18 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Having the appropriate number of small dishes will be essential for feeding all of your visitors and filling your stomach on Thanksgiving.

Everybody will be unwinding and rubbing their full stomachs at the conclusion of it because it is a feast of sharing and provides you with everything you’ll need for a magnificent dinner.

However, Thanksgiving is not only about the chicken or turkey centerpiece; it’s also about the side dishes.

18 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

What greater place to appreciate a meal than to pile your plate high with a variety of vegetables and creamy foods, each of which will enhance the others’ flavors.

If you want to put together the ideal Thanksgiving feast, the side dishes (see also ‘28 Delicious Sides That Go Great With Lamb Chops‘) are often just as crucial as the chicken or turkey! 

Everybody in your family will want seconds of these delectable Thanksgiving sides! Not only are they all delicious, but they are also all quite simple to make! 

Our Thanksgiving side dishes will therefore be a big hit whether you’re entertaining your family or having some friends over.

Here are a few of our all-time favorite dishes. You can enjoy these recipes by yourself, with your household, or with friends.

Even if you are entertaining vegetarians, you can probably feed a vegetarian or vegan with a number of the items on this list with a little modification.

Whatever their nutritional needs, here is your one-stop store for feeding everyone.

What Is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Day is a yearly holiday in the US and Canada that honors the harvest as well as other blessings from the previous year. 

The widespread consensus among Americans is that Thanksgiving was inspired by a harvest feast that the Wampanoag and Pilgrims of Plymouth shared in 1621. 

The Thanksgiving feast traditionally consists of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry, and pumpkin pie. 

The American celebration is particularly rich in folklore and symbolism.

When it comes to travel, thanksgiving is frequently the craziest of the year because family members get together.

Why Do We Celebrate Thanksgiving?

This celebration first appeared in 1621, a year after the Mayflower brought the first English settlers to what is now Massachusetts.

The first year in the States was difficult, and a severe winter claimed the lives of half of the settlers.

The following year, they experienced a rich harvest that enabled them to nourish themselves throughout the wintertime, giving them a great reason to rejoice and express gratitude. 

The very first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days, during which the settlers gave turkey, dried fruit, and pumpkins to the Native Americans who lived nearby and had assisted them in surviving their first difficult year.

The ceremony wasn’t held again for many years, but it gradually caught on in several states before being proclaimed a public holiday throughout the twentieth century.

The original intent of this holiday has been altered by modernization of living.

Even if nowadays very few people are grateful for a bountiful harvest, it is still the ideal time for friends and families to come together and express their gratitude for their blessings.

Furthermore, since Congress made Thanksgiving a federal holiday, this day has gained commercial significance as a benchmark for beginning Christmas shopping.

18 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

1. Mashed Potatoes

Although the turkey is undoubtedly the highlight of the Thanksgiving dinner, mashed potatoes are a must-have side dish.

The recipe is not only very creamy and fluffy, but it’s also quite easy to prepare.

A reliable Salt and pepper-seasoned homemade mashed potatoes that have been made creamy with milk.

This dish gets a seductive taste boost from a little garlic. These mashed potatoes are literally the best for every occasion since they are fluffy, creamy, and buttery.

2. Roast Potatoes

On Thanksgiving, the oven might be particularly full, so save yourself some room and bake these roasted potatoes in the air fryer.

As the air fryer eliminates all extra oil from the cooking, it will not only save time but also offer the potatoes a crisp appearance.

With very little preparation time, these garlic, perfectly flavored potatoes with infused thyme and rosemary flavor are the ideal addition to almost any dish you prepare. Simple, delicious, and timeless!

These garlic-infused potatoes with thyme and rosemary are a quick and delicious addition to your meal. For more innovative cooking ideas, explore ninja air fryer recipes.

3. Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Want to wow your visitors? You should serve mashed sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. 

In addition to adding a splash of color to your Thanksgiving plate’s otherwise all-brown fare, the simple dish has a striking appearance.

Savory, sweet, and silky Sweet potatoes, when mashed, taste like you put a lot more effort into them than you actually did.

4. Stuffing

The best thing about this stuffing dish is that it is completely adaptable. For a delightful twist, include mushrooms, sausage, or even bacon. 

The traditional stuffing is a must-have for the Thanksgiving meal even without the extras.

This is the traditional stuffing recipe you need if you want something moist, flavorful, warming, and wonderful! Simply conventional, cozy, and unthreatening.

5. Bacon Green Beans

Your next dinner will look and taste better with this delightful and affordable side dish of green beans with bacon! 

Utilize fresh green beans if you can for a flavor that is crisp and incredibly brilliant.

Although frozen green beans would work just as well, if fresh are an option, use fresh instead. You won’t be sorry.

6. Gravy

When it refers to Thanksgiving, don’t forget the gravy. Ignore the ingredients that are in the container or packet and approach it like any side dish. 

