If you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year and wondering what to serve with turkey this holiday season, I have all of your menu needs here! Plan a simple to extravagant meal for family and friends with all of my tasty dishes that are absolutely perfect for serving with a Thanksgiving turkey!
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and it’s time to pull out all of the stops for the traditional meal. But whether you roast, fry, smoke, or bake a turkey, you’ll likely want an assortment of side dishes. And maybe an appetizer or dessert. That’s where I come in!
I’ve compiled a list of some of the best side dishes to serve with turkey either for the holidays or just a really great “anytime” meal. Some are quick and easy. Others require more of an investment before enjoying.
- 1. Candied Yams
- 2. Creamy Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 3. Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
- 4. Roasted Green Beans
- 5. Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- 6. Microwave Carrots
- 7. Green Bean Casserole With Bacon
- 8. Cheesy Baked Cauliflower
- 9. Jiffy Corn Casserole
- 10. Oatmeal Dinner Rolls
- 11. Turkey Gravy
- 12. Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce
- 13. Deviled Eggs
- 14. Charcuterie Board
- 15. Pinwheel Sandwiches
- 16. Pumpkin Pie
- 17. Sweet Potato Tart
- 18. Pecan Tartlets
- 🦃 More Great Thanksgiving Sides
- 📖 Recipe Card
- What To Serve With Turkey: Thanksgiving Roasted Turkey (+All The Best Turkey Side Dishes!)
- Ingredients US CustomaryMetric
- 💬 Reviews
Whether you're a pro at hosting Thanksgiving dinner and holiday parties or giving it a try for the first time this year, you're sure to find my ultimate guide to planning Thanksgiving a help! Don't forget to safely thaw your holiday turkey early, too!
Whether you’re celebrating or just plain feasting, try out some of the outstanding recipes below for a meal you won’t forget!
1. Candied Yams
Candied yams are a holiday classic but can be served all through the year! Why limit yourself? They have all the trappings of a dessert but are socially acceptable to serve with the main meal.
After all, sweet and savory is a delicious combination. Turkey with a side of butter and brown-sugar potatoes with marshmallows on top? I’ll never say no to that!
2. Creamy Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes of any kind are fantastic with turkey, and the creamy garlic variety is my second recommendation. The trick to rich, melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes is cream cheese and heavy cream.
These ingredients create a smooth, unbeatable texture. And roasted garlic adds a special twist that your dinner guests won’t soon forget. Plus, if you make gravy for your turkey, you can use it for this–and the next side on this list–too!
3. Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
I absolutely love the flavor of garlic, so I had to mention garlic red skin mashed potatoes. These, however, are a bit heavier on the cream cheese with reduced roasted garlic for those looking for something a little more subtle.
With the addition of more heavy cream, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a creamier mashed potato recipe. Personally, I like to layer my potatoes on top of a slice of turkey and eat it all at the same time. Yum!
4. Roasted Green Beans
Green beans are versatile, but they taste especially great with a holiday turkey. Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without them. With this recipe, you can put a twist on the traditional by roasting your veggies with lemon-garlic butter and pepper.
The citrus is a refreshing element that cuts through the richness of the butter for a more balanced taste. Lemon is complementary to almost anything you put it on and adds a light tang. The oven is going to be on for the bird anyway, so take advantage!
5. Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are delicious. Roasted brussel sprouts are even better! Enhance the natural earthy flavor of these mini cabbages with balsamic vinegar and golden honey for a delightfully crispy accompaniment to your turkey.
The caramelized honey and black pepper creates a type of crust that is to die for! If these aren’t already part of your holiday tradition, they will be after you try them!
6. Microwave Carrots
When you’re looking for a healthy side dish that won’t add more time to your already busy cooking day, try these! In just 5 minutes, they’re ready to go, and you won’t even have to take up space on a burner or fret about needing to change the oven temperature.
Steaming vegetables in the microwave will leave you with perfectly cooked results every time. Sometimes, during the holidays, it’s nice to have some simplicity. This certainly fits the bill.
7. Green Bean Casserole With Bacon
Green bean casserole has always been a staple of Thanksgiving at my house. I don’t remember a time growing up when it wasn’t around for the holidays. This recipe adds a meaty flavor that goes really well with turkey. After all, bacon makes everything better, right?
