75 of Our Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes · i am a food blog


Thanksgiving is all about the sides. I love Thanksgiving side dishes with a passion, but how exactly do you decide what you’re going to make?

The Five Essential Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Everyone knows the feeling of getting sucked into a research hole on the internet. There are so many sites with massive lists of side dishes out there. But, if you’re anything like me, you get choice paralysis. There is definitely too much of a good thing. So, here are my five (yes, only five!) favorite Thanksgiving sides. I hope one of them makes it on to your Thanksgiving menu.

green bean casserole | www.iamafoodblog.com

Let’s start off with this one because, green equals health. This is the mushroom-iest green bean casserole you’ll ever have. I love how the beans are crisp, snappy, and so fresh, all thanks thanks to an ice bath that leaves them an almost absurd shade of green. The mushroom sauce has a quadruple dose of umami thanks to mushrooms, soy sauce, fish sauce, and parm. Store bought crispy onions finish the whole thing off. Honestly, I can eat just these and call it a meal.

velveeta mac and cheese | www.iamafoodblog.com

Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? Velveeta mac forever and ever because it’s a creamy, dreamy classic. I mean, just look at that bowl. It’s got the the cheese! Glossy, smooth, and simply delicious. It’s the best and will forever be on our Thanksgiving menu.

everything bagel dinner rolls \ wwww.iamafoodblog.com

Some people might think that making your own homemade rolls is overkill, especially considering stuffing is an essential. I say, give me all that carb on carb action. Thanksgiving is just once a year and homemade squishy buns are so dreamy. It’s a pro move to brush garlic butter on top after they come out of the oven.

mashed potatoes | www.iamafoodblog.com

I’m a mashed potato connoisseur. Mike once did a double blind taste test for me with varying potato varieties and recipes and I was able to identify every singe one. This is my go-to recipe for mashed potatoes. It’s smooth and creamy, buttery and fluffy. It’s truly the best. The secret is that there is no secret, just good technique. Pure potato goodness from just potatoes, garlic, butter, and milk.

stuffing recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Stuffing (or dressing, if you must) lovers unite! I love stuffing so much that I make extra so I can eat it for breakfast every single day after thanksgiving. Turkey sandwiches? No thanks, give me stuffing please! This recipe, which I love making in the crock pot so it frees up the oven, is crisp and custard-y, and full of flavor. You can make it in the oven too, but don’t skip out on toasting the bread before making the stuffing, it’s what makes it so good.

Is it even Thanksgiving without Potato??

I love potatoes so much that I draw potatoes in my spare time. A potato buffet is my dream buffet.

instant pot mashed potatoes | www.iamafoodblog.com

Super creamy, super Instant (Pot) mashed potatoes with garlic and cream and butter.

How to make Cheesy Potato Balls | www.iamafoodblog.com

Cheesy potato balls because even better than mashed potatoes are mashed potatoes stuffed with cheese and deep-fried with a crispy outer crust.

crispy air fryer potatoes | www.iamafoodblog.com

Crispy air fryer potatoes for those times when you want a crispy roast potato but the turkey’s in the oven.

Potato salad because why can’t you have potato salad at Thanksgiving? This one has addictive kewpie mayo and rice vinegar in it.

Irish Boxty Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Irish boxty potato pancakes are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Nothing like latkes, more plush and potato-y.

Jalapeño Bacon Ranch Mini Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Mini little potatoes you can just keep popping into your mouth, filled with ranch, bacon, and cheese.

If your oven isn’t free, these are the potatoes for you: crunchy on the outside and deliciously creamy on the inside.

Crispy Duck Fat Oven Roasted Potatoes

If you want the most flavorful roast potatoes, duck fat is what you need. Maybe the best roasties you’ll ever make.

smoked gouda potato pancakes - www.iamafoodblog.com

Smoked gouda adds creaminess and a deep smoke flavor to these crispy little potato pancakes.

roast potatoes and burrata recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Make your roast potatoes extra lux this Thanksgiving and serve them up with some melty creamy burrata.

miso mashed potato recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

White miso gives these creamy potatoes an extra warm hit of super savory umami.

potato domino recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

This might be one of my favorite ways of making potatoes: thinly sliced, trimmed into rectangles, and baked. The edges turn into a crispy chip and the centers are thick and creamy.

