Hosting Thanksgiving is a wonderful way to gather family and friends, making sure everyone enjoys themselves, and show off some adorable harvest decor. But you don’t want to spend the entire day in the kitchen and not get a chance to talk to your guests! You want delicious food that doesn’t tie you to the oven all day. That’s why I recommend making a few of these easy Thanksgiving side dishes!
Easy thanksgiving side dishes
1. Portobello-Sage Stuffed Acorn Squash
You are not required to serve only traditional sides like mashed potatoes. Mix it up a little with seasonal dishes like this Portobello Sage-Stuffed Acorn Squash. It’s missing a lot of the calories from heavier sides but has tons of flavor and protein!
2. Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Fresh Thyme
This recipe is making me hungry just thinking about it. You’ve probably had mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, but what about mashed sweet potatoes? It’s the same concept but a richer and sweeter flavor!
These Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Fresh Thyme are simple to make, nutritious, and a crowd pleaser! Sweet potatoes contain fewer calories than regular potatoes and have more vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber than traditional tubers. This yummy recipe has fall flavors that will blend with the rest of the meal and it can be made ahead of time! If prepping ahead of time, wait to toss in the fresh thyme until Thanksgiving day.
3. Cranberry Pear Sauce with Rosemary and Ginger
What’s Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce? But don’t get your sauce from out of a can! Cranberry pear sauce is one of the easy Thanksgiving side dishes that takes very little work for a big reward.
By adding fresh ginger, ripe pears, fragrant rosemary, maple syrup as sweetener, you can create a depth of flavor that takes cranberry sauce to a whole new level. Store-bought cranberry sauce will never be the same! This can be prepped ahead of time and kept in the fridge until serving.
4. Mulled Apple Cider
Drinks are an important component of easy Thanksgiving side dishes. Instead of laboriously crafting individual cocktails or having a bucket of sodas, have a punchbowl or slow cooker with Mulled Apple Cider.
This recipe does double-duty. It allows guests to get their own beverage without you having to stop your cooking to guide them, and it has an absolutely delicious aroma that will fill your whole home with holiday cheer.
5. Candied Pecans
When it comes to easy Thanksgiving side dishes, Candied Pecans are a total winner. Easy to make, delicious, gluten-free, and they don’t have to be kept at a certain temperature!
There are endless serving possibilities (in a salad, atop the mashed sweet potatoes, in a cheese course) but my favorite way is to put out bowls on the table before the meal is served. No one will starve and you won’t feel the pressure of hungry people before you get the turkey on the table. If you have leftovers (that’s nuts!) then you can keep them in a Tupperware or glass jar and sprinkle in your salads.
6. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with a Balsamic Glaze
Fall means brussels sprouts and this my favorite way to prepare them. These veggies are sometimes called stinky or bitter, but when roasted with a balsamic glaze, I just call them mouthwatering!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze is one of the easy Thanksgiving side dishes I recommend because they are simple to prepare and go well with other flavors. Not counting salt and pepper, there are only four ingredients to this dish! Roasting brings out a rich, slightly sweet flavor in the brussels sprouts that the maple-balsamic glaze enhances. Your guests will gobble up these veggies!
If you are hosting the holiday meal or preparing a dish to take to someone else’s home, these easy Thanksgiving side dishes are simple to prepare and delicious. Some of them, like the Cranberry-Pear Sauce, Mulled Apple Cider, and Candied Pecans, can be made beforehand and kept cold or in a slow cooker. This frees up your stove for your other dishes, like this delicious stuffing recipe.
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Okay, my friends, I want to hear from you. What are you cooking this Thanksgiving? Did you try any of the recipes and how did it turn out for you? Happy cooking!