23 Thanksgiving Sides You Can’t Skip This Year: Enjoy the Best of the Season’s Flavors

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Thanksgiving is all about the feast, which means delicious sides are a must! Sure, the turkey gets all the glamour shots, but it’s the sides that make or break the meal. Here is a collection of 23 side dishes that are not just good, they’re un-skippable.

Classic Campbell's Green Bean casserole topped with fried onions.
Green Bean Casserole. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

From the creamy dreaminess of mashed potatoes to the sweet to a well-baked squash casserole, these recipes are the ones that will have your guests talking long after the last slice of pie has disappeared. So get ready to load up your plates with the very best flavors this season has to offer!

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Green Bean Casserole

The classic Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole is a Thanksgiving must-have. It’s a comforting, creamy side that brings back nostalgic holiday memories. A true staple for your feast!
Get the Recipe: Green Bean Casserole

Watergate Salad

Pistachio salad topped with nuts and cherries.
Watergate Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Watergate Salad, or Pistachio Fluff, is a dreamy, easy-to-make side with just 5 ingredients. This light, fluffy salad is perfect for making ahead, ensuring you have more time to enjoy the holiday. It’s a sweet addition that adds a hint of retro charm to your table.
Get the Recipe: Watergate Salad

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

closeup of Instant Pot garlic mashed potatoes with butter
Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Transform your spuds with these Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Creamy, flavorful, and ready in just 30 minutes, they’re a fuss-free side that complements any main dish. Say goodbye to endless stirring and hello to effortless, garlicky goodness!
Get the Recipe: Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Broccoli Crunch Salad

A close shot of a fork full of broccoli salad.
Broccoli Crunch Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Broccoli Crunch Salad is a fresh, vibrant side perfect for lightening up your Thanksgiving meal. Crisp broccoli combined with dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and bacon creates a delightful mix of textures and flavors. It’s a colorful and tasty break from the heavy.
Get the Recipe: Broccoli Crunch Salad

Crock Pot Sweet Potato Casserole

Crock pot with sweet potato casserole with pecans and marshmallows.
Crock Pot Sweet Potato Casserole. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

For a sweet and savory treat, try this Crock Pot Sweet Potato Casserole. It’s a traditional favorite, combining soft sweet potatoes with brown sugar, marshmallows, and pecans. This slow cooker dish is a hassle-free way to bring a classic favorite to your Thanksgiving.
Get the Recipe: Crock Pot Sweet Potato Casserole

7 Layer Salad

Seven layer salad in a bowl.
7 Layer Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

The traditional 7 Layer Salad is a visually stunning and delicious addition to your holiday table. Perfect for any gathering, this elegant side dish layers veggies and creamy dressing for a taste that’s as appealing as its appearance. It’s a generational favorite!
Get the Recipe: 7 Layer Salad

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Roasted brussels sprouts in a white bowl.
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

The air fryer transforms these once-maligned veggies into crispy, golden nuggets of joy, with a tender, flavorful inside that will convert even the staunchest sprout skeptics. And making them in the air fryer frees up oven space.
Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Utica Greens

Top view of Utica Greens in a skillet with breadcrumbs and cherry peppers.
Utica Greens. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Utica Greens offer an Italian-American twist to traditional Thanksgiving greens. A delicious combination of escarole, hot peppers, and garlic, it’s a flavorful side that’s sure to stand out among the usual dishes. Perfect for adding a spicy kick to your feast!
Get the Recipe: Utica Greens

Acorn Squash

Acorn squash after air frying with some of the insides scooped up on a fork.
Acorn Squash. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Air Fryer Acorn Squash is a simple, low-effort dish that’s perfect for fall. Its natural sweetness and 25-minute cooking time make it an ideal side for those seeking simplicity and flavor. A wonderful way to add a seasonal touch to your Thanksgiving spread.
Get the Recipe: Acorn Squash

Chickpea Salad

Healthy chickpea salad in a blue bowl.
Chickpea Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

This vibrant Chickpea Salad, loaded with fresh veggies, is a gorgeous, vegan, and gluten-free side. Simple to make, it’s perfect for adding a healthy and colorful touch to your Thanksgiving feast. A great make-ahead option for those who love fresh, crisp flavors.
Get the Recipe: Chickpea Salad

Honey Glazed Carrots

Multicolored carrots with a honey glaze one a plate with a green napkin at the side.
Honey Glazed Carrots. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Honey Glazed Air Fryer Carrots offer a sweet side with fantastic texture. Crisp edges and soft, fork-tender insides coated in caramelizing honey sauce enhance their natural flavor. They’re a delicious and healthy addition to balance out the heavier Thanksgiving fare.
Get the Recipe: Honey Glazed Carrots

