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

Massaged Kale Salad

Rating: Unrated
11
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.

Balsamic Roasted Cabbage

Rating: Unrated
1
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.

Steamed Butternut Squash

Rating: Unrated
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.

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.

Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dressing

Rating: Unrated
2
Pure maple syrup, as opposed to artificially flavored and colored “pancake” syrup, is an extraordinary cooking ingredient. Here it adds body as well as rich flavor to the dressing, providing a perfect counterpoint to the smoked cheese.

Roasted Honeynut Squash

Rating: Unrated
2
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.

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.

Brown Sugar-Glazed Beets

Rating: Unrated
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.

Lemon-Herb Roasted Beets

Rating: Unrated
5
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.

Warm Pear & Spinach Salad with Maple-Bacon Vinaigrette

Rating: Unrated
1
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

Rating: Unrated
5
This colorful salad would be a welcome addition to a Mexican-inspired meal.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Rating: Unrated
20
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.

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.

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.

Garlic-Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Rating: Unrated
2

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.