25 Delicious Sides To Have On Your Thanksgiving Table

When it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving, the delicious food is often a focal point among the many things to be thankful for. While the roasted turkey takes center stage, the side dishes are just as important, providing a variety of warm, comforting flavors that complete a good holiday meal. Stuffing and sweet potato casserole may be the major crowd-pleasing favorites, but many other options can take your holiday spread to the next level.

Whether you're looking for something with rich umami notes, sweet undertones, or something in between, this list has you covered with dishes like citrusy-flavored veggies and Southern classics like collard greens. Since you're making a feast, you don't have to limit yourself to just one recipe. Instead, choose multiple so the meal is more versatile, creating options for everyone. The greatest part is that all of these recipes are easy to make, so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with friends and family.

Easy corn pudding

This corn pudding has whole-kernel corn and cream-style corn as the base. Meanwhile, the milk gives creaminess and the butter provides richness. But what gives it that pudding-like consistency? The eggs. They are the reason this dish turns out oh-so-fluffy.

This side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving since all you need to do is throw the ingredients into a bowl and combine them, allowing you to focus on other dishes. After you transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake it for 1 hour, you have a crispy, super-light corn pudding.

Recipe: Easy Corn Pudding

Quick bacony collard greens

Crispy bacon, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes team up to impart these collard greens with a nice balance of savory flavor. When you first sauté the bacon in the pan, it benefits the greens because they can soak up all the delicious bacon grease.

When you plate it, sprinkle the greens with grated or shredded parmesan cheese to elevate the flavor and display. Although you can make this Southern side dish any time of year, it undoubtedly pairs with classic Thanksgiving foods like roasted Turkey and mashed potatoes.

Recipe: Quicky Bacony Collard Greens

Ultimate creamed spinach

This creamed spinach is the ultimate comfort food on your Thanksgiving spread since it can accompany virtually any main dish. The heavy cream, cream cheese, and butter make this recipe ultra-rich. Not to mention, since you add the spinach gradually until it wilts, it prevents it from being overcooked or chewy.

This helpful recipe can be made it in advance, poured into a casserole dish, and then reheated in the oven. If you want to get creative, try serving it on a bed of mashed potatoes in place of country gravy.

Recipe: Ultimate Creamed Spinach

Sautéed garlic broccolini

When you want to make a stovetop vegetable recipe, broccolini is much quicker than broccoli because it doesn't involve any blanching beforehand. This is because the broccolini has much thinner, more tender stalks. You can make this delicious, citrusy broccolini in about 20 minutes, which takes some of the stress out of holiday cooking.

Simply sauté the garlic in an oiled skillet over medium heat before you add the broccolini and seasonings. Finish it with a small dash of lemon juice to contrast with the tangy yet umami minced garlic.

Recipe: Sautéed Garlic Broccolini

Simple roasted classic vegetables

Nothing quite beats the taste and texture of crispy roasted vegetables, especially in a sea of soft foods like dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. This recipe uses fresh broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, and turns out much better than if you use frozen vegetables.

You only need a dash of olive oil, salt, and pepper to enhance the bright, natural taste of the components. For best results, preheat your baking tray in the oven before you use it and avoid lining it with foil, as the vegetables might stick.

Recipe: Simple Roasted Classic Vegetables

Easy creamed corn

It's impressive how delicious this creamed corn dish is since it only requires a handful of ingredients. However, since you first sauté the butter and shallots together until they're aromatic, it creates a more complex flavor. After that, you can pour in the corn and seasonings.

Since this recipe uses frozen corn, it's a good idea to wait a few minutes for it to fully thaw before you finish it by introducing the heavy cream. Finally, fresh chopped chives add an herbal taste and give more color to the dish's presentation.

Recipe: Easy Creamed Corn

Cheesy corn casserole

This casserole is impressively moist and flavorful. The best part? You don't need to worry about making the cornbread batter from scratch.

Add a prepackaged cornbread mix to a large bowl and combine the other ingredients (except a portion of the cheese) before you transfer it to a casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on last so it's right on the surface, accessible for perfect browning. This dish stays fresh for up to four days, so you can make it in the days leading up to Thanksgiving if you want to get ahead.

Recipe: Cheesy Corn Casserole

Easy garlic bread

Forget the plain dinner rolls and make this scrumptious garlic bread instead. No, you don't need to spend time mixing, kneading, and baking dough. Purchase a long baguette and slice it lengthwise to convert it into this bread. The garlicky mixture consists of butter, minced garlic, and chopped parsley.

