Best Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes (Over 25 Recipes!)

By Kristen Mccaffrey on

All the Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dish recipes you could ever need from classic sides to make ahead dishes to salads, soups, and even some surprises to make for the best Thanksgiving menu.

From the classics to something brand new, browse this list of Thanksgiving vegetable side dishes and serve something healthy! When it comes to serving your family a healthy Thanksgiving meal, the side dishes can be a challenge. This guide will help you create a variety of foods that your family will love, while keeping you on track.

Ultimate Guide To Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes

I love creating new recipes for my family, especially at Thanksgiving! When it comes to feeding a large extended family, the more side dishes you can cook, the better!

In this guide, I'll share all of my favorite side dishes - from the really creative to the classic ones that you've probably tried before. Browse this list and start putting together the menu for your big meal.

The Classics

First, let's look at some recipes that everyone is used to seeing at Thanksgiving. All of these recipes are healthy - they are made with whole ingredients and fresh vegetables.

You'll feel proud to serve them and everyone will eat them up.

Cauliflower mashed potatoes and honey roasted sweet potatoes.

Healthier Mashed Potatoes

Make the mashed potatoes even healthier when you make them with a combination of potatoes and cauliflower. These roasted garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes have the buttery, garlic flavor everyone enjoys. The texture is perfect too! 

Healthier Yams

Sweet potatoes are a very popular Thanksgiving side dish. Make some classic yams without all the added processed sugar from the marshmallows. These honey roasted sweet potatoes are healthy and super-easy to make. Plus, they have the perfect crispy exterior yet they melt in your mouth.

Sauteed carrots with herbs and grilled sweet potatoes with sauce.

Sauteed Carrots

If you want a recipe that's a cinch to put together right before dinner, make these sauteed carrots. In just a few minutes, you'll have some carrots that even people who don't like veggies will love.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

If it's too cold to grill them outside, make some grilled sweet potatoes on your indoor grill! This recipe has a homemade rub that will bring out the natural flavor of the sweet potatoes.,/p>

Roasted potatoes with herbs and green bean casserole with fresh green beans a crispy onion topping.

The Best Easy Roasted Potatoes

Are white potatoes more your thing? Then you will love the recipe for easy roasted potatoes. They come out crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside and have a secret ingredient that takes them over the top.

Green Bean Casserole

A green bean casserole definitely falls into the classic Thanksgiving side dish category. So, I made a healthier version! This one uses all whole ingredients including milk, bread crumbs, and even mushrooms and shallots. Plus it is made with fresh green beans so no mushy casseroles at this Thanksgiving table.

Healthy Broccoli Casserole

This broccoli casserole has a lot of the same ingredients as the green bean casserole. The broccoli florets give this casserole an entirely different texture. It's just different enough to be something you should serve right alongside the green bean casserole.

Thanksgiving Side Dishes You Can Prep in Advance

The best way to speed up Thanksgiving prep is to make as much as you can ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. These side dishes will stay fresh a few days ahead of time, then all you have to do is reheat them. A quick note about the roasted vegetable options, take them out a few minutes early so that they will finish the day off. You don't want to lose that delicious roasted veggie crunch. 

Mashed butternut squash with brown sugar and roasted carrots with honey and garlic.

Mashed Butternut Squash With Brown Sugar

Even though mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, you should try this slow cooker mashed butternut squash. It's sweetened with brown sugar and tastes almost like a dessert. It's a very popular side dish for Thanksgiving, and it's easy to make ahead of time because you can prepare all the ingredients in advance and then just let the slow cooker do its job on Thanksgiving.

Roasted Carrots 

Roasted veggies are always a reliable side dish you can make ahead of time. Just store the veggies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days. Then, just reheat them in the oven for 10 minutes and they are ready to go!

I love the color and taste of roasted honey garlic carrots. They are packed with nutrients and look beautiful on your table.

Roasted parsnips in a bowl and cinnamon roasted butternut squash in a baking dish.

Roasted Parsnips

For something completely new and different, serve your family roasted parsnips. You don't need to add any additional sugar because they are naturally sweet. All you need is some salt and Italian seasoning - yum!

Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is easy to find in the fall because it's hardy winter squash. You might even find it at the local farmer's market. My cinnamon roasted butternut squash tastes so sweet and crispy that you'll swear you are eating a dessert.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Even people who usually don't like Brussels sprouts will enjoy this balsamic roasted brussels sprouts recipe. Make them ahead of time and then just reheat them right before dinner. They come out really crispy. 

Creative New Vegetable Side Dishes

Want to try something new? These vegetable side dishes are ones that your family might not expect on Thanksgiving, but they are so delicious they will ask for them again!

Crispy baked broccol with a lemoni and roasted cabbage on a plate.

