The Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes to Try

Best New Thanksgiving Sides For An Award-Winning Meal

Plot twist! We all expect certain dishes on the Thanksgiving table — but it might be time to mix things up. In the spirit of keeping things interesting, we picked out some Thanksgiving side dishes that put a new spin on old favorites.

You’ve probably been to enough Thanksgiving dinners to know that all that glitters is not golden brown turkey — it’s the side dish co-stars that really shine and make the holiday meal’s storyline remarkable. Of course, there are recurring cast members that you don’t want to cut, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rewrite the script to advance your Thanksgiving story. With that in mind, we put together some side dish recipe options so you can create a choose-your-own-adventure Thanksgiving meal with a Hollywood ending.

Mashed Potatoes

Spinach Mashed Potatoes

Spinach Mashed Potatoes

Spinach Mashed Potatoes by Chef In Training
No dish is safe on the Thanksgiving table — not even the mashed potatoes. To avoid a civil war, they can’t be taken off the table, but they can be elevated with fresh green spinach. To thicken the plot, the greens marry harmoniously with Parmesan cheese to keep your guests coming back for more.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Mashed Potatoes by Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Garlic sneaks its way onto the Thanksgiving table one dish at a time… and where it starts taking over the plot is with the potatoes. Spoiler alert: These creamy mashed potatoes are killed off in the end.

russet potatoes, black pepper, nut milk, salt, chives, nutritional yeast and 1 more
russet, reduced sodium chicken broth, cream cheese, milk, butter and 2 more
sour cream, butter, yukon gold potatoes, cream cheese, yukon gold potatoes and 7 more


Tomato Pancetta Cornbread Stuffing

Sundried Tomato Pancetta Cornbread Stuffing

Sundried Tomato Pancetta Cornbread Stuffing by Foodie Girl Chicago
Stuffing is the hero we all cheer for, but even the best heroes are entitled to subplots to give them deeper dimensions. With Tomato Pancetta Cornbread Stuffing, the sundried tomatoes join pancetta and cornbread to update the predictable tale with a new story — while still keeping a nostalgic nod to a Thanksgiving staple.

Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice Stuffing

Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice Stuffing

Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice Stuffing by Onion Rings and Things
Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice Stuffing is Thanksgiving’s antihero. It’s unexpected and, perhaps, your audience is skeptical. But when the pecan texture tangos with the earthy flavor of the wild rice while contrasting with the sweetness of the cranberries, the result is so devilishly divine it’s hard not to root for this holiday side.

chopped celery, chicken broth, applesauce, stuffing, coconut and 5 more
salt, cooking spray, eggs, white bread, chicken broth, celery and 7 more
fresh thyme, French bread, celery, carrot, dried cranberries and 6 more

Sweet Potatoes

Drunken Sweet Potatoes

Drunken Sweet Potatoes

Drunken Sweet Potatoes by CDKitchen
Every story needs a Hagrid — a loveable half-giant who’s had a few too many rough nights but is always entertaining. At Thanksgiving, that’s the role of this Drunken Sweet Potato casserole — a joyous addition to the table that doesn't take away from the main course. It’s predictable in its rich, sweet synthesis of brown sugar and sweet potatoes of Southern tradition, yet simultaneously unpredictable with each boozy bite.

Crispy Sweet Potato Roast

Crispy Sweet Potato Roast

Crispy Sweet Potato Roast by Smitten Kitchen
Some of the simplest subplots are the most complex. So it goes for Thanksgiving side dishes like this Crispy Sweet Potato Roast with the aesthetic charm of Hasselback potatoes. With just olive oil, butter, and shallots, these roasted sweet potatoes have subtle charisma.

firmly packed light brown sugar, water, apple pie spice, unsalted butter and 12 more
ground cinnamon, Marshmallow Fluff, brown sugar, unbaked pie crust and 10 more
orange juice, salt, non dairy butter, cornstarch, yams, vanilla and 5 more

