There's something for everyone in this special collection of Thanksgiving side dish recipes. Find familiar favorites, along with tempting new creations to try on your Thanksgiving menu.
Everyone knows that the turkey isn't the real star of the Thanksgiving table—it’s the side dishes. Start a new family tradition this year and try our crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving side dish recipes. Take your pick from more than 100 traditional and modern takes on Southern Thanksgiving sides including mashed potatoes, dressing, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, roasted vegetables, casseroles, and more. Many of these Thanksgiving side dishes can even be made ahead or prepared in a slow cooker. When it comes to Thanksgiving, the more side dishes the better, and you can’t go wrong with any of these delicious recipes.
Related: Simple Thanksgiving Crafts
Best-Ever Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe: Best-Ever Macaroni and Cheese
Pack your mac and cheese with cheddar cubes to make sure you get cramy cheese in every bite.
Classic Cornbread Dressing
Recipe: Classic Cornbread Dressing
For this Thanksgiving staple, make the cornbread in a skillet up to two days before making the rest of the dish. You will want it to dry out completely.
Classic Cranberry Salad
Recipe: Classic Cranberry Salad
Fresh cranberry salad is a crunchy alternative to the canned stuff.
Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Crispy Scallions
What do your mashed potatoes need this Thanksgiving? Bacon.
Slow-Cooker Collard Greens with Ham Hocks
Spending 9 hours in the slow-cooker allows the tender ham hocks to develop savory, smoky flavors.
Pecan-Herb Cornbread Dressing
Recipe: Pecan-Herb Cornbread Dressing
This cornbread dressing gets an extra crunch from tasty pecans.
Roasted Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
Broccoli and cheese is a great combination. Add it to macaroni and you have a side dish the kids can't turn down.
Savory Corn Pudding
Recipe: Savory Corn Pudding
Give your creamy, not-too-sweet side dish extra flavor with chopped onion and fresh thyme.
Classic Candied Yams
Recipe: Classic Candied Yams
If you're looking to give sweet potato casserole a break this Thanksgiving, we love these Classic Candied Yams, although, we wouldn't be against having both on the sideboard.
Bacon-Brussels Sprout-Green Bean Casserole
How do you make green bean casserole extra Southern? You add bacon and Brussels sprouts.
Herbed Breadcrumb-Topped Macaroni and Cheese
If you want to move mac-and-cheese from the kids table to the sideboard, we love this buttery, herbed cornbread topping. The shell pasta helps too.
Sweet Potato-and-Collard Green Gratin
If you're looking for one dish that does it all, this gratin might be the perfect recipe.
Classic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
These mashed potatoes are extra creamy thanks to buttermilk and crème fraîche.
Cornbread Dressing with Smoked Sausage and Apples
Give your cornbread dressing a sweet and rustic taste.
Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Collard Greens
The fire-roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika add so much flavor that you won't miss the ham.
Three-Cheese Corn Pudding
Recipe: Three-Cheese Corn Pudding
What's better than one cheese? Three cheese, especially when those cheeses are white cheddar, yellow cheddar, and Parmesan.
Parmesan-Herb Angel Biscuits
Recipe: Parmesan-Herb Angel Biscuits
Give your Thanksgiving bread some extra flavor with the addition of Parmesan, thyme, and rosemary.
Green Chile-Corn Pudding
Recipe: Green Chile-Corn Pudding
We gave this Southern staple a Tex-Mex twist with poblano chiles and Mexican blend cheese.
Rustic Mashed Red Potatoes with Parmesan
Take your mashed potatoes to a new place by using red potatoes, Parmesan cheese, and herbed cream cheese.
Spicy Candied Yams with Toasted Pecans
Give your candied yams some heat this Thanksgiving with jalapeño chiles.
Old-School Green Bean Casserole
Recipe: Old-School Green Bean Casserole
Skip the can this year and make your own mushroom cream sauce. You will taste the difference.
Cornmeal Angel Biscuits
Recipe: Cornmeal Angel Biscuits
These cornmeal angel biscuits are the perfect nod to cornbread for Thanksgiving.
Garlicky Collard Greens with Confetti Chowchow
Give your collards a pop of color with this tasty confetti chowchow.
Spiked Cranberry-Orange Salad
Recipe: Spiked Cranberry-Orange Salad
Recipe: Angel Biscuits
Want to have fresh biscuits on the table but don't want to waste time on the day of? You can prepare these biscuits one week in advance.
Candied Yams with Rosemary and Orange Zest
These candied yams get fresh flavors from chopped rosemary and orange zest.
Lemon-Almond Green Bean Casserole
This recipe swaps the cream of mushroom soup and fried onions for fresh lemon and sliced onions.
Recipe: Cranberry-Apple-Ginger Salad
Fresh apples and ginger give this cranberry salad extra flavor.
Classic Bread Dressing
Recipe: Classic Bread Dressing
This easy bread dressing recipe is made-from-scratch with high-quality sourdough bread, fresh parsley and thyme, and celery, leeks, and garlic.
Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Fennel
Sweet Potato-Ginger Scones
Recipe: Sweet Potato-Ginger Scones
Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Slow-Cooker Green Beans
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Green Beans
Brussels Sprouts with Cornbread Croutons
Herbed Wild Rice Dressing
Recipe: Herbed Wild Rice Dressing
Honey-Glazed Spiced Carrots
Recipe: Honey-Glazed Spiced Carrots
Skillet Squash Blossom
Recipe: Skillet Squash Blossom
Smashed Baby Red Potatoes
Recipe: Smashed Baby Red Potatoes
Crispy on the outside and tender and creamy on the inside, these are the best baby potatoes around.
Cornbread Dressing with Kale and Bacon
Farro Salad with Toasted Pecans, Feta, and Dried Cherries
Root Vegetable Gratin
Recipe: Root Vegetable Gratin
Sweet Potato and Chorizo Sausage Bites
Recipe: Yeast Rolls
Sweet Potato Casserole
Recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole
Rather than make you choose a single favorite topping for sweet potato casserole, this recipe takes the approach that on Thanksgiving you should get to enjoy whatever topping you want. Savory or sweet, the perfect sweet potato casserole recipe should be an absolute delight. Since we couldn't decide which topping we liked best—crushed cornflakes and pecans, with their candy-sweet flavor, or the puff and fluff of the toasted marshmallows—we decided the only solution was to put them all on. That was definitely the right decision. Now you’ll savor every flavor in every bite. Grab a serving spoon and dig in. You’ll love this casserole.
Pear Salad with Raspberry Cream
Recipe: Pear Salad with Raspberry Cream
This salad is a fantastic way to bring fresh, crisp fruits and vegetables to your holiday table. A bed of romaine and Bibb lettuces form a foundation for succulent slices of firm, ripe pears. Sprinkles of freshly grated Parmesam cheese and crumbles of smoky, crunchy bacon, top the salad, while a dressing piquant with red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard complements the various sweet and salty flavors. A delicious complement to turkey, and perfect to serve for Thanksgiving but suitable any time pears are in season, this elegant salad can easily be doubled or tripled when you need to serve a crowd.
Au Gratin Potato Casserole
Recipe: Au Gratin Potato Casserole
An Au Gratin Potato Casserole can be a simple way to have potatoes a part of your Thanksgiving lunch or dinner. So why not make a cheesy, creamy potato casserole for your next family gathering or holiday meal? Make getting everything ready easy by using frozen hash browns, cream of mushroom soup, shredded Cheddar cheese, and a straight-out-of-the-box corn flakes cereal. If you prefer to do your Thanksgiving meal preparation in advance, you can also make this Au Gratin Potato Casserole ahead, and refrigerate it until you are ready to bake. Either way, it will taste delicious fresh out of the oven.
