6 easy side dishes anyone can make for Thanksgiving Day

Although the turkey will surely take center stage at your Thanksgiving table, a few unforgettable side dishes can't hurt.

These simple Thanksgiving sides won't take very much time or effort to pull together, but look (and taste) like a million bucks.

RELATED: The ultimate guide to a budget-friendly Thanksgiving dinner

This Thanksgiving Day, give your family a feast they won't forget by including a few of these easy-to-make dishes to accompany the big star.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Delish dishes up an easy-to-make cranberry sauce that turns out right every time.

Time required: 25 minutes

Serves 6-8


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, and place over low heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Pour in cranberries, and cook around 10 minutes until berries burst.
  3. Add in orange zest and a pinch of salt.
  4. Remove from heat, and allow mixture to cool completely.
  5. Refrigerate before serving.

French Green Beans with Garlicky Almond Breadcrumbs

Just because a dish looks fancy, doesn't mean it's complicated to make. Country Living raised the bar with this elegant and easy French green bean side.

Time required: 30 minutes

Serves 8-10


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup almonds, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pound haricots verts (French green beans)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat.
  2. Add in sourdough breadcrumbs and sliced almonds, stirring for 5 minutes.
  3. Add in minced garlic, and stir for 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat, and stir in chopped chives, salt and pepper.
  5. Steam French green beans, then toss in butter or olive oil, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Move green beans to a serving dish, then cover with seasoned, garlicky breadcrumbs.

Martha's Mini Cornbread Puddings

Martha always knows how to add flavor and simplicity to any Thanksgiving feast. Her Mini Cornbread Puddings will steal the show at this year's event.

Time required: 40 minutes

Serves 24


  • Butter for greasing 
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn kernels, thawed


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and butter muffin tin cups.
  2. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mixture, and whisk egg, sour cream and corn together inside the well.
  4. Continue mixing until just combined.
  5. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin tin cups, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Allow puddings to stand for 5 minutes in tin before removing them.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

This nutty, buttery sweet potato casserole recipe from Taste of Home truly symbolizes a Southern Christmas dinner.

Time required: 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves 12


  • 2 cans (40 ounces each) sweet potatoes, drained
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the topping:
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cold butter


    1. Mash canned sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl, then add in eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla and salt. Combine completely.
    2. Grease a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish, and pour in sweet potato mixture.
    3. Combine brown sugar, flour and pecans in a separate mixing bowl, and cut in butter with a pastry cutter until crumbs form.
    4. Sprinkle sugar mixture over sweet potato mixture, and bake for 60 to 70 minutes until an inserted knife comes out clean.

Giada's Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips and Brussels Sprouts

Giada De Laurentiis with Food Network created this delicious and hearty root vegetable recipe that will satisfy even the pickiest palate.

Time required: 1 hour

Serves 6


  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 pound red potatoes, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 3 medium parsnips, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease an 11-by-17 glass baking dish with olive oil.
    2. Place sliced and chopped vegetables into the dish, along with herbs, salt and pepper.
    3. Toss until evenly coated, drizzling with additional olive oil if needed. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Not only are these tasty wraps from Damn Delicious damn good, they're super easy to make and take only 15 minutes to prepare.

Time required: 15 minutes

Serves 4


  • 6 ounces prosciutto, sliced and halved horizontally
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


      1. Wrap a slice of prosciutto at an angle around an asparagus spear. Repeat to wrap all asparagus spears with prosciutto.
      2. Pour olive oil into a large skillet, and cook wrapped asparagus over medium high heat until asparagus is tender and prosciutto appears crispy.

Don't want to miss the big parade this year? Here are 5 things to know about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade before you head out.

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