Thanksgiving side dishes individually portioned in muffin tins are easy to serve and make everyone feel like they’re getting a special treat of their own. And if there are any leftovers, muffin-size sides are much easier to pack away for family members hitting the road. Check out these clever Thanksgiving muffin cups now and plan ahead—you might be tempted to buy an extra muffin tin (USA Muffin Pan, $24.99, Bed Bath & Beyond)!
1. Corn Bread
For many families, a classic Thanksgiving corn muffin recipe is a time-honored part of the feast. Here’s our best recipe for cornbread. Simply use the corn muffin option in the recipe to make individual servings.
2. Tuscan Mac-and-Cheese Cups
Stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casseroles are great, but if you’re looking for clever Thanksgiving side dishes, how about this mac-and-cheese? It stars trendy ingredients, such as kale, panko, and prosciutto—all in your muffin pan.
3. Apple, Bacon, and Onion Stuffing Muffins
We love making Thanksgiving dressing in muffin tins. It’s such a pretty way to serve everyone their own little cup of stuffing. Though purists say stuffing is baked inside the turkey and dressing is baked in a dish, they’re essentially the same thing so this counts as your stuffing or dressing.
4. Buttermilk-Sage Dinner Rolls
If you’re looking for different Thanksgiving side dishes to try this year, start with the bread (literally—this dough can be prepped up to a day in advance). Adding buttermilk to dinner roll recipes brings extra tenderness, and the sage adds seasonal appeal.
5. Rosemary, Cherry, and Ham Stuffing Cups
These Thanksgiving muffin cups can be served as a savory side on the day of your feast. Or if your family traditionally serves ham in addition to roast turkey on the holiday, use this recipe to make Thanksgiving leftover muffins from the holiday ham.
Test Kitchen Tip: You could also substitute cooked turkey instead of ham to make Thanksgiving turkey muffins.
6. Blue Cheese Cornbread Muffins
Enjoy these Thanksgiving muffins warm from the oven so you get melty pockets of blue cheese. Requiring only 10 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of bake time, this is one of our go-to easy Thanksgiving sides to make the holiday less stressful.
7. Pumpkin-Pecan Tassies
We had to sneak at least one dessert into our list of easy Thanksgiving side dishes you can make in a muffin tin! This dessert is small enough that it's more like a side dish anyway. Use a mini muffin pan (Wilton Mini Muffin Pan $13.99, Bed Bath & Beyond), to make these one- to two-bite treats. We like this dessert because it combines two holiday favorites (pecan pie and pumpkin pie) into one sweet and simple treat.
8. Peach-Prosciutto Cornmeal Muffins
If you’re seeking a way to make this year’s Thanksgiving corn muffins special, try this version. It combines prosciutto and peaches for a delightful sweet-savory effect. No fresh peaches? No worries: Frozen ones work splendidly.
9. Browned Butter Sage Cornmeal Muffins
We love dressing up muffins for Thanksgiving, and that’s just what this recipe does. A little browned butter adds a rich and nutty angle, sage gives a peppery flavor, and cornmeal makes them classic. Making browned butter might sound complicated, but once you see how easy it is to do, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it all your cooking life.
If you haven't been putting your muffin tin to work at Thanksgiving, we hope this inspires you to try something new for your Thanksgiving dinner menu this year. With their grab-and-go ease at the Thanksgiving buffet, it'll speed the line so you can start digging in a little faster.