Recipe: Orange-Ginger-Glazed Carrots
Carrots are a favorite root vegetable to have for Thanksgiving, and this recipe takes them off the roasting pan and gives them a delicious glaze. This super-easy side dish gets a fast start from trimmed and peeled baby carrots. Use a microplane zester to grate both the citrus zest and the fresh ginger. Then, in a saucepan, it is simple to reduce the orange juice, butter, and honey to a beautiful, sweet-yet-tangy glaze that enhances the taste of these fresh baby carrots. While the recipe suggests fresh ginger, you may substitute ground ginger as necessary. However you flavor this dish, your holiday guests will enjoy its flavors on the Thanksgiving table.
Caramelized Onion-and-Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes
This delicious dish has the sweet taste of caramelized onions, cooked in butter until they are tender, then seasoned with garlic and rosemary. These beautiful onions are mixed with smoothly mashed potatoes, then combined with the rich and distinctive flavor of Gorgonzola or blue cheese, and finally spooned into a baking dish. Top this with a decorative finish, and bake it until it is lightly browned. We suggest using a large, star-tipped pastry bag to pipe the potatoes in decorative swirls for an impressive finish. However you choose to decorate this dish, the end result is a beautiful-tasting treat that make any Thanksgiving meal a delight.
Green Beans with Garlic
Recipe: Green Beans with Garlic
This side dish is a study in simplicity. It is fresh, fragrant, and easy to bring to any holiday table. If you enjoy having green beans on your Thanksgiving holiday table, you may find that this is a recipe you love. The flavor of the green beans is delicately enhanced by the taste and aroma of the sautéed garlic, and the delicate additions of olive oil, salt, and freshly ground pepper. What makes this dish so unique is that the garlic is sliced, rather than being chopped or minced, so the slices of garlic become crisp and savory. Grab a plate and enjoy this easy and delicious dish.
Recipe: Sautéed Greens
Sautéed Greens are a great dish to have around your holiday table, and with this recipe yours will be good to go from stovetop to table in a jiffy. Seasoned with chopped ginger and spicy serrano peppers—you can substitute half a jalapeño pepper, split, instead—this recipe is both savory and spicy. It brings a distinctly Southern flair to your Thanksgiving meal. Ready in just 26 minutes, these greens are packed with fresh flavor. And, if you’d prefer to spice this dish up even more, you can add in half a pound of chopped smoked pork. Both recipes are delicious.
Cranberry Congealed Salad
Recipe: Cranberry Congealed Salad
Congealed salads are staples on Southern tables at Thanksgiving, and this Cranberry Congealed Salad is a fresh, refreshing take on this holiday staple. Ours has fresh cranberries, canned pineapple, and pickled peaches, for a combination of flavors. Top the salad with toasted chopped pecans for a nutty crunch. Serve this cranberry congealed salad at holiday gatherings for a festive and colorful side dish. Got leftovers? Spoon them into parfait glasses, then add a mixture of cream cheese and whipped topping. You’ll have a perfect holiday dessert that you can enjoy any time.
Golden Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe: Golden Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a comfort-food classic that you can always enjoy around your holiday table. This homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe beats the boxed kind any day of the week. It is full of sharp Cheddar cheese, and made from elbow macaroni. Topped with breadcrumbs and cheese, it bakes to a crunchy, divine crust. You’ll love every gooey, crispy mouthful. If you prefer a different type of cheese, you may stir in a pasteurized processed cheese product—it will be equally gooey, but the taste will not be quite as sharp. For a savory main dish, stir in chopped cooked ham before baking, and then sprinkle the top with chopped cooked bacon before serving.
Braised White Turnips
Recipe: Braised White Turnips
This recipe is a simple way to create a delicious and beautiful side dish for your Thanksgiving table. If you prefer single-item sides rather than casseroles, or gratins, then dishes like these Braised White Turnips are the perfect dishes for you. These are cooked in butter, then simmered first in vinegar, then after in honey and butter, to create a beautiful combination of sweet-and-sour-tasting turnips. We based this recipe on one from Atlanta chef Linton Hopkins found in the book Lodge Cast Iron Nation. Use small Japanese turnips from farmers' markets, or peel and cut larger turnips into 1- to 2-inch cubes.
Pimiento Cheese Creamed Spinach
Recipe: Pimiento Cheese Creamed Spinach
In the South, pimiento cheese and creamed spinach are both considered delicacies, so any recipe that mixes the two together can only be described as a mouthwatering delight. This casserole is certainly delicious, rich with the tastes of cream cheese and cheddar cheese, and seasoned with just a hint of garlic of fresh garlic. Your family will be waiting for this to get out of the oven so they can enjoy in on their plate.
"Creamy spinach casserole has always been a favorite in my family, so it's a sure-fire hit for any gathering. The pimiento cheese flavors give it a uniquely Southern twist." —Perre Coleman Magness, author of Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook
This fresh salad meshes citrus, berries, jicama, and greens into a fantastic dish that is perfect on every holiday table. The vinaigrette, seasoned with orange juice, cranberry-orange relish, and balsamic vinegar, has just the right amount of sweetness and bite. The raw jícama in this salad adds flavor and crunch. Sometimes referred to as the Mexican potato, jícama has a sweet, nutty taste and can be eaten raw or cooked. The salad tastes delicious garnished with a hard Italian cheese like Parmesan, or Pecorino Romano. Consider having the cheese shaved into thin slices rather than grated. It will add just the right amount of salty delight.
Bacon-Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts
This simple recipe brings the beautiful flavors, color and texture of Brussels sprouts to your holiday table. Lots of flavor—and only five ingredients—make this Brussels sprouts recipe a winner. It gets its rich, smoky flavor from the bacon, and a delicate touch of sweetness from a single tablespoon of brown sugar. These ingredients, plus the broth, create a beautiful broth that bathes the sprouts in taste. Even reviewers who aren't sprouts fans like this version. For extra flavor, this recipe suggests that you top the Brussels sprouts with crumbles of crunchy bacon, creating a harmony of flavors in every mouthwatering bite.
Crispy Sweet Potato-Green Onion Cakes
Crispy Sweet Potato-Green Onion Pancakes are a great choice for a Thanksgiving side dish. They bring a unique twist to the classic sweet potato, and create a nice crunch to complement the other items on the holiday lunch or dinner table. What’s so delicious about this recipe is that it blends the delicate flavors of the sweet potatoes and the green onions with the spicy zest of a couple of chopped red jalapeño peppers, meaning that it mixes the heat with the sweet. But it all mixes together to form a delicious sweet potato delight. Serve these savory little numbers with a dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of lime as a crunchy appetizer or a dish to accompany roasted or grilled meats or fish.
Two-Cheese Squash Casserole
Recipe: Two-Cheese Squash Casserole
If you relish in having squash casserole as a Thanksgiving table staple, this Cheddar and Parmesan Squash Casserole may become your go-to recipe. It combines the forces of these two great cheeses with yellow squash to create this creamy dish. For a tasty and colorful twist, you can even substitute sliced zucchini for half of the yellow squash. You’ll love the hint of sweet onion and the bold, savory flavors of the cheese, all holding the squash together in a gooey delight of a dish. Crumble some bread, shred some cheese, and get ready to enjoy this fantastic holiday casserole.