Using cream cheese as a base for the sauce balances the crunchy breadcrumb or pork rind topping. And the mix of garlic, onion, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce is a spectacular way to shake things up.
8. Cheesy Baked Cauliflower
Cauliflower is the new trend, and I think it’s here to stay…at least for me. I love this vegetable mac and cheese recipe. In traditional fashion, it combines multiple kinds of cheese with black pepper and the unique addition of spinach for a modern take.
You really can’t go wrong with this. Cauliflower has a subtle earthy flavor that blends really well with anything savory, like a roasted turkey. Looking for something a little different? Try any baked cauliflower dish for an unforgettable addition to your holiday meal.
9. Jiffy Corn Casserole
It’s known by many different names–corn pudding, spoon bread, corn casserole–but whatever you call it, it’s amazing. In fact, it’s one of my favorite side dishes. One of the most historically accurate Thanksgiving foods, it makes complete sense to have this on your table with turkey. It’s fast, easy, and scrumptious.
Sour cream keeps it from drying out, and whole corn pieces give it an excellent texture. Like carrots, corn is naturally sweet, so it helps balance out a savory feast.
10. Oatmeal Dinner Rolls
These are some of the best yeast rolls I’ve ever made. They’re best straight out of the oven, so be sure to time them with your turkey. The next day, they’re perfect for making small sandwiches with your leftovers.
With a hint of brown sugar, these rolls can be eaten for any meal from breakfast to dinner and every snack in between.
11. Turkey Gravy
When you're planning out what to serve with turkey, there's a staple that's simply a MUST-HAVE. That's the gravy!
There are two schools of thought when it comes to gravy, those who like a white version and those who swear by the brown kind. Regardless of where you fall, you should try this recipe. It’s hard to cook a turkey perfectly, and sometimes it can be dry.
Adding this sauce flavored by turkey drippings and giblets makes even a juicy slice of meat more delicious. Mashed potatoes and dinner rolls also lend themselves to the gravy. Serve it in a small bowl or pitcher to be passed around and used as diners see fit.
12. Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce seems to always be around for Thanksgiving but often gets mixed reviews. If you want to bring more people over to Team Cranberries, check out my Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce. It’s tart, sweet, and full of flavor!
Adding apples gives it a familiar taste that blends well with the cranberries that we typically don’t see on our plates outside of November. Somehow, turkey and cranberry sauce are made for each other and are even more delicious when smashed together on a sandwich roll the day after your feast.
13. Deviled Eggs
This is another one of my favorite side dishes or appetizers. There’s something about deviled eggs that just feels special. After all, how many times have you had them when it wasn’t a holiday or celebratory occasion? When you just want the taste of your childhood, pull out this recipe. They’re great the next day, too, if you have any left!
14. Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards make beautiful appetizers that taste as good as they look! The key here is to have a wide variety of options, including some fruits or vegetables that are in season.
Cheese, crackers, meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, dips, antipasto…there are loads of different ways to put one of these together. Arrange them on a cutting board or platter. You can scale up or down easily depending on the number of guests you’re having.
15. Pinwheel Sandwiches
Another great appetizer to serve pre-turkey is pinwheel sandwiches. These pack tons of flavor into a neat little bite or two of finger food. Make one kind or many! From taco-flavored to BLTs, there is something for everyone; they’re perfect for large gatherings.
Also, they’re relatively filling, so those early party guests can keep their appetite under control until the main event. If you make parts of them in advance, you can assemble the pieces in no time when you’re ready.
16. Pumpkin Pie
I’m not one to overlook a good dessert, and I always love a good pumpkin pie. The smell of it alone is worth the minimal effort. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and mace make this the fall food that dreams are made of.
If you are feeling creative, you can even use the extra pie crust to make beautiful cutouts to decorate the top! Don’t miss out on this essential part of the Turkey Day meal! It truly is a dessert that fits the bill for serving with your turkey dinner!
17. Sweet Potato Tart
Looking for new takes on classic flavors? This sweet potato tart is a great option! Fill a flaky, buttery shortcrust pastry with a cream-cheese enhanced, creamy sweet potato mix, and top it off with a marshmallow meringue.
