What do you look forward to more on Thanksgiving, the turkey or all of those wonderful side dishes? It’s true that the turkey tends to take center stage at the holiday meal. However, the side dishes don’t just sit on the sideline either. At what other time do we really beef up all of our vegetables to the point of being such decadent and drool-worthy casserole dishes? Simple sweet potatoes turn into practically a dessert and a side dish of corn becomes more like a hush-puppy casserole. I think it’s safe to say that all of those Thanksgiving side dishes deserve as much of the center stage as the turkey – if not more!
Not only are the vegetable casseroles a highlight on Thanksgiving, but they are also fantastic for leftovers. If there is anything left over at least. I like to make plenty so that we are ensured of something to feast on for several days.
Because my family loves the side dishes so much, many of them are repeated at other times like Christmas or Easter. I have put together a list of recipes for our favorite Thanksgiving side dishes as well as other side dishes I have found that would be great additions to the Thanksgiving meal. Try some of these recipes this year and let me know what you think!
Besides all of these fancy side dishes, you will want to make sure that you include some great desserts in your menu planning as well. Of course, pumpkin pie is a traditional favorite and you can’t go wrong with some tasty apple crisp which is another seasonal favorite. With all of these delicious recipes, even your pickiest of kids will want to be downing seconds or even thirds!
Must Try Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes
Thanksgiving morning is usually a very busy time. With all of the prep work for the turkey and the table, it may be overwhelming to think about all of the side dishes too. Luckily, most of these vegetable recipes can be made ahead of time. You’ll only have to worry about heating them up on the day of your feast.
To free up room in your oven, use crock pots for heating your vegetable sides. That big turkey won’t allow for much more additions to the oven! Of course, another option is to cook your turkey in a smoker. We have started doing this and the turkey turns out so delicious.
These first five side dishes are our all-time favorites for Thanksgiving. We have them year after year and I can’t imagine ever not including them in our feast. However, it’s always fun to try one or two new additions to keep things interesting.
1. Baked Corn – Almost Bread!
Baked Corn Casserole
- 1 stick melted butter
- 1 15 oz can creamed corn
- 1 15 oz can whole kernel corn
- 1 8 oz sour cream
- 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix not prepared
- Mix all ingredients together in a medium size bowl.
- Transfer to a greased 8×8 inch casserole dish.
- Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
2. Party Mashed Potatoes
Party Mashed Potatoes
- crock pot
- 5 pounds potatoes
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 8 oz sour cream
- 2 t. salt
- 2 T. chives
- 2 T. butter
- Boil peeled potatoes until tender.
- Drain water and mash until smooth.
- Add softened cream cheese, sour cream, butter, chives, and salt.
- To use immediately, place in a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Since I like to save room in my oven, I make these ahead of time and then place in a crock pot for a few hours before dinner.
3. Sweet Potatoes Disguised As Dessert
Sweet Potato Casserole
- 3 pounds mashed sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 eggs, beaten
Crunchy Pecan Topping
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Combine main ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Transfer to a greased casserole dish.
- Mix topping ingredients and spread over top of potato mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
4. Green Bean Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/8 t. black pepper
- 2 (14oz) cans French style green beans
- 2.8 oz can French's crispy fried onions divided in half
- Mix soup, milk, pepper, green beans, and half of the fried onions together.
- Transfer to casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with remaining half of onions.
- Bake for 5 minutes longer.
5. Cheesy Cauliflower And Broccoli
Broccoli And Cauliflower With Cheese Sauce
- 2 heads broccoli
- 1 head cauliflower
- 3 T butter
- 3 T all purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 1/8 t salt
- Cut broccoli and cauliflower into small florets and boil in a large pot until tender.
- In a medium size pot, melt butter.
- Whisk in the flour.
- Once smooth, begin whisking in the milk.
- Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.
- Stir in cheese and salt.
- Pour sauce over cooked vegetables and serve.
More Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes
6. Creamed Spinach Casserole
Get your kids and really anyone to eat their spinach with this creamy blend of cheese and spices. Even the topping has plenty of Parmesan cheese to win the crowd over.
7. Roasted Parsnips
A less traditional but yummy alternative to potatoes would be these tasty roasted parsnips. They are easy to make and create a nice accompaniment to a savory turkey.
8. Green Bean With Chorizo And Almonds
Add a little zest to ordinary green beans by adding in some spicy dried chorizo. The sausage along with the crunchy almonds will create a taste sensation that is out of the norm.
10. Roasted Brussel Sprouts
With roasted Brussels sprouts being such a popular appetizer menu item, it makes sense that they should make it to the Thanksgiving table. The crispy Parmesan cheese adds just the right amount of flavor.
11. Garlic Butter Acorn Squash
With all of the sweet versions of acorn squash out there, a savory version is a nice change. Squash baked with garlic butter is a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving meal.
12. Simple Sauteed Carrots
Simple, fresh, and healthy is all I can say about this sauteed carrot side dish. The fresh dill dresses up the look and taste. If you make a lot of rich side dishes, this one will be a welcome treat to freshen the palette.
13. Candied Yams
A holiday meal deserves side dishes with that bit of something extra. In this case, the special ingredient is bourbon!
14. Braised Red Cabbage
Add some bright color and sweet tang to the meal with a braised red cabbage dish that is sure to please.
Serve Several Vegetables At Once With A Variety Of Vegetable Medleys
15. Roasted Vegetable Medley
This colorful medley contains yams, parsnips, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, and red peppers.
16. Easy Mixed Vegetable Casserole
You can’t get much easier than using a bag of frozen mixed vegetables as your base. When you add things like cheese, mayonnaise, and Ritz crackers, it turns into a flavorful masterpiece.
17. Roasted Carrot, Brussel Sprouts, And Cranberry Salad
This vegetable medley contains an outsider but that’s okay! Why not add some cranberries to your vegetables for a little zip?
18. Company Vegetable Casserole
This mix of green beans and carrots is a favorite topped with cracker crumbs and toasted almonds.
19. Sauteed Green Beans And Cherry Tomatoes
Here is a lively combination that would be great for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. All of that red and green is very festive.
20. Squash, Brussel Sprouts, And Chestnuts
This vegetable combo definitely says holiday. A combination of squash, Brussels sprouts, and the unexpected chestnut, rounds up to be very elegant and tasty.