Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes

I would like to talk about Thanksgiving vegetable dishes. I make mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn, but would like to add a couple more vegetabley things. The past few years, I’ve made roasted root vegetables, cutting up pretty potatoes (purple and red ones) and carrots and sweet potato and coating them with oil and spices and baking them, and those are good but the children don’t like them and I’m only so-so on them and wouldn’t mind trying something different this year. I don’t like the green beans with fried onions dish, and neither does Paul; I’ve seen several references to a better version, but we dislike the original so much, I’m not motivated to try even a MUCH better version of it.

I tried searching online, but I always find that frustrating and exhausting: too many recipe sites trying to get clicks, not enough actual people saying “This is the dish we make every year.” I thought maybe we could collect a reference supply of Thanksgiving vegetable side-dish recipes in the comments section—for picking something this year, but also for looking at in later years when we’re in the mood to try something different.

Remember that I’m not a very experienced or enthusiastic cook, so don’t feel shy about a recipe that’s opening two cans and combining them, or heating up a frozen vegetable and topping it with something from a jar: I’m looking for YUMMY and what people LIKE, so although the dish certainly CAN be something impressive or surprising, it NEEDN’T be. If you make green beans with slivered almonds, that recipe will be brand-new to me: I’ve seen it in pictures, but never made it. If you’re thinking, “Oh, but this is too simple to even count as a recipe” or “Well, everyone already knows how to add slivered almonds to green beans,” THINK AGAIN, FRIEND. In fact, if you don’t make recipes per se but instead cook several kinds of frozen vegetables and leave it at that, I want to know that too: I seriously only thought of that possibility just now. But if it IS a fancy or complicated or impressive or surprising recipe, that’s good TOO. I think what we want here is ALL the good recipes.

And for Thanksgiving especially, I don’t give even one single thought to nutrition or calories or whatever: we want YUMMY and we want AUTUMNAL, and those are the only two requirements.

148 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes

  1. Sonia

    Defrost a bag of frozen Brussels sprouts. Melt 1/2 stick butter in a heavy skillet. Dump sprouts in, sprinkle with kosher salt and let them cook, stirring occasionally until they are browned and the butter is gone. Everyone who says they hates sprouts loves these. My son told the ped that they are his favorite veggie.

    1. Maria

      My kids like brussels sprouts, too! I think you have to cook them for a good long time, add a decent amount of salt, and my secret ingredient is a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar at the end.

      1. J

        I love roasting them.

        Get big fresh ones, slice in half. Pile on a baking sheet, drizzle oil over the pile. Turn the pile over to coat them all. Salt pepper garlic salt on top then shake out th baking sheet so they’re spread out. Roast at 400 for 15 mins. Flip them over and roast 15 or so mins more. DELISH.

        You can reduce some balsamic (simmer it down) and drizzle on top too, if you like.

  2. Melanie

    For Thanksgiving we have
    Mashed white potatoes
    Mashed sweet potates with marshmallow stuff on them
    Yams (whole sweet potatoes? Not sure, I don’t eat them)
    whatever frozen stuff my parents happen to have – even if its not enough for everyone (we have upwards of 30ppl every year) so this side of the table gets corn and carrots, the middle of the table gets carrots and string beans – etc
    Broccoli Casserole – I think its frozen brocolli mixed with cans of cream of broc. soup and velveta topped with panko
    Pearl onions in cream sauce (frozen)

  3. Jenny

    I usually make glazed carrots. This recipe makes enough for 4 people but you can easily double, triple, whatever, as long as the carrots will fit in your pan. If you double the recipe, it will probably take a little longer for the carrots to cook.

    1 lb carrots (about 6 medium), peeled and sliced
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    ground black pepper

    Bring carrots, salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, and chicken broth to boil, covered in 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat (I used a saucepan because I don’t have a skillet with a lid when I first made this recipe). Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until carrots are almost tender when poked with tip of paring knife, about 5 minutes.
    Uncover, increase heat to high, and simmer rapidly, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 4 or 5 minutes.
    Add butter and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar to skillet, stir carrots to coat and cook, stirring frequently, until carrots are completely tender and glaze is light gold, about 3 minutes.
    Take the pan off the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir to coat. Transfer carrots to serving dish, scraping glaze from pan. Season to taste with pepper and serve immediately.

    I also really like cauliflower cheese (sort of like mac and cheese but with cauliflower or broccoli instead of pasta.) Can give the recipe if you think that sounds good.

      1. Jenny

        Cauliflower cheese (can also be done with broccoli if you prefer)

        This recipe serves 4 as a side, and can easily be doubled, tripled, etc. in a bigger pan.

        1 medium head (about 2 to 2 1/4 pounds) cauliflower
        4 tablespoons unsalted butter
        4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
        Salt, to taste
        Freshly ground black pepper or ground cayenne
        2 cups milk
        1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar

        Heat oven to 400 degrees.

        Trim cauliflower and remove tough core. Cut into 1 to 2-inch florets. Steam (for about 10 minutes) or par-boil (6 to 7 minutes) florets until firm but tender. Drain.

        Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk to combine; cook for 1 minute.. Add a pinch of cayenne or few grinds of black pepper, and stir to combine. Add milk, whisking so the lumps dissolve. Season with salt and bring mixture to a simmer, stirring with a spoon; mixture should thicken. Stir in 1 1/4 cups cheddar, a handful at a time, letting each handful melt before adding the next. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings if needed.

        Spread cauliflower florets in a 2-quart baking ovenproof baking dish. Spoon sauce over florets. Bake until until bronzed and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

  4. Shannon

    Broccoli rice casserole – make some rice, saute some onions and frozen chopped broccoli, mix all that with a can of cream of cream of mushroom soup and a can of cheddar cheese soup. Put in a casserole dish, top with cheese, bake at 350 till the cheese is melty. My kids love this SO MUCH.

    1. Alice

      Absolute yes to this. We usually up the amount of parmesan (2/3C+) since we rarely have pine nuts on hand, and generally forego the basil. But we’re a cheese-loving house, so I think we’d probably pile it on regardless.

  5. LeighTX

    I second the Brussels sprouts suggestion, only I toss them with salt, pepper, olive oil & garlic, roast them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, top them with bacon jam and heat another five minutes. Bacon jam is pricey but WORTH EVERY PENNY.

    Sticking with the bacon theme, bacon-wrapped green beans are delicious, pretty, and did I mention delicious? Here’s the recipe I use:

    1. Bitts

      I do each of these, too. Roasted brussels sprouts are a hit with everyone here — especially tossed with bacon bits, instead of bacon jam, after removing from the oven!

      Bacon-wrapped green beans are also very good — get the fresh green beans, not frozen or they will turn out mushy.

  6. dayman

    I also LOVE roasted brussels sprouts and I think it goes a long way towards curing their unfair reputation. I also really love roasted carrots- cut up, tossed with olive oil, salted to taste, and roasted at 425 til they’re browned on the edges. they. are. so. good.

  7. Slim

    Mashed potatoes
    Sweet potatoes with a bourbon/brown sugar glaze
    Plain tiny green peas (frozen ones, nuked)

  8. Angela/@antiangie

    Nthing Brussels sprouts, and roasted ones are always good, but I really love (LOVE) this brussels sprouts slaw/salad: It’s really fresh and crunchy which is a nice contrast to a lot of other Thanksgiving food. I’m not even that big a fan of sprouts but I love this.

