Are you looking for the BEST Thanksgiving side dishes? These recipes are our tried and true favorites to serve alongside a roast turkey!

The side dishes are just as important as the main dish for any turkey dinner feast. A holiday meal, while a lot of work, is actually easy to prepare with great recipes and lots of planning!

a collage of thanksgiving sides

The recipes below include Thanksgiving sides that will impress your guests from classic/traditional (like mashed potatoes and gravy) to space-saving crock pot versions and fun twists on the usuals!

Table of Contents
  1. Classic Thanksgiving Dishes
  2. Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes
  3. Potato Side Dishes
  4. Vegetable Side Dishes
  5. Green Bean Side Dishes
  6. Sweet Potato Side Dishes
  7. Stuffing Recipes
  8. Casserole Sides
  9. Other Favorite Side Dishes

Classic Thanksgiving Dishes

What are the most popular side dishes at Thanksgiving? These classic sides are staples that have been gracing our grandmother’s tables for years… and are now on our tables too!

Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Traditional side dishes for thanksgiving are the staple of our meal. While we love to add in unique and delicious dishes, the traditional dishes in this list cannot be missed.

Potato Side Dishes

Potatoes are the perfect starchy side dish and one of the best vehicles for all of that delicious gravy.  While we traditionally make mashed potatoes, the options are truly endless.

  1. Potatoes Au Gratin
  2. Funeral Potatoes
  3. Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
  4. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Vegetable Side Dishes

You’ll have no problem getting kids (or adults) to eat their vegetables. I love the pop of freshness vegetables add to a typical turkey dinner!

Green Bean Side Dishes

Green bean casserole is one of my all time favorite side dishes but I’d gladly add any of these favorites to my menu!

Sweet Potato Side Dishes

Sweet potatoes are a thanksgiving staple for good reason. We love them mashed, smashed, roasted or baked. Top with marshmallows or brown sugar and pecans for a yummy dessert-like side.

Stuffing Recipes

No thanksgiving meal would be complete without a scoop of stuffing on the side (and it’s my personal favorite thanksgiving side dish). Any of these can be cooked in the bird or in a casserole (which is the difference between stuffing and dressing).

Casserole Sides

Macaroni and cheese is a thanksgiving side dish but it’s not the only casserole to add to your turkey dinner table! These easy favorites can be made ahead of time and baked just before serving!

Other Favorite Side Dishes

It doesn’t end there… deviled eggs, fluff salads, breads, rolls. All of them are a welcome addition to your holiday feast.

Deviled Eggs

Fluff Salads

Squash Recipes

More Sweet Salads

Breads and Rolls

How Many Sides Do You Need?

This will vary based on the size of your crowd and how many leftovers you want (I want ALLLLL of the leftovers). I aim for the following:
1 starchy side (such as mashed potatoes)
1 sweet side (sweet potatoes or yams)
1-2 veggies or something fresh
1 casserole (mac and cheese, broccoli casserole)
gravy, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce

If you have a smaller crowd, pick and choose your favorites. You may not need a veggie and a casserole, instead, you could make a vegetable casserole like broccoli. If you’re feeding a crowd, lighten your load and have your guests bring a side potluck style.

How to Make Casseroles Ahead of Time

Some (not all) Thanksgiving side dishes can be made ahead of time. Most casseroles (and stuffing/dressing) are fine to be made ahead of time.
Prepare as directed and cool completely (usually before baking).
Once cooled cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Since the ingredients are chilled, it may need some extra cook time. I often take it out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before baking.

Can you make vegetables ahead of time?

Most vegetable side dishes can be prepared ahead of time but I would suggest cooking on the day of serving. Measure out your ingredients, wash, cut and prep vegetables. If the recipe has a sauce, it can often be prepared ahead of time as well and stored separately.

Can you make mashed potatoes ahead of time?

Mashed potatoes are a go-to and can be prepared ahead of time or even prepared in the slow cooker. If you happen to prepare them ahead of time, they can be reheated in the slow cooker, microwave, oven or even stovetop.



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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. A terrific collection of Thanksgiving recipes, Holly. You have it pretty much covered, as far as ‘today’s’ popular dishes are concerned. I’m wondering if anyone had any of the old classic dishes handed down to them from their grandmothers and their mothers as I have. I never see them on any cooking blogs, but they’re absolutely delicious! I’m referring to Oyster Dressing, Chestnut Dressing, Giblet Dressing, Giblet Gravy, and Pea Salad w/Ham & Cheddar cubes. Even though I’m a young & modern cook, but I truly still love & appreciate those oldies but goodies. Happy Tranksgiving, and stay well.5 stars

    1. I agree, love the oldies too!! Of that list, I have the following:
      Giblet gravy
      (you can substitute ham if you’d like)

      Thank you for the feedback, I have a really great collection of old recipe cards and I think I’ll need to sift through them to see what goodies I can find!!