Best New Thanksgiving Sides For An Award-Winning Meal

Plot twist! We all expect certain dishes on the Thanksgiving table — but it might be time to mix things up. In the spirit of keeping things interesting, we picked out some Thanksgiving side dishes that put a new spin on old favorites.

You’ve probably been to enough Thanksgiving dinners to know that all that glitters is not golden brown turkey — it’s the side dish co-stars that really shine and make the holiday meal’s storyline remarkable. Of course, there are recurring cast members that you don’t want to cut, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rewrite the script to advance your Thanksgiving story. With that in mind, we put together some side dish recipe options so you can create a choose-your-own-adventure Thanksgiving meal with a Hollywood ending.

Mashed Potatoes

Spinach Mashed Potatoes

Spinach Mashed Potatoes

Spinach Mashed Potatoes by Chef In Training
No dish is safe on the Thanksgiving table — not even the mashed potatoes. To avoid a civil war, they can’t be taken off the table, but they can be elevated with fresh green spinach. To thicken the plot, the greens marry harmoniously with Parmesan cheese to keep your guests coming back for more.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Mashed Potatoes by Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Garlic sneaks its way onto the Thanksgiving table one dish at a time… and where it starts taking over the plot is with the potatoes. Spoiler alert: These creamy mashed potatoes are killed off in the end.

chives, russet potatoes, nutritional yeast, black pepper, salt and 2 more
russet, reduced sodium chicken broth, butter, salt, black pepper and 2 more
cream cheese, chicken broth, garlic, yukon gold potatoes, butter and 7 more


Tomato Pancetta Cornbread Stuffing

Sundried Tomato Pancetta Cornbread Stuffing

Sundried Tomato Pancetta Cornbread Stuffing by Foodie Girl Chicago
Stuffing is the hero we all cheer for, but even the best heroes are entitled to subplots to give them deeper dimensions. With Tomato Pancetta Cornbread Stuffing, the sundried tomatoes join pancetta and cornbread to update the predictable tale with a new story — while still keeping a nostalgic nod to a Thanksgiving staple.

Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice Stuffing

Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice Stuffing

Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice Stuffing by Onion Rings and Things
Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice Stuffing is Thanksgiving’s antihero. It’s unexpected and, perhaps, your audience is skeptical. But when the pecan texture tangos with the earthy flavor of the wild rice while contrasting with the sweetness of the cranberries, the result is so devilishly divine it’s hard not to root for this holiday side.

parsley, chopped celery, chicken broth, applesauce, apples, coconut and 4 more
salt, chopped parsley, pepper, sage leaves, chicken broth, celery and 7 more
dried cranberries, celery, carrot, fresh rosemary, French bread and 6 more

Sweet Potatoes

Drunken Sweet Potatoes

Drunken Sweet Potatoes

Drunken Sweet Potatoes by CDKitchen
Every story needs a Hagrid — a loveable half-giant who’s had a few too many rough nights but is always entertaining. At Thanksgiving, that’s the role of this Drunken Sweet Potato casserole — a joyous addition to the table that doesn't take away from the main course. It’s predictable in its rich, sweet synthesis of brown sugar and sweet potatoes of Southern tradition, yet simultaneously unpredictable with each boozy bite.

Crispy Sweet Potato Roast

Crispy Sweet Potato Roast

Crispy Sweet Potato Roast by Smitten Kitchen
Some of the simplest subplots are the most complex. So it goes for Thanksgiving side dishes like this Crispy Sweet Potato Roast with the aesthetic charm of Hasselback potatoes. With just olive oil, butter, and shallots, these roasted sweet potatoes have subtle charisma.

candied pecans, firmly packed light brown sugar, large eggs, unsalted butter and 12 more
Marshmallow Fluff, cloves, whip cream, large eggs, granulated sugar and 9 more
cinnamon, pure maple syrup, cornstarch, ginger, non dairy butter and 6 more