Crispy Baked Broccoli

Green veggies are often overlooked on Thanksgiving, but it’s a shame since they are a great way to break up all the heavier dishes. Instead of throwing some broccoli on the table just to have greens, make this crispy baked broccoli. This is an irresistible way to eat broccoli.

Crispy Cabbage

Another veggie almost no one thinks of for the Thanksgiving table is cabbage but it’s an easy and affordable side option that can be delicious when cooked correctly. Adding this unexpected roasted cabbage to your table with its crispy edges and sweet flavor, is a great way to complement the earthy flavors in some of the other dishes.

Spaghetti squash gratin and roasted corn chowder.

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

Cheese-lovers will rave about my spaghetti squash au gratin. It uses a combination of gruyere and parmesan cheese with garlic for a dish that is rich, cheesy, and even slightly crispy.

Roasted Corn Chowder

Switch things up and serve this delicious and creamy corn chowder that's made in the slow cooker. Two great things about this recipe - more kitchen space since it is cooked in the slow cooker. Plus it can be prepped ahead of time.

Roasted Delicata Squash

Serve something new with this easy Roasted Delicata Squash recipe that is seasoned with a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon. The skin on delicate squash is soft and edible, making it the easiest squash option when you are cooking a large holiday meal.

Thanksgiving Salads You’ll Love

Another very popular side dish to serve on Thanksgiving is a salad or two. Salads will feed a huge crowd and they are pretty easy to throw together. Try one - or all - of these salads.

Grilled plum salad with goat cheese and wild rice salad with acorn squash.

Grilled Plum Salad

Plums have a really sweet flavor and when you grill them, the sugar naturally crystallizes - it's amazing. This grilled plum salad with goat cheese is sweet and tangy with an earthy flavor that everyone is going to love! This salad also works with fresh plums, peaches, apples, or pears if you don’t feel like grilling the plums.

While it's totally fine to use any type of lettuce in this salad, use the arugula. It has an earthy bite that pairs beautifully with the sweet plums and rich goat cheese.

Wild Rice Salad with Acorn Squash

Including a hearty vegetarian main dish option is always something I like to incorporate on the Thanksgiving table. This Wild Rice Salad with Acorn Squash is a great option and has so many great fall flavors. This is also a great alternative to traditional stuffing if you want something lighter. 

Strawberry spinach salad with cheese and a classic wedge salad with blue cheese and bacon.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This strawberry spinach salad will make anyone that doesn't want to experiment with new flavors really happy. It's a classic recipe with ingredients that are well-known and familiar.

Sprinkle some feta cheese on top with some crunchy walnuts. The result is a salad that almost passes as an entire meal by itself. It's perfect for anyone on a low-carb diet or trying to avoid gluten.

Classic Wedge Salad

For something that will really dress up your plates and look as stunning as it is delicious, prepare a classic wedge salad for everyone. This recipe has a creamy bleu cheese dressing that you will want to use again even after Thanksgiving.

Simple Side Dishes To Serve At Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Sometimes, you really just need something simple for Thanksgiving!

Grilled and roasted veggies are some of the easiest ones you will make. These are some of my favorites.

Even better? When you grill or roast veggies, you can make them ahead of time, store them in the refrigerator until you are ready for them, then just reheat them in the oven. It's such a time-saver!

Roasted green beans on a wooden plate and grilled butternut squash with yogurt.

Roasted Green Beans

Green beans are a staple on Thanksgiving tables across the country. Skip the entire casserole ordeal and just roast them! This roasted green beans recipe turns out just as delicious as the casserole - and it's way less time-consuming.

Grilled Butternut Squash

Fire up the indoor grill! This grilled butternut squash recipe is almost spicy with the burst of flavor from the cinnamon and chili powder. Who knew that cinnamon and chili powder went so well together? It really does!

Not only does it taste phenomenal (and not at all like a boring piece of squash) but it looks beautiful on the plate too.

Grilled carrots and roasted turnips on a plate with crispy edges.

Roasted Turnips 

This often overlooked veggie is absolutely delicious when it is cooked the right way. And the right way is definitely roasted in the oven until it is crispy, caramelized, and browned. These Roasted Turnips are a great alternative to potatoes if you have anyone following a low carb diet attending your meal.

Easy Grilled Carrots

Not only does grilling carrots enhance their naturally sweet taste, but it gives them a beautiful appearance too. Easy grilled carrots are a recipe that you'll have memorized after making it one time.

Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes Everyone Loves

When it comes to Thanksgiving, it's important to keep everyone's individual tastes in mind. That doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the healthiness of the side dishes that you make. You just have to use whole ingredients and fresh vegetables. You'll be surprised at how much better everything tastes when you use the freshest ingredients and don't take shortcuts.

I hope you were able to find a few new recipes to try from this list. Remake a classic recipe (like green bean casserole) into a healthier version. I bet everyone will love it even more than the original!

Thanksgiving vegetable side dishes and mashed potatoes, green bean casseroles, corn chowder, or carrots.
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