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Seasonal Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes

22 Thanksgiving Side Dishes to Cook, to Share, to Bring


These side dishes are perfect to cook or bring for Thanksgiving. The vegetables in them are seasonal and in most locales can be made primarily with local ingredients, if that's your goal. Most importantly, they can all be made ahead and either reheated or served at a slightly warm room temperature - perfect for the potluck!

Looking for another element of the feast? Check out these delicious Thanksgiving Recipes.

1. Braised Green Beans

Photo © Molly Watson
Green beans, wax beans, long beans, or Romano beans all work beautifully in this recipe. Beans, olive oil, garlic, salt, a splash of water, and bit of time is all it takes to make these lusciously tender and flavorful braised green beans. A fresh departure from the classic green bean casserole.

2. Brussels Sprouts & Fried Onions

Photo © Molly Watson

Gentle pan-steaming and turns into a light saute brings out the essential sweetness of brussels sprouts and fried onions add bits of a slightly bitter but, again, essentially sweet fried onion for a simple, delicious side dish.

3. Brussels Sprouts Saute

Photo © Molly Watson
This easy method of shredding brussels sprouts and quickly cooking them over high heat with a bit of flavoring is endlessly flexible (and sure to win over avowed brussels sprouts-haters!). There are several variations at the end of the recipe, too. A favorite at my house is Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms – it's amazingly rich and fall-like. Perfect with that big bird.

4. Brussels Sprouts With Walnuts

Photo © Molly Watson
Brussels sprouts are sauteed to bring out their nutty flavor and then mixed with walnuts for a simple Thanksgiving side dish in this quick, ultra-healthful recipe. This dish is good hot or warm, and can be kept warm for up to an hour by simply covering with foil and setting aside in a warm kitchen. Since the recipe is also easy to double or triple, it also makes a great addition to the holiday table.

5. Butter Braised Cabbage

Photo © Molly Watson

This recipe couldn't be easier: gently cook chopped cabbage in a bit of butter and salt for a meltingly tender, richly flavored side dish perfect to serve with roast meats of all kinds. I particularly like to use Savoy cabbage for this dish, but regular green cabbage works just as well.

6. Butternut Squash Stir-Fry

Photo © Molly Watson
Butternut squash is the queen bee of winter squash. Why does everyone love it so? Color and taste, to be sure, but its rind is also easier to cut through and peel than many squashes, and its texture less fibrous or stringy. In short, it's the gateway squash, the squash for people who aren't so sure they like squash. This stir-fry takes full advantage of butternut squash's sweetness, and leaves its luscious texture intact, ready to savor. The spicy backnote of this stir-fry adds a little kick to the traditional Thanksgiving table.

7. Caramelized Cabbage & Onions

Photo © Molly Watson
Thinly slicing and slowly cooking the cabbage and onions brings out their essential sweet nature, and makes a mellow, warming side dish for the Thanksgiving meal.

8. Caraway-Scented Red Cabbage

Photo © Molly Watson
Caraway seeds and a splash of vinegar make sharp and colorful red cabbage a delicious - and beautiful - addition to any Thanksgiving menu.

9. Cauliflower Gratin

Photo © Molly Watson
A gratin is just a dish, usually of vegetables, that are topped with cheese and/or bread crumbs or nuts and baked or broiled. Some gratins include a liquid with the vegetables - cream or broth - but others are "dry." This cauliflower gratin can be served hot, warm, or even at room temperature – making it perfect for Thanksgiving when the oven is often full or dishes need to be carried across town to the table of friends and/or family.

10. Classic Potatoes Au Gratin

Photo © Molly Watson

If you have a very large group – large enough to justify two potato dishes – or a clan that isn't too devoted to the humble mashed potato, give classic potatoes au gratin a try on Thanksgiving. Creamy, cheesy, delicious.

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