thanksgiving stuffing and turkey

7 Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Last Updated on November 6, 2020

We know most people have a tried and true Thanksgiving regimen: Turkey preparation is routine, and the accompaniments never change. Green bean casserole, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes are on the holiday menu, year after year.

There’s nothing wrong with the classics, but if you’re looking for something just a little different, may we offer our humble Thanksgiving side dishes suggestions?

You likely haven’t thought to include a vibrant, autumnal sweet Italian sausage succotash to your Thanksgiving spread, but we promise it’s a great decision. If you’re leaning to a more indulgent meal, we’ve still got you covered. Bacon and gruyere kugel provides the perfect creamy, carb-y counter to turkey, while gluten-free beefy mac n’ cheese ensures even those with a gluten intolerance can fill up on a decadent, Southern-inspired dish.

Regardless of which side dishes you opt to include on your table, we promise you won’t regret it.

1. Sausage and Apple Stuffing

breakfast sausage and apple stuffing

You can’t have Thanksgiving without a sweet and savory stuffing on your table — well, you shouldn’t, at least. This sausage and apple stuffing is a delicious take on the classic Thanksgiving side dish, tossing cubes of crusty brown bread with Gala apples and ground breakfast sausage or ground Italian sausage.

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 add 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, using up five whole pounds of russet potatoes for this “pudding” casserole.

This creamy and savory dish is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish, combining potatoes, salty and crisp bacon, as well as melty Gruyere cheese. It’s spicy and warm thanks to the addition of nutmeg. Bonus: It’s gluten-free.

3. Bacon Sautéed Green Beansbacon green beans

Get a very different reaction from your Thanksgiving crowd this year when you deliver the green beans to the table.

Not that we have any issues with green beans in general, but we think the addition of smoky bacon in this bacon sautéed green beans recipe makes this a side dish people will eagerly scoop onto their plate.

4. Sweet Italian Sausage Succotash

italian sausage succotash

Don’t forget the veggies on your Thanksgiving table! This sweet Italian sausage succotash is nutrient-rich and packed with colorful, vibrant roasted vegetables like delicata squash, fresh corn, and edamame.

While it makes for a richly-colored addition to your table, it’s also a nutritious counterpoint to hearty casseroles and the massive amount of carbs that always appear in the form of dinner rolls and creamy mashed potatoes. Don’t worry, this great Thanksgiving recipe has some protein for satiety’s sake, in the form of ground sweet Italian sausage. The addition of edamame in place of lima beans also adds extra protein.

5. Gluten-Free Skillet Cornbread with Breakfast Sausage

Cornbread makes for a perfect comfort food addition to any festive dinner spread, and this gluten-free skillet cornbread with breakfast sausage really ups the ante with the addition of sage-flavored ground breakfast sausage.


You might associate breakfast sausage with, well, breakfast, but we promise it won’t let you down here. The herbaceous touch of sage is very autumnal, and your guests won’t question this skillet cornbread’s place on the Thanksgiving table once they get a bite of its crumbly, sweet and savory self.

Once this unique Thanksgiving side dish turns golden-brown in your cast iron skillet, top with a bit of butter and drizzle with some maple syrup or honey.

6. Gluten-Free Beefy Mac n’ Cheese

Mac n’ cheese is a welcome addition to any family dinner, and this gluten-free beefy mac n’ cheese is the perfect Southern-inspired side dish recipe for your Thanksgiving spread. Rich and creamy on its own, this mac n’ cheese really benefits from the addition of juicy ground beef.

Swiss cheese serves as the melty cheese sauce base in this comfort food recipe and requires little more than onion, a gluten-free roux, and salt and pepper to shine.

This recipe has the benefit of coming together with minimal ingredients and time, letting you enjoy your guests more. It’s also gluten-free, which is awesome for anyone with a gluten intolerance. They can still indulge without feeling left out!

7. Sausage and Roasted Chestnut Stuffing

Here is another meaty take on your standard turkey stuffing.

Our Italian sausage and chestnut stuffing is the perfect dish to warm up with on a late November afternoon accompanied by some delicious turkey. Yes, you read that right, this dish can go toe-to-toe with turkey as a stick-to-your-ribs, hearty offering for the holidays—don’t be afraid to whip this out for the December holidays too!

italian sausage stuffing

Nobody will complain to see this side dish on a festive Thanksgiving Day spread.

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.