Smother the spread on the bread, bake it until its edges are crispy and the butter is golden, then scatter parmesan cheese atop it for a finishing touch. Although you can enjoy this at room temperature, it's best fresh out of the oven.

Recipe: Easy Garlic Bread

Classic creamy scalloped potatoes

Homemade scalloped potatoes are easier to make than you might think, especially when you use this recipe. Since you can use a mandoline to slice the potatoes, it makes life a lot easier. Aside from that, just make a cream sauce on the stovetop.

Then, layer the two components, finishing the top layer with parmesan. Remove the dish from the oven once the potatoes are fork-tender and the surface is bubbly and golden brown. The cheese provides texture and a slightly sharp taste, so you don't need any extra garnishes.

Recipe: Classic Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

Classic oven-baked potato

This recipe ensures that your baked potatoes have the ideal consistency, both inside and out: A tender, fluffy interior while seasoned and crispy on the outside. Because you cook the potatoes at such a high temperature, they only need to bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, which prevents the inside from drying out.

Before you put them in the oven, drizzle the rinsed and dried potatoes with olive oil, which helps the seasonings adhere. This is a phenomenal choice if you need a holiday dish that doesn't require numerous ingredients and measuring.

Recipe: Classic Oven-Baked Potato

Easy sautéed asparagus

Follow this effortless recipe to ensure that your asparagus doesn't turn out stringy or chewy. First, remove the stalks because they can be tough and stringy. Then, place the asparagus in a preheated and greased skillet and cook it for about 5 minutes before adding the seasonings.

The lemon and parmesan cheese are arguably the best part of this dish since they add a refreshingly tangy twist to the vegetables. This recipe is ideal to produce in large quantities because the ingredient amounts are easily adjustable for more servings.

Recipe: Easy Sautéed Asparagus

Buttery mashed potatoes

Say goodbye to gluey or bland mashed potatoes when you make this exquisite, foolproof recipe. Use Yukon or russet potatoes and boil them in salted water for about 10 minutes. Then drain them, transfer them back to the pot, and add the other ingredients.

After thoroughly mashing the potatoes till they're smooth and creamy, throw on fresh herbs like chives or parsley when you plate them, which gives them a better presentation. The key is to use real butter, not a butter substitute here, as it gives a richer flavor.

Recipe: Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Braised bacon collard greens

The secret to these delectable collard greens is the red wine vinegar and the chicken broth. The liquid adds flavor and allows you to cook the greens for an extended time without having them stick to the pot.

Let's not overlook the chopped bacon, shallots, and other ingredients, though, which also play a major role in how appetizing this side dish is. Place a heaping scoop on your Thanksgiving plate and you won't be disappointed in the slightest.

Recipe: Braised Bacon Collard Greens

Cast-iron cornbread

Cast-iron cookware produces fantastic baked goods since it bakes the food evenly, which is why this cornbread turns out so darn delicious. Even if you're not a pro baker, this recipe is easy enough to make from scratch.

Measure the wet and dry ingredients separately before you combine them into a smooth batter. Coat the cookware with melted butter, add the dough, and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Use regular butter or make homemade honey butter to spread atop the warm cornbread slices to take it up a notch.

Recipe: Cast-Iron Cornbread

Basic cranberry sauce

This dish delivers the exact texture you're looking for in a classic Thanksgiving cranberry sauce (that is, as long as you make it ahead of time so it can set). The good news? It's so simple that you don't need cornstarch.

Dissolve the sugar in water by heating it on the stovetop, then add the cranberries. Simmer the mixture until you notice the cranberries popping, then gently mash them. Lastly, add the zest before you allow the sauce to cool into a jammy consistency. Decorate it with fresh rosemary or candied orange zest.

Recipe: Basic Cranberry Sauce

Maple-Dijon Brussels sprouts

The maple Dijon sauce transforms these Brussels sprouts into an indulgent side with sweet and acidic undertones. This recipe is different to most because you toss the veggies in the homemade dressing instead of drizzling it. As a result, every Brussels sprout gets coated with a tasty glaze.

When you transfer the veggies to a baking sheet, don't forget to spread them out for more uniform cooking. After 30 minutes, you can dig in. Sprinkle on red pepper flakes to add a slight kick that accentuates the sweet maple.

Recipe: Maple-Dijon Brussels Sprouts

Baked mac and cheese

Impress your guests with the cheesiest, creamiest version of oven-baked macaroni. Make the sauce with butter, flour, Dijon, and seasonings. Once it boils, blend in cream cheese, Gruyere, and cheddar cheese to create the perfect harmony of silky and rich flavors.