    Green beans with almonds: super easy. At Thanksgiving time frozen green beans are probably your best bet and I would go with the whole ones (sometimes called haricots verts which is hilarious since that is French for…green beans) rather than the ones cut up into small pieces. Cook per package directions to your personal preference (I prefer them on the underdone side). Meanwhile, melt a good amount of butter in a large skillet (I’d say at least half a stick). Toss in some slivered almonds and stir them around until they get nice and toasty looking/smelling (careful not to let them burn which can happen very quickly). Once they’re close to done you can also toss in some minced garlic, if you like. Then, put beans in serving bowl, pour/scrape toasty almonds/butter/garlic over beans, toss to distribute, add salt/pepper to taste. Garnish with additional almonds, if you like.

  9. Susan

    We have mashed potato STUFFING (stuffing and potatoes in one fell swoop), a sweet potato casserole with a pecan streusel topping and a million calories, and mashed turnips. That pretty much does it for vegies. There’s so much food (bread, pies, cranberry sauce, gravy) that people don’t usually go for the vegetables anyway. You might try a different cranberry sauce recipe — with oranges, or jalapenos or limes (or all three) that you can do a couple of days in advance. Cranberries are really easy.

  10. Lawyerish

    For the past couple of years, I have roasted kale to add some green to our otherwise beige TG plates. Super easy and Felicity says this is her favorite TG dish:

    tear the leaves off one bunch of kale
    spread them on a baking sheet
    drizzle olive oil and toss to coat
    season with salt, pepper, garlic powder

    Bake at 425 for about 20-25 minutes, until the kale is crispy.

    Another crowd pleaser is Pioneer Woman’s brussels sprouts – slightly more effort to make a glaze, but SO good:

  11. Michelle

    Here is my receipt for Carrot Ring, my favorite Thanksgiving side dish. It might sound like dessert, but it is actually supposed to be served with the main meal.

    1.5 cups crisco vegetable shortening
    2 cups brown sugar
    2 eggs
    2 tsp lemon juice
    2 Tbsp water
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp baking powder
    2.5 cups flour
    2 cups grated carrots (grate finely using the s blade on the food processor)
    graham cracker crumbs for coating pan
    crisco for greasing pan

    1) Preheat oven to 350
    2) Grease a ring pan or bundt pan with crisco. Coat the pan with graham cracker crumbs. Shake out the excess crumbs.
    3) Combine the ingredients in the order listed, mixing after each ingredient.
    4) Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes.

  12. erin d

    Broccoli casserole: cook 2 boxes (or 1 large bag) of frozen chopped broccoli according to package directions; drain. Mix together 2 eggs, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, 1/2 a cup of mayo (can substitute some or all sour cream), and a few shakes of onion flakes or onion powder. Stir in the broccoli. Dump it in a baking dish (any size is fine). Top with 1 sleeve of crumbled up ritz crackers, and you can dot it with little blips of butter (1/2 a stick’s worth). Bake for 30 minutes at 325. SAH GUD.

    My family also has an amazing cranberry salad that is SO NICE as a side dish to contrast all the (delicious) hot mushy veggie-type dishes. Super tart and creamy and cold:
    Boil 1 cup of water (in a kettle, pot, microwave, whatever) and then stir in 1 small box (3oz) sugar free cherry jell-o. Break up a 16 oz can of jellied cranberry sauce with a fork and then add it to the jello water (caution, it’s hot, so go slow). Add in 8 oz of sour cream, a small can (like 8 oz; it’s a flat tuna-sized can) of crushed pineapple (drain the excess juice first), and a half cup of chopped pecans. Stir everything up and pour into a serving dish (again, any size), then refrigerate several hours until it’s set (no longer runny). Top with 1 tub of cool whip (sugar free, fat free, full fat, whatever). Keep refrigerated.

  13. HereWeGoAJen

    I started doing a squash casserole in the last few years and it is definitely a winner. I haven’t settled on a specific recipe yet. I’m trying a different one each year. But I really like it and it works well for my vegetarian sister-in-law too. I have been trying to throw a few extra veggie side dishes on since she married into our Thanksgiving.

    (Also, I made it ahead one year and froze it and it worked beautifully.)

  14. Annika

    Dishes I have made in the past:

    Butternut squash galettes (recipe from Smitten Kitchen), pretty amazing.
    Creamed Spinach (also from Smitten Kitchen), literally the most popular thing I have ever cooked.

    What I am making this year:

    Caramelized Brussels sprouts with sweet onion. I made this up. I slice the Brussels sprouts thinly, slice up a sweet onion (Hawaiian or Vidalia), and saute over low-medium heat in a drizzle of olive, adding a large pinch of salt and about a tablespoon of brown sugar after a they begin to sweat. Cook until they are soft and browning, turning up the heat at the end if they are done but not brown.

    I made this for dinner at least once a week all last winter/spring. It is especially good with macaroni and cheese, which happens to be a dish I always make at Thanksgiving (I use Martha’s recipe, slightly modified).

    1. Alice

      Enthusiastically seconding the brussels sprouts + sugar! It really helps the caramelization process take off, and makes a world of difference. And while I love caramelized onions, I might make the sprouts on their own for the first time out if you’re wanting something that’d appeal to the broadest number of people.

  15. Melissa

    I agree on all of the above suggestions of Brussels Sprouts. I would say I do it a little different in that I shred them in the food processor and then put them in a big skillet with butter or olive oil, bacon, and salt and pepper. I like them better because then they caramelize evenly. I also like pureed cauliflower. Basically steam a bag of frozen cauliflower until tender and then whip with butter, milk and salt (like mashed potatoes). My aunt makes a casserole that is frozen broccoli, a can of water chestnuts, a cooked box of minute rice, and cheese sauce all mixed in a dish and covered with shredded cheddar and bread crumbs and then baked.

  16. Nicole

    Brussels sprouts au gratin, with bacon, cheese and breadcrumbs. Yum. You can also roast with diced bacon on top (seriously, that’s it). Please don’t use frozen. They’re mushy and the roasted crunchiness is what makes them awesome.
    I will second glazed carrots as an easy, kid-friendly option. Also, kale. Either sautéed with bacon or in a salad with crushed garlic, lemon, parmesan and bread crumbs.

  17. Auntie G

    I have TWO incredibly easy, incredibly bad for you options.

    1) Corn casserole
    one can creamed corn
    one can regular corn, drained
    one stick of butter, melted
    one egg
    one box of Jiffy corn muffin mix
    one 8 oz. tub of sour cream

    Mix in a bowl. Pour in a casserole. 350 degrees or so, for an hour or so, until a fork comes out relatively clean. Lesson learned: if your casserole is very full, you need to be careful that this one doesn’t overflow when it cooks and spill all over the bottom of your oven. Don’t fill the casserole too fill and/or put it on a cookie sheet in the oven, just in case.

    2) Veggie Cheese Bake
    One bag of frozen carrots, cauliflower, broccoli. I mean, one bag that is all these mixed together. This is my preferred veggie mix, but really, any will do.
    2 sticks of butter
    2 sleeves of Ritz
    Velveeta – the, uh, largish rectangle size. The…around the size of a lady’s shoe size box.

    Melt one stick of butter and stir in one sleeve of crushed Ritz. Use this mix to line the bottom of a casserole.
    Cook the veggies half to most of the way. I do this in the microwave, because FANCY.
    Melt the other stick of butter and add the other sleeve of crushed crackers. Set aside.
    Cut up some Velveeta. I generally start with a “cube” of Velveeta and adjust from there – meaning, I bought the above size *snort* and then opened it up and cut off a rough cube’s worth from that rectangle. Does that make sense? Cut that cube of Velveeta into smaller pieces, roughly the size of the vegetables. Use more cheese if you want. There’s no such thing as too much cheese.
    Put the veggies and the cheese pieces in your casserole. You can mix them ahead of time but meh, that’s an extra dish to wash. Just put some veggies and then some cheese and keep alternating.
    You can also mix the remaining cracker mixture in at this time or just use it on top.

