27 classic Thanksgiving side dishes

Our favorite mashed and sweet potatoes, savory stuffings, rolls, and cranberries

A Thanksgiving side dish of Chili-glazed Sweet Potatoes.

James Carrier

Thanksgiving side dish recipes

Chili-glazed Sweet Potatoes

Spicy red jalapeno jelly plays perfectly against sweet potato's sugary flavor in this easy side dish.

Recipe:  Chili-glazed Sweet Potatoes

A Thanksgiving side dish of Marmalade- and Ginger-glazed Sweet Potatoes.

James Carrier

Marmalade- and Ginger-glazed Sweet Potatoes

This simple recipe highlights the sweet potato's bright flavor with hits of orange and ginger.

Recipe:  Marmalade- and Ginger-glazed Sweet Potatoes

A Thanksgiving side dish of Baked Sweet Potatoes with Apricots and Bourbon.

David Prince

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Apricots and Bourbon

Dried apricots and a hint of bourbon are mashed with creamy sweet potatoes in this crowd-pleasing side.

Recipe:  Baked Sweet Potatoes with Apricots and Bourbon

A Thanksgiving side dish recipe for Sweet-Potato Gratin.

Ray Kachatorian

Sweet-Potato Gratin

Both orange sweet potatoes (such as Garnet and Jewel varieties) and white sweet potatoes work well in this dish, but the vibrant orange ones bring a splash of color to the table-freshly grated parmesan cheese makes the dish stand out.

Recipe:  Sweet-Potato Gratin

A Thanksgiving dish of Spiced-Tea Cranberry Sauce.

Iain Bagwell

Spiced-Tea Cranberry Sauce

Earl Grey tea is the secret ingredient in this sweetly aromatic, lightly spiced sauce. Just pay close attention to the timing--too much steeping can turn the sauce bitter.

Recipe:  Spiced-Tea Cranberry Sauce

A Thanksgiving dish of Anise Pear-Cranberry Sauce.

James Carrier

Anise Pear-Cranberry Sauce

Anise, pear, orange, cinnamon, and honey flavor this unusual but outstanding take on cranberry sauce to serve beside the big bird.

Recipe:  Anise Pear-Cranberry Sauce

A Thanksgiving dish of Cranberry Port Sauce.

David Prince

Cranberry Port Sauce

The combination of cranberries, orange, and Port in this easy sauce makes a wonderful accompaniment for turkey.

Recipe:  Cranberry Port Sauce

A Thanksgiving side dish of Cranberry Ginger Sauce.

Photography by James Baigrie; styling by Randy Mon

Cranberry Ginger Sauce

Fresh ginger and the zest and juice of an orange gives a tart and fresh kick to this Thanksgiving mainstay.

Recipe:  Cranberry Ginger Sauce

A Thanksgiving side dish of Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Stuffing.

Leigh Beisch; Dan Becker

Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Stuffing

Every November, we're asked again and again for this recipe, created by reader Leslie Jo Parsons of Sutter Creek, California. (Sunset readers from all over the West have actually called Parsons to thank her for it too.)

She still makes the stuffing every year, and she agrees with us: It's even better with extra parmesan, so we added some more here.

Recipe:  Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Stuffing

A Thanksgiving side dish of Pancetta, Sourdough, and Apple Stuffing.

Photography by Leigh Beisch; food styling by Dan Becker

Pancetta, Sourdough, and Apple Stuffing

Tangy Western sourdough bread, flavorful pancetta, and sweet apples combine for a mouthwatering stuffing.

Recipe:  Pancetta, Sourdough, and Apple Stuffing

A Thanksgiving side dish of Southwest Cornbread and Chorizo Dressing.

Monica Buck

Southwest Cornbread and Chorizo Dressing

A medley of vegetables including bell peppers, butternut squash, and mushrooms and a generous helping of spicy chorizo make this hearty dressing a crowd-pleaser.

Recipe:  Southwest Cornbread and Chorizo Dressing

A Thanksgiving side dish of Cornbread and Gorgonzola Dressing.

Monica Buck

Cornbread and Gorgonzola Dressing

Like a cross between a dressing and a savory bread pudding, this rich mix of slightly sweet cornbread, earthy dried mushrooms, and creamy, sharp blue cheese had Sunset's staff clamoring for seconds.

Recipe:  Cornbread and Gorgonzola Dressing

A Thanksgiving side dish of Basmati Rice Dressing with Dried Fruit, Toasted Almonds, and Coconut.

Monica Buck

Basmati Rice Dressing with Dried Fruit, Toasted Almonds, and Coconut

Dried fruits, nuts, and array of seasonings make this rice dressing stand out from the pack during holiday entertaining.

