What’s the best part of Thanksgiving dinner? It’s 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. Luckily, you don’t need expert kitchen skills to make a compliment-worthy dish everyone will rave about until next Turkey Day. Here are 86 easy Thanksgiving side dishes we love.
1. Hasselback Butternut Squash
In our humble opinion, you should Hasselback everything. Just halve and slice a squash horizontally and you’ve created an easy-yet-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. Harissa and Honey-Roasted Carrots
Honey and harissa are both major crowd-pleasers, and the sweet and spicy flavors come together wonderfully.
4. Kale Salad with Persimmons, Crispy Chickpeas and Fried Shallots
If you’ve never had persimmons on your Thanksgiving table, try them this year. Brighten up a typically heavy green dish with this autumnal fruit and kale salad.
5. 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 almost too good.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Chickpeas and Yogurt Sauce
Here’s a trick to crispier sweet potatoes: Don’t line the sheet tray when you bake them. Parchment and foil just trap steam, and that’s the opposite of what you want.
9. Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
It’s Thanksgiving. Why not go all out?
10. Sprightly Biscuits
These biscuits have a secret: They’re made with lemon-lime soda, which makes them extra fluffy (and no, they don’t taste sweet—or citrusy).
11. Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sriracha and Lime
Add some heat to the Thanksgiving table (just warn your Aunt Sally ahead of time).
12. Cast-Iron Cornbread
This cornbread recipe is sweetened with maple syrup and contains brown butter, because what could be bad about that?
13. Baby Vegetables with Orange and Thyme
Pick and choose your favorite in-season veggies, then tuck them into a parchment pouch to steam away. Look ma, no cleanup.
14. Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad
With mostly warm and roasted dishes, it’s nice to have a bright and refreshing salad to balance everything out.
15. Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
Voilà, you have your vegetables and your carbs all in one dish.
16. Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower
It’s creamy, cheesy and ready to eat in 20 minutes.
17. Brussels Sprouts Skillet with Crispy Pancetta-Garlic Breadcrumbs
Give us a crispy Brussels sprout and we’ll have eyes for no other veggie. Bonus: The aromatic topping does double-duty, bringing that extra crunch we crave.
18. Pumpkin Polenta
It’s rich, creamy and cozy, and bound to become a new Thanksgiving staple for your fam.
19. 5-Ingredient Red-Wine Cranberry Sauce
We should mention that this dish contains a third of a bottle of wine. What you do with the rest is your call, chef.
20. 15-Minute Microwave Mashed Potatoes
You don’t even have to boil water to make them.
21. Cacio e Pepe Brussels Sprouts
The simple combo of black pepper and cheese instantly elevates any ingredient.
22. The Best Potatoes au Gratin Ever
We opted for nutty Gruyère to balance out the creaminess of this classic French dish, but you can—and should—experiment with different cheeses (like cheddar or Fontina).
23. Cheese and Bacon Baked Potatoes
Fill those crispy crevices with all the cheese and bacon your heart desires.
24. Charred Sweet Potatoes with Pistachio-Chili Pesto
It’s way more sophisticated than the usual sweet potato and marshmallow casserole.
25. Creamed Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions
This is the mac-and-cheese equivalent of veggies. Need we say more?
26. Green Bean Casserole Galette
It’s not a Thanksgiving celebration without a green bean casserole. This one turns up the volume just a touch (and there’s no canned soup in sight).
27. Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Ranch
Ranch on Thanksgiving? No one is stopping you.
28. Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Cook the taters ahead of time so you can worry about important things day-of, like your guests and sipping wine.
29. Dorie Greenspan’s Maple Syrup and Mustard Brussels Sprouts
Honestly, this 25-minute side dish is as delicious as any main course.
30. Whole Roasted Carrots
Forget everything you know about cooking carrots, because this is the only recipe you’ll ever need.
31. Mac and Cheese with Crispy Parmesan-Phyllo Crust
It maybe frigid outside…but your heart and belly will be warm thanks to this absolute stunner.
32. Crisp Fall Green Salad with Benne Seed Ginger Dressing
The dressing comes together easily in a blender, and its bright, complex flavor pairs fabulously with the bitter salad greens.
33. Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Leeks
Hello, ultimate comfort food. Can we eat this every holiday?
34. Pumpkin Brioche
Leave off the crunchy sugar topping for a more savory-tasting bread. Just don’t skimp on the butter.
35. Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Apple Salad
Top it with a drizzle (or dousing) of tahini-honey dressing and save a bite for us.
36. Domino Potatoes
A potato side dish is always a beautiful thing, but these French-style potatoes are particularly easy on the eyes (and surprisingly simple to make).
37. Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
No more standing over a smoking-hot pan. These cuties are cooked entirely in the oven.
38. Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas
It’s not plain, it’s elegant.
39. Charred Cauliflower with Crunchy Garlic Chile Oil
The garlic chile oil can be made up to a month ahead but be warned: You’ll want to put it on everything.
40. Radicchio, Lentil and Apple Salad with Vegan Cashew Dressing
It’s hard to believe the creamy dressing is dairy-free. It’s the ultimate foil to the bitter radicchio, lentils and apples.
41. Roasted Squash Salad with White Beans, Breadcrumbs and Preserved Lemon
All those flavors and textures are bound to please your guests.
42. Salt and Vinegar Roasted Potatoes with Feta and Dill
They’re crispy like French fries on the outside but creamy and soft on the inside.
43. One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese
If you make this one in eye-catching cookware, you can serve the gooey, cheesy pasta straight out of the only pot it was cooked in.
44. Baked Feta with Dill, Caper Berries and Citrus
Do you really need a reason to serve up a big plate of cheese?
