Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve already started thinking about all the side dishes you want to make (and more importantly, eat!). This is why I’ve compiled my very extensive list of 40+ Thanksgiving Sides!

A baking dish of crockpot green bean casserole

Over many years of countless recipe tests and inspiration, my list of healthy side dishes and Thanksgiving recipes has grown.

These recipes taste INCREDIBLE and THEY WORK!

Holiday meals are special, and these recipes live up to the task.

  • Every recipe on this list has received numerous stamps of approval from both adults and kids.
  • The ingredients are simple and can be found at any grocery store.
  • These Thanksgiving sides are EASY. Even beginner cooks can make these!
  • You’ll find both classic typical Thanksgiving sides for a traditional meal, as well as unique Thanksgiving sides if you’re looking to mix it up.
Apple Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing Muffins. The BEST classic Thanksgiving stuffing, baked in a muffin tin. Easy to make ahead and great leftover too! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

To make browsing these healthy Thanksgiving sides as easy as possible, I have organized them into categories for you.

If you would like to jump to a specific section, simply click the appropriate link below. Otherwise, keep scrolling to see them all!

Table of Contents
  1. What Should I Cook for Thanksgiving?
  2. What Are the Most Popular Side Dishes for Thanksgiving?
  3. How Many Sides Does Thanksgiving Have?
  4. Recommended Tools for Thanksgiving Side Dishes
  5. Instant Pot
  6. Sweet Potato Thanksgiving Sides
  7. Mashed Potato Thanksgiving Sides
  8. Cheesy Potato Thanksgiving Sides
  9. Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes
  10. Green Beans
  11. Brussels Sprouts Sides
  12. Squash Thanksgiving Side Dishes
  13. Thanksgiving Salads
  14. Cranberry Sauce Recipes for Thanksgiving
  15. Corn Thanksgiving Sides
  16. Unique, Easy, and Impressive Thanksgiving Sides
  17. Vegetable Casserole Side Dishes
  18. Roasted Vegetables
  19. Breads and Rolls
  20. Frequently Asked Questions
A white bowl with cranberry orange relish

What Should I Cook for Thanksgiving?

Whether you want to follow a what a traditional Thanksgiving menu is or not, the choice is completely up to you, which is part of the fun!

When preparing a typical Thanksgiving Day menu at our house, here’s my game plan:

  • Appetizers. I start with a few of my healthy Thanksgiving appetizers, like Pumpkin Goat Cheese Crostini, Pineapple Cheese Ball, Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms, and Ham and Cheese Pinwheels.
  • Main Course. Next, I’ll serve a hearty and delicious main dish with a handful of my healthy Thanksgiving sides from the list below. Make your favorite (we always do roast turkey), then surround it with any of the recipes on this list.
  • Side Dishes. Pick a mix from this list, ensuring you have classics (stuffing), starches (potatoes), and a green veggie (green beans or Brussels sprouts).
  • Desserts. Because no one is ever too full! I like to serve at least two desserts so my guests have options. Sweet Potato Pie, Pecan Pie Bars, and Gluten Free Apple Crisp are tried-and-true favorites.

The most popular Thanksgiving side dish can vary based on where you live, but you’ll almost always find some version of these top 5 Thanksgiving side dishes:

  • Mashed Potatoes (probably the most popular Thanksgiving side dish)
  • Stuffing
  • Bread
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Green Bean Casserole

The best part? You can try them all!

I have a recipe for all of these options in the list below.

A spoon scooping out Instant Pot applesauce

How Many Sides Does Thanksgiving Have?

Your Thanksgiving menu can have as many sides as you want/need to feed your guests and meet any dietary requirements. According to this article:

  • For sides like mashed potatoes and stuffing, you should have at least one dish for every five people and at least two dishes for 10 people or more.
  • If you’re serving a salad, one should be enough unless you’re serving 20 people or more.
  • For vegetable sides, you’ll want to serve at least one for five people or less, a minimum of two for 10 people or less, and three for 20 people or more.

What Is Considered a Side Dish?

A side dish is served as an accompaniment to your main dish.