    Bake at whatever temp you’re already using for your other side dishes, for…eh, at least 15-20 minutes? Everything’s probably fine at 30 minutes or more, depending on what else is also in the oven? The veggies won’t take long to finish cooking and Velveeta doesn’t take long to melt.

    These are not classy dishes. They are extremely delicious, and teenager and child approved. They also both keep well as leftovers.

    1. Betsy

      I second the corn casserole! It’s a regular on our Thanksgiving table, too. It’s delicious and easy.

        1. Maureen

          I’m going to try this corn casserole today, for a dry run before Thanksgiving. So you do drain the whole kernel corn, right? I read a recipe where it says undrained, which seemed weird to me.

  18. PiperG

    I can’t believe how many suggestions there are for Brussels sprouts.

    I love squash soup for Thanksgiving. Take any kind of squash, cut it in half (or pieces to fit a 9 x 13 pan). Scoop out the seeds. Put the squash face down in about a half inch of water and bake it till it’s soft – maybe 45 minutes. Let it cool and peel off the skin. Saute some onion and garlic (I do about a half of a small onion and one small clove of garlic) in a little butter. Add the squash and maybe 4 cups of chicken broth. Add a bay leaf and some salt, and let it cook until it’s all mushy. Take it out and blend it so it’s smooth. Eat it and think how much better this is than Brussels sprouts.

  19. Nicole Boyhouse

    This is one of my recipes and in the instructions I talk about how to make it in the oven, rather than the grill. It’s really excellent IMO.
    This is also very tasty and will revolutionalize your ideas about cauliflower.

  20. Jess

    I’m always so curious how other families handle holidays so this is great! This is what I do each year (I took over the holiday from my mom several years ago and beefed it up. She only served a turkey tenderloin because she didn’t see the sense in making a whole turkey for a “few” of us. There are only 10 of us, but I’m big on holidays, family meals & tradition so I say “go big or go home”. Also, everyone is warned to come hungry, there’s a lot of food! Appetizers: puff pastry vegetable tart; cinnamon apple rings; pita chips & hummus; nuts. Meal: Turkey (using Pioneer Woman’s brine recipe); Rolls/biscuits (from scratch, variety of recipes); Mashed potatoes (Yukon gold!!!); Mac & Cheese (Kraft Deluxe, ugh, but it’s one of the only things my BIL will eat. Seriously.); Cranberry sauce (homemade, made with a bit of OJ); Gravy (Heinz, because it’s a favorite of my dads); Stuffing (Stove-top, my parents LOVE it, I do not); Roasted Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, fennel, carrots & sweet onion; Green beans with slivered almonds. Dessert: Apple pie (my mom still makes this because it was her father’s favorite. He passed away several years ago, but she continues to make. Everyone has a tiny slice in his honor.); pumpkin pie; German chocolate cake (to celebrate my dad’s bday which is very close to Thanksgiving) & chocolate bumpy cake (to celebrate my sister’s bday which is early in December); sugar cookies decorated by the kids (my favorite). It’s a lot of work and pretty costly, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  21. Lillian

    My family is big on the veggies at thanksgiving! My favorites are roasted butternut squash topped with a ton of butter and brown sugar (don’t have a specific recipe since I was not the one to cook this, but I bet some googling would bring one up), cranberry sauce (2 bags of fresh cranberries chopped up in the food processor with one whole navel orange, peel and all, and then stir in sugar until its as sweet as you want it, and this can be done days in advance), and roasted beets (no recipe for this one either).
    Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday, so I would love to hear more about various thanksgiving traditions that families have!

  22. Joanna

    I haven’t read the other comments (sorry, rushed!) but we do roasted brussels sprouts and they’re delicious!

    1. Jenny Grace

      I also second roasted brussel sprouts! I feel like these used to be made in some gross boiled gross way, but roasted in the oven is delicious. Also, roasted cauliflower.
      Okay I’m done.

      1. sooboo

        Yes to this! The brussel sprouts of my childhood were boiled, bitter and stinky! I roast them in a pan when I’m in a hurry. That works too.

  23. Jenny Grace

    I don’t have a recipe but butternut squash cubed (you can buy it already cubed to save yourself from the pain of prepping butternut squash, I get it from Trader Joe’s), roasted in the oven with lots of butter, and a sprinkling of brown sugar. It is divine.

    1. Emily

      Yes! So Easy. You can also drizzle some balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the butternut squash. It is soooo good. It takes probably half an hour to bake in the oven at 400 degrees, depending on the size of the squash. Don’t go too small… they loose a lot of water while baking and shrink down and you don’t want them to have the consistency of small hash browns.

  24. Kaela

    Stir-fried kale or Swiss chard with garlic. Remove the stems from the leaves and discard the stems, chop up the remaining leaves, rinse, and set aside. Chop up 3-4 cloves of garlic. Put 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy skillet. When it’s hot and sizzly, add the garlic. 30 seconds letter add the chopped greens plus a half cup of water. Cover with a lid. Lift lid and stir every 30 seconds for the first 3 minutes. Then turn down the heat and just let it sort of steam/fry on low heat for another 3-4 minutes (less for chard). You can spritz it with lemon and sea salt at the end.

    Not Thanksgiving specific, but we always have this at the holiday.

  25. Amelia

    I get really tired of all the HOT stuff at Thanksgiving, so I always serve a salad with the meal (currently I don’t even make salad at home – I buy the big bag of sweet kale salad at Costco and make myself stop eating halfway through the bag, it is so good!) and crunchy, raw veggies and fruits leading up to the main meal for all the kids who whine, “When is dinner going to be REAAAADYYYY?” I also really enjoy this green bean recipe:
    French green beans (the long and skinny kind) either fresh or frozen, steamed and topped with melted butter, garlic, and lemon juice, with a few pretty lemon slices hanging out on top. My kids love this!

    1. chris

      You can do this with the regular green beans too. My kids call them Awesome Beans, and they are so simple and delicious!

  26. Ginger

    I’ll admit that vegetables take a major backseat to all the carby deliciousness in my family, but we usually serve either roasted brussel sprouts (with bacon & a splash of apple cider vinegar if you’re feeling feisty), or glazed carrots, or the super duper basic green beans with lemon butter & almonds (there’s no recipe, just toss lemon juice, butter & slivered almonds with the cooked green beans. I like them super lemony myself).

    Or do what 3 of my grandmothers do: serve a side salad and call it a day.

  27. Carla Hinkle

    Green beans in lemon vinaigrette: super easy & everyone loves.
    1. Dump bag of frozen green beans in boiling water. (I prefer Trader Joe Harcot Vert, but any frozen green beans will do). Boil til tender, to your preference.
    2. Drain green beans. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over. If you’re feeling fancy, grate a little lemon zest (yellow part of the peel, only) first.
    3. Drizzle with olive oil.
    4. Salt to taste & serve!

  28. Sarahd

    Definitely broccoli-cheese casserole! My sister makes it every year but I know it’s not hard if you aren’t averse to Velveeta. Basically melt a block of Velveeta with a TON (like 40 oz) of chopped broccoli. And also butter! It’s topped with crushed, buttered crackers before baking and it’s EVERYONE’s favorite. And now I’m hungry!

  29. Matti

    I think that our favorite vegetable recipes would be roasted cauliflower. 425 degree oven, olive oil on cookie sheet, break cauliflower into crowns, then SLICE the crowns across so that you have maximum area making contact with the cookie sheet. Drizzle with another couple tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, maple syrup. Flip after 15 min. bake about another 10 minutes or until fork tender.

