45 Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes You Need To Make This Year
When Thanksgiving rolls around, you know you can always rely on the classics: stuffing, mashed potatoes, and of course, creamy green bean casserole. But what if you're looking to switch up your side dish recipes this year—even keep it healthy, perhaps?
If you're getting sick of cooking the same recipes over and over and are looking for some healthier recipes that can elevate your Thanksgiving table, you've come to the right place. From pumpkin mash and butternut squash pasta to smashed potatoes and fresh harvest salads, here are some of our favorite healthy Thanksgiving side dish recipes you can whip up for your festivities this year.
Then, if you're looking for even more ways to make your turkey day the best one yet, be sure to check out our list of 12 Time-Saving Tips for Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner, Chefs Say.
Gluten-Free Crispy Rosemary Potatoes
These crispy rosemary potatoes are a great Thanksgiving side option, and the fact that they're gluten-free makes it a safe dish for anyone at the dinner party.
Get our recipe for Crispy Rosemary Potatoes.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussels sprouts certainly are an easy Thanksgiving side dish, but why not take it up a notch? Elevate your Brussels sprouts with one of our five favorite combos: lemon pomegranate, maple pecan, bacon feta, crunchy parmesan, or even everything bagel seasoning!
Get our recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts 5 Ways.
Honey Roasted Carrots
These roasted carrots add the perfect sweet touch to your Thanksgiving meal.
Get our recipe for Honey Roasted Carrots.
Not really feeling potatoes this year? Dice up a butternut squash and roast it as a starchy side instead!
Get our recipe for Roasted Squash.
Low-Carb Mashed Cauliflower
Looking for low-carb sides? This mashed cauliflower recipe will keep your carb count low on your Thanksgiving plate.
Get our recipe for Low-Carb Mashed Cauliflower.
Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Eggs and Pickled Red Onions
A fun take on your usual Brussels sprouts recipe at Thanksgiving, this salad is served with egg for protein and pickled red onions for a tangy twist.
Get our recipe for Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Eggs and Pickled Red Onions.
Butternut Squash Hash
Don't feel like making stuffing this year? This butternut squash hash is a great alternative. It lightens up your meal by skipping the bread and focusing only on protein and veggies.
Get our recipe for Butternut Squash Hash.
Roasted Autumn Harvest Salad
Roasting is the name of the game when it comes to cooking Thanksgiving dinner—especially when you need to whip up a lot of different dishes at once. This roasted autumn harvest salad is the perfect mixture of warm, sweet, and savory to start off your Thanksgiving meal.
Get our recipe for Roasted Autumn Harvest Salad.
Sick of mashed potatoes? Ditch the classic Thanksgiving side dish and whip up these easy smashed potatoes instead!
Get our recipe for Smashed Potatoes.
Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
You can't go wrong with a sheet pan of roasted asparagus—especially when it's topped with fresh cheese!
Get our recipe for Roasted Parmesan Asparagus.
Rosemary Butternut Squash Soup
Whether you want a cup served with dinner or a bowl before your meal, this rosemary butternut squash soup is a classic way to celebrate the best of the healthy vegetables that the season has to offer!
Get our recipe for Rosemary Butternut Squash Soup.
Butternut Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter
Switch up the starchy side this year with some homemade butternut squash ravioli!
Get our recipe for Butternut Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter.
Green Bean Casserole
Can't get rid of the classics? Why not make healthier versions of them! This popular Thanksgiving side dish can be made a lot healthier thanks to added vegetables and a lighter dusting of bread crumbs.
Get our recipe for Green Bean Casserole.
Sweet Potato Fries
Who wouldn't want fries on their Thanksgiving table? Skip roasting your sweet potatoes and make crispy baked fries instead!
Get our recipe for Sweet Potato Fries.
Warm Kale-Quinoa Salad
You can easily turn this lunch salad into a side for your Thanksgiving table by skipping the cooked chicken and simply serving this vegetarian style with a homemade dijon vinaigrette.
Get our recipe for Warm Kale-Quinoa Salad.
Crispy Oven-Baked Fries
These oven-baked fries are perfect for a Thanksgiving dinner appetizer because the rosemary and garlic combination make for a delicious warm-weather flavor combination. These fries are also fully vegan, which is great for entertaining guests with different dietary restrictions.
Get our recipe for Oven-Baked French Fries.
Flaky Southern Biscuits
These flaky southern biscuits make for the perfect side dish for any meal, especially if it's paired with a soup for dipping!
Get our recipe for Flaky Southern Biscuits.
Mixed Green Salad and Pumpkin Vinaigrette
Use up the leftover canned pumpkin from that pie you baked and whip up this simple mixed green salad with a pumpkin vinaigrette!
Get our recipe for Mixed Green Salad and Pumpkin Vinaigrette.
Or use that pumpkin to make a pumpkin potato mash to boost the fiber and the vitamin A on your plate.
Get our recipe for Pumpkin-Potato Mash.
These stuffed tomatoes not only make for an excellent Thanksgiving side dish, but they also work as a vegetarian entree option for anyone who needs it!
Get our recipe for Stuffed Tomatoes.
Spicy Macaroni and Cheese
This spicy macaroni and cheese can be baked in individual cups, or in a larger casserole dish for easy sharing.
