16 Thanksgiving Sides to Make You Forget About the Turkey

Let’s be honest: Turkey’s great, but Thanksgiving is about the sides. Some of us wait all year for stuffing, potatoes (sweet and regular), green beans and sprouts, mac and cheese — and even the cranberry sauce. To say nothing of rolls!

We’ve assembled some of our finest recipes, new and old, to round out your meal. These supporting players are so good, you’d be forgiven if you forgot about the turkey.

1. Creamy Double-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

For many families, a potato dish on the Thanksgiving table is nonnegotiable. You may have a beloved recipe, but if you don’t, may we recommend this one from Alexa Weibel? Roasted garlic gives it deep flavor, while crisp garlic chips provide a little bite.

View our collections of Mashed Potatoes Recipes and Roasted Potatoes Recipes, and our How to Make Potatoes guide, as well our Best Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes.

2. Green Beans With Ginger and Garlic

This recipe from Julia Moskin is a welcome spot of green amid the Thanksgiving starches. It comes together quickly, and its bright flavors and bold crunch are just the thing to counter all those potatoes and stuffings.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

3. Thanksgiving Dressing

For some, the hallmark of Thanksgiving is stuffing — or dressing, as it may be. (The difference? Stuffing is, well, stuffed inside the bird. Dressing sits alongside.) This version, from Sam Sifton, is the Norman Rockwell ideal: bread, celery, apples, onions, chestnuts, thyme and sage.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

4. Extra-Crispy Parmesan-Crusted Roasted Potatoes

J. Kenji López-Alt got his inspiration for these potatoes from Detroit-style pizza. They’re a little more involved than most roasted potatoes: There’s an initial boil, then a roast. But the end result is perfectly crispy.

View our collections of Mashed Potatoes Recipes and Roasted Potatoes Recipes, and our How to Make Potatoes guide, as well our Best Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes.

5. Cranberry-Pomegranate Relish

This is an especially pretty take on cranberry sauce: The pistachios add a lovely contrast to the bright red of the cranberry and pomegranate. And it’s also simple, ready in just 10 minutes. (Still, if you wait all year for the canned stuff, have at! It’s your Thanksgiving. Eat what you like.)

View our collections of Cranberry Sauce Recipes, Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

6. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Garlic

Brussels sprouts have a bad reputation, so often because they’re boiled past recognition. When roasted, they are something else entirely, crisp on the outside, tender on the inside with just enough char. With thousands of five-star ratings, Mark Bittman’s brussels sprouts with garlic couldn’t be any better — or easier.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

7. Sweet Potatoes With Miso-Ginger Sauce

This recipe, which Christine Muhlke adapted from the cookbook author Deborah Madison, pairs sweet potatoes with a versatile miso-ginger dressing. Take it from the comments section: “This sauce will taste great on ANYTHING!” Double it and use it on all kinds of things — soba noodles and rice, tofu and salads.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

8. Green Bean Casserole

A classic rendition here — creamy and cheesy, tender and crisp — is a must on many Thanksgiving tables. Millie Peartree’s recipe skips the canned soup but still satisfies, and lets you use just about any mushroom.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

9. Lemon-Garlic Kale Salad

Some — ahem, Sam Sifton — say salad has no place on the Thanksgiving table. For those who disagree, there’s this recipe from Julia Moskin, with its super-easy dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt. Sliced almonds add a nice crunch at the end.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

10. Southern Macaroni and Cheese

Passed down through her family for generations, Millie Peartree’s can’t-miss, extra-cheesy mac and cheese skips the roux and starts with a milk and egg base for extra silkiness. As one commenter put it, “You won’t find a richer, crispier, creamier, cheesier mac & cheese recipe.”

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

11. No-Knead Dinner Rolls

No one has to know you didn’t toil over Erin Jeanne McDowell’s no-knead rolls. A long, slow rise gives them their strength and structure. Bake them in the half-hour before you’re ready to serve your meal: You’ll want to eat these warm out of the oven.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

12. Hashed Brussels Sprouts With Lemon

Show off your knife skills, or put the slicing attachment of your food processor to work in this hash. You could slice the sprouts in advance, and finish off the rest of the recipe in minutes before serving.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

13. Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Yes, there are two mac and cheeses on this list. But mac and cheese is important. Julia Moskin’s recipe is just the thing for lovers of smooth and creamy. (And here’s a third, for the vegans: Alexa Weibel’s vegan macaroni and cheese gets its silky sauce from cashews and almond milk, and some deep flavor from nutritional yeast.)

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

14. Cranberry Sauce

Even if you don’t love cranberry sauce, you can’t deny how joyful it is, its ruby hue shining brightly amid those lumps of beige on your Thanksgiving plate. Add a little pep to your plate with this recipe from Sam Sifton.

View our collections of Cranberry Sauce Recipes, Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

15. Turkey Gravy With Drippings

A good gravy can help hide a multitude of cooking sins — from an under-flavored bird to an overcooked one. This classic take is ready in minutes.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

16. Brown Butter Skillet Cornbread

Cornbread fans, rejoice: For you, there’s this recipe from Melissa Clark, which is deeply flavored with brown butter and gets its crunchy, buttery crust from being cooked in a cast-iron skillet. (No cast-iron skillet? Use any ovenproof skillet, or a 9-by-13-inch pan.)

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

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