Thanksgiving side dishes make the meal! We have some delicious options—from the historically-inspired to modern-day classics to vegetarian options. Make the most of the harvest bounty!
The first Thanksgiving probably didn’t include many of our classics today, such as cranberries or mashed potatoes. (Read more in Why We Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving.)
They were more likely to have chestnuts, squash, corn, and beans on hand, not potatoes, so we have included some historically-inspired side dishes for something different!
It’s quite likely the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags ate this dish, which features a mix of beans and corn. The word “succotash” comes from Wampanoag msíckquatash, meaning “boiled corn kernels.”
At the time of the first Thanksgiving in 1621, there were certainly chestnuts in the forest. This recipe for Chestnut Croquettes is very simple, and makes a lovely accompaniment to turkey or goose.
Favorite Thanksgiving Sides
We love the colorful, healthy hues of today’s Thanksgiving food—from red cranberries to deep-orange sweet potatoes to vibrant green Brussels sprouts (provided they’re not overcooked!). Here are some of our favorite sides.
If you’d like to make a homemade sauce, this one’s basic and beloved. For something a little more creative, try our Chai-Spiced Orange-Cranberry Sauce.
Credit: Anna Shepulova/shutterstock
To the joy of some and the lament of others, Green Bean Casserole is a holiday staple in many households. Here you’ll find a lighter homemade version that ditches the canned soup component.
This colorful Carrot Puff—also called Carrot Soufflé—is a popular side dish. Even kids and adults who aren’t fans of cooked carrots like its smooth, light consistency.
Or for a simple carrot side, try our Honey-Glazed Carrots and Parsnips recipe.
For those who wish to serve a salad dish, try this colorful Cranberry Waldorf Salad. You can adjust the ingredients to your liking. (We’d add more cranberries, less celery.)
These fall harvest squash rolls are always a hit! People are surprised when they learn they’re made from squash. Another option for dinner rolls is our Cornmeal Yeast Rolls.
Looking for something different yet still delicious? Try these tasty biscuits, which won third place in our 2014 Recipe Contest!
Everyone looks forward to the squash boats! It’s an easy and delicious side dish you can enjoy again and again.
If you’re not sure about Brussels sprouts, roast them and you’ll never look back. Brussels sprouts, bacon, and shallots is one of the most delicious flavor combinations. Another reader favorite for the holidays is Creamed Brussels Sprouts.
This colorful butternut squash and rice recipe showcases the flavor of fall’s harvest in an easy yet deeply satisfying vegetarian (and vegan) meal.
Hearty root vegetables are especially phenomenal when roasted. All you really need is olive oil and seasoning and voilà!
Serve over lentils with fresh parsley for garnish.
This Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese recipe was an entry in our Old Farmer’s Almanac Reader Recipe Contest using pumpkin. Though it did not win a prize, it got many thumbs up!
This Sweet Potato Lentil Coconut Curry is hearty, warming, colorful, and very adaptable!
Anything strike your fancy? To find recipes for the complete Thanksgiving meal (from turkey to pumpkin pie), see our Best Thanksgiving Recipes.