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40 Thanksgiving Side Dishes That Will Impress Your Grandma

15 min read

By ActiveBeat Author

You can’t have an epic dinner without delicious side dishes. While the big bird may be the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal, the side dishes are what complement the main entrée so well. When creating your menu you’ll want to have a variety of different dishes. These should range from classics such as dinner rolls to light dishes such as salads and a few hearty dishes too. This will not only help balance the meal but will ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Whether you’ve volunteered to bring a dish to the big dinner or you are hosting this year, make sure to check out these delicious side dish recipes. While Grandma does it best, she may just be surprised and overly pleased by the new recipes you bring! Share a recipe or two for the big Thanksgiving feast and you’re sure to get Grandma’s stamp of approval.

40. Bang Bang Brussels Sprouts

If you’ve never been a big fan of brussels sprouts, you need to try this recipe. It’s seriously life-changing, masking any bitterness with other amazing flavors.

This bang bang brussels sprouts dish is creamy, spicy, and is so good that you’ll be licking your plate clean. This recipe also has an option to make it dairy-free and vegan-friendly. Grandma will be shocked she didn’t think of this recipe herself!

Photo and Recipe Credit: Forkly

39. Caprese Salad

Make sure to throw a few lighter dishes in the mix when it comes to Thanksgiving. Salads are a great option to lighten up the meal and provide some fresh options and your guests will thank you.

This caprese salad recipe is incredibly easy to throw together and is made up of three fresh ingredients including ripe tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. Once assembled, drizzle olive oil and a balsamic glaze and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. It’s that straightforward!

Photo and Recipe Credit: The Kitchn

38. Corn And Brown Rice Casserole

Casseroles are great for big dinners because they can feed a lot of people and don’t require a lot of work. This corn and brown rice casserole recipe is packed with wholesome ingredients and yummy flavors.

This casserole comes together easily – just throw all the ingredients into a dish and bake for 30 minutes. It’s creamy, cheesy, delicious, and will taste like Grandma made it herself.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Lord Byron’s Kitchen

37. Asparagus Gruyere Tart

This tart is so stunning that Grandma will think you spent hours preparing the recipe. Though, in reality, it only took you 10 minutes to prep!

The secret to making this tart so easy is to skip the homemade pastry and use store-bought puff pastry. It’s topped with Gruyere cheese, honey dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, and tender asparagus.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Hip Foodie Mom

36. Easy Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms

Mushrooms may be boring on their own, but mix in the right ingredients and they can be the star of the show. These garlic butter roasted mushrooms are savory and so easy to make!

For this recipe, you’ll only need mushrooms, minced garlic, butter and a dash of salt and pepper. Once prepared you’ll roast them in the oven until they’ve reached a golden color and crispy texture.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Iowa Girl Eats

35. Herb And Garlic Potato Stacks

Do you want to serve something other than mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving? Then you need to try this herb and garlic potato stacks recipe.

They look gourmet, but they’re actually quite easy to make. First, you’ll use a mandolin to slice the potatoes thinly and evenly. To assemble, you’ll stack the slices on top of one another, brush them with a herb and garlic glaze and then bake until they’re a golden perfection.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Sweet Peas and Saffron

34. Hasselback Butternut Squash Roasted Side Dish

You may be familiar with Hasselback potatoes or chicken but have you ever thought you could try that technique on another vegetable? Butternut squash is another classic side dish for holiday dinners and this creative Hasselback twist is perfect for your Thanksgiving menu.

The awesome thing about this technique is it allows all the flavors to soak into each layer making it a lot more flavorful. The seasonings and other ingredients for this recipe are simple, yet this dish will definitely stand out on your table.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Forkly

33. Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes

It’s fun to throw in a few new, unique dishes to your Thanksgiving feast but including classic dishes, like this recipe, is important too. We’re going to show you how your Instant Pot can cook mashed potatoes and how it can do it quickly!

You’ll add milk, broth, garlic, and chopped potatoes to the Instant Pot. Once cooked you’ll drain any leftover liquid and mash until the potatoes have reached a desirable creaminess – it’s so easy!

Photo and Recipe Credit: Forkly

32. 3-Ingredient Cranberry Brie Bites

Cranberry sauce is a must-have for Thanksgiving dinner. After all, it’s the classic dressing for the turkey. However, make sure to save some of that cranberry sauce so you can whip up these delightful bites.

