55 Classic Thanksgiving Side Dishes To Impress Your Guests

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Julia Roxan Published: October 5, 2021 Modified: October 7, 2021
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The holiday season, which begins in late November, is just around the corner. Amongst all the holiday traditions, there is one that young working adults await in nervous anticipation: family reunions. Now, what better way to stay ahead than to plan for the massive dinner party in advance? Whether you’re seeking to recreate traditional recipes or to supplement your amateur culinary skills with the most popular Thanksgiving side dishes, you are sure to find everything you need in this list. Here are 55 classic Thanksgiving side dishes that will surely impress your guests!


Best Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes

Narrowing down your side dishes for Thanksgiving can be difficult, especially when the Internet gives you nothing but information overload. Set your worries and the overwhelming to-do list aside as we got you covered some of the best Thanksgiving side dishes.

Cheesy Creamed Corn Casserole

cheesy creamed corn casserole recipe

Are you planning a large dinner party? Kickstart the night of festivities with one of the most popular Thanksgiving side dishes! As equally delicious as it is visually appealing, this corn casserole’s creamed corn filling is balanced with the crunch from colorful bell peppers. 

Recipe for Inspiration: Cheesy Creamed Corn Casserole

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

starchier mashed sweet potatoes

Sweeter than traditional mashed potatoes, these mashed sweet potatoes have an added savory taste thanks to the Parmesan cheese and sour cream. 

Recipe for Inspiration: Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Garlic Green Beans

garlic green beans with parmesan recipe

Another popular Thanksgiving side dish is garlic green beans! Drizzle the beans with oil to enhance the taste before seasoning with salt, pepper, garlic, and parmesan. Remember to coat each bean evenly and roast until fork tender!

Recipe for Inspiration: Garlic Green Beans

Glazed Carrots

glazed carrots recipe

Nothing beats a warm plate of tender glazed carrots. While we suggest serving them fresh, one can prepare glazed carrots a day in advance. This Thanksgiving side dish promises a deeper, richer flavor than when served raw. It also features a sweet piquancy with a smooth buttery texture.

Recipe for Inspiration: Glazed Carrots

Roasted Butternut Squash

roasted butternut squash recipe

Flavored with a hint of thyme, the roasted butternut squash showcases soft and tender flesh with a robust flavor, crispy texture, and golden brown appearance.

Recipe for Inspiration: Roasted Butternut Squash

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Topped with sugared pecans, these twice-baked sweet potatoes make a filling Thanksgiving side dish. Here’s a tip: make sure to avoid overmixing the potatoes, as doing so could result in a gummy texture. We suggest using a hand mixer to create the ideal fluffy whipped potatoes!

Recipe for Inspiration: Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Broccoli Casserole

broccoli casserole recipe

This broccoli casserole is topped with crushed crackers! Bite into this tasteful Thanksgiving side dish for a delightful crunch followed by a pleasant custardy mouthfeel.

Recipe for Inspiration: Broccoli Casserole

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

roasted sweet potatoes recipe

It’s no secret that roasted sweet potatoes taste ten times better than boiled ones. Just tasting the nutty sweetness of this Thanksgiving side dish’s caramelized edges will leave you wanting more.

Recipe for Inspiration: Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Carrot Apple Soup

Carrot apple soup, one of the best warm Thankgiving side dishes

Nothing is cozier than a warm fall soup during Thanksgiving. The carrot apple soup presents an ideal balance between sweet and savory. It combines sage and bay leaves to create a final aromatic product in just under 45 minutes.

Recipe for Inspiration: Carrot Apple Soup

Garlic Parmesan Duchess Potatoes

garlic parmesan duchess potatoes recipe

Impress your guests with these cloud-like Garlic Parmesan Duchess Potatoes. These Thanksgiving side dishes may take a while to create, but their fancy meringue appearance will be more than worth it! 

Recipe for Inspiration: Garlic Parmesan Duchess Potatoes

Roasted Carrots

roasted carrots with thyme recipe

This no-fuss Thanksgiving side dish only requires a mere 25 minutes of cooking time. Seasoned generously with thyme and black pepper, you’ll fall for the rich aromatic taste of the roasted carrots. 