Sweet Potato Grati
Recipe: Sweet Potato Gratin
This is a fantastic, easy-to-make recipe that only has five ingredients. It mixes sliced sweet potatoes, sliced russet potatoes, cream, salt, and Gruyère cheese into a delicious, cheesy, gooey delight that tastes amazing just out of the oven. This is a wonderful way to have potatoes or sweet potatoes on your Thanksgiving table if you are thinking of preparing an alternative to roasted root vegetables. The finished dish looks beautiful when it is ready, complete with a golden-brown top of baked cheese. You will know when the potatoes are perfectly cooked when a table knife slides easily through the center.
Recipe: Citrus-Kale Salad
Use your favorite citrus for this refreshing salad. We love the colorful mix and flavor combination of two navel oranges, one blood orange, and Ruby Red grapefruit. The dressing is a light and refreshing mix based on a foundation of white wine vinegar, with sugar, Dijon mustard, and honey, as well as orange juice. This all rests on a bed of kale and red onion, and is topped with creamy crumbles of cheese. Goat cheese and feta cheese both provide their own unique taste. No matter what fruit you choose, buy an extra navel orange to juice for the dressing.
Green Beans With Shallots and Red Pepper
Sometimes you need good kitchen tips to help you manage all the food preparation you have for the holiday season. Frozen whole green beans offer a timesaving shortcut in this speedy recipe. Sautéed in butter with strips of red bell pepper and shallots, they can easily stand in for fresh green beans—even when company is coming. This recipe is delicious with thinly sliced shallots, but if you do not have one at hand, thin slices of onion will substitute nicely. You’ll love the flavor combinations of the onion, green beans, and slices of red bell pepper. However you enjoy this dish, it will be a favorite around your holiday table.
Recipe: Oven-Roasted Asparagus
This is a quick and easy way to enjoy a simple side dish. Plan to have fresh, oven-roasted asparagus as one of your Thanksgiving side dishes and you, your family, and your friends will marvel at how refreshing such a straightforward dish can be. The key to this dish is preparation—be sure to clip off the woody ends of the asparagus, and make sure to lightly toast the almonds. You will want to sprinkle the almonds on top once the asparagus spears come fresh out of the oven, so be ready. Then serve a helping of these delicious vegetables and let them enhance the flavors of a wonderful meal.
Bloody Mary Green Bean Salad
Recipe: Bloody Mary Green Bean Salad
You probably never imagined the idea of enjoying a Bloody Mary on a plate, but when we thought about what was in the classic drink we knew it was delicious. That got us thinking about how to develop this recipe. We turned a festive cocktail into a salad by making the drink's crunchy garnishes (green beans and celery) the star and dressing them with a vinaigrette made with Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix. What’s so great about the Bloody Mary Green Bean Salad is that you can have as much as you like and you will only ever be over your calorie limit. So grab a plate, and enjoy this salad—in moderation.
Cajun Corn Maque Choux
Recipe: Cajun Corn Maque Choux
When we think Cajun we usually think Southern and spicy, and this recipe is a delight in both regards. You can think of maque choux as a Creole succotash, so plan to bring a bunch of great tastes to your holiday table with this dish. Smoky bits of andouille sausage add a bold and spicy flavor to every colorful serving. Bell pepper, corn, and tomatoes will also add delicious textures and flavors to every bite. So have some Cajun Corn Maque Choux around the table, and enjoy the flavors of the South.
Tee's Corn Pudding
Recipe: Tee's Corn Pudding
Corn pudding may seem like a simple side dish, but you might be surprised to learn it is a reader favorite. This is a dish that we recommend you always have on your Thanksgiving table. We describe Tee’s Corn Pudding as our ultimate creamed corn: this in-demand recipe has run in our magazine more than 10 times after its debut in 1995. To run so often, and to seem so simple, it obviously is a recipe for corn pudding that is rich and delicious. If you’d like to dress the dish up a little, it is even more amazing with chopped fresh chives added on top.
Recipe: Southern GiardinieraSoutherners love to pickle and can, and these vegetables are a great way to bring simple appetizers to the Thanksgiving table. We’ve chosen carrots, broccoli florets, jalapeños, mini peppers, and fennel, as our vegetables to pickle, but you may also choose from a range of others that will put up well. Set these bread-and-butter-style pickled veggies out on your relish tray so guests can nosh on them before and during dinner. These little treats are so delicious we doubt there will be any left over. Red pearl onions add vibrant color to the relish, but white onions will work too.
Collards With Red Onions
Recipe: Collards With Red Onions
Making delectable Collard greens is all about knowing what flavors make them delicious. In this recipe, dried, crushed red pepper flakes and a touch of brown sugar add a spark of sweet heat to these tasty greens. Red onions, and cider vinegar, also bring a touch of tart spice to these Southern table staples, adding a twist on the usual Collard greens recipe. After you have simmered your greens an hour, they will be a tender, spicy-and-sweet delight. Enjoy them straight out of the pot and straight onto the Thanksgiving table. They will bring a true taste of the South to your holiday celebrations.
Roasted Fingerlings and Green Beans With Creamy Tarragon Dressing
Fingerlings are a delicious potato that roasts well and can easily be combined with a range of vegetables. Here, they are combined with fresh green beans, creating a combination of freshly roasted, golden-brown potatoes and crisp beans, all covered in a buttermilk, lemon juice, and Dijon-based dressing, and seasoned only with salt and cracked pepper. The dressing includes fragrant herbs that pair well with both the potatoes and beans. The richly flavored fingerling potatoes wreathed in baby green beans make a festive presentation that is beautiful on any holiday table.
Double Cranberry-Apple Sauce
Recipe: Double Cranberry-Apple Sauce
Begin this recipe with Granny Smith apples to start with a fantastic crisp, tart taste. These are lightly sweetened with sugar, and simmered with fresh cranberries, and lemon, combining to a delicate sauce. Mixed with dried cranberries, this sauce is the perfect complement to all the dishes on your Thanksgiving table, and you’ll be spooning it onto turkey, dressing, and everything else that its fantastic flavors will enhance. Savor this irresistible holiday treat. You recommend that you make a double batch—then you can send the extra sauce home with your guests, because they will certainly be asking for some.
Turnip Greens Stew
Recipe: Turnip Greens Stew
This fantastic stew works wonders on your Thanksgiving sideboard, and here we share some shortcuts that help you get it from stovetop to table in a jiffy. Frozen vegetables make preparing the greens for this savory stew simple. Two cups of chopped, cooked ham add just the right amount of savory flavor. Sauté the ham in a Dutch oven for a few minutes and you’ll enhance its flavor even more. Chicken broth gives the greens a distinctive taste that you’ll love on your plate. So settle in over the stove for a few minutes and prepare this easy-to-make Turnip Greens Stew—you’ll enjoy every delicious bite.
Creamy Fried Confetti Corn
Recipe: Creamy Fried Confetti Corn
You’ll love the flavor of the corn, onion, and bell peppers sautéed in bacon drippings, because of course things do taste better with bacon. One of our most popular corn side dishes, this corn casserole does not disappoint. The crispy crunch of smoky bacon cuts through the creamy richness of the dish, making it easy for this casserole to pair with just about anything. It has just a hint of sweetness thanks to the corn, the sugar, and the half-and-half. A pinch of pepper gives it just the right amount of bite.
Glazed Butternut Squash
Recipe: Glazed Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a great roasted side dish, and this recipe adds a touch of sweetness to its usual roasted, nutty taste. Apple cider simmers with butter and sugar to create a golden glaze for this flavorful side dish. A serrated grapefruit spoon makes quick work of removing the seeds and stringy fibers from winter squash. This Thanksgiving side dish is seasoned with sage, then topped with the nutty flavor of toasted pecans—a favorite Southern nut. A study in simplicity, this roasted vegetable makes a wonderful accompaniment to turkey and dressing. Enjoy it on your table for Thanksgiving every year.
