower recipe



Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
This creamy mash is lighter than mashed potatoes, but it’s no less delicious.



Mushroom gravy over mashed cauliflower



Mushroom Gravy
Even meat lovers will fall for this velvety (vegan) mushroom gravy! It’s perfect for ladling over mashed potatoes, stuffing, and more.



Thanksgiving side dishes - Roasted beets with citrus



Roasted Beets with Citrus
The ultimate make-ahead Thanksgiving side dish! You can roast and marinate the beets up to 3 days before the big meal. Then, toss them with herbs, orange segments, and an extra squeeze of lemon when you’re ready to eat.



Best Thanksgiving recipes - Roasted Cauliflower



Roasted Cauliflower
Dress up simple roasted cauliflower with lemon zest and fresh herbs, and it becomes a delectable Thanksgiving side dish! The cauliflower is good warm or at room temperature, so feel free to roast it up to a few hours in advance.

Squash Thanksgiving Side Dishes

I can never plan a Thanksgiving menu without including a squash recipe. It’s one of the most versatile, flavorful veggies of the season. Why not show it off in our autumn feast?



Thanksgiving side dishes - stuffed acorn squash



Stuffed Acorn Squash
If you’re serving vegan or vegetarian guests at Thanksgiving, this recipe would be a great one to add to your menu. The hearty stuffed squash is a fantastic meatless main, but if you’re tucking into turkey, it’ll make an excellent side dish, too.



Best Thanksgiving side dishes - delicata squash with apples and sage



Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples & Sage
This recipe falls into my favorite category of Thanksgiving side dishes: those that showcase fall produce at its finest. It’s a delicious, sweet and savory mix of squash, apples, kale, and fresh herbs.



Maple Roasted Acorn Squash on a serving platter



Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
Roasted with maple syrup, olive oil, herbs, and salt and pepper, this acorn squash is a simple, elegant Thanksgiving side dish.



Thanksgiving side dishes - Roasted kabocha squash with sesame seeds and scallions



Roasted Kabocha Squash
My sesame ginger dressing adds savory, nutty flavor to these creamy wedges of roasted kabocha squash.



Best Thanksgiving side dishes - Roasted butternut squash



Roasted Butternut Squash
An easy, last-minute side dish that doesn’t skimp on flavor! You only need olive oil, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of herbs to make simple roasted butternut squash a Thanksgiving-worthy side dish.

Salad Thanksgiving Side Dishes

These Thanksgiving side dishes will add a bright pop of color and fresh flavor to your holiday table.



Thanksgiving recipes - Arugula salad



Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Don’t mistake this recipe for a plain old green salad! Even though it’s simple to make, it tastes sophisticated and complex. Sweet, juicy roasted grapes play off nutty Parmesan and crunchy roasted almonds, and a bright lemon vinaigrette ties it all together.



Thanksgiving side dishes - Homemade Caesar Salad



Caesar Salad
This recipe is always a crowd pleaser! My easy Greek yogurt Caesar dressing fills it with tangy, briny flavor.



Thanksgiving side dishes - green bean salad



Green Bean Salad
A simpler, fresher alternative to classic green bean casserole.



Best Thanksgiving recipes - Wheat Berry Salad



Wheat Berry Salad
This salad is basically fall in a bowl! It’s packed with roasted squash, nutty wheat berries, dried cranberries, fresh sage… Could anything be more autumnal?



Thanksgiving pear salad recipe



Pear Salad with Balsamic and Walnuts
Whisk together the balsamic vinaigrette a day or two ahead of time, and this pear salad will be a breeze to assemble right before you eat.



Roasted butternut squash salad



Butternut Squash Salad
A lightly creamy, cumin-spiced dressing adds earthy, aromatic flavor to this roasted squash salad.



Best Thanksgiving recipes - Roasted Cauliflower Salad



Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Packed with dried apricots, pickled onions, olives, and arugula, this salad has the perfect mix of sweet, briny, and tangy flavors.



Thanksgiving side dishes - Best Kale Salad recipe



Kale Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing
Add some color to your Thanksgiving table with this rainbow kale salad! To get ahead, you can toss the kale with the vibrant dressing up to two days in advance. Then, sprinkle on the toppings right before you eat.

Slaw Thanksgiving Recipes

When it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes, slaws are often overlooked. But in my opinion, they’re a fantastic addition to a holiday menu. They offer a crisp, refreshing contrast to heavier fare like stuffing and mashed potatoes. Plus, they’re perfect for making ahead!



