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

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Rating: 4.86 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.

Roasted Brussels Sprout & Butternut Squash Salad

Rating: 5 stars
1
Serve this hearty and healthy fall salad with roasted pork tenderloin, chicken or salmon, or with your Thanksgiving meal. All of the vegetables are roasted on the same pan, so this recipe is easy to prep, and it tastes great warm or at room temperature so it's perfect for holiday buffet tables and potlucks. Cranberries add a sweet-tart edge, while the maple-tahini dressing provides depth.

Loaded Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon, Cheddar & Chives

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

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.

Hasselback Potatoes with Cheese

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

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.

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

Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes with Spinach

Rating: 5 stars
2
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.

Beet Salad

Rating: 4.13 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.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions

Rating: 4.93 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.

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.
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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: 4.57 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.