Roasted Green Beans with Sun-dried Tomatoes
Rather than sautéing or boiling your beans, this recipe makes them perfect in the oven. It combines the crunch of fresh green beans with the rich, savory flavor of oil-packed sun dried tomatoes that are then roasted with the beans. Pine nuts, tossed with the beans and the sun dried tomatoes, add a nutty flavor and aroma. Baking your green beans with pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes is a hands-free way to pack the green beans with flavor. Putting sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts on the Thanksgiving table brings new, unique, and unexpected tastes that your family and friends will enjoy to the plate.
Recipe: Edamame Succotash
Edamame is just a fancy word for heart-healthy soybeans—used here in place of traditional lima beans, so this becomes a healthier version of a classic Southern recipe. Look for them in the frozen vegetable case. For this succotash—which is a common Thanksgiving side dish—the edamame is combined with onion, bell peppers, and corn, to create a spicy and savory dish that is filled with color and flavor. It is sautéed, then simmered, until the vegetables are tender, but still crisp and crunchy and filled with flavor. This is a great way to have a healthy, colorful side on your holiday table.
Recipe: Broccoli-and-Cauliflower Gratin
Gratin should simply be translated as ‘baked with some cheese and definitely tastes good’ because as far as we are concerned that is one of the things it means. This gratin recipe cuts down on some of the fat, but does not lose any of the taste. It includes reduced-fat Cheddar Cheese, and mayonnaise, but is still rich and creamy. Spoon the gratin mixture over the broccoli and cauliflower florets, top with breadcrumbs, bake as directed, and wait patiently. It will be worth it. This recipe is delicious. In under 30 minutes this bakes into a warm, golden-brown vegetable and cheese delight.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Cumin
Recipe: Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Cumin
While sweet potatoes are a traditional Southern Thanksgiving side dish, this recipe steps outside the norm to bring a unique flavor to this family favorite. Here, the savory sweet potato is flavored with cumin, giving it a special taste. The smoky flavor of ground cumin provides a flavor surprise to this vegetable classic. It also has a little sweetness from two tablespoons of maple syrup, and the tempting flavor of toasted pecans on top. This recipe takes the basics, and enhances them, giving old favorites new zest. Let cumin spice up your sweet potatoes—and your Thanksgiving table—this holiday season.
Harvest Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Harvest Mashed Potatoes
This is a delicious blend of sweet potatoes and red potatoes that we have named Harvest Mashed Potatoes. Apart from milk and cream, these mashed potatoes also have Parmesan cheese mixed in. If you wonder what the distinctive flavor is, horseradish is the surprise ingredient in this lightly spiced blend of sweet and savory potatoes. It also has touches of nutmeg and cinnamon. If you want just a little more richness, top these beautiful potatoes with butter or margarine. Bring this special recipe for Harvest Mashed Potatoes to your Thanksgiving table and your family and friends may never want plain mashed potatoes again.
Recipe: Creamed Collards
You will love having this delicious take on a Southern classic on your Thanksgiving table. Made with collard greens, and Béchamel sauce, the true star of this recipe is bacon. The key to this quick recipe is to cut the bacon into half-inch cubes, then to cook your collards in the bacon drippings, along with the additional butter, and onions. You’ll be amazed at the smoky, delicious flavor and the richness these ingredients will add. Once you work in the Béchamel sauce, you’ll have a creamy collard greens delight. Top this dish with crunchy bacon for tantalizing textures in every mouthful.
Recipe: Cornbread Dressing
Few dishes tell you that you are having Thanksgiving lunch or dinner at a Southern table like homemade Cornbread Dressing. Deliciously moist and perfectly seasoned, this five-star favorite really has no rivals. It does take a little extra time to prepare cornbread dressing from scratch, but it's definitely worth the effort. You can also make this recipe in advance if you prefer, because it freezes beautifully. If you would like to spice this up a little, and bring the heat, you can add in Andouille sausage, apples, and pecans. However you enjoy your Cornbread Dressing, just be sure to have some on your Thanksgiving table—you will love it.
Green Beans with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes, and Almonds
While green beans may be a standard Thanksgiving side, there are many ways to elevate the humble bean from standard to stupendous. Here, we add in a variety of great ingredients to amp up the flavors, textures, and tastes of this holiday favorite. Creamy goat cheese, crunchy toasted almonds, juicy red cherry tomatoes, and flavorful vinaigrette put this recipe a cut above ordinary green beans. The dressing may be made from either sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar—both are light, and will add and enhance the delicate flavors of this dish.
Roasted Root Vegetables with Cider Glaze
Simple roasted root vegetables in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, are the foundation for a Thanksgiving side dish classic. Here, touches of thyme and rosemary add to the flavors and aromas. When the vegetables are golden-brown, they are tossed with an apple-cider reduction and sprinkled with fresh parsley. The results are toasty, sticky, sweet, and savory.
"A dear friend and great chef, Matthew Wendell, made these rustic vegetables for us while we lived in the White House. They have become a staple at our Thanksgiving because of the simplicity and purity of the dish." —Editor-at-large Jenna Bush Hager.
Balsamic Root Vegetables
Recipe: Balsamic Root Vegetables
Roasted root vegetables are a great Thanksgiving side dish, and balsamic vinegar makes for a fantastic tart-yet-sweet addition to our sweet potatoes, parsnips, red onions, and carrots. These great-tasting root vegetables get a little added touch of sweetness from dried cranberries and a glaze that includes balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and brown sugar. Salt and pepper add just the right amount of spice. You’ll love these warm just out of the oven. This looks and tastes beautiful dusted in fresh parsley. For a delicious twist, top these root vegetables with a sprinkling of cooked and crumbled bacon just before serving.
Lemony Green Beans
Recipe: Lemony Green Beans
Fresh-from-the-garden or fresh-from-the-market vegetables look and taste beautiful, and this recipe is the perfect example of why. Bathed in a mixture of lemon rind and fresh lemon juice, and delicately seasoned with salt, pepper, and just a touch of olive oil, the bright fresh flavors of citrus and basil take steamed green beans to a whole new level. These green beans will become a Thanksgiving favorite for their simplicity, and the delicacy of their flavors. Let the green onions add just a touch of piquant spice, and watch your guests go back for seconds.
Roasted Root Vegetables With Horseradish Vinaigrette
Oven roasting is an easy, hands-off method of cooking that intensifies the natural sweetness of the vegetables and allows you plenty of time to get the rest of the meal ready. In this recipe, we roast sweet potatoes, parsnips, and beets, then drizzle them in a spicy Horseradish Vinaigrette. The vinaigrette blends together the flavors of horseradish, Dijon mustard, tarragon, white wine vinegar, and honey, to bring together the heat and the sweet. These unique flavors will make your Thanksgiving vegetables special. Roast a tray of root vegetables, whisk together this vinaigrette, and let your guests enjoy a new tradition for the holidays.
Mac and Texas Cheeses With Roasted Chiles
This dish begins with the subtle-yet-spicy flavors of roasted Poblano peppers Poblano peppers and just gets better from there. A trio of delicious cheeses—Monterey Jack, goat cheese, and Parmesan cheese—magically transforms elbow macaroni into a gourmet side dish. It is rich with cream, butter, and milk, giving the macaroni a full, homemade flavor. To give this Texas-style macaroni and cheese its delicious topping, it is sprinkled with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, then with Monterey Jack cheese, before being broiled to a crunchy, gooey, delicious finish. Give your macaroni and cheese Texas-sized flavor with this phenomenal recipe, and enjoy Mac and Texas Cheeses with Roasted Chiles for your Thanksgiving table.
