Quick & Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Find healthy, delicious quick & easy Thanksgiving side dish recipes including cranberry, mashed potato, squash and green bean recipes. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Rosemary-Ginger French 75

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Rosemary and ginger add a flavorful twist to a classic citrusy gin cocktail topped with a little bubbly for a festive libation.

Balsamic Roasted Cabbage

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These roasted cabbage wedges with honey and balsamic vinegar make an attractive and healthy side dish that's also very easy to prepare. You can use red or green cabbage--or make a double batch with one of each for a pretty presentation.

Massaged Kale Salad

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Here a pungent garlicky dressing is infused into kale by massaging the greens and the dressing together with your hands. Any type of kale will work in this kale salad recipe, just remember to remove the tough stems before you start.

Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts

These super-crispy and browned air-fryer Brussels sprouts with sweet onions and salty bacon--all amped up with bright lemon juice--are sure to be a hit, whether you serve them for a weeknight side dish or as part of your holiday spread for Thanksgiving. This recipe makes enough to serve eight but is easily halved, though once you taste it you may well want a double serving. And if you prefer a vegetarian side, simply omit the bacon.

Roasted Honeynut Squash

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Honeynut squash looks just like mini butternut squash, but on the inside you'll find an even sweeter, deeper orange flesh. This winter squash has only been available at farmers' markets and in select grocery stores for a few years. If you see it, grab a few to try! This simple roasting method enhances the natural flavor of the squash with butter and spices.

Brown Sugar-Glazed Beets

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Try a sweet glaze on beets or other root vegetables to help balance their earthy flavor. This easy recipe will work with steamed carrots, turnips or rutabaga too.

Steamed Butternut Squash

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Butternut squash steams quickly, making this a great cooking technique to enjoy this fall vegetable as a weeknight side dish. For extra flavor, toss the steamed butternut squash with salt, pepper and a little bit of olive oil, butter or Parmesan cheese after cooking.

Sautéed Butternut Squash

Sautéeing butternut squash in olive oil quickly yields perfectly cooked results and slighly caramelizes the squash for extra flavor. This recipe makes a delicious vegetable side dish to pair with roasted meats.

Warm Pear & Spinach Salad with Maple-Bacon Vinaigrette

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Mature, larger-leaved spinach holds up better to the warm bacon vinaigrette than baby spinach in this healthy spinach salad recipe. If you don't want the spinach to wilt, let the dressing cool before tossing it with the salad.

Orange & Avocado Salad

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This colorful salad would be a welcome addition to a Mexican-inspired meal.

Candied Carrots

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A combination of brown sugar and apple juice makes these easy candied carrots sweet but not cloying. Chopped fresh thyme brightens the flavor in this classic side dish, but feel free to omit it if you want an even simpler dish. Serve with chicken, pork or your Thanksgiving dinner.

Winter Salad with Toasted Walnuts

This salad was one of the favorites chosen from over 1,000 salad recipes for our 30th anniversary issue. In 2004, Deborah Madison waxed poetic about winter ingredients, particularly nuts. “In the chill air of winter, nuts move up to center stage as do their warming, substantial, golden oils--so good with winter salad greens and vegetables, such as shaved fennel, all of which are likely to end up in a salad together,” she says. Madison suggested using a mix of lettuces that balance each other here--a mild, tender variety, such as Boston, with a more intense and sturdy green, such as escarole, for instance.

Inspiration and Ideas

30 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Side Dishes in 30 Minutes

Scrambling to get every dish on to the Thanksgiving table? These last-minute side dishes are a perfect addition to your holiday meal. Whether it’s mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts or green beans, you can get these tasty sides on to the table in 30 minutes or less. Recipes like Candied Carrots and Kale Salad with Balsamic & Parmesan are flavorful and easy to make.

Lemon-Herb Roasted Beets

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We love how roasting brings out the sweet flavor of beets. Golden beets look especially pretty when tossed with the fresh herb and lemon seasoning mix, but any type of beets will work in this recipe. If you're a lemon lover, be sure to add the squeeze of fresh lemon juice after the beets are roasted.

Lemon-Dill Green Beans

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This lemon and dill vinaigrette is a natural complement to green beans. It's also great tossed with steamed asparagus or drizzled over sliced fresh tomatoes. To make this recipe serve 10, multiply all the ingredients by 2 1/2: Use 2 1/2 pounds green beans, 3 tablespoons dill, 2 1/2 tablespoons each shallot, oil and lemon juice, 2 1/2 teaspoons mustard and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.