    Roasted asparagus is also SO good. 400 oven. Trim bottoms off of asparagus. Place onto cookie sheet, drizzle w/ some olive oil, sprinkle on salt and pepper. Done after about 12-15 min. depending on if you have thick or thin asparagus.

    I would also highly encourage the roasted broccoli above, or any of the roasted/sauteed brussel sprouts recipes. Also, the kale chip thing is easy, can be done the day before, the kids can do it, and they do come out crunchy/crumbly like chips.

    My uncle makes sweet potatoes that he cuts into big chunks (like really big, thick fries) par boils them and then bakes them in a big glass dish in the oven with more brown sugar and butter than goes in most cookie recipes. Basting them repeatedly w/ the butter/brown sugar sauce that drip to the bottom of the dish. They. Are. To. Die. For. They come out all tender w/ these crystallized, caramelized edges.

    My MIL makes (buys, but we all pretend we don’t know this) a cranberry/apple/walnut finely minced “salad” that is not at all bad.

  30. el-e-e

    My mom has two broccoli dishes she relies on: One is called “party broccoli” and she always made it with frozen spears, just steamed – the party is the sauce. A sour cream base, with paprika, black pepper, maybe cayenne, and then chopped cashews over the top! YUM.

    And then there’s a broccoli/carrots/artichoke hearts casserole, much like the broccoli casseroles already mentioned, but with carrots/artichokes!

    I can send you these recipes when I get home from work if you’re interested.

      1. El-e-e

        Party Broccoli

        2 pkgs frozen broccoli spears
        2T minced onion
        2T butter
        1.5C sour cream
        2tsp sugar
        1tsp white vinegar
        1/2 tsp paprika
        1/4 tsp salt,dash of cayenne pepper
        1/3 C chopped cashews

        Cook broccoli just until tender; drain.
        Sauté onion in butter. Remove from heat and stir in everything but nuts. Pour sauce over broccoli and sprinkle nuts over top.

  31. Katie

    Mandarin Orange Salad (seriously this is my favourite thing about Thanksgiving- it’s so refreshing to have a bit amidst all of the carbs and hot foods).

    1) Make a poppy seed dressing. You could also buy one but it’s not as good.
    (this recipe is close to what my mom makes… just don’t add the pepper. I prefer to add a bit more honey)

    2) Drain a can of Mandarin orange pieces and combine in a bowl with chopped romaine lettuce and dressing.

    You can add some toasted almonds if you want. I do it in the microwave- just cover the bottom of a glass pie plate and microwave. Check on them every 1-2 minutes. They’re done when some of them turn brown.

    Also, I really like cooked carrots as part of my thanksgiving. I cover them in butter and gravy. Yum.

  32. sarah

    We always do green beans of some sort. Growing up my grandmother would simmer canned green beans with some sliced up uncooked bacon and while that is super not exciting at all, it’s easy and tasty. Another thing I’ve done with green beans is take fresh green beans and “fry” in olive oil (just about 2 tbsp of oil; don’t crowd the pan, cook for a just a few minutes as not to over cook) then add thinly sliced red onions and shaved Parmesan. Everyone always enjoys those.

    Kale and pomegranate salad is a nice change of pace to all the “hot” sides.

  33. betsy

    I also HATE that gross mushroom soup green bean casserole. My favorite aunt always made green beans caesar for me:

    1-1.5 lb fresh or frozen green beans
    1 Tbsp. salad oil
    1 Tbsp. olive oil
    1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
    1 Tbsp. instant minced onions
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    1/8 tsp. pepper
    2 Tbsp. dry bread crumbs
    2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
    1 Tbsp. butter, melted

    Heat oven to 350º. Toss beans with oils, vinegar, onion, salt, garlic, and pepper. Pour into ungreased one-quart casserole. Stir together bread crumbs, cheese, and butter; sprinkle over beans. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered 40-45 minutes.

  34. Nikki

    This is probably just us, but we do sweet potato chips- I can’t stand the marshmallow casserole thing, or the canned ones, and crunchy is really the only way I eat sweet potatoes. Plus since they’re fried they don’t take up precious oven room, and they’re a nice contrast to the mashed/casserole carb option. If you don’t mind having to use your oven, I made these and they were really good:

    Also, this year I want to do this: Smitten Kitchen has never steered me wrong. I’m interested to see what you pick, and how it worked :)

  35. Renee

    We always have green beans and tomatoes. I think the combination of green beans and tomatoes SOUNDS horrible, but it TASTES amazing. We use this recipe:
    Only we use canned green beans instead of fresh and diced tomatoes instead of whole. As for they cayenne pepper I use about 1/8 tsp. just enough to add a little something without it being enough for the kids to fuss that it is spicy (and my kids don’t drink pop because it it “too spicy” so if your family isn’t as extremely spice averse then you can use more!)

  36. Donna

    Turn the oven on to 350. Peel, seed and cube a butternut squash (or buy it already done for you) and dump in a buttered 7 x 11 pan. Peel, core and thickly slice 2 tart apples (think Granny Smith). These go on top of the squash. Add 1/2 cup cranberries (I use frozen, right out of the freezer) on top. Make a topping with 1 T. flour, 1/4 c packed brown sugar, 1t. salt and a bit of allspice, mace, or nutmeg (1/4 to 1/2 t.). Dot the top with butter if you remember (maybe half of a stick or less). Bake, uncovered, for 55-60 minutes or so, or until you can’t take the delicious aroma any longer. Very autumnal, not hard to do at all, and most tasty. You could sub sweet potato for the squash, but cut the cubes a bit smaller so they cook all the way through.

  37. Shawna

    At Thanksgiving we usually do frozen peas and salad for green veggies since so much more work goes into the rest of the meal, but we do also garlic ‘n bacon green beans sometimes. We use fresh beans, but you could probably use frozen.
    Fry a couple of slices of bacon, remove from the pan once crisp and crumble.
    Drain the grease, but leave a thin coating on the bottom of the pan and top with a dollop of olive oil, then toss in a bunch of green beans.
    When they look like they’re almost done, add a whack of chopped garlic (it’ll burn if you put it in with the beans) and a dash of salt and pepper.
    After you stir that for a minute or so, add the crumbled bacon back in.

  38. Emily R

    You’ve convinced me! I’ll roast Brussels sprouts this year!
    I have 2 recipes we can’t have thanksgiving without:
    Cranberry relish. Rinse the big bag of cranberries. Food processor with 1 orange, 1 apple, sugar to taste. Best done the day before so the flavors meld in the fridge for a day.
    Sweet Potato Wedges. Peel & Slice up 3 sweet potatoes into about 1 inch wedges. Mix 2 T olive oil, 1 T minced garlic, 1/4 t salt and 1/4 t thyme in a bowl, then drizzle over wedges on a baking sheet. I tend to be heavy handed w the garlic. Bake at 400 for 35-40 minutes. It makes a lot more than you would think, but I still usually double it because I could eat these day and night. Oh, how I love spw!

    1. Shawna

      Question about the cranberry relish: I think someone else posted the same suggestion and neither of you mentioned cooking this mixture – is everything just as-is, or do you cook it like cranberry sauce? Thanks!

      1. Alice

        My mom makes a very similar relish (less apple), and there’s no cooking involved. Leaving it in the fridge helps the cranberries get a bit less super-crunchy, but it’s definitely meant to be crisp! She usually makes it Monday afternoon, just because it’s nice to have something fully *done* early in the week. (And she makes a double batch so that it’s still good to go after all the snacking is factored in. :) )

  39. Kelli

    I love this corn!