Cornbread Stuffing With Sweet Potato and Squash
While cornbread stuffing is delicious as-is, sometimes you may want to amp up its flavor, and this recipe is a great way to add flavors and tastes to this holiday favorite. Increase both the color and the flavor of your cornbread stuffing by adding cubed butternut squash, sweet potato, and Granny Smith apple. The butternut squash and sweet potato both roast to a nutty sweetness, while the Granny Smith apple will add just the right amount of tartness to this dish, pairing well with the flavors of the cornbread. When combined, this is a delicious mix of tastes. You will also love the spice and bite the little bit of Creole seasoning adds—consider it your secret ingredient. Watch your Thanksgiving guests dig in, and enjoy.
Recipe: Carrot Orzo
This is a wonderful way to bring rice to your Thanksgiving table, and is a new way to think about what the perfect holiday side dish can be. Though this Carrot Orzo is made with the short grain Italian pasta rather than rice, this colorful dish is similar to risotto. It cooks in much the same way, slowly simmering on the stove, absorbing the liquids—and the flavors—in the pot. Just at the end, stir in the Parmesan cheese, chives, and thyme, bringing a jolt of salt, spice, cheese, and freshness to this rich, creamy dish. Once served, it will become a Thanksgiving classic.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts With Apples
Sautéed Brussels sprouts always have a crunchy, unique flavor and texture, and this recipe just enhances those amazing qualities. It adds in Braeburn apples, and crispy chopped bacon. Apples, sautéed in bacon drippings and dry white wine, become a fruity delight, while the Brussels sprouts are elevated this often- new and delicious heights. The apples add just a hint of sweetness. When everything is combined, the Parmesan cheese brings an edge of saltiness while the bacon adds a touch of saltiness and crunch. Serve this dish warm. It will bring then perfect tastes and textures to the Thanksgiving table.
Recipe: New Ambrosia
If you love the idea of a classic Ambrosia salad without the mini marshmallows, then this New Ambrosia is the salad for you. Our updated version uses fresh citrus, celery, cucumber, and avocados, then adds a seeded and minced jalapeño pepper for a hint of spice. Serve this fantastic salad on a bed of fresh arugula. Sprinkle toasted sweetened flaked coconut over each serving, if desired. It is dressed with a homemade Buttermilk-Coconut Dressing, but the extra toasted flakes will kick it up a notch. This recipe is a fresh way to use holiday citrus, and is a great new twist on an old holiday classic.
Saffron Rice Pilaf, Pecan Rice, and Cranberry-Almond Wild Rice
Recipe: Saffron Rice Pilaf
Recipe: Pecan Rice
Recipe: Cranberry-Almond Wild Rice
a sprinkling of fresh herbs and diced bell pepper or a handful of dried fruit and toasted nuts. The Saffron Rice Pilaf features diced red bell pepper and currants. Toasted pecans add extra flavor to packaged Pecan Rice. And, sweetened dried cranberries and toasted almonds are great add-ins for wild rice mixes in our Cranberry-Almond Wild Rice. For a festive turnout, fill lightly greased custard cups or ramekins with hot rice, packing the mixture tightly into the cup with the back of a spoon, then invert the cup onto a serving plate.
Cheesy Broccoli-and-Rice Casserole
Cheesy-Broccoli-and-Rice Casserole is a dish that is good and, if you follow this recipe, can even be surprisingly good for you. All you have to do is roll up your sleeves and make it from scratch, and you’ll enjoy the results. We invited one of our contributing editors to share her favorite recipe with us so we could have this on the table for Thanksgiving without having to watch our waistlines—so much. This is what she told us:
"The old-school version of this recipe uses canned soup and often calls for frozen broccoli. My new twist is made with fresh, wholesome ingredients. It takes just a smidgen of more time, but the results are absolutely extra-ordinary." —Contributing editor Virginia Willis, author of Lighten Up, Y'all.
Grandmother Carter's Cornbread Dressing
One of the great things about this dressing recipe is that there are parts of the recipe that you can have ready in advance. If that is something you want to do, just follow these simple directions:
Make Ahead: Start with Cornbread Crumbles. Freeze the unbaked dressing mixture in 2 (1-gal.) zip-top plastic freezer bags, making sure to press out all of the excess air. Thaw in refrigerator five days before Thanksgiving, and continue recipe with Step 4. You can also get it all together on the day of, if you like. However you prefer to enjoy it, you’ll find Grandmother Carter’s Cornbread Dressing to be moist, rich, and delicious.
Mashed Potatoes with Greens
Recipe: Mashed Potatoes with Greens
You might think there is only so much you can say about spuds, but this recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Greens will have you reaching for your dictionary. You will enjoy it so much you’ll be looking for new superlatives. It is surprisingly simple, and what makes this recipe great is that you can use any of the greens you have on-hand. It works well with chard, kale, cabbage, or other leafy greens. You can even prepare it in advance, as long as you thaw it well in advance.
Make Ahead: Prepare this recipe through Step 4, and freeze. Thaw potato mixture in the fridge at least 24 hours before you plan to serve, and let it stand 20 minutes before baking as directed.
Roasted Vegetable Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
It’s easy to make this Apple Cider Vinaigrette in advance so you can always have some on-hand. If you want to have some ready on the shelf, follow these simple directions:
Make Ahead: Store Apple Cider Vinaigrette in an airtight container or jar. When it's ready to serve, shake it vigorously to blend the ingredients, and check to see if it needs a little extra salt or pepper.
Once you’ve got that vinaigrette ready to go, it is simply a matter of preparing your vegetables. We’ve selected great, fresh, seasonal vegetables, and we suggest you do too. Look for beautiful textures and colors, and you’re sure to enjoy their robust flavors. Your family and friends will love this dish on the table.
Recipe: Two-Potato Gratin
If there is only room for one potato-based dish on your Thanksgiving table then this gratin is sure to be perfect for everyone. It mixes two great potatoes, Yukon gold and sweet potatoes, as well as two delicious cheeses—Gruyère and Parmesan—for a rich, crispy, gooey delight. You will also love the subtle notes of parsley, pepper, and nutmeg that delicately flavor this dish. "This luscious gratin strikes a happy middle chord for those hungry for potatoes and those vying for a sweet potato casserole." —Nancy Vienneau, author of Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook, from which this recipe was adapted.
Green Bean Salad with Hearts of Palm
This is a light, fresh, and delicious green bean salad that you will want to have on your Thanksgiving table. If you can't find haricots verts (small, thin French green beans), you can use regular beans. You will also love the hearts of palm. This is also a recipe that you can make ahead. If you want to make it ahead, just follow the simple instructions below:
Make ahead: Blanch the beans up to three days before, wrap them in damp paper towels, and store in a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Compose and dress the salad just before the big feast.
Recipe: Stuffing-Stuffed Onions
Once you put one of these onions on your plate you will think you are having two sides at once. And, you’re right, you are. First, yellow onions are hollowed out, filled with butter, and roasted, making them succulent, tender, rich, and delicious. Next, they are filled to bursting with chunky stuffing, making a savory twist on the hearty casserole version. The combination of onions and stuffing is fantastic, and putting the two together is a single-serving solution, making plating easy. When you have lots of hungry mouths to feed around the family Thanksgiving table, this is a great solution for making everyone happy.
