Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Find healthy Thanksgiving side dishes to make ahead including cranberry, mashed potato, squash and green bean recipes.

Staff Picks

Beet Salad

Rating: 4 stars 9
This simple beet salad recipe uses just a handful of ingredients to create a delightful side dish. Roasted beets add a sweet, earthy and aromatic flavor that shines in this side salad.
By Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough

Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These mashed potatoes can be served right away or made up to two days in advance, making your Thanksgiving or any other meal as easy as can be!
By Andrea Mathis, M.A., RDN, LD

Hasselback Potatoes with Cheese

Rating: 5 stars 2
Hasselback potatoes are the perfect side dish for people who love crispy potato-chip-like slices as well as the tender interior of a baked potato. Simple to prepare, these hasselback potatoes look impressive and decadent with melted Cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of paprika on top.
By Carolyn Casner

Cauliflower-Broccoli Gratin

Rating: 3 stars 1
This creamy broccoli-and-cauliflower casserole is a hassle-free side dish that just about everyone loves. Our healthier version skips the heavy cream and butter found in most recipes--saving about 160 calories and 12 grams of saturated fat compared to a traditional version.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic & Parsley

Rating: 5 stars 6
Learn how to roast squash in this healthy recipe adapted from Alice Waters. Look for squash varieties, including buttercup, kabocha or hubbard, at your farmers' market and try them in this tasty side dish.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions

Rating: 5 stars 11
Fresh herbs, onion and sautéed bacon flavor this easy Brussels sprouts recipe. This savory dish is delicious in the fall and winter months, when Brussels sprouts are in season. If you can find them still attached to the stalk, don't be intimidated--buy them, as they're likely more fresh. Recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Cauliflower Casserole with Everything Bagel Seasoning

Rating: 4.5 stars 2
The cheesy-seedy crust that tops this healthy cauliflower casserole recipe evokes everything bagels. Serve for the holidays or as a hearty side dish with roast chicken.

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.
By Carolyn Casner

Easy Scalloped Potatoes

In this easy scalloped potatoes recipe, sliced potatoes are roasted in the oven before being mixed with a simple, creamy stovetop sauce and sprinkled with Cheddar cheese. A few minutes under the broiler turns the dish golden and crispy.
Hilary Meyer
By Hilary Meyer

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.
By Carolyn Casner

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Rating: 5 stars 15
In this healthy side dish recipe, sweet potatoes are tossed with maple syrup, butter and lemon juice and roasted until tender and golden brown. The delicious glaze that forms on these maple-roasted sweet potatoes transforms this ultra-simple dish into something sublime.
By Kathy Farrell-Kingsley

Creamed Spinach Casserole

Rating: 3.5 stars 2
This creamy spinach casserole recipe is a more sophisticated cousin to creamed spinach. It's perfect for weekend entertaining or as a holiday side dish.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Inspiration and Ideas

Cornbread & Oyster-Mushroom Stuffing
This stuffing is perfect to bake a day or two in advance so it has time to dry out a bit, which lets it absorb the flavors more readily.
Make-Ahead Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Cut down on Thanksgiving Day craziness and free up space in your oven by making some dishes ahead of time. From Green Bean Casserole to Scalloped Potatoes, all of these classic Thanksgiving side dishes come with tips to prep them ahead of time. A quick reheat is all they’ll need before making their way to your dinner table.
"Use a Spoon" Chopped Salad
Rating: 4.5 stars 8

When Paul Newman and Michel Nischan opened their Westport, Connecticut, restaurant Dressing Room, Paul's request was that the menu always include a chopped salad that you could eat with a spoon. This chopped salad recipe is full of great flavors, colors and textures, featuring celery, carrots, red pepper, apple, cucumber, greens, cabbage, goat cheese and almonds. This is great for any holiday meal: you can let it stand and it stays crisp.