Top 10 Thanksgiving Side Dishes of All Time

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Wouldn't it be fun to play Family Feud with the topic of Thanksgiving side dishes? If you haven't seen this American TV game show, two sets of extended family members square off against each other to try to predict what the most common responses are for a particular topic. I'm guessing the number-one response for Thanksgiving side dishes would be mashed potatoes or stuffing, but after that, who knows?

Thanksgiving dinner may be the only holiday meal where we take the main course for granted, and the real attention is on side dishes. Most people like roast turkey well enough, but it's menu items like mom's famous caramelized sweet potatoes or your favorite version of stuffing that really define this holiday.

Coming up with a top 10 list of Thanksgiving side dishes was a challenge, so let me start by clarifying that I'm defining "side dishes" as things that share the plate with juicy slices of turkey. I'm not including salads or homemade rolls, which I think have their own category, and in my mind, side dishes are most often vegetables, so that's what I'm focusing on. Of course everyone probably has their own picks for a top 10 list of Thanksgiving side dishes, but here are some dishes I'd suggest you take a look at and consider adding to your holiday table. And if I've missed something that you consider a must-have side dish for Thanksgiving, please let me know about it in the comments!

horseradish sour cream mashed potatoes
Photo of Horseradish and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes from Life's Ambrosia

Thanksgiving Side Dish #1: Mashed Potatoes

At Thanksgiving mashed potatoes are what's under the delicious homemade gravy, and even if you don't need a recipe to make basic mashed potatoes, Crockpot Mashed Potatoes from Feels Like Home may be an idea you'd find useful. If you'd like something a bit more special, may I suggest Horseradish and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes from Life's Ambrosia, or Mashed Potato Casserole from Pinch My Salt?

Thanksgiving Side Dish #2: Stuffing

There are a lot of variations of stuffing, but when I asked people on Twitter about their favorite Thanksgiving side dishes, we give two thumbs up to Mom's Turkey Stuffing from Simply Recipes. I also like the sound of Nana's Sausage Stuffing from Kitchen Parade, Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing from What We're Eating, and Wild Rice Stuffing with Hazelnuts and Dried Cranberries from Dawn's Recipes. A Year of Slow Cooking also has Perfect Homemade Stuffing in a Crockpot.


Brown Butter Greens Beans with Almonds


Photo of Brown Butter Greens Beans with Almonds

Thanksgiving Side Dish #3: Green Beans

Of course, there are those traditional canned green bean casseroles with mushroom soup that some people love, but fresh green beans are what I'd go for as a Thanksgiving option. Lisa is Cooking has a "made from scratch" Green Bean Casserole, Your Home-Based Mom has Tropical Green Beans, and Andrea Meyers has Brown Butter Greens Beans with Almonds.

Thanksgiving Side Dish #4: Sweet Potatoes

I'm not a fan of those traditional "candied" sweet potatoes, but I do like the sound of Nikki's Sweet Potatoes from 101 Cookbooks, which use coconut milk to add flavor. I'm also drooling over Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple Smoked Bacon and Beer from Food Blogga and Candied Lime Sweet Potatoes from Vegan Yum Yum.


lemony butternut squash quinoa

 Photo of Lemony Quinoa with Butternut Squash from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Thanksgiving Side Dish #5: Butternut Squash

I'm a huge fan of butternut squash, and I'd love to see it on the Thanksgiving table whether it was a roasted squash dish like Maple-Pecan Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese from The Inadvertent Gardener, a casserole like Butternut Squash Gratin from Dlyn or something non-traditional like the Lemony Quinoa with Butternut Squash from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

Thanksgiving Side Dish #6: Brussels Sprouts

You might consider Brussels sprouts to be one of those "love 'em or hate 'em" types of vegetables, but in recent years roasted or pan-fried Brussels sprouts dishes have been winning over a lot of Brussels sprouts naysayers. I've shared 10 outstanding recipes for Thanksgiving-Worthy Brussels Sprouts, all of which can help you make the case for Brussels sprouts.


herb roasted onions


Photo of Herb Roasted Onions from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Thanksgiving Side Dish #7: Onions

Are you surprised to see onions on this list? When I was a kid we always had Onions with Cheese Sauce for Thanksgiving. I certainly think a dish like the Parmigiano-Reggiano-Stuffed Onions Wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma from Ms. Adventures in Italy would make a perfect Thanksgiving side dish. For other onion options, how about Roasted Balsamic Onions from Dianne's Dishes, Baked Stuffed Onions from Retro Food, or Herb Roasted Onions from The Way the Cookie Crumbles?


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