Recipe for Inspiration: Roasted Carrots with Thyme

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

roasted rosemary onion potatoes recipe

These rosemary roasted potatoes and onions are a quick and easy fix that only requires 20 minutes of cooking. Plus, they are a highly versatile Thanksgiving side dish that can be paired with any of your favorite mains!

Recipe for Inspiration: Roasted Rosemary Onion Potatoes

Sweet Potato Souffle

Sweet Potato Souffle Recipe, southern sweet potato souffle with marshmallows

This is not any normal sweet potato souffle! The combination of crunchy pecan streusel topping with fluffy marshmallows over the souffle makes this one of the best Thanksgiving side dishes ever.

Recipe for Inspiration: Sweet Potato Souffle

Hasselback Potatoes

crispy hasselback potatoes recipe

This Thanksgiving side dish is the savoir-faire your dining table has been missing! Its unique appearance is complemented with a crispy exterior and tender filling sure to impress every guest.

Recipe for Inspiration: Crispy Hasselback Potatoes

Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach recipe

A combination of milk and cheese makes this creamed spinach Thanksgiving side dish ultra-creamy. If your creamed spinach turns out too watery, fret not for a little bit of cornstarch or all-purpose flour will reverse the mistake!

Recipe for Inspiration: Creamed Spinach

Grilled Baby Potatoes

roasted baby potatoes with rosemary recipe

These grilled baby potatoes showcase a rich buttery and earthy flavor which pairs perfectly with the Dijon mustard’s sharp and tangy piquancy. You won’t be able to stop yourself from munching on this tasty finger food!

Recipe for Inspiration: Grilled Baby Potatoes with Dijon Mustard and Thyme


Traditional Thanksgiving Sides

It’s finally your turn to whip up a great Thanksgiving dinner spread. What better way to impress your friends and family than by reliving the scents and taste of childhood. These traditional Thanksgiving side dishes are sure to leave everyone feeling nostalgic.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Love both roasted potatoes and mashed potatoes? Why settle for one alternative when you can have both! The spicy garlic flavor is intense and beautifully complemented with the buttery taste of the creamy mashed potatoes. 

Recipe for Inspiration: Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Green Bean Casserole

slow cooker green bean casserole recipe

Entirely worth the effort, this Thanksgiving side dish promises an explosion of flavors. You’ll first taste the fragrant crispy onions, followed by the creamy mushroom sauce and tender green beans.

Recipe for Inspiration: Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

rich sweet potato casserole recipe

An easy-bake Thanksgiving side dish, this sweet potato casserole is topped with a savory sweet brown sugar and pecan crumble. And beneath the crispy streusel topping lies a sweet velvety inside for a truly perfect holiday dish.

Recipe for Inspiration: Rich Sweet Potato Casserole

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is one of the most quintessential traditional Thanksgiving side dishes

This side dish has been a staple component of all Thanksgiving meals for over a hundred years. As culturally significant as it is, cranberry sauce is unsurprisingly easy to perfect. The secret to this crowd-pleasing side dish boils down to the act of rhythmic stirring, low heat, and generous seasoning. 

Recipe for Inspiration: Cranberry Sauce

Sausage Stuffing

sausage stuffing recipe

The traditional turkey stuffing is given the upgrade with Italian sausages in this sausage stuffing recipe. Crumbled Italian sausages are mixed into the typical turkey stuffing ingredients like chicken broth, celery, butter, and bread cubes for a deeper, more robust finish. 

Recipe for Inspiration: Sausage Stuffing

Turkey Gravy

homemade turkey gravy recipe

This light and flavorful turkey gravy will make the perfect dip for your meat-based mains. One of the easiest and quickest Thanksgiving side dishes, it will only require an estimated 15 minutes of your undivided attention. Infused with rich turkey juices, it is gloriously thick, smooth, and aromatic. 

Recipe for Inspiration: Homemade Turkey Gravy

Sour Cream Cornbread

sour cream cornbread recipe

This Thanksgiving side dish is revered particularly in the South and is extremely easy and affordable to make. This particular recipe is made special with the addition of sour cream which gives the cornbread a tart piquancy accentuated by a thick creaminess.