    And Paula Deen’s pineapple casserole. It sounded absolutely wrong and crazy to me but my husband’s stepmother brought it one year and now we keep making it. It has pineapple and sugar so I thought it would be a dessert, but then also cracker crumbs and cheese, so I don’t know where to put it. So weird and so good.

  40. deanna

    There’s always the classic green bean casserole – the recipe is on the side of the fried onion package.

    If you want something that’s not a hot dish, this corn salad is really good. You can make it a day ahead and just add the dressing on the big day. (It’s much yummier than the picture suggests.)

    I also saw this recipe for bacon-wrapped green beans – it looks pretty easy and yummy – if I was cooking for Thanksgiving this year, I would definitely try it.

  41. Missy

    My mother-in-law makes vegetables with browned butter and Parmesan cheese. Either brussel sprouts or a mix of cauliflower and peas is good. Cook the vegetables however you prefer – boil, steam, roast. Then brown butter in a saucepan on the stove (about 2-3 TBSP for a head of cauliflower). If you have never browned butter before – you melt it over medium low heat and then keep it over the heat, stirring occasionally. It will sizzle and bubble and then start to brown. It will get nice and brown and smell delicious – remove from heat. If you let it go too long, it can burn (I always hate when people say stop before it burns, but there you go). Pour over your cooked vegetables and toss. Sprinkle on lots of parmesan (the Kraft kind in the shaker works fine) and stir. Seriously – delicious vegetables!

  42. Jill

    I’m always fascinated to see what other people eat/how they cook so this post is great.
    My husband LOVES Thanksgiving and does all the cooking and we usually have the following side dishes: mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, butternut squash soup, green beans, brussels sprouts, carrots with tarragon, broccoli rabe, corn.
    Most of the vegetables are prepared the same way: prep and parboil if needed, then sauté in olive oil or butter on high heat, add salt and pepper. The carrots get tarragon b/c my husband and mom love it, I skip it b/c gross. My aunt brings corn from her garden that she freezes at the end of summer, then throws it all in the crock pot with butter and cooks it that way. Another dish I like to make but think I’m skipping this year is smitten kitchen’s sweet potato and swiss chard gratin. It is amazingly delicious, but does require a lot of prep work. I do think, though, that if you have a great turkey and a couple of standout side dishes (stuffing, crab mac n cheese) your vegetables don’t need to be anything particularly special. Most of them are delicious if they aren’t cooked to death and are well seasoned. Mmmm now I can’t wait for Thanksgiving.

  43. Barb

    We always do a big green salad with festive fruit in it, like pomegranate seeds or mandarin oranges, maybe a little feta or bleu cheese, a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette dressing, a few candied nuts all over mixed greens or spinach.

  44. Jessemy

    It looks like you have a lot of good references for my first thoughts: brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli. May I suggest the lovely leek? They taste fan-dang-tastic roasted/broiled in olive oil. And they are sort of a whimsical, light-green thing. Perhaps not autumnal, but a nice contrast to the turkey-potato-corn axis! Have fun!

    1. Alice

      Our roasted vegetable mix includes leeks and parsnips as well as the potatoes, brussel sprouts, etc and it makes it much more interesting and delicious!

  45. Kate

    I like baby carrots with butter and brown sugar. I just use way to much of the butter and brow sugar mixed in with the hot, drained carrots.

  46. Julia

    My mom made these sprouts with balsamic and honey last year and I’m obsessed with them! So good, the only way I make brussels sprouts these days.

    I did this delicious Cauliflower from Smitten Kitchen last year- It’s nice because you can prep it ahead of time (steam cauliflower and make breadcrumbs, but keep separate until serving). Only downside was that I mixed the crumbs with the cauliflower to serve but it doesn’t keep well once mixed (loses crispiness)… so only mix as much as you think you’ll eat.

  47. Alice

    We are HUGE fans of honey-ginger carrots in my house. They are tender and a little bit sweet and they are always the first dish to disappear. I don’t have the recipe on me, but it is very similar to this one:

    As a few other people mentioned, a green salad is a great way to add some more vegetable matter into the meal. My mom usually just does greens and tomatoes, but when I’m in charge of the salad I do greens, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts. Really easy, but it feels more special than a regular old salad.

    1. Alice

      I totally forgot, but we also always get a bag of frozen peas and just microwave them in a little bit of water, then drain them and mix in a small pat of butter. It seems a little boring, but I personally love mixing my peas with my mashed potatoes.

  48. Carol

    I have been thinking that our Thanksgiving meal has been short on vegetables lately too, so last year I added this corn, which I see is just a variation on what Kelli posted upthread, and which I loved:

    I also added a fruit salad a couple of years ago to break up the parade of starches: 1 green apple, 1 red apple, a pear, a few red grapes, a can of mandarin oranges, a little jar of maraschino cherries, and a dressing of half lime (or lemon), half honey (put in a jar and shake to mix really well before pouring over it all).

    This year I’m trying crockpot sweet potatoes.

    I also do two oldish family recipes that I’m sure just date from the 1950s but have been on our holiday tables ever since and feel like essential guilty pleasures. One is a layering of canned asparagus, cheddar cheese (or Velveeta), boiled eggs, potato chips, and white sauce. The other is cherry Jello made with Coca Cola and contains canned pineapple, canned cherries, and cream cheese. (I buy probably 97% of the canned food I buy in November and December.) I can provide more details if anyone really wants to know.

  49. Kara

    Roasted beets with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and goat cheese. So good, and so pretty! The red beets look different from every other vegetable. It’s generally popular with the adults more than the kids, and maybe an acquired taste.

    We also serve gingered carrots, asparagus, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and the dreaded green bean casserole that no one likes but it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it.

  50. Adah

    I just made a Pinterest Board that is exclusively Swistle’s Thanksgiving recipe collection. I can hardly keep up. Every time I refresh there are more recipes. I tried to Google/include recipes that didn’t have a link provided, so some are not perfectly true to the commenters suggestions, but I thought a board might streamline the process.

    I like to put lots of cream cheese, milk, and butter in my mashed potatoes.

    Pinterest Board here:

    1. Jessemy

      BTW, my mom and I just used the pinterest board to plan the “green” section of our meal next week! Thanks to Swistle and Adah for helping us diversify our Thanksgiving veggies!!!

  51. Valerie

    I know everyone loves roasted BS and I do too…but I have recently begun shredding and sauteing them and they are even better!! Not one hint of bitterness.

    Bacon sauteed Brussels sprouts

    Bacon – ¼ to ½ package, I usually use 5-6 strips
    Minced Garlic – 2-3 cloves
    Brussels sprouts – 1 -2 lbs
    Salt + pepper
    Cayenne pepper (if you feel so inclined)

    Cook bacon to your desired doneness, remove bacon and reserve part of the fat (you want @1-2 TBS). Wash your Brussels sprouts and then shred them (I cut each one crosswise 2-3 times and then all of those pieces in half, removing the stem). Sauté garlic in the bacon fat, add the Brussels sprouts, S+P, and if you want a kick, a few dashes of cayenne pepper. Stir every few minutes, should take about 20-30 minutes to soften the sprouts. Crumble the reserved bacon over the top. Because they are still somewhat crunchy, the sprouts make excellent leftovers the next day – one of my favorites!

