Like many holidays, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family. This often includes a fun party or gathering of some sort and of course, a large spread of food. Whether you’re serving turkey, ham, or whatever main course you and your family love, choosing exciting side dishes can really make all the flavors come full circle and fulfill the taste buds and intricate palates of many.

The great thing about Thanksgiving dinner is that everyone has their own traditional spin on it, especially when it comes to the side dishes. We have discovered some of the most exciting side dishes that can really transform your gathering into an upscale Thanksgiving dinner. These recipes range from sweet to savory as well as a few that have the combination of both. There’s plenty to choose from, so make your shopping list and let’s get cooking to create the best Thanksgiving dinner you’ve ever experienced.

1. Creamy Green Bean Casserole From Scratch

Green bean casserole is a classic dish my sister always brings to Thanksgiving dinner and it’s a hit with everyone! Whether you have picky eaters or not, this green bean casserole has so many exciting flavors that everyone will focus on the flavor more than the fact that it’s a vegetable dish.

Filled with a creamy sauce and crunchy top this Thanksgiving side dish will surely be a crowd-pleaser. Some green bean casserole recipes call for cans of creamy soup but instead, this recipe is completely made from scratch and you’ll definitely taste the difference.

2. Roasted Mushrooms

If you don’t love mushrooms, perhaps you’ve been cooking them wrong all along. This recipe invites flavors you may not have thought about cooking with before.

This side dish begins with a pound of mushrooms, your choice. Then, you’ll add a bit of olive oil and captivating ingredients such as garlic, thyme, and lemon juice. It’s easy to make and would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving spread.

3. Cranberry Almond Broccoli Salad

Thanksgiving is such a fun holiday because the food spread is often overflowing in the best comfort foods. With that said, it would be a good idea to add in a few lighter dishes like a delicious salad to help balance out the food table.

To do that, you’ll want to add this cranberry almond broccoli salad. It’s crunchy and flavorful, and certainly nothing like your traditional leafy green salad. It also comes equipped with a homemade creamy citrus poppyseed dressing recipe that everyone will go crazy for.

4. Easy Garlic Parmesan Knots

To go alongside with the fancy side dishes and main course, you’ll want some sort of dinner roll. As an alternative option to the classic store-bought dinner rolls, you should try making these garlic parmesan knots.

They’re incredibly easy to make and your dinner guests will love the added flavor to their plate. This recipe doesn’t even require you to make your own biscuit dough, instead, you’ll use a tube of store-bought buttermilk biscuits. These dinner rolls come to life with melted butter, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and a few other seasonings.

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5. Cheesy Broccoli Casserole

You might be tempted to create a simple dish of steamed broccoli and a side of cheese sauce, after all, it is a classic. Instead, step up your Thanksgiving side dish game and make this cheesy broccoli casserole.

You’ll still enjoy the same cheesy flavors you love about broccoli and cheese sauce but this casserole might be the upgrade you’ve been searching for. The base of this casserole begins with crunchy broccoli pieces that are smothered in a creamy cheese sauce. Then, it’s finished with a crunchy crushed butter cracker topping.

6. Maple Roasted Beets And Carrots

Beets is one of those vegetables that I’m trying to force myself to like. Many describe their flavor as quite earthy which for some, can be off putting. The secret to making them desirable, is to pair them with the perfect ingredients and seasonings.

This recipe combines two earthy vegetables like beets and carrots and turns them into an exciting Thanksgiving side dish. The secret, pair the earthy vegetables with sweet flavors of maple syrup for the perfect balance.

7. Roasted Brussel Sprouts And Butternut Squash

Like beets, Brussel sprouts are another vegetable that doesn’t often make the popular list. Once again the secret to making Brussel sprouts great is to mix them with the right ingredients.

First, you’ll want to roast the vegeables. For the Brussel sprouts all you’ll need is a bit of olive oil and salt to taste. The squash however, will need olive oil, a drizzle of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon. Then once the roasting is complete this dish is assembled by combining the roasted veggies with pecans and cranberries. You can drizzle additional maple syrup within the mixture if you enjoy your dish extra sweet. The result will be the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

8. Sweet Potato Casserole

This isn’t any sweet potatoes casserole, the top layer set this casserole dish over the edge. This delightful top layer consists of marshmallow and pecan streusel. The great thing about sweet potatoes, is that because they’re already naturally sweet they will pair perfectly with other sweet ingredients like marshmallows and streusel.

This recipe is so sweet it might taste like a dessert but it could be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dinner. This casserole begins with a layer of mashed potatoes that are seasoned with butter, milk, cinnamon and brown sugar. Then, they’re topped off with mini marshmallows and a streusel made from butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and pecans.

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9. Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Sweet flavors aren’t for everyone, and that is okay! If you didn’t love the sweet potato casserole you’re bound to love this loaded mashed potato casserole recipe.

Mashed potatoes are definitely my favorite side dish for any occasion. I like how creamy and savory they can be. Step it up a notch and make your mashed potatoes loaded with toppings such as shredded cheese, chopped chives and crumbled pieces of cooked bacon. It’ll be a crowd favorite for sure.

