21 Mouthwatering Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes All Your Guests Will Love
Make room on your holiday table for these sides that will have your crowd reaching for seconds (and thirds!).
Traditional Holiday Stuffing
Stuffing is one of the classic, easy Thanksgiving side dishes. Sausage and sage give this version a gourmet twist. Make sure to pair your Thanksgiving side dishes with a main dish from this ultimate Thanksgiving menu.
I rely on this slow cooker recipe at Thanksgiving when there is no room in the oven. The results are moist and flavorful. Even family members who don’t usually eat stuffing try some. There are never any leftovers. —Mary Kendall Appleton, WI (Country Woman)
Prep: 20 min. • Cook: 3 hours • Makes: 10 servings
- 1 lb. bulk pork sausage
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 can (141/2 oz.) chicken broth
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 11/2 tsp. rubbed sage
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 pkg. (14 oz.) seasoned stuffing cubes (about 9 cups)
- 1 large tart apple, chopped
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- In a large skillet, cook and crumble sausage with onion and celery over medium heat until no longer pink, 5-7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mixture to a greased 5-qt. slow cooker.
- Stir in broth, eggs, melted butter, sage and pepper. Add the remaining ingredients and mix lightly to combine.
- Cook, covered, on low until a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°, 3-4 hours, stirring once.
Per serving 412 cal., 25g fat (7g sat. fat), 75mg chol., 1080mg sod., 37g carb. (5g sugars, 4g fiber), 13g pro. Here’s what Thanksgiving is going to look like this year.
Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes, one of the most popular Thanksgiving side dishes, get even better when topped with a savory trio of cheese, onions, and bacon. Follow this low-stress game plan to help you get ready for the big holiday.
Roasted Green Vegetable Medley
Roasting vegetables like broccoli, green beans, and Brussels sprouts is a great way to serve them, and almost any veggie combo works. —Suzan Crouch Grand Prairie, TX (Country Woman)
Prep: 20 min. • Bake: 20 min. • Makes: 10 servings
- 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-in. pieces
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 10 small fresh mushrooms, halved
- 8 fresh Brussels sprouts, halved
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-in. slices
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
- 3 to 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp. julienned fresh basil leaves, optional
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°. Place first seven ingredients in a large bowl; toss with 2 Tbsp. oil. Divide between two 15x10x1-in. pans coated with cooking spray.
- Roast until tender, 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl. Mix remaining ingredients with remaining oil; toss with vegetables.
Per serving 109 cal., 7g fat (1g sat. fat), 3mg chol., 96mg sod., 10g carb. (3g sugars, 3g fiber), 4g pro. Diabetic exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat.
Broccoli-Cauliflower Cheese Bake
Creamy mozzarella and Swiss cheeses create the base for these tasty veggies, while a hint of cayenne pepper gives them a kick guests will adore. Easy Thanksgiving side dishes are usually low-maintenance baked foods like this cheesy bake. Here are some more time-saving tips if you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year.
Spiced Ambrosia Punch
The flavor of chai tea inspired this twist on a basic spiced cider punch. Using apricot and peach nectars surprises everyone. —Aysha Schurman Ammon, ID (Country Woman)
Prep: 15 min. • Cook: 3 hours • Makes: 10 servings
- 3 1/2 cups apple cider or juice
- 3 cups apricot nectar
- 1 cup peach nectar or additional apricot nectar
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 cinnamon sticks (3 in.)
- 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh gingerroot
- 1 tsp. grated orange peel
- 8 whole cloves
- Orange slices and lemon peel strips, optional
- In a 3- or 4-qt. slow cooker, combine first seven ingredients. Place cinnamon sticks, ginger, orange peel and cloves on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Enclose seasonings; tie securely with string. Add to slow cooker.
- Cook, covered, on low until flavors are blended, 3-4 hours. Discard spice bag. Serve warm. Garnish if desired.
Per serving 115 cal., 0 fat (0 sat. fat), 0 chol., 14mg sod., 29g carb. (26g sugars, 1g fiber), 0 pro. Here are 50 reasons you should be thankful this Thanksgiving.
