Let’s face it, we all know the best part about Thanksgiving dinner is the side dishes. So if you’re in charge of a side dish this year, look no further than this list of the best Thanksgiving side dishes for your inspiration.
From mashed potatoes to green bean casserole, side dishes can turn any Thanksgiving table from drab to fab. Whether you’re looking for a classic standby or you’re looking to mix it up, you’re sure to find the perfect Thanksgiving side dish here.
These are 20 of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes on the Internet, and they’ve got the tips, tricks and reviews to make you feel confident you’re bringing a crowd pleasing winner to the dinner table.
We’ll start with the starches – mashed potatoes, stuffing and mac and cheese. Then we’ll move on to the autumn heavy weights – squashes and sweet potato.
Next, the trusty vegetable dishes for that little bit of *health*. Lastly, we’ll round everything out with rolls and the like, since you can’t have Thanksgiving without them.
And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about your gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian/vegan friends and family either. There is a little something for everyone on this epic list of side dishes, so let’s get into it.
Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing and Mac and Cheese
If you’re looking for an easy upgrade to your stuffing this year, try this brioche stuffing recipe by Valerie’s Kitchen. Brioche bread is tender, buttery and slightly sweet, so it adds that little something extra to traditional stuffing.
This is a meat free stuffing and vegetable broth can be used, so it is an ideal option if you have vegetarians in your Thanksgiving group.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Garlic Butter
Who doesn’t love garlic? Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes? This recipe combines two of the best foods into a delicious, decadent dish that’s sure to be a crowd favorite.
For this recipe, heavy cream is infused with garlic and the mashed potatoes are finished off with a drizzle of melted garlic butter. This recipe calls for just 8 ingredients and the instructions are really easy to follow.
Elevate your mac and cheese with this smoked mac and cheese recipe from Jerkyholic. It requires a little bit of extra planning with firing up the smoker or grill, but the payoff is 100 percent worth it!
Sharp cheddar cheese and gouda are combined with bacon in this mac and cheese that’s smoked for 45 minutes. The result is ultimate flavor unlike anything your guests have tried before.
Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing
You can’t forget about your gluten free friends and family, and this gluten free cornbread stuffing is sure to put a smile on their face. This is a completely from scratch recipe, so it takes you through how to make homemade gluten free cornbread and then the stuffing.
There are make ahead instructions, a recipe video and FAQs to ensure you get the best gluten free stuffing possible. It’s so delicious that even your gluten eating guests will enjoy it!
We also can’t forget about our vegan guests. So many Thanksgiving dishes are not traditionally vegan friendly, so they will be appreciative if they are able to eat arguably the best side dish: mashed potatoes!
These mashed potatoes are made in an instant pot in just 20 minutes and use just a handful of ingredients. In addition to being vegan, they are gluten free as well.
Squashes and Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Delicata Squash and Burrata Salad
We’ve all heard of caprese salad with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, but have you tried it with delicata squash and burrata? Delicata squash is roasted and topped with burrata cheese, pomegranate arils, honey and crispy sage.
It’s a unique side dish but sure to make any cheese lover happy. It’s also gluten free and vegetarian friendly.
Healthy Butternut Squash Casserole
Thanksgiving can be full of heavy dishes, so it’s nice to have some lighter options. This healthy butternut squash casserole also features sweet potato, wild rice, dried cranberries and raisins and is finished off with a light balsamic dressing.
It’s naturally gluten free and vegan, so everyone can enjoy this tasty yet healthy side dish.
Brown Butter Mashed Sweet Potato
Kyleigh over at Barley and Sage is one of my favorite food bloggers because we share a love for all things brown butter. These brown butter mashed sweet potatoes is a really simple side dish that is elevated with nutty brown butter.
Just like regular mashed potatoes, it requires just few ingredients and is simple to whip up. It’s creamy, savory and just a perfect amount of sweetness.
