30 Deliciously Easy Thanksgiving Vegetable Sides
The turkey may be the star of the show, but Thanksgiving isn't complete without an array of veggie-based side dishes. Lucky for you, we've got plenty to choose from. Some are healthy, like this Sweet Potato and Chard Salad, and some are more indulgent, like these creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes With Chile-Paprika Butter. Rest assured, though—they're all delicious.
Homemade Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Leeks
You might have a go-to green bean casserole recipe, but you have to try this one. These thin, crispy fried leeks are an absolutely delicious casserole topper and look way more elegant than the canned fried onions. The leeks fry up very quickly; keep a close watch on them as they cook.
Green Bean Casserole
We’ve given the classic casserole an upgrade by swapping sodium-heavy canned soup for a rich and chunky homemade mushroom sauce. For bean blanching instructions, see the note on the recipe at left.
Smoky Brussels Sprouts
Since there’s a touch of sugar in this recipe, stir the Brussels sprouts often to prevent burning. If you’re feeling extra decadent, top this side with a little grated Manchego cheese.
Green Beans with Mustard-Tarragon Sauce
Substitute fresh thyme or dill for the tarragon, if you prefer. To blanch haricots verts, cook them in boiling water 2 minutes, and immediately transfer to an ice bath to cool.
Two-Toned Scalloped Potatoes
Using both sweet potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes gives classic, comforting scalloped potatoes a delicious upgrade. Perfect for family gatherings and holiday dinners at any point in the year, this impressive potato side dish delivers creamy richness, robust savory flavor, and a delightful crunch with a herby panko-pecan topping. You can assemble the dish (minus the topping) ahead of time and refrigerate up to 12 hours before you’re ready to bake.
Green Beans Amandine
Adding lemon juice and water to the browned butter mixture creates a lovely, glossy sauce that coats the beans beautifully. The overall impression is that there’s far more butter than is actually there. You can easily get a head start by completing step 1 up to two days ahead; then the recipe can come together in the last few minutes before the feast.
Italian-Style Green Bean Casserole
Artichoke hearts, breadcrumbs and parsley add Italian-style flair to this holiday staple.
Savory Sweet Potato Casserole
This holiday season, skip the usual marshmallow-topped casserole and serve this Savory Sweet Potato Casserole for a change of pace. Because sweet potatoes are so naturally sweet, they are nicely balanced by this savory Parmesan-herb streusel topping. The topping is made with day-old sourdough bread, but you can use another type of stale white bread such as country white, if you prefer. To cut down on sticky clean up, place the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet before roasting them. We promise, no one will miss the marshmallows.
Lemon-Feta Green Beans
Searing lemons is one of our favorite tricks for upping the ante on any dish. The tart juice mellows out, providing the perfect balance for the briny capers and feta in this skillet side. If you have any leftovers, try adding halved cherry tomatoes and enjoying as a cold salad; some cooked chicken or shrimp would turn it into a lovely main dish.
Hasselback Sweet Potato Casserole
Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Not without a sweet potato casserole. Here’s a fun twist on the traditional sweet potato casserole. These thinly sliced potatoes bake in a creamy brown sugar sauce to until tender on the inside and crispy around the edges. For the most even results, choose fat, round sweet potatoes that weigh six to seven ounces each. You can prepare this casserole the day before Thanksgiving.
Nothing says autumn like a hearty casserole—something you can make on a weekend afternoon, and have for leftovers over the next couple days. Here, rich Gruyere cheese marries with the bright acid of a dry white wine (try a Sauvignon Blanc) to bring a touch of elegance to this yummy comfort food.
Brussels Sprouts Casserole
This solid casserole is perfect for a winter gathering and would especially be welcome around the holidays. The strong flavors of sharply biting Brussels sprouts and salty bacon are rounded our with creamy, cheesy goodness while buttery breadcrumbs add a nice crunch. It’d make a perfect side for roasted chicken or pot roast, but it’s also a nice addition to a Thanksgiving or Christmas table.
Maple-Caraway Brussels Sprouts
Caraway seeds toast and infuse the butter as it browns, giving the Brussels sprouts a beautifully bronzed look and adding nutty depth.
Shaved Carrot, Asparagus, and Apple Salad
Add sweetness and color to your usual cabbage slaw with this creative side dish that includes green apple, asparagus, basil, and carrots. A vegetable peeler is the best tool to get super thin slices of asparagus. (Buy thicker spears to make this job easier.) We love using angel hair cabbage in this easy salad because it’s delicately shredded and breaks down quickly in the vinaigrette while still maintaining a nice crunch. Unlike other slaw recipes, this one needs to be served immediately, although you can prep the fruit and vegetables a day or two in advance and store them, covered, in the refrigerator.
Roasted Carrots with Pecans and Sorghum
A sweet and tangy vinaigrette made with apple cider vinegar and sorghum syrup makes these carrots incredibly flavorful. If you can’t find sorghum syrup, use an equal amount of honey or maple syrup. And be sure to choose small carrots. They will roast and caramelize more evenly and have more natural sweetness than larger ones.
