“Classic, delicious Southern Thanksgiving side dishes that will please even the most critical family member!

thanksgiving side dishes

 

Classic Thanksgiving Side Dishes: The Best!

For many of us, Thanksgiving 2020 was so… “different” not being able to be around family. Our family celebrates even the smallest of occasions so we have been making up for lost time let me tell ya! This is our first Thanksgiving without our queen Grandma Barb so we’ve decided to do something we’ve never done.

We rented a huge cabin and we’re going to have a big 3-day family sleepover.  Cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces, & siblings. You can imagine how excited we are about this. Nothing made Grandma Barb happier than seeing her family all together and enjoying each other. I know she would be proud!

I’ve already started planning out the Thanksgiving menu, starting with the must-have traditional Thanksgiving side dishes! I’m gathering them up on this post in case you need a little help planning your menu as well! I’ll be adding several more side dish recipes like green bean casserole, Brussels sprouts, and classic sweet potato casserole to this list over the next few weeks so be sure to bookmark it and stay tuned.

Thanksgiving Tip To Remember: Don’t overwhelm yourself with making side dishes the day of Thanksgiving! So many of these recipes can be made or prepped days ahead. I’ve included helpful make-ahead tips with each recipe below.

Ok, let’s get started with these delicious & easy thanksgiving side dishes!

 


Southern-Style Collard Greens

Collards greens are flourishing this time of year and they make a delicious Thanksgiving side dish! Simmered in chicken broth, smoked turkey, onions, garlic, and spices these collard greens are infused with so much flavor!

Make-ahead Tip: Prep the collard’s greens a few days before by removing them from the stem, washing, and cutting them. (You can also purchase bagged collard greens precut and triple washed to save on time). Collard greens reheat well and taste even better the next day! This dish can be made the day before and reheated on the stovetop when ready to serve.

collard greens recipe

Southern Collard Greens
How to make the best Southern Collard Greens! Full of flavorful ingredients and easy to make
Check out this recipe
collard greens recipe

Thanksgiving Side Dishes Fav: Soulful Candied Yams 

Move over maple syrup glazed carrots it’s time for sweet potatoes! No Thanksgiving menu lineup is complete without buttery, tender, sweet candied yams! They add such a beautiful pop of color to the Thanksgiving menu and their sweet flavor complements all of those savory side dishes so well! This candied yams recipe is a fan-favorite and has a delicious, creamy syrup thanks to the heavy whipping cream in the sauce. They are baked slowly in the oven to bake in all of those cinnamon spice flavors. Feel free to throw on marshmallows or pecans if that’s your jam!

Make-ahead tip: Peel, and slice your sweet potatoes the day before and refrigerate in an airtight container.

thanksgiving side dish southern candied yams recipe

Candied Yams| Best Baked Southern Candied Yams
Sweet and tender candied yams baked in a delicious buttery cinnamon syrup for that true old-fashioned flavor!
Check out this recipe
southern candied yams recipe

 

Roasted Cream Corn with Bacon

Fresh roasted corn creamed with a sweet heavy cream mixture and top with smoky bacon! Such a perfect pairing of sweet, smoky, salty, and creaminess! Creamed corn is a delicious Thanksgiving side dish! The flavor combination of this roasted creamed corn recipe goes so well with cranberry sauce and cornbread dressing!

Make-Ahead Tip: Roast & cut the corn days (or weeks if freezing) before. You can also use store-bought frozen roasted corn which has already been roasted and cut.

creamed corn recipe

Southern Creamed Corn
CREAMY, SOUTHERN-STYLE CREAMED CORN MADE WITH FRESH ROASTED CORN, CREAM, MILK, SUGAR, AND TOPPED WITH SMOKEY BACON
Check out this recipe
fresh southern creamed corn recipe

Thanksgiving Side Dishes Fav: Down-Home Cornbread Dressing

Whether you know it as cornbread dressing or cornbread stuffing, it’s the queen of Thanksgiving side dishes! Down south Cornbread dressing is prepared in a dish and baked in the oven. This Southern cornbread dressing recipe is so moist and bursting with flavors thanks to the chicken broth, spices, chicken, onions, and peppers! It’s a savory side dish that pairs up well with turkey and gravy.