Cheese Cracker-Topped Squash Casserole
Crackers top a lot of Southern casseroles, and the reason they do is because they are absolutely delicious. What type of cracker tops a casserole is a matter of personal preference, and at Thanksgiving you may let anyone in your family decide. "We have a hard time getting our grandson to eat a vegetable. He loves Goldfish crackers, so I came up with this recipe. You can substitute any type of crackers you like," says Southern Living reader Gerri Ellis, of Hazelhurst, MS, whose recipe inspired this dish. In the photo, we crushed a few crackers and tossed the crumbs with paprika to help the whole Goldfish stand out.
Recipe: Parsnip-Potato Soup
Parsnip-Potato Soup is a warm, rich, and delicious way to start your Thanksgiving meal. Fragrant with just a subtle hint of ginger, and blended to a delicate smoothness, you will love the flavors, tastes, and textures of every enticing bowlful. Once it's cooled, you can even freeze this silky soup in zip-top plastic freezer bags. When you would like to enjoy another serving, defrost it in the refrigerator for three to four days before using it. Reheat it over medium-low heat, and add salt and pepper if needed. Whenever you enjoy it, garnish it just before serving—sour cream, fresh chives, and olive oil are all divine.
Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
Recipe: Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
What classic Thanksgiving side dish spread is complete without a delicious offering of sweet potato recipes? Our Classic Sweet Potato Casserole is a favorite—and a reader favorite too. Think of this recipe as a classic study in Thanksgiving comfort-food: the basic recipe is sweet potatoes, butter, sugar, milk, eggs, and a few more simple ingredients, but for many people the pleasure is really the toppings. Cornflakes, marshmallows, sugar, and pecans are truly delicious. This classic casserole is nutty, buttery, savory, and sweet all in the same mouthful. So sometimes it really is nice to keep cooking the classics, and to enjoy these mouthwatering recipes.
Cooking Video: Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
Slow-Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
Sweet potatoes are often a part of Thanksgiving, and this recipe gives you a new twist on that classic flavor. Orange juice gives this dish a little sweetness, while pieces of crumbled bacon will give you something to savor, and rosemary will give it an aroma all its own. Delicious together, this sweet-and-salty side could not be easier to prep on Thanksgiving morning. Best part? It's made in the slow cooker, so you're saving valuable stovetop space. When you’re ready to serve it, sprinkle a mixture of parsley, orange zest, and garlic over the top: you’ll get just the right amount of herbs, spice, and bite in every mouthful.
Icebox Dinner Rolls
Recipe: Icebox Dinner Rolls
You always need a good dinner roll recipe, and this is especially true on Thanksgiving when you know you can’t leave one single drop of gravy on your plate—it might be impolite. This recipe is traditionally Southern, so it uses shortening, which gives these biscuits their fluff, richness, and flavor. Brushed with melted butter before baking, these will emerge from your oven a gorgeous golden-brown. They will smel so delicious and look so divine they may not even make it to the table before being devoured. This coveted dinner roll recipe is one you'll want to keep in the family.
Cooking Video: Icebox Dinner Rolls
Old-School Cranberry Salad
Recipe: Old-School Cranberry Salad
Cranberry salad is a family favorite at Thanksgiving, and it is a recipe that we love to have our readers share. Here is one of the most-enjoyed recipes for this delight, given a twist with the addition of maraschino cherries. We will let the recipe's author explain:
"My cranberry salad has become a staple at our Thanksgiving table because of its beautiful color, taste, and texture. Everyone seems to love this dish. I started adding the maraschino cherries to temper the tartness of the cranberries. The other fruits were added to satisfy family members' tastes. This recipe has a lot of flexibility, and that's why I love it so much." —SL reader Shawn Jackson, Fishers, IN.
Recipe: Cranberry-Orange Relish
This relish will have you relishing its flavors once you taste its perfect combination of sweet and tart. Using only six ingredients, this relish brings flavor, color, and crunch to your Thanksgiving table. The flesh and juice of oranges and a shot of orange liqueur help balance the sharpness of the cranberries in this coarsely chopped condiment. If you prefer to make this recipe ahead, omit the pecans, and you may prepare it up to two days in advance. Add the pecans just before serving.
Recipe: Kale-and-Collards Salad
This tart, fresh salad brings together beautiful textures, flavors, and tastes. It mixes three of our favorite leafy vegetables—collards, kale, and radicchio—with pears, avocadoes, nuts, and bacon. To truly bring out all of the subtle flavors this salad has to offer, dress the kale and collards an hour or more in advance to tenderize them. Then, when your guests are enjoying this bracing salad, they will have the zest of lemons, the bite of greens, and the sweetness of cranberries in every mouthful.
Brussels Sprouts with Ham and Caramelized Onions
This recipe is for skillet-cooked Brussels sprouts, but if you would prefer to prepare this dish in the oven there are directions below. These seared Brussels sprouts get their hint of slightly salty undertones from ham that is crisped in the skillet. Onions combine with the Brussels sprouts in a single-dish delight bursting with bold flavors and bright colors, sweetened with honey and spiced with the flavors of ground red and cracked black peppers. This is an earthy, flavorful treat, perfect for a great Thanksgiving side dish—or delicious any time of year.
Old-Fashioned Giblet-Egg Gravy
Recipe: Old-Fashioned Giblet-Egg Gravy
Good gravy really does enhance the flavors of many dishes on your Thanksgiving table, and the key to making good homemade gravy is keeping everything fresh and simple. Eggs, sherry, and butter all make this gravy rich, while onions and garlic add just the right touch of spice. Feel free to omit the egg or giblets, but do start with homemade chicken or turkey stock or the best broth you can buy. Follow these simple steps and you will enjoy that fresh-from-the-kitchen gravy taste. Then, cover every inch of your Thanksgiving turkey and dressing with this wonderful, savory gravy.
Cast-Iron Blistered Brussels Sprouts
This is the absolute best way to cook Brussels sprouts, but this recipe is as much about the beautiful flavors of the glaze as it is making sure that the sprouts are cooked to perfection. Mixing sweet and sour, an Asian-influenced sauce that includes honey, soy sauce, garlic, and crushed red pepper is stirred in with the crispy sprouts. This gives you spice, crunch, and bite in every mouthful. Searing your Brussels sprouts over high heat caramelizes the outside and yields perfect crisp-tender texture inside. For best results, use a 12-inch cast-iron pan, or sear your sprouts in two batches.
Recipe: Cranberry-Apricot Sauce
Cranberry sauce is one of the dishes on your Thanksgiving table where people either love it or leave it. This recipe for Cranberry-Apricot Sauce adds a new flavor to this traditional favorite, adding in the fresh fruit taste of apricots. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this dish. Sweet from sugar and orange juice, and tart with just a touch of red wine vinegar, this chilled sauce is a mold-formed delight. So make this incredible side dish, and break the traditional mold with an innovative take on a Thanksgiving staple.
Green Bean Casserole
Recipe: Green Bean Casserole
Everyone anticipates that there will be a green bean casserole on the Thanksgiving table, but just because it is expected doesn’t mean it can’t be amazing. You can go beyond the standard “recipe on the can” casserole by making a few simple substitutions, and by making a few simple additions. Start by substituting Alfredo sauce for cream of mushroom soup. Then, dress it up with add-ins that can include mushrooms, water chestnuts, Parmesan cheese, and toasted pecans. You will still have a great Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole to enjoy, you’ll just have taken it from mundane to mouthwatering. Savor the difference.
