Wow The Crowd: Thanksgiving Sides That Aren't Boring

We’ve all been attending Thanksgiving dinners, well… since forever! We know to expect the standard stuffing, mashed potatoes, and some type of steamed vegetable. While we’re not here to knock the classics - eating stuffing till we explode is something we wait all year for! - why not serve up something new that will knock your guests’ socks off. We’ve compiled a list of side dishes that are easy enough to whip up while still adding some fresh creativity to the dinner table.

Rainbow Root Vegetables

In season root vegetables sliced thin and baked with fresh herbs

While we wouldn’t call this dish groundbreaking in the creativity department, it’s a remix on the classic presentation of traditional root vegetables. Use whatever root vegetables are available in your local market but do make sure to find ones that are all relatively the same diameter so they arrange nicely in your casserole dish. Keep the seasoning simple by tossing everything in olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with fresh herbs of your liking. Our favourites are rosemary and thyme.

Pecan Pie Twice Baked Sweet Potato

This vegan side dish will give you an excuse to have second dessert

Cinnamon, spice, and everything nice gets baked twice in this remixed Thanksgiving staple. Sweetened with maple syrup and some coconut sugar, this stuffed sweet potato will leave your guests begging for seconds. They take only 15 minutes to prepare and can bake in the oven while you finish off the rest of the trimmings.

Slow Cooker Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts, cranberries and feta add the right amount of creamy tartness to the dinner table

Set it and forget it! Roasted brussel sprouts are fairly standard but on a day like Thanksgiving, when the oven is loaded to the brim, finding room - and time - to roast brussel sprouts can be nearly impossible. That’s why we love this recipe! It’s as easy as ever and can be cooked at the same time as everything else without taking up any prime real estate in your oven.

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Canned mushroom soup is replaced by a creamy cashew mushroom sauce

This plant based version of a creamy casserole will fool even your most ‘meat and potato’ loving family members! While the mushroom sauce takes an extra step beyond opening a can of mushroom soup, the end result is so out of this world you won’t even mind putting in the extra effort. Creamy and crispy and entirely dairy free, this casserole boasts a whole hearty array of vegetables so you won’t feel heavy and weighed down when you go in for seconds.

better prep calgary meal prep blog vegan thanksgiving acorn squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed with apples, caramelized onions and wild rice

Another vegan side dish that packs a punch, plus aren’t these little acorn boats adorable? One of the challenges of hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner can be accommodating a wide range of dietary restrictions. These stuffed acorns squashes are perfect since they are vegan, gluten free and oh so delicious! The combination of soft squash mixed with the sweet crunch of apple and the mildly tart cranberries makes this flavour profile one for the books.

Maple Tahini Roasted Carrots

Whole roasted carrots drizzled in a maple tahini sauce

These roasted carrots are oh so simple and ready in 30 minutes! The maple tahini sauce is vegan and gluten free and made using maple syrup, tahini, dijon mustard and fresh parsley. Use a full arrange of colourful carrots to get the rainbow look but this recipe also works great with whatever carrots you can get your hands on.

The Best Vegan Stuffing

Tempeh sausage and freshly baked sourdough stuffing

We’re not here to change the game on stuffing … But if we were, this would be the recipe to trump all recipes! The tempeh sausage perfectly mimics traditional sausage and the freshly baked sourdough makes the perfect accompaniment to the savoury vegetables it’s baked with. If one of your guests has dropped the vegan bomb on you this year, fear not because this stuffing recipe is going to save you.


These are just a handful of the tasty side dishes we’re excited to serve up this year! Leave a comment and let us know if you decided to give any of these a whirl. If you have any amazing recipes of your own that you think the world should know about, feel free to leave us a note below.

Happy thanksgiving friends!

The Better Prep Team