Food + Recipes

The Colorventurer’s Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite holidays. There is nothing quite like spending time around the table with your loved ones while sharing delicious food. Every year, my family usually hosts a “Friendsgiving” and we invite over all of our closest friends (who are more like family) to share the big meal with. When it comes to our Friendsgiving meal, I love to go all out in the kitchen. I typically spend the evening prior and all morning before the meal cooking and baking. Because when it comes to Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or however you celebrate the day, I think it calls for a special, made-from-scratch meal.

Over the years I have come to discover and love a few recipes that I love to always include on my Friendsgiving menu. While some of the recipes are a little more time-consuming, there are all easy to make and absolutely scrumptious. This is a proven fact because every year, everyone always leaves stuffed and there aren’t very many leftovers. Ha! But these dishes are all so comforting, making them perfect for a big Thanksgiving meal.

If you’re in search of a delicious dish to add to your Turkey Day menu or just looking for something new for your lineup, I highly encourage you to give these recipes a try!

Read below for The Colorventurer’s favorite Thanksgiving side dishes!

Emily’s Homemade Mac ‘n’ Cheese:

Mac n cheese is one of my favorite dishes of all-time. It’s so creamy and cheesy and it is a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving meal. I love to whip up my simple and easy homemade mac ‘n’ cheese on any day of the week, but especially for Thanksgiving.

For this recipe, you’ll need: One (1) box of elbow macaroni, flour, milk, butter, and cheese. (Non-dairy products will work too.) Salt and pepper are optional. (I also like to add a small dash of garlic powder for taste.)

Start by boiling and cooking one box of elbow macaroni. Drain the pasta and set it aside while you make the cheese sauce.

You’ll start by making a Béchamel sauce. Over medium heat, melt down 1/4 cup of butter into a large pan. Once the butter is melted, add in 1/4 cup of flour and mix until it looks like a paste. Let the mixture cook for a minute so you can cook off that flour taste. From there, add in 2 cups of milk and mix everything together. Occasionally stir while you let it continue to cook. You’ll know it’s just about ready when the mixture begins to thicken into a gravy-like sauce. Once the sauce is completely thickened (you can test this by dipping your cooking spoon into the mixture and swiping your finger across the back of it and making sure the sauce does run back to the center), I add in my seasonings, including salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. After you mix in the seasonings, add in two cups of a cheese of your choice. I tend to prefer to keep in traditional by adding in two cups of medium cheddar, but you could always add in a white cheese. Stir the sauce until the cheese is completely melted and mixed in. Once it is, pour in your cooked macaroni noodles and stir it all together.

Ta-da! Your mac ‘n’ cheese is ready!

To make it extra special, you can toast some bread crumbs to sprinkle on top by lining a baking sheet with foil, pouring on and spreading the bread crumbs evenly across the sheet, spraying the bread crumbs with cooking spray (make sure to spray it from high above, otherwise the bread crumbs will fly everywhere), and place it in the oven at 350° until golden brown. Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs over the mac ‘n’ cheese for some added crunch and that classic baked mac ‘n’ cheese flavor.

Sunny Anderson’s Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon:

Image via Food Network Kitchen – Recipe Courtesy of Sunny Anderson

Brussels sprouts are easily one of my favorite vegetables, so of course, I would have to include them on my Friendsgiving table—and this recipe from Sunny Anderson has become one of my favorite Turkey Day recipes. Slightly crispy and nutty from being pan-roasted and salty from the bacon fat, these Brussels sprouts are the perfect savory dish for your big meal. Plus, this dish takes less than 30 minutes to whip up.

Click to get the recipe.

Ree Drummond’s No-Knead Cloverleaf Rolls:

Image via Food Network Kitchen – Recipe Courtesy of Ree Drummond

I love homemade bread. I mean, who doesn’t? There’s nothing better than a warm, homemade dinner roll slathered in butter. I absolutely love these no-knead cloverleaf rolls from Ree Drummond. I also love how these rolls are so fluffy and can easily be pulled apart. Though these rolls do take some time to make, there are super easy since you don’t even need to knead them. Trust me, after having these rolls, you won’t ever want to get store-bought ones again.

Click to get the recipe.

All Recipe’s Cream Corn:

Image via All Recipes – Recipe Courtesy of Donna Yockey

Cream corn is definitely a must for me when it comes to Thanksgiving. Creamy, cheesy, and oh-so-comforting, cream corn is the perfect Turkey Day side dish. Requiring less than 10 ingredients and insanely quick to whip up, this cream corn recipe from All Recipes is simple yet absolutely delicious.

Click to get the recipe.

Campbell’s Classic Green Bean Casserole:

Image via Campbell’s

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without green bean casserole and you can’t deviate from the classic Campbell’s recipe. Ha! From the creamy Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup to the crunchy fried onions, I love all of the different textures of the famous casserole dish. Plus, I love that this side dish only calls for a few ingredients and is so easy to whip up.

Click to get the recipe.

Mrs. Cubbison’s Traditional Stuffing:

Image via Mrs. Cubbison’s

Turkey and stuffing is a classic combination, so I always have to make sure it’s on the table. Ever since I was little, my mom would prepare Mrs. Cubbison’s stuffing, so it’ll always be my stuffing of choice. Fluffy, buttery, and bursting with flavor, it is a perfect pairing for that Thanksgiving turkey.

Click to get the recipe.

Ina Garten’s Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes:

Image via Food Network Kitchen – Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten

There is nothing better than a mountain of fluffy mashed potatoes alongside your turkey, and my favorite recipe is Ina Garten’s sour cream mashed potatoes. The sour cream adds a slight zing and truly elevates the classic mashed potatoes. Plus, they are so creamy. Try mixing up your traditional Thanksgiving side dish with this delicious recipe.

Click to get the recipe.

The Spruce Eats’ Easy Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots:

Image via The Spruce Eats

Cooked carrots are one of my favorite vegetable side dishes, but they are incredibly scrumptious when they are cooked down in some brown sugar. Caramelized and tender, these brown sugar glaze carrots add the perfect (slightly) sweet touch to your Thanksgiving plate. Did I mention that they are also insanely easy to make and only take a few ingredients? Talk about a great Thanksgiving side dish!

Click to get the recipe.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Thanksgiving and gobble till you wobble!

4 thoughts on “The Colorventurer’s Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes”

  1. All those recipes sound delicious. Especially those cover leaf rolls. I looked at the recipe and they seem pretty simple to make. Can’t wait to get started! Thanks for sharing 🙂👍


    1. I’m thrilled to hear that you enjoyed all the recipes! The clover rolls are super easy to make—you don’t even need to knead them! I highly recommend trying them out for Thanksgiving!


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