A collection of Southern Thanksgiving sides from chefs and home cooks

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen

Turkey is supposed to be the star of the show at Thanksgiving.

But let's face it; you're here for the sides. 

We've gathered some of our favorite side dishes from the Southern Kitchen archives, from chef-created spicy collard greens to mom's homemade green bean casserole.

May your meal planning go flawlessly as you enter the annual holiday whirlwind.

These brown butter sweet potatoes taste heavenly.

Brown butter whipped sweet potatoes

Roasting sweet potatoes in their jackets amplifies their natural sweetness, with brown butter adding a nuttiness. All of that combines to deepen the flavor of the potatoes. The best part? No sugar is needed.

Get the recipe

Want more ways to cook sweet potatoes?:Sweet Potatoes with Sorghum and Benne Seeds

Kevin Mitchell's spicy collards with red peppers

Chef Mitchell developed this recipe as a special New Year’s dish for Charleston Magazine, but they're perfect for Thanksgiving. Diced red peppers brighten up the greens and a generous pour of bourbon adds sweetness and interest. Skip the red pepper flakes if you like to keep things mild. 

Get the recipe

More ways to cook greens: How to cook greens like an award-winning Southern chef

Yellow squash souffle

This recipe is a fancier version of squash casserole, with pureed vegetables and a crisp, buttered breadcrumb topping. There is, of course, plenty of cheese, but the texture of the casserole is smooth with none of those pesky squash seeds that sog out a crisp topping.

Get the recipe

Want to make something with winter squash instead? Try this whipped butternut squash

Mom's green bean casserole is the comforting Thanksgiving dish you're craving.

Award-winning classic green bean casserole

This recipe is courtesy of Southern Kitchen reader Michele Barrett, who won our holiday sides recipe contest in 2017. The only change we made was to add a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese over the top of the casserole before baking. We liked the nice browned crust it formed over the green beans. You could also top the casserole with fried onions or bread crumbs if you’d like.

Get the recipe

More ways to cook green beans:Green Beans with Clams and Bacon

Brussels sprouts can be a polarizing ingredient, but slicing them thinly and cooking them with butter and salty country ham helps combat some of the natural bitterness.

Brussels sprouts with country ham

Brussels sprouts sing when you add fat and acid, and that's what's happening with this recipe. Smoky country ham adds umami, plenty of butter brings extra richness, and a dash of apple cider vinegar rounds things out with a zing of acidity. Add a pop of sweetness from cider, and you're well on your way to Thanksgiving nirvana.

Get the recipe

More ways to make banging Brussels: Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Apples, Bacon and Pecans

These classic rolls will disappear at your next dinner party.

Old-school dinner rolls

This recipe comes from Great American Baking Show winner Vallery Lomas, author of "Life Is What You Bake It" and winner of the Great American Baking Show, season 3. What you get here is a recipe that's been in Lomas' family for more than a century. "These rolls are fluffy and buttery with a hint of sweetness," Lomas writes in her cookbook. "They bake up next to one another on the pan, and pulling a warm roll off to enjoy straight from the oven is super satisfying." Sold.

Get the recipe

Would you rather have biscuits? These breakfast Bacon-Cheddar Drop Biscuits are quick and easy to prepare


Mackensy Lunsford covers food policy, restaurants, agriculture and other food-related topics for the USA TODAY Network's South Region. She's the editor of Southern Kitchen and correspondent for The American South. Sign up for my newsletter here.

Reach me: