Beans, green vegetables, potatoes, and corn are just four ingredients you’ll need to make your Thanksgiving side dish recipes a success. Whether you’re a carb-lover with your turkey or prefer to stick to veggies, we’ve got several easy Thanksgiving recipes ready to make courtesy of TikTok. And we mean easy: these side dishes are a lot less hassle than figuring out how to choose a Thanksgiving turkey for the big meal, let alone cook one. (Although if you need a great turkey recipe to go with all these sides, we suggest Kamala Harris’s, it’s delicious!)
Or you can always skip the turkey completely. According to Emma Laperruque, food editor at Enjoy your meal, Turkey alternatives are a big trend for Thanksgiving 2023. “Just because it’s called Turkey Day doesn’t mean you need turkey,” Laperruque said. Charm. “Whether it’s choosing another protein like chicken or duck, or skipping meat altogether, I’m seeing more Thanksgiving without turkey than ever. And like someone says ‘no thanks’ to turkey, I love it selfishly.
A meal consisting only of side dishes? Why not. But know thyself: as good as these recipes are, don’t overdo it by trying to make them all. We all want Thanksgiving side dishes to impress, but that doesn’t have to come at the cost of your sanity. “I’m all about trying a new recipe or two or three every year,” Laperruque says. “But even as a recipe developer, I would never try everything new dishes. Including tried-and-true classics that you could do in your sleep reduces stress. Then you can have more fun, which is the whole point. You’ll need that time to work on your Thanksgiving nails anyway.
Choosing recipes that can be made ahead is one way to narrow the range, especially if you’re not the one hosting this year. In this situation, Laperruque suggests bringing a dish that can be stored at room temperature. “If it needs to go in the fridge or freezer, fine, but avoid anything that requires prep work or oven space,” says Laperruque. “Chances are there are already too many cooks in the kitchen.” Say no more.
While not all of these Thanksgiving side dish recipes are the healthiest options, they are delicious… even if they will send you into a food coma. What if you need a nap after dinner? Fire up one of the best Thanksgiving movies and recharge your batteries because you won’t want to miss dessert.
Potato gratin with cheese
Say goodbye to boring potatoes seasoned only with salt and pepper. This scalloped cheese dish is surprisingly simple, considering how delicious it is. Boil the russet potatoes before sautéing the garlic, sweet onion and spices in the butter. Add all-purpose flour, milk and stir in cheese before baking dish.
Thanksgiving vegetable side dishes don’t have to be boring! Kale is a versatile vegetable that is used in everything from smoothies to pasta. Sure, a traditional kale salad might not seem special, but that’s because your everyday salad doesn’t include chickpeas, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard. This is one of those Thanksgiving dinner ideas that will wow your guests.
Crispy Smashed Roast Potatoes
Forget the fries. Potato chips, who? Tater toddlers? Never heard of them. You don’t need a deep fryer to make potatoes crispier. The secret is to crush them after they’ve boiled and be sure to flip them once they’re in the oven.
Spicy Carrots with Zaatar and Maple
Thanksgiving vegetables don’t often have the same fanfare as your turkeys and pumpkin pies, but why? These Za’atar carrots are a mixture of sweet and spicy due to the maple syrup and the combination of herbs. The mixture consists of toasted sesame seeds, dried sumac, salt and other spices. Colorful vegetables are a unique addition to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
When you see a box of stuffing (or salad dressing) in the aisle of a grocery store, keep walking. Instead, grab a handful of ingredients to make Thanksgiving food from scratch. Chop a loaf of bread and add the garlic, onion, celery, spices and pickles. Yes, you read that right: pickles. Hey, don’t judge a recipe by its ingredients. It’s easy to put together while you watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
There are many vegetarian recipes for collard greens, but this is not one of them. This recipe follows the traditional method of slow cooking the vegetable in broth with pork shanks.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts have arguably had the greatest glow in the plant world. But they are popular for a reason: they are delicious! This recipe calls for bacon, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, toasted walnuts, goat cheese and cranberries.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Thanksgiving side dishes tend to consist of a once healthy food made unhealthy with added ingredients, and you know what? I’m not complaining at all. Sugar, cinnamon, and marshmallows were made to be put on sweet potatoes, and you can’t convince me otherwise.
