9 Cookbook Authors Share Their Go-to Thanksgiving Side Dishes

By Dina El Nabli | November 18, 2015

It’s no secret that sides upstage the turkey at Thanksgiving. What’s not to love about the Fall harvest that brings us sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and more of the seasonal bounty that takes center stage on our holiday tables? We asked some of our favorite cookbook authors to share their go-to side dishes–the recipes that hold a permanent spot on their Thanksgiving menus. From a fresh take on roasting root veggies to a DIY coconut butter that will reinvent your cauliflower, here are the holiday recipes they treasure. 

butternut squash and sweet corn casserole by Kelis
David Loftus

Butternut Squash & Sweet Corn Casserole
“I find that when people are looking for a starchy side dish, they automatically go to potatoes or rice, but squash has such great flavor and it’s also such a beautiful color, it shouldn’t be overlooked. I love butternut squash so much that I could go on and on with all the things you can do with it but here's a good one. The sweet squash and the savory onion in this recipe make for a rich and delicious side dish.” Kelis, My Life on a Plate


Roasted Winter Squash with Kale & Pomegranate Seeds
Signe Birck

Roasted Winter Squash with Kale & Pomegranate Seeds
"Often, the Thanksgiving table is laden with super-heavy dishes, so I love to make a vegetable-centric salad that is beautiful, delicious, and healthy. This combination of roasted winter squash, kale, pomegranate seeds, and Parmesan shavings--with a drizzle of Balsamic vinaigrette--is always a crowd-pleaser. I'm making it again this year!" Anna Watson Carl, The Yellow Table


roasted roots with apple cider reduction
Julie Bidwell Photography

Roasted Roots with Apple Cider Reduction
“This Thanksgiving recipe is the perfect way to feature the fall harvest. Serve it as is, or use it as a template and mix whatever roots and squashes you’d like (maybe even add some Brussels Sprouts) or toss it with wild rice to make a roasted root stuffing!” 
Terry Walters, Eat Clean Live Well


Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Scallions
Jamie Prescott

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Scallions "As it's my husband's favorite recipe, these Brussels Sprouts are a go-to side dish for everyday meals as well as holidays. They are healthy and the very best when roasted, and you need something delicious and green on your Thanksgiving table."
Nancy Fuller, Farmhouse Rules


Maple-Balsamic Root Vegetable
John Kernick

Maple-Balsamic Root Vegetable "Fries"
"Our Maple-Balsamic Root Vegetable "Fries" make an appearance at every Thanksgiving. Crispy and so full of flavor; the slight sweetness from the maple syrup, the tanginess of the balsamic vinegar, the salt and thyme, give these “fries” such delicious flavor. They are also so easy to prepare and so healthy to eat.  We love that we can simply pop them in the oven and then focus on some of our more complicated recipes." Lori, Corky, Dana and Tracy Pollan, The Pollan Family Table


Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary
Guy Ambrosino

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary
“It’s worth seeking out fingerling potatoes to make this savory herbed side dish. To achieve a delectable browned crust, be sure to let the halved potatoes cook for a few minutes without turning. Chopped fresh rosemary adds a subtle woodsy flavor and it's a perfect side dish for fall, as well as easy for the Thanