10 Thanksgiving Side Dishes Your Guests Will Love

Once every year, on Thanksgiving, we find the time to show gratitude for and revel in the two most valuable things in life: the company of our loved ones and a satisfying meal. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, and are looking for some side dishes to complement the turkey, we have compiled some recipes that your guests will definitely love.

Altogether, we have compiled ten great Thanksgiving side dish recipes that will impress your guests, including the likes of Green Beans with Shallots, Parsnip and Potato Mash, Roasted Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts, Cranberry Mostarda, Scalloped Hasselback Potatoes with Cheddar, etc.

We have included both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes in this article. We will now be looking at each of these recipes in detail, sharing the step by step process necessary to prepare them from scratch to perfection. Your guests will absolutely love these dishes!

Green Beans With Shallots


3 pounds of green beans; 1 pound of shallots; 2 tablespoons of butter; 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard (with seeds); salt, pepper.

Follow these steps to prepare Green Beans with Shallots:

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to 3 quarts of water.
  2. Heat the water in a covered saucepot until a rolling boil.
  3. Put green beans into the boiling water and leave the saucepot uncovered for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Once the beans have become tender, drain the water from the saucepot.
  5. Take a large bowl and put some ice water in it. Soak the boiled beans in the bowl.
  6. If you’re serving the beans right away, proceed on to step 7. Else, you can place them in a plastic bag and put them in your fridge.
  7. Put some butter in the saucepot and heat it on medium-low.
  8. Add the shallots after the butter has melted. Keep occasionally stirring for the next 20 minutes.
  9. Once the shallots are tender and golden, add the green beans to the saucepot. Also, add half a teaspoon of the salt and half a teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  10. Increase the heat on the saucepot, from medium-low to medium-high.
  11. Keep stirring and tossing for the next 5 minutes. Once the beans are heated, add the Dijon mustard and stir well.

Total time: Approx. 45 minutes; serves: 10 people.

Parsnip and Potato Mash


1.5 pounds of yellow potatoes; 1.5 pounds of parsnips; 1.5 cups of milk; 2 lemons; 12 sprigs thyme; 4 cloves of garlic; 4 tablespoons of butter (unsalted); pepper; salt.

Follow these steps to prepare Parsnip and Potato Mash:

  1. Peel and cut both the potatoes and the parsnips into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Put the sliced potatoes and parsnips in a saucepan and add enough water to cover them. Heat the saucepot till the water comes to a rolling boil.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and, at a reduced heat, let the mixture shimmer or the next 20 minutes or so.
  4. While the mix in the saucepot is shimmering, we will make the milk mix.
  5. In a saucepan, add 8 strips of lemon zest, the garlic (smashed), the milk, and the thyme. Heat the saucepan until a rolling boil.
  6. Once boiling, reduce the heat and leave the milk mix shimmering for two or so minutes.
  7. Drain the potatoes and parsnip mix and strain the milk mix into the same saucepot. Now mash the potatoes and parsnip until you get your desired consistency.
  8. Finally, add three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and pepper, and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and mix well.

Total time: Approx. 35 minutes; serves: 8 people.

Roasted Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts


3 pounds of Brussels sprouts; a quarter of a cup of brown sugar; a quarter of a cup of balsamic vinegar; a quarter of a cup of soy sauce (low sodium); a quarter of a cup of finely chopped parsley leaves; 2 tablespoons of olive oil; half a tablespoon of ground ginger. 

Follow these steps to prepare Roasted Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts:

  1. Trim the Brussels sprouts and cut them into halves.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).
  3. Place the trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts on a double-layered baking sheet. Add oil to the sprouts.
  4. Place this sheet on the oven and leave to roast for the next 25 minutes or so. Rotate the sheet and stir the sprouts occasionally during this time.
  5. Once the sprouts turn into a deep golden brown color, remove the sheet from the oven.
  6. While the sprouts are in the open, take a saucepan and heat a combination of soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and ginger. Add a quarter of a teaspoon of pepper to the mix and leave it to boil on medium-high heat.
  7. Once boiling, reduce the saucepan’s heat and let the mix simmer for the next 15 minutes or so. Look for a syrupy consistency.
  8. Add some finely chopped parsley and the sauce to the roasted sprouts. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Total time: Approx. 40 minutes; serves: 12 people.

