Easy-To-Make Thanksgiving Sides

Easy-To-Make Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving is such a fun holiday to share with friends and family, so don’t spend all day in the kitchen. You can simplify your meal by creating easy-to-make, delicious side dishes to complement the all-important turkey. If you are planning on taking a side dish with you to someone else’s home, these recipes are easy to prepare and cook – and will make you look like a holiday expert.

It can be difficult to stay healthy around the holidays, especially during Thanksgiving, but when you create your own dishes, you can control the preparation and the ingredients. You can also make substitutions to meet your specific dietary needs and preferences. For instance, you can replace eggs with egg whites, adding tofu or soya yogurt to bind ingredients together in lieu of a yolk. Cream cheese can be replaced with cottage cheese, and breadcrumbs swapped with crushed almonds. Make each dish your own and try variations with flavor to your own taste.

With nutritious vegetables at the core of these dishes, you can further adapt them to fit any dietary restrictions. Try some of the following side dishes that will impress your guests this holiday season:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Makes 4 servings


  • 1 Large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (remove seeds)
  • 2 Potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 Large carrot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 qt. Low-sodium chicken broth


Preheat oven to 400º. On a large baking sheet, toss butternut squash and potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, approximately 25 minutes.

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and remaining tablespoon olive oil. Add onion, celery, and carrot and cook until softened, approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Season generously with salt, pepper, and thyme.

Add roasted squash and potatoes and pour over chicken broth. Simmer 10 minutes, then using an immersion blender to blend soup until creamy. (Alternate carefully transferring batches of the hot soup into a blender.)

Serve garnished with thyme, diced Granny Smith apples, or toasted hazelnuts. For a brighter version with a flair, try adding cojita cheese, cilantro, and lime juice.

Adapted from delish.com

Parmesan Crusted Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Makes 4 servings


  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 c. Flour
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c. Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 c. Freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne
  • Caesar dressing, for dipping (optional)
  • Fresh lemon juice (optional)


Preheat oven to 400. Grease a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil.

Add flour to a medium shallow bowl and eggs to a separate medium shallow bowl. In a third shallow bowl, whisk together panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, garlic powder and cayenne.

Working in batches, toss Brussels sprouts in the flour until fully coated then dunk in eggs. Dredge in panko mixture then place on baking sheet. Be careful – the baking sheet will be very hot! Bake until golden and crispy, about 25 minutes.

Serve immediately with Caesar dressing, or grate parmesan cheese over top and add a splash of fresh lemon juice.

Adapted from delish.com

Mashed Cauliflower

Prep Time: 10 minutes Total time: 25 minutes Makes 6-8 servings


  • 2 Medium heads cauliflower, florets removed
  • 6 oz. Cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 c. Milk
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped chives, for garnish
  • Butter, for serving


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook until tender, approximately 10 minutes. Drain well, pressing with paper towels to remove as much excess water as possible.

Return to pot and mash cauliflower with a potato masher until smooth with no large chunks remaining. Stir in cream cheese (for extra silky texture) and milk and season with salt and pepper and mash until completely combined and creamy. Add a couple of tablespoons of milk until you reach desired consistency.

Garnish with chives, season with more pepper, and top with a pat of butter.

Adapted from delish.com

Skillet Green Beans

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings


  • 1 lb. green beans
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1½ tsp. sesame oil


Blanch green beans in a large stock pot of well salted boiling water until bright green in color and tender crisp, roughly 2 minutes. Drain and shock in a bowl of ice water to stop from cooking.

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large cast-iron skillet, toss green beans with soy sauce and sesame oil. For a spicier version: instead, toss green beans with 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 2 large garlic cloves (minced), and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.

Roast, tossing midway through, until just crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.

Adapted from delish.com

Bourbon Maple-Glazed Carrots

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Makes 8 servings


  • 3/4 cup Bourbon or whiskey (the better the quality, the better the taste)
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1/4 cup Maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Chopped dill (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces


In a saute pan, add the bourbon. Cook over medium-high heat until the bourbon has reduced by half, approximately 10 minutes. Add the butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, a sprinkle of salt and black pepper, chopped dill and carrots. Toss to combine.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots are tender but still have a nice snap.

Remove from heat. Garnish with fresh dill and serve immediately.

Adapted from Cookingandbeer.com

Roasted Mushrooms in a Browned Butter, Garlic and Thyme Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes 4 servings


  • 1 lb. Mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Toss the mushrooms in the oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated 400 oven until they start to caramelize, at about 20 minutes, mixing half way through.

Cook the butter over medium heat until it starts to turn a nice hazelnut brown, remove from heat and mix in the garlic, thyme and lemon juice.

Toss the roasted mushrooms in the browned butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

If you prefer to barbeque, marinate the mushrooms in advance, wrap them in foil, and roast on the BBQ along with your protein of choice.

Adapted from closetcooking.com

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