25 Easy, Last Minute Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

We know that the unsung heroes of Thanksgiving are the side dishes! Count on these 25 quick and easy recipes to make in a pinch.

15 Easy, Last Minute Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Simply Recipes

When it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes, the more the merrier! But finding the time to prepare all the good stuff that supports the show becomes daunting as the holiday draws near.

Don’t get discouraged! With twists on traditional favorites, time saving tips, and recipes that use fewer ingredients, you can fill your table with easy Thanksgiving side dishes that will not disappoint.

Robin Shreeves joins Lori Rice in compiling this list.

  • Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

    Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes
    Elise Bauer

    These sweet potatoes are mashed until smooth and blended with a boozy splash of bourbon and a sweet touch of brown sugar. It’s a Thanksgiving side dish that is sure to go over well with the adults at the table!

  • Butternut Squash with Brown Butter and Thyme

    Butternut Squash with Browned Butter and Thyme
    Elise Bauer

    This is the side dish recipe you need if you fear the oven is going to get overcrowded with everything for your feast. This tender butternut squash is made right on the stovetop!

  • Candied Yams

    Candied Yams

    Elise Bauer

    Candied yams are a classic and this version could not be easier to make. With just six ingredients, in a little over 30 minutes you’ll be well on your way to satisfying all the old-school holiday recipe lovers at the table with a traditional favorite.

  • Cranberry Relish

    Cranberry Relish
    Elise Bauer

    No cooking is required for this Thanksgiving day sidekick. Simply pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor and this tart and tangy relish will be ready to serve alongside your turkey and other favorites.

    Continue to 5 of 25 below.
  • Creamed Corn

    A serving spoon with homemade cream corn inside.
    Sally Vargas

    A short list of ingredients creates this creamy, comforting side dish. This recipe is designed for fresh corn, but that doesn't mean you can't use frozen. To mimic the creaminess of fresh corn, purée 1/3 cup of the kernels to release the natural starches.

  • Gouda and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

    Cheesy bacon stuffed mushrooms party appetizer recipe
    Nick Evans

    These little buttons of goodness are just what you need to put a twist on the traditional. The earthy flavors of the mushrooms and smokiness of the bacon help them pair well with your holiday menu, giving you the freedom to serve them as an easy side or as an appetizer.

  • Honey Chipotle Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chipotle
    Nick Evans

    Bring a little creative flair to the holiday table with this recipe. It’s an unexpected flavor combo that reinvents old fashioned Brussels sprouts and it’s sure to wow all the guests on your invite list.

  • Jeweled Carrot Salad with Apple and Pomegranate

    jeweled carrot salad with pomegranate
    Elise Bauer

    A simple seasonal salad will save the day when you are short on time! Grab pre-shredded carrots at the store along with packaged pomegranate arils and this autumn-inspired salad will be on the table in a few minutes.

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  • Mashed Potatoes with Brown Butter, Goat Cheese and Sage

    Mashed Potatoes Browned Butter
    Elise Bauer

    It’s the time of year when plain mashed potatoes need something special, and this recipe delivers. Follow it as is, or cook your mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot before stirring in the brown butter, goat cheese, and sage.

  • Roasted Baby Carrots

    Roasted Baby Carrots
    Elise Bauer

    These carrots are simple to make without skimping on all the flavor you expect from a Thanksgiving recipe. Garlic, rosemary, and red onion make this easy side dish stand out.

  • Roasted Parsnips

    A white serving dish with roast parsnips inside.
    Elise Bauer

    If you aren’t one for all the maple and brown sugar sweetening up side dishes this time of year, you will love these parsnips. They are roasted with the savory flavors of parsley, chives, garlic, and even a little horseradish.

  • Sriracha Orange Glazed Green Beans

    Sriracha Orange Glazed Green Beans
    Elise Bauer

    Four ingredients and 15 minutes are all you need for this side dish! The sweet heat of the sauce dressing these beans adds something special to your menu. You can easily swap frozen green beans for fresh when they are out of season.

