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

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.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Rating: 4.86 stars
12
In this easy vegetable side dish recipe, sweet potatoes are tossed with maple syrup, butter and lemon juice and are roasted until tender and golden brown. The delicious glaze that forms on these maple-roasted sweet potatoes transform this ultra-simple dish into something sublime.

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.

Beet Salad

Rating: 4.13 stars
7
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.

"Use a Spoon" Chopped Salad

Rating: 4.57 stars
6
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.

Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes with Spinach

Rating: 5 stars
1
Classic scalloped potatoes get a burst of color, heartier texture and a healthy update with the addition of chopped spinach. The greens in this side dish also create a nice contrast to the creamy, velvety potatoes.

Rainbow Slaw with Beet Greens

Rating: 5 stars
1
A touch of cumin and cinnamon give this colorful, healthy slaw recipe a hint of the Middle East. Serve with a wedge of cheese and a whole-grain roll on the side for a satisfying dinner--or with just about anything that comes off the grill.

Cauliflower Casserole with Everything Bagel Seasoning

Rating: 4.5 stars
1
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.

Creamed Spinach Casserole

Rating: 3.4 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.

Layered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casserole

Rating: 4.82 stars
3
Fancy up regular mashed potatoes with a layer of mushroom duxelle--a sauté of finely chopped mushrooms and shallots. We omitted the traditional butter in the duxelle and added chard for a nutritional boost. Serve this hearty side in place of mashed potatoes at any holiday feast or enjoy it as a vegetarian main dish.

Sautéed Leek Mashed Potatoes

In this healthy mashed potato recipe, we flavor the mashed potatoes with leeks lightly sautéed in butter and tangy buttermilk. These mashed potatoes are an amazing side to grilled steak or chicken.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions

Rating: 4.93 stars
6
Fresh herbs, onion and bacon sauté alongside Brussels sprouts in this easy vegetable side dish 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.
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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.

Garlicky Green Beans

Rating: 4.5 stars
6

We cook then cool the beans in advance so they can be heated up and seasoned moments before the meal. If you don't like tarragon, substitute dill or leave it out completely.