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The Easiest Side Dishes to Make This Thanksgiving

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Looking for an easy side dish to bring to Thanksgiving dinner? These Thanksgiving side dishes are simple to make, but they’re so yummy that even the kids will want to eat them!

Trying to cook a Thanksgiving feast for a large crowd is stressful enough. Make one of these sides to simplify your meal so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time visiting relatives and enjoying your day.

easy and delicious Thanksgiving side dishes

It’s the time of year when we’re gearing up for Thanksgiving. It’s not as easy as it sounds to find the perfect Thanksgiving side dish recipes. But a Thanksgiving feast is not complete without a side dish. The best side dishes are versatile, easy to prepare, and simple to make.

However, you want to make sure that the recipe you choose is not only simple and delicious but also something that your family and friends will enjoy.

Which Quick Side Dishes are the Most Popular on Thanksgiving?

As you prepare to go to the store or start your Thanksgiving dinner preparations, it can be stressful to figure out what side dishes you want on your table. One of the most common side dishes is mashed potatoes, but there are many more delicious recipes that taste great and are simple to make.

Luckily, we’ve done all of the work for you. Here are our best simple yet delicious Thanksgiving side dish recipes that are sure to please!

These six categories are the most common side dishes served on Thanksgiving.


These creamed red potatoes with herbs are an easy, delicious side dish to include in your your next Thanksgiving or even family meal.

Mashed potatoes are the most popular Thanksgiving side dish, but that doesn’t mean you need to follow a complicated recipe.

This is my favorite, super-simple recipe to make mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot.

You could also choose make a “creamy potato dish.” This creamed red potato recipe is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, and it’s so easy to make!


Looking for a nontraditional stuffing recipe? This Thanksgiving, try something new with this fruit and nut sausage stuffing.

This fruit and nut cornbread sausage stuffing is a delicious side dish to bring to Thanksgiving.

Other stuffing recipes:

Sweet Potatoes

This sweet potato side dish is perfectly sweet

Looking for an easy, healthy side dish this Thanksgiving? This sweet potato casserole recipe is simple and delicious. Even your kids will love them!


With 3 ingredients, this roasted baby carrots just might be the simplest, most delicious carrot recipe you'll ever make. My kids love this easy side dish.


This sweet take on traditional carrots makes a delicious side. And with a bake time of 8 minutes, it’s perfect to make as a quick Thanksgiving side dish.

Slow cooker carrots are also super simple to make. Just pour a bag of petite baby carrots in your slow cooker, add three tablespoons of butter, and sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on them. Cover and cook on low for four hours.


Technically, this white bean dip is an appetizer, although it’s delicious when served on tiny sandwiches – perfect for an after Thanksgiving snack.

This vegan green bean casserole is a simple, healthier recipe that’s a Thanksgiving staple for many families.


Who says squash has to be boring? Try this vegan butternut squash mac and cheese recipe for a healthy twist on a comfort food.


This cranberry sauce recipe is delicious and so easy to make.

In under 10 minutes, you can make this microwavable cranberry sauce, no grating or zesting required.

You might also enjoy these cranberry recipes:


I totally cheat and either buy a loaf of flaky Italian bread or make some Pillsbury crescent rolls, but this slow cooker rosemary bread is a delicious dish to bring.

I also love this traditional southern cornbread recipe, and these cranberry cornbread bites are so easy to make in the Instant Pot.

What Should I Bring to a Last Minute Thanksgiving Dinner?

Did you get invited to a last minute Thanksgiving dinner?

It’s never too late to attend a Thanksgiving dinner, and this list will help any forgetful person who needs to quickly run out for food for the gathering.

My strategy is to have all the basics on hand so you can whip up anything in a pinch.

  • For meats, have plenty of cooked turkey breast, ground beef, chicken breasts, and cooked ham.
  • For vegetables, have carrots, green beans with slivered almonds, casserole mix that includes broccoli and cauliflower florets.
  • For starches/grains/breads-have stuffing mix with dried cranberries and pecans available, alongside mashed potatoes made from scratch using just two ingredients: water and butter.

However, if you don’t have a stockpile of basics, use what you have and tweak your favorite recipe so that it takes less time to cook or prepare. For example, make mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot while you take your shower and get ready for the day. Or, toss pre-washed carrots in the slow cooker (or roast them for 8 minutes using the recipes above).

When in doubt, grab a loaf of bread or a pie from a bakery, and call it a day!

What Side Dishes Can Be Made Ahead of Time for Thanksgiving?

Cranberries usually need to be made the night before in order to give them time to set up, especially if you’re making a cranberry sauce. Cranberry relishes can be prepared at the last minute, although they may be more time consuming to make.

Vegetables can be made ahead if you use a slow cooker or Instant Pot.

Mashed potatoes are another recipe that can be prepared ahead of time. You can easily pre-cook the potatoes and add extra sour cream when reheating to make the potatoes creamier.

Which side dish are you bringing to your next holiday gathering?

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