Make-Ahead Tip: Make the cornbread a couple of days before. Precut all the vegetables and cook the chicken. On Thanksgiving, all you’ll have to do is combine everything in a bowl, pour it into the dish, and bake!

thanksgiving side dishes old-fashion southern cornbread dressing recipe

Cornbread Dressing made the Southern Old-Fashioned way!
A soul food cornbread dressing made from scratch. Full of spices, broth, chicken, and homemade cornbread. Southern comfort!
Check out this recipe
southern cornbread dressing recipe

 

Sweet Potato Biscuits

If you’re looking to serve up a basket of biscuits with your Thanksgiving dinner then look no further than these golden sweet potato biscuits! They are so incredibly fluffy and just melt in your mouth! The beauty of these biscuits is that the sweet potato flavor gets better when they cool and they stay fluffy even a room temperature.

Make ahead tip– Prepare your sweet potato puree the day before.

sweet potato butter biscuits

Sweet Potato Biscuits w/ Cinnamon Sweet Potato Honey Butter
Fluffy sweet potato biscuits made from fresh sweet potato and simple ingredients! Brush with cinnamon sweet potato butter.
Check out this recipe
sweet potato biscuits

 

Spicy Deviled Eggs

Who said deviled eggs were just appetizers? A couple of deviled eggs tucked on the side of your Thanksgiving plate is a welcomed addition! Deviled eggs are a must-have for every holiday in my family. These spicy deviled eggs take the traditional deviled egg recipe up a notch and make an awesome side dish.

Make-Ahead Tip: Boil your eggs a couple of days before. Make boiling eggs easier by using this egg cooker. (affiliate link but I purchased mine with my own money) I NEVER boil eggs anymore after purchasing this thing! My eggs always come out so perfect!

southern deviled eggs

Spicy Deviled Eggs
SPICY DEVILED EGGS, FULL OF FLAVOR AND YOU CONTROL THE HEAT! EASY, QUICK RECIPE
Check out this recipe
southern deviled eggs

Sour Cream, Garlic & Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to go all out with mashed potatoes! Yep add in the cream cheese, sour cream, heavy whipping cream, loads, and butter! Yep bring on all the delicious things!! These Sour Cream, Garlic & Cheddar Mashed Potatoes are perfect to whip up for Thanksgiving! So creamy and cheesy.

Make-Ahead Tip: Grate all of your cheeses a couple of days ahead.

cheddar garlic mashed potatoes

Baked Sour Cream, Cheddar & Chive Mashed Potatoes
CREAMY, CHEESY, FLUFFY, BUTTERY AND DELICIOUS CAN ACCURATELY SUM UP THESE BAKED SOUR CREAM, CHEDDAR & CHIVE MASHED POTATOES! THEY ARE THE PERFECT SIDE DISH FOR HOLIDAYS OR FAMILY GATHERINGS.
Check out this recipe

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Many people only serve cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, making it an icon of Thanksgiving side dishes. Forget the concealed, ribbed canned cranberry sauce of the past! You’ll never go back after trying this easy homemade recipe. Made with fresh cranberries and infused with orange and pomegranate juices! So perfectly sweet and tart!

Make-ahead tip: This cranberry sauce gets even better the next day. It can be served cold or warm.  You can make this dish a couple of days before Thanksgiving if needed.

homemade cranberry sauce recipe

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
LEARN HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE USING FRESH CRANBERRIES. A SPLASH OF ORANGE AND POMEGRANATE JUICES TAKES THIS FROM-SCRATCH CRANBERRY SAUCE TO THE NEXT LEVEL! EASY AND QUICK TO MAKE!
Check out this recipe

 

Roasted Mixed Vegetables

Leave the cold green salads for another holiday (unless it’s a 7-layer salad!) and bring out the rustic fresh roasted vegetables instead. A medley of fresh roasted vegetables makes a beautiful colorful Thanksgiving side dish! This sheet pan recipe uses broccoli, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, onions, and peppers. But seasonal veggies like brussels sprouts and butternut squash would be great as well! Just make sure to check the cooking times and some vegetables will get done quicker than others.

Make-ahead Tip: Chop and refrigerate all the vegetables (except for the potatoes) the day before.

roasted vegetables

Roasted Vegetables with bacon
Check out this recipe
roasted vegetables

Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes Fav: Soul Food Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Smoked Cheddar cheese is what takes this creamy cheesy baked macaroni and cheese to the next level! It continues to be one of the most popular Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheeses on my blog after over 10 years! Feel free to switch up the cheese to your favorite combination! Gruyere is always a welcomed surprise!

Make-ahead tip: Get a jump start by shredding all of your cheeses a few days before. Freshly shredded cheeses are the best for mac n cheese as opposed to the pre-shredded kind. Use the processed smoked cheddar cheese for ultra creaminess. I can always find this smoked cheese at Walmart.

