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33 Thanksgiving Side Dishes (2022)

We update this post every year with several new recipes to help you plan a wonderful Thanksgiving menu or help out the host with a potluck dish.

We’re sharing our much-loved Thanksgiving side dishes for the big day.

Traditional and non traditional recipes, vegetarian, 30 minutes or less, – lots to choose from. All make ahead (at least partially), many healthy-ish and all delish!

8 thanksgiving side dishes in collage.

In our home, we celebrate two Thanksgivings – Canadian and American. Thankfully, it’s one of our favorite holidays.

I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends for over 30 years. A turkey dinner is a must. We tend to keep things fairly traditional with tried-and-true old favorites. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and fresh cranberry sauce are all pretty classic dishes and must-haves at my dinner table.

But, from time to time, we change it up a bit to keep things interesting.

I will be making a succulent sous vide turkey breast as the center piece for this year’s holiday season. Not traditional, but guaranteed zero stress, tender and juicy. With all the sides of course. Stuffing is my absolute fave and probably the most popular side dish at our table.

If you have a smaller group and no sous vide equipment, try our bone-in turkey breast with pear chutney. I digress…back to Thanksgiving side dish recipes.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!

This, of course, depends on where you live and your own traditions. You can probably guess the most popular Thanksgiving sides: mashed potatoes (#1), stuffing or dressing, bread or rolls, sweet potato casserole or yams, gravy, green beans, brussels sprouts, mac and cheese (not where I come from!), corn and glazed carrots.

According to an online Instacart survey by The Harris Poll which surveyed over 2000 adult Americans, the least favorite side dish is canned cranberry sauce. Almost half of Americans find it “disgusting”.

I urge you to try our fresh cranberry-orange relish – a 5 minute game changer! Other least favorites were green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole. Surprising.

Here are our best Thanksgiving side dish recipes. Judge for yourself.

Traditional Thanksgiving sides

Best Make Ahead Stuffing

stuffing in white casserole dish
Follow our step-by-step instructions for how to make this tried and true classic recipe for homemade stuffing and you'll be sure to have a hit at your next Thanksgiving dinner.
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Vegetable Stuffing with Quinoa

quinoa stuffing in serving dish
If you're looking for healthy Thanksgiving recipes, vegetable stuffing with quinoa fits the bill. You won't miss the bread in this delicious alternative to a traditional stuffing, dressing or any side dish. And it takes only 30 minutes to make.
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Vegetarian Stovetop Stuffing

vegetarian stovetop stuffing in pan
Here's a quicker no-bake homemade vegetarian stovetop stuffing. Loaded with healthy veggies and way better than the store-bought packaged version.
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Basic Mashed Potatoes

bowl of mashed potatoes f
Basic mashed potatoes are a must with turkey and just about anything with gravy. These are light, fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes. No peeling necessary.  A simple yummy side.
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Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

turkey gravy in gravy boat 2
An excellent gravy can make all the difference to a turkey dinner. Take some pressure off by making this richly flavored turkey gravy a day or two before.
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Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Maple-Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans in a bowl f
The combination of pure maple syrup, fresh lime and toasted pecans elevate these glazed sweet potatoes to a wickedly good side dish.
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Best Healthy Creamed Spinach

creamed spinach in bowl 4
Healthy creamed spinach, laced with onion and garlic, is one of the yummiest comfort side dishes ever. Keep it light or make it rich. It's up to you.
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Best Green Bean Recipe with Panko Crumbs

green beans topped with panko breadcrumb mixture on plate
If you're looking for a vibrant, colorful, make-ahead side dish with classic flavors and some good crunch, try our fresh green beans recipe with lemon garlic panko crumbs. Serve hot or at room temperature.
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Roasted Honey Glazed Carrots

honey glazed carrots fanned out on plate
A fresh bunch of carrots roasted with honey and thyme, and garnished with orange zest, make these roasted honey glazed carrots irresistible. A simple and easy jazzed-up side dish.
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Nontraditional Thanksgiving sides

