15 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Sides Anyone Can Pull Off


Procrastinated on the Thanksgiving plan too long? Not interested in spending all day in the kitchen? These side dishes are easy and straightforward, and they will taste great on the Thanksgiving table, too.

There are plenty of reasons to be heading into Thursday’s meal without a clear plan. Maybe you are a procrastinator by nature, perhaps you are only hosting reluctantly after you drew the short straw, the kitchen may not be a place you frequent, you might be pulling off an impromptu Friendsgiving and now need to fill the table with food, or you have a few empty spaces in your carefully laid plan. Whatever the reason, if you have turkey and pie, we have all the sides covered.

I love the plethora of sides at Thanksgiving more than any other part of the meal. From salads to carbs and back again, here are a few table additions that won’t take up all your time or leave you feeling frazzled. They are simple and uncomplicated to pull off, but they still shine on the table. 

  1. Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes Recipe
    • Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes Photo
    • Keep your hands and stovetop free with these slow cooker style mashed potatoes.
  2. Apple Rose Tart Recipe
    • Apple Rose Tart Photo
    • Get the most bang for your dessert buck with this apple tart. Thinly sliced apples do all the heavy lifting here, and everyone will ooh and ahh at your handiwork.
  3. Maple Tahini Grilled Sweet Potatoes Recipe
    • Maple Tahini Grilled Sweet Potatoes Photo
    • These grilled sweet potatoes cook up in minutes with a spiced maple glaze and a creamy tahini dip alongside.
  4. Quick Easy Red Cabbage Salad Recipe
    • Quick Easy Red Cabbage Salad Photo
    • Don’t forget something crunchy and fresh on your Thanksgiving table. This vibrant red cabbage salad provides plenty of crunch in minutes.
  5. Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad Recipe
    • Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad Photo
    • Pro tip: Purchase pre-cooked squash in the freezer section or steam before roasting to reduce time in the oven. You can also roast the day before and store in the refrigerator until it’s time to toss the salad ingredients.
  6. Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots Recipe
    • Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots Photo
    • Glazing anything in bourbon and maple syrup is a sure way to get glowing reviews from dinner guests.
  7. 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Soup Recipe
    • 3 Ingredient Pumpkin Soup Photo
    • This bright soup will look festive as a first course, and it only uses 3 ingredients and one pot.
  8. Roasted Acorn Squash with Cranberry Sauce Recipe
    • Roasted Acorn Squash with Cranberry Sauce Photo
    • It doesn’t get much easier than slicing up a squash, drizzling it with cranberry sauce, and tossing it in the oven to bake.
  9. Mashed Carrots and Turnips Recipe
    • Mashed Carrots and Turnips Image
    • Forget the potatoes. Liven things up with this colorful combination of carrots and turnips.
  10. Parmesan Smashed Potatoes Recipe
    • Parmesan Smashed Potatoes Photo
    • Skip mashing potatoes altogether and give them a sprinkle of cheese and one good swack for these smashed potatoes.
  11. Green Bean Bundles Recipe
    • Green Bean Bundles Photo
    • A quick phyllo dough blanket and a sprinkle or two of parmesan make that whole green bean business a wrap.
  12. Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe
    • Ginger Carrot Soup Photo
    • If the pumpkin soup didn’t entice you, perhaps this carrot ginger bowl will do the trick.
  13. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta Recipe
    • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta Photo
    • Roasted Brussels sprouts take almost no time at all, and the salty pancetta bits will bring all sorts of magic to the table.
  14. Cauliflower Steaks Recipe
    • Cauliflower Steaks Photo
    • Thick-cut cauliflower makes an impressive vegetable side without a lot of hassle.
  15. Bourbon Sour with Lemon & Rosemary Recipe
    • Bourbon Sour with Lemon & Rosemary Photo
    • Still hesitant? Start by serving your guests a cocktail or two. Cheers!

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