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 8
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 EatingWell Test Kitchen

"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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Rating: 5 stars 15
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.
By Kathy Farrell-Kingsley

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions

Rating: 5 stars 11
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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 EatingWell Test Kitchen

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 EatingWell Test Kitchen

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

Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes with Spinach

Rating: 5 stars 3
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.
By Hilary Meyer

Loaded Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon, Cheddar & Chives

Rating: 5 stars 2
Imagine a loaded baked potato topped with bacon, Cheddar and chives combined with the creamy goodness of scalloped potatoes, and you have the ultimate comfort food casserole. This scalloped potato recipe is made healthier than original versions by using low-fat milk in place of heavy cream, but it still tastes just as rich and creamy.
By Hilary Meyer

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.
By Hilary Meyer

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.
By Carolyn Casner

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
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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.
Layered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casserole
Rating: 4.5 stars 4

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.