Happy Thanksgiving! Vegetable Side Dishes to Serve Up this Holiday

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We reached out to our dietitian friends with a request for their favorite veggie side dish that they serve up on Thanksgiving day. Take a look at these mouth-watering recipes and enjoy the holiday with your friends and family!


Dietitian Rachael Wallace Hartley suggests her Kale, Caramelized Onion and Apple Stuffing, her favorite side dish on Thanksgiving. “I'll take that over turkey any day! I love that this version has a ton of different flavors going on from the rich caramelized onion to the sweet apple.”

Add collard greens to your table with dietitian Basheerah Enahora’s Quick Roasted Garlic Collards recipe. High in vitamins A and K and calcium, they are “…packed with nutrients, and are ready in no time! Say goodbye to spending hours simmering collards on Thanksgiving Day!” Basheerah is owner of BE Nutrition LLC.

Root Vegetables

Carrie Gabriel MS, RDN, loves serving her Honey Roasted Root Vegetables, “…because they are sweet, yet hearty and full of fiber. Everyone loves the variety of the colors on their plates.”

Marie Dittmer suggests serving a similar roasted veggie dish, but we can never have too many roasted veggies, can we? Her Maple Balsamic Roasted Winter Vegetables is a favorite for Thanksgiving because it uses seasonal vegetables that are lightly glazed with a seasoned maple syrup and balsamic vinegar marinade and then roasted. “It's delicious and visually appealing as well,” she says.

Combine some of our favorite things – cheese and potatoes – by making Jodi Danen’s Hashbrown Cheesy Potato recipe. Jodi loves this recipe because it’s really easy to make and it’s a classic comfort food, yet it cuts calories and fat without giving up flavor.

This Five Ingredient Pomegranate-Glazed Carrots with Whipped Goat Cheese recipe leaves us swooning! So easy and so delicious. Jamie Vespa, MS, RD behind dishingouthealth.com, says her recipe “…is colorful and cooling and a great way to brighten up the standard Thanksgiving spread. It's easy, elegant, and a nice way to slip in extra veggies and antioxidants among the sea of casseroles!”

Jill Stern Weisenberger, author of Prediabetes: A Complete Guide, loves her recipe for Orange-Scented Roasted Carrots and Parsnips, “…because it's super colorful and the orange and thyme add quite a flavor burst.”

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts for the win! We received so many submissions for sprouts recipes that we gave it its own category.

Lexie Staten loves serving her Dijon Brussels Sprouts because they never fail to convert the Brussels sprouts haters to Brussels sprouts lovers!

Try Catherine Brown’s Shaved Brussels Sprout, Pear and Pomegranate Salad with Orange Ginger Dressing for a crisp, fresh and beautiful side! Catherine is a plant-based chef and culinary nutritionist at A Seat at My Table; she notes that this salad is always a favorite at her holiday table.

Kelly Jones’ Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Cranberry dish has become her favorite: “I love the flavor and texture from this blend of produce as well as the hint of maple it has, but even more I love how much my family enjoys it too. I have aunts and uncles who never would have eaten Brussels sprouts who now look forward to the dish.”

Caitilin Perez, RDN, suggests her raw Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dried Cherries recipe. What a great combo of savory and sweet!

Leave the oven open for your other dishes by making Judy Barbe’s fresh, no-cook Brussels Sprouts slaw.

Edwina Clark’s Crispy Brussels with Pomegranate, Lemon and Hummus “…is packed with nutrition and offers a combination of crunchy, creamy, sweet and salty flavors. It's also fast and simple which are both essential when you are feeding a crowd.”

Don't skip greens on Thanksgiving, but instead of a salad, add these Maple-Mustard Glazed Brussels Sprouts to add to your Thanksgiving day menu from Chef Julie Harrington, RD, Culinary Nutrition Consultant of julieharringtonrd.com. “It will convert any Brussels sprouts hater into a Brussel sprouts lover,” claims Julie.

Dietitian-Chef Whitney Reis says, “Some of my favorite holiday colors that inspire my decor are jewel-tones, and I love the way this Roasted Sprouts and Squash with Warm Pomegranate Bacon Dressing lets me eat with my eyes! It’s simple roasted veggies taken up a notch for a festive feast!”


Ashley Munro recommends her Roasted Acorn Squash and Cashew Dressing recipe: “I love this side dish because it has it all of the textures, flavors and is visually appealing! Acorn squash doesn't always get enough love and it is a great vehicle for this cashew dressing. The quinoa and pomegranate seeds in the salad just give it good texture! It is simple and tasty!”

Melissa Groves, RDN, LD at Avocado Grove Nutrition & Wellness suggests her Spiced Squash Quinoa. She says, “I love this side dish because it's a complete protein with quinoa and chickpeas, making it a perfect choice for any vegans at the table. It's also got a nice amount of protein, making it different from the usual carb-heavy Thanksgiving sides.”

Add color to your Thanksgiving plate with this Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Mash recipe from Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT, creator of the couples nutrition blog and podcast Nutrition Nuptials. “With so many potatoes on the table, it's nice to change up traditional mashed potatoes with a blend of butternut squash and cauliflower,” Mandy says. “This is also a great way to introduce more veggies to your meat and potatoes family on the sly.”

Green Beans, Cauliflower and Mushrooms

Dietitian Lindsey Pine suggests her Green Beans Gremolata, “…one of those veggie side dishes that is healthy, but doesn't taste ‘healthy’ because it has so much flavor from the garlic, parsley, lemon zest and olive oil.” She says this dish is requested by her family every year!

In the mood for cauliflower? Jennifer Hunt’s Cheesy Loaded Mashed Cauliflower “…is super smooth, creamy and seemingly decadent, but lighter than the traditional mashed potatoes.”

Mushrooms make up much of dietitian Maggie Farley’s dish, Baked Polenta and Mushroom Casserole. Maggie notes that this casserole is a tasty holiday side dish that is gluten free and has the option to be vegan. The combination of polenta, mushrooms and thyme creates a harmonious blend of flavors that lends a new definition to comfort food.

What veggie-forward dishes are you serving up this week for Thanksgiving?