Turkey gets a lot of attention on Thanksgiving (the holiday’s nickname is Turkey Day, after all), but it’s not the whole shebang. There’s also gravy and cranberry sauce and stuffing and, best of all, the vegetable sides. These are where your holiday table finds its groove (color! freshness! vitamins!), and where you get to have fun with the recipes—maybe even try something new.
Here are 54 of our favorite recipes to mix and match. Plan on serving two to three.
This contemporary take on the classic green bean casserole takes place entirely on the stove. Because Thanksgiving has enough recipes vying for the oven.
If you’re searching for a simple, green side to serve alongside your feast, look no further than this garlicky, buttery beauty.
Like a casserole, but it’s actually a salad. Haricot verts in a mustardy crème fraîche dressing, with crunchy hazelnuts sprinkled on top.
Sichuan peppercorns add citrusy, tingly spice to these green beans—a welcome snap-crackle-pop of flavor next to soo much richness.
Sometimes simple does it. Green beans get boiled in salty water (so they’re seasoned throughout), then doused in a zingy vinaigrette with sherry vinegar and Dijon mustard.
I love a side dish that has so many vegetables in it, I can barely tell which category it fits into. Feel free to swap in whatever potato you like best, but I love how dramatic purple is.
Most potatoes start with a pot of water for boiling, but this one turns to the oven instead. Roasting adds even deeper, cozier flavor, perfect for a nutty vinaigrette.
Calling all crispy potato fans. The secret to these little wonders is boiling first (to soften), then squashing (to increase surface area, aka potential for crispy edges) and frying.
Perhaps you want a twist on your usual mashed potatoes. These two ingredients are workhorses: savory-sweet caramelized onions and tangy-creamy goat cheese.
This recipe has so much kale, it almost ended up in the “Hearty Greens” section below. I love how these are easy to serve to a big group—just snag a potato half and pass along the tray.
Spaghetti squash is feeling very, very special thanks to a kale pesto (feel free to swap out the pine nuts for walnuts, pecans, or cashews), parsley bread crumbs, and creamy-oozy burrata.
“Delicata squash is one of my favorite fall vegetables,” our test kitchen director Josh Cohen writes. He roasts half-moons, then dresses them up with a spiced yogurt dressing and handful of pomegranate seeds.
It doesn’t get more autumnal than a sage-hazelnut pesto. Feel free to swap in another squash instead of butternut, or even another vegetable entirely, like carrots or parsnips.
Squash, chickpeas, and a tangy tahini dressing make this a hearty side that could double as a main if you have any vegetarians at your table.
That just happens to be vegan and gluten-free. Almond or soy milk take the place of heavy cream, while almonds and nutritional yeast create a crunchy-crumbly topping.
Butternut squash is sweet to begin with, then gets even sweeter when roasted. To balance things out, try topping it with spicy onions and plenty of fresh herbs.
Pommes Anna is a classic French dish with sliced, layer potatoes and a boatload of butter. This sweet potato take (with fudgy prunes!) comes by way of the late, great Nora Ephron.
You can’t beat this classic from Edna Lewis—silky, custardy sweet potatoes topped with a crunchy pecan streusel.
My family and I made these last year for Thanksgiving and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. I love the opposites-attract pairing of syrupy maple and smoky chipotles.
Sweet potatoes, inspired by some of Ottolenghi’s favorite flavors. You roast hunks, glaze with pomegranate molasses, drizzle with tahini sauce, and scatter with crispy chickpeas.
Instead of a bowl, this salad comes together on a sheet pan for a delightfully colorful combo of roasted and raw produce.
These sweet potatoes fell in with the right crowd: dates, black sesame seeds, and peanuts. Not to mention the peanut butter–sesame oil dressing, which we want to put on everything.
This recipe first published on Food52 in 2013 and went on to win our recipe contest for “Your Best Green Holiday Side.” (Green Brussels sprouts, green bears, green pistachios!)
Instead of romaine, this newfangled Caesar uses Brussels sprouts, which explode into confetti when shaved on a mandoline or with a knife.
Boiled vegetable plus flavored mayo is one of my all-time favorite pairings. This recipe preserves Brussels sprouts’ bright green color, then calls in one of their best friends: bacon.
