A collection of the BEST Thanksgiving side dishes, from classics like corn casserole and traditional stuffing to modern riffs on those favorite recipes.
It’s November 1st, and while I’m over the moon about the fact that there is now Christmas music available on satellite radio, we still have another holiday to tackle before we begin decking the halls… and Thanksgiving is only three weeks away!
While Christmas has my heart as far as holidays go, Thanksgiving is my very favorite food holiday… there is nothing better than hitting the couch on Thanksgiving evening in a total food coma. While turkey is always front and center of the dinner spread, I prefer to take a small piece and fill my plate with a variety of side dishes (and of course leave room for dessert).
(If you ARE interested in turkey, then you should check out how we make ours >> How to Deep Fry a Turkey)
I have SO MANY Thanksgiving recipes here on the site, but I narrowed down my very favorite side dishes for you today. I’ll be back next week with a list of my favorite Thanksgiving dessert recipes, so stay tuned!
[You can find ALL of the turkey day recipes that are on the site here >> Thanksgiving Recipes.]
Now, on to those side dishes!
My aunt has made this for as many Thanksgivings as I can remember… it’s a super simple veggie casserole that comes together quickly (and no one can resist that Ritz cracker crust!).
Growing up, my Aunt Rene would routinely contribute a broccoli casserole to my grandma’s Sunday dinner spread, and everyone gobbled it up. Once I was older, I tackled making a homemade version with fresh broccoli, fresh mushrooms, a homemade cream sauce and bread crumb topping.
Anyone who scoffs at Brussels sprouts will go back for seconds when you combine them with bacon and a creamy sauce, and top them with a bread crumb crust. This has been a huge Thanksgiving hit with my family.
Everyone clamors for this riff on Brussels sprouts – they are pan-fried and combined with crispy pancetta, dried cranberries and toasted pine nuts. Tons of different flavors and textures, which makes for a fantastic side dish.
Some families do dinner rolls, some do cornbread, and some do biscuits. If you fall into the latter category, then you will absolutely love these incredibly fluffy and flaky buttermilk biscuits.
A supremely cheesy corn casserole that is made with absolutely no packaged ingredients or canned corn, which amounts to loads of fresh flavor that’s a welcome change from traditional corn casseroles.
If you fall into the cornbread camp for your gravy-mopping duties, let me introduce you to my most favorite cornbread recipe. It comes together quickly and bakes up perfectly every single time. Smear it with butter and mop away!
Maybe cornbread muffins are your jam? I made these years ago to go with a pot of chili and fell in love immediately. Great for individual portions and you can make them mini-sized if you’d like, too!
The epitome of corn casseroles. Only six ingredients, a bowl and a spoon are all you need to whip up this easy casserole. Don’t expect to find any leftovers when you serve up this classic!
If you want something a little bit different than regular dinner rolls, these cloverleaf rolls totally fit the bill. They are soft and fluffy, yet sturdy enough to not totally disintegrate when they’re smeared with butter and are sopping up leftover gravy on the plate. Important!
Such a festive spin on traditional dinner rolls! This easy yeast dough is studded with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts, shaped into rolls, sprinkled with sugar and baked until golden brown. Serve with regular butter, orange-infused butter, or even apple butter!
Truth be told, it wasn’t until a few years ago when I found out that macaroni and cheese was a big Thanksgiving side dish. We never had it in our family on Thanksgiving growing up, but I totally understand the appeal. I mean, cheesy carbs are what it’s all about, right!? And this crock pot mac and cheese version frees up stove and oven space, and you can scale it up to serve a crowd if you need to!
I have been making this cranberry sauce every single Thanksgiving for the past eight years. It is more a chutney-style cranberry sauce than a jellied or super saucy version, and it is DELICIOUS. Such bright and light flavors thanks to apple, orange and lemon zest!
This new-to-me recipe also ranks highly for many as a Thanksgiving side dish mainstay. I love the fresh fruit, creamy dressing, and crunchy nuts. It will definitely add some different flavors and textures to your Thanksgiving table!
Green. Bean. Casserole. Is there anything that screams of Thanksgiving more than this casserole? Originally consisting of canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and canned fried onions, this classic gets a from-scratch re-make. Fresh green beans, fresh mushrooms in a homemade cream sauce, and a homemade bread crumb topping that is mixed with those french-fried onions because, let’s be honest, they are GOOD (but you can substitute your own crispy fried shallots if you’d like!).
Buttery, flaky crescent rolls made totally from scratch! I love to fill up a bread basket with these beauties.
A fun spin on sweet potatoes – they are mashed with butter and a little bit of seasoning, then topped with chopped walnuts and baked. The dish is then sprinkled with brown sugar and broiled until it is bubbling. Grab a spoon and crack through that beautiful brown sugar crust!
These are THE BEST mashed potatoes! As in, I need to quadruple the recipe every year because everyone goes totally nuts over them and they all want to take some home to have with the leftover turkey. They are supremely creamy, perfectly seasoned, and you can make them in the morning and keep them warm in the slow cooker until dinnertime. Total win!
My favorite riff on sweet potato casserole right here – fresh sweet potatoes are cooked and mashed with butter, tons of seasonings, bourbon and crushed pineapple, then baked and topped with homemade marshmallow creme and broiled until beautifully browned.
This is a longtime favorite in our family, and if you’re looking to add salad to your Thanksgiving menu, this is totally the version I would recommend! It’s not overly filling, but you get all of those warm traditional flavors carried right through the salad. And that apple cider vinaigrette? Sublime!
This sausage and apple stuffing is made with Challah bread, flavored with sage, and bakes up wonderfully moist with a crisp top and crisp corners. It has risen in the ranks among stuffing recipes, and my husband now declares this one his very favorite.
A Thanksgiving must in our family! There is something so insanely good about that combination of cornbread and sausage, and I load up on it year after year.
This riff on the popular JIFFY corn casserole includes an extra egg, which gives this version a creamy, almost souffle-like consistency.
I first made this sweet potato gratin nearly 10 years ago and it still gets massive rave reviews whenever it shows up on the table. The sweet potatoes are wonderfully tender, and it’s perfectly creamy and cheesy. Always a huge hit!
Last but certainly not least is perhaps the most iconic of all Thanksgiving side dishes – the traditional stuffing. Sautéed onion and celery are flavored with poultry seasoning (sage, marjoram, thyme – is there a smell more Thanksgiving that that trio?!), mixed with cubed bread, chicken stock and eggs, and baked until golden brown.
TELL ME! What is your hands-down, all-time favorite Thanksgiving side dish?!