Are you looking for the BEST Thanksgiving side dishes? These recipes are our tried and true favorites to serve alongside turkey!
The side dishes are just as important as the main dish for any turkey dinner feast. A holiday meal, while a lot of work, is actually easy to prepare with great recipes and lots of planning!
The recipes below include Thanksgiving sides that will impress your guests from classic/traditional (like mashed potatoes and gravy) to space saving crock pot versions and fun twists on the usuals!
Table of Contents
Classic Thanksgiving Dishes
What are the most popular side dishes at Thanksgiving? These classic sides are staples that have been gracing our grandmother’s tables for years… and are now on our tables too!
Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Traditional side dishes for thanksgiving are the staple of our meal. While we love to add in unique and delicious dishes, the traditional dishes in this list cannot be missed.
- Easy Stuffing Recipe – personal favorite
- The BEST Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Turkey Gravy
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Corn Casserole – reader favorite
- Easy Cranberry Sauce
This will vary based on the size of your crowd and how many leftovers you want (I want ALLLLL of the leftovers). I aim for the following:
1 starchy side (such as mashed potatoes)
1 sweet side (sweet potatoes or yams)
1-2 veggies or something fresh
1 casserole (mac and cheese, broccoli casserole)
gravy, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce
If you have a smaller crowd, pick and choose your favorites. You may not need a veggie and a casserole, instead, you could make a vegetable casserole like broccoli. If you’re feeding a crowd, lighten your load and have your guests bring a side potluck style.
Potato Side Dishes
Potatoes are the perfect starchy side dish and one of the best vehicles for all of that delicious gravy. While we traditionally make mashed potatoes, the options are truly endless.
- The BEST Mashed Potatoes – popular recipe
- Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
- Potatoes Au Gratin
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes – flavorful
- Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes – great to prep ahead and save space
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Vegetable Side Dishes
You’ll have no problem getting kids (or adults) to eat their vegetables. I love the pop of freshness vegetables add to a typical turkey dinner!
- Green Bean Casserole – classic green bean casserole
- Corn Pudding
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Glazed Carrots
- Roasted Root Vegetables – fresh and delicious
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
- Sriracha Honey Glazed Brussels Sprouts
- Broccoli Salad
- Roasted Vegetables with Smashed Garlic
- Homemade Creamed Corn – family favorite
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Crock Pot Creamed Corn
Green Bean Side Dishes
Green bean casserole is one of my all time favorite side dishes but I’d gladly add any of these favorites to my menu!
- Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles
- Fresh Green Bean Casserole – from scratch (no canned soup)
- Green Bean Casserole
- Roasted Green Beans
- Green Beans with Bacon – make ahead
Sweet Potato Side Dishes
Sweet potatoes are a thanksgiving staple for good reason. We love them mashed, smashed, roasted or baked. Top with marshmallows or brown sugar and pecans for a yummy dessert-like side.
- Sweet Potato Casserole – popular
- Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole
- Crockpot Sweet Potato Casserole
- Sweet Potato Salad
- Baked Sweet Potato
- Candied Yams – sweet and delicious
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
No thanksgiving meal would be complete without a scoop of stuffing on the side (and it’s my personal favorite thanksgiving side dish). Any of these can be cooked in the bird or in a casserole (which is the difference between stuffing and dressing).
- Easy Stuffing Recipe – personal favorite
- Crock Pot Stuffing
- Sausage Stuffing
- Make Ahead Corn Stuffing Recipe – make ahead
- Cornbread Dressing
Macaroni and cheese is a thanksgiving side dish but it’s not the only casserole to add to your turkey dinner table! These easy favorites can be made ahead of time and baked just before serving!
- Homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole – crazy good
- CopyCat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole Recipe
- Cheesy Broccoli Casserole – homemade
- Easy Corn Casserole
- Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole (No condensed soup)
- Broccoli Rice Casserole from Scratch
- Cheesy Vegetable Casserole
- Pineapple Casserole
- Baked Mac and Cheese
Other Favorite Side Dishes
It doesn’t end there… deviled eggs, fluff salads, breads, rolls. All of them are a welcome addition to your holiday feast.
- Classic Deviled Eggs Recipe
- Dill Pickle Deviled Eggs
- Cranberry Relish
- Millionaire Cranberry Salad – reader favorite
- Watergate Salad – easy, make ahead
- Ambrosia Salad
- Creamy Carrot Salad – retro recipe
- Creamy Grape Salad
- Broccoli Cranberry Salad
Breads and Rolls
How to Make Ahead
Some (not all) Thanksgiving side dishes can be made ahead of time. Most casseroles (and stuffing/dressing) are fine to be made ahead of time.
- Prepare as directed and cool completely (usually before baking).
- Once cooled cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Since the ingredients are chilled, it may need some extra cook time. I often take it out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before baking.
Most vegetable side dishes can be prepared ahead of time but I would suggest cooking on the day of serving. Measure out your ingredients, wash, cut and prep vegetables. If the recipe has a sauce, it can often be prepared ahead of time as well and stored separately.
Mashed potatoes are a go-to and can be prepared ahead of time or even prepared in the slow cooker. If you happen to prepare them ahead of time, they can be reheated in the slow cooker, microwave, oven or even stove top.