Get our recipe for Spicy Macaroni and Cheese.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
We get it—sometimes having a bowl of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving is comforting. So this roasted garlic mash will satisfy that nostalgic craving you have.
Get our recipe for Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
Healthy Spinach & Goat Cheese Salad with Apples & Warm Bacon Dressing
This salad could either work as a Thanksgiving side dish or the perfect appetizer before digging into the main meal!
Get our recipe for Healthy Spinach & Goat Cheese Salad with Apples & Warm Bacon Dressing.
This apple sausage stuffing keeps it light with turkey sausage, good vegetables and fruit, and cubes of your favorite crusty loaf.
Get our recipe for Apple-Sausage Stuffing.
Yukon Gold & Sweet Potato Gratin
Impress your guests with this elevated potato side dish!
Get our recipe for Yukon Gold & Sweet Potato Gratin.
Orange Cranberry Relish
Not a fan of the canned stuff? Make your own cranberry sauce with our deliciously sweet orange cranberry recipe.
Get our recipe for Orange Cranberry Relish.
Butternut Squash Pasta Salad
Why not mix the veggies and the starchy Thanksgiving side dish recipes with this easy-to-make butternut squash pasta salad?
Get our recipe for Butternut Squash Pasta Salad.
15-Minute Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli
An easy green to add to your table that isn't a salad, this roasted broccoli recipe will be in and out of the oven in just 15 minutes' time.
Get our recipe for 15-Minute Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli.
With cheesy, crispy toppings, who wouldn't love a twice baked potato on their Thanksgiving plate?
Get our recipe for Twice-Baked Potatoes.
Gnocchi with Peas and Prosciutto
For an elegant Thanksgiving side dish, this gnocchi recipe is served with fresh green vegetables and savory prosciutto.
Get our recipe for Gnocchi with Peas and Prosciutto.
Roasted Cabbage Recipe
Roasting up big wedges of cabbage makes for an easy green side with your Thanksgiving meal.
Get our recipe for Roasted Cabbage Recipe.
Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes
Put your air fryer to work and make this original hasselback potato recipe that will certainly surprise—and delight—your Thanksgiving dinner guests.
Get our recipe for Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes.
Plant-Based Lentil and Kale Tots Casserole
Sure, this lentil and kale tater tot casserole could work for a plant-based brunch, but we also think it could be a deliciously easy side to serve at Thanksgiving as well!
Get our recipe for Plant-Based Lentil and Kale Tots Casserole.
Arugula and Grapefruit Salad With Dill Ranch Dressing and Pumpkin Seeds
This flavorful, fresh salad makes for the perfect side to add to your plate—or a salad to start off the meal!
Get our recipe for Arugula and Grapefruit Salad With Dill Ranch Dressing and Pumpkin Seeds.
Pumpkin Ravioli and Pesto
These crispy pumpkin raviolis can be served with your turkey, or even served as a little bit to eat as you're cooking away in the kitchen,
Get our recipe for Pumpkin Ravioli and Pesto.
Sweet Potato Toasts
Looking for something a little different to do with your potatoes this Thanksgiving? Slice up your sweet potato into thin "toasts" and top them with all kinds of savory or sweet toppings. Cranberry sauce on a sweet potato toast? We're so game.
Get our recipe for Sweet Potato Toasts.
Crispy Crumb-Topped Mac and Cheese Cups
Muffin tins make portion control at Thanksgiving a lot easier—so why not go all out with these cheesy crumb-topped mac and cheese cups?
Get our recipe for Crispy Crumb-Topped Mac and Cheese Cups.
Get your grains in! This quinoa pilaf recipe is a great complex carb to add to your Thanksgiving spread,
Get our recipe for Quinoa Pilaf.
We're pretty sure you can't go wrong with a cold potato salad for any event—especially a Thanksgiving extravaganza.
Get our recipe for Potato Salad.
Don't have room in the oven to cook more food? These mushrooms are pan roasted to perfection and don't take a ton of time to make.
Get our recipe for Pan-Roasted Mushrooms.
Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
If you're more of a sweet potato person but don't want to bother with a sweet potato casserole this year, this simple mashed sweet potato recipe is the perfect trade-off.
Get our recipe for Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
Garlic Lemon Spinach
Another easy stovetop side dish—this garlic lemon shrimp only requires six ingredients and will be ready to eat in less than 10 minutes.
Get our recipe for Garlic Lemon Spinach.
Looking for something a little different? Succotash is the perfect mix of hearty beans, corn, and salty bacon that will pair well with a succulent slice of turkey.
Get our recipe for Succotash.
Lighten up your usual pasta side dish with this healthy carbonara recipe, made with zucchini ribbons and a light cream sauce.
Get our recipe for Zucchini Carbonara.
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
Pump up the protein in your salad by throwing in some shrimp for a filling side—or a perfect lunch as you're getting dinner ready to serve!
Get our recipe for Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing.
With these 45 healthy Thanksgiving side dishes to choose from, you're bound to find the sides that fit your budget, dietary restrictions, and taste preferences. Whether you're hosting and need to make multiple sides, or are just in charge of bringing one to a friend's gathering, these recipes will make your Thanksgiving a whole lot easier.
A previous version of this story was published in November 2021. It has been updated with additional entries.