Even though folks try to claim the bird as the reigning hero, everyone knows the real favorites of the holiday are the Southern Thanksgiving side dishes, from buttery mashed potatoes to our favorite green beans.

We’ll have cornbread dressing, not stuffing (although I love this stuffing recipe!), and this gravy can be drizzled over all of it.

Southern Thanksgiving Side Dishes

You’ll find classics on this list, like mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese, as well as more unique dishes like succotash and fried cabbage.

Whether you’re a fan of savory, sweet, or spicy, this lineup has it all. Each dish brings a touch of Southern charm to your Thanksgiving feast, making it a memorable and delicious occasion for all.

When you’ve chosen your sides for your Thanksgiving feast, be sure to check out our desserts.

You’ll never go wrong with Southern classics like Pecan Pie, Sweet Potato Pie, or Fudge Pie, but you can also add our famous Cream Cheese Banana Pudding or try your hand at a Southern Caramel Cake.

A collage of Southern thanksgiving side dishes.
Skillet Dressing Recipe made in a cast iron skillet with sage leaves on the side.

Skillet Dressing Recipe

This Skillet Dressing Recipe with Pear, Sage, and Bacon is just right for a smaller crowd—and it's bursting with fresh flavor!

Serving dish of whipped sweet potatoes with green leafy garnish.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Whipped sweet potatoes make such a cozy and tasty side for a holiday feast! Make these with simple ingredients for the best flavor. Top with a pat of butter or drizzle gravy over top. Either way, these are such a yummy addition to Thanksgiving.

A serving bowl of homemade cranberry sauce.

Cranberry Jezebel Sauce

Craving a unique cranberry sauce? Discover a flavorful twist with zesty orange and sweet pineapple. A must-try for your Southern holiday spread!

Glass serving dish of cheese pudding. 

Cheese Pudding

This cheese pudding recipe is such a delicious side! It has a rich, eggy custard with so much sharp cheddar cheese. Mix in white bread and bake to golden perfection. Your family is sure to enjoy this dish.

Butter beans with bacon and a wooden spoon.

Butter Beans

Butter beans are a classic dish that can be enjoyed any time of the year. Make these to go with Thanksgiving for a Southern side that is easy, budget-friendly, and so filling. Add some bacon and plenty of butter to give this dish the best holiday flavor.

Closeup of a spoon of squash casserole held over the baking dish.

Southern Squash Casserole

With tender squash, loads of cheese, and the best buttery crumb topping, this is a dish to be thankful for! Serve this for the holidays to the delight of your family. Or make this dish anytime you have more squash than you know what to do with.

Southern green beans in a pot.

Southern Green Beans

These Southern green beans are flavored with bacon and cooked low and slow until tender. They’re the perfect Thanksgiving side dish for your table.

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole features a traditional pecan and brown sugar streusel topping rather than melted marshmallows.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Skip the marshmallows and make this amazing streusel-topped sweet potato casserole for a cozy and delectable addition to your holiday meal. This one is a family favorite!

Serving dish of fried cabbage. 

Southern Fried Cabbage

Add this keto fried cabbage with salty bacon to your holiday table for an easy and extra flavorful side that everyone will enjoy, and your keto lifestyle guests will greatly appreciate.

Closeup of cheese grits in white bowl with a spoon.

BEST Cheese Grits

Grits are a classic Southern option that everyone will love to find on the Thanksgiving menu. Use white cheddar cheese and eggs to make an ultra-creamy side that goes well with all of the classic Thanksgiving dishes.

A basket of baked Southern style biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Make buttermilk biscuits for your holiday feast. The flaky layers will hit the spot, whether covered in melty butter or swiping through the remnants of gravy left on your plate.

Serving dish of roasted sweet potatoes.

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a dish of sweet potatoes on the table. This recipe roasts them to perfection with vanilla and honey to bring an even sweeter flavor than your guests will anticipate.

A closeup of a serving of Southern Broccoli Casserole on a plate over a marble board.