The Best Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes
I love these maple roasted sweet potatoes because they are the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Pecans add great crunch and the bacon and pomegranate seeds add so much delicious flavor.
The best part is they are really simple to make and require just 8 ingredients (most of which you probably have in your pantry already).
Ditch the overly sweet casserole with marshmallows on top (half your guests don’t like it anyway), and try this sweet potato soufflé instead! It’s made with warming spices and topped with a delicious brown sugar pecan streusel instead.
It may sound a little intimidating, but a sweet potato soufflé is very similar to the casserole you’re used to, it’s just fluffier and creamier (and by default better)!
Flash Fried Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan and Panchetta
Have you ever tried flash fried Brussels sprouts? They turn out tender and delicious, especially when paired with crispy panchetta and salty parmesan cheese.
This side dish comes together in 20 minutes and uses just seven ingredients, making it a convenient option for either host or guest.
Autumn Harvest Salad with Quinoa
Salad is another great option that is on the lighter side to balance out all the heavy side dishes. This Autumn harvest salad is a bit heartier because of the quinoa and roasted sweet potato.
Pumpkin seeds and almonds offer crunch and goat cheese adds a lovely creaminess. Everything is tossed in a homemade maple mustard vinaigrette – it’s fall in a salad!
Slow cooker recipes are great for Thanksgiving because it frees up some much needed oven and stovetop space. You can throw everything into the slow cooker earlier in the day and essentially just forget about until dinner time.
This slow cooker creamed corn is creamy and loaded with flavor. It requires just 8 ingredients and the instructions couldn’t be easier.
Switch up the usual green bean casserole for this asparagus casserole! It’s creamy, flavorful and topped with the most amazing parmesan breadcrumb topping.
Diana provides some great recipe tips to ensure you get a perfectly cooked and delicious dish every time.
Honey Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese
Say goodbye to boring roasted carrots and hello to big flavor with these honey roasted carrots with goat cheese, pistachios and pomegranate arils.
This is a simple, minimal ingredient recipe that’s gluten free and vegetarian. Plus, the rainbow carrots add beautiful color to an otherwise beige Thanksgiving table.
Cheese makes everything better, and that’s definitely the case for this baked cheesy cauliflower. Cauliflower isn’t a traditional Thanksgiving veggie side, but you may change your mind after you try this dish.
A standard bechamel sauce is made, then tossed with cheddar cheese. The cauliflower is tossed in the sauce, topped with breadcrumbs and baked to gooey, melty, golden perfection.
Rolls and Biscuits
Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits
The ultimate Thanksgiving debate – rolls or biscuits? If you’re team biscuits, then you have to try these super flaky and buttery old fashioned biscuits.
Eden provides lots of great tips for making (including make ahead instructions), storing and reheating these biscuits, as well as substitution and variation options to make them your own.
This dinner roll recipe is for my vegan friends, but with the addition of pumpkin to these soft and fluffy rolls, even non vegan eaters will love them.
Anthea’s step by step instructions, photos and tips ensure a fool proof recipe, which means a stress free Thanksgiving (and happy vegan guests).
Caramelized Onion and Everything Bagel Biscuits
If you’re looking for a biscuit recipe with a little bit of oomph, then you have to try these caramelized onion and everything bagel biscuits. The addition of just these two ingredients adds so much depth of flavor to already flaky, buttery biscuits.
They’re perfect for sopping all that gravy or for making mini Thanksgiving sandwiches (my favorite)!
I’ve made these parker house rolls by Half Baked Harvest more times then I can count. They are my go to when I want a really delicious homemade roll.
These parker house rolls are soft, tender, buttery and perfect for sopping up all that gravy. I promise they are so much better than store bought but are still super easy to make.
If you make any of these recipes this Thanksgiving, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. More importantly, let the blogger who created the recipe know if you enjoyed it by going to their recipe page and leave a rating and review!
Happy cooking, happy eating and have a wonderful safe and healthy Thanksgiving!
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