Recipe:  Basmati Rice Dressing with Dried Fruit, Toasted Almonds, and Coconut

A Thanksgiving side dish of Italian Chard Stuffing with sausage.

Leigh Beisch; Dan Becker

Italian Chard Stuffing

If we could have only one other dish besides turkey for Thanksgiving, this would be it: Hunks of juicy sausage, good bread, and lots of chard―a stuffing that works as a side dish too.

Recipe:  Italian Chard Stuffing

Green Onion Mashed Potatoes

Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Green Onion Mashed Potatoes

We’ve used two low-calorie tricks in here: broth instead of whipping cream, and neufchâtel cheese for rich creaminess with one-fourth the fat of butter.

Recipe: Green Onion Mashed Potatoes

A Southwest Thanksgiving recipe for chipotle-corn mashed potatoes.

Leigh Beisch; Dan Becker

Chipotle-Corn Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are good just about any way, but here they’re smoky, filled with crunchy bits of corn, and irresistible.

Recipe:  Chipotle-Corn Mashed Potatoes

A Thanksgiving recipe for Sage-infused Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips

Iain Bagwell; Karen Shinto

Sage-infused Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips

Sage adds an earthy flavor to these mashed potatoes, parsnips lend sweetness, and sour cream brings a bit of tang.

Recipe:  Sage-infused Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips

A Thanksgiving side dish of Mashed Celery-root Potatoes.

Iain Bagwell; Karen Shinto

Mashed Celery-root Potatoes

The clean, bracing flavor comes from celery root―the weird, hairy vegetable that baffles many a cook. Here, we just slice off the hairier end, peel and chop the rest of the root, and boil it with the potatoes.

Recipe:  Mashed Celery-root Potatoes

A Thanksgiving side dish of Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Buttermilk.

Iain Bagwell; Karen Shinto

Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Buttermilk

Roasted garlic, tangy buttermilk, and chicken stock pack a lot of flavor into these low-fat mashed potatoes.

Recipe:  Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Buttermilk

A Thanksgiving side dish of Browned Butter and Hazelnut Mashed Potatoes.

Photography by James Baigrie; styling by Randy Mon

Browned Butter and Hazelnut Mashed Potatoes

Rich, brown butter infused with the flavor of hazelnuts makes a decadent, but easy addition to mashed potatoes.

Recipe:  Browned Butter and Hazelnut Mashed Potatoes

A pile of Overnight Soft Herb Rolls is a scrumptious side for Thanksgiving.

Leigh Beisch; Dan Becker

Overnight Soft Herb Rolls

These rolls are so good, we could eat a dozen–and they rise overnight, so there's little to fuss with on the big day.

Recipe:  Overnight Soft Herb Rolls

A basket of Squash Pull-apart Dinner Rolls for Thanksgiving.

Leo Gong

Squash Pull-apart Dinner Rolls

Soft, cheerfully orange, and slightly sweet, these rolls are perfect for the Thanksgiving table.

Recipe:  Squash Pull-apart Dinner Rolls

A Thanksgiving side of Buttery Dinner Rolls.

Annabelle Breakey; Randy Mon

Buttery Dinner Rolls

This dough is so easy to work with that we find ourselves making it over and over again, with slight variations.

Recipe:  Buttery Dinner Rolls

A Thanksgiving recipe for Leek and Walnut Bread.

James Carrier

Leek and Walnut Bread

Leeks and crunchy walnuts flavor this hearty whole-wheat loaf.

Recipe:  Leek and Walnut Bread

Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

Aya Brackett

Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

For this moist, fragrant cornbread, based on a recipe in her classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (1997), author Deborah Madison searches farmers’ markets for interesting cornmeal, such as Floriani Red Flint (used here), Roy’s Calais, or blue corn. For a denser bread, you can use all cornmeal instead of mixing it with flour.

Recipe: Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

Coconut Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sesame Seeds

Aya Brackett

Coconut Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sesame Seeds

Virgin coconut oil is unrefined and cold-pressed, like extra-virgin olive oil, and isn’t hydrogenated. It has a clean, slightly nutty taste that’s delicious in this dish. Deborah Madison, who adapted this recipe from one in a new revision of her book Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (1997), likes to use a mix of sweet potatoes, but it’s fine to go with just one kind. Paler sweet potatoes tend to be drier, so if you use them, add more oil.

Recipe: Coconut Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sesame Seeds

Celery Root and Potato Mash

Aya Brackett

Celery Root and Potato Mash

Mashed potatoes are even better blended with celery root, which has a gentle but penetrating flavor. Don’t be deterred by the root’s hairy exterior; just trim it off with a knife. This recipe is adapted from one in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (1997), by Deborah Madison.

Recipe: Celery Root and Potato Mash

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