The turkey, of course, is the main event on Thanksgiving Day. But it’s the side dishes that give us a taste of home.
We all remember those Thanksgiving sides that are passed down from generation to generation, whether it’s grandma’s creamy mashed potatoes or the cornbread stuffing that we could pick out of a line-up as our family’s classic.
While we load up on turkey, we line up for seconds with our family and friends around the buffet of dinner rolls, gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes topped with a crust of marshmallow, and homemade cranberry sauce.
We offer these recipes to go alongside those time-honored favorites at your Thanksgiving table. Start with our Bacon Scalloped Potatoes, our Grilled Sausage Stuffing, and our Hasselback Sweet Potatoes, and we bet you’ll be serving these unique Thanksgiving sides up as your newest traditions.
We even found a way to punch up Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower to add depth to your bench of vegetable sides for Thanksgiving.
These recipes for our best Thanksgiving sides are easy enough for the first-time host, pack big flavor, and are sure to please even the pickiest eater at the table. Several can even be made ahead of the big day—or, at least, can be prepped until it’s time to slide them into the oven—so you can spend more time enjoying time with family and less time in the kitchen.
Best Thanksgiving Sides
Scratch Dinner Rolls
What it is: This dinner roll recipe, which features just a few ingredients and a dab of time to rise, is the perfect side to a main dish like roasted chicken or smoked turkey, with fluffy, sweet centers and buttered tops.
Why we love it: The easiest way to get the family to dinner? A tray of these dinner rolls. They smell divine. Make the dough a day or two before and refrigerate until it’s almost time to serve Thanksgiving dinner.
FULL RECIPE: Scratch Dinner Rolls
Grilled Sausage Stuffing
What it is: A full grill is a happy grill, especially during the holidays. Make room on your grates for this Thanksgiving sausage stuffing, packed with all your favorite and traditional flavors, with one serious upgrade: a kiss of smoke.
Why we love it: We like to use mild Italian sausage for an extra kick of spice and depth. Serve up this stuffing in the cast-iron cookware you use for the grill and you might just have the best Thanksgiving stuffing recipe to ever hit your table.
FULL RECIPE: Grilled Sausage Stuffing
Cast Iron Buttermilk Cornbread with Spicy Honey
What it is: This cornbread recipe sizzles in pre-heated cast iron for a show-stopping, soul-satisfying side dish.
Why we love it: Crust and crumb are sweetened with a hearty drizzle of honey mixed with a kick of our High Plains Heat Championship Seasoning. Add plenty of butter while the cornbread is still piping hot.
FULL RECIPE: Cast Iron Buttermilk Cornbread with Spicy Honey
Unique Thanksgiving Sides
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Herb Drizzle and Candied Bacon
What it is: Sweet potatoes are a wonder of the food world. Add sugar and marshmallows and you have pie and casserole. Add candied bacon and herb butter and you have the makings of these sweet-and-salty hasselback sweet potatoes, sure to earn top marks amongst your favorite savory sweet potato recipes.
Why we love it: Be sure to start with a cold oven when baking the candied bacon—this helps the bacon cook evenly and to the perfect amount of crisp—and don’t forget to brush the potatoes twice with the herbed butter. A crispy skin is the unforgettable payoff.
BBQ Bacon Scalloped Potatoes
What it is: Thin slices of potato are layered with a rich sauce, cheese, and bacon in this twist on simple scalloped potatoes. We wouldn’t nudge your favorite mashed potatoes with gravy off the table, but we’d bet you’re going to want these there, too.
Why we love it: Before serving, slice the scalloped potatoes in half down the length of the casserole and then in strips crossways. Now everybody gets a serving of creamy scalloped potatoes with a golden top and a crusty edge.
FULL RECIPE: BBQ Bacon Scalloped Potatoes
Cheesy BBQ Bacon Cauliflower
What it is: Sure, bacon plays big in this recipe, but it’s the creamy, smoky flavor of grilled cauliflower that takes center stage here.
Why we love it: Loaded with toppings, this side is satisfying like a big baked potato. And that cheese pull? You’ll want to ‘gram it.
FULL RECIPE: Cheesy BBQ Bacon Cauliflower
Classic Cheddar Hominy Grits
What it is: These aren’t your grandma’s grits. Big on flavor and bite, each spoonful adds cheesy chew to what’s for dinner.
Why we love it: Grits are affordable, easy to flavor, quick to cook, and can feed a crowd. If you end up with leftovers, heat in a saucepan the next morning with a little milk, some fried bacon, and a few sunny eggs—seasoned with Head Country Championship Seasoning, of course. It’s a breakfast of Champions (literally).
FULL RECIPE: Classic Cheddar Hominy Grits
Vegetable Sides for Thanksgiving
BBQ Glazed Smoked Brussels Sprouts
What it is: These smoked Brussels add zest to your line-up of side dishes. They’re sweet, they’re savory, and that first glazed bite will bring everyone back for seconds.
Why we love it: Crispy, smoky leaves with centers that border on creamy. Each mouthful is a morsel. Plus, these sprouts add a lush green to a sea of sides that all too easily can verge on beige and brown at the Thanksgiving meal.
FULL RECIPE: BBQ Glazed Smoked Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Cauliflower “Mac” & Cheese
What it is: This creamy, savory, veggie side dish hits all those mac-and-cheese buttons.
Why we love it: Pairs well with all your traditional favorites while kicking carbs to the curb. Drizzle with our gluten-free BBQ sauce (all of our flavors are free of glutens) for an extra kick. Plus, it’s ready in about 20 minutes.
FULL RECIPE: Roasted Cauliflower “Mac” & Cheese
Skillet Sweet Potatoes
What it is: These aren’t Aunt Edna’s Thanksgiving vegetables. We love these sweet potatoes as a different, savory option as a must-have side to smoked, roasted, or fried turkey.
Why we love it: Cooking these bite-sized chunks of sweet potato in a big, heavy cast iron skillet allows them to caramelize, serving up a delicious crust that’s the perfect mix of sweet and savory.
FULL RECIPE: Skillet Sweet Potatoes