This recipe is so easy to create and better yet, only requires three simple ingredients. These include a package of puff pastry, Brie cheese, and cranberry sauce. Assemble them in a muffin tin to create the perfect single-sized servings.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Tablespoon

31. Fully Loaded Sweet Potatoes

The great thing about sweet potatoes is that they’re … well … sweet! So there’s no question that other sweet ingredients such as marshmallows and brown sugar pair perfectly.

You’ve likely seen marshmallowy sweet potato casserole before but you may have not tried this fully loaded sweet potatoes recipe! It takes on the same flavors as the casserole but fills a baked sweet potato instead. You’ll combine butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped pecans, and mini marshmallows with a baked sweet potato to creative a delicious festive meal.

Photo and Recipe Credit: The Novice Chef

30. Cranberry Fluff

Switch things up and add a touch of sweetness to your Thanksgiving table. This cranberry fluff is easy to make and the kids at your table will go crazy for it!

This recipe only takes 10 minutes and six ingredients to make. Some of these include fresh cranberries, mini marshmallows, grapes, whipping cream and sugar.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Num’s The Word

29. Sweet Potato Puffs

Recipes that look elegant but require minimal effort are awesome, and these sweet potato puffs are just that. They’ll look stunning amongst the Thanksgiving spread and won’t take a lot of work to make.

First, you’ll need to boil the potatoes to make them nice and soft. Then, you’ll need to mix in a few ingredients and blend until they’ve reached a lovely fluffy texture. To finish this recipe you’ll use a piping bag to create the perfect little sweet potato puffs.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Taste of Lizzy T

28. Green Bean Bundles

Get creative with presentation by trying this green bean bundle recipe. Tender green beans are wrapped in savory and crispy bacon.

Garlic, brown sugar, and a dash of salt and pepper is all you’ll need to season these bundles. Before assembling the bundles for the oven you’ll need to slightly cook the bacon as well as boil the greens beans on the stovetop.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Spend With Pennies

27. Easy Garlic Parmesan Knots

Dinner rolls are a must-have food item for any big dinner. Delicious rolls don’t have to labor-intensive and this recipe proves that.

For starters, you’ll use store-bought refrigerated buttermilk biscuits. With a few seasonings and melted butter, you’ll have these made in no time.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Damn Delicious

26. Slow Cooker Stuffing

Everyone has favorite traditional dishes for Thanksgiving. Often, one of these staple dishes is stuffing.

If you’re planning on having stuffing as a side dish this Thanksgiving make sure you try this recipe. This is a homemade recipe that starts with bread crumbs, chopped celery, and onion and is seasoned with the most savory flavors. Better yet, it’s made in the slow cooker for easy preparation.

Photo and Recipe Credit: The Kitchen Is My Playground

25. Cheesy Stuffing Casserole

Perhaps you want to try an untraditional stuffing recipe this year? If that’s the case make sure you add this cheesy stuffing casserole to your dinner menu.

This recipe is incredibly easy, made extra easy with some help from a box of stuffing mix. Put a unique spin on it and add frozen broccoli florets, corn and loads of cheese and cream of chicken soup.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Life In The Loft House

24. Creamy Green Bean Casserole From Scratch

Green bean casserole has long been a classic Thanksgiving dish. If it isn’t already a traditional dish in your home, this recipe it is bound to become one.

This casserole is made from scratch and the final product is well worth it. Tender green beans are surrounded by the creamiest sauce and are topped with crunchy fried onions. It’s truly drool-worthy!

Photo and Recipe Credit: Sally’s Baking Addiction

23. Whiskey Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Step up your side dish game with these whiskey glazed sweet potatoes. Diced sweet potatoes are combined with honey, whiskey, and glazed pecans and balanced with tart Granny Smith apples.

This recipe will only take about 15 minutes to prepare. It does require a couple of different steps, however, the results are well worth it.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Well Plated

22. Cranberry Almond Broccoli Salad

Add a pop of color to your dinner table by serving your guests this cranberry, almond, and broccoli salad. It has an unforgettable texture and a deliciously creamy poppy seed dressing.

Some of these wonderful textures come from broccoli florets, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, and crispy bacon pieces. This recipe also comes with a must-try homemade poppy seed dressing that you’ll love!

Photo and Recipe Credit: The Chunky Chef

21. Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Squash, Pecans, And Cranberries

Another lovely and colorful side dish that would look great on your dinner table is this roasted brussels sprouts recipe. Roasted brussels sprouts are combined with cinnamon, butternut squash, pecans, and cranberries.

