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

Roasted Honeynut Squash

Rating: 5 stars
6
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.

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.

Steamed Butternut Squash

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

Garlic-Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Rating: 5 stars
5
Speed up roasting vegetables, like these lemon-and-thyme-infused Brussels sprouts, by cooking them on two large baking sheets instead of just one. This basic roasting technique also works for other root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and potatoes.

Balsamic Roasted Carrots

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

Brown Sugar-Glazed Beets

Rating: 5 stars
4
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.

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.

Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

Massaged Kale Salad

Rating: 4.71 stars
16
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.

Candied Carrots

Rating: 5 stars
1
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

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Rating: 4.49 stars
24
This creamy cauliflower mash makes a perfect low-carb stand-in for mashed potatoes. Here we take simple mashed cauliflower and mix in garlic, buttermilk and a touch of butter to create a flavorful side dish that has about one-quarter of the calories of typical mashed potatoes. If you like, vary it by adding shredded low-fat cheese or chopped fresh herbs.
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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.
23 Easy Friendsgiving Sides That Will Have Your Friends Scraping the Plate
Recipes like our Roasted Honeynut Squash and Garlic-Parmesan Melting Potatoes will add a little extra deliciousness to the Friendsgiving table this year.

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.