Add the noodles, then transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Top it with buttery breadcrumbs and allow it to bake until it's a lovely golden color. You can also include vegetables, such as broccoli, squash, or kale — just consider the bake time and par-cook them beforehand if necessary.

Recipe: Baked Mac and Cheese

Green beans almondine

The first step in making perfect Thanksgiving green beans is skipping the canned stuff, and the next step is bringing this incredible, nutty side dish to life. For this recipe, you'll blanch the vegetables in advance, so you don't need to worry about them being unpleasantly tough.

Then, sauté the almonds in butter until their flavor becomes more pronounced. Next, cook the herbs, garlic, and shallots before reintroducing the green beans and remaining ingredients. The end result? Tender veggies with toasted nuts, sumac, and fresh, bright lemon slices as garnishes.

Recipe: Green Beans Almondine

Lemon-roasted rutabaga

Why not enjoy root veggies like rutabagas in their harvesting season? Although the vegetable might seem intimidating from afar, this recipe makes it easy to work with. Preheat your oven, then peel and chop the rutabaga into cubes.

Lightly season the pieces and bake them on a greased tray for roughly 40 minutes. Coat the vegetables with fresh lemon juice, butter, honey, and other seasonings before baking for longer. Although you can customize the recipe, the fresh thyme and cumin seeds are more than enough to provide a warm, comforting flavor.

Recipe: Lemon-Roasted Rutabaga

Perfectly seasoned quinoa

Between all the meats, veggies, and casseroles, your holiday spread can benefit from a simple grain dish like this one. There are numerous ways to season it, but this recipe sticks to classic flavors of parsley, oregano, thyme, and salt, leaving room for the quinoa's earthy taste to shine.

For a deeper flavor, you can also use chicken stock instead of cooking it in water. If you plan to make this for the family, keep in mind that the recipe is for two servings, so you'll need to make some adjustments.

Recipe: Perfectly Seasoned Quinoa

Baked spaghetti squash

Don't miss out on this tender spaghetti squash. It only takes 30 minutes to bake, and the prep is minimal. Simply slice the vegetables into rings, remove the seeds, then transfer them to a lined baking sheet.

Oil and season the exposed part of the vegetable, then do so to the other side once half the cooking time passes. Lastly, after you bake it, gently turn it into strands with a fork. Serve it like noodles with a sauce, or use it as a foundation for ham or turkey to sit upon.

Recipe: Baked Spaghetti Squash

Instant Pot risotto alla parmigiana

Rather than tending risotto by gradually adding broth to it on the stovetop, you can make this Instant Pot risotto, which is a walk in the park. At 25 minutes from start to finish, the recipe is quick and produces tasty results. Moreover, it doesn't take up oven or stovetop space.

The risotto has a rich flavor from the chicken broth, butter, and parmesan, which makes it a perfect match for other indulgent Thanksgiving foods. Use Arborio rice to achieve the classic creamy risotto texture for the best outcome.

Recipe: Instant Pot Risotto Alla Parmigiana

Classic cheddar cheese ball

You can never go wrong when you serve a cheese ball at a party, especially on the holidays. In this recipe, the cream cheese and cheddar cheese taste amazing due to the addition of garlic, onion powder, and chives.

Since you can allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours to set, this is a fantastic way to prepare for the holiday by making it the day before. To make it easier, use a food processor to blend the ingredients. Roll the ball in crunchy almonds just before serving.

Recipe: Classic Cheddar Cheese Ball

Easy baked kale chips

With all the extremely heavy foods we eat on Thanksgiving, it's nice to have a few lighter options, too, such as these delicious baked kale chips. You only need curly kale, olive oil, garlic granules, and flaky salt to make crispy, flavorful chips.

However, you can also experiment with the recipe and make it your own by adding other preferred seasonings. These chips taste incredible when you sprinkle granulated parmesan cheese over them. You can also serve them with dips and sauces since they pair with all sorts of flavor profiles.

Recipe: Easy Baked Kale Chips

Cheddar scallion buttermilk biscuits

These flaky, buttery biscuits are the perfect solution when you're unsure which bread to serve at your gathering. Although the recipe has all the expected qualities in a good biscuit, it exceeds expectations by having fresh scallions and sharp cheddar cheese.

This dough is easy to make and doesn't require much kneading, making it easy to roll, cut, and bake the biscuits in no time. Enjoy this quick bread while it is still warm. Serve the biscuits with whipped butter, or slice them in half and pile on various deli meats.

Recipe: Cheddar Scallion Buttermilk Biscuits