Oven Roasted Vegetable Recipe

roasted vegetables in round dish
This oven roasted vegetables recipe is simple comfort food. Sweet potatoes, peppers, eggplant, apples and rosemary create a delicious side dish. Not to mention healthy and colorful. And never mind that an apple is not a vegetable. It works perfectly. 
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Baby Cauliflower Recipe (roasted)

You have to try this new baby cauliflower. It's sweet, delicate, tender and delicious – kind of a cross between cauliflower and broccoli. We're roasting it in this recipe, but you can cook it so many different ways. It's slowly coming into mainstream stores so grab some if you can find it. 
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Best Instant Pot Potatoes and Carrots

bowl of cooked potatoes and carrots with herbs on black table
Buttery, garlicky, oniony potatoes and carrots with fresh herbs. The instant pot does a great job with this easy comfort food side dish. Not fancy. Just delish. And a great way to save stove and oven space for your Thanksgiving spread.
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Root Vegetable Mash

serving bowl with root vegetable mash
Change it up a bit with this yummy root vegetables mash. Same creamy, fluffiness as mashed potatoes, but made with your favorite root veggies, including potatoes. Beautiful colors for Thanksgiving and extra nutrients.
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Honey Roasted Parsnips

bowl of honey roasted parsnips
Honey roasted parsnips boast just a few simple ingredients, a natural sweetness and an earthy nutty flavor. An easy side dish for a holiday table
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Knish Recipe with Root Vegetable Mash

pile of cut up knishes filled with root vegetable mash
This knish recipe is filled with a delicious root vegetable mash, wrapped in a golden flaky puff pastry (store-bought – shh). Melt in your mouth and really easy. A great make ahead side dish or appetizer.
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How To Roast Zucchini

roasted zucchini spears on plate with microgreens
This recipe is my go-to for how to roast zucchini. It's simple. It's light. And it honors this lovely summer squash by transforming it from tasteless to delicious in 20 minutes.
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Cheddar Biscuits With Bisquick

plate of cheddar biscuits
I am not a huge Red Lobster fan, but I do love these copycat cheddar biscuits with bisquick. Soft and warm and cheesy with a hint of garlic. Delish! And a nice alternative to dinner rolls.
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Sautéed Peppers with Caper Vinaigrette

bowl of sauteed peppers with caper vinaigrette
For a colorful side dish of sautéed bell peppers, sauté peppers, whisk together a simple caper vinaigrette and toss everything together. Done in 12 minutes.
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Vegetarian sides (that could also be a main course)

Veggie Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

portobello mushroom on cutting board
A delicious main or side dish, these veggie stuffed portobello mushrooms, filled with fresh vegetables, herbs and cheese, are a wonderful change of pace. When I talk about 'stuffed' in this recipe, I mean STUFFED!
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Vegetable Strudel in Puff Pastry

vegetarian strudel on plate f
This vegetable strudel wraps a savory filling of sweet potatoes, onion, peppers, apple, spinach & goat cheese in a flaky puff pastry. It's a wonderful make-ahead main or side dish for a special occasion. And easy a store-bought puff pastry.
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Pumpkin Risotto Recipe (Instant Pot)

Pumpkin Risotto in bowl beside pumpkin ff
This rich, creamy, flavor-packed Instant Pot Pumpkin Risotto recipe is pure comfort food that tastes amazing. It's a knockout vegetarian dinner or side for Fall. Substitute butternut squash if you can't find pumpkin.
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Spinach Mac and Cheese

spinach mac and cheese in casserole dish
In some parts of the US, mac and cheese is a must-have side dish for a Thanksgiving meal. This spinach mac and cheese is creamy, cheesy and delicious. With some added nutrition. 
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Side salads

Best Citrus Salad With Greens

citrus salad on platter1
Sweet oranges and tangy grapefruit tossed in vinaigrette over salad greens make this delicious citrus salad and a perfect balance for a rich Thanksgiving meal. Quick, easy, refreshing and beautiful. 
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Red Quinoa Salad with Roasted Carrots Recipe

quinoa salad with roasted carrots on plate
This red quinoa salad is loaded with super healthy greens, roasted carrots and beets, topped with avocado and a delicious orange-balsamic dressing. Yum!
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Roasted Head of Cauliflower with Grape Relish

roasted whole cauliflower with grape relish on top on plate
This company-worthy roasted head of cauliflower, crowned with a bright zesty-sweet grape relish, makes a beautiful centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table.
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Beet and Orange Salad Recipe

beet and orange salad with goat cheese on plate
Fresh, bright and pretty. This Beet, Orange and Goat Cheese Salad is easy to put together and looks beautiful on the table.
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Fig Salad With Pomegranates

Fig salad with pomegranates in bowl
This pretty fig salad with pomegranates and balsamic dressing is a festive addition to any dinner or holiday event.
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Festive Winter Salad Recipe

winter salad on plate with wine bottle
I love this winter salad recipe. It's holiday-ish, the flavors are addictive, it's got lots of texture and a fabulous citrus sweet and tangy dressing. Ready in 15 minute start-to-finish. Or, with shortcuts, only 5 minutes!
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Tomato and Onion Salad

tomato onion salad in dressing in a black bowl
This sweet, tangy Marinated Tomato Salad with homemade Catalina dressing creates a colorful side dish even when tomatoes are not at their best. And I love that you don't need an extra salad plate.
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Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cinnamon Dressing

butternut squash salad with cinnamon dressing on plate
Beautiful, delicious and satisfying as a vegetarian main or side, butternut squash salad with caramelized onions, toasted pecans and warm cinnamon dressing will get rave reviews at your Thanksgiving dinner.
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Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Avocado Dressing

broccoli cauliflower apples avocado salad in bowl
Broccoli and cauliflower salad with avocado dressing makes a wonderful healthy side dish for any meal. Great textures and fresh flavors. And no need for any extra salad plate.
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Condiments

Cranberry Orange Relish Recipe (5 minutes)

Cranberry-Orange Relish in bowl and spoon over sliced turkey breast f
This sweet and tangy cranberry orange relish recipe is fast and easy with only 3 ingredients. It's a great addition to complement your Thanksgiving turkey, chicken or pork. No cooking needed. Can be made way ahead.
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Chunky Apple Sauce (No Peeling Needed!)

black bowl of chunky apple sauce
This homemade chunky apple sauce is a yummy, no-fuss, healthy simple side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner. Just 3 main ingredients and easy to make to suit your tastes – semi smooth, with or without peels, sweet, tart, even low or no sugar.
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Peach Chutney (30 minutes)

peach chutney in a bowl f
Peach chutney is a perfect condiment for brisket, turkey, chicken, lamb, pork. Sweet and tangy, warmly spiced and loaded with fresh peaches. Use frozen peaches if they're not in season.
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Thanksgiving FAQ

How do you keep foods warm for a Thanksgiving dinner?

If you are hosting this year, here are a few handy tips for keeping foods warm as they hit the Thanksgiving table. Top tip – think outside the box and use the tools you have available.

What are the top mistakes when hosting a Thanksgiving dinner?

Making a Thanksgiving spread can be exhausting. Some common mistakes hosts make are: not assigning dishes for guests to bring (yes, we all need help!), making too many dishes that all require the oven (a mix of hot, cold and other appliances is best), underestimating thawing time (think turkey) and leaving too much to the last day (make as much as possible ahead). Bottom line is that planning goes a long way to success.

What is the most popular dessert served on Thanksgiving?

Pumpkin pie is at the top of the list according to an instacart survey. But top choices vary with where you live. Pecan pie and apple pie are very popular too. So is cranberry pie.

What is the average number of calories a person consumes at Thanksgiving dinner?

According to the New York Times Dining and Wine, (based on Calorie Control Council) the average is a whopping 4500 calories! This includes breakfast, snacks, the big dinner, wine, dessert etc. They figure the Thanksgiving meal alone is about 2500 calories. Er.. do what you need to do.

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