45. Roasted Winter Vegetable Platter with Miso Aioli and Romesco Sauce
Include any hearty vegetable you like, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli or fennel. The sauces take two seconds to make in your blender.
46. Julia Turshen’s Radicchio and Roasted Squash Salad
You can mix the whole thing up the day before, refrigerate it and then bring it to room temperature before serving. Genius.
47. Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Horseradish and Sea Salt
This is how you convert those die-hard mashed potato people to team crispy.
48. Crispy Parmesan Brussels Sprout Bites
Make a double batch; they’ll disappear in no time.
49. Pull-Apart Bread with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese
It has all the fun of monkey bread…but it’s a little more elegant.
50. Roasted Delicata Squash Salad
Delicata squash is ideal for salads, since it has a sweet, nutty flavor and you can eat the delicate skin.
51. Charred Broccoli with Sriracha Almond Butter Sauce
Is it traditional for Thanksgiving? Not really. Is it positively delicious? You bet.
52. Dorie Greenspan’s Roasted Acorn Squash Wedges
These wedges get their je ne sais quoi from Za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend of dried herbs, sesame seeds and sumac.
53. Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin
Two veggies brought together in harmony with a blanket of cheese. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about, right?
54. Yotam Ottolenghi’s Roasted Butternut Squash with Lentils and Gorgonzola
Serve it warm so the cheese melts ever so slightly when it’s dotted on top.
55. Make-Ahead Farro and Brussels Sprout Salad
Regular lettuce has a hard time standing up to the rest of the spread. Brussels sprouts, on the other hand, will steal the show.
56. Coconut Creamed Spinach
They won’t believe it’s vegan.
57. Kale and Brussels Sprout Caesar Slaw
Make it the day before Thanksgiving. It’ll save you time in the kitchen, and it tastes better on the second day.
58. Delicata Squash Agrodolce
It’s sweet, sour and caramelized, and we can’t stop ourselves from going back for seconds.
59. Baked Cauliflower with Pomegranate Seeds and Thyme
This has all the familiar flavors of Thanksgiving stuffing, without any of the bread. Gluten-free folks, we see you.
60. Easy Cauliflower Gratin
Who needs spuds when you have cauliflower?
61. The Crispiest Potato Latkes Recipe of All Time
Hot tip: Squeeze as much of the water from the shredded potatoes as possible. You thank us once you taste those crispy edges.
62. Julia Turshen’s Sheet-Pan Stuffing with Sausage and Spinach
This stuffing gets baked on a sheet pan so the crispy-to-soft ratio is basically one to one, just the way we like it.
63. Stuffing Muffins
Alternatively, you can bake your stuffing in muffin cups for individually portioned bites.
64. Brussels Sprouts Latkes
Why didn’t we think of this sooner?
65. Greens Mac and Cheese
It’s Thanksgiving, so naturally you want to indulge. But you can also sneak in a few greens while you enjoy a heaping plate of mac and cheese (if you’re into that sort of thing).
66. Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Toss your Brussels sprouts in honey and hot sauce, and never look back.
67. Mushroom and Sausage Sourdough Stuffing
Instead of onions, celery and stale white bread, use shallots, mushrooms and sourdough. It’s called modernizing a classic.
68. Kale Caesar Salad
It’s all about those crispy croutons. Make extra.
69. Prosciutto and Fig Salad Board
70. Kale and Cheddar Cheese Galette
Who doesn’t want a slice of pie as a side?
71. Cauliflower with Roasted Tomatoes, Parsley and Breadcrumbs
When roasting with olive oil, salt and pepper just isn’t enough, add breadcrumbs, olives and lots of fresh herbs.
72. Scallion and Chive Flatbread
Who needs a centerpiece when you have this gorgeous bread bouquet?
73. Apple Focaccia with Blue Cheese and Herbs
It’s like a beautiful cheese board in bread form.
74. Easy Dinner Rolls
Skip the store-bought rolls in favor of these easy homemade ones. We promise they’re worth the effort.
75. Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread with Tomatoes and Scallions
Fancier than your usual cornbread, but just as mouthwatering.
76. Macaroni and Cheese in Acorn Squash Bowls
If you’re not going all out with squash bowls of pasta, you might want to reconsider your strategy.
77. Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Barley Risotto
These are impressive enough to serve as a vegetarian main, but we also love them as a hearty side dish.
78. Oven-Roasted Beets and Potatoes
Get your guests to ooh and ahh twice: Once for the turkey, and once for these artfully arranged veggies.
79. Lemon-Tahini Salad with Lentils, Beets and Carrots
The bright, nutty dressing complements the earthy flavor of the beets and greens just so.
80. Delicata Squash Rings with Garlic-Lemon Sauce
Is it an appetizer or a side dish? We don’t really care, because it’s too darn delish either way.
81. Brussels Sprouts 3 Ways
Roasted, pickled and raw shaved Brussels (with plenty of shaved Parmesan, of course) is a combo made in Thanksgiving heaven.
82. Roasted Indian-Spiced Vegetables with Lime-Cilantro Butter
Turmeric, cumin, coriander and cilantro are staples of Indian cuisine. We propose adding them to your spread to mix up the usual parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
83. Baked Brie with Cranberries and Pomegranate
Nothing brings people together like a warm, oozy baked Brie straight from the oven.
84. Gluten-Free Cheese and Cauliflower ‘Breadsticks’
They’re low-carb, so you can have two (or three).
85. Turnip Fries
Who said potatoes get to have all the holiday fun?
86. Hearty Stuffed Butternut Squash
Gorgeous? Check. Easy to make? Check, check. Tasty beyond compare? You better believe it.