  • Side dishes will typically complement the flavors in your entrée and add variety to your plate.
  • As the list below shows, a side dish can be anything from vegetables to salad to casserole to bread to pasta. There’s an option for everyone at your table!
Fluffy drop biscuits in a bowl with a dish towel

Instant Pot

Whether you use an Instant Pot like this one or a slow cooker, outsourcing some of your side dishes is essential for easily conquering your Thanksgiving meal prep.

Now, let’s get to those healthy Thanksgiving sides!

Sweet Potato Thanksgiving Sides

hearty sweet potato souffle in a baking dish

A classic, beloved part of our Thanksgiving dinner!

You can go sweet or savory.

Mashed Potato Thanksgiving Sides

Easy crockpot mashed potatoes in a bowl

The ultimate crowd-pleaser of the Thanksgiving table. Use the slow cooker or Instant Pot to free up space on the stovetop.

Cheesy Potato Thanksgiving Sides

Easy Scalloped Potatoes with rosemary in a baking dish

Cheese + potatoes = happy guests!

Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes

Thanksgiving Chestnut Stuffing for turkey in a white pan

Forget the soggy, bland stuffing recipes from your past (and ditch the box!). These flavorful and fun stuffings will become a star on your table.

Green Beans

Healthy green bean casserole in a baking dish

Green bean casserole with mushrooms is tradition for a reason (spoiler: it’s DELISH!). Not a fan of the casserole version? My easy Roasted Green Beans are a simple swap.

Brussels Sprouts Sides

Easy balsamic Brussels sprouts in a bowl

The vegetable that has found redemption in recent years. There’s nothing sad or soggy about the plethora of Brussels sprouts recipes on my site.

Squash Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Kale and butternut squash casserole

Fall’s favorite veggies! These butternut squash and acorn squash recipes are perfect for a holiday spread.

Thanksgiving Salads

A bowl of winter slaw

Salad recipes this flavorful can hold their own at a table full of other tantalizing sides.

From kale salad to classic broccoli salad, each brings beautiful color and freshness.

Cranberry Sauce Recipes for Thanksgiving

Cranberry sauce with orange juice and cinnamon in a bowl with a spoon

From classic cranberry sauce to a refreshing relish, these recipes will add brightness to your spread.

Corn Thanksgiving Sides

Crock Pot Creamed Corn in a bowl with a spoon, served as a easy slow cooker side dish

I know some people enjoy having cheesy corn casserole at Thanksgiving, but I’m partial to luscious creamed corn or smoky grilled corn instead.

Unique, Easy, and Impressive Thanksgiving Sides

A baking dish with pineapple casserole

While traditional side dishes are tasty, these unique dishes will shock and delight your guests.

Vegetable Casserole Side Dishes

Asparagus casserole with a crispy topping

Vegetables baked in a creamy sauce with a crispy topping? Add some to my plate!

Roasted Vegetables

roasted carrots with herbs in a bowl

Simple yet delicious! Roasted veggies are ideal, especially if you’ll be serving any guests with dietary restrictions.

Breads and Rolls

rosemary olive oil bread sliced

A side that’s sure to please! I’ve even included a gluten-free option below for those who are serving gluten-free guests.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Else Can I Serve for Thanksgiving?

If after scrolling through this list you’re still stumped, check out all of the side dishes on my website. I hope it sparks inspiration for you!

Do You Have Recipes for Guests with Dietary Restrictions?

Many of the recipes above can be adapted to meet the dietary restrictions of your guests. If you’d like to sort my recipes by diet, you can do so here.

For those who are serving vegan guests, check out my Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes post. I’m even discussing what you can serve instead of turkey on Thanksgiving.

If you try one of these delicious Thanksgiving sides (or another Thanksgiving recipe from my site), I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. I always love hearing from you

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Dear Erin,
    My entire Thanksgiving dinner, with the exception of the stuffing (which a friend made) and cranberry (which I bought 🤫), came from WellPlated! I dry brined the turkey, made roast potatoes and carrots with cumin and paprika, green beans, and mashed potatoes, and everything was so delicious!
    Thank you!
    Marie5 stars