Both brussels sprouts and butternut squash will need to roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Once cooked you’ll combine the roasted veggies with pecans and cranberries. If you like sweeter flavors you can add in two additional tablespoons of maple syrup.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Julia’s Album

20. 1-Hour Soft And Buttery Dinner Rolls

If you’re seeking a more traditional dinner roll instead of the garlic knots then add these homemade dinner rolls to your menu. This recipe may take about an hour to make but your Grandma will be astonished that you made them yourself.

You’ll need just a handful of ingredients to make these too! Follow the recipe and directions to see how you too can bake a soft dinner roll that everyone will enjoy.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Gimme Some Oven

19. Pecan, Blue Cheese And Apple Salad

Apples always remind us of Fall, mostly because this is when you get the chance to visit apple orchards and pick apples. So it’s no wonder that a lovely apple salad makes a great addition to the Thanksgiving feast.

This salad is made up of five tasty ingredients. These include celery, cheese, dried cranberries, maple glazed pecans and of course, apples. This recipe also comes equipped with a homemade cider vinaigrette. Your guests, especially Grandma, are sure to enjoy it.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Just A Little Bit of Bacon

18. Spicy Bourbon Glazed Carrots

This isn’t your Grandma’s glazed carrot recipe, but she’ll definitely be impressed. This recipe gives an exciting makeover using a spicy bourbon glaze.

The glaze is made up of quality bourbon, brown sugar, butter, and optional cayenne pepper and black pepper. There are some great tips on how to make this dish less spicy to suit your taste buds or to make it kid-friendly.

Photo and Recipe Credit: The Chunky Chef

17. Slow Cooker Creamed Corn

Are you used to reaching for a can of creamed corn? It might be easy but try this recipe and you won’t regret it.

You only need a few ingredients to make this recipe and the slow cooker will do all the cooking for you. Some of the creamy textures come from cream cheese, butter, and milk. This side dish takes just two minutes to prep then you can set it and forget it until the rest of the meal is ready.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Gimme Some Oven

16. Slow Cooker Macaroni And Cheese

Mac and cheese is serious comfort food. Make this side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner and your guests will thank you! This slow cooker mac and cheese is nearly fool-proof and Grandma will be impressed you made it from scratch.

Like a traditional macaroni and cheese recipe, this one is made with a box of elbow macaroni pasta. The cheesy flavors and creamy texture come from evaporated milk, half and half cream, cheddar cheese, and white American cheese.

Photo and Recipe Credit: The Country Cook

15. Pea Salad

This light and bright salad recipe is a total game-changer. It’s unlike any leafy green salad you’ve had before and that’s what makes this so exciting.

The base is made up of peas. You’ll combine other lovely ingredients such as bacon pieces, red onion and shredded cheeses with the peas that together create a flavor like no other. To make it extra creamy you’ll combine the ingredients with mayonnaise and a dash of salt and pepper to taste.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Salty Side Dish

14. Mashed Sweet Potatoes

You may be used to making regular white mashed potatoes, but mashed sweet potatoes are definitely worth a try. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet so you’ll only need a few additional ingredients to turn them into the perfect side dish.

This recipe also provides tips on how to change the flavors depending on what kind of meal you’re planning on pairing this side dish with. Try these mashed sweet potatoes once and you’ll find yourself making them year after year.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Dinner At The Zoo

13. “Stuffins”: Stuffing Muffins

This is another fun and creative way to make stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner. This “stuffins” recipe is delicious and conveniently made in a muffin tin.

The tin creates perfect single-sized portions for your dinner guests. And if you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers they make an excellent grab-and-go snack for lunches the next day.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Forkly

12. Honey Glazed Carrots

If you prefer traditional recipes, then you’re bound to love these honey glazed carrots.

This slow cooker recipe frees up some space in the oven. You’ll need only six ingredients and five minutes to prep. It’s as simple as throwing all the ingredients into the slow cooker and then setting it to cook for 5-6 hours.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Evolving Table

11. Traditional Creamy Potato Salad

Potato salad is always a crowd-pleaser. Make a tasty bowl of creamy potato salad that will taste like it came straight from Grandma’s kitchen!

This potato salad recipe has the traditional flavors you love such as mustard, paprika, and boiled egg. It has a lovely crunchy texture thanks to diced celery and diced onion.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Saving Dessert

10. Maple Roasted Beets And Carrots

This side dish is bold in color and would make an excellent healthy contribution to your Thanksgiving meal. Deep red beets provide the color but a dash of salt and pepper and pure maple syrup provide the lovely flavor.

