Top 10 Thanksgiving side dishes for your festive family dinner

Written by Kremena Ruseva

thanksgiving feast recipes for side dishes festive dinner

Here are some of the best Thanksgiving side dishes and the recipes which will help you prepare delicious meals for your festive table. Traditions and customs are an important part of any holiday as well as the food. Thanksgiving is one of the most important holidays and dinner on this day is not just a simple meal but a feast! And this is understandable as this day was a harvest festival. Of course, the menu varies depending on the preferences of the family, but traditional dishes remain unchanged.

The turkey is the main dish of the day and it is stuffed with a special stuffing. The traditional stuffing consists of bread, sage, celery, carrots and onions but there are hundreds of recipes with a variety of products like chestnuts, cranberries, raisins, bacon or sausages. Often the stuffing is served as a side dish and you will find a recipe below.

Thanksgiving side dishes – delicious recipes for the festive dinner

thanksgiving feast side dishes recipes festive dinner ideas

As we mentioned, this special dinner is a feast and the roasted turkey is served with plenty of side dishes. Mashed potatoes, green bean, cranberry sauce and gravy are just some of the traditional Thanksgiving side dishes recipes and we shall help you with ideas how to prepare them.

Traditional old fashioned Thanksgiving stuffing recipe

Traditional Thanksgiving stuffing recipe side dishes ideas


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound day-old white French bread, diced into 1/2-inch cubes and dried
  • 2 1/2 cups sweet onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, diced
  • 2/3 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced finely
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary needles
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 2 large eggs


  • Preheat oven to 250F. Bake the bread cubes stirring occasionally, until dried out. Make sure the bread is very dry. You can so that on the day before and leave it uncovered until you need it to make the stuffing.
  • Transfer the bread cubes to a large bowl and set aside.
  • Add 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat to melt.
  • Add the onion and celery to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are soft and just beginning to lightly brown. Transfer vegetables to the bowl with bread.
  • Preheat oven to 350F and spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Add the parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, 1 1/4 cups chicken broth to the bread ad vegetables, toss well to combine and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, add 2 eggs and the remaining 1 1/4 cups chicken broth. Whisk to combine and pour the mixture over bread. Toss once again and pour the stuffing into the greased baking dish.
  • Cut the remaining 1/4 cup of butter to small cubes and spread it on top of the stuffing.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake for an additional 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  • Serve immediately.


Three ingredients classic cranberry sauce

side dishes for thanksgiving festive dinner classic cranberry sauce recipe


  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 small orange
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup of water


  • Add 1/2 cup sugar and water to a sauce pot. Stir to combine. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  • Rinse the cranberries and when the water and sugar are boiling, add them to the pot and place the lid on top. Allow the sauce to come to boiling.
  • When the cranberries begin to pop, remove the lid and turn the heat to medium low. Let the sauce simmer for 5-7 minutes until the cranberries have completely broken down.
  • Zest the orange and squeeze the juice into a bowl. You will need about 1/2 cup of juice.
  • When the cranberries have broken down, stir the orange juice into the sauce. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in about 1 tsp of the orange zest.
  • Allow the sauce to cool slightly before serving.


Thanksgiving side dishes – Bourbon glazed carrots

thanksgiving side dishes recipes and ideas glazed carrots


  • 3/4 cup good-quality bourbon or whiskey
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped dill (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces


  • Add the bourbon in a pan and cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced by half.
  • Add the carrots, butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, season with salt and black pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Garnish with fresh dill and serve immediately.


Thanksgiving side dishes – Quick and easy egg salad

thanksgiving side dishes ideas quick and easy egg salad


  • 6 Hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Dice the hard boiled eggs into small pieces and set aside.
  • In a bowl whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper. Add celery, bell pepper, eggs and mix well.
  • Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.
  • You can prepare this salad on the day before and refrigerate it.


Oven-roasted cauliflower with garlic

delicious side dishes for thanksgiving dinner roasted cauliflower with garlic olive oil


  • 1 medium cauliflower, about 5 cups of florets
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 chopped chives for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  • Place the cauliflower florets in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with the garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately.