To elevate your turkey to another level, the gravy is prepared with all of the bird’s drippings as well as spices and herbs like parsley and thyme.

This recipe will enable you to create a rich, delicious, lump-free turkey gravy which your whole family will adore.

7. Seven-Layer Salad

Want to bring a delicious and artistically designed salad to your upcoming barbecue, picnic, or potluck? 

You must try this recipe for salad. Because it is a salad that can be prepared ahead of time and is foolproof, you won’t have to worry about rushing to get the food ready in time.

Add some salad to the seven various types of potatoes that are already on your plate. The typical lettuce base is one of the seven layers of this salad, but the crispness makes it stand out. 

Chopped cauliflower serves as the distinctive characteristic. Though it may be an odd pairing, it will awaken your palate.

8. Garlic Knots 

No-knead, homemade garlic bread that has been coated with a buttery, garlicky,  parsley mixture. It’s excellent and incredibly soft and fluffy.

It’s a fantastic loaf of bread that goes well with any meal. Add more garlic if you want to kick things up a notch!

The nicest feature of this dish is that the dough can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated overnight. 

On Thanksgiving morning, just remove them from the refrigerator, let them warm up to room temperature, split and knot the dough, and bake them so that the buns are ready for your dinner as soon as they come out of the oven.

9. Focaccia

Although focaccia bread might seem like an unlikely candidate for a Thanksgiving meal, it is actually the thing you’ve been missing.

The turkey on the dish and the seasonings in the loaf go together like clockwork. 

Additionally, you may use the airy slice to wipe up any leftover drippings and crumbs that may have remained on your plate.

A tasty and simple bread which can be made right away and enjoyed!

10. No Knead Bread

The best Thanksgiving meal you will prepare will be these no-knead bread rolls. Maybe not for the actual feast, but for the perfect 

Thanksgiving leftover sandwich the next day. The tastiest leftover sandwiches of the year are made by stuffing these rolls with leftover turkey, trimmings, and cranberry sauce. 

The only thing needed to make no-knead bread rolls is to whisk the components together, let them sit for a while, and then bake them. It really is a simple recipe.

11. Cranberry Sauce

Forget about canned goods! After one bite, this handmade cranberry sauce would easily take the place of the store-bought kind.

This cranberry sauce, which is prepared with juicy cranberries and a bit of orange zest, will brighten your Thanksgiving meal.

Additionally, it may be made in just 15 minutes. It’s really simple to prepare this cranberry sauce.

12. Carrots Glazed In Honey

These wonderful roasted carrots will give your savory feast a hint of sweetness.

These carrots are cooked in honey with a tonne of spices, herbs, and a dash of lemon juice to create the ideal flavor harmony. Simple and delectable!

13. Sautéed Mushrooms

Do you still need to add a side dish (see also ‘19 Amazing Side Dishes You Can Serve With Crab Cakes‘) to the menu? Choose sautéed mushrooms.

They cook on your stove in one pan and only require around 20 minutes to put together, in addition to having a tasty umami and savory flavor.

The side dish will be the simplest you prepare all day.

14. Hasselback Potatoes

Include these hassle-back potatoes on your Thanksgiving feast if you like crispy potatoes then mashed ones.

The air fryer’s regulated heat produces the ideal crispness. For a smaller group, use large potatoes and distribute one to each person. 

For a larger group, use smaller potatoes and chop them in half. The seasoned potatoes in this Hasselback potato recipe are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

The Stockholm restaurant called Hasselbacken is where this Swedish dish got its name.

15. Baked Sweet Potatoes

What’s the trick to roasting sweet potatoes so they’re incredibly crispy and tender?

The seasoning and heat enable the potatoes to caramelize, producing an explosion of incredible tastes.

It’s a fantastic substitute for anyone seeking a healthier side dish. 

The oven-roasted sweet potatoes are the ideal snack or addition to just about any dinner since they are so straightforward yet delicious.

16. Fried Apples With Onions

This tart side dish goes well with both beef (see also ‘21 Savory Side Dishes To Serve With Prime Beef‘) and pork.

17. Cathead Cookies

The goodies have a golden, crisp exterior and a soft, pillowy interior loaded with cheddar cheese, onions, and just the appropriate balance of black pepper.

18. Green Beans With Thyme And Almonds

This traditional vegetable side dish is enhanced beautifully by the thyme. The dish is simple to prepare for family members but elegant enough to present to guests.

Final Thoughts

You’re aware that Thanksgiving is about more than just the turkey, right? because the turkey’s sides are just as vital. 

This collection of savory side dishes is sure to please your family and friends, whether you enjoy introducing additional sides to your meal, searching for classic recipes, or simply searching for new side dishes to endure the culinary marathon that comes with Thanksgiving Day.

18 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

18 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Recipe by Jenna

Are you looking for the best thanksgiving side dishes? Look no further, here we provide you with a list of the 18 best thanksgiving side dishes to cater to all tastes.

Course: Side Dishes
5 from 1 vote


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

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