With Canadian Thanksgiving coming up this weekend (yay!) and American Thanksgiving next month, I figured now was the time to give you some recipe inspiration. Thanksgiving side dishes are my favourite part of the entire meal. Often made up of delicious comfort foods, they complement the main dishes perfectly. Whether you’re hosting and need side dishes to accompany with your turkey, or are on side dish duty as a guest, I’ve rounded up 50 easy Thanksgiving side dishes to complement your turkey perfectly!
But first, a few words on hosting Thanksgiving dinner!
Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year (especially if it’s your first time), here are a few things to consider!
1. Figure Out Your Menu
The first step to hosting a successful Thanksgiving dinner is figuring out your menu. What will you make for your main course? Will you be serving appetizers? How many sides do you want on the table? What’s for dessert? Once you’ve figured out your menu, figure out which recipes can be made ahead of time, and make sure to actually make them ahead of time so you’re not scrambling the night of!
2. Make it a Potluck (Kind Of)
Hosting is a TON of work. From cooking to cleaning, decorating, shopping for groceries, and getting everything prepared, it’s tough to do everything yourself. Ask for and accept help from your family and friends who are coming over. Perhaps you cook the main course and a few sides and ask people to bring appetizers, other side dishes or desserts. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew! Here are my best tips for hosting a potluck!
3. Set Your Table Ahead of Time
Set your table the night before (or even a few days before) Thanksgiving dinner. This will allow you to see if you’re missing anything in your set up, as well as take something off your list of to-do’s the day of. Make sure you have enough dishes and cutlery for the number of people attending and figure out if you need to get anything else for table decor. You can check out my post on how to set a Thanksgiving table, with table setting inspiration!
4. Shop for Groceries A Couple Days Before
Don’t leave shopping for groceries to the day of. You’ll inevitably forget something and won’t have time to make a trip back to the store. Shop for groceries a day or two ahead of time to give you enough time to make the make-ahead meals. And if you end up forgetting something you still have time to take another trip to the grocery store.
Thanksgiving Dinner Menu
A Thanksgiving dinner menu is typically made up of a main course, sides and desserts. You can also have appetizers for people to enjoy when they arrive. If you’re planning on having an early dinner, appetizers may not be necessary, but if you tell guests to arrive at 5 and dinner’s not until 7 or 8 then appetizers are a must!
Thanksgiving mains like turkey, ham or pot roast are a great foundation for Thanksgiving dinner, but in my eyes, it’s the Thanksgiving side dishes that really make the meal shine! From creamy mashed potatoes to mouth-watering stuffing, roasted Brussels spouts, gravy, and delicious casseroles, Thanksgiving side dishes are what I live for each year!
Here are some of the best easy Thanksgiving side dishes from around the web!
10 Make Ahead Side Dishes for a Crowd
Make these dishes ahead of time to keep yourself from over doing it the day of!
- Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce | Celebrating Sweets
- Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing | Bread Booze Bacon
- Sweet Potato Casserole via Taste, Love and Nourish
- Cheesy Potatoes via Nutmeg Nanny
- Garlic and Herb Cheese Bombs via Love Bakes Good Cakes
- Caramelized Onion and Rye Bread Stuffing via Good Housekeeping
- Buttermilk Cornbread via Bon Apetit
- Make Ahead Turkey Gravy via Taste of Home
- Sour Cream Balsamic Sweet Potatoes via Kitchn
- Cornbread Sausage Stuffing with Apples and Cranberries via Home Cooking Memories
10 Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes
Thanksgiving can get a little, well, meaty. These vegetable side dishes ensure a great balance for your Thanksgiving dinner.
- Broccoli Cauliflower Cheese Bake via Nourishing with the Nolands
- Green Bean Casserole via Rachel Cooks
- Scalloped Corn via Dash of Sanity
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate via The View From Great Island
- Sauteed Brown Butter Garlic Rainbow Carrots via The Recipe Critic
- Crispy Layered Rosemary Potatoes via Culinary Ginger
- Roasted Garlic Asparagus and Mushrooms via Ahead of Thyme
- Slow Cooker Creamed Corn via Damn Delicious
- Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad via Creme de la Crumb
- Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta via Peas and Crayons
10 Traditional Thanksgiving Sides
Traditional Thanksgiving side dishes like your grandma used to make. This is the good stuff.
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes via Cooking Classy
- Baked Mac n Cheese via The Chunky Chef
- Brown and Serve Rolls via I Heart Eating
- Wild Rice Mushroom Stuffing via Or Whatever You Do
- Classic Cranberry Sauce via Simply Recipes
- Potato and Squash Gratin via Grandbaby Cakes
- Pumpkin Risotto with Goat Cheese via Plating and Pairings
- Grandma’s Turkey Stuffing via Tastes of Lizzy T
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole via Lil’ Luna
- Extra Corny Cornbread Muffins via Bon Apetit
10 Sweet Thanksgiving Side Dishes
If you want to add a little sweetness to your Thanksgiving dinner, these sweet side dishes are the way to go.
- Brie, Apple and Honey Crostini via Two Peas and Their Pod
- Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Meatballs via Carl’s Bad Cravings
- Pumpkin Popovers via Good Housekeeping
- Squash Toasts via Woman’s Day
- Pumpkin Bread via Taste of Home
- Spiced Cranberry Sauce via Kitchn
- Maple Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash via Sweet Peas and Saffron
- Sweet Onion Casserole via Sprinkles and Sprouts
- Maple Walnut Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes via Savory Nothings
- Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples via Joy, Food, Sunshine
10 Healthy Side Dishes for Turkey
Thanksgiving dinner is the ultimate comfort food meal. Add some of these healthy side dishes for turkey into the meal to balance things out!
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad via Woman’s Day
- Broccoli and Brussels Sprout Slaw via Bon Apetit
- Dijon Maple Green Beans with Caramelized Pecan, Bacon and Feta via Carl’s Bad Carvings
- Smoky Creamed Kale via Kitchn
- Roasted Vegetables with Pomegranate Vinaigrette via Martha Stewart
- Apple, Leek and Sage Stuffing via Fine Cooking
- Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash via Foolproof Living
- Fennel and Pomegranate Quinoa Salad via Sweet Peas and Saffron
- Cauliflower Rice Stuffing via The Healthy Maven
- Carrots with Pistachio-Herb Butter via Fine Cooking
Just looking at these recipes is making my mouth water! If your on side dish duty this year, I hope this post helped you find some goodies!
If you loved this post on easy Thanksgiving side dishes, make sure to share it on Pinterest!