Yaki Imo: Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes | www.iamafoodblog.com

This is the purest sweet potato you’ll ever taste. Toasty, caramelized goodness.

chili roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes with savory crunchy granola | www.iamafoodblog.com

Roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes tossed in a lime-soy dressing with a crunchy savory granola situation on top.


After potatoes, stuffing is my next favorite side dish. Sometimes, when I feel like some extreme comfort food I’ll bake up a small dish of stuffing. Weird flex, I know, but damn, stuffing is the good stuff.

Mushroom, Rosemary & Thyme Challah Stuffing

Classic stuffing flavors with the power of soft and plushy challah bread.

5 Ingredient 15 Minute Instant Pot Mushroom and Onion Stuffing | www.iamafoodblog.com

This stuffing is made in the Instant Pot and it’s gosh darn delicious!

crispy stuffing cakes with quail eggs - www.iamafoodblog.com

If you love the crispy bits on stuffing, these little stuffing cakes are for you.

lemongrass stuffing recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

A little bit of herb-y lemongrass is always a good thing. Stuffing with a Vietnamese twist.

herby breakfast strata - www.iamafoodblog.comfort

Technically this isn’t stuffing, more of a herby breakfast strata, but really, what is stuffing if not bread cubes soaked with deliciousness and baked up?

roasted acorn squash breakfast bread pudding - www.iamafoodblog.com

Creamy acorn squash and bread cubes together forever, topped off with cheese because cheesy stuffing is a game changer.

Vegetable Thanksgiving side dishes

Green things, because health. And not so green things because we’re inclusive and you don’t have to be green to be a vegetable.

honeynut squash | www.iamafoodblog.com

Not only are they cute, they taste good too! Serve up some honeynut squash with greek yogurt and honeyed walnuts.

air fryer brussels sprouts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Sweet and tender with crispy edges, almost just like deep-frying 🙂

cauliflower tots - www.iamafoodblog.com

These oven baked tots are only 5 ingredients and full of cauliflower-cheesy goodness.

miso mustard sesame bean salad recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Forget your classic green been casserole and serve up some crisp green beans tossed in a miso dijon dressing.

honey garlic sprouts recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Sweet and savory honey garlic sprouts because honey garlic vegetables are basically like candy.

honey garlic eggplant recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Again, see above 🙂

honey garlic roasted butternut squash | i am a food blog

Ditto, but make it squash.

oven roasted cauliflower

I love how sweet and caramelized cauliflower gets when you roast it. Hmm, I think I like sweet vegetables, gotta work on getting more of those bitter greens in my life.

burrata and kale

Kale is a leafy green! One that tastes amazing when you braise it in tomato sauce and top it off with burrata.

broccoli cheddar tots recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

I love all things in tot form and these broccoli tots are just so poppable. And forkable. And delicious.

Keto Friendly Creamy Lemony Zoodles | www.iamafoodblog.com

Zucchini but make it noodle-y. And add cream sauce.

air fryer asparagus

So fresh, so green. The air fryer makes all vegetables taste good, to be honest.

Lemon & Dill Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Fresh and feisty oven roasted sprouts with lemon and dill.

What do you mean kale chips aren’t a Thanksgiving side?! When you think about it, kale chips are just crispy kale and that’s a side in my books.

sriracha roasted cauliflower recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Oven roasted cauliflower but make it tangy and spicy kind of like buffalo wings, but cauliflower.

Super simple pan-seared asparagus with rich and savory miso butter.

Perfectly crips with just the right amount of char.

Super Tender Instant Pot Garlic Butter Brussels Sprouts Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

If you’re more a fan of tender sprouts without the crispiness, this is the sprouts recipe for you.

Bread and Biscuit Thanksgiving side dishes

Warm bread and biscuits fresh out of the oven are a treat but more so at Thanksgiving because it makes the house so warm and cozy.

milk bread | www.iamafoodblog.com

This is the softest, most plush bread you’ll ever make. Spread some butter on and sprinkle on the flaky sea salt!

brazilian cheese bread

I love the chewy crisp texture of pao de queijo and bonus, it’s gluten free!

