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5-Star Thanksgiving Sides

Looking for a never-fail Thanksgiving recipe? These 5-star side dishes are highly rated and extremely delicious.

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Sweet Potato Cranberry Bake

In October, my husband helps harvest cranberries at a friend's bogs, so I have access to the very freshest ingredients. Their bold autumn flavor pairs up perfectly with sweet potatoes to make a seasonal side dish my family looks forward to. —Jill Doyle, Kingston, Massachusetts
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Thanksgiving Green Beans

Momma made these green beans only at Thanksgiving because, at the time, the ingredients were out of her everyday budget. Her original recipe inside her recipe box had five stars drawn on it. I would have to agree! —Marcia Shires, San Antonio, Texas
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Roasted Green Vegetable Medley

Roasting vegetables like broccoli, green beans and Brussels sprouts is a great way to serve them, and almost any veggie combo works. —Suzan Crouch, Grand Prairie, Texas
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Holiday Herb-Cheese Rolls

These low-fat hot rolls are flavored with garlic, dill and cheese—they’re yummy even without butter! Or stuff with your favorite fixings for mini sandwiches.
—Nancy Boyd, Midlothian, Virginia
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Creamed Pearl Onions

When our children were small, we always celebrated the holidays at our house. This was one of many recipes I relied on that could be prepared a day in advance, which gave me more time to spend with guests. Everyone expected to see this vegetable dish on the table every year. —Barbara Caserman, Lake Havasu City, Arizona
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Granny’s Apple Scalloped Potatoes

This scalloped potatoes with apples dish is delicious with breaded baked pork chops, which you could cook at the same time in another cast-iron pan. We are retired and it’s just the two of us, but you could easily double the recipe. —Shirley Rickis, The Villages, Florida
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Slow-Cooker Creamed Corn with Bacon

Every time I take this super rich corn to a holiday potluck or work party, I leave with an empty slow cooker. It's decadent, homey and so worth the splurge. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia
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Sunday Dinner Mashed Potatoes

Sour cream and cream cheese add delicious dairy flavors to these potatoes. They can be prepared in advance and are special enough to serve guests. —Melody Mellinger, Myerstown, Pennsylvania
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Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Sure, it’s simple and healthy but, oh, this roasted broccoli is also delicious. Cutting the stalks into tall trees turns the ordinary veggie into a standout side dish. —Holly Sander, Lake Mary, Florida
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Roasted Beet Wedges

This beet recipe makes ordinary beets taste tender and delicious with just a few sweet and good-for-you ingredients. —Wendy Stenman
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Holiday Creamed Spinach

My mother made a variety of spinach dishes when I was growing up. This rich, delicious creamed version is the only one that stayed with me through the years.—Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Rice Dressing

This yummy rice mixture is a delightful change from our traditional corn bread dressing. To make it a meal in itself, I sometimes add finely chopped cooked chicken and a little more broth before baking. —Linda Emery, Bearden, Arkansas
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Two-Tone Baked Potatoes

One potato…two potato…this recipe is doubly wonderful as far as spud lovers are concerned. I have a reputation at home and at work for trying out new recipes. Everyone is glad I took a chance on this one. —Sherree Stahn, Central City, Nebraska
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Grandma's Collard Greens

My grandmother made the best collard greens recipe in the world. Eating them with a slice of buttermilk cornbread is pure bliss. —Sherri Williams, Crestview, Florida
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Oyster Stuffing

My mother made this stuffing every Thanksgiving for my, father who loves it! And now I make it.—Amy Voights, Brodhead, Wisconsin
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Pecan-Stuffed Butternut Squash

I love autumn, when butternut squash is at its peak. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare it. The squash is tender, and the creamy pecan filling is fabulous. —Sheryl Little, Sherwood, Arkansas
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Maple-Ginger Glazed Carrots

I first made this dish for my family and friends one Thanksgiving. Not only are the carrots lovely on the table, they taste terrific, too! —Jeannette Sabo, Lexington Park, Maryland
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Simple Lemon Parsley Potatoes

For a simply delicious side dish, I often prepare these potatoes. I like the fact that there are few ingredients and they take such little time to prepare. —Dorothy Pritchett, Wills Point, Texas
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Roasted Squash, Carrots & Walnuts

After the turkey’s done, I dial up the oven temp and roast carrots and squash for this yummy side. That frees me up to start the gravy. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Corn Stuffing Balls

My mom had many "winning" recipes, and this was one of our family's favorites. I can still picture these Corn Stuffing Balls encircling the large meat platter piled high with one of her delicious entrees. —Audrey Groe, Lake Mills, Iowa
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Potluck Candied Sweet Potatoes