  52. Imalinata

    I love roasted cauliflower (cut as small/large as you want, toss with olive oil, put in rimmed baking sheet & add salt & pepper; bake at 425-450ish until cooked to desired doneness – I usually get them dark brown for the delicious crispy bits), broccoli (same as cauliflower, but lower heat since the florets burn easier), and brussel sprouts (same as cauliflower, but cut in half, toss in oil, then put cut side down, add salt & pepper then cover with foil and roast for 15m (so they steam themselves); take off foil and roast until desired color & doneness is achieved).

    We also make a huge salad – hearts of romaine, blue cheese crumbles (blue tub from Trader Joes), dried cranberries, pecans, chopped pears, avocado, cucumber. Salad dressing is:

    1 cup canola oil
    1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (this is a key ingredient; don’t use regular cider vinegar)
    Boar’s head mustard. Probably about 1 tsp. (this is a brown, delicatessen style mustard.)
    1large (or 2 small) cloves of garlic, minced finely
    salt and pepper to taste. I’d guess 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper (I like to use a seasoned pepper. I generally use the rainbow peppercorns from Trader Joe’s)

    We also have Sweet Sweet Potatoes:
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 9×13 baking pan with Pam (I usually forget to spray/oil the pyrex – I don’t notice a difference personally)

    2lbs sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed (you can buy these in 1lb bags @ Trader Joes. BE SURE to check the date as these are perishable.)
    1 cup unsweetened orange juice
    ¼ cup maple syrup
    1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
    ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    ¼ tsp ground cardamom
    ½ tsp salt

    If you are using raw sweet potatoes, carefully lower the sweet potatoes into about 8 cups of boiling water (enough to cover them) and simmer for 5m.
    Meanwhile, stir the juice, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt together in a lightly oiled or sprayed baking dish. Drain the sweet potatoes (or just add the bagged ones from Trader Joes), add them to the baking dish, and stir well to coat with the juice mixture. Bake uncovered, for about an hour, stirring every 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender and the juice mixture has thickened and coats the potatoes.
    NOTE: This recipe is much, much easier and faster and just as good with the potatoes from Trader Joes.

    These are delicious and pretty hands off. My husband will make a huge batch for his work potluck and never comes home with leftovers.

    It’s also not Thanksgiving unless we have Lemon Jello. I suppose it’s technically a dessert, but we always serve it with the main meal.
    Mix together until jello is dissolved:
    1 large box lemon jello
    2 cups hot water
    1 ½ cups cold water
    1 large can frozen lemonade

    Chill until mixture starts to gel (if you let it chill for too long the end product will have some small curds (like cottage cheese size) of lemon jello in it instead of blending fully – it tastes totally fine just a slightly different texture)

    Whip together:
    1 cup whipping cream
    About 2-3 Tbs. powdered suger
    A little vanilla

    Fold the whipped cream mixture into the jello mixture until blended
    Spray a nice jello mold with Pam, pour in mixture and chill overnight.

    1. KateB

      Do you by any chance have a link for the sweet potatoes? Sounds just perfect for my family. I searched “sweet sweet potatoes” on Pinterest to no avail. Thanks!

      1. Imalinata

        I included the recipe in my post. It’s everything after the salad dressing and before the lemon jello. :)

  53. Guinevere

    We usually do green beans – sauteed with garlic and lemon juice, the end. Sometimes we throw some almonds over.

    We also usually do Brussel sprouts. We roast them in the oven (425 if there’s nothing else that we’re trying to coordinate, but it’s forgiving). Olive oil, salt, pepper, the end. The kids wanted that particular item for breakfast the next morning, instead of pumpkin pie. I couldn’t believe it, but they are good!

    We often do carrots, too, and usually a salad. My favorite part of thanksgiving is not having to cook for the next few days, so we try to have lots of different veggie sides to carry us through.

  54. Ann

    Hmm, I can’t believe I have something that hasn’t been mentioned! Probably because it’s more of a summer vegetable dish, but we love it, and it’s a traditional family dish for my husband, though again, not for this time of year. It’s a Mexican/New Mexican side called Calabacitas (little squash in Spanish). The way we make it is to saute chopped onions, chopped zucchini, chopped yellow squash, garlic, corn (either canned or fresh) and chopped jalapeno. You just saute it all together until tender. I tried to find a similar recipe on line to link, but most use tomatoes and cheese, and we don’t. We kept trying to find something we all liked for Thanksgiving, and never could, and finally decided that since we all liked this, we would go ahead and make it anyway, out of season!

  55. phancymama

    I do not have the recipes, so will have to ask my mom, but I really like creamed onions and spoon bread. I guess spoon bread really isn’t a vegetable, but I grew up in Georgia where it was always on the veggie plate menu. Although, those are not very kid friends dishes.

  56. shin ae

    You’ve already got potatoes, but something I do every holiday is the Mormon Funeral Potatoes. It seems to be a pretty popular recipe. I do it with no green onions and with grated yellow onions instead.

    Also not a vegetable, but I love any excuse to make Watergate Salad. I use pineapple chunks instead of crushed pineapple. Another good “vegetable” is Ambrosia–the kind with the mini marshamallows and mandarin oranges.

    I like to have some variation of a green salad, just lettuce and whatever. It could be fancier with apples and candied walnuts, or just simply a bowl of washed lettuce with dressing alongside.

  57. Katie

    A delicious green bean dish that is Not Green Bean Casserole:

    Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic and Herbs

    We love these. They have a nice fresh flavor that sets off the richer Thanksgiving root vegetable recipes.

    Easier option instead of sauteeing: You could just microwave some frozen green beans and put the garlic butter and lemon juice on those! That would be less labor-intensive to get on the table at the same time as all the other Thanksgiving dishes!

  58. Carmen

    These are my two favourite side dishes. So so good. (Bonus points for being able to make them early in the day so that you have more time to lounge around eating bon-bons…err…giving thanks.)


    1 bunch broccoli
    1 head cauliflower
    2 cups sliced carrots
    1 lb brussels sprouts (which I hate, so I leave out)
    1.5 cups toasted bread crumbs
    1/3 cup butter or margarine
    1/2 cup diced onion
    1/3 cup flour
    2 cups milk
    1/2 tsp. basil (I like it much better with lots. I probably use 3 Tbsp)
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. pepper

    Cut broccoli, cauliflower & carrots. Peel brussels sprouts (or whatever you’re supposed to do with them. As I said, I don’t use them). Steam until tender-crisp.

    Melt butter, add onions & sauté until onions are soft & clear. Mix in flour to make a thick paste. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, and then add seasonings. Cook, stirring, until thickened.

    Layer half the veggies in a greased dish. Pour half the sauce over, sprinkle with half the crumbs. Repeat layers. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.


    2 cups cooked carrots (sliced into pennies) (I use double this, otherwise it’s a bit too saucy).
    1/4 cup butter or margarine
    1/4 cup finely chopped onion
    1/4 cup flour
    1.5 cups milk
    1/3 cup grated Cheddar
    1/4 tsp salt
    pepper to taste
    1 cup crushed cornflakes
    3 Tbsp melted butter or margarine

    Melt the 1/4 cup butter in saucepan. Add onion and cook slowly until soft. Stir in flour, add milk slowly, stirring all the time. Stir until thickened. Add cheese and stir until smooth. Add cooked carrots. Place in greased casserole dish. Top with cornflakes & drizzle with the 3 Tbsp melted butter. Heat in oven at 350F for 30 minutes.

    This recipe doesn’t call for any spices, but I usually add a bit of garlic & ginger, sometimes even a hint of cayenne. Yum.

  59. Sarah!

    Sauteed green beans- get fresh green beans (canned ones are always soggy!) steam them in the microwave for a couple minutes, then saute them in olive oil with salt, pepper, and garlic and onion powders ’til they get those nice browned spots. My mom throws pine nuts in, but I don’t like them so I never do. Sometimes I put fresh garlic or onion in too, which is good, and sometimes I don’t.