Lime Jello Salad

Piece of lime jello salad topped with whipped cream and a cherry.
Lime Jello Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Lime Jello Salad is a fun, old-fashioned favorite adding a splash of green to your meal. Perfect for any holiday, it’s a sweet and tangy addition that brings a bit of whimsy and nostalgia to your Thanksgiving spread. A delightful choice for a festive touch!
Get the Recipe: Lime Jello Salad

Butternut Squash

Plate of butternut squash in front of an air fryer with a blue napkin in the background.
Butternut Squash. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Butternut Squash in the air fryer is a savory and healthy side dish, ready in just 20 minutes. Tossed with spices and roasted to perfection, it’s a nutritious and flavorful addition to your Thanksgiving menu. An excellent choice for a quick, autumnal side.
Get the Recipe: Butternut Squash

Pea Salad

Pea salad in a blue bowl.
Pea Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

The vintage Pea Salad is a creamy, tangy, and sweet addition to your Thanksgiving. A perfect make-ahead salad for any holiday event, it’s a delightful blend of flavors and textures. This salad is sure to be a hit with its comforting and familiar taste.
Get the Recipe: Pea Salad

Roast Delicata Squash

Roasted delicata squash with sage leaves on a white plate.
Roast Delicata Squash. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Roasted Delicata Squash with Fennel and Maple Syrup is a quick and easy side, perfect for Thanksgiving. Its unique flavors make it a terrific fall dish that adds a gourmet touch to your table. A simple recipe that brings a blend of sweet and savory to your feast.
Get the Recipe: Roast Delicata Squash

Cornbread Dressing

Top view of crock pot cornbread dressing with bacon and parsley on top.
Cornbread Dressing. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

This Crockpot Cornbread Dressing is a moist, flavorful, and effortless addition to your Thanksgiving meal. It’s the perfect side dish, capturing all the traditional dressing flavors with the convenience of a slow cooker. A must-have for a stress-free, delicious holiday.
Get the Recipe: Cornbread Dressing

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

A bowl of cranberry sauce on a wooden cutting board.
Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Is it even Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce? I think not! It’s a classic side that adds a pop of color and a burst of flavor to your table. Homemade cranberry sauce is a simple yet essential component of any festive spread.
Get the Recipe: Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

Ramen Asian Salad

Three white bowls filled with ramen noodles and vegetables.
Ramen Asian Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Ramen Noodle Asian Salad brings a unique twist to the Thanksgiving table. Made with cabbage, veggies, and crunchy ramen noodles, it’s coated in an Asian-inspired dressing. A great choice for those looking for a fresh, crisp side dish to balance the traditional heavy mains.
Get the Recipe: Ramen Asian Salad

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Bowl of slow cooker mac and cheese in front of the crock pot.
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Indulge in the ultimate comfort with Crock Pot Mac and Cheese. This slow cooker classic combines creamy cheese with tender pasta, freeing you from stovetop stirring. It’s a family-friendly side that adds a cheesy delight to your Thanksgiving meal.
Get the Recipe: Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes with pecans and nuts on a cutting board.
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes in the air fryer are a tasty and crunchy addition to your meal. Scooped out and mixed with maple syrup, cinnamon, pecans, or marshmallows, they offer a sweet and savory flavor profile. A delightful twist on a Thanksgiving classic.
Get the Recipe: Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Squash Casserole

Zucchini and summer squash alternated in a dish topped with breadcrumbs.
Squash Casserole. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Zucchini and Squash Casserole is a lovely, seasonal side for the holidays. This simple 5-ingredient recipe alternates layers of green zucchini and yellow squash, making it as pretty as it is tasty. It’s a perfect addition to bring some color and lightness to your feast.
Get the Recipe: Squash Casserole

Crock Pot Corn Casserole

Three bowls of creamed corn on a black and white tablecloth.
Crock Pot Corn Casserole. Photo credit: .

Crock Pot Corn Casserole offers a sweet and velvety side dish, perfect for Thanksgiving. Let your slow cooker do the work while you enjoy the creamy goodness of this classic. It’s a comforting and delicious addition to any holiday meal.
Get the Recipe: Crock Pot Creamed Corn

Beet Gratin

A casserole dish filled with beets and spinach.
Beet Gratin. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

Beet Gratin is a colorful and flavorful side dish that brings elegance to your Thanksgiving table. Layered with creamy cheese and savory spices, it’s a sophisticated and tasty alternative to more traditional sides. A perfect choice for adding some gourmet flair to your meal.
Get the Recipe: Beet Gratin

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Thanksgiving sides you can't skip.

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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