Broccoli Cheese Casserole
We love a good broccoli casserole and this recipe is amazing to have on hand. This Broccoli-Cheese Casserole recipe is just plain decadent and delicious. You're sure to convert any broccoli hater with this creamy casserole. Fresh steam-in-bag broccoli florets make this comforting casserole come together even faster. We suggest using Club crackers for the topping because of their buttery quality. Your family will love this casserole recipe during the holidays, but we think it is a year-round winner.
Sweet Potato and Chard Salad
Be sure to dice the sweet potato into relatively similar-size small pieces to ensure quick, even cooking. This one-pot cooking method shows how easy it is to cook potatoes and greens to the perfect doneness in the same pot—just start the potatoes a few minutes ahead, then add the chard. While the potatoes and chard cook, warm precooked farro in the microwave, or make a batch of quick-cooking farro on the stovetop. For the best flavor, use tarragon vinegar, which is infused with fresh tarragon flavor. In a pinch, use white wine vinegar.
Savory Broccoli-and-Sauerkraut Salad
This crunchy, make-ahead salad is a far cry from the supersweet broccoli salad you might be used to; it’s more savory than sweet, with a nice floral lift from lemon rind. It provides both pre- and probiotics for better gut health. Prebiotics—food for probiotics—come from the broccoli (especially the stems), onion, and garlic. Probiotics come from sauerkraut and kefir, which has up to 12 strains of good-for-you bacteria. Be sure to use refrigerated fermented kraut; shelf-stable jarred or canned kraut has been heated to temperatures that kill the bacteria.
Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes
Herb-infused olive oil and Greek yogurt replace much of the butter and milk you’d find in traditional mashed potatoes. The finished dish has a lightly tangy, herbal fruity flavor that’s irresistible. You can make the potatoes a day ahead, but anticipate that you may need to stir in a little milk to restore the creamy texture.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes With Chile-Paprika Butter
These potatoes are bright with garlic, and the chile butter adds a hint of spice. Leaving the skins on the Yukon Golds adds a slightly rustic texture. Aleppo is a flaky smoked chile pepper you’ll find at specialty stores; it’s a great spice to keep on hand, but you can omit it here if you don’t have it.
Hasselback Beets with Tangy Dill Sauce and Caraway
Elevate sweet, earthy beets into a show-stopping side dish with a bold but balanced Eastern European flavor profile and a little hasselback magic. A handy trick for hasselbacking is to place your beets between the handles of two wooden spoons or two chopsticks in order to cut the slices well into each beet, but not all the way through to the cutting board.
Harissa-Roasted Carrots With Pistachios
Available in most supermarkets, harissa comes in mild and hot varieties; if you want to play it safe, go with mild, then bump up the heat with a dash of cayenne pepper if you like. To make after-dinner cleanup easier, line your roasting pan with aluminum foil before adding the carrot mixture.
Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Batons With Tahini Dip
Deep caramelization from roasting brings out the natural sweetness in carrots and parsnips. Try to cut the vegetables into the size we call for in step 2. If the pieces are too large or too long, they may cook unevenly or end up limp; if they’re too small, they will likely burn. You can make the dip a day or two ahead, but bring it to room temperature before serving for the best flavor.
Moroccan Spiced Carrots
A heady blend of spices makes these roasted carrots hard to resist. If you can find tender baby carrots, they make a great shortcut; just give them a good scrub—no peeling required. Check the carrots during cooking; smaller carrots could overcook, yielding mushy results. Pair these carrots with roasted lamb or beef or your favorite curry dish.
Glazed Carrots Almondine
Traditional versions of glazed carrots can include up to 2/3 cup sugar. Our re-imagined version delivers all the classic flavor with just a tablespoon of honey and a dash brandy. If you’d like to keep this dish kid-friendly, substitute apple cider vinegar for the brandy. Be sure to stir frequently during the last few minutes of cooking to ensure maximum glazed goodness.
Pea, Radish, and Carrot Salad
Pretty ribbons of rainbow carrots, bright radishes, and vibrant green snap peas make this spring side a feast for the eyes. Go for multicolored radishes if you can—the more color the better here. Sprinkling the carrots and radishes with a pinch of salt and setting them aside while you make the dressing softens them just enough to make them easier to eat without losing any of the crunch. The miso-ginger flavors in the carrot dressing would pair well with stir-fried chicken tenders seasoned with reduced-sodium tamari and a touch of sesame oil.
Raw and Roasted Carrots and Fennel
This salad demonstrates the magic that happens when you showcase both the raw and cooked sides of ingredients.
Creamed Spinach With Hazelnuts
Unlike some versions of creamed spinach, here you actually taste the greens. They’re enhanced by—but not overwhelmed by—the creamy sauce.
Packaged broccoli slaw adds instant crunch and color to this salad. You can also toss it into stir-fries, use it to bulk up chili, or add it to quiche or casseroles for a veggie boost.