When you’re busy preparing an entire turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, the last thing you want to do is slave over complicated side dishes, too. Fortunately, there are many easy Thanksgiving side dishes you can make that won’t take too much of your time. This holiday season, make preparations a breeze with these simple yet tasty side dishes.
Delicious Yet Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes to Try
As is tradition, Thanksgiving dinner usually involves a whole turkey surrounded by hearty side dishes. When you lack time or energy, though, these side dishes can become quite a burden to prepare. Here are some easy Thanksgiving sides recipes you can follow for a memorable holiday dinner.
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped, plus more for serving
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped, plus more for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss potatoes in a medium bowl with salt and pepper for seasoning.
- Heat butter and oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until the butter melts and starts to bubble. Add the potatoes and let them cook undisturbed until they turn golden brown, which usually takes 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the potatoes and cook the other side until it’s also golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in broth, garlic, rosemary, and thyme.
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the potatoes are tender and the liquid slightly reduces, typically 20 to 25 minutes.
- Arrange the potatoes on a platter, drizzle them with the pan juices, and garnish with rosemary and/or thyme.
When it comes to great sides for Thanksgiving, you can never go wrong with butternut squash.
- 3 oz fresh spinach, stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Cut the butternut squash crosswise into 1-inch slices. Peel, clean, and discard seeds and stringy pulp from each slice. Then, dice the cleaned slices into 1-inch cubes.
- Mix the squash cubes, olive oil, and onion in a bowl until they’re coated, and then transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.
- Roast in the oven until the squash is tender and starts to brown, typically for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Combine the roasted squash mixture with spinach, dried cranberries, and pecans in a serving bowl and serve it warm.
If you’re looking for easy Thanksgiving side dishes, this buttermilk cornbread fits the bill.
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter (3 oz), melted
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 2 3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/4 oz)
- 2 cups yellow stone-ground cornmeal (about 8 1/2 oz)
- 2 cups well-stirred whole buttermilk
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with peanut oil in the oven and preheat to 450°F. (Ensure skillet remains in the oven during preheating.)
- While the oven is preheating, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl. Mix in buttermilk until the mixture is smooth, then add eggs and butter and mix well.
- Carefully take out the skillet from the oven. Pour the hot oil from the skillet into the cornbread batter, stirring until it’s thoroughly mixed. Moving swiftly, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt in the bottom of the skillet. Immediately pour the batter into the hot skillet without stirring and return it to the oven.
- Bake at 450°F until the top is golden brown, approximately 22 minutes. Promptly flip the cornbread onto a wire rack. Allow it to cool completely for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
As far as easy Thanksgiving sides go, this roasted green beans recipe is both healthy and delicious.
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more
- 1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. On a spacious baking sheet, mix green beans with oil and salt. Bake and toss them after 7 minutes, cooking until the beans are crisp-tender, typically 10 to 15 minutes.
- Toss the green beans again, adding a sprinkle of garlic and a quarter teaspoon of pepper. Finish by topping them with Parmesan and mozzarella.
- Switch on the broiler. Broil the beans, keeping a close eye, until the cheese is melted and turns a golden brown, usually for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add more pepper to taste and serve.
If you want easy sides for Thanksgiving dinner, candied sweet potatoes will surely hit the spot.
- 4 lbs sweet potatoes, quartered
- 3 cups miniature marshmallows, divided
- 1 1/4 cups butter or margarine
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon to taste
- Ground nutmeg to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Boil the potatoes in a large pot of water until slightly underdone, around 15 minutes. Drain and peel once they’ve cooled enough to handle.
- While the potatoes cool, combine 2 cups of marshmallows, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally and cook until the marshmallows are melted.
- Mix the potatoes into the marshmallow sauce, mashing about half of them and breaking the others into bite-sized chunks. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of marshmallows evenly on top and continue baking until the marshmallows are slightly toasted and turn golden brown, which takes about 5 minutes.
- 1 lb fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (4 cups)
- 1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger (from 1 [1-inch] piece)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 lemon, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Combine cranberries, lemon, sugar, ginger, and salt in a food processor. Process until the cranberries and lemon are finely chopped, usually taking 1 to 2 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and gently mix in pomegranate arils. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours before serving.
Turkey is best paired with Thanksgiving vegetable side dishes, and this Brussels sprouts recipe will surely wow your guests.
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, shredded
- Zest of 1 lemon, plus 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 to 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, depending on spice preference
- 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Toasted slivered almonds, for serving
- Combine lemon juice, anchovies, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a food processor or blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the sauce for later use.
- Heat oil in a 12” skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add Brussels sprouts and shake the pan to distribute them evenly. Allow them to cook without stirring for 5 minutes. Add the sauce, excluding the reserved 2 tablespoons, to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, approximately 2 more minutes.
- Take the skillet off the heat and mix in the lemon zest. Transfer the contents to a serving plate, drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sauce, and garnish with almonds.
Stuffing is one of those traditional Thanksgiving side dishes that you simply can’t miss, and this recipe is easy yet tasty.
- 1 (1 lb) loaf white bread
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- Ground black pepper
- Moisten the bread. Add the onion, seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly using your hands.
- Put the stuffing directly in the turkey or wrap it in tin foil. Cook the stuffing for at least an hour (if cooking in foil). In the last 15 minutes of cooking, open the foil to toast the top part of the stuffing. It takes more than an hour to cook it in the turkey.
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 (8 oz) box elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Heat a large pot of water with a pinch of salt until it boils. Pour the elbow macaroni into the pot, stirring occasionally, until cooked but still firm to the bite, usually for about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in flour, salt, and pepper until the mixture is smooth, typically taking about 5 minutes.
- Slowly pour in the milk while stirring constantly. Cook and stir until the mixture is smooth and bubbling, ensuring the milk doesn’t scorch, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add cheddar cheese and stir until it’s melted, usually for 2 to 4 minutes.
- Drain the macaroni and gently mix them into the cheese sauce until they are well coated.
Easy Thanksgiving side dishes are necessary when you’re too busy to make complicated ones. And just because a dish is easy to make doesn’t mean it can’t be flavorful. When you’re in a pinch, the side dishes above are sure to satisfy without being too time-consuming.
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