What Are the Best Side Dishes for Thanksgiving? (5 Best Dishes in Detail)

Let’s be honest, family gathering is not the only reason why you love Thanksgiving. The side dishes made on this occasion are also what draw your attention to celebrating Thanksgiving, right?

Well, eating the side dishes is a very pleasant experience for everyone, since they are delicious. But what if this year you feed your friends and families some side dishes made by you? That’s thrilling, huh?

We all know that food tastes better when it’s shared with friends and family. In many ways, sharing a meal with your family members can strengthen your family bonds too. On top of that, you get to see the smiling faces of your dear ones filled with satisfaction.

So, what are the side dishes for Thanksgiving that you can prepare this year for your loved ones? Curious about trying some new items? This is what today’s article is all about.

So, without any further ado, let’s get to know some of the best side dishes that you can do for Thanksgiving.

Best Side Dishes for Thanksgiving: 5 Top Picks

Invariably, roasted turkeys and pumpkin dishes are the main items on the food menu during the Thanksgiving season. But, for side dishes, we can use potato, sweet potato, vegetables, and different types of beans, etc. to bring great variety to our food items. So, let’s start off with the best potato side dish.

1. Mashed Potato with Roasted Garlic

what are the best side dishes for thanksgiving

A dish of mashed potato mixed with roasted garlic without any touch of sour cream or butter can be a delight to eat. In this side dish, you’ll be able to see some delicious texture and get rich flavors that will fill your senses with satisfaction.

In this dish, the combination of starchy potato with olive oil will leave everyone even more attracted to the side dishes.


  • Potatoes: The best choice of potatoes for this recipe would be butterball potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes. The rich color of gold in this type of potato gives more visual texture to the overall recipe.
  • Garlic (roasted): To create a rich flavor of garlic, we will just mix a lot of roasted garlic heads.
  • Olive oil: The scent of extra virgin olive oil is the main key to this recipe. So, go with the extra virgin olive oil if possible.
  • Salt + pepper: You can’t make a recipe complete without the right amount of salt and pepper, right?
  • Toppings: You have the liberty to choose any toppings on your mashed potatoes. My recommendation is chives or rosemary with butter.

Steps To Make Mashed Potato with Roasted Garlic:

  1. In a 350-degree Fahrenheit electric oven, roast the garlic until the color is a deep brown. This process usually takes about an hour. If you want to do this even quicker, wrap the garlic with foil paper.
  2. In this step, you just must peel the potatoes off. And then, dip them in a 1-inch depth of water and put them on a stove.
  3. Now, it’s time to boil those potatoes. Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes. Until the potatoes are tender enough, you can keep up the boiling process. Don’t forget to add a bit of salt to the boiling water too.
  4. In this step, you just need to mash the potatoes. You can do it with your hand or use a potato masher. Smash the potatoes to a point when they will have a creamy texture.
  5. Now, you can just mix the roasted garlic with the potatoes and mash the mixture to an even further level. Fold the garlic many times into the mashed potatoes and mix other items such as olive oil, salt, and pepper, etc. You can add additional water to this mixture to reach your desired texture level.

And finally, put your desired toppings and enjoy!!

2. Casserole of Sweet Potato

what are the best side dishes for thanksgiving

A side dish of sweet potato of creamy and gingery theme decorated with an additional layer of crispy and toasty pecan crumble is a perfect dish to attract everyone’s attention. It’s easy to do too.


  • Sweet potatoes: Ordinary sweet potatoes of average sizes are enough for this recipe.
  • Walnuts + pecans: For the crumble topping, we need walnuts and pecans too.
  • Oats: It’s a good idea to add oats into the topping too.
  • Ordinary gingers: The smell of gingers adds a refreshing aroma to the recipe.
  • Rosemary + sage + thyme (dried): If you are cooking the sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving, you must use these 3 items.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds a key scent feature to the whole recipe.
  • Ordinary maple syrup: The addition of maple syrups on the topping makes it a bit sweeter. And it tastes better too.
  • Miscellaneous ingredients: Olive oil, salt, pepper, etc.

Step To Making Casserole of Sweet Potato:

  1. The first step is to thoroughly roast the potato.
  2. At the same time as roasting the potatoes, you must prepare the pecan toppings too. Take a blender and put nuts, oat, garlic, herbs, maple syrups, olive oil, salt, and pepper into the blender. And pulse them for a few seconds. As a result, you should get a mixture of an even texture.
  3. Now in this step, you have to mix the baked sweet potatoes with the mixture from step 2. And put all of these in a food processor to blend them even some more. Don’t forget to add almond milk, Ginger, salt, and olive oil too.
  4. At this point, you should have yourself a creamy sweet mixture of potatoes that has a yellowish-orange color. It’s time to spread the mixture into a tray.
  5. Now it’s time to add crumble toppings and a few pecans with combinations of sage leaves of garnish.
  6. And then, put the tray into the oven and bake it at 400+° Celsius temperature.

And finally! You should have yourself a nicely cooked casserole of mashed sweet potato.

