10 Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes that Will Convince Your Family That You Can Cook

Thanksgiving side dishes tend to fall into one of two categories: The ridiculously excessive (think: sweet potatoes covered in butter, marshmallows and candied pecans) and the bland afterthoughts (canned corn dumped in a slow cooker for 6-hours anyone?). But there is a middle road. Whether your Thanksgiving main is turkey or tempeh loaf, flavorful sides can be easy when you use fresh, seasonal ingredients and lots of herbs and spices. Take inspiration from these recipes and your family and friends think may think you actually do make all those things on your Pinterest food boards

Image: Lert/Flickr

Thanksgiving side dishes tend to fall into one of two categories: The ridiculously excessive (think: sweet potatoes covered in butter, marshmallows and candied pecans) and the bland afterthoughts (canned corn dumped in a slow cooker for 6-hours anyone?). But there is a middle road. Whether your Thanksgiving main is turkey or tempeh loaf, flavorful sides can be easy when you use fresh, seasonal ingredients and lots of herbs and spices. Take inspiration from these recipes and your family and friends think may think you actually do make all those things on your Pinterest food boards

Image: Lert/Flickr

Fennel & Raisin Salad with Walnut Croutons

Make a salad people actually want to eat this Thanksgiving. Easy DIY croutons are key in this flavorful fall salad recipe from the "quarter-life cooks" at Big Girls, Small Kitchen

Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

Do sweet potatoes a little differently with this spiced sweet potato fry recipe from Adventures in Cooking. All you need is sweet potatoes, olive oil and spices. 

Quinoa & Roasted Beet Salad

Courtesy of Alter Eco Foods, this recipe combines sweet, earthy roasted beets with nutty quinoa for a wholesome taste of fall.

Butternut Squash Soup

Five ingredients, five steps and you've got creamy and comforting butternut squash soup via this recipe from Josie Jones.

Onion Gratin with Rosemary and Thyme

This Kalyn's Kitchen recipe calls for olive oil-roasted onions smothered in herbs and cheese. Seconds, please. 

Cranberry Quinoa Muffins

What's more impressive than dinner rolls and goes well with cranberry sauce? These cranberry quinoa muffins from Plums in the Icebox. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Barley

Combine several fall favorites into one delicious (and healthy) side with this roasted Brussels sprouts, cranberries and barley recipe from cookie + kate. 

Smashed Potatoes With Garlic, Artichokes and Leeks

If we can make these mashed potatoes with garlic, leeks and artichokes, so can you. You can substitute real butter and milk, or keep things vegan (with olive oil, almond milk and vegan margarine) and they'll still out remarkably creamy and rich.

Baked Brie

Because there literally may be nothing more delicious than warm, oozy Brie wrapped in flaky puff pastry, here's another hit from Adventures in Cooking.

Sherry-Glazed Shallots

The bloggers at Herbie Likes Spaghetti pair this side with hangar steak but it would also be divine alongside roasted turkey or mingled with some mashed potatoes.