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44 Thanksgiving Side Dishes (2021)

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 upcoming holiday.

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

Thanksgiving dinner

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 recipes. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and fresh cranberry sauce are all must-haves at my dinner table. But, from time to time, we change it up a bit to keep things interesting. Especially with two holidays to celebrate a month apart.

I will be making a succulent sous vide turkey breast as the center piece 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.

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 potatoes or yams, gravy, green beans, 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 relish below – game changer! Other least favorites were green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole. Surprising.

Here are our best 44 Thanksgiving side dish recipes. Judge for yourself.

Traditional Thanksgiving sides

How to Make Homemade Stuffing

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

quinoa stuffing in serving dish
You won't miss the bread in this delicious, super healthy, Vegetable Stuffing with quinoa.  It's a great alternative to a traditional stuffing, dressing or any side dish. And takes only 30 minutes to make.
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Vegetarian Stovetop Stuffing

vegetarian stovetop stuffing in pan
Need a change from potatoes? Try our homemade vegetarian stovetop stuffing. Quick, 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 roast beef or just about anything with gravy. These are light, fluffy, creamy and sensational. No peeling necessary. 
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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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Herbed Potato Salad (no eggs, no mayo)

bowl of herbed potato salad in garden
Herbed potato salad is a delicious side dish that's quick and easy to make and bursting with lemon, garlic and fresh herb flavors.
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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 best green bean recipe with lemon garlic panko crumbs. Serve hot or at room temperature.
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Corn and Tomato Salad

corn tomato and quinoa salad on glass plate
Don't let summer end without a sweet fresh corn and tomato salad. Add quinoa to make it a satisfying vegetarian main dish. Easy, quick and versatile with whatever you have on hand. 
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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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Butternut Squash Noodle Recipe

sauteed butternut squash noodles in pan with spinach f
Step aside carb-y pasta! We're stir frying spriralized butternut squash noodles with butter, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and garlic to make a delicious side dish in 10 minutes.
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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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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Risotto Recipe

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Risotto in blow on board with baby pumpkins and pumpkin seeds
In the spirit of Fall, we're making slow cooker pumpkin risotto. Rich, creamy and dairy free (unless you add Parmesan).  And best of all, so easy to make.
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Lemon Asparagus Risotto (Instant Pot)

asparagus risotto in serving bowl
The instant pot is a dream when it comes to risotto. This lemon asparagus risotto – a great recipe for spring and summer – is no exception. Creamy, tender, lemony rice loaded with fresh asparagus. No constant stirring required.
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Root Vegetable Mash

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

Honey Roasted Parsnips in serving bowl
French fries? No. These are are honey roasted parsnips, a delicious side dish flaunting a natural sweetness and an earthy nutty flavor.
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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. A great way to use up those summer garden zucchinis. 
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Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Parmesan roasted cauliflower in a serving bowl sprinkled with parsley
Weeknight or company fare, Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower is just a simple delicious vegetable side dish with lots of crispy caramelized bits. 
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Sweet & Tangy Grilled Eggplant Recipe

eggplant slices on grill
Eggplant lovers will rave about this grilled eggplant recipe with a sweet and tangy glaze. The beautiful bold colors make this an impressive side dish at any BBQ or picnic.
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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!
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Broiled Cherry Tomatoes with Cheese and Panko Crumbs Recipe

Broiled Cherry Tomatoes with Cheese and Panko Crumbs on a bed of spinach sitting on a plate
Bubbly cheese, a crunchy Panko topping and a caper tang are the essence of these Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes. A tasty summer side dish or appetizer.
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Sauteed Peppers with Caper Vinaigrette Recipe

sauteed peppers with caper vinaigrette
For a colorful side dish of sauteed peppers, just saute peppers, whisk together a simple caper vinaigrette and toss together. Voila!
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Vegetarian sides that could also be main dishes

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 Recipe

vegetarian strudel on plate f
This vegetable strudel recipe wraps a savory medley of sweet potatoes, onion, peppers, apple, spinach & goat cheese in a flaky buttery puff pastry. It's a wonderful make-ahead main or side dish for a special occasion. And easy with a great shortcut.
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Quinoa and Glazed Butternut Squash Salad

quinoa butternut squash salad on plate
Simple, hearty and healthy, Quinoa and Glazed Butternut Squash salad with spinach, cranberries and toasted sesame seeds is a delicious vegetarian main dish or side.
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Lemon Risotto with Grilled Vegetables (Instant Pot)

vegetable risotto in a bowl
Creamy risotto without the constant hands-on stirring? Yes! Instant pot lemon risotto with grilled vegetables takes minimal effort for exceptional results. Ready in 30 minutes.
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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 for Fall or Winter. Substitute butternut squash if you can't find pumpkin.
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Spinach Mac and Cheese

spinach mac and cheese in casserole dish
Mac and cheese might be old school, but face it, as the ultimate comfort food, it's hard not to get the occasional craving. Give in. This spinach mac and cheese is creamy, cheesy and delicious. With some added nutrition. 
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Salad recipes for Thanksgiving

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 a lovely all-season salad. Refreshing and pretty! We use a simple citrus vinaigrette for zip, nuts for crunch and creamy avocado for a contrasting texture. Quick, easy 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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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 party 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.
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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 next holiday or dinner event.
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Grilled Cabbage

Grilled shredded cabbage with julienne carrots, green onion, sesame seeds and dressing on a platter.
Grilled cabbage is turned into our version of a super flavorful, no mayo coleslaw. The vibrant colors of the red cabbage, julienne carrots, green onion  and sesame seeds make a stunning vegetarian side dish.
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Grilled Corn Salad

Grilled Corn Salad
Fresh, sweet, slightly charred corn – paired with lime, cilantro, sriracha and chives – make this bold-flavored grilled corn salad a perfect summer side.
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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, potluck or buffet. Great textures and fresh flavors.
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Thanksgiving 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. A perfect accompaniment for turkey, chicken or pork.  No cooking needed.
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Homemade Chunky Applesauce Recipe

Homemade Chunky Applesauce in a bowl sitting on board f
This homemade chunky applesauce recipe is a yummy, no-fuss, healthy comfort food. Just 3 main ingredients and easy to make as you like it – semi smooth, with or without peels, sweet, tart, even low or no sugar.
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Fruit Salsa

grape salsa in bowl f
A simple refreshing fruit salsa has endless uses and only a 10-15 minute prep time. Great as a condiment for fish or chicken, taco filling, cheese & cracker topping and more.
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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 and Indian curries. Even cheese and sandwiches. Sweet and tangy, warmly spiced and loaded with fresh peaches.
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How to keep foods warm

If you are hosting this year, here are a few handy tips for keeping foods warm as they hit the Thanksgiving table.

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