Thanksgiving Side Dishes (The Must Haves)
“Classic, delicious Southern Thanksgiving side dishes that will please even the most critical family member! ”
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.
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.
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.
Southern Creamed CornCREAMY, SOUTHERN-STYLE CREAMED CORN MADE WITH FRESH ROASTED CORN, CREAM, MILK, SUGAR, AND TOPPED WITH SMOKEY BACON Check out this 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!
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.
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!
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.
Baked Sour Cream, Cheddar & Chive Mashed PotatoesCREAMY, 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.
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 with bacon Check out this recipe
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 RecipeThis 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 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 and BaconSeasoned 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
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 PotatoesSouthern scalloped potatoes full of fresh grates cheeses and savory spices! Check out this 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.
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.