Altogether, this recipe only requires five ingredients. Considering these veggies only need about 15-20 minutes to roast you’ll have this side dish whipped together in no time.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Salt and Lavender

9. Vegan Deviled Potatoes

Deviled eggs might be a classic appetizer, however, these deviled potatoes are so filling they deserve to be a side dish. Grandma will applaud your creativity and will love them too.

This recipe is also dairy and gluten-free which is great for those with allergies and who follow a vegan diet. The only tools you’ll need for this recipe are a microwave, mixing bowl and a piping bag.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Forkly

8. Fancy Schmancy Herb Roasted Root Vegetables

Impress Grandma with this fancy root vegetable dish! It might look like it came from a gourmet restaurant but it’s actually quite simple to put together.

To achieve a uniform thickness it is recommended that you use a mandolin slicer. You can also use any root vegetables you like, however, this recipe used turnips, purple beets, golden beets, and butternut squash. Further, you’ll only need a few seasonings and olive oil to add flavor to this side dish.

Photo and Recipe Credit: My Fresh Perspective

7. Twice Baked Potatoes With Cheddar And Broccoli

Baked potatoes are a crowd pleaser so serve them this Thanksgiving as a delicious side dish. However, a twice baked potatoes recipe like this one might be a little more exciting.

Start by baking the potatoes in the oven until they’ve reached a tender texture. Then slice in half, scoop out the cooked potato and mix with cheese, broccoli florets, and few other ingredients. Lastly, you’ll fill the potato skin with the mixture and bake again until all the cheese has melted nicely.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Baked Eat Repeat

6. Pumpkin Risotto

This risotto is stunning and would be a lovely addition to your Thanksgiving meal. It does require a bit of supervision but if you pull it off Grandma will be amazed by your efforts.

There are so many amazing flavors that go into making this recipe. Some of these include pumpkin, fresh thyme, parmesan cheese, and nutmeg. Once cooked, you’ll want to garnish the risotto with goat cheese and dried cranberries.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Platings and Pairings

5. Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Side Dish

Sheet pan recipes are awesome because they generate a minimal mess. We all know when preparing a Thanksgiving feast cutting corners to create less clean up is always a good idea.

This recipe is perfectly suited for a Fall holiday such as Thanksgiving. For this side dish, you’ll need a sweet potato, acorn squash, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, zucchini, and cauliflower. Along with the veggies, you’ll need just a few seasonings and a little olive oil.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Forkly

4. Cheesy Cornbread Muffins

Instead of dinner rolls, maybe you’d like to make cornbread muffins to complement your Thanksgiving feast. This recipe is incredibly easy and it will taste as if Grandma made it herself.

To start you’ll need two boxes of cornbread mix as well as eggs, milk, sour cream, honey, all-purpose flour, and cheddar cheese. These muffins only take five minutes to prep and 20 minutes to bake!

Photo and Recipe Credit: Stuck On Sweet

3. Roasted Kabocha With Tahini Dressing

If you’re unfamiliar with kabocha, it is a lovely variety of squash. It’s green on the outside and vibrantly orange on the inside. Just like other squashes, this roasted kabocha recipe would be an excellent side dish for Thanksgiving.

Before roasting, you’ll need to cut the squash into slices. Then, you’ll need to drizzle with olive oil and wrap in tin foil. While the squash roasts in the oven you can get started on the beautiful tahini dressing. This is made from yogurt, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.

Photo and Recipe Credit: Chez Us

2. Brussels Sprouts Fritters

If you don’t love brussels sprouts then you have to give this recipe a try. Not only will these fritters impress Grandma but the children at your dinner table just might love them too.

The secret is to transform brussels sprouts into something excited such as crunchy fritters. To create these you’ll combine brussels sprouts with onion, all-purpose flour, garlic powder, olive oil, and an egg. Once the ingredients are mixed you’ll fry the fritters until they have reached a crispy texture.

Photo and Recipe Credit: The Fitchen

1. Garlic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes And Carrots

The fun thing about potatoes is there are so many different ways to cook them. If you love soft and fluffy try mashed potatoes, if you love tender textures you can boil potatoes. Or why not try making a wonderful scalloped potato recipe this Thanksgiving dinner.

Combine a creamy sauce with sliced potatoes and carrots and then finish with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. This side dish will need to bake in the oven for about an hour but the result will be well worth the wait.

Photo and Recipe Credit: The Recipe Rebel

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