You can make everything but the meringue in advance to save some time. And for a bakery-level finish, you can even lightly brown the meringue after you add it. This indulgent treat might become a new tradition after you had a few bites!
18. Pecan Tartlets
Top off your holiday meal with decadence! Pecan Tartlets are essentially personal-sized pecan pies. They’re rich and incredible, especially with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream on top. If you like butter, brown sugar, and pecans as much as I do, this is the dessert for you.
The nutty flavor of pecans complements the sweet potatoes, green beans, and turkey you’re likely to already have on the table. It’s the perfect end to a family feast.
🦃 More Great Thanksgiving Sides
- Parmesan Roasted Mashed Potatoes
- Boiled Potatoes
- Sauteed Broccolini
- Microwave Acorn Squash
- Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
- Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side Dishes
When your turkey dinner has been thoroughly enjoyed by all, be sure to check back in here and see all of my leftover turkey recipes!
See more Thanksgiving →
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📖 Recipe Card
What To Serve With Turkey: Thanksgiving Roasted Turkey (+All The Best Turkey Side Dishes!)
- 16 lb turkey (thawed)
- ½ cup butter (softened, at room temperature, divided)
- 1 medium yellow onion (peeled, halved, and quartered)
- 1 large lemon (washed, halved, and quartered)
- 1 large orange (washed, halved, and quartered)
- 1 head garlic (peeled and cloves crushed)
- ¼ teaspoon each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning (optional)
- 30 minutes before you begin, remove the turkey from the fridge so that it can come to room temperature. This is also a good time to take out the butter so it can soften.
- Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C) and place a roasting rack or tray into a large roasting pan.
- Remove the turkey from its packaging as well as the contents of the cavity (neck, gizzards, heart, liver, and sometimes a gravy packet). Rinse both the inside and outside of your turkey and then pat it dry using paper towels.
- Transfer it to your roasting rack and generously season the interior of the turkey with salt and pepper. Then, fill the cavity with the onion, garlic cloves, orange, and lemon.
- In a small mixing bowl, add softened butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and optional poultry seasoning if using. Mix until well combined.
- Gently loosen the skin of the turkey with your fingertips and spread half of the herb butter under the skin, covering the breast and legs.
- Tuck the wing tips under and use butcher twine to hold the legs together. Spread the remaining herb butter all over the entire outside of the turkey, including all sides.
- Leave your turkey uncovered and place it in the preheated oven. Then, reduce the temperature of the oven to 350°F (175°C) and cook for 13 minutes per pound (with no stuffing) or 15 minutes per pound (with stuffing).
- Remove your turkey from the oven and baste it using the drippings from the pan every 45 minutes. Keep your oven closed while you are basting the turkey so that the temperature stays steady.
- Remove your turkey from the oven when it reaches 155-160°F (68-71°C).
- Carefully transfer the cooked turkey to a cutting board or your serving platter, then cover loosely with aluminum foil. Save the drippings for gravy (if desired). Allow your turkey to rest for about 1 hour before carving and serving.
- Take a look at my guide for how to safely thaw turkey for some tips and tricks!
- Allowing your turkey to come to room temperature will help it to cook evenly and minimize shrinkage.
- An unstuffed turkey cooks at about 13 minutes per pound. However, since the cavity is stuffed with oranges, lemons, onions, and garlic, it will take slightly longer to cook at about 15 minutes per pound.
- Turkey should never be cooked at a temperature that is lower than 325°F (163°C) due to safety.
- If the presentation of your turkey is not vital, you can achieve an incredibly moist turkey breast by cooking the bird with the breast side facing down.
- The hardest spot to get to cook evenly with your turkey is the thigh joint, to help with this don't tie the legs together, and you can even use a sharp knife to cut deeper into the joint. This will cook your turkey evenly, quickly, and perfectly.
- To store: Remove the meat from the turkey and transfer it to an airtight container. Keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To freeze: You can place your meat into zip-top freezer bags and freeze them for up to 3 months.
- To reheat: Place your meat into a baking dish with some chicken broth and butter then cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated all the way through.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!