Beans, greens, potatoes, and corn are just four ingredients you'll need to make your Thanksgiving side dish recipes a hit. Whether you're a fan of carb-loading with your turkey or would rather stick to veggies, we've got several easy Thanksgiving recipes ready to make courtesy of TikTok. And we mean easy: These side dishes are all way less complicated than figuring out how to choose a Thanksgiving turkey for the big meal, let alone cook one. (Although if you're in need of a good turkey recipe to go with all these sides, we suggest Kamala Harris’s—it's delicious!)
Or you could always just skip the turkey altogether. According to Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor at Bon Appétit, turkey alternatives are a big trend for Thanksgiving 2023. “Just because it’s called Turkey Day doesn’t mean you need turkey,” Laperruque tells Glamour. “Whether it’s picking another protein like chicken or duck, or skipping the meat entirely, I’m seeing more turkey-less Thanksgivings than ever. And as someone says ‘no thanks’ to turkey, I selfishly love that.”
A meal of just side dishes? Why not. But know thyself: As good as these recipes look, don't go overboard attempting to make them all. We all want Thanksgiving side dishes to impress, but it doesn't have to come at the cost of your sanity. “I’m all about trying a new recipe or two or three each year,” says Laperruque. “But even as a recipe developer, I would never try all new dishes. Including some time-tested classics that you could make in your sleep cuts back on stress. Then you can have more fun, which is the whole point.” You'll need that time to work on your Thanksgiving nails anyway.
Choosing recipes that can be made ahead is one way to narrow down the lineup—especially if you're not the one hosting this year. In that situation, Laperruque suggests bringing a dish that's okay to hang out at room temp. “If it needs to go in the fridge or freezer, fine, but avoid anything that requires prep work or oven space,” Laperruque says. “Odds are, there are already too many cooks in the kitchen.” Say no more.
While not all of these Thanksgiving side dish recipes are the healthiest options, they are delicious…even if they'll put you in a food coma. And if you do find yourself in need of a postdinner nap? Throw on one of the best Thanksgiving movies and recharge because you won't want to miss dessert.
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
Say goodbye to boring potatoes seasoned with only salt and pepper. This cheesy scalloped dish is surprisingly simple, given how delicious it is. Boil russet potatoes before sautéing garlic, sweet onion, and spices in butter. Add all-purpose flour, milk, and fold in cheese before baking the dish.
Thanksgiving vegetable side dishes don't have to be boring! Kale is a versatile vegetable that's used in everything from smoothies to pasta. So sure, a traditional kale salad might not seem special, but that's because your everyday salad doesn't include chickpeas, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard. It's one of those Thanksgiving dinner ideas that will wow your guests.
Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes
Forget French fries. Potato chips, who? Tater tots? Never heard of them. You don't need a deep fryer to make potatoes extra crispy. The secret is to smash them after they're boiled and make sure to flip them once they're in the oven.
Spicy Maple Za'atar Carrots
Thanksgiving vegetables don't often get the same fanfare as your turkeys and pumpkin pies, but why? These Za'atar carrots are a mixture of sweet and spicy due to the maple syrup and combination of herbs. The mixture consists of toasted sesame seeds, dried sumac, salt, and other spices. The colorful vegetables are a unique addition to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
When you see a box of stuffing (or dressing) in the aisle of a grocery store, keep walking. Instead, pick up a handful of ingredients to make the signature Thanksgiving food from scratch. Chop a loaf of bread and add garlic, onion, celery, spices, and pickles. Yes, you read that correctly: pickles. Hey, don't judge a recipe by its ingredients. It's an easy one to throw together while you watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
There are plenty of vegetarian collard green recipes, but this isn't one of them. This recipe follows the traditional method of slow cooking the vegetable in broth with ham hocks.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts have arguably had the biggest glow-up in the vegetable world. But they're popular for a reason: They're delicious! This recipe calls for bacon, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and cranberries.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Thanksgiving side dishes have a tendency to consist of a once healthy food made unhealthy through added ingredients, and you know what? I'm not complaining one bit. Sugar, cinnamon, and marshmallows were made to be put on sweet potatoes, and you can't convince me any differently.