Part of the delight of this dish is the mixture of four cheeses that combine to give it the distinctive richness and creaminess that make it distinct. With Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Asiago, and fontina cheeses, Four-Cheese Macaroni mixes these spicy-hot, soft, and hard cheeses into a mouthwatering combination. We’ve used cavatappi pasta here—think of it like a corkscrew—so it grabs the cheese and holds on. Baked in the oven, it gets a crisp, delicious top that is finished with a delicious trio of toppings—breadcrumbs, bacon, and pecans. This macaroni and cheese ecipe is worthy of center stage.
Recipe: Chorizo-and-Cornbread Dressing
If you would like to put a new spin on an old family classic dish, this recipe for Chorizo-and-Cornbread Stuffing will have you whirling with joy without having you running around in circles. "There are two things you'll always find at the Summers' family Thanksgiving table: Julia Child's iconic Cornbread Sausage Stuffing and lively table conversation. A few years ago, I started amping up the spice in Julia's stuffing by adding jalapeño and using chorizo sausage. As the years progressed, I noticed the spicier the stuffing, the livelier the conversation." —Libbie Summers, stylist and author of Sweet & Vicious.
Cornflake, Pecan, and Marshmallow-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole
This sweet potato casserole is always going to be amazingly nutty and crunchy, but adding cornflakes cereal to the pecan-brown sugar topping gives the casserole extra crispiness. Each topping tastes beautifully toasty, and comes together in a medley of flavors all rolled into a single bite. The Cornflake, Pecan, and Marshmallow-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole is a rich and filling dish, sweet and savory at the same time. Set this down on the sideboard for a buffet-style Thanksgiving meal and your friends and family will be piling their plates high. They’ll also marvel at how beautiful it looks with its rows of cornflakes, pecans, and marshmallows spread diagonally across the top.
Creamed Onion Tart
Recipe: Creamed Onion Tart
Onions may be standard Southern side dishes, but this recipe makes them the star of your Thanksgiving sideboard. Rather than simply serving these great vegetables as slices, rings, or whole, here they are creamed and served as the main filling in a delicious tart. Paired with bacon—the onions had been cooked in their drippings—this tart is the perfect mix of salty and sweet. You’ll hardly be able to wait.
"This recipe makes classic creamed onions seem inventive and stylish. A generous wedge is an appealing side dish, but it'll make a nice first course, if paired with a salad. The tart tastes great served warm or at room temperature." —Sheri Castle, author of The Southern Living Community Cookbook
Recipe: Cornbread Dressing
Cornbread dressing is a traditional Southern staple, and every family loves to have a delicious homemade dressing around their Thanksgiving table. This Cornbread Dressing is simple and straightforward, with the flavors of sweet onion and celery, though you can dress it up with the add-ins and substitutions listed in the recipe—try Chorizo-and-Dried-Cherry Dressing or Fresh Corn-and Green-Chile Dressing. You can even get ahead of the process by making our Cornbread Crumbles in advance. Whether served alongside turkey, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce, or by itself right out of the fridge the next day, you will love this dressing recipe.
Balsamic Green Beans
Recipe: Balsamic Green Beans
Green beans are a simple vegetable, but we love to add textures and flavors to this everyday family favorite. We have green beans on our table every year for Thanksgiving, and this recipe shows you wonderful new ways to savor this holiday staple. You will enjoy the crunch and flavor from the crispy fried shallots, crumbled bacon, and coarsely chopped roasted almonds on top. The balsamic vinegar-and-sugar mixture also adds just a touch of sweet-yet-tart delight to this fantastic side dish. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, and everyone will be in line to get a second helping.
New-School Cranberry Salad
Recipe: New-School Cranberry Salad
Sometimes the best way to think about classic foods is to think about new ways to interpret them for the present day. With a focus on local ingredients and fresh-from-the-farm produce, fruits, and vegetables, we like to think about how we can take what we love from our family traditions and make them even better. We were so inspired by Old-School Cranberry Salad that we created this new version using fresh oranges and pineapple in place of canned and subbing dried cherries for maraschinos. This recipe also includes Bartlett pears, which we know you will love. So enjoy a New School Cranberry Salad on your Thanksgiving table this year.
Cane Syrup-Glazed Acorn Squash
Recipe: Cane Syrup-Glazed Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is a fantastic fall vegetable to bring to the Thanksgiving table, and adding a sweet touch like syrup simply makes this delicious vegetable even more delicious—and yes, maybe a little more Southern. For this recipe, we’ve used cane syrup to add that old-fashioned Southern sweetness to this stunning side—but we’ve also included a little ground red pepper to add in a little heat. Feel free to use maple syrup or honey instead. Top this with a delicious spread of cranberries that have been warmed in sherry vinegar, then sprinkle fresh parsley on top. You’ll love every bite.
Roasted Cauliflower-and-Garlic Soup
Roasting cauliflower brings out its delicious nutty flavor, and it can give soup a gorgeous silky texture. This fantastic soup only requires a single, large head cauliflower, simply seasoned with olive oil and kosher salt. If you would prefer to make this in advance, you can prepare the soup through Step 4 up to two days ahead. Let it cool; then cover the soup and chill. Reheat just before you're ready to serve. Serve the soup as a seated starter while your turkey rests. Serve this with any of our suggested garnishes: olive oil, pomegranate seeds, and fresh thyme leaves are all wonderful.
Balsamic-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
Roasted root vegetables make a great Thanksgiving side, but there are a lot of options if you prefer something other than the traditional potatoes or sweet potatoes. For a lighter option to those more traditional sides, try these Balsamic-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips. Light brown sugar and cherries add a bit of sweetness that is balanced by crushed red pepper and lemon zest. You will also love the rich, creamy flavor of the feta cheese mixture that is gently mixed in with the vegetables just as they come fresh out of the oven. Everyone will enjoy this incredible Thanksgiving side-dish delight.
Wild Rice Pilaf
Recipe: Wild Rice Pilaf
Wild rice has a bold, earthy, nutty taste, and a rich, fragrant aroma. Combining it with brown rice creates a delicious combination that is simmered to perfection gently in a slow cooker. Lightly coating the rice with butter or oil before adding the chicken broth prevents the grains from sticking together. Less liquid is used during slow cooking because it doesn’t evaporate as quickly as when cooking rice on the stovetop. The chicken broth will add a delicious flavor to the rice as it cooks, sweetened by the onion and the dried cherries. You will love the added texture and flavor of the lightly toasted pecans. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato-Carrot Casserole
Recipe: Sweet Potato-Carrot Casserole
Cooked carrots can taste surprisingly sweet, so you’ll savor their flavor in this fantastic Thanksgiving side dish. The carrots also add smooth texture and extra flavor to this comfort food favorite. You can serve this classic holiday casserole any time of year and expect rave reviews. This casserole is topped with marshmallows, but it also has a special ingredient: our Sugar-and-Spice Pecans. You will love the combination of heat and sweet that these bring to this amazing dish. So get your sweet potatoes roasting in the oven and get ready to enjoy this great dish that is fantastic to share with your family and friends at Thanksgiving, but just as delicious whenever you feel like making it.
Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes
Everyone loves the simplicity of mashed potatoes, so make it a tradition to always have some on your Thanksgiving table. Crafting delicious mashed mashed potatoes is not easy, but this recipe shows you how it’s done. It also brings the rich flavor of browned butter—those nutty taste you simply can’t get any other way—into the bowl. You’ll love the rich buttermilk, which adds fluff and creaminess to the mashed Yukon gold potatoes. Once you’ve whipped your potatoes to the perfect texture, you can garnish them with parsley, rosemary, or thyme. Once you sample the flavor of these potatoes, you’ll want them on the table every night of the week.