10. Low Carb Mashed Carrots And Turnips

Mashed potatoes are great whether its sweet potatoes or regular white potatoes, however, they are high in carbs. If you’re searching for a better low carb option but still want to enjoy the same creamy texture and inviting flavors then you will have to try serving this mashed carrots and turnips dish this Thanksgiving.

To create this mashed dish you’ll want to start by boiling the carrots and turnips until they’ve become tender. Then you’ll want to add in brown sugar, butter, and salt that will add a hint of sweet flavor. You can mash them by hand or use a hand mixer to make them fluffier and smoother in texture.

11. Oven Roasted Asparagus

Quick and easy side dishes can be the saving grace to a busy dinner, especailly if you’ve volunteered to host this years Thanksgiving. To help make your preparation that much easier we’ve included this oven roast asparagus recipe.

This side dish is full of crunchy texture and is complemented by fascinating flavors of bold lemon, garlic and parmesan. Considering this dish only requires 15 minutes of your time from start to finish you’ll have loads of extra time to focus on the rest of the meal.

12. Olive Oil Roasted Sugar Snap Peas

I love eating snap peas raw with a bit of hummus but I newly discovered they can make a great side dish too. This recipe will show you how to do just that.

It also happens to be incredibly easy to transform sugar snap peas into an exciting side dish. Further, this recipe is keto-friendly and comes in at only 3g net carbs too! All you need to create this divine dish is sugar snap peas, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic powder, pepper and salt.

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13. “Stuffins”: Stuffing Muffins

Some might say, a Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete with a side of delicious stuffing. Growing up, stuffing was always a tradditional dish that we had too. This recipe takes an untraditional approach to stuffing without sacrificing any classic flavors we love.

Instead of serving your Thanksgiving stuffing in a serving dish, you need to try making this stuffing muffin recipe. They were created to make serving food easier and more enjoyable to eat. Considering the muffin tin creates the perfect single-sized muffins, the leftovers make it easy to pack for lunches too.

14. Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread

Corn bread is a southern classic and some say some of the best corn bread can be found there. Another great alternative (or addition) to dinner rolls would be this authenitc southern sweet buttermilk cornbread recipe.

This cornbread is so good it’s bound to melt in your mouth. It’s made with warm butter, sugar, cornmeal and just a few other traditional ingredients. As a bonus, this cornbread recipe will only take 10 minutes to prep, the rest of the time is spent in the oven baking.

15. Maple-Balsamic Dressing Salad

This salad recipe would make another great addition to your Thanksgiving spread. There is no lack of flavor here, as there is plenty of exciting flavors that will have all your guests intrigued about a simple salad.

In this recipe, you can expect pieces of chopped pear, goat cheese, candied pecans and a homemade maple-balsamic dressing. This salad is incredibly easy to throw together and will only require 10 minutes of your time.

16. Bang Bang Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you appreciate and love spicy cuisine then something like a bang bang sauce would be right up your alley. I first experienced this sauce in a shrimp dish years ago at a restaurant and there is no wonder that it would be a great sauce for vegetbales too.

This recipe takes a not-so-favorite vegetable like Brussels sprouts and spices them up with an irresistable bang bang sauce. It’s creamy, spicy and oh so delicious. Your guests will gobble up this side dish quickly and unfortunately, you proabbly won’t have any leftovers from this dish!

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17. Bacon Green Bean Bundles

Don’t serve any ordinary green beans at your thanksgiving dinner. Serve these bacon green been bundles for an extra-special and unique side dish.

I’m sure your guests have had bacon wrapped asparagus or bacon wrapped Brussel sprouts, however, they may not have experienced bacon wrapped green beans. These bundles are perfectly portioned for each guests. They’re so exciting because they’re wrapped in crispy bacond and then are glazed in a buttery brown sugar drizzle.

18. Hasselback Butternut Squash

You’ve probably made hassleback potatoes or chicken but perhaps, you haven’t tried the same approach with butternut squash. We assure you it is just as awesome and will help cook the butternut squash wonderfully. This also happens to be an incredibly easy recipe to whip up.

It will come together as simple as cutting the butternut squash in halves, peeling the skin and brushing with olive oil and a few seasonings. To transform this roasted butternut squash into a Hasselback butternut squash, prior to slicing, you’ll want to roast the squash for around 20 minutes first. This step is important as it will soften and making slicing the squash much easier. Then, the final touches are completed by brushing on melted butter, adding a few more exciting seasonings and then setting it back in the oven to roast one final time.

19. Slow Cooker Creamed Corn

The oven is considered prime real estate when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. Odds are the oven is already jam-packed thanks to a large turkey so in that case, you’re left with stove top space or other kitchen appliances. To help alleviate some space and to give your oven a break you could make this slow cooker creamed corn recipe.

Cream corn may not be a traditional Thanksgiving side dish but once you and your guests indulge in this recipe you’re bound to make it a tradition year after year. Ditch the canned creamed corn because this recipe is going to prove how easy it is to create your own homemade version.

20. Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Side Dish

Are simple recipes your jam? Then, you will love creating this Autumn vegetable sheet pan recipe and you and your guests will enjoy the delicious flavors!

This sheet pan recipe contains many in-season veggies such as acorn squash, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. This dish is easily assembled starting with a sheet pan and tin foil. Add the chopped veggies to the tray, drizzle with olive oil and dashes of the perfect seasonings for a delicious Autumn-inspired bite.

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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