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  • Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

    Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows serve the casserole
    Sally Vargas

    If you are looking to reduce the prep work for your sweet potato casserole, the solution is right here. By halving and roasting the potatoes, the flesh scoops right out and you can skip all that peeling! Stir in a few other ingredients, top with marshmallows, and you are good to go.

  • Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sausage and Apples

    A baking dish with classic Thanksgiving sage, sausage and apple stuffing.
    Alison Bickel

    It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without stuffing. And this dish is a major time saver. Supermarket bakeries and bread stores often sell bags of pre-toasted bread cubes for stuffing. Those cubes will save you the effort and oven space required to slice and toast the pieces yourself while still providing all the seasonal flavors in this classic side.

  • Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

    Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan Salad
    Elise Bauer

    This easy stir-and-serve recipe combines so many Thanksgiving favorites from cranberries and oranges to pecans. Make the rice ahead to save time during your last minute rush to get things to the table, or cook the rice in the Instant Pot so it’s ready to go when you need it.

  • Turnip Gratin

    Turnip Gratin
    Elise Bauer

    Layer thinly sliced, blanched turnips, onions, and bread then top with Gruyere and pop in the oven. Even those who usually turn up their nose at turnips won't be able to resist this cheesy, bubbly casserole that can bake while the turkey rests.

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  • Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake

    butternut squash, apple, cranberry casserole baked in a dish
    Elise Bauer

    Top cubed butternut squash, cut up apples, and fresh or frozen cranberries with a mixture of flour, brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Bake. It's simple to make, but the flavor of the finished side is deliciously complex.

  • Crispy Hasselback Potatoes

    Hasselback potato recipe potatoes cut accordion style in a baking dish with herbs, butter, and olive oil.
    Sally Vargas

    These easy potatoes come together with just five ingredients: Yukon gold potatoes, butter, fresh parsley, and salt. They're a perfect Thanksgiving side for a smaller celebration or for those who choose to serve steak or make an entirely vegetarian meal.

  • Classic Glazed Carrots

    Overhead view of a serving bowl of glazed carrots.
    Michelle Becker

    Glazed carrots aren't just a simple side for Thanksgiving—they're a simple side for any meal. Cut fresh carrots into discs, sauté in butter, then cook in chicken stock and seasonings. Total time? Just 25 minutes!

  • Slow Cooker Honey-Dijon Carrots

    Glazed Carrots in the Slow Cooker
    Marta Rivera

    If there is no more space on your stovetop to make the carrots up above, pull out the slow cooker. Slow cook carrots for 4 to 6 hours, drain, then add the honey-Dijon glaze with seasonings to the slow cooker and the carrots are ready to serve. Or, let the dish sit on warm for another 1 to 2 hours until you're ready to serve dinner.

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  • Green Beans With Almonds and Thyme

    sautéed green beans with almonds and thyme on a decorative plate
    Elise Bauer

    This easy dish of green beans with butter, thyme, and toasted almonds is a simple accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner. You can use fresh or frozen green beans, and you can blanch the beans a day ahead of time so the whole side comes together even quicker on Thanksgiving day.

  • Cider Vinaigrette Roasted Root Vegetables

    Cider Roasted Root Vegetables
    Elise Bauer

    Roasting vegetables make so much sense on Thanksgiving if you're serving turkey. They can roast while you rest and carve the turkey. These cider vinegar roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and beets make a colorful, seasonal addition to the side dishes on the table.

  • Creamed Spinach

    A skillet with Homemade Creamed Spinach and a serving spoon set on a wood table.
    Sally Vargas

    This side comes together in just 25 minutes. Sauté onions, wilt the baby spinach, make a cream sauce, and then combine. Easy and classic.

  • Roasted Broccoli With Parmesan

    Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan

    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

    Use only broccoli florets for this quick, healthy side that's tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Roast on high heat until nicely browned, and then sprinkle generously with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Make it even more nutritious by substituting half the broccoli with kale.

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  • Simple Peas and Onions

    sautéed peas an onion in a white and blue bowl
    Elise Bauer

    This go-to side for almost any meal uses fresh or frozen peas and comes together in just 20 minutes. Sauté onion, add peas and chicken stock, simmer, then season. So simple—that's why we call it SIMPLE peas and onions.