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.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Chef Michael Symon loves Brussels sprouts because they can be cooked so many different ways. In this healthy recipe, the rich flavor of the walnuts, Dijon and capers is perfection with roasted meats.
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.
Balsamic-Roasted Green Beans with Parmesan
Sweet balsamic vinegar and nutty Parmesan cheese complement roasted green beans and shallots in this easy and healthy side dish. Roasting the green beans gives them a sweet, caramelized flavor while they still retain some bite. Serve with chicken, fish, pork--you name it. These green beans are also a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving meal.
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Whir cauliflower into a creamy low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes. This easy recipe gets a kick of flavor from garlic-infused olive oil, making it a dairy-free (and vegan) vegetable side dish.
Kale Salad with Balsamic & Parmesan
In this healthy kale salad recipe, you massage the dressing into the kale, tenderizing the leaves and infusing the salad with sweet balsamic flavor. Creamy pine nuts and salty Parmesan cheese added at the end balance the flavors. Enjoy this salad on its own as a side dish or add cooked chicken, shrimp or steak to make it a full meal.
Mashed Cauliflower & Yukon Golds
The term “cauliflower mashed potatoes” usually means subbing cauliflower for potatoes completely, but in this recipe we use both cauliflower and potatoes: Yukon Golds add to the buttery hue of the mash and their waxy texture balances out the more watery cauliflower to keep it velvety. The mash is easy enough to make as a weeknight dinner recipe, but it would also make an excellent side dish for Thanksgiving or another special occasion.
Apple, Fig & Brussels Sprouts Salad
Salad dressing made from sweet and mellow white balsamic vinegar balances out the assertive greens and Brussels sprouts in this healthy winter salad. If you have one handy, a small mandoline makes it easy to slice the Brussels and apple. To make it a dinner salad, top with shrimp or chicken.
Honey-Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Balsamic vinegar and honey combine to give a sweet-tart coating to these roasted Brussels sprouts. These honey-balsamic Brussels sprouts are quick enough for a weeknight meal, but they are special enough to make a no-fuss side dish for Thanksgiving or any other holiday meal.
Jalapeño Creamed Corn
Sweet and savory creamed corn gets a creamy kick from Cheddar cheese and jalapeño. We love the added spice sliced jalapeño adds as a garnish, but this is also great without it if you want to tame the heat. Try it alongside grilled steak or chicken or with your Thanksgiving spread.
Skillet Green Bean Casserole for Two
Green bean casserole is usually built for a crowd, but not this one! It's perfectly portioned for a smaller Thanksgiving and done on the stovetop to free up oven space. Fresh breadcrumbs combined with caramelized onions deliver a savory alternative to the classic fried onions.
Bitter Greens Salad with Persimmons, Manchego & Hazelnut Vinaigrette
Persimmons are a sweet, succulent foil to the bitter greens in this winter salad that makes a striking holiday side. If you can’t find them, firm ripe pears are a delicious alternative.
Roasted Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
Roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts make a great quick and easy side dish for dinner, or you can twist it into a breakfast hash served with an egg on top. Either way, with its super-easy prep, you'll come back to these roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts again and again.
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.
Green Beans with Parmesan-Garlic Breadcrumbs
In this easy green bean recipe, browning the butter before tossing it with the breadcrumbs produces a nice nutty flavor. Serve this green bean dish as a healthy alternative to green bean casserole or as an easy side with steak, chicken or fish.
Citrus-Rosemary Cranberry Sauce
This easy cranberry sauce recipe calls for simply jazzing up canned cranberry sauce with orange zest and juice and fresh herbs. Serve it with your Thanksgiving turkey, on leftover turkey sandwiches or along with any holiday meal.
Cauliflower with Peppadew Peppers & Raisins
We sauté the cauliflower to get it slightly caramelized, then steam it to soften the vegetable without burning the spices.
Creamed Brussels Sprouts
Tender Brussels sprouts in a creamy sauce is a holiday-worthy side dish that’s easy enough for a weeknight.
Buttermilk-Sage Mashed Potatoes
Cutting the potatoes into cubes before steaming means this quick healthy mashed potato recipe is ready in the same time it takes to cook a steak or piece of fish. Have your buttermilk and butter at room temperature so they won't cool the potatoes too much when you start mashing.
Sautéed Green Beans & Onions
Sautéed onions, garlic powder and red pepper add plenty of flavor to canned green beans to make an easy and economical side for your Thanksgiving table or any other dinner.
Massaged Kale Salad
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.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Sweet Potatoes
It's easy to get creative with these roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. For a quick side dish that complements just about everything, follow the main recipe. If you want to spice things up a little, try one of the variations. Swapping a few spices and adding fresh stir-ins to coat the roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes transforms the flavor of the dish to something new, yet equally delicious.
Balsamic Roasted Cabbage
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.
Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
This quick mashed potato recipe has just 5 ingredients and is dinner-ready in 20 minutes. Using sweet potatoes for this classic side dish adds color to your plate along with a little sweetness and a boost of Vitamin A. With classic and simple flavors, it can easily be paired with any of your favorite dishes.
Vietnamese-Style Coconutty Brussels Sprouts
In this easy Brussels sprouts recipe, the sprouts get a double hit of coconutty flavor from coconut oil and coconut water, and a salty, umami kick from fish sauce. The coconut water is a tropical nod to the southern Vietnamese practice of cooking with coconut water, which is often used in braises and dipping sauces. Don't have a pan large enough to cook the sprouts in one batch? Cook them in two batches in a medium (10-inch) skillet. No coconut oil in your pantry? Substitute unsalted European-style butter or vegetable oil. Serve these simple but flavorful Brussels sprouts as a side to any protein for weeknight dinners or special meals--they'd be a great addition to your Thanksgiving dinner.
Balsamic Roasted Carrots
Roasting carrots brings out their sweetness, which is enhanced further with a tangy balsamic and maple glaze. Serve them straight-up for an easy weeknight side dish or garnish with chopped hazelnuts for holiday meals and dinner parties.
Roasted Green Beans with Applewood Bacon
Cooking bacon and green beans on a sheet pan together simplifies holiday meal prep. Red-wine vinegar and lemon juice provide a balanced, bright flavor.
Three-Cheese Whipped Potatoes
Give the usual mashed potatoes a rest and serve this side dish instead. The potatoes get creaminess and super flavor from ricotta, cottage and Gorgonzola cheeses.
Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole
Free up space in your oven and on the stovetop this Thanksgiving with the help of an electric pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot. Not only does it cook entirely in one pot, it cooks super-quick, perfect for a last-minute side dish.
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.
Roasted Kalettes with Pine Nuts & Currants
Kalettes are a relatively new hybrid of kale and Brussels sprouts. When roasted in this healthy side dish, they get crispy on the outside and stay tender on the inside. Look for kalettes near other bagged vegetables in the produce section.