Certain Thanksgiving side dishes — mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, perhaps a green vegetable or two — can feel required on a Thanksgiving table. But once you check off all those boxes, it can get a little tricky to find sides that are easy to make, crowd-pleasing and just outside-the-box enough to elicit some oohs and aahs. Whether you’re hosting Turkey Day or looking for a side dish to bring along, these 20 recipes are sure to give you plenty of inspiration.
These may look like mozzarella sticks, but they’re actually deep-fried sticks of mac and cheese, simply prepared with a little help from Velveeta.
This simple Southern classic only contains three ingredients — sausage, biscuit mix and cheddar cheese — but it’s popular enough to deserve a home on every Southern Thanksgiving table.
A comforting pile of couscous is a perfect side dish, especially when kicked up with some cherry tomatoes, scallions and diced squash.
Fontina cheese, caramelized onions, thyme and sage make this creamy potato gratin an absolute crowd-pleaser.
If you want to provide your guests with a healthy side dish that’s still autumn-appropriate, this melange of ingredients including kale, button mushrooms, quinoa and sweet potatoes is a perfect option.
Even just hearing the phrase “cheesy hash brown casserole” makes us hungry, and this Midwest-inspired favorite, with cheddar, colby jack and a secret ingredient (it’s condensed cream of chicken soup), will keep your guests coming back for seconds and thirds.
Why just serve plain old dinner rolls when you can serve buttermilk drop biscuits with cheddar, bacon and scallions?
These rich and creamy grits receive a seasonal twist thanks to the addition of sage and pumpkin puree.
Fried prosciutto is a perfect complement for Brussels sprouts, especially when sauteed with pearl onions, and oyster and maitake mushrooms.
Welsh rarebit is a classic Welsh comfort food made by dousing thick-cut toast with a rich sauce made with beer and cheese. Cut it into slices, pass it around your Thanksgiving table and watch your guests go nuts.
Vegetables do belong on a Thanksgiving table, so why not treat asparagus like mini hot dogs and wrap them in puff pastry?
Sweet potatoes and pears are layered and topped with brown sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup and walnuts for a sweet and tasty side.
This classic side dish is super easy to make; just top puff pastry with caramelized onions and Gruyere and bake.
Replacing the oil with avocado in this cornbread doesn’t just make it healthier, it also puts a modern twist on a classic recipe. The sage also makes it perfect for Thanksgiving.
Beets always make for a colorful side dish, and they partner perfectly with feta, mint and orange blossom water, which lends sweet and citrusy notes.
Potatoes Savoyarde is a classic potato preparation. It’s also super easy to make. Just layer sliced potatoes, Gruyere and garlic in a casserole dish, top with a little chicken stock and bake.
You might not think of risotto as a perfect Thanksgiving side dish, but it totally is, especially when loaded with pumpkin and garnished with pumpkin seeds and pecans.
This savory, creamy spin on bread pudding is loaded with bacon, cheddar and earthy shiitake mushrooms.
If you love tomatoes, then you’ll love them baked in a pie with plenty of cheese.
These buttery loaves of bread use a package of corn muffin mix as a base, which means they’re super easy to make, and they’re super tasty (and super retro) with a can of condensed cheddar cheese soup. You can tell your guests that this recipe actually won the 1967 Pillsbury Bake-Off, and you can see every Pillsbury Bake-Off winner here.
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