Cranberry Mostarda


2 cups of dried cranberries; 1 cup of Champagne vinegar; three-quarters of a cup of dry white wine; three-quarters of a cup of cranberry juice; 1.5 cups of sugar; 2.5 tablespoons of yellow mustard seeds; 1 teaspoon of mustard powder; 1 tablespoon of orange zest; 1 stick of cinnamon; 5 whole cloves; 1 slice of ginger; salt.

Follow these steps to prepare Cranberry Mostarda:

  1. The night before: Pour the dry white wine into a small bowl and soak the mustard seeds. Leave at room temperature overnight.
  2. In a cheesecloth, tie up the ginger, the cloves, and the cinnamon stick to create a spice bundle.
  3. In a saucepot, add the mix of mustard and white wine. Add sugar, cranberry juice, mustard powder, and vinegar to the mix and heat until a rolling boil.
  4. Once boiled, add the spice bundle to the mix and leave the saucepot at medium heat until you get a syrupy consistency. This should take approximately 25 minutes.
  5. Remove the spice bundle and turn off the heat.
  6. Add the orange zest and cranberries to the mix and stir well. Let the mix cool down. If the mix seems too thick, you can mix some water.
  7. Once cooled down, season the mix with salt.

Total time: Approx. 40 minutes; serves: 2 cups.

Scalloped Hasselback Potatoes With Cheddar


6 ounces of Shredded Cheddar cheese; 4 ounces of shredded pepper Jack cheese, 4 pounds of Idaho potatoes; 1 cup of heavy cream; 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped rosemary leaves; 3 cloves of garlic; salt.

Follow these steps to prepare Scalloped Hasselback Potatoes with Cheddar:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).
  2. Peel the potatoes.
  3. Cut the potatoes into very thin slices.
  4. Take a bowl and add the Cheddar cheese and the pepper Jack cheese. Mix well.
  5. Take about a third of the cheese mix and put it aside. To the remainder, add heavy cream, rosemary, crushed garlic, one and a quarter of a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper. Mix well.
  6. Place the sliced potatoes into the mixture from step 4. Toss the potatoes well until each slice is well coated with the cheese-cream mix.
  7. Grease a baking dish and add a layer of the baking sheet.
  8. Place the coated sliced potatoes on the dish until they are tightly packed.
  9. Cover the top of the baking dish with an aluminum foil. Place the dish in the oven and leave for the next hour.
  10. After an hour, remove the aluminum foil and sprinkle the top of the potatoes with some cheese. Put the dish back in the oven and let it bake for another hour or so.
  11. Once the potatoes turn golden brown, you can remove them. Leave them to cool for the next 15 minutes or so and then serve along with the cheese mix set aside in step 4.

Total time: Approx. 2.5 hours; serves: 10 people.

Roasted Acorn Squash With Maple-Bacon Drizzle


2 large acorn squash; 5 black pepper bacon slices; half a cup of maple syrup; 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar; a quarter of a cup of butter; 2 tablespoons of brown sugar; 1 tablespoon of rosemary leaves (finely chopped); fresh rosemary leaves; freshly ground pepper; 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt.

Follow these steps to prepare Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple-Bacon Drizzle:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (~200°C). Take a couple of baking sheets and line them with parchment.
  2. Add the brown sugar and kosher salt to the butter and mix well. Coat the squash with this mix.  
  3. Arrange the butter coated squash on the baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet on the oven and let it bake for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, turn the squash over and put it back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, heat a non-stick pan and fry the back pepper bacon slices in it. Once crisp, remove the bacon. Get rid of all but one spoon of the drippings left behind in the pan.
  6. Add rosemary to the pan and let it cook. Add the maple syrup and vinegar. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until the volume is reduced to half.  
  7. Drizzle the baked accord squash with the maple syrup. Crumble the bacon and add on top of the squash. Add some freshly chopped rosemary and freshly ground pepper before serving.

Total time: Approx. 50 minutes; serves: 10 people.

Grape Salad


2.5 pounds of red and green grapes; 4 ounces of cream cheese; three-quarters of a cup of toasted pecans; half a cup of sour cream; 3 tablespoons of light brown sugar; a quarter of a tablespoon of kosher salt.

Follow these steps to prepare Scalloped Grape Salad:

  1. Take half of the grapes and then slice them into halves.
  2. Take a large bowl and add some cream cheese, sour cream, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and a quarter of a tablespoon of kosher salt. Mix well.
  3. Add both the halved and the full grapes, a little at a time, and stir well until they are coated with the mix.
  4. Finally, add the toasted pecans and the remaining brown sugar at the top of the mix.