Sesame Green Beans
Vibrant and flavorful, this side will be a welcome accompaniment to any menu. Here’s how to cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner is just 3 hours.
Creamy Cranberry Salad
One of my piano students taught me the perfect lesson in salad for the holidays. The keys are cranberries, pineapple, marshmallows, and nuts. —Alexandra Lypecky Dearborn, MI (Country Woman)
Prep: 15 min. + chilling • Makes: 16 servings
- 3 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, chopped
- 1 can (20 oz.) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1 medium apple, chopped
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- In a large bowl, stir together the first six ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
- To serve, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream and walnuts into the cranberry mixture.
Test Kitchen Tips: Make it easy on yourself. Pulse cranberries in a food processor to chop them.To really bring the walnuts to life, toast them for a few minutes in a dry skillet. Stir occasionally and watch closely so they don’t burn. Remove from the heat when fragrant.
Per serving 200 cal., 12g fat (7g sat. fat), 34mg chol., 32mg sod., 23g carb. (20g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g pro. Here are some things you didn’t know you could rent for a stress-free Thanksgiving.
Butternut Orzo Risotto
This creamy dish resembles traditional rice risotto, only it’s quicker and easier to make. Need help setting the Thanksgiving table for all of these Thanksgiving side dishes? These easy tips and tablescape ideas will help.
Sausage Bread Dressing
To save time, chop the veggies and prepare the stuffing mix ahead of time. These are the best Thanksgiving recipes of all time.
Buttery Sweet Potato Casserole
This dish goes together in minutes with canned sweet potatoes, which is ideal for the busy holiday season. Make sure to brush up on these 9 Thanksgiving etiquette tips for hosts and 8 for guests.
Corn and Broccoli in Cheese Sauce
Save room in the oven by making this savory side in your slow cooker. Here are surprising Thanksgiving cooking hacks using everyday objects.
Thyme, oregano, and rosemary create the perfect seasoning blend for the slow-roasted vegetable medley to add to your Thanksgiving side dishes.
Creamed Spinach with Bacon
Even dedicated spinach-haters may take a shine to this rich, savory variation on traditional Thanksgiving side dishes. Don’t miss these 10 quick fixes for the worst Thanksgiving cooking mistakes.
Maple Walnut Cake
This cake reminds me of my beloved grandpa, who made delicious maple syrup when I was a child. The cake not only honors his memory but has proved to be a favorite with family and friends. —Lori Fee Middlesex, NY (Country Woman)
Prep: 45 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling Makes: 16 servings
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 11/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp. maple flavoring or maple syrup
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 11/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp. maple flavoring or maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
- 3 Tbsp. maple syrup, divided
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
- Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in maple flavoring. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition.
- Transfer to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 11-13 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
- For candied walnuts, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; saute walnuts until toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in maple syrup and salt; cook and stir 1 minute. Spread onto foil; cool.
- For frosting, beat butter until creamy. Beat in maple flavoring and salt. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar and enough cream to reach desired consistency.
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup frosting. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup candied walnuts and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. maple syrup. Repeat layers.
- Top with remaining layer. Frost top and sides of cake. Top with remaining walnuts and syrup.
Per serving 653 cal., 38g fat (20g sat. fat), 116mg chol., 275mg sod., 75g carb. (61g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g pro.
How to make mushrooms taste even better? Add bacon. Again, baking these mushrooms makes it one of the easy Thanksgiving side dishes that you can make in 25 minutes. Here are the answers to the 20 most-asked Thanksgiving questions.
Apple Stuffing Balls
This side dish mixes sweet and salty for the best of both worlds.
Easy Beans and Potatoes with Bacon
With the help of a skillet and slow cooker, you can prep tons of easy Thanksgiving side dishes like this one in just 15 minutes. Here are 10 tips for buying the perfect turkey this Thanksgiving.
Corn Bread Pudding
This easy-to-bake corn bread pudding is a great dish to help transition from Thanksgiving dinner to dessert. Next, learn what your favorite Thanksgiving dish can actually reveal about you!