 

southern baked macaroni and cheese

Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
This southern baked macaronis and cheese is full of soul and flavor. Smoked cheddar is the secret to this truly addictive, baked macaroni and cheese recipe.
Check out this recipe
southern baked macaroni and cheese

 

Southern Fried Cabbage

Cabbage is the perfect Fall/Winter crop and it’s no wonder it makes its way too many Thanksgiving menus! This fried cabbage recipe is full of flavor thanks to all that smokey bacon, sauteed onions, and garlic! If I had to pick one between collard greens, turnip greens, or cabbage to serve on Thanksgiving, I’m going with cabbage!  Not into fried cabbage? Try it the old-fashioned way!

Make-ahead Tip: Chop your cabbage days before to save on time.

Southern Fried Cabbage

Southern Fried Cabbage and Bacon
Seasoned cabbage fried in butter and tossed with extra crispy bacon, caramalized onions, garlic and spices! So easy and delicious! Perfect as a main meal or side dish!
Check out this recipe
Southern Fried Cabbage

 

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes (Potato Au Gratin)

Whether you want regular scalloped potatoes or Au Gratin style, potatoes are a must for any Thanksgiving menu! The potatoes are cut thin and layer with creamy cheesy goodness!  They are so rich and filling and make a perfect pairing with other thanksgiving side dishes.

Make-ahead Tip: Cut all of your cheeses the day before. Freshly grated cheese melts much better than pre-shredded store-bought cheeses that are often coated with anti-clumping agents.

southern scalloped potatoes recipe

Southern Scalloped Potatoes
Southern scalloped potatoes full of fresh grates cheeses and savory spices!
Check out this recipe
southern scalloped potatoes recipe

Old-School Dinner Rolls

These buttery, soft yeast rolls are a Thanksgiving must-have! They are super forgiving for beginner bakers and they bake up so soft and tender! Brush them with honey butter or savory herb butter to really make them shine!  Looking for a rolled type dinner roll? Check out these Sweet Dinner Rolls

Make-ahead tip: Make these rolls hours before you are ready to serve your meal. Cover and set aside. Bake them right before you are ready to serve your meal so they are nice and hot. These rolls also freeze and reheat well.

Thanksgiving side dish yeast rolls

Homemade Dinner Yeast Rolls
PILLOWY-SOFT HOMEMADE YEAST ROLLS THAT ARE SO EASY TO MAKE! BUTTERY WITH ONLY A HINT OF SWEETNESS MAKES THESE THE PERFECT DINNER ROLLS FOR ANY OCCASION
Check out this recipe
easy homemade dinner rolls

 

Southern-Style Green Beans

Fresh green beans slow simmer in broth, spices, onions, and garlic!  Add smoked turkey or bacon to give these green beans some smokiness! These fresh green beans are infused with so much flavor, you’ll never want to go back to canned again!

Make-ahead tip: Snap the greens beans days before. This green bean recipe tastes even better the next day! Make these beans 1-2 days before Thanksgiving and reheat them on the stovetop.

southern green beans recipe

Soul Food Green Beans
FRESH GREEN BEANS FULL OF FLAVOR AND SOUL! SIMMERED IN SMOKEY BROTH WITH LOTS OF GARLIC, ONIONS, AND RED PEPPER!
Check out this recipe
southern green beans recipe

Honorable Mentions…

Southern Crowd Pleasing Potato Salad
Southern-style pototo salad recipe made the traditional way with lots of boiled eggs! Seasoned to perfection and so creamy!
Check out this recipe

Cream cheese mashed potatoes
Check out this recipe
cream cheese mash potatoes recipe

Soul Food Turnip Greens
Soul food turnip greens! Cooked in a savory chicken broth with onions, garlic, smoked turkey, red pepper flakes and splash of hot sauce! So addictive and delicous with no bitterness!
Check out this recipe
southern turnip greens recipe

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes w/ Butter Pecan Streusel
Check out this recipe

Stay tuned for more classic Thanksgiving Side Dish Ideas!


Once Thanksgiving is over be sure to use up all that leftover turkey with this Turkey & Wild Rice Soup! (Feel free to substitute the rice with pasta to create a cream turkey noodle soup!)

creamy turkey wild rice soup recipe

Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup
Creamy & savory turkey wild rice soup made with fresh ingredients!
Check out this recipe
creamy turkey wild rice soup recipe