documenting recipes of real food and great ingredients

Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Easy Thanksgiving side dishes is always a welcome idea when you are thinking about what to prepare for the big day. Thanksgiving is arguably the most difficult holiday to cook for because of all of the coordinating of the food and figuring out what gets cooked the day of and what you can make ahead. Some of the dishes are make ahead Side dishes and some made on the same day.

Here is our list of super easy and tasty Thanksgiving sides that we let you know what can be made ahead of time and what you need to do on the big day. All of these Thanksgiving recipes can be scaled down for a smaller group so you are not stuck with too much food.

Add these to your normal side dishes or use them to swap out the food that you just do not have time to cook. These are all of our favorite thanksgiving side dish ideas to make your Thanksgiving a little less stresful.

The Thanksgiving Side Dishes You Can Make Ahead of Time:

Carrot and AcornCarrot and Acorn Squash Soup with Carrot Top Pistou Squash Soup

If you are looking for a soup that you can make ahead and is so absolutely delicious, this is the one for you. Creamy and a little garlicky thanks to the topping made with carrot tops, this one will be a winner at the Thanksgiving table.

When to make:

  • Make up to 2 days beforehand.

Where it is cooked:

  • Stovetop ahead of time. Re-heated on the stovetop or in the slow cooker.

The Day of Thanksgiving:

  • To re-heat just pour your soup into a large pot about 30 minutes before you are ready to eat it. Gently re-heat on low for those 30 minutes until it is nice and hot.
  • The pistou can be made ahead of time as well and stored in the refrigerator. Just put it out on the counter to come to room temperature before serving (about 1 hour).

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Sugared Cranberries

Homemade cranberry sauce with sugared cranberries is as easy as it gets and this dish of course tastes better made the day before and is a must at any Thanksgiving table. The sugared cranberries add a wonderful pop of flavor and texture making this traditional sauce a little less boring.

When to Make:

  • Make the cranberry sauce up to 3 days ahead of time.
  • The sugared cranberries portion can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.

Where it is cooked:

  • Stovetop ahead of time. Does not need re-heating.

The Day of Thanksgiving:

  • Pour your refrigerated cranberry sauce into a serving dish about 30 minutes before serving food. Gently mix in the sugared cranberries at this point as well.

Potato and Brussels Sprouts Gratin

This potato and Brussels sprouts gratin is so easy and so full of amazing flavor. The gratin is made up of potatoes, Brussels sprouts, garlic, cream and Gruyere cheese. You know this has to be good!

When to make this:

  • This can be made the day before Thanksgiving and refrigerated in the dish that you will be serving this in. We recommend pyrex glass baking dishes for this one so you can re-heat the cold pan in the oven without worrying about the pan cracking when the temperature changes. You can also just set it on the counter to come to room temperature before re-heating if you have a special dish you want to serve this in.

Where it is cooked:

  • Oven, ahead of time. Re-heated in the oven.

The Day of Thanksgiving:

  • Re-heat in a 350 degree oven with aluminum foil over the top for 30-45 minutes or until it starts to get bubbly and hot. Serve right away at this point.

These are the Side Dishes Prepared

on Thanksgiving Day:

Smashed Potatoes with

Butter and Chives

Mashed potatoes are a must at Thanksgiving and these potatoes loaded with butter and chives will certainly be a favorite. It is only Thanksgiving once a year so let’s do it right with a decadent mashed potato dish like this one.

When to make this:

  • This can be in the morning on Thanksgiving and left out in a covered bowl until it is ready to be re-heated.

Where it is cooked:

  • Stovetop. Re-heated on the stovetop.

The Day of Thanksgiving:

  • Make this in the morning and about 1 hour before serving your Thanksgiving meal, place your bowl of potatoes over a double boiler and re-heat your potatoes gently. You will need to stir occasionally and add a little extra cream to the potatoes.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Not every dish has to be elaborate and complicated at Thanksgiving and this roasted acorn squash proves that. This recipe is very simple and has only a little olive oil and salt and pepper added to the squash before roasting. It looks beautiful and the delicate flavor of the squash really comes through nicely. You could always add a drizzle of maple syrup over the top before serving if you want to add a little more Fall flavor.

When to make this:

  • This can prepped the morning on Thanksgiving. Start roasting this about 30 minutes before serving it.

Where it is cooked:

  • Oven

The Day of Thanksgiving:

  • Prep in the morning and roast it in the oven for about 30 minutes before you are ready to serve your meal.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Another simple but delicious dish is our pan sauteed Brussels sprouts with lemon and olive oil. Don’t let the simplicity of flavors fool you into thinking this is not interesting. This is hands down one of the tastiest ways to prepare Brussels sprouts and one of our favorites.

When to make this:

  • The Brussels sprouts can be cleaned and prepped in the morning on Thanksgiving. Start sauteing these about 30 minutes before serving it.

Where it is cooked:

  • Stovetop

The Day of Thanksgiving:

  • Prep in the morning and pan saute for about 30 minutes before you are ready to serve your meal.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *