These turkey side dishes and desserts are all easy to make and perfect to go with the main dish. Whether you’re planning a Thanksgiving menu or meals for special occasions, pick a side dish or two or more from this list.
Of course, you’ll start with a turkey. Or for a smaller crowd, you can cook this turkey breast in your slow cooker. It’s a great way to free up oven space and not have to worry about wrestling with a large turkey if you don’t have to.
Another things you can do is cook a turkey tenderloin, either in your oven or in your slow cooker. It’s also a great option for a couple or small family.
If you’re making a whole turkey, check out this roasted turkey from Tastes Better from Scratch. It’s an easy way to deliver a flavorful Thanksgiving turkey that is sure to get lots of compliments.
All of the following turkey side dishes and desserts go with any style of turkey you choose to cook.
What to Serve with Turkey
Keep things simple in the kitchen this holiday season. Pick any of the recipes below from among classic side dishes and some different side dishes you might not have considered.
I like to fill the holiday table with a big variety of turkey side dishes and desserts so family and friends will be happy. If you have plenty of traditional foods and different side dishes, there is something for everyone.
Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes:
1. Potato Salad
This is my mother’s potato salad recipe that was absolute perfection. My husband used to tell me that his mother made the best potato salad. So I had to taste it. And to my surprise, it was the exact same recipe my own mother used. It always disappeared very quickly!
Sweet potatoes are always a good option for a holiday dinner. In fact, they’re actually good for any traditional meal. This recipe is one of my healthy Thanksgiving sides because sweet potatoes are so good for you.
Even if you have canned cranberry sauce die-hards, offer this delicious homemade cranberry sauce as well. This is super easy to make and so delicious that it will wind up being everyone’s favorite. There’s a splash of orange juice that adds dimension to the flavor.
This savory stuffing is a southern staple at any holiday meal. You can make it the regular way or gluten free. And honestly, no one will know the difference if you use my recipe. This is definitely a dish you’ll want on your Thanksgiving table.
For those who love the traditional casserole with marshmallows on top, this recipe is perfect for all special occasions. And it’s the perfect accompaniment to your holiday dinner.
This butternut squash is absolutely delicious. I cook it in my air fryer, but you can do the same thing in your oven. I love the fact that it’s easy to make. If you’re looking for some different side dishes, add this one to the menu.
At this point in time, most people expect this popular dish on the holiday table. I’ve always liked it but felt that it needed something extra. So I kicked it up a notch by adding a colorful ingredient. You can make this with either canned or fresh green beans.
Here’s another way to prepare sweet potatoes. Sometimes I include them with a holiday meal. But if I don’t, I save some sweet potatoes from the dinner and make them the next day. They’re so delicious!
Take your rice dish to a new level of deliciousness by making this onion seasoned rice. It’s a great way to add even more flavor to this special meal.
This alternative to the classic green salad is a delightfully flavorful option on any holiday table. I love to sprinkle a little feta cheese over the top. It’s colorful, nutritious, and absolutely delicious!
11. Broccoli Slaw
If you’re looking for tasty sides with lots of crunch, this is one you want to include. The mix of flavors combined with the nutritional value makes this one a must-have.
12. Creamy Coleslaw
The mild flavor of this creamy coleslaw makes it a great side dish for any family meal or dinner party. You’ll be amazed by how well it goes with all of the rest of the holiday trimmings.
13. Black Beans
Black beans are always a delicious side dish option. Plus if there are any vegetarians or anyone who choses to forgo the meat, black beans provide the protein for the meal. This black bean side dish is easy to make and tastes great!
These roasted Brussels sprouts are absolutely delicious. You can cook them in the oven or shorten the time and roast them in your air fryer. I’ve also sautéed Brussels sprouts on the stovetop using the same ingredients.
There’s nothing better than increasing the flavor of a traditional dish with a yummy spice or seasoning. These flavorful garlic mashed potatoes will wind up being one of the best side dishes for your holiday meal. Smooth and creamy, the extra flavor will have everyone asking for seconds.
If you’re looking for the perfect side dish for almost any meal, make this loaded baked potato casserole. It has everything you’d want on a loaded baked potato, including sour cream and lots of other yummy ingredients. It’s surprisingly easy to make yet it delights the taste buds like nothing else can.
This is the easiest way in the world to make gravy, plus it’s gluten free. And what surprised me when I first started serving it was that no one knew the difference. So why not make gluten free gravy so everyone can enjoy some on their meat and potatoes?
18. Creamed Spinach
Here’s an easy side dish that will have everyone wanting to eat their vegetables. Don’t be surprised if people ask for your recipe.
Next time you’re at the store, pick up a bottle of balsamic vinegar. Then try this delicious balsamic glazed zucchini dish that packs a boatload of flavor.
Turkey pairs so well with these pineapple baked beans that you’ll want to have them every holiday. There’s something about the sweet and savory blend that will leave everyone’s taste buds singing.
Add color and flavor to your special meal with this wonderful dish! The best part about serving sautéed spinach and tomatoes is how easy it is to make with such a delicious payoff.
There’s something so comforting about the flavor of this classic dish. It’s super creamy, delicious, and easy to make.
23. Soft Dinner Rolls (from Back to My Southern Roots)
These delicious dinner rolls from Back to My Southern Roots are easy to make and quite impressive when guest learn that they’re homemade. And guests will want more than one, so you’ll want to make a bunch.
