27 Heart-Healthy Thanksgiving Sides That Will Steal the Show
Thanksgiving is all about food and these side dish recipes will be the star of your plate. Whether it’s stuffing or mashed potatoes, you can feel good about eating these sides. Each recipe is low in saturated fat and sodium, so it’s easy to follow a heart-healthy eating pattern. Sides like Roasted Honeynut Squash and Slow-Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes are healthy, delicious and can help you meet your nutrition goals.
Slow-Cooker Sausage & Apple Stuffing
This sausage and apple stuffing is extra-moist and full of classic fall flavors. Using a slow cooker makes this side dish even easier and saves on oven space.
Slow-Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes
This simple slow-cooker mashed potatoes recipe skips tedious peeling and boiling and helps save precious stovetop space by letting the slow cooker do the work. It's a great timesaving set-it-and-forget-it side dish recipe to round out any hearty meal. Buttermilk makes the mashed potatoes creamy while garlic and shallots add flavor.
Roasted Honeynut Squash
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.
Simply French Green Beans
Thin green beans cook quickly, so rinsing them with cold water (or putting them into an ice water bath) is important if you want to keep them crisp. The beans in this side dish recipe take only 20 minutes to prepare, but taste their best after a couple hours in the fridge where they soak up the flavor of the shallot-thyme mixture.
Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Don't tell your kids, but we snuck a whole head of cauliflower into these garlic mashed potatoes. The cauliflower, garlic and potatoes are all cooked at the same time and mashed with butter and cream cheese. Your kids will love this side dish and the best part is you won't have to remind them to eat their vegetables!
Green Beans & Tomatoes with Sizzled Garlic
Capers, juicy tomatoes, and chopped fresh parsley make this vegetable side dish flavorful enough for a special meal, but easy enough for everyday.
Classic cornbread can easily be made vegan with delicious results by replacing the egg and dairy milk with flaxseed meal and soymilk! Serve this easy recipe as a side with vegan chili or turn it into vegan cornbread stuffing.
Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds
This skillet-browned Brussels sprouts recipe is a tasty accompaniment for all types of Christmas main dishes including roast beef, pork, or lamb as well as turkey or chicken.
Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
The genius hack in this recipe: topping sweet potatoes with marshmallows while they're still piping hot from the slow cooker yields a baked marshmallow topping that's typical with baked sweet potato casseroles.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Make this classic comfort food side dish in an electric pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot, to get the potatoes soft and tender in a jiff! This easy, 5-ingredient recipe is perfect for the holidays because it's all done in one pot and doesn't take up any extra oven or stove space.
Loaded Bread Stuffing
This bread stuffing has more than your basic celery and onion--you'll love the unexpected addition of mushrooms, red pepper, carrots and water chestnuts! And while it's the perfect addition to your holiday menu, it's also a great choice for serving with chicken or fish any night of the week.
Green Beans & Onions
Don't settle for boring green beans! In this quick-and-easy side-dish recipe, onions, roasted red peppers, olives and a sweet and tangy sauce add flavor and interest.
Mashed Squash with Caramelized Onions
A touch of sherry vinegar brightens up this healthy mashed squash recipe. Buttercup squash will give it a bright orange color but any 3-pound winter squash, such as butternut or acorn, can be used in its place.
Whole-Wheat Cranberry Dinner Rolls
These buttery thyme-seasoned knotted dinner rolls have a sweet and tangy cranberry-ginger topping baked right in. The prep time is only 20 minutes thanks to frozen whole-wheat bread dough, so you can make these any night of the week.
Roasted Squash with Garlic, Lime & Chile
Cumin, garlic, lime and a jalapeño pepper spice up this roasted butternut squash recipe. If you like the consistent look of squash rounds, look for a long-necked butternut or use just the necks from a couple, reserving the bulbous bottoms for another use, such as for healthy muffins or soup.
Date and Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are roasted until just tender then simmered with dates in a reduced garlic/balsamic vinegar sauce.
Spiced Maple Cranberry Sauce
Most homemade cranberry sauces are made with sugar, but this one-- flavored with unsweetened applesauce and spices-- gets its sweetness from the maple syrup that's added in after cooking.
Creamy Smashed Turnips
Rich in vitamin C, these mashed turnips are flavored with reduced-fat cream cheese and chives. A perfect side dish for any meal.
Whether you need a vegetable side for your family or for last-minute (and unexpected!) company, this quick and easy roasted carrot recipe is the answer. We include a delicioius variation that includes toasted nuts and pumpkin pie spice--perfect for fall or winter!
Roasted Herb and Garlic Smashed Potato Casserole
Roasting garlic gives it a more mild and nutty flavor. In this potato casserole, the roasted garlic enhances the flavor of the herb-roasted potatoes.
Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Everyone loves Brussels sprouts when they're drizzled in a tangy-sweet sauce. Plus, bacon! Serve with chicken, pork or steak and roasted potatoes.
Loaded Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Turn refrigerated mashed sweet potatoes into a company-special side dish by combining them with onion, mushrooms and savory seasonings.
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
A slimmed-down white sauce makes this creamy green bean casserole side dish recipe low fat.
Spiced Orange-Cranberry Sauce
The luxurious, licorice-like aroma of star anise gives this cranberry sauce recipe from José Andrés its special-occasion feel. Don't think of it as just a companion for turkey--it'll dress up a humble sandwich and makes an outstanding topping for a wheel of Brie.
Homemade stuffing tastes so much better than any mix you can buy at the grocery store, and this recipe is quick and easy. It takes just 25 minutes to prepare and goes well with grilled or roasted beef, pork, chicken, and fish.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Smoky Aioli
The delicious dipping sauce makes this easy Brussels sprouts recipe an irresistible appetizer or side dish. If you want to double the recipe, use two large rimmed baking sheets and swap their spots in the oven halfway through cooking.
Glazed Mini Carrots
Take advantage of convenient mini ("baby") carrots to make this simple but sophisticated classic French side dish.