If you need a last-minute side dish to bring to a Friendsgiving, this green bean recipe will surely wow your friends. Ingredients include spicy chili, soy sauce, black wine vinegar, sesame oil, honey, minced ginger, and garlic. In other words, it'll complement any Thanksgiving dinner. Trust us on this.
Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Mushrooms
Jalapeño popper stuffed mushrooms is a mouthful to say—and eat. These are loaded with jalapeños, cheese, garlic, and bread crumbs. Yum.
Full transparency: The cornbread I eat is usually the kind made from a box mix. I've never complained, but after watching this TikTok I'm beginning to think that I've been doing it wrong. It takes a little extra effort, but baking the side dish with actual canned corn makes a huge difference in taste.
Everyone has their preference when it comes to traditional Thanksgiving side dishes, but none is more divisive than cranberry sauce. Buy it out of the can if that's what you like…or boil your own cranberries and have bragging rights at dinner when everyone is scarfing down your dish. Thanksgiving is an excuse to pretend you're on a food show and test your skills in the kitchen. And it doesn't get much simpler than this sweet staple.
Vivian Aronson uses Taiwanese cabbage and cooks it in bacon. What makes this recipe unique is that she cooks the bacon in water before making the dish. Apparently, it helps cook the fat out of the bacon. Hey, you learn something new every day!
Biscuits cooked on a grill? We're listening. The account Grillin With Dad must be onto something because these biscuits coated in butter, cheese, and parsley are making my mouth water through the screen. Pop on your favorite Thanksgiving songs while you cook for maximum fun.
Potatoes are to Thanksgiving food what candy is to Halloween. They just go together. This vegan-friendly recipe is similar to a deviled egg except there's no egg—only, you guessed it, potatoes.
Baked Mac and Cheese
IMHO: Mac and cheese is best baked. There's something about a crunchy top protecting gooey, cheese macaroni that will always taste better than anything from a box. The ingredients are super simple and this user has one rule: Absolutely no eggs.
We've discussed green salads, but not fruit salads. Consider this ambrosia salad a palate cleanser. A few bites of mandarin oranges, pineapple, and cherries will get you ready for seconds—or thirds.
Sweet Potato Fries
It doesn't matter if you're the chef or the guest—it's nice to snack while dinner is being made. Sliced potatoes serve well as an appetizer when paired with a yummy dip.
Butternut, spaghetti, acorn: Fall is the season of squash. So why not make it an addition for Thanksgiving dinner? It's flavorful, healthy, and simple to make. Just take the acorn squash and cook it with brown butter, hazelnut, and lots of garlic.
Green Bean Casserole
Thanksgiving has the power to take any dish and make it a casserole: sweet potato, corn, and green beans (not all together, of course). The flour, broth, and half-and-half give it the liquid consistency. Meanwhile, the bread crumbs and fried onions give it a much-needed crunch. One of the most beloved easy Thanksgiving side dishes for a reason.
Cranberry Brie Bites
Cranberry. Brie. Bites. Do you really need any further explanation of why this dish is needed at your upcoming Thanksgiving dinner? I think not.
Salted Honey Parker House Rolls
Hot, buttery rolls straight from the oven will complement your Thanksgiving meal no matter what turkey sides you're enjoying.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Does having fresh spinach and artichoke mixed in with cream cheese and shredded cheese make it healthy? Asking for a friend. Regardless, this is high on the list of Thanksgiving dishes I want to try this year.
Roasted Butternut Squash Brussels Sprout Salad
Brussels sprouts are great alone, but even better mixed with other flavors like butternut squash, pecans, and dried cranberries. The spices are minimal because the different foods bring in enough flavor on their own.
Consider mashed potatoes the MVP of Thanksgiving. There are a ton of ways to make potatoes, but somehow mashed potatoes will always hold a special place in our hearts. Plus, it's a great excuse to buy a Kitchen Aid.
Originally Appeared on Glamour