An image capturing a crowded Thanksgiving table adorned with a steaming casserole dish of creamy mashed potatoes, golden-brown green bean casserole, buttery cornbread, tangy cranberry sauce, and a heaping serving of savory stuffing

Are you wondering what the most popular Thanksgiving side dish is? Well, look no further! In this article, we’ll explore the top contenders for this coveted title.

From traditional favorites like mashed potatoes and green bean casserole to creative and unique dishes that will wow your guests, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, there’s something here for everyone. So, let’s dig in and find out which side dish reigns supreme on Thanksgiving Day!

Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes

If you’re looking for a classic Thanksgiving side dish, mashed potatoes are always a crowd favorite. Creamy and comforting, they complement the main turkey dish perfectly.

To make the perfect mashed potatoes, start by boiling the potatoes until they are soft and can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add butter, milk, salt, and pepper to taste, and mash them until smooth and creamy. For an extra touch of flavor, you can also add garlic, cheese, or herbs.

Serve them piping hot and watch as everyone reaches for seconds. Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple that will never disappoint.

Classic Side Dishes With a Twist

One popular twist on classic side dishes is to use alternative ingredients for a unique flavor. Instead of the usual mashed potatoes, try using cauliflower to create a creamy and low-carb alternative.

Simply steam the cauliflower until tender, then blend it with butter, garlic, and a splash of cream for a delicious and healthier option.

Another alternative is to swap out traditional stuffing for a quinoa and vegetable medley. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions, then sauté onions, celery, carrots, and your choice of herbs.

Mix the cooked quinoa with the vegetables and season with salt and pepper for a nutrient-packed and gluten-free stuffing alternative.

These creative twists will impress your guests and add a fresh spin to your Thanksgiving feast.

Creative and Unique Thanksgiving Sides

Try using alternative ingredients to put a unique spin on your classic Thanksgiving sides.

Instead of the usual mashed potatoes, why not try making a creamy cauliflower mash? Simply steam cauliflower florets until tender, then blend them with butter, garlic, and a splash of cream. The result is a lighter, healthier alternative that still has that comforting, creamy texture.

Another idea is to swap out traditional green bean casserole for a roasted Brussels sprouts and bacon dish. Roasting the Brussels sprouts brings out their natural sweetness, while the crispy bacon adds a savory touch.

You can also experiment with using different types of squash, like acorn or butternut, in your stuffing recipe. These alternative ingredients will add a unique twist to your Thanksgiving feast and impress your guests with unexpected flavors.

Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving Side Options

Looking for a delicious vegetarian or vegan option to serve alongside your Thanksgiving main course? Well, you’re in luck! There are plenty of mouthwatering options to choose from that will satisfy even the most discerning palate.

How about a roasted vegetable medley? Simply toss some seasonal veggies like carrots, Brussels sprouts, and butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast until they are tender and caramelized.

Another great choice is a wild rice and mushroom pilaf. Sautee some mushrooms with garlic and onions, then mix them with cooked wild rice and fresh herbs for a hearty and flavorful dish.

If you’re craving something creamy, why not make a vegan sweet potato casserole topped with a pecan streusel?

The possibilities are endless when it comes to vegetarian and vegan Thanksgiving sides, so get creative and enjoy!

Crowd-Pleasing Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll want to serve crowd-pleasing side dishes that will have everyone coming back for seconds. One surefire hit is the classic green bean casserole. With its creamy mushroom sauce and crunchy fried onions on top, it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Another favorite is creamy mashed potatoes. Whether you make them with butter or opt for a vegan version with olive oil, they’re always a hit.

And let’s not forget about the sweet and tangy cranberry sauce. It adds a burst of flavor to any plate.

For those looking for something a little different, try roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic glaze. The caramelization brings out their natural sweetness, and the tangy glaze adds a delicious twist.

With these crowd-pleasing side dishes, your Thanksgiving dinner is sure to be a hit.


So, now you know what the most popular Thanksgiving side dish is! Whether you prefer traditional classics like mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, or you like to add a twist with creative variations like bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts or truffle mac and cheese, there are plenty of options to please everyone at your Thanksgiving table.

And don’t forget about the vegetarian and vegan options, like roasted butternut squash or wild rice stuffing. No matter what you choose, these crowd-pleasing side dishes are sure to make your Thanksgiving feast a memorable one.


I'm Cooking Master, your culinary guide on Cooking Planet! With a passion for cooking and a deep appreciation for the diverse flavors and techniques scattered across the globe, this website is where I share my knowledge and experiences. From baking delectable treats to grilling mouthwatering dishes, I aim to inspire your cooking endeavors. Join me as we embark on a gastronomic expedition, exploring the realms of roasting, boiling, frying, and more. From Asian delicacies to European classics, African delights to American favorites, let's unlock the secrets of cooking around the world together. Discover the vast and appetizing world of Cooking Planet!