Our contributor EmilyC writes, “These are my family's favorite Brussels sprouts, hands-down.” If you’re a fan of Emily’s recipes, like we are, that’s saying a lot.
You will want to put this fish sauce vinaigrette—with rice wine vinegar, lime juice, and red chiles—on all roasted vegetables from here forward. And you should!
This salad would love to sit next to your roast turkey. But if you want to repeat it after Thanksgiving (you will), try skillet-crisped sausages or pan-roasted pork chops.
What happens when you combine a lot of kale with a lot of cream and a lot of cheese? Good things. Very good things.
Instead of classic creamed spinach, why not swap in kale? And, while you’re at it, add a spoonful of miso to the mix—its salty, fermented funk keeps the richness in check.
No shortage of good stuff here: kale, bulgur, apples, almonds, Gruyere! If you’re pinched for time, you can swap out the brown butter vinaigrette for something simpler (say, olive oil and apple cider vinegar).
If you aren’t sure about escarole, this will convince you. The juicy blood orange and crispy radishes add some much-needed brightness to the holiday spread.
Chard is often cooked—but you should try it raw, too. Especially when garlicky bread crumbs and Parmesan are involved.
Pie with dinner? Yes! This one is highly savory thanks to Swiss chard, onion, garlic, and not one, but two types of cheese.
A one-pot dish that’s super hearty thanks to farro. It could even serve as a substitute for stuffing if anyone at your table doesn’t eat bread.
The trick here is to use a variety of mushrooms (button, cremini, shiitake, oyster, you name it), so you get a range of flavors and textures.
Repeat after us: Don’t crowd the mushrooms. Cooking them in multiple batches means better browning (and, in turn, better flavor).
This tart crust has a couple of tricks up its sleeve: whole-wheat flour (which adds nuttiness) and fresh thyme (which gets along great with the onion and mushroom).
Here’s a fun game to play at the Thanksgiving table: Serve this knockout Genius recipe, then ask your guests to guess the secret ingredient.
This recipe is a family favorite for our co-founder Merrill Stubbs. For years, she knew it as “Tuscan Onion Goo.” Maybe it’ll catch on.
This onion tart has cheese in two places: the filling, of course, but also the flaky pastry crust. Because when it comes to cheese, the more the better.
Traditional tarte tatin is made with apples for dessert. This one uses onions instead for a delightful dinner side.
Steamed broccoli might not be as trendy as roasted, but I love its crisp-tender texture and shiny green color. It’s also the perfect blank page for a salty-sweet vinaigrette, like this caper-raisin one.
Not all gratins need a casserole dish. This one turns to a wide, flat sheet pan for even more crispy goodness (think: corner piece in every bite).
Don’t throw out the stalks! This salad, with creamy feta and chewy raisins, is happy to turn them into pappardelle-like ribbons with a vegetable peeler.
Brown butter cauliflower would be wonderful on its own (and a nice substitute for roast turkey). Sweet dates and briny capers make it even better.
A mandoline does all the hard work here. Feel free to swap in broccoli or Brussels sprouts or whatever vegetable suits your fancy. Just don’t touch the umami-laden Parmesan dressing.
Pickled grapes are equal parts sweet, sour, and sassy. Here, they liven up down-to-earth roasted (and raw!) cauliflower.
You say carrot, we say carrot-top pesto. This green often goes to waste, but is just as ready-to-rumble as basil.
The game-changer ingredient here is pomegranate molasses, which cookbook author Melissa Clark says “tastes nothing like either pomegranate or molasses, but has a puckery, caramel, almost SweeTarts candy flavor that perks up just about anything you drizzle it on.”
The more dishes you can make ahead for Thanksgiving, the better. Here to help are these turmeric-roasted carrots (“actually great at room temperature,” writes author Alison Roman).
How to improve upon creamed spinach: Just add parsnips. Ta-da!
If glazed vegetables feel too blasé to you, do as our test kitchen director Josh Cohen does and give them a quick char before glazing.
Not all latkes have to start with potatoes and be served at Hanukkah. You can fry these in advance, cool on a wire rack, then blast in a hot oven before serving.
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