Brussels Sprouts

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Cranberries And Apples

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Apples

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Apples by Sweet Somethings
Brussels sprouts are Thanksgiving’s natural antagonist — these roasted vegetables are revered by few and reviled by flocks more. But every villain has, at the very least, frenemies to support them — in this case, it’s the blithe bacon, amiable apples, and cordial cranberries. Together, they make Brussels sprouts palatable to even the most dubious diners without alienating their biggest fans.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Brussels Sprouts Gratin by Once Upon A Chef
Brussels sprouts get a surprise redemption when they’re bathed in a warm bath of cream to soften their texture and flavor. Topped with a mixture of breadcrumbs and Gruyere, They evolve into a beloved comfort food. It’s a supporting role worthy of an award when kids rate this dish a ‘G’ for 'good.'

salt, Brussels sprouts, olive oil, sweet chili sauce
salt, garlic, butter, pepper, brussel sprouts, maple syrup, bacon
salt, garlic, fresh thyme, cumin, pepper, sweet potato, garlic salt and 3 more

Green Beans

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole by Yummly
On the list of usual suspects: green bean casserole. With the addition of potatoes and cheese, guests may think they’ve lost track of the plot, but that’s just part of the buildup. When they get to the tender green beans under the crunch of fried onions, it will all come together just before dinner’s grand finale.

Carmelized Onion And Bacon Green Bean Casserole

Carmelized Onion and Bacon Green Bean Casserole

Carmelized Onion and Bacon Green Bean Casserole by Bubbly Nature Creations
Bacon is the ringer in this green bean casserole that will keep your audience wanting more. But this Carmelized Onion and Bacon Green Bean Casserole doubles down on rich ingredients for maximum flavor impact. The plot reveals the sweetness of carmelized onions united with bacon for a happily-ever-after ending on Thanksgiving Day.

pepper, green beans, bacon, onion, chicken stock, salt
blanched almond flour, shallot, salt, bacon, cream cheese, butter and 3 more
cream of mushroom soup, frozen green beans, pepper, soy sauce and 2 more


Apple and Spice Cranberry Sauce

Apple and Spice Cranberry Sauce Apple and Spice Cranberry Sauce by Yummly
This Cranberry Sauce adds color to the vintage table for a delightfully bold, slightly intense cinematic counterpoint to the rich savory dishes, to keep diners on the edge of their seats.

Cranberry Salad

Cranberry Salad

Cranberry Salad by Cooking Channel
Marshmallows wage war on the tart cranberry with this Cranberry Salad. The sweet fluff invades the astringent berries with a blast of sugar until it surrenders for a sweet victory.

water, pecan, brown sugar, bourbon, fresh cranberries, orange juice
water, orange zest, sugar, Grand Marnier, orange juice, fresh cranberries and 1 more
fresh cranberries, sea salt, ground ginger, pure maple syrup and 2 more

Hungry for more?

From butternut squash and roasted vegetables to creamed corn and macaroni and cheese, you can find scene-stealing side dishes to suit your taste.

cornbread, celery, turkey broth, salt, cream of chicken soup and 6 more
slices american cheese, black pepper, milk, dry mustard, elbow macaroni and 5 more
large eggs, baguettes, salt, onions, extra virgin olive oil, sweet italian sausage and 11 more
coconut oil, water, sage leaves, sea salt, eggs, celery, broth and 8 more
sweet potatoes, black pepper, dried rosemary, kosher salt, shallots and 2 more
hot sauce, pan drippings, xanthan gum, worcestershire sauce, heavy cream and 4 more
chili flakes, extra light olive oil, salt, fresh green beans and 1 more
freshly ground black pepper, Orange, olive oil, brussels sprouts and 4 more
water, ginger, orange juice, orange zest, fresh cranberries, sugar
sweet potato, olive oil, wild rice blend, cranberries, dried oregano and 5 more
milk, salt, chopped pecans, water, honey, apples, unsalted butter and 3 more
flour, black pepper, sweet potatoes, kosher salt, frozen peas and 4 more
all purpose flour, black pepper, olive oil, cremini mushrooms and 11 more
russet potatoes, salt, olive oil, salt, lemon zest, coarsely ground black pepper and 3 more
dried thyme, cooking apple, sodium reduced chicken broth, unsalted butter and 5 more
chopped celery, melted butter, breakfast sausage, brown sugar and 16 more
orange juice, salt, baby carrots, butter, grated orange zest and 1 more
rosemary, chicken stock, sage leaves, onion, celery stalks, thyme and 3 more