Sure, we all love the turkey, and the parade of pies to follow, but what Thanksgiving feast would be complete without the cluster of sides? From the all-star stuffing and mashed potatoes to the buttery rolls and tart cranberry sauce, some side dishes are family traditions, while others appear as inspiration strikes. These side dishes are the best — delicious, easy, and just right for seconds.
BEST THANKSGIVING SIDE DISHES
We took two holiday standards—creamed onions and green-bean casserole—and combined them in a creamy new classic creamed onions recipe. Fried shallots add crunch and another layer of onion flavor.
Roast the veggies for this Maple Walnut Acorn Squash recipe ahead of time, then finish under the broiler while the turkey rests before slicing.
We love the tang that a bit of buttermilk lends to these buttermilk mashed potatoes (provided they’re also made with delicious butter). If you like creamier potatoes, add more of the liquid; if you like them firmer, add less.
This recipe for homemade cranberry sauce is a bit more challenging than most, but we think the extra time and effort will leave you handsomely rewarded in the form of a fantastically flavored side sauce.
When done, these slightly sweet rolls are the match of any bakery Fan-Tan Rolls. The shaping is easy but looks fancy, and the texture is moist and firm.
Few ingredient combinations are more delicious than Brussels sprouts, bacon, and something from the onion family. This dish proves that this humble vegetable is one of nature’s great pleasures.
It took many tries to get exactly the recipe we were looking for: candied sweet potatoes that were crisp, not mushy. We tried numerous ways of cutting and roasting the spuds, but their high water content left them perpetually soft until we came across a recipe on Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen blog. By thinly slicing her potatoes and standing them upright, she was able to crisp their edges. It was a lovely dish, but an intentionally savory one. So we utilized the technique, but added a brown sugar-ginger glaze. Voilà! Just the crispy, caramelized top we wanted.
Making a fresh green bean casserole from scratch is a great way to add some pizzazz to your Thanksgiving table without disappointing friends and family who are looking for a lineup of familiar classics. Not only is this dish easy to make, but it also can be prepared in advance, then baked and assembled just before serving. You may never go back to making green bean casserole from cans again!
You’ve probably had potato bread in some form or another—perhaps even potato donuts. Potato starch helps baked goods retain moisture and gives them a pleasingly chewy texture. Paired with sausage, onion, sage, and apple, this dressing is savory, moist, fluffy, and crisp on top.
Making your own cheddar twists (or cheese straws or sticks) is easier than you might imagine. Here we rely on store-bought puff pastry brushed with a quick rosemary-pepper oil and sharp Cheddar cheese.
Which Thanksgiving side dish is your family’s favorite?
This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated.
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