Total time: Approx. 25 minutes; serves: 12 people.

Tamale Dressing


1 pound frozen green-Chile Chicken tamales; 5 cups of chicken stock; 3 large yellow beets; one (22-ounce) loaf of country bread; 8 ribs of chopped celery; 1 cup of freshly chopped parsley; three-quarters of a cup of freshly chopped chives; 3 tablespoons of freshly chopped sage; 1 large onion; 1 tablespoon of olive oil; black pepper; kosher salt

Follow these steps to prepare Tamale Dressing:

  1. Peel the yellow beets and chop them into fine pieces.
  2. Cut the bread into half-inch cubes.
  3. Cook the tamales according to the instructions given in the packet. Then put it aside for a while.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F (~165°C). Grease a small and a medium-sized baking dish.
  5. Chop the onion into fine pieces.
  6. In a large pan, heat some olive oil. Add the onion, celery, and the beets.
  7. Add some salt and pepper and keep occasionally stirring for the next 15 minutes or so.
  8. Once the beet has softened, add the chicken stock, and bring it to boil. Scrap the browned bits at the bottom of the pan with a spoon.
  9. Once boiling, turn off the heat and transfer the mix to a large bowl.
  10. Add the bread, the herbs, and the chopped tamales to the mix. Add some more salt and pepper (to taste)
  11. Transfer the mix evenly to the baking sheets. Cover the sheets with an aluminum foil and place it in the oven for about 30 minutes.
  12. After 30 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and place the sheets back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or so. Serve immediately.

Total time: Approx. 1.5 hours; serves: 12 people.

Apple-Cheddar Biscuits


3 cups of all-purpose flour; three-quarters of a cup of peeled and finely chopped apple; three-quarters of a cup of sharp cheddar cheese; three-quarters of a cup of whole milk; 1 large egg; 3 tablespoons of sugar; half a teaspoon of salt; 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of baking powder; 10 tablespoons of grated frozen butter; 2 green onions; half a teaspoon of black pepper

Follow these steps to prepare Apple-Cheddar Biscuits:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (~200°C). Take a large baking sheet and line it with parchment.
  2. Add flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk.
  3. Add apple, cheddar, butter, finely chopped green onions, and black pepper. Stir the mix properly
  4. Make a well at the center of the mix and add the milk and a beaten egg. Stir slowly until the whole mix gets a shaggy consistency.
  5. Transfer the dough into a floured surface. Roll the dough to an even 1-inch thickness.  
  6. Cut the dough into 16 squares and place each piece on the baking sheet, with sufficient spacing.
  7. Place the baking sheet on the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Once the biscuits turn golden brown, remove them and serve.
  8. If you don’t want to serve the biscuits right away, you can store them for up to 2 days. First, make sure they have cooled down. Then store them in an airtight container. Since these biscuits are best served hot, make sure you warm them at 425°F for about 8 minutes before serving again.

Total time: Approx. 50 minutes; serves: 16 people.

Spice Roasted Carrots


3 pounds of thin carrots; roasted pistachios (salted); 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika; 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped oregano leaves; 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter; 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar; half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg; 3 tablespoons of olive oil; pepper; salt.

Follow these steps to prepare Spice Roasted Carrots:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (~232°C).
  2. Peel the carrots. Shell and chop the pistachios.
  3. Place the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet. Add oil, paprika, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mix well. Then add the oregano and toss it well.
  4. Put one half of this mixture aside, and in two parts, roast the mix in the oven for about 20-25 minutes each. Remove once the carrots turn golden brown.
  5. Add the butter and vinegar and mix well. Finally, sprinkle the chopped pistachios on top before serving.

Total time: Approx. 50 minutes; serves: 8 people.

Closing Thoughts

In this article, we looked at ten different recipes for Thanksgiving side dishes, some vegetarian and some non-vegetarian. Each of these was carefully selected to complement the main course while adding its unique taste to the table. 

Once every year, American families get together and share a wonderful meal, along with gratitude for the love they have for one another. This is a day of celebration and Thanksgiving, so an extravagant meal is expected. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, we hope this article proved helpful. Don’t hesitate to give it your all and make this thanksgiving dinner one to remember for all of your guests. We wish you the best!


D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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