Recipe for Inspiration: Sour Cream Cornbread

Corn Pudding

corn pudding recipe

Arguably most popular in the South, corn pudding is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish for those who seek a sweet yet filling snack. With no other vegetables thrown in to compete with it in flavor, you’ll savor the complete sweetness of the corn.

Recipe for Inspiration: Corn Pudding

Dinner Rolls

buttery dinner rolls recipe

Be it Thanksgiving or not, dinner rolls are a great staple to serve at any dinner party. Baked to a beautiful golden brown, you’ll love these fluffy, sweet, and buttery buns!

Recipe for Inspiration: Buttery Dinner Rolls

Deviled Eggs

deviled eggs recipe

Despite its questionable name, deviled eggs are an eye-catching addition to any Thanksgiving dinner spread. Topped by a mixture of egg yolk, crispy bacon, and hot sauce, this dish is relatively easier to make than it looks. 

Recipe for Inspiration: Deviled Eggs

Cornbread Stuffing

Cornbread Stuffing Recipe

Besides serving cornbread in traditional slices, you can also transform them into stuffing! You can choose to simply have it as a side or have it stuffed in a turkey. Whatever way you have it, you’ll always enjoy the crunchy sweet flavor of this unique stuffing. 

Recipe for Inspiration: Cornbread Stuffing

Candied Yams

candied yams recipe

These candied yams are a nutritious and fun Thanksgiving treat. A classic Southern Thanksgiving side dish, the pumpkin pie spice adds a zesty boost of aroma to the sweet candied yams.

Recipe For Inspiration: Candied Yams

Baked Mac and Cheese

baked mac and cheese recipe

We all love a good mac and cheese. This comforting Thanksgiving side dish which features tender macaroni coated in a rich and creamy cheese sauce will have your guests circling the table for more!

Recipe for Inspiration: Baked Mac and Cheese

Cornbread Muffins

cornbread muffins recipe

Pretty much a cuter rendition of the traditional cornbread, these cornbread muffins are also lighter and fluffier! And these are even topped with whipped honey butter for an even more delectable taste.

Recipe for Inspiration: Cornbread Muffins


Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Nothing beats the confidence of knowing a recipe like the back of your hand. Put aside the overcomplicated recipes, and make way for the easiest side dishes for Thanksgiving!

Roasted Acorn Squash

roasted acorn squash recipe

Whether you’re a home-cooking pro or a beginner, this four-ingredient acorn squash recipe is guaranteed to be a hit! Oven-roasted with simple seasonings, this roasted acorn squash exudes a natural citrusy and nutty aroma with rich buttery vanilla notes.

Recipe for Inspiration: Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Roasted brussels sprouts recipe, one of the easiest Thanksgiving side dishes

For those who loathe the raw taste of brussels sprouts, this recipe is for you. Get ready to munch on crispy tender roasted brussels sprouts in 30 minutes! Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to further elevate its natural sweet nutty taste!

Recipe for Inspiration: Perfect Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Sweet Potatoes Au Gratin

sweet potatoes au gratin recipe

Cheese and sweet potato lovers, this sweet potatoes au gratin is for you. This simple four-step recipe sees our favorite sweet potatoes doused in parmesan, heavy cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 

Recipe for Inspiration: Sweet Potatoes Au Gratin

Roasted Cauliflower

roasted cauliflower recipe

Great on their own as a side, these roasted cauliflowers also make great toppings for pasta and salads. Its mildly nutty and sweet flavors with a crunchy texture also make it easy to pair with other festive Thanksgiving side dishes.

Recipe for Inspiration: Roasted Cauliflower

2-Ingredient Pumpkin Soup

Delicious 2-Ingredient pumpkin soup

If you thought the previous recipe was easy, wait till you try this two-ingredient pumpkin soup! In just four steps, you can easily achieve a thick and creamy consistency. Enjoy its earthy-sweet flavors combined with peppery spices!