Thanksgiving side dishes - Shaved Brussels sprout salad



Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
I bring this salad to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner every year. It has 8 ingredients, it’s lemony and bright, and it keeps well if you make it ahead of time. What’s not to love?



Thanksgiving side dishes - best broccoli salad



Best Broccoli Salad
This recipe only gets better if you make it ahead of time. Toss the broccoli, onion, and cranberries in the lightly creamy, tangy dressing up to 2 days in advance. Just wait to add the smoky roasted nuts until right before you eat.



Best Thanksgiving recipes - kohlrabi apple slaw



Kohlrabi Slaw
If you’re looking for Thanksgiving side dishes that are easy to pull together at the last minute, this sweet and tangy slaw is for you. It’s made with just 10 ingredients and comes together in no time.

Soup Thanksgiving Recipes

Soup is a perfect way to start a Thanksgiving meal. It’s simple, comforting, flavorful. And conveniently, it almost always tastes better on the second day than it does on the first. If you can, I highly recommend making these Thanksgiving recipes ahead.



Butternut squash soup



Butternut Squash Soup
Ginger, rosemary, and sage infuse this creamy butternut squash soup with warming autumn flavor.



Thanksgiving recipes - Cauliflower soup



Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Your guests will never guess that this creamy cauliflower soup is totally dairy-free! It’s rich and velvety, but blended cauliflower – not milk or cream – creates its luscious texture.



Best Thanksgiving side dishes - Carrot Ginger Soup



Carrot Ginger Soup
You only need 7 ingredients to make this light, refreshing autumn soup. Top it with a swirl of pesto for extra depth of flavor.



Thanksgiving side dishes - Cream of Mushroom Soup



Cream of Mushroom Soup
This cream of mushroom soup is too good to hide in a green bean casserole! Savory, tangy, and rich, it’s a recipe that deserves to be enjoyed on its own.



Autumn wild rice soup in Dutch oven



Wild Rice Soup
Wild rice is a Thanksgiving staple, and it shines in this lightly creamy soup. Along with the nutty rice, aromatic veggies, herbs, and miso round out its complex, crave-worthy flavor.



Thanksgiving side dishes - Pumpkin soup



Pumpkin Soup
Rich with coconut milk and curry spices, this creamy vegan soup will add lively, unexpected flavors to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Bread Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Cross that bread off your grocery list! Instead of buying it, try making your own at home. Though they might seem intimidating, these Thanksgiving recipes are all easy to make. Even if you’re a novice baker, the results will be terrific.



Homemade Dinner rolls



Homemade Dinner Rolls
Mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, gravy… Just add these soft, fluffy dinner rolls to the menu, and you’ll have checked every box for a classic Thanksgiving feast.



Thanksgiving Recipes - Rosemary Focaccia



Rosemary Focaccia
Once you try this recipe, you’ll wonder why it wasn’t one of your go-to Thanksgiving side dishes all along. The focaccia is chewy and rich, with extra depth of flavor from rosemary, sea salt, and roasted garlic.



Thanksgiving side dishes - Cornbread recipe



Homemade Cornbread
Moist, tender, and lightly sweet, this easy homemade cornbread will be a welcome addition to your Thanksgiving table.



Thanksgiving side dishes - Jalapeño cheddar cornbread



Jalapeño Cornbread
Like your cornbread spicy? Me too! In addition to the jalapeños, I mix in scallions and cheddar cheese for sharp, savory flavor.



Thanksgiving recipes - Sliced no knead bread on a cooling rack



No-Knead Bread
You can never go wrong with good crusty bread.

And Cranberry Sauce

Because you couldn’t make a list of Thanksgiving side dishes without it!



Cranberry Sauce in a saucepan with wooden spoon



Cranberry Sauce
Thick, tart, and jammy, it’s SO much better than the kind from a can.

50 Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Easy Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 1 hr

Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 bulb roasted garlic, from this recipe
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold or butterball potatoes, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Butter, optional for serving
  • Chopped chives and/or rosemary, optional for sprinkling
  • Use the back of a chef’s knife or a small masher to mash the roasted garlic into a paste before incorporating into the mashed potatoes. Set aside.

  • Place the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

  • Use a ricer or a potato masher to mash the potatoes into a large bowl. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the roasted garlic, olive oil, ½ cup of the reserved cooking liquid, 1 teaspoon salt, and several pinches of pepper. Continue folding until creamy, adding up to ½ cup more cooking liquid if desired for creamier potatoes. Serve hot with butter, rosemary, and chives, if desired.

 



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