Thanksgiving Side Dishes
It’s fall y’all! You know that means it’s time to turn back the clocks, feel the crunch of crispy fall leaves under our feet, cozy up with a warm beverage, and get ready to watch lots and lots of football in front of the big screen. Okay, not all of that applies to everyone across the board. Certainly not to me in southern California (except the football part). The fall season seems to always be a little ‘fashionably late’ around here, but I won’t let a little warm (scorching hot) weather distract me from the one thing that does ring true for most of us, it’s time to start planning Thanksgiving dinner!
Thanksgiving turkey is the BEST! However, I’ll admit — I’m partial to Thanksgiving side dishes. From mashed potatoes, to yams, to casseroles, to gravy, cranberries, and so much more.
Side dishes are my jam!
Whether you’re in Canada or in the good ol’ USA, Thanksgiving is a huge holiday and a favorite of many! It’s definitely one I look forward to every year. I host all of our local family and many friends, and it’s a full house, which calls for lots of prepping and cooking.
Thanksgiving At Our Home
At our home the day is spent with family and friends. There is football on in the background, and lots of giggles all around. The men and kids usually break for a quick football game in the yard during half time, while us ladies sit around the table to chat. It’s a great time had by all!
While the turkey is of course the guest of honor, and can frankly be the most intimidating, it’s a relatively easy dish to make. The side dishes on the other hand, can be the most difficult to plan for, prep, and make on Thanksgiving day. However, they don’t have to be!
With proper preparation, a little strategy, and this collection of amazing recipes, you can take the pain out of making Thanksgiving side dishes, and do what your guests will be doing, kicking back and enjoying them!
Are You Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner?
Even if you’re not hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you will most likely be assigned the task of bringing a side dish to share with the group. No need to stress! This list of 20+ Thanksgiving Side Dishes, has got you covered.
Being Prepared Is Half the Victory
I will tell you what I tell my kids..while it’s tempting to put things off, procrastinating will get you nowhere, and fast. Thanksgiving is essentially the biggest dinner party of the whole entire year. Do not take it lightly! While the actual cooking of the side dishes might not take a long time, planning for it may.
Can You Make Thanksgiving Side Dishes Ahead Of Time?
YES! You most definitely can make many Thanksgiving side dishes before the holiday. Typically one to two days ahead of time is best. Follow these tips to make sure you aren’t inundated with tasks on Thanksgiving day.
- As soon as possible, determine what dish you want to make
- Find a great recipe for your dish of choice
- Buy the non perishable ingredients now, and set them aside.
- Figure out what tools you’ll need to make the dish (does it require a deep baking dish? Could you use a new grater, an extra mixing bowl or serving utensils?).
- If you’re traveling with your dish, do you have the proper dish carrier or a plan for safely transporting the dish to your destination?
- Make a list of what needs to get done, and when it needs to be completed.
- On cooking day, give yourself plenty of time to make the very best dish!
Stuffing is a Thanksgiving staple! You just can’t have turkey without a side of stuffing or dressing. It’s most people’s favorite Thanksgiving side dish, and for good reason, it’s downright DELICIOUS!
What Is the Difference Between Dressing and Stuffing?
I have wondered this for years. It’s definitely a regional thing–those in the north tend to call it stuffing, while those in the south go for the fancier, dressing. However it turns out that there is a more technical reason.
Stuffing is the dish that is made inside the bird. Many people opt to make their stuffing inside the turkey while it cooks so that it absorbs all of the juices, and fills it with flavor.
Dressing is the same exact thing, but it’s prepared outside the bird. Usually on the stove top, in the oven, or a combination of both.
How much stuffing per person?
The guideline for stuffing is 1/2 to 3/4 cup per person. So if you are feeding 8 guests, then plan on making 4-6 cups of stuffing. However, if you’re like me you’ll double that because everyone knows, leftovers are the best part! Amiright?!
Dressing or Stuffing Recipes
Cornbread Dressing Recipe | Attainable – Sustainable
Sausage Stuffing | Mama Loves Food
Spinach Stuffing Balls | Dish In the Kitchen
Gravy is a must have at any Thanksgiving table. Even my picky kids love to slather gravy onto everything from mashed potatoes, green bean casseroles, and of course the turkey.
I’ll admit, I’m usually scrambling to throw together enough gravy to fill a couple of gravy boats at the last second, just before serving Thanksgiving dinner. It can add a good amount of stress to an already overwhelming day. This year I’m not going to let the gravy making get the best of me, I will be making it ahead of time!
How To Make Gravy Ahead Of Time
Hold the Cream –
If the recipe you are following calls for cream or any type of milk, leave it out. When you are reheating the gravy on Thanksgiving day, be sure to add the milk or cream as per the recipe’s directions. Don’t forget!
Once the gravy is made, sans milk or cream, let it cool completely, then put it away. Gravy can be stored in the the refrigerator for up to 2 days, and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Turkey Gravy | Noshin’ With the Nolans
Gravy From Scratch | Attainable – Sustainable
More Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Homemade Cranberry Sauce | Attainable – Sustainable
Easy Cranberry Sauce | Valentina’s Corner
Potato Side Dishes
Loaded Mashed Potatoes | Cook Eat Go
Julia Child’s Potatoes Au Gratin | Bobbi’s Cozy Kitchen
Yams or Sweet Potato Side Dishes
Easy Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes | The Cabin Diary
Candied Yams | Amanda’s Cookin’
Low Carb or Keto Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Whole Roasted Cauliflower | Wholesome Yum
Loaded Slow Cooker Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower | Tammilee Tips
Loaded Cauliflower Casserole | Bobbi’s Cozy Kitchen
Keto Mashed Cauliflower | Wholesome Yum
Vegetable Side Dishes
Slow Cooker Creamed Corn | Noshin’ With the Nolans
Tuscan Roasted Broccoli | Savoring Today
Sweet Baked Butternut Squash | Organized Island
Roasted Butternut Squash | Live Love Texas
Slow Cooker Corn Pudding | Tammilee Tips
Zesty Green Bean Casserole | Noshin’ With the Nolans
Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Everything Else
Homemade Yeast Rolls | Smart Savvy Living
Holiday Cheese Grits | The Contractor’s Castle
Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, or just making a side dish to go, you’ll find lots of helpful ideas here.
Aside from inhaling lots of delicious food throughout most of the day, Thanksgiving is all about spending quality time with loved ones. For us, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to hang out together, and eat til our heart’s content. It always reminds me of what I’m most thankful for, my family and friends!
Which side dishes do you plan to make for Thanksgiving dinner?
These items can make your Thanksgiving dinner even more memorable!
Pretty Gravy Boat: This beauty is a must have to serve everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving topping, the gravy! This one is classic white, and holds 16 oz. of gravy. It’s a great addition to your dinner table.
3 Tier Serving Tray: Use this tiered serving stand to display your appetizers or dessert. It’s collapsible for easing storage!
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Thanksgiving Side Dishes
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Barbara is the mom behind the blog. She began writing in 2012 as the creator of Hello Life, a craft & lifestyle blog. As life evolved, and her kids became more involved in sports, she aimed to create a site that would resonate with moms like her, and in 2017 Modern Sports Mom was born. Like many of today’s mamas, she loves being creative, cooking, and fashion, and when there are a few minutes to spare, a good book. A baseball and football mom, she is fueled by her strong faith, dedication to her family, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee! Barbara lives in California with her husband, kids, dog, and cat.