Recipe for Inspiration: 2-Ingredient Pumpkin Soup

READ ALSO: 29 Easy Fall Soup Recipes For Cozier Autumn Nights

Sweet Potato Hash

skillet sweet potato hash recipe

This sweet potato hash is not just beginner-friendly, but also a feast for the eyes. And all you need to do is just to make a few wells in between the hash, crack some eggs, and voila! A visually stunning yet absolutely simple masterpiece.

Recipe for Inspiration: Skillet Sweet Potato Hash

Easy Arugula Salad

arugula salad recipe

When you’re feeling nauseous from the overload of meat and potato-based options, consider balancing the menu with an easy arugula salad! With the bitter greens mixed with fruity goodness, this multi-textured arugula, berry, and walnut salad is certainly a great palate cleanser!

Recipe for Inspiration: Easy Arugula Salad

Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup

creamy turkey wild rice soup recipe

Unfortunately, most festive get-togethers rarely end without food wastage. Thankfully, with a little bit of creativity, last night’s leftovers can quickly form the base of a new side dish, keeping you one step ahead of the party. This 30-minute creamy wild rice soup recipe is sure to be the answer to all your leftover turkey worries!

Recipe for Inspiration: Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup

Roasted Green Beans

roasted green beans recipe

Bring your roasted green beans to another level with a sprinkle of garlic powder. As one of the easiest Thanksgiving side dishes, it takes just 25 minutes to complete.

Recipe for Inspiration: Roasted Green Beans

Apple Bacon Cranberry Salad

honey dijon apple bacon cranberry salad recipe

A combination of fresh spinach, apples, salty bacon, and dried cranberries creates an unmatched salad in terms of texture and taste. Savor an explosion of flavors and complex textures in this unique cranberry salad!

Recipe for Inspiration: Honey Dijon Apple Bacon Cranberry Salad

Parmesan Focaccia Bread

parmesan focaccia bread recipe

Looking for an Italian flair to your dinner table? Try some focaccia bread instead of the traditional dinner roll! Often likened to pizza dough, it can be made both sweet or savory depending on your preference. This version gives it a cheesy spin with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Recipe for Inspiration: Parmesan Focaccia Bread

Southern Collard Greens

southern collard greens recipe

Old school Southern dishes are incredibly popular come holiday season. Slow-cooked to perfection, these Southern-style collard greens have an extra smoky and earthy flavor due to the inclusion of ham hocks.

Recipe for Inspiration: Southern Collard Greens

Scalloped Potatoes

Country scalloped potatoes

These scalloped potatoes are significantly easier to make than they look. All you need for this classic holiday side dish is just some patience. You won’t regret tasting the layers upon layers of potatoes and ham enveloped in a rich creamy sauce!

Recipe for Inspiration: Country Scalloped Potatoes

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

Garlic cheddar biscuits recipe

This Thanksgiving side dish can be served on its own or alongside any soup of your choosing. Made easy with Bisquick, you can bake a fresh batch of buttery garlic cheddar biscuits in just 25 minutes.

Recipe for Inspiration: Garlic Cheddar Biscuits


Healthy Thanksgiving Sides

Who says delicious Thanksgiving side dishes have to be unhealthy? Indulge your cravings to the fullest and forget about counting the carbs with these healthy side dishes for Thanksgiving! 

Fall Apple and Delicata Squash Salad

Fall Apple and Delicata Squash Salad Recipe

Every dinner table needs at least one communal salad bowl. Stack up your vitamins with this apple and delicata squash salad complete with chicken breasts and plenty of greens! This sweet and nutty Thanksgiving side dish is further accentuated by the tangy piquancy of dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar dressing.

Recipe for Inspiration: Fall Apple and Delicata Squash Salad

Gluten-Free Stuffing

Gluten-Free Stuffing

The gluten-free lifestyle is arguably one of the biggest diet trends of the 21st century. This Thanksgiving side dish is an excellent alternative to traditional stuffing, and takes much less time to make! And of course, it doesn’t lose out at all in taste, with its aromatic herbed flavor thanks to the sage and thyme. 