To make it easier to bring this traditional southern staple to a potluck or gathering, I updated it so that it can be cooked in a slow cooker. It's hard to go wrong with candied sweet potatoes when it comes to pleasing a crowd. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Savory Sausage Stuffing

I used to make the same old dressing every year for Thanksgiving. About 10 years ago, I decided to jazz up my recipe by adding pork sausage. Now everyone requests this dish for all our holiday meals. —Ursula Hernandez, Waltham, Minnesota
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Beets in Orange Sauce

To ensure your family eats their veggies, why not top your beets with an irresistible orange glaze! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Nanny's Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

My grandsons rave over these creamy potatoes loaded with Parmesan. That’s all the endorsement I need. Sometimes I use golden or red potatoes, with skins on. —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, California
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Minty Peas and Onions

Mother could always rely on peas and onions when she was in a hurry and needed a quick side. Besides being easy to prepare, this dish was loved by everyone in our family. It was handed down to my mother by my grandmother. —Santa D'Addario, Jacksonville, Florida
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German-Style Cabbage and Beans

This is one of my greatest hits for a potluck dish at church suppers. If you use some red cabbage, it will have very festive colors, light pink with green. It looks so pretty. —Winifred Winch, Wetmore, Michigan
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Roasted Vegetables with Sage

When I can’t decide what vegetable to serve at dinner, I turn to this oven-roasted medley that features brussels sprouts, potatoes, carrots and butternut squash. It pleases everyone around the table. —Betty Fulks, Onia, Arkansas
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Roasted Honey Sweet Potatoes

Cinnamon and honey bring out the natural earthy sweetness of sweet potatoes in this simple, elegant side dish. —Laura Mifsud, Northville, Michigan
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Roasted Acorn Squash & Brussels Sprouts

I love creating dishes with few ingredients and easy steps, like squash with Brussels sprouts. Maple syrup adds a slight sweetness, and pecans give it a toasty crunch. —Angela LeMoine, Howell, New Jersey
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Pecan-Cornbread Dressing

Plenty of pecans and bacon give this stuffing a unique flavor, while using a packaged mix cuts down on the preparation time. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Holiday Brussels Sprouts

Make Brussels sprouts special with peas, celery and, of course, bacon. The recipe doubles easily if needed. —Jodie Beckman, Council Bluffs, Iowa
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Dad's Creamed Peas & Pearl Onions

While I was growing up, it was our family tradition to make creamed peas with pearl onions for every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. My dad was not a happy camper if he didn't see this dish on the table. It was his favorite! I made it for my own family while our kids were growing up, and now my daughter makes this dish for her family. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Swiss Corn Casserole

My mom shared this recipe with me back in the '80s, and now it's a Turkey Day mainstay. We freeze locally grown corn during peak season, and I love to use it in this special side. —Wendy Young, Cordova, Maryland
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Thyme-Roasted Carrots

Cutting the carrots lengthwise makes this dish look extra pretty. For a little more elegance and color, garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme or parsley. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Scalloped Cranberries

This warm cranberry casserole is a nice substitute for traditional cranberry relish. It's been a staple on my holiday table ever since my aunt gave me the recipe many years ago. —Ellan Streett, Clear Spring, Maryland
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Festive Rice

My mom and I transformed plain rice by adding feta, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and cayenne. We wound up with a sweet and spicy crowd-pleaser. —Lisa de Perio, Dallas, Texas
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Butternut Squash Custard

My husband first tasted this comforting casserole more than 10 years ago when he was still my fiance. Having enjoyed it so much, he said I needed to offer it at every Thanksgiving dinner. I was happy to oblige!—Maura Calusdian, Londonderry, New Hampshire
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Brussels Sprouts Brown Betty

I had the idea to make a savory version of the family-favorite brown betty using vegetables in place of fruit, while keeping the classic crunchy bread crumb topping. The result is a creamy, decadent side that will turn anyone into a Brussels sprouts fan. —Shauna Havey, Roy, Utah
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Aunt Margaret's Sweet Potato Casserole

My great-aunt made an incredible sweet potato casserole for our holiday dinners. I’ve lightened it up a bit, but we love it just the same. —Beth Britton, Fairlawn, Ohio
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Southern Pineapple Casserole

When I make pineapple casserole, I double the amount —because guests frequently request a second helping for dessert! Sweet-tangy fruit is even better combined with savory cheddar cheese and buttery cracker crumb topping. —Catherine Ann Goza, Leland, North Carolina

Hazel Wheaton
Hazel is a writer and editor who has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years in the fields of travel, jewelry arts and food. As the editor of the Taste of Home Christmas Annual (among other titles), she's in the holiday spirit all year round. An enthusiastic baker, she's known for her cookies, cakes and other baked goods. And she still wishes she could cook like her mother.

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