When it comes to holiday dinners, the main attraction is often turkey.
But what do you serve with that star of the show?
There are so many options out there that even the most confident home cook can find themselves scratching their head trying to figure out a delicious menu.
Not to worry! We’re here to help.
In this blog post, we’ll share twelve must-try side dishes that will perfectly accompany your roasted or fried bird and create an unforgettable meal for your friends and family.
So grab your spatula, take a deep breath, and let’s get cooking!
What to Serve with Turkey? 12 Must-try Side Dishes
1. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Pecorino
These roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta and Pecorino are the perfect side dish to your Thanksgiving turkey.
They are packed with flavor and have a great texture.
The Brussels sprouts are roasted to perfection, and the pancetta and Pecorino add a nice salty kick.
To elevate this dish, I would recommend adding some chopped-up bacon or even some crumbled-up sausage.
This will give the dish an extra bit of flavor and make it even more hearty.
You could also top it with a fried egg for an extra bit of protein.
2. Cranberry-Orange Relish
This dish is the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
The cranberries provide a burst of flavor that is perfectly complemented by the oranges.
The relish can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you are ready to serve it.
The taste and texture of this dish are what make it so special.
The cranberries are slightly chewy, while the oranges are soft and juicy.
The sweetness of the oranges helps to offset the tartness of the cranberries.
There are a few things you can do to elevate this dish.
One option is to add a bit of fresh thyme or rosemary.
This will give the relish a more complex flavor.
Another option is to top it with crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese.
This will add a creaminess that takes the dish to another level.
3. Garlicky Green Beans
You know that green beans are good for you.
But sometimes, getting your kids to eat their veggies can be a challenge.
Luckily, these garlicky green beans are so tasty even the pickiest of eaters will clean their plates.
The beans are cooked until they’re tender but still have a bit of crunch, and the garlic gives them a delicious flavor without being overpowering.
You can also add other seasonings to taste, such as salt, pepper, or lemon juice.
For a heartier dish, try adding some crumbled bacon or diced ham.
Serve these garlicky green beans alongside your favorite protein for a complete meal.
4. Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
There’s nothing quite like a big bowl of mashed potatoes with gravy.
This dish is comforting food at its finest, and it’s perfect for any occasion – whether you’re hosting a holiday dinner or just want a hearty meal to warm you up on a cold winter night.
Mashed potatoes with gravy are creamy, rich, and absolutely delicious.
The best way to enjoy this dish is to savor every bite, letting the flavors melt in your mouth as you savor the creamy texture.
This dish is also quite filling, so it’s perfect for those times when you’re extra hungry.
If you want to elevate your mashed potato game, there are a few things you can do.
First, try using Yukon gold potatoes – they have a naturally buttery flavor that makes them perfect for mashed potatoes.
You can also add some creaminess by using milk or cream instead of water to cook your potatoes.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your toppings.
Adding shredded cheese, green onions, or even bacon bits can take your mashed potatoes from good to great.
5. Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble
This dish is a must-try for anyone looking for the perfect side to accompany their turkey this Thanksgiving.
The sweet potato casserole with pecan crumble is not only delicious but also elevates the classic dish with its unique flavor and texture.
The sweetness of the potatoes pairs perfectly with the savory spices in the crumble, making for a dish that is both sweet and savory.
The dish is also packed with nutrients, making it a healthier option than some of the other side dishes typically served on Thanksgiving.
To make this dish even more delicious, try adding a bit of brown sugar or maple syrup to the potatoes before topping them with the pecan crumble.
You can also experiment with different types of nuts in the crumble, such as walnuts or almonds.
For an extra special touch, top the casserole with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream before serving.
6. Stuffing with Sausage and Apple
This stuffing is a great way to elevate your Thanksgiving turkey.
The addition of sausage and apples give the stuffing a delicious flavor and the perfect texture.
The taste of this stuffing is out of this world.
The sausage and apples complement each other perfectly, and the herbs give the stuffing a beautiful flavor.
The texture of this stuffing is also spot on. It’s nice and moist but not too wet.
- Use high-quality sausage for the best flavor.
- If you want a little bit more sweetness in your stuffing, add an extra apple or two.
- Be sure to chop the apples into small pieces, so they cook evenly.
- For a beautiful presentation, top the stuffing with chopped fresh parsley before serving.
7. Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin pie is one of the most classic Thanksgiving desserts.
The taste is rich and sweet, with a hint of spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg.
The texture is creamy and smooth, with a flaky crust.
There are a few ways to elevate your pumpkin pie.
One is to add a layer of whipped cream on top.