Recipe for Inspiration: Gluten-Free Stuffing

READ ALSO: Top 10 Turkey Basters For The Best Thanksgiving Feast

Autumn Quinoa Salad

autumn kale apple and quinoa salad recipe

Rich in antioxidants and high in fiber, quinoa may be the best ingredient to incorporate into your Thanksgiving diet. And with more nutritious add-ons like kale, apple, cranberry, and walnut, you’re in for a sumptuous but healthy gluten-free treat.

Recipe for Inspiration: Autumn Kale Apple and Quinoa Salad

Brussels Sprouts Salad

apple bacon brussels sprouts salad recipe

This brussels sprouts salad features a diverse variety of ingredients like apples, pumpkin seeds, and bacon for a well-rounded diet. The maple dijon dressing also adds a touch of sweet and tart flavor, giving even more depth to this Thanksgiving side dish.

Recipe for Inspiration: Apple Bacon Brussels Sprouts Salad

Harvest Cobb Salad

harvest cobb salad with a honey apple cider vinaigrette recipe

If any dish could ever fully reflect the joyful festivities of Thanksgiving, it would be the harvest cobb salad. This vibrantly colored bowl of roasted squash, crisp bacon, arugula, feta cheese, chicken slices, and crunchy apples will instantaneously set the scene for a picture-perfect holiday dinner party. 

Recipe for Inspiration: Harvest Cobb Salad with Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Fall Harvest Salad

autumn harvest salad recipe

Not just a Thanksgiving side dish, this fall harvest salad is also an autumn staple. It’s filled with autumn fruits like apples and cranberries. And along with Gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, red onions, and spring mix greens, you’ll utterly enjoy its complex sharp yet sweet flavors.

Recipe for Inspiration: Autumn Harvest Salad

READ ALSO: 43 Easy Fall Dinner Ideas You Should Try This Season

Avocado Salad with Kale and Apple

Raw Kale, Apple and Avocado Salad

In need of vegan-friendly Thanksgiving side dishes but don’t know where to start? This avocado salad with apple and kale is here to save the day! Complete with a spicy and tangy balsamic dressing, this super quick 15-minute dish will have you looking like an expert salad tosser in no time, but the classy kind!

Recipe for Inspiration: Raw Kale with Apple and Avocado Salad

Apple Herb Stuffing

Apple Herb Stuffing Recipe

Get creative with your turkey stuffing and Thanksgiving side dishes! This apple herb stuffing recipe combines tart apples, pecans, and fresh herbs to create an aromatic and flavourful dish. It’s sure to grasp the attention of the room! 

Recipe for Inspiration: Apple Herb Stuffing

Apple Walnut Salad

chicken apple bacon walnut salad with balsamic vinaigrette recipe

Filled with protein from chicken breast and bacon, this apple walnut salad is ideal even as a Thanksgiving main dish for weight watchers. The combination of fruits, nuts, and greens also provide you with high fiber and vitamin-rich diet. But while it may be healthy, it certainly doesn’t lose out on the taste! The honey mustard balsamic dressing adds a kick of zesty flavor to this colorful salad.

Recipe for Inspiration: Apple Walnut Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Kale Salad with Apple and Pecans

kale salad with apple and pecans recipe

When in doubt, always remember that one can never go wrong with a simple kale salad. Power-packed with an abundance of vitamins, kale is one of the healthiest leafy greens today. By just adding apples, radishes, cranberries, and pecans, this simple salad turns deliciously sweet with a crunchy texture.

Recipe for Inspiration: Kale Salad with Apple and Pecans

Gluten-Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

Gluten-Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

Who doesn’t love a classic cream of mushroom soup? But have you ever considered a gluten-free alternative? With just a few tweaks, this crowd-pleaser of a dish is now ten times healthier than ever. Made using light cream, chicken broth, and gluten-free sweet rice flour, this creamy smooth soup will have your friends begging for the secret recipe!

Recipe for Inspiration: Gluten-Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

 

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Julia Roxan

Julia has explored much of the media industry. From working the camera, to designing sets, and finally writing content, Julia has found that she most enjoys sharing her interests through words. And she especially won’t pass up on reviewing a scrumptious meal.

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