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!
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.
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
- What Should I Cook for Thanksgiving?
- What Are the Most Popular Side Dishes for Thanksgiving?
- How Many Sides Does Thanksgiving Have?
- Recommended Tools for Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Instant Pot
- Sweet Potato Thanksgiving Sides
- Mashed Potato Thanksgiving Sides
- Cheesy Potato Thanksgiving Sides
- Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes
- Green Beans
- Brussels Sprouts Sides
- Squash Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Thanksgiving Salads
- Cranberry Sauce Recipes for Thanksgiving
- Corn Thanksgiving Sides
- Unique, Easy, and Impressive Thanksgiving Sides
- Vegetable Casserole Side Dishes
- Roasted Vegetables
- Breads and Rolls
- Frequently Asked Questions
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.
What Are the Most Popular Side Dishes for Thanksgiving?
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)
- 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.
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.
Recommended Tools for Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- 2-Quart Casserole Dish. Essential for many of these Thanksgiving sides.
- Mandoline. To ensure uniform slices for scalloped potatoes.
- Instant Pot. I own this one and love it. It’s a great way to free up space in your oven.
- All-Purpose Liquid Measuring Cups. My essential tools for measuring liquids.
- Programmable Slow Cooker. This one will help deter overcooking.
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. A helpful tool when chopping ingredients.
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
A classic, beloved part of our Thanksgiving dinner!
You can go sweet or savory.
- Glazed Sweet Potatoes
- Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole (our favorite classic! It skips marshmallow topping)
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Souffle (pictured above)
- Crockpot Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potato Thanksgiving Sides
The ultimate crowd-pleaser of the Thanksgiving table. Use the slow cooker or Instant Pot to free up space on the stovetop.
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Crockpot Mashed Potatoes
Cheesy Potato Thanksgiving Sides
Cheese + potatoes = happy guests!
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes
- Hash Brown Casserole (a.k.a. Funeral Potatoes)
Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes
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.
- Chestnut Stuffing (pictured above)
- Cornbread Stuffing
- Crockpot Wild Rice Stuffing (gluten free!)
- Crock Pot Stuffing
- Stuffing Muffins
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.
- Healthy Green Bean Casserole (pictured above)
- Crockpot Green Bean Casserole
Brussels Sprouts Sides
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.
- Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic
- Brussels Sprouts Mac and Cheese
- Balsamic Brussels Sprouts (pictured above; you’ll love how balsamic vinegar tastes with Brussels sprouts)
- Crockpot Brussels Sprouts
- Brussels Sprouts Casserole
- Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts (maple syrup + bacon = YUM!)
- Brussels Sprouts Slaw
Squash Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Fall’s favorite veggies! These butternut squash and acorn squash recipes are perfect for a holiday spread.
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Butternut Squash Casserole (pictured above)
- Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Parmesan
- Baked Acorn Squash Slices
- Instant Pot Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Slow Cooker Risotto with Butternut Squash
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.
- Winter Slaw (pictured above)
- Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Broccoli Cranberry Salad
- Winter Salad
- Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon
- Pea, Lentil & Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
- Grape Salad
- Beet Salad
- Apple Walnut Salad
- Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Arugula Salad
Cranberry Sauce Recipes for Thanksgiving
From classic cranberry sauce to a refreshing relish, these recipes will add brightness to your spread.
- Cranberry Orange Sauce (pictured above)
- Cranberry Orange Relish
Corn Thanksgiving Sides
I know some people enjoy having cheesy corn casserole at Thanksgiving, but I’m partial to luscious creamed corn or smoky grilled corn instead.
- Crock Pot Creamed Corn (pictured above)
- Grilled Corn (don’t forget about the grill to save oven space)
Unique, Easy, and Impressive Thanksgiving Sides
While traditional side dishes are tasty, these unique dishes will shock and delight your guests.
- Pineapple Casserole (pictured above)
- Sautéed Cabbage
- Crockpot Applesauce
- Instant Pot Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Hash Brown Casserole
- Beet Risotto
Vegetable Casserole Side Dishes
Vegetables baked in a creamy sauce with a crispy topping? Add some to my plate!
- Asparagus Casserole (pictured above)
- Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
- Broccoli Bake
- Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Cauliflower Casserole
Simple yet delicious! Roasted veggies are ideal, especially if you’ll be serving any guests with dietary restrictions.
- Roasted Carrots (pictured above)
- Roasted Potatoes and Carrots
- Oven Roasted Vegetables
- Roasted Broccolini
- Roasted Broccoli and Carrots
- Roasted Beets
- Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Breads and Rolls
A side that’s sure to please! I’ve even included a gluten-free option below for those who are serving gluten-free guests.
- Rosemary Olive Oil Bread (pictured above)
- Drop Biscuits
- Roasted Garlic Potato Rolls
- Crock Pot Bread
- Almond Flour Bread (gluten free)
Frequently Asked Questions
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!
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♥
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!
So happy to hear that Marie! THANK YOU!