The best part of Thanksgiving dinner? The sides, of course. Sweet, savory, creamy or crunchy, these additions to the turkey (or tofurkey) are really what make it the most indulgent feast of the year. And you don’t need expert kitchen skills to whip up a compliment-worthy dish everyone will still be talking about next year. Below, 15 of our favorites.
1. Hasselback Butternut Squash
Hasselback everything is so trendy right now, and you don’t need to be a knife expert to master the technique. Just halve and slice a squash horizontally and you’ve created an easy but impressive side.
2. Spiralized Winter Vegetable Gratin
All you need is a spiralizer (or, you know, a container of pre-spiralized veggies from the grocery store) to make this fancy holiday side. Mix the seasonal spirals with the creamy sauce and get ready to be served compliments.
3. 20-Minute Mashed Potatoes
Yep, you can whip up these indulgent potatoes in less time that it takes to watch your favorite Thanksgiving episode of Friends.
4. Harissa and Honey-Roasted Carrots
Honey and harissa are both major crowd-pleasers, and the sweet and spicy flavors come together wonderfully. Eden Grinshpan’s carrot recipe is easy to follow, and is an easy addition to any Thanksgiving feast.
5. Kale Salad with Persimmons, Crispy Chickpeas and Fried Shallots
If you don’t have persimmons on your Thanksgiving table, you’re doing it wrong. Brighten up a typically heavy greens dish with this autumnal fruit and kale salad.
6. Alison Roman’s Roasted Squash with Yogurt and Spiced Buttered Pistachios
The Nothing Fancy author knows a thing or two about easy side dishes. Roman’s squash recipe takes less than five minutes to prep, and it’s just soooo good.
7. One-Pot Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is an essential part of any Thanksgiving repertoire. And if you cook this one-pot version in nice cookware, you can serve the gooey cheesy pasta straight out of the only pot it was cooked in.
8. Easy Green Bean Casserole
Casseroles are designed to be simple and foolproof. This version combines green beans with mushrooms and crispy onions for that textural contrast you love.
9. Baked Sweet Potato Fries
No one’s expecting fries at Thanksgiving, and that’s kind of the whole point. Swap out your typical mashed sweet potatoes for an easy-to-eat finger food.
10. Sheet Pan Turkey Dinner
If you’re responsible for the entrée as well as the sides, cut out a few steps and bake them all at once. This tray includes turkey, stuffing, potatoes and green beans.
11. Super Simple Make Ahead Instant Pot Orange Cranberry Sauce
Almost easier than popping open a can, this make-ahead recipe lets you serve impressive fresh cranberry sauce with minimal effort. (And best of all, no ridges.)
12. Sweet and Spicy Cornbread
A little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, a lot delicious. Serve this cornbread as a warm side straight out of the hot skillet.
13. Crispy Smashed Potatoes
PSA: Thanksgiving dinner can never have too many types of potatoes. These boiled and roasted Yukon Gold potatoes are super crispy—don’t expect leftovers.
14. Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Dates and Halloumi
Sweet, savory and just crispy and creamy enough, this simple Brussels recipe is hugely sophisticated in flavor and looks beautiful on the table.
15. Quinoa Stuffing with Butternut Squash, Cranberries and Pistachios
A healthier and easier alternative to traditional stuffing, this veggie-packed side is gluten-free, vegetarian and just as good the next day (well, if there’s any left).