Another is to use a different type of milk in the filling, such as almond milk or coconut milk.
You can also add some chocolate chips to the filling for a little bit of extra sweetness.
Finally, if you want a really unique twist on pumpkin pie, try making it with a graham cracker crust instead of a traditional pastry crust.
8. Pecan Pie
Pecan pie is a holiday classic for a reason – it’s delicious.
This rich, sweet pie is packed with flavor and has a lovely texture.
The key to a great pecan pie is using fresh, quality ingredients.
That way, you’ll really be able to taste the difference.
There are a few tips that can help you take your pecan pie to the next level.
First of all, make sure to use fresh pecans.
They should be plump and have a deep brown color.
Avoid using pre-chopped nuts, as they tend to be dry and not as flavorful.
It’s also important to cook the filling until it’s just set – you don’t want it to be too runny or too firm.
And finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors.
A little bourbon or vanilla extract can really elevate the dish and make it even more special.
9. Apple Crisp
Apple crisp is a classic fall dish that can be enjoyed any time of year.
This dish is simple to make and can be easily elevated with a few additional ingredients.
The taste of apple crisp is sweet and tart, with a crunchy topping.
The texture is soft and fluffy, with a bit of bite from the apples.
To elevate this dish, add a bit of cinnamon to the apple mixture before adding the topping.
You can also add a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream on top for an extra special touch, top with a caramel drizzle.
10. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Vanilla bean ice cream is a classic for a reason – its rich, creamy taste and smooth texture are hard to beat.
But there are a few things you can do to take this dessert to the next level.
First, make sure you’re using good-quality vanilla beans.
You want them to be plump and moist, not dry and crumbly.
Second, scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them to the ice cream base – this will give the ice cream an even more intense vanilla flavor.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with other flavors that pair well with vanilla, like chocolate, caramel, or even coffee.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to make vanilla bean ice cream that’s even better than what you’d get at your favorite ice cream shop.
11. Chocolate Sauce
Chocolate sauce is one of those versatile ingredients that can be used in so many different ways.
It can be used as a topping for ice cream, a filling for cakes or cupcakes, or even just a simple dip for fruit.
The great thing about the chocolate sauce is that it’s relatively easy to make at home and can be tailored to your own personal taste.
When it comes to taste, the chocolate sauce can range from being very sweet to only mildly sweet.
The level of sweetness will depend on the type of chocolate you use and how much sugar you add to the recipe.
If you want a rich, intense chocolate flavor, then use dark chocolate.
For a more mellow flavor, use milk chocolate.
And if you want something in between, use semi-sweet chocolate.
As for texture, the chocolate sauce can be either thick or thin.
Again, this will depend on the type of chocolate you use and how much liquid you add to the recipe.
If you want a thick, glossy sauce, then use a higher percentage of cocoa chocolate and less liquid.
For a thinner sauce, use a lower percentage of cocoa chocolate and more liquid.
- Add a splash of liqueur for an adult version.
- Stir in some peanut butter or other nut butter for a creamy twist.
- Mix in diced fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries.
12. Coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream
Looking for a unique way to enjoy your coffee this holiday season? Why not try adding a splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream? This creamy liqueur is the perfect addition to your morning cup of joe.
Not only will it give your coffee a boost of flavor, but it will also make it extra smooth and creamy.
If you’re not a fan of Bailey’s, you can also try adding other flavors like vanilla extract or cinnamon.
Whatever you choose, be sure to add it sparingly so that you don’t end up with a bitter cup of coffee.
When it comes to enjoying your coffee with Bailey’s, the sky’s the limit.
Get creative and experiment with different flavors to find what you like best.
You can also use this opportunity to elevate your coffee by making homemade whipped cream or using flavored syrups.
In conclusion, I have provided you with 12 must-try side dishes that will be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving turkey feast.
With a variety of tastes, textures, and flavors, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
I hope you have found this blog post helpful in deciding what side dishes to make for your Thanksgiving celebration.
Let us know in the comments what side dishes you are making this year.
What to Serve with Turkey? 12 Must-try Side Dishes
- 1. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Pecorino
- 2. Cranberry-Orange Relish
- 3. Garlicky Green Beans
- 4. Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
- 5. Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble
- 6. Stuffing with Sausage and Apple
- 7. Pumpkin Pie
- 8. Pecan Pie
- 9. Apple Crisp
- 10. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- 11. Chocolate Sauce
- 12. Coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream
- Select your favorite sides from the list above.
- Prepare the side dish according to the recipe instructions.
- If you’re short on time, some of these can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!