3. Creamy Spinach

what are the best side dishes for thanksgiving

This is a quick recipe that you can do within 20 minutes. Also, this is also very healthy for people of all ages. So you can serve it to kids, adults, and seniors too. The touch of coconut milk in this recipe is the key fragrance that will draw everyone towards it.


  • Spinach: Freshly bought spinach is best suited for this recipe.
  • Garlic and olive oil: These items add an extra layer of texture and fragrance to this recipe.
  • Coconut milk: If you don’t want to use dairy products and stay vegan, coconut milk should be your prime choice to use in this recipe.
  • Heavy cream: To make the recipe more delicious, you can use heavy cream to give it a dairy flavor.

Steps of Making Creamy Spinach:

  1. In the first step, you need to pound up your spinach until it eventually wilts. As a result, the spinach will get a soft texture but also retain its bright green color.
  2. Now, you need to squeeze the excess water out of the spinach. Remember, this step is very crucial unless you want a watery spinach dish instead of a buttery spinach one.
  3. Sauté the garlic that you have selected for this recipe. Then put your sauteed spinach into the pan and mix coconut milk or heavy cream with the spinach. Heat up the stove and keep stirring the mixture. Also, add some cornflowers to the mixer too and keep stirring.

Eventually, you’ll reach a point when you will see the spinach is soft enough to have a texture like cream. Now all you have to do is add a slice of lemon to the recipe and serve.

4. Lemon Zest Mixed Roasted Cauliflowers

what are the best side dishes for thanksgiving

Vegetable items are just the perfect side dish material. If you are cooking a meal for Thanksgiving, cauliflower can be a perfect item to cook as a side dish. So, let’s get to know how we can make this recipe of lemon zest mixed roasted cauliflowers.


  • Fresh cauliflowers: Freshly bought cauliflowers are best for this recipe.
  • Lemons: Green and juicy lemons should be hand-picked to be used for this recipe.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Although any other oil can do the job too, it is best to have the extra virgin oil add a new layer of texture.
  • Salt and pepper: Sea salt and black peppers can give the best after-taste effect to this side dish.

Step Of Making Lemon Zest Mixed Roasted Cauliflower:

  1. In the first step, you’ll have to preheat your oven. Choose 425° f temperature for preheating. This is the optimum temperature for giving your cauliflowers a nice brown color.
  2. Now, totally wash your cauliflowers and let them dry for a few minutes. The drier the cauliflowers are, the better they can be processed.
  3. Break down the florets of the cauliflower into smaller pieces. You can use your knife to cut them into small pieces, or you can just break them up with your own hands. It’s preferable to break them down with your fingers so that the small florets look very nice.
  4. Now it’s time for you to drizzle the cauliflower florets using olive oil, black pepper, and salt. Sprinkle black pepper and salt over the cauliflowers to coat them completely.
  5. At this point, it’s time to roast the cauliflowers into your preheated oven for half an hour.

Finally, your dish is nearly ready. Now, use the roasted cauliflowers on salad, soap, Curries, pizza, and other items. As a result, you’ll have prepared a fine side dish of roasted cauliflowers.

5. Gravy of Mushroom

what are the best side dishes for thanksgiving

To be honest, mushrooms are a universally liked food item, right? I mean, who doesn’t like mushrooms? So, you should take advantage of this food item on Thanksgiving too.


  • Fresh mushrooms: It is better to select mushrooms that are handpicked and are above average in terms of size.
  • Shallot + garlic: These two will give a sharp smell to the gravy.
  • Soy sauce/tamari: To make a gluten-free gravy with a rich texture, soy sauce or tamari is important.
  • Rosemary + thyme: The taste level of this vegan gravy will be over the top if you add these two items.
  • Corn flour: This item makes the gravy thick and nicely textured.
  • Miscellaneous vegetables: vegetables such as green peppers, capsicum, and tomatoes can be used in this gravy too.
  • Olive oil (Extra virgin): To completely reach the highest level of taste accuracy, it is better to use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt + black pepper: These items are necessary to facilitate a spicy aftertaste.

Step of Making Mushroom Gravy:

  1. Put olive oil on a pan and heat up the stove. Also, add an ample amount of shallot and cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Now, add the mushrooms and keep cooking for about 10 more minutes until it’s completely softened. At this point, add tamari, garlic, rosemary, and thyme to the mixture and keep stirring. Don’t forget to sprinkle a bit of corn flour over the mixture too.
  3. You can also add broth along with simmer until you reach a thick texture. Then, cook it for 20 more minutes.

Finally, season the food with additional peppers and salt. And, serve!!

Final Words

We hope we can meet the thirst of your query about what are the best side dishes for Thanksgiving. So now that you are familiar with our top-picked dishes, do you think they will be enough to satisfy your kids and family on Thanksgiving? I bet your dear ones are going to absolutely love these dishes.

When you combine the above dishes with a roasted turkey, the food table becomes a living embodiment of food heaven. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck and hope that you will be able to make a bunch of side dishes this Thanksgiving. See ya!