Extras to Make Thanksgiving Dinner Special
Some things aren’t necessary. But if they add joy and flavor to the meal, I highly recommend adding at least some of them.
Here are a few extras we enjoy:
24. Homemade Butter
Impress your guest by making a batch of homemade butter. I’ve made homemade butter using a variety of methods. I think this recipe is the best way to do it because it’s quick and easy. Basically, all you need are heavy cream and salt (optional).
25. Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are a traditional dish that most southerners expect at any dinner party. This is from my mother’s recipe—one that everyone in the family seemed to love.
I make these in my slow cooker, but you can make them on the stovetop if you prefer. Serve these yummy marinated mushrooms in a variety of ways. You can place toothpicks in them for appetizers. Or you can top slices of toasted bread.
27. Roasted Tomatoes
Place a platter of roasted tomatoes on the table to add color and flavor options to the Thanksgiving feast. You and your guest can enjoy them alone or add them to a slice of crusty bread. Yum!
28. Chow Chow Relish (from Julia’s Simply Southern)
There were so many reasons I enjoyed visiting my grandparents when I was younger. One of them was digging into the chow chow that they always had on the table. Julia’s chow chow brings back those memories that are oh-so delicious! It’s good when served alongside turkey, ham, and almost any vegetable.
29. Cloud Bread
This light and fluffy bread like food is absolutely amazing. It’s another gluten free option that guests will appreciate. I like it with butter or even a mixture of butter and maple syrup. Yum!
This wonderful cornbread is exactly how my great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother used to make it. I like it with some of my homemade butter. It’s also good the next day, crumbled into a glass of either regular or buttermilk.
I like to slice some pineapple and cook it in the air fryer for a few minutes. You’ll love the caramelization that happens, making it even sweeter and bringing out so much wonderful flavor.
32. Blueberry Sauce
Blueberry sauce is so good when served over everything from dinner rolls to pound cake or ice cream. Make it with either fresh or frozen blueberries. You can drizzle this sauce over some of the turkey side dishes and desserts in this post.
33. Roasted Pecans
If you like the rich flavors of fall, make these roasted pecans. I like to have little bowls of roasted pecans stationed around the areas where people congregate. It gives everyone something to munch on.
Best Holiday Desserts
No holiday dinner is complete without dessert. Here are some scrumptious desserts that will make all of your guests feel extra special!
34. Pumpkin Bars
Impressively delicious, these pumpkin bars are simple to make. Be prepared to hand out the recipe to everyone who tastes them.
35. Fudgy Pecan Pie (from Out of the Box Baking)
Regular pecan pie is delicious. This fudgy pecan pie from Out of the Box Baking is absolutely out of this world. Try it, and you’ll probably never go back.
This yummy pineapple pie is so easy to make. With just the right amount of cream cheese and pineapple, t’s a delicate balance of creamy, tart, and sweet, making it a crowd favorite.
37. Lemon Bars
If you like lemon, you’ll love these lemon bars. The only require 3 ingredients, and they’re super easy to make. And they’ll be a humongous hit with everyone who tries them.
Everyone can have their own little pumpkin pie when you make these delicious little treats. With a pecan crust, even people who follow a gluten-free diet can indulge.
Some folks call this an apple dump cake. I call it delicious. It’s easy to make, and you have the option to add a topping or leave it bare. It’s good no matter how you choose to serve it.
Here’s another amazing gluten-free option for the holiday table. It’s as rich and decadent as any chocolate dessert should be. I make personal cakes in cute little ramekins. But you can double or triple the recipe and make a regular sized cake.
41. Sweet Potato Pie (from Back to My Southern Roots)
When I was growing up, there was always a heated discussion about which was better, sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie. I’m a fan of both. They have a similar flavor, but there is enough of a difference to have a preference. I haven’t figured out which I like more, so I’ll have to keep tasting them until I decide.
Oreo cookie fans will love this pie. It’s so easy to make and absolutely delicious! You can make it with either regular or gluten-free Oreos.
The blend of sweet flavors in these cookie bars make them a family favorite. Each bite is better than the last, so you won’t ever get tired of them.
Here’s one for peanut butter lovers. These no bake peanut butter bars will send your senses into orbit! They are that good!
For those who enjoy desserts that require no utensils, these chocolate covered pecans are ideal. They are easy to make and super yummy!
Pumpkin lovers rejoice! These super easy pumpkin cookies only need 3 ingredients, and they are absolutely delicious! You can make them with either regular or gluten-free ingredients.
Pineapple is such an amazing fruit because it tastes wonderful! That’s why this pineapple dump cake is so popular when I take it to potlucks.
One thing I love about Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers, including the turkey, side dishes and desserts. Having plenty means that I don’t have to cook again for a couple of days.
If you have leftover turkey, wrap it tightly or place it in an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can also freeze it for a couple of months.
For the remainder of the dishes, I like to put them in individual bowls and cover them in plastic wrap. Place them in the refrigerator and scoop out servings as needed.
One thing I love to make with several of my favorite leftovers is this amazing turkey sandwich. The way I put it together, it’s the perfect balance of sweet and savory.
All of the above turkey side dishes and desserts are great as leftovers. Just make sure to cover and place them in the refrigerator as soon as you finish eating.