If you need a last-minute side dish to bring to a Friendsgiving, this green bean recipe is sure to wow your friends. Ingredients include hot chili pepper, soy sauce, black wine vinegar, sesame oil, honey, minced ginger and garlic. In other words, it will complete any Thanksgiving dinner. Trust us on this.
Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Mushrooms
Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Mushrooms are a mouthful to say and eat. These are loaded with jalapeños, cheese, garlic, and breadcrumbs. Yum.
Cook with corn
Full Transparency: The cornbread I eat is usually the one made from a box mix. I’ve never complained, but after watching this TikTok, I’m starting to think I did it wrong. It takes a little extra effort, but cooking the side dish with canned corn makes a huge difference in taste.
Everyone has their favorite traditional Thanksgiving side dish, but none are more controversial than cranberry sauce. Buy it out of the box if that’s what you like…Where Boil your own cranberries and have bragging rights at dinner when everyone devours your dish. Thanksgiving is an excuse to pretend you’re on a cooking show and test your cooking skills. And nothing could be simpler than this sweet staple.
Hand pulled cabbage
Vivian Aronson uses Taiwanese cabbage and cooks it in bacon. What makes this recipe unique is that it cooks the bacon in the water before making the dish. Apparently it helps cook the fat from the bacon. Hey, you learn something new every day!
Cookies baked on a grill? We’re listening. The Grillin With Dad account must be onto something because these cookies coated in butter, cheese and parsley are making my mouth water through the screen. Play your favorite Thanksgiving songs while you cook for maximum fun.
Potatoes are to Thanksgiving food what candy is to Halloween. They just go together. This vegan-friendly recipe is similar to a deviled egg except there’s no egg — just, you guessed it, potatoes.
Mac and cheese in the oven
IMHO: mac and cheese is best baked. There’s something about a crispy top protecting gooey macaroni and cheese that will always taste better than anything in a box. The ingredients are super simple and this user has one rule: Absolutely no eggs.
We talked about green salads, but not fruit salads. Think of this ambrosia salad as a palate cleanser. A few bites of tangerines, pineapples and cherries will set you up for seconds or thirds.
Sweet Potato Fries
It doesn’t matter if you’re the chef or the guest, it’s nice to snack while dinner is being prepared. Sliced potatoes serve well as an appetizer when served with a delicious dip.
Butternut, spaghetti, acorn: fall is squash season. So why not make it an addition for Thanksgiving dinner? It’s tasty, healthy and simple to make. Simply take the acorn squash and cook it with browned butter, hazelnuts and lots of garlic.
Green bean casserole
Thanksgiving has the power to take any dish and turn it into a casserole: sweet potatoes, corn, and green beans (not all together, of course). Flour, broth and half and half give it the liquid consistency. Meanwhile, the breadcrumbs and fried onions give it a well-deserved crunch. One of the most popular easy Thanksgiving side dishes for a reason.
Cranberry Brie Bites
Cranberry. Brie. Bites. Do you really need more explanation of why this dish is needed at your next Thanksgiving dinner? I do not think so.
Homemade Parker rolls with salted honey
Warm buttery buns straight from the oven will complete your Thanksgiving meal, no matter what turkey sides you enjoy.
Spinach and artichoke dip
Does mixing fresh spinach and artichokes with cream cheese and shredded cheese make it healthy? Ask a friend. Either way, it’s high on the list of Thanksgiving dishes I want to try this year.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprout Salad
Brussels sprouts are great on their own, but even better mixed with other flavors like butternut squash, pecans, and dried cranberries. Spices are minimal as the different foods provide enough flavor on their own.
Consider mashed potatoes the MVP of Thanksgiving. There are a ton of ways to make potatoes, but somehow mashed potatoes will always hold a special place in our hearts. Plus, it’s a great excuse to buy a Kitchen Aid.
Originally appeared on Glamor