Broccoli Casserole with Bacon

Broccoli casserole is such an easy and flavorful side dish to add to your holiday menu. With plenty of sweet onions, loads of cheese, and the crispiest topping, your guests are destined to want a second scoop of this at every holiday meal.

Spoon of creamy macaroni and cheese melting. 

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Dive into the ultimate comfort food experience with our creamy and irresistible Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Picture tender macaroni enveloped in a rich, cheesy sauce that’s baked to golden perfection.

Fried okra with a light and crispy cornmeal batter is a tasty side dish for any of your favorite Southern meals. And it's easy to make!

Fried Okra

This fried okra is a perfect side for a fall feast. It is light and crispy, thanks to the cornmeal-based coating. You will love it with all of the trimmings for Thanksgiving.

White dish with pineapple casserole and a spoon.

Pineapple Casserole

Make this sweet and buttery pineapple casserole for a distinctly delicious side dish. It pairs beautifully with ham, beef, or turkey for a wonderful Thanksgiving side dish that everyone will enjoy.

A dish with pears and cheese.

Pear Salad

Give a nod to your Southern roots by serving this old-fashioned dish at Thanksgiving. Pear salad is such a simple yet unique option to bring to your table. Your family will love seeing this classic dish make a comeback!

A bowl of mashed potatoes topped with a pat of butter.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

You have to have a big bowl of mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. This recipe has the best thick and creamy flavor, just like you might find in a Southern country kitchen. You will love these smothered in gravy or loaded with butter.

A baking sheet with parmesan roasted asparagus.

Parmesan Asparagus

Parmesan roasted asparagus makes for such an easy side. Everyone loves roasted asparagus, but adding parmesan cheese to it makes it just the thing for holiday meals.

Creamed corn in a crockpot on the counter. 

Copycat Rudy’s BBQ Creamed Corn

This simple copycat for creamed corn tastes like it came from Rudy’s BBQ, but really, it cooks in the slow cooker for a fuss-free and flavorful side that pairs well with turkey, roast beef, or ham.

Jalapeno creamed corn with bacon, scallions, and cilantro is a great side dish for taco night, burgers on the grill, or slow-roasted pork. This cream style corn is a little spicy and everyone loves it!

Jalapeno Creamed Corn with Bacon

Make this creamed corn with bacon and spicy jalapeno peppers for a nice, savory side dish. This is easy and has a great blend of seasonings and the perfect kick of heat to complement a variety of main courses.

overhead of deviled eggs on a board.

Deviled Eggs

Don’t forget the deviled eggs on Thanksgiving! This recipe has the best creamy filling for a classic option that everyone will make room on their plate for.

Brussels sprouts sauteed and topped with a lemon and Dijon vinaigrette, then sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and bacon—a new twist on a favorite vegetable!

Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Bacon

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts topped with a lemon and Dijon vinaigrette, then sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and bacon—a new twist on a favorite vegetable!

A bowl of succotash to serve. 


Bring a medley of colors and textures to your Thanksgiving menu with this succotash recipe. This is filled with tasty veggies like corn, peppers, and tomatoes and has a salty kick of bacon to bring a variety of flavors into one yummy side.

Southern Cornbread is light and buttery with a little crispiness around the edges. Easy to make, cornbread is the perfect accompaniment for soups, chilis, or a fried chicken dinner.

Southern Cornbread

An epic meal like Thanksgiving dinner needs a variety of great flavors. Make this Southern-style cornbread to add a traditional classic to your bread basket.

These Southern Thanksgiving side dishes are just a few of our favorites—be sure to check out our entire Southern Thanksgiving Dinner Menu, as well as our Thanksgiving for Two Menu, if you have a smaller crowd.

And don’t forget your Thankfulness Tablecloth to save memories for each generation.

Thanksgiving is a time to cherish the flavors of tradition and embrace the excitement of trying something new. These dishes embody the heart and soul of Southern cuisine, bringing comfort and warmth to your table.

So, whether you stick with the classics or venture into uncharted culinary territory, we wish you a memorable Thanksgiving filled with good food, family, and gratitude.

Dining room table covered with a tablecloth.

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Lucy standing behind a counter with a cheese board and glass of wine.

About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

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