Thanksgiving side dishes – The best mashed potatoes recipe

The best creamy mashed potatoes recipe side dishes for thanksgiving


  • 4 lbs peeled russet potatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups hot milk
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley or chives, finely chopped for garnish


  • Peel potatoes and cut in half if very large. Place them in a large pot and add cold water to cover potatoes.
  • Bring to a boil and cook partially covered for 20-25 minutes depending on the size, until easily pierced with a knife.
  • Drain very well and mash the potatoes with a food mill or with a potato masher.
  • Add the hot milk and softened butter. Stir and season with salt to taste.
  • Cover the mashed potatoes and place into a warm oven to keep them warm until ready to serve.


Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon

thanksgiving recipes side dishes roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon


  • 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 bacon slices, cut into 1 inch pieces


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Clean and trim Brussels sprouts. Cut larger heads in half.
  • Place the Brussels sprouts onto a large sheet pan in one layer and drizzle with olive oil. Make sure they are evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the Brussels sprouts evenly.
  • Roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time, until golden and lightly caramelized.
  • Serve immediately.


Roasted butternut squash

thanksgiving recipes for side dishes roasted butternut squash


  • 1 large (2 to 3 lbs) butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of Cajun seasoning
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 420°F. Cut squash lengthwise with a sharp knife and scoop out seeds. Using a peeler, remove skin and white pith.
  • Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange butternut halves cut side down in a prepared baking pan side by side and roast until softened, about 20 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine melted butter, cajun seasoning, minced garlic and crushed black pepper. Set aside.
  • Remove squash from oven, transfer to a cutting board and allow it to cool slightly.
  • With the help of a sharp knife, cut slits 2 or 3 mm apart in the squash, cutting almost but not all the way through.
  • Return to the baking pant and brush with the Cajun garlic butter sauce. Coat well between the slices.
  • Roast butternut squash halves for 25-30 minutes, brushing with the cooking juice every 8-10 minutes. Check if the slices are cooked but still firm and if necessary, cook for another 10 or more minutes. Note that cooking time will depend on the size of your butternut squash.
  • Serve topped with fresh chopped parsley and a sprinkle of salt.


 Thanksgiving side dishes – Green beans with butter and almonds

thanksgiving side dishes recipes green beans with butter and almonds


  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ½ cup slivered sliced almonds
  • 1-2 tablespoons of water or chicken broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon or less, to taste


  • Trim the ends of the green beans and rinse well, set aside.
  • In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium low heat. Add the almonds and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until nuts and butter begin to brown and become fragrant.
  • Add the green beans and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Add 1 or 2 tablespoon of water or chicken broth to the pan to add more steam to the pan. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 4-5 minutes until the beans are al denté. Toss occasionally so the nuts don’t burn.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the lemon juice.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste and add more lemon juice, to your liking.
  • Serve immediately.


Thanksgiving side dishes – Dinner rolls

festive thanksgiving dinner recipes for side dishes dinner rolls


  • 4 -5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups warm, but not hot milk
  • 5 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp melted butter


  • Combine 3 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, salt, warm milk, butter, and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer on to the lowest speed. Mix until flour is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup flour and blend until incorporated. And another 1/2 cup flour and repeat, mixing at medium speed for another 2 minutes until a ball of dough is formed.
  • Add additional flour as necessary. The dough should be slightly sticky and soft and pulling away from the edge of the bowl.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 30-60 minutes at room temperature.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and deflate the dough by punching down lightly.
  • Cut the dough and form 24 rolls.
  • Transfer the rolls to a lightly greased baking sheet or baking dish. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for an additional 30-45 minutes at room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. If the rolls are getting too brown, just tent the rolls with foil.
  • Remove from the oven and brush hot rolls with the melted butter. Serve immediately or store cooled rolls in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.


traditional thanksgiving desserts pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie is one of the traditional desserts and recipes for baking with pumpkin can be found in the cookbooks of the 1600s. Pumpkin pies are just as popular as the turkey and remain one of the main dishes on the Thanksgiving table. However, we shall look at Thanksgiving desserts in a separate article, so you shall find a recipe there.





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