Cooking Guide

8 Tempting Side Dishes To Pair With Turkey This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the most important holidays in America.

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It’s a time when families come together, gather around a table, and eat turkey.

But what do you serve with turkey?

Well, that’s what we’re here to talk about!

What to consider when choosing a side dish for turkey?

If you are planning to cook a roast turkey, then consider how it will be served.

If it is a cut of turkey that typically comes with gravy (like breast or thigh), then serving your roast with homemade gravy is ideal.

However if you’re roasting a whole bird, there’s no need for gravy as the natural juices from the cooking process will be enough.

You may also want to consider what side dish goes well with your main course.

For instance, cranberry sauce pairs perfectly with roasted meats like ham or pork roast while stuffing works well with Thanksgiving dinner staples such as turkey and mashed potatoes (or sweet potatoes).

8 best side dishes to serve with turkey

Now, it’s time to delve into these eight side dish suggestions to accompany your turkey this Thanksgiving, or any other special occasions as well as casual meals:

Sweet potato casserole

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Sweet potatoes are a great source of nutrients, and they’re definitely one of the best things to serve with your Thanksgiving turkey.

This recipe is a sweet potato casserole that will have you feeling like you’re eating dessert for dinner.

It features a layer of sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows and brown sugar, making it perfect to serve as an alternative to traditional pumpkin pie dessert.

It’s also a great way to get in some extra servings of vegetables and fiber, which will help fill you up and keep your energy levels high throughout the day.

Green beans

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This is another great choice for a side dish.

Green beans can be served warm or cold, and with a sauce or dressing on top.

They pair well with turkey, but you can also serve them with other meats like chicken, pork, or beef.

You can make them in different ways, from steaming and sauteing to roasting—so you could even make this a year-round recipe!

For green beans that will really impress your guests, try cooking them in bacon fat.

Cook the green beans until they’re tender but not mushy (about 15 minutes), then remove from heat and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper as soon as they come out so it sticks better.

Want something different?

Try serving your green beans with lemon wedges instead of salt/pepper at the table—they’ll add some tartness that complements the rich flavors of turkey very well

Brussels sprouts and speck gratin

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Brussels sprouts and speck gratin is a dish of sautéed brussels sprouts, speck (a type of dry-cured ham), and a cream sauce.

It’s delicious!

You can serve this with just about anything you’re having for dinner.

It goes very well with turkey, as well as other meat dishes like pork chops or steak.

This recipe serves four to six people.

It’s comparable to other brussels sprout recipes we’ve tried in that it’s not too filling, but it still has some great flavor due to the speck and cheese combination!

Cranberry sauce

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Cranberries are in season from September to January, which makes them a great go-to for Thanksgiving.

These small berries are tart and full of flavor, so they make an excellent complement to other flavors on your plate.

Cranberry sauce is a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving meal, especially if you’re looking for an easy side dish.

This recipe uses fresh cranberries as well as orange juice and zest to give it extra flavor.

It’s sweet but tangy, which makes it a great pairing with turkey or pork roast.

Cranberries have many health benefits that make them a superfood.

Dinner rolls

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Dinner rolls are an essential part of any Thanksgiving dinner.

This recipe uses fresh yeast to make the dough rise and gives it a tender, flaky texture. Using butter instead of shortening keeps these rolls light and airy so you can enjoy them without feeling guilty.

These rolls are great for pairing with gravy or cranberry sauce.

Pecan pie

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Pecan pie is a classic holiday dessert.

It’s easy to make and nearly impossible to resist, with its warm, gooey filling of buttery pecans and cinnamon-spiked custard.

This recipe has a special twist: the crust is made of crushed gingersnaps, which gives it an extra-crunchy texture.

This pie can be made with or without a top crust (and you can even use chocolate chips instead of pecans).


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Cornbread is a staple of the Southern United States and goes great with turkey.

It’s quick, easy, and can be made in just a few minutes.

You can find cornbread at many grocery stores or order it online if you don’t have time to make it yourself.

Cornbread is rich in fiber, carbohydrates, and protein—which makes it a great accompaniment to any meal!

And since cornbread can be cooked quickly in an oven or on top of the stove, you won’t need to worry about spending too much time on it during your busy holiday season!

Couscous salad

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Couscous is a grain, but it’s not exactly like the other grains you’re used to eating.

Because of its small size, couscous can be cooked up quickly and easily; just add boiling water to the grain and let it sit for about five minutes.

Couscous is also high in fiber and protein, which makes it a great option for dinner if you’re looking to fill up without feeling weighed down afterward.

It’s an excellent source of nutrients that will keep your body running smoothly while enjoying holiday feasts!


The most important thing to remember when choosing sides for your Thanksgiving meal is that the side dish shouldn’t overshadow the turkey, but it also needs to be flavorful and delicious enough to stand alone.

If you have some extra time on your hands before the holiday meal, consider making some of these recipes so you can focus on other aspects of preparation.

We hope this post has given you some great ideas and inspiration!

So good luck and happy cooking!

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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