  60. sarabean

    MMMMMmmmmm, this is the best post ever!

    Here is our Brussels sprouts recipe –
    For green beans, I steam them until just tender, then toss them with some butter in a pan really quick. They get devoured.
    Broccoli salad – I do it with peanuts because I’m allergic to tree nuts. Or if I don’t have time to make this, I get the Sweet Kale Salad from Costco that has been mentioned above.
    Roasted carrots –
    Roasted beets –
    Not all of these every year, but we do a couple of dinners at various families houses, so they almost always get made at some point.
    Also, a roasted acorn squash (cut in half, seeded, roast in oven for how ever long google tells me), stuff with rice (I use Trader Joe’s brown rice), sauteed mushrooms and bacon if I have it.

  61. MrsDragon

    Funny you should ask. : )

    This was our menu last year (with recipe links):

    The green beans were easy and the sauce was very tasty.

    In general, I’ve found that you can’t go wrong with anything from Ree Drummond’s site. ESPECIALLY for holidays:

    This is her list of Thanksgiving side dishes:

  62. Stephanie

    Rutabega. Slice off the skin. Cut it into very small cubes. Boil and boil it and boil it some more. Mash it with a bunch of butter (it won’t be quite as smooth as mashed potatoes, but if you boil it enough, it’s close). Add salt to taste (or let people salt their own). Delicious.

  63. Kris

    Stuffed Pumpkin ! We’ve done it for a few years now, and almost everyone loves it (except for the most traditional in laws who only want their mom’s cooking, lol)….

    Anyway, we took a medium side pie pumpkin, and cut the top off and scooped out seeds (as if we were going to carve, but stopped after the seeds!). Use a spoon to scrape off some of the inside pumpkin flesh. Add chopped apples (both green tart and red yummy)… walnuts, fresh cranberries, regular raisins and golden raisins. Add some brown sugar (1/8 to 1 cup, depending on how sweet you want it. it’s already a lil sweet). Maybe a tablespoon of butter. Stir it all up. Put the top back on the pumpkin. Next, either wrap foil on the bottom or put in a pan with a little water (to prevent burning the bottom). Put in 350 oven for about 40 minutes. Take out, stir again, put the top back on and serve AS IS to the table.

    I think people like it because it’s cooked IN the pumpkin, so that’s the WOW effect. The first year we tried it… it was too sweet for us. We would up eating it with vanilla ice cream as a fruit compote dessert kind of thing. The next year, we seriously cut back on the sugar and used only tart apples: much, much better. Some years we throw in a little butternut squash or extra cubed pumpkin if we have.

    The ratio of ingredients is up to you: use what you like the most. But in a 5 inch pumpkin, you’ll only have room for maybe 2 cups total… so we usually bake the extra stuff in a regular dish beside it. Or you could get more pumpkins! I’ve even seen recipes for mini ones, where everyone gets their own. It looked super cute, but a bit too much work for me personally :)

    Since someone made a Pinterest board (genius idea), here’s a link that’s a pretty similar recipe: Apparently there’s a LOT of variations you can do with hollowing out a gourd and filling it up with whatever :)

  64. Rbelle

    I do a spinach dip for many family gatherings and parties that is a huge, huge hit, at least with grownups. Children unopposed to the mixing of foods might like it as well. I did when it premiered in our household many years ago. Technically, it’s more of an appetizer, but in my family, we’re always very informal, so if there’s any dip left by the time dinner is served, it goes on the plate with all the classics. Also, includes spinach:

    1 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1 pkg Knorr dry leek or vegetable soup mix (this is what makes the flavor different from any other spinach dip I’ve ever tried, I think)
    1 can water chestnuts, finely chopped
    1 box thawed chopped spinach, well drained (like, press the water out)

    Mix it together basically as ingredients are listed above. Also, I will mention that my family is snobbish about mayo, and we have only ever used Best Foods/Hellmans. This might not matter at all to anyone used to a different mayo, but I suspect if I gave this recipe to a friend who used another brand it would taste wrong to me. I mostly contribute this because I find it interesting how people can pass recipes along, and then hear back that it didn’t taste or come out the same. Whenever people ask me for a recipe, I’m always looking for that little twist or trick that I do without thinking that might be making people ask for the recipe in the first place.

  65. Linda

    I love this roasted sweet potato/cranberry/pear mixture:

    I see now that it’s actually supposed to be roasted squash. Hmmmm. At some point in time I switched to sweet potatoes. SO GOOD. The veggies end up quite sweet and caramelized. Kid friendly.

    For kids, I make either strawberry jello “salad” (you can do it with other fruit, too. Just sub in the appropriate jello type and chopped fruit. Raspberries are divine)

    or caramel apple “salad.” There are a ton of variations, but it’s the apple (don’t peel them! no extra work!), crushed pineapple, butterscotch, cool whip version. I add peanuts and marshmallows. One of my friends adds Snickers bars.

    For healthier minded adults, I usually serve a green salad with blue cheese, craisins, roasted pecans and a raspberry vinaigrette. Chopped apple or pear is good in it, too.

  66. Beth

    I am not going to read all the comments–though I am sure there are some great ideas here!–but just add my two cents. We LOVE roasted brussels sprouts, but I’ve also pan-fried them with delicious results: trim sprouts (bottom end and outer/dirty leaves) and slice in half. Heat olive oil or butter in pan, then lay sprouts cut side down in a single layer. Let them brown for a bit (5 min?), then add a 1/2-3/4 cup chicken broth to pan, cover with lid. Let sprouts steam until desired tenderness. Remove from pan, then add in a bit more broth or white wine (1/2 cup) and several tablespoons dijon mustard. Heat together, scraping pan a bit, then pour sauce over sprouts. SO good.

    We also really, really, really love this recipe. In fact, my kids prefer the beets to green beans, since when roasted they become sweet. I’d really recommend the shallots over using regular onions, as they have a different flavor and will make your house smell amazing. I omit the walnuts.

  67. Sara A.

    I like to make the vegetables I like at other times of year for Thanksgiving. Last year I roasted pearl onions with brown sugar, olive oil, sage, and thyme. They were the hit of the gathering. My husband’s family makes creamed onions every year for Thanksgiving, but last year no one could find the recipe. The pearl onions were already prepped and the aunts were freaking out, unable to find the book. So I said, “Why don’t we roast them?” And they told me to take care of it. I tossed them in olive oil about a tablespoon or so of brown sugar, some herbs, and some herbs. I put them in a baking dish and set them in the oven until they caramelized.

    I also like roasted cauliflower. Just cut the cauliflower into florets, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes and spread evenly on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with parmigiana and roast for about half an hour or until the bottoms are golden brown, but it’s not bad slightly burnt, either.

    Cabbage isn’t glamorous but it goes really well with turkey. I’ve been riffing off this recipe for a while

  68. onelittletwolittle

    Buttery corn!

    1. Dump big “family size” bag of frozen corn in a microwave-safe dish.
    2. Add a little water
    3. Microwave for 10 minutes on HIGH.
    4. Drain
    5. Add half-stick of butter, a bunch of black pepper, enough salt.
    6. Pour into serving dish.

    My kids (5 kids, 9 years and under) and my nieces and nephews (15 kids, 9 years and under) love this dish. It doesn’t take up any oven/stovetop space if you do it in the microwave.

    I also make a big garden salad (romaine, cucumbers, carrot shavings, celery, grape tomatoes) with shredded cheddar and croutons on the side, plus three dressings (ranch, balsamic vinaigrette, French or poppy seed.)

