thanksgiving stuffing and turkey

7 Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Last Updated on February 27, 2024

We know most people have a tried and true Thanksgiving regimen: You do the turkey in a particular way, and the accompaniments never change. Green bean casserole, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes — everyone expects the same sides, year after year.

There’s nothing wrong with the classics, of course. But if you’re looking for something just a little different, we have just the dishes.

These sides maintain the traditional flavors everyone loves, but with a few twists to make them feel new. Try introducing one or two, or shake up the meal with more.

1. Sausage and Apple Stuffing

breakfast sausage and apple stuffing

Stuffing is a must, and this sausage and apple stuffing is a delicious take on the classic. The crispy-edged dish gets its distinct flavor profile from a combination of fennel, sage, and thyme, as well as a blend of smoked paprika, apple cider, and chicken stock. Celery and onions add crunch, while mushrooms lend an umami element.

2. Bacon, Gruyère, and Potato Casserole

potato, bacon, and gruyere casserole

This bacon, gruyère, and potato casserole is the very definition of hearty, including five pounds of russet potatoes and a whole package of bacon, plus cream, a touch of nutmeg, and more. Bonus: It’s gluten-free.

3. Bacon Sautéed Green Beansbacon green beans

No one will miss the casserole when you come to the table with these bacon-sauteed green beans. Plus, it couldn’t be simpler: Cook the bacon, then saute blanched green beans in the rendered bacon fat. Top the beans with the bacon and serve.

4. Sweet Italian Sausage Succotash

italian sausage succotash

This sweet Italian sausage succotash is nutrient-rich and packed with colorful, vibrant roasted vegetables, such as delicata squash, fresh corn, and edamame. While it makes for an attractive addition to your table, it’s also rich in protein, thanks to ground sweet Italian sausage and edamame.

5. Gluten-Free Skillet Cornbread with Breakfast Sausage


Cornbread makes for a perfect comfort food addition to your holiday spread, and this gluten-free skillet cornbread with breakfast sausage really brings the flavor. Though it incorporates breakfast sausage, it totally works for dinner; the touch of sage is very autumnal, and the whole dish is sweet-savory perfection. Just before serving, top it with a bit of butter and drizzle with a little maple syrup or honey.

6. Gluten-Free Beefy Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Mac ‘n’ cheese is always a good idea, and this gluten-free beefy mac ‘n’ cheese is the perfect Southern-inspired side dish for your Thanksgiving spread. Ground beef and a Swiss cheese-based sauce give it that something special. As fancy as it seems, this recipe actually requires minimal ingredients and time, letting you enjoy your guests more.

7. Sausage and Roasted Chestnut Stuffing

italian sausage stuffing

Here’s another stuffing option, this time featuring Italian sausage and holiday favorite roasted chestnuts. Plenty of fresh herbs and a touch of white wine give this one a glow-up.

Courtney Hamilton is a writer and editor with over seven years' experience in journalism, blogging, communications, and other media. She has written for publications like PaleoHacks, PaleoPlan, The Center for American Progress, OC Weekly, and more. 
Check out more of her work at

Emilie Abijanac is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute with over 20 years of catering experience in Boston. Emilie was the Sous Chef for East Meets West Catering and has worked with Kate’s Table and La Fête. Emilie was also the culinary director of ButcherBox.