Wild Rice with Mushrooms
Recipe: Wild Rice with Mushrooms
You may enjoy something straight from the package to the stovetop to the table, but here we show you how to dress up a package of long-grain and wild rice mix with the addition of a few simple ingredients. Start by sautéing a sweet onion in some butter on the stovetop. Mix in some fresh mushrooms; then put in the Marsala. Once you have this rich, fragrant, and delicious blend ready to go, you can add it to your packaged rice and you will be amazed at the results. We guarantee that it will be a hit on your holiday table.
Roasted Sweet Potato-and-Onion Tart
This mouthwatering tart lets you get a lot of your side dishes in one bite or, if you would prefer, makes a great first course for a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner. Think outside the casserole and make this savory beauty center stage at your next family dinner. Mix sweet potato with the crunch and bite of red onion, and blend it in with the salty flavor of Gruyère cheese. The freshness of flat-leaf parsley, and rosemary, add a wonderful aroma of herbs to this crusty delight. Keep a few slices to enjoy with a light salad the next day and you will be set for a fantastic meal.
Tee's Corn Pudding
Recipe: Tee's Corn Pudding
Corn pudding is a Southern side dish that you will always want to have on your Thanksgiving table. We think that Tee’s Corn Pudding is our most delicious creamed corn, and we are happy to share the recipe. If you had to describe the dish you would say simple and scrumptious, concocted from easy ingredients that you’re always likely to have on hand. This classic corn pudding recipe has a rich, soufflé-like texture without the hassle. The result is an impressive holiday side dish the entire family will love. Top it with some freshly-chopped chives and you will love it even more.
Recipe: Cornbread Dressing
Enjoying a fantastic cornbread dressing doesn’t have to mean checking your oven to see if your dish is ready. If you want to walk into your kitchen and enjoy the aroma of freshly made cornbread dressing without the fuss, you will love our slow-cooker countertop recipe. This recipe cooks slow and low, letting all the savory flavors combine. The cornbread dressing is sweet with onions and rich with butter. We are sure you will love the scent of freshly chopped sage. For a finishing touch, spoon this deliciously warm dressing into pretty bowls, and you can delight in every mouthwatering bite.
Creole Cornbread Dressing
Recipe: Creole Cornbread Dressing
We love a classic cornbread dressing, but sometimes your taste buds want just that little bit more. This classic cornbread dressing gets dressed up with spicy andouille sausage, green onions, sherry, and Creole seasoning, bringing a true taste of Louisiana to this traditional Southern favorite. You will love the tastes and textures of this crumbly wonder, its crisp and crunchy top giving way to a moist center. Serve it fresh out of the oven where you can cover it in gravy and it will sop it up, or save a bowl to savor first thing in the morning. However you enjoy it, you will find this Creole Cornbread Dressing to be a wonder.
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
For this delicious dish you oven-roast Brussels sprouts in the oven and crisp slices of pancetta in a pan on the stovetop. Once the sprouts are lightly browned, they will be covered in the crumbled Pancetta and dusted with Parmesan cheese, adding a touch of saltiness to the roasted richness of the sprouts. If you prefer—and to make the dish more classically Southern, of course—you can substitute bacon for the pancetta. However you enjoy it, you will delight in the crisp Brussels sprouts, the crunchy bacon, and the salty bite of the Parmesan cheese.
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a pure delight, and having them on the Thanksgiving table should always be a family tradition. But making perfect mashed potatoes is not as easy as it sounds, so this recipe is designed to get you spuds from whole to whipped in a jiffy, and to get your family from skeptical to enjoying scrumptious mashed potatoes. The secret here is the cream cheese: it gives your potatoes extra richness and flavor, and mixes well with the butter and half-and-half. Yukon gold potatoes are the perfect potato choice because they yield a texture that's just right for holding a pool of flavorful turkey gravy or melted butter.
Shrimp and Grits Dressing
Recipe: Shrimp and Grits Dressing
Few things embody the true taste of the South more than a classic Shrimp and Grits, and what better way to bring the taste of the Lowcountry to your Thanksgiving table than through this incredible must-try dressing. Apart from the usual shrimp and grits, this dressing brings the flavors of breadcrumbs, bell peppers, green onions, and Parmesan cheese to the table. This may become your family’s go-to dressing, or you may find yourself making this dish at any time of the year. Everyone loves a twist on a classic, and once you taste this Shrimp and Grits Dressing you will understand why.
Recipe: Squash Casserole
Often squash casseroles are topped with crackers, but this recipe has a delicious topping made with breadcrumbs and crispy fried onions. When our test kitchen was thinking about traditional Thanksgiving sides they asked why we should limit French fried onions to green bean casserole? That was a delicious question, so now we love them on this cheesy squash casserole, too. It is filled with all the usual deliciousness, including squash, sweet onions, Cheddar cheese, and mayonnaise. This rich center is covered in a fantastic topping, resulting in steamy bites of melted cheese, squash, and crisp fried onion in every mouthful.
Recipe: Cranberry-Pecan Pilau
Traditional Thanksgiving flavors are transformed in this crunchy rice dish that mixes the nutty flavors of pecans, and wild pecan brown rice, with the sweetness of sherry. It also adds in the subtle sugars of dried cranberries, which are gently sautéed in a pan over medium-low heat, bringing all their rich, beautiful taste to the fore. A pound of shallots, also cooked in butter, add depth to this delightful dish. Once everything is mixed together, it creates a harmony of tastes and aromas. This simple side dish makes a fantastic addition to your Thanksgiving menu, but it is delicious at any time of year.
Maple Sweet Potato Cups
Recipe: Maple Sweet Potato Cups
Keep this recipe quick and easy and in no time you can enjoy this delicious side dish. First, swing by the freezer section for the perfect convenience item—frozen sweet potatoes. You might feel inclined to skip the meringue, and if you do you could try some mini marshmallows. But we recommend that you try these meringues—spoon them on and in a few minutes they’ll turn a gorgeous golden-brown. Then you can indulge in every delicious mouthful. However you want to top your Maple Sweet Potato Cups, know that mini marshmallows or meringues always make tasty, timeless, excellent choices.
Recipe: Cranberry Salsa
Dress up your Thanksgiving turkey with one of our delicious cranberry sauces. Our variations range from sweet-and-tangy to hot-and-spicy, and from the traditional sauce, through the chutney, to a salsa. The Hot-and-Spicy Cranberry-Pear Chutney is a great choice for Thanksgiving because you can make it in advance: it keeps up to a month in the refrigerator. For a more traditional take on this holiday classic, try Grandma Erma's Spirited Cranberry Sauce that—mixing port and orange liqueur—will also keep up to three weeks. Finally, there is the Cranberry Salsa, for when you need to bring the heat to the Thanksgiving table. Enjoy any, or all, of these great cranberry dishes for Thanksgiving.
Cooking Video: Grandma Erma's Spirited Cranberry Sauce
Green Beans with Citrus and Pecans
This may look like a simple salad with a citrus dressing, and yes, a citrus vinaigrette adds fresh zing to crisp-tender green beans. The added ingredient here is cane syrup, adding in just that little bit of sweetness to enhance the tartness of the lemon juice. The orange juice will add a touch of sweetness as well. The chopped shallot brings a little spice, infusing the vinaigrette with a little punch and bite, offsetting the crunch of the green beans and creating a mouthwatering foil for the orange segments. Top this salad with the chopped pecans and you will enjoy a nutty crunch that adds an extra flavor and texture to each mouthful.