  69. Adah

    Nearly 60 recipes up on the Pinterest Board. Apologies if I missed some (there are 115 comments at this point, so I must have . . .). I will try to add incoming ones through today, but may give it a rest beyond that. Lots of fantastic ideas.

    I actually pondered having a meal theme this year based in a decade, like the 50s or 60s, since there are some awesome old-school/vintage recipes here. Might still try it!

    Pinterest Board again here:

  70. Meredith Brim

    Corn & Rice Casserole
    1 package of yellow rice (comes in a foil pouch at our grocer)
    1 can of Mexicorn
    1/2 stick of butter
    1 can of cream of chicken soup
    grated cheese for top
    Make rice according to package instructions. Pour into casserole dish, with 1/2 stick of butter, can of cream of chicken soup, can of Mexicorn. Combine, top w/ shredded cheese and heat at 350 until the cheese is bubbly and the dish is warmed through. We double this for family dinners at Christmas/ Thanksgiving.

  71. Sarah

    We do some of the roasted veggies (especially cauliflower) that others have mentioned.
    Last year we also added a spinach and tomato dish:
    1 tablespoon of olive oil
    8-10 oz of baby washed spinach (from the bag…)
    1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    salt and pepper to taste

    Heat the oil until shimmery on medium heat. Add the spinach (it will seem like a butt load, but it wilts to not much.) Turn using tongs until the spinach is wilted (about 2-3 minutes). Add tomatoes to pan cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Put in serving dish, add vinegar and salt/pepper. Toss and serve.

    Even the kids ate it.

  72. Devan

    We love roasted brussels sprouts but it seems you have plenty of those recipes! My kids like a fruit salad I make and it’s super easy. 1 can of regular cranberry sauce, 1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce, 2 cans crushed pineapple (mostly drained). Smush everything together and serve.

  73. Pam Fingas

    Coming out of lurkdom to share this recipe with you. It is a big hit, even with people who don’t think they like cauliflower. Although the recipe sounds a bit fussy with the steaming part, I just put the cored whole cauliflower (leaving enough core to hold the head together) into a glass baking pan in the microwave and nuke it for 2 minutes at a time until crispy/tender. I sometimes do this part a day ahead, and then just assemble the cheesy topping, stick it around the whole head of cauliflower, and bake it until the topping is bubbling and golden. It is quite easy, and very showy…

    (Golden Dome of Cauliflower) Canadian Living Christmas Book 2000

  74. velocibadgergirl

    Wow, so many comments! There are probably a dozen sweet potato recipes already, but here is my favorite:

    Sweet Potato Casserole

    I don’t think I’ve ever posted a recipe before, but it seems appropriate, so here’s a fantastically yummy sweet potato casserole / souffle recipe that I’ll be making for both my family’s and MB’s family’s Thanksgiving get-togethers:

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.


    4 cups mashed sweet potatoes (about 60 ounces, if you use canned)
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup milk
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp vanilla extract


    1 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup flour
    1/2 stick melted margarine


    1 cup chopped pecans


    Combine first list of ingredients and mix well. Pour into a buttered pan.

    Spread pecans over surface and press down slightly.

    Combine second list of ingredients and crumble over the top of the pecans. (Add more flour if it’s too clumpy.)

    Bake 15 minutes, then cover with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 15 – 25 minutes (until light brown).

    It’s pretty simple to make, and the leftovers are excellent when re-heated in the microwave.

  75. Annie

    Stuffed Celery! I know, the name is not the best. But it’s easy, delicious, and features a veggie. We eat it every year as we wait for lunch to get ready.

    1 bunch celery – wash and chop into party-size lengths
    2 boxes of cream cheese
    1 jar of olives with pimento in them

    Mince the olives – we use the food processor – and mix with the cream cheese. You can make it as olive-y as you want. Put the mix in a ziploc bag and cut off the corner to make a pastry bag of sorts. Pipe the mixture into the celery sticks. I am guessing that kids would have fun with the piping, too.

  76. Lauren

    My family always makes peas. Super easy, and the kids all float them in the mashed potato gravy pool. If you want to be fancy you can saute chopped onions and mix them in.

  77. laura

    I love a good fresh salad with iceberg, feta, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and really good ranch or other dressing–sub out the feta add blue cheese and use lighthouse blue cheese even better!

  78. Tessa

    So, probably too late to the party, but broiled eggplant is one of my quick go-to veggies, strange as it may sound. This recipe makes enough for 6ish, depending on how enthusiastic people are about the dish and how large the eggplant is. Turn your oven on to broil. Take a large eggplant (the very round, traditional ones are what I use, although I suppose it would work fine with other varieties), slice it cross-wise into quarter inch discs. Pat dry. Sprinkle heavily with garlic powder and lightly with salt. Place on broiling pan in oven for 3 min. Flip to opposite side and broil 3 more min. Flip again and liberally add shredded parmesan cheese (I buy the pre-shredded 4oz package for 1 eggplant, usually, but if it’s a big one, it takes anther half package). Broil another 1-2 min until cheese is golden. Broiling time may be slightly different for your oven, but the eggplant discs should start to look sort of bumpy as the heat dries them a bit. If you don’t eat them all as they are they make a great leftover casserole by layering them with mozzarella, bread crumbs or Panko, and spaghetti sauce, though when leftover they do tend to get mushy/slippery, if texture is a problem.

    My favorite easy veggie for thanksgiving is mushroom green beans-NOT the casserole. Serves 8. Saute 2 packages (about 20 oz) of pre cut mushrooms in butter with 7 cloves garlic (we’re very find of garlic in my house, so that may be over-kill for other families) until golden brown. Push to the side in pan, add more butter, and saute about one and a half pounds of fresh green beans, mixing in the mushrooms and garlic as you saute. Add salt to taste (we usually don’t put much). Add 1/4 cup slivered almonds in the last 2 minutes so they brown slightly, or toast them ahead of time in the oven and add at the end.

  79. Susan

    For a few years, my sister in law made an incredible dish featuring two ingredients baked together: canned corn and cream cheese. It’s like woah. Add salt and pepper, and it’s divine.

  80. Rebecca

    One bag frozen broccoli, One large can creamed corn, 1-2 eggs, 1 jar cheez whiz. Mix together and bake 375 ish for 30 ish minutes (ovens may vary; it’s better to overcook than undercook this one). It tastes WAY better than it sounds. My mom made this and my sisters and I always fought over the last bits. You can top with Parmesan too.

    My mother in law makes roasted rutabaga which is surprisingly delicious, but I don’t know the specifics.

  81. Kelsey

    This is similar to a recipe posted above, but it is super easy to make…

    Crunchy Broccoli Bake

    1 head fresh broccoli or 1 lb. frozen florets
    3 T. water
    3 T. butter
    20 butter flavor crackers
    1/4 t. salt
    1 cup grated cheddar cheese

    1. Preheat oven to 350. Wash broccoli and cut into bite-sized florets. Place into 1 1/2 quart micro-safe baking dish. Add water, microwave for about 8 min. until broccoli is tender but slightly firm. Drain. Rince and dry baking dish then butter w/ 1 T. butter. Arrange broccoli in single layer in dish.
    2. Put crackers in bag and crush.
    3. Sprinkle broccoli w/ salt and top w/ cheese. In small saute pan, melt remaining butter, then remove from heat. Add cracker crumbs & stir until coated. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over broccoli.
    4. Bake about 20 minutes until browned.

    I usually double this recipe when I make it for more than just the four of us and then I use a 9×13 dish.

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