Morrocan Batbout Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

These little pillow puffs are so soft. Break one open and make the best turkey slider.

pretzels | www.iamafoodblog.com

Pretzels are a celebration food and Thanksgiving is a celebration!

Small Batch Sourdough Focaccia | www.iamafoodblog.com

Fluffy crisp focaccia dimpled with olive oil and seasoned with rosemary.

How to make small batch sourdough | www.iamafoodblog.com

Make a loaf of sourdough: crusty, fragrant, hearty, and soul stirring.

parmesan garlic knots | www.iamafoodblog.com

These guys will go like hot cakes! So garlicky and so good.

Everything Bagel Dinner Rolls | www.iamafoodblog.com

Soft and fluffy dinner rolls brushed with butter and everything bagel spice.

challah bread recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

A easy basic challah!

potato buns - www.iamafoodblog.com

Little mini potato buns that are soft and squishy with the power of potatoes.

Small Batch Skillet Buttermilk Biscuits | www.iamafoodblog.com

Use your food processor to make these biscuits: light and fluffy with crispy bottoms.

cheddar scallion biscuits | i am a food blog

Sky high biscuits studded with scallions and cheddar.

smoked salmon chive biscuits

Salty, smoky specks of salmon and punchy chives in these flaky biscuits.

homemade red lobster cheddar bay biscuits! recipe on www.iamafoodblog.com

Soft on the inside, crispy on the outside copycat Red Lobster style biscuits.

Quick and easy drop biscuits with pepper, parm, and chives.

Salad and Salad-Adjacent Thanksgiving side dishes

I love salads with Thanksgiving dinner because they offer a fresh and tart counterpoint to all the richness. Plus they make me feel like I’m being a little healthy.

I could eat just this salad and be happy! Crunchy tender broccoli, red onions, sliced almonds, and craisins.

Quinoa Salad with Hazelnut, Apple and Dried Cranberries

A nutty crunchy satisfying salad that eats like a meal.

Chinese Cucumber Avocado Salad | www.iamafoodblog.com

Crunchy cucumbers and creamy buttery avocados.

Shiitake Quinoa Salad Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Pan seared shiitakes with avocado and quinoa in a shallot oil dressing.

fattoush salad - www.iamafoodblog.com

If you’re looking for a light salad that will bring some freshness to the table, this is it: chopped veggies, crispy pitas, and a sumac lemon dressing.

vietnamese quinoa salad recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Kind of like a Vietnamese vermicelli bowl but with quinoa. Super refreshing.

kabocha celery salad

Pumpkin because it’s fall and celery because it crunches. This is a fall celebration salad.

miso smashed cucumber and green bean salad - www.iamafoodblog.com

Super refreshing and crunchy to offset the richness of Thanksgiving dinner.

papaya pear arugula salad with lime mustard dressing - www.iamafoodblog.com

Juicy papayas, crunchy pears, and peppery arugula in a lime mustard vinaigrette.

sweet side dish: christmas quinoa salad recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

A super festive quinoa salad with all the textures and flavors in a orange honey vinaigrette.

Mac and Cheeses are the best Thanksgiving side dishes

The preferred side dish on the East Coast. Those folks know! Creamy cheesy mac and cheese is a welcome addition to any Thanksgiving spread.

One Pot Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese Recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Pumpkin mac and cheese at Thanksgiving is just the right thing to do.

Creamy, spicy, comforting hatch green chile mac and cheese. Perfect for warming you up the coming fall days. #macandcheese #dinner #dinnerrecipes #cheese #comfort #comfortfood #hatchchile #greenchile

Just in case you need a little spice in your life.

mac and cheese waffles - www.iamafoodblog.com

Did you know you can waffle mac and cheese!? The edges get wonderfully crisp and crunchy and the insides are soft and cheesy.

jalapeno broccoli mac and cheese recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Spicy and creamy with bonus broccoli.

scoobi doo pasta with burrata and tomatoes - www.iamafoodblog.com

This one isn’t really a mac and cheese but I had to include it because it has scoobi doo mac and it has burrata, which is cheese!

boursin pasta - www.iamafoodblog.com

Literally the EASIEST mac and cheese you will ever make because it is just penne and Boursin cheese.

Whew! That was a lot of side dishes. I’m amazed you made it this far. Hope you got inspired and happy side dishing!
xoxo steph


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