36 Next-Level Vegetable Side Dishes to Serve at Thanksgiving
Turkey might be the traditional centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table, but side dishes are just as important. In this roundup, we’ve included some of our all-time favorite recipes for vegetable sides, from easy brussels sprouts to creamed kale and brown butter mashed potatoes. With over 30 dishes to choose from, you’ll definitely find a few that all your guests will love. Related: Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide
Caramelized Vegetables with Dijon Butter
This simple roasted vegetable side dish tastes rich and complex thanks to mustard-spiced butter.
Roasted Beets with Beet Green Salsa Verde
Tyler Florence uses beets and their greens to make this fresh and vibrant side dish for Thanksgiving. If you can’t find beets with beautiful greens, Swiss chard or curly spinach leaves can be used instead.
Cumin-and-Chile-Braised Collard Green Stems
This dish is a genius way to use up the stems of any hardy green. We used collard stems, but you could also use kale, chard or mustard stems.
Wilted Swiss Chard With Warm Piccata Vinaigrette
Kay Chun uses the typical piccata flavors of lemon, capers and garlic in her tasty sautéed greens.
Grilled Butternut Squash with Shallot Vinaigrette
Butternut squash tastes like a whole new vegetable when grilled—crisp, bright and not overly sweet.
This rich and delicious creamed kale from star chef Tyler Florence is an excellent swap for more traditional creamed spinach.
Maple-Ginger-Roasted Vegetables with Pecans
When roasting winter vegetables, Melissa Rubel Jacobson says be sure to chop them about the same size, so they cook at the same rate. And toss them at least once while they’re in the oven, so they brown evenly.
Baked Acorn Squash with Chestnuts, Apples and Leeks
Halved acorn squash make perfect single-serving bowls. These make a great vegetarian main course for any winter holiday, but they’re also a festive accompaniment to turkey, ham or roast goose.
Honey-Roasted Root Vegetable Salad
Thanksgiving Make-Ahead Tip: The herbed goat cheese and the vinaigrette can be refrigerated overnight. The vegetables can be roasted earlier in the day and kept at room temperature.
Roasted Beets and Celery Root with Goat Butter
Goat butter (sold at specialty-food stores; use regular butter if unavailable) is white, smooth and creamy. Chef Tyler Brown likes using it in this riff on the classic pairing of roasted beets and goat cheese.
Turnip Casserole with Porcini Crumb Topping
We love the earthy porcini topping on this rich and creamy turnip gratin, but it would also be fantastic on mac and cheese or other root vegetable gratin.
Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Michael Symon’s four-ingredient potatoes get plenty of flavor from browned butter and crème fraîche. Reserve a little browned butter to drizzle on the potatoes just before serving.
Green Beans with Cremini Mushroom Sauce
This casserole can be made the day before—simply let it return to room temperature before you bake it. You can also re-crisp the fried shallots in the oven.
Tricolor Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
Sometimes rethinking just means not overthinking. Don’t forget to enjoy seasonal ingredients just as they are.
Broccoli and Cheddar Casserole with Leeks
This classic is updated with deep-flavored cheddar and a crunchy topping of crumbled crackers and toasted almonds.
Spice Roasted Butternut Squash
This simple recipe—flavored with cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, and freshly ground pepper—is ready in just under an hour with only 15 minutes of active time.
Cauliflower with Melted Onions and Mustard Seeds
Cauliflower may not seem like a glamorous vegetable—at least not when you steam or boil it. But roast it and it develops an unusual, delicate sweetness that’s almost exotic.
Broccoli with Orange-Chile Oil
Thanksgiving Make-Ahead Tip: The orange-chile oil can be refrigerated for 3 days.
Creamless Creamed Corn with Mushrooms and Lemon
“My granny taught me that when corn is very fresh, the juices are naturally creamy,” Kevin Gillespie says. “I took that as the gospel.” He grates half of the corn here to make a luxurious puree that thickens without cream.
Kevin’s Tip: Scraping corn cobs with the dull side of a knife removes the juices.
Whole Roasted Carrots with Garlic
Carrots, water, garlic cloves, canola oil, unsalted butter, salt, and pepper are all you need to make this easy recipe.
Creamy Swiss Chard with Crisp Bread Crumbs
Maria Helm Sinskey claims that a rich gratin topped with cheesy bread crumbs is the only way her children will eat Swiss chard. “I’ve learned that a little cream and cheese gets my kids to finish their vegetables,” she says.
Warm Mushroom Salad
Warm salads used to be common on restaurant menus, but their popularity has waned, for no good reason. This terrific salad is made with warm mushrooms that develop great meaty flavor when cooked with soy sauce.
Haricots Verts and Chestnuts with Date Vinaigrette
Here, Barbara Lynch adds fresh chestnuts to give the dish a meaty fall flavor. Finely chopped dates in the cider vinegar dressing lend a lovely, subtle sweetness.
Creamed Collard Greens
This is Allison and Slade Rushing’s Southern interpretation of French creamed spinach. The collards add a pleasant bitterness to this lush side dish, but it’s important to shred them finely before you simmer them in the cream or they’ll never get tender.
Acorn Squash with Coconut Custard
Roasted Vegetables with Smashed-Walnut Vinaigrette
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Roasted Kabocha with Maple Syrup and Ginger
Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Yogurt
Whipping boiled sweet potatoes in a food processor incorporates tons of air, resulting in a lighter-than-ever texture. These ultra-silky, three-ingredient potatoes are lightly sweet and extra creamy thanks to vegan coconut yogurt, which can be found in the yogurt section of most grocery stores. If you can’t find the vegan version, you can substitute canned coconut cream (not coconut milk).
Roasted Butternut Squash with Curry Leaves
Inspired by the warm flavors of South Indian kitchens, this butternut squash carries a wonderful aroma and strong punch of flavor. A sprinkling of marash chile flakes and curry leaves with coconut oil add a bit of heat and aroma while the black mustard seeds add a hint of nuttiness.
Crushed Potatoes with Spiced Olive Oil
A trio of toasted and ground seeds—caraway, fennel, and coriander—mixed with extra-virgin olive oil gives these rustic potatoes a delicately fruity but warmly spiced flavor. Because of the generous amount of olive oil in this recipe, the potatoes are great served warm or at room temperature.
Garlicky Haricots Verts with Hazelnuts
Fresh haricots verts are quickly cooked in beef fat just until they’re crisp-tender, giving them deeply savory flavor without overcooking them. The acidic lemon juice and licorice-y tarragon add just enough bright, light flavor to this rich side dish.
Ginger- and Molasses-Glazed Root Vegetables
Creamy butter rounds out spicy ginger and garlic and sweet molasses in this simple vegetable side dish. Cutting the carrots and parsnips into coins and the turnips into half-moons makes for quick prep, even cooking, and a beautiful presentation.
Roasted Beets and Charred Green Beans
Kristen Kish pairs roasted beets and cast-iron-charred haricots verts with vinegar and hearty herbs (oregano and thyme) to make this salad. It is an homage to the jarred pickled beets and green bean salad she ate as a kid.
Chicory Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
Cranberry sauce makes for a gorgeous salad dressing, tart and tangy to contrast with the bitterness of chicory. You can also use endives, frisee, or any other bitter greens that you like.