These simple Thanksgiving side dishes are quick and easy to make for Thanksgiving Dinner and travel well when you need a dish to pass.
When it comes to the holidays and friends and family celebrations, I’m always looking for an easier way to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with my guests.
That’s why I decided to share my favorite quick and simple Thanksgiving side dishes that I have made for years.
You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to assemble your Thanksgiving dinner with these recipes.
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And, if your family is like mine, it’s a tradition to bring a dish to pass. So this compilation of the best side dishes for the holidays are perfect when you need to feed a crowd. All you have to do is change the serving size and whola! you have yourself a recipe to feed one or 100.
I recommend reading through all of the recipes to see which one will work for you. Pick one, or pick several. These are all tried and true recipes that I’ve made for years for a variety of celebrations.
What I love about many of these side dishes is that you can also substitute ingredients if you know that the folks you’ll be serving won’t like this or that.
So, what are you waiting for? Thanksgiving is just around the corner!
Here are my favorite picks for the best simple Thanksgiving side dishes from Wisconsin Homemaker:
1. Easy Apple Stuffing
My Easy Apple Stuffing is probably one of the most versatile dishes. Even so, I always start out with the basics–either fresh or day old bread. From there, the sky’s the limit. Love chestnuts? How about sausage? What about fennel? It’s easy to mix and match your ingredients to make your own version of family stuffing.
2. Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing Recipe
This is a classic recipe for Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing and is a great one to use anytime during the holiday season. It uses simple ingredients and bakes up in no time at all.
3. Homemade Cranberry Sauce
One of the perennial favorites, this Fresh Cranberry Sauce Recipe, is just the ticket for a quick but tasty fruit side dish. Best of all, it only takes about 10 minutes to make. And, you can serve it warm or chilled.
4. Hasselback Potatoes
This amazing side dish, Hasselback Potatoes with Bacon, not only looks great but tastes delish, too! What I like about this recipe is that you control the portion size by the choice of potatoes you use. You can even vary the toppings to match your guests’ needs and wants.
5. Fried Apples
Bring in the fresh produce of the season to your Thanksgiving table with this delicious sweet treat, Easy Fried Apples. You can make it with whatever apples you have on hand and it cooks up in about 10 minutes.
6. Succotash Salad
Don’t be fooled by the “summer” in this Summer Succotash Salad. This side dish is perfect all year. Not only is it pretty to look at but it is also loaded with plenty of veggie goodness to offset some of the more “fattening” dishes that one must have at Thanksgiving. And, did I mention that this dish travels well? It does. You can easily transport it and dress the salad later when you arrive at your destination.
7. Roasted Vegetable Medley
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to roast seasonal vegetables. Take this Roasted Winter Vegetable Medley, for example. It uses what’s on hand in the grocery, which is not only budget friendly but practical, as well. And, again, you can mix and match your favorite vegetables–root vegetables are delicious this way. Finally, I wanted to mention that this is a one-pan side dish. Which means that it frees you up from not having to wash a gazillion dishes. Now that’s sweet!
8. Asparagus Spirals
I think these Bacon-Crescent Asparagus Spirals are the prettiest side dish–ever! They’re also super easy to make and bake up in no time at all. I like to make more than I think I’ll need–they’re that delicious. Plus the fact, that you’ll find many markets have sales going on for, you guessed it, refrigerated crescent rolls. Buy a bunch and you’ll be set for all of your holiday needs.
9. Flemings Creamed Corn
Judging on how much folks love creamy, cheesy corn, you can’t go wrong with this Flemings Creamed Corn side dish. I like to spice it up by adding some fresh jalapeños and baking a lot of grated cheese on top–try pepper jack or a Mexican cheese blend–delish! Takes almost no time at all to make and you can use fresh or frozen corn. Just serve warm and dig in!
10. Cobb Salad
You can’t go wrong with Classic Cobb Salad. It’s beautiful when presented in all of its veggie goodness, lined on a large platter. I like this side dish because folks can pick and choose their favorite salad fixings–especially nice for those family members who are picky eaters and also for those who are unable to eat certain foods due to food allergies or discomfort. I like to bring along extra cut vegetables and salad dressing to refill as necessary.
11. German Potato Salad
This recipe for this easy Old Fashioned German Potato Salad recipe dates back well over 50 years. I’m not even sure how further back it goes beyond that, but take it from me, this recipe is a show-stopper. I can’t even remember a holiday without this delicious side dish being present. You can serve it hot or cold–both ways work well. And, best of all, you can make this a day ahead of time and serve it on Turkey Day with no problem. Heat and serve.
12. Cucumber Salad
Here’s another time-honored family favorite recipe that is made for all the holidays in my family: Sour Cream Cucumber Salad. This super simple side dish uses less than a handful of ingredients but goes well with turkey, chicken, ham–you name it!
13. Napa Cabbage Salad
I think this Ramen Noodle and Napa Cabbage Salad has been a mainstay in our family at Thanksgiving time since the 1970’s. You can mix this up with prepackaged greens and fresh cut veggies. Add your dressing and top with ramen noodles–it’s that easy!
14. Panzanella Salad
While you prepare your Apple Stuffing, why not chop a few more handfuls of bread for this fresh Italian Tuscan-Style Panzanella Salad. It is a simple antipasto salad that loaded with so much flavor. Dress it right before serving. Use an oil and vinegar dressing or try my Honey-Lime Dressing.
15. Onion Tart
Thanksgiving Dinner will become a one-of-a-kind event when you present this Cheesy Tomato Onion Tart to your guests. It’s perfect alongside turkey slices. You can serve it “pie-style” or “pizza-style.” Anyway you serve it, you’ll love the cheesy, tomatoey, oniony flavors of this quick and easy tart.
16. Romano Bean Salad
This light Marinated Romano Bean Salad with Potatoes is just the right side dish when you need a dish to pass. Cook the potatoes and chop the vegetables a day ahead of time, then assemble when you are ready to eat. I like to add a few sprigs of fresh dill and chopped basil right before I serve it to give this salad even more flavor.
17. Golden Beet Salad
This Roasted Golden Beet Salad offers a mix of sweet-tart flavors, thanks to roasting golden beets in the oven until fork-tender. Peel and dress with a light dressing. Serve warm or cold. A definite beauty for any Thanksgiving table.
18. Bird Style Romano Beans
This creamy bean side dish, Bird Style Romano Beans, is an Italian favorite, not only for the holidays but also weeknight dining. It cooks up easily and gets better–think creamier– the longer it cooks. Serve hot and garnish with finely grated parmesan cheese.
19. Broccoli Slaw
My Broccoli Slaw with Pineapple and Mandarin Oranges offers lots of crunch thanks to finely chopped broccoli slaw. I also love to include a mix of fresh pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges. Dress the salad right before serving.
20. Caprese Salad
I think some Thanksgiving dishes can be heavy tasting, so a break from the same-0ld dishes can be a welcome reprieve. Take this Caprese Salad recipe. It offers fresh taste without being overpowering. I like to add a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of aged balsamic vinegar, along with fresh basil when I share it with my guests. Delicioso!
For more great Thanksgiving recipes and ideas, be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Recipe Section.