Brussels Sprouts

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Cranberries And Apples

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Apples

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Apples by Sweet Somethings
Brussels sprouts are Thanksgiving’s natural antagonist — these roasted vegetables are revered by few and reviled by flocks more. But every villain has, at the very least, frenemies to support them — in this case, it’s the blithe bacon, amiable apples, and cordial cranberries. Together, they make Brussels sprouts palatable to even the most dubious diners without alienating their biggest fans.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Brussels Sprouts Gratin by Once Upon A Chef
Brussels sprouts get a surprise redemption when they’re bathed in a warm bath of cream to soften their texture and flavor. Topped with a mixture of breadcrumbs and Gruyere, They evolve into a beloved comfort food. It’s a supporting role worthy of an award when kids rate this dish a ‘G’ for 'good.'

sweet chili sauce, olive oil, salt, Brussels sprouts
butter, salt, brussel sprouts, garlic, maple syrup, pepper, bacon
fresh thyme, sweet potato, salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar and 5 more

Green Beans

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole by Yummly
On the list of usual suspects: green bean casserole. With the addition of potatoes and cheese, guests may think they’ve lost track of the plot, but that’s just part of the buildup. When they get to the tender green beans under the crunch of fried onions, it will all come together just before dinner’s grand finale.

Carmelized Onion And Bacon Green Bean Casserole

Carmelized Onion and Bacon Green Bean Casserole

Carmelized Onion and Bacon Green Bean Casserole by Bubbly Nature Creations
Bacon is the ringer in this green bean casserole that will keep your audience wanting more. But this Carmelized Onion and Bacon Green Bean Casserole doubles down on rich ingredients for maximum flavor impact. The plot reveals the sweetness of carmelized onions united with bacon for a happily-ever-after ending on Thanksgiving Day.

green beans, salt, bacon, chicken stock, onion, pepper
heavy cream, shallot, butter, cream cheese, blanched almond flour and 4 more
soy sauce, frozen green beans, cream of mushroom soup, milk, french fried onions and 1 more


Apple and Spice Cranberry Sauce

Apple and Spice Cranberry Sauce Apple and Spice Cranberry Sauce by Yummly
This Cranberry Sauce adds color to the vintage table for a delightfully bold, slightly intense cinematic counterpoint to the rich savory dishes, to keep diners on the edge of their seats.

Cranberry Salad

Cranberry Salad

Cranberry Salad by Cooking Channel
Marshmallows wage war on the tart cranberry with this Cranberry Salad. The sweet fluff invades the astringent berries with a blast of sugar until it surrenders for a sweet victory.

water, brown sugar, orange juice, fresh cranberries, pecan, bourbon
fresh cranberries, orange juice, brown sugar, orange zest, Grand Marnier and 2 more
apple cider, cinnamon stick, pure maple syrup, sea salt, fresh cranberries and 1 more

Hungry for more?

From butternut squash and roasted vegetables to creamed corn and macaroni and cheese, you can find scene-stealing side dishes to suit your taste.

oil, chicken, salt, turkey broth, ground sage, cornbread, celery and 4 more
American cheese, dry elbow macaroni, salt, black pepper, dry mustard and 5 more
fresh thyme leaves, black pepper, celery stalks, baguettes, carrots and 12 more
coconut flour, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, eggs, sage leaves and 10 more
shallots, dried rosemary, black pepper, butter, olive oil, kosher salt and 1 more
heavy cream, hot sauce, salt, xanthan gum, turkey, chicken stock and 3 more
extra light olive oil, fresh green beans, garlic, chili flakes and 1 more
dried cranberries, honey, salt, orange zest, brussels sprouts and 3 more
orange juice, orange zest, fresh cranberries, water, ginger, sugar
dried oregano, chopped onion, cranberries, chicken broth, dried parsley and 5 more
salt, apples, milk, honey, unsalted butter, sweet potatoes, water and 3 more
brown sugar, turkey thighs, black pepper, canola oil, flour, sweet potatoes and 3 more
vegetable broth, water, yellow onion, black pepper, nonstick cooking spray and 10 more
coarsely ground black pepper, russet potatoes, salt, salt, lemon zest and 4 more
cooking apple, old bread, salt, unsalted butter, dried thyme and 4 more
chopped celery, kosher salt, crushed black pepper, black pepper and 16 more
salt, baby carrots, honey, grated orange zest, orange juice, butter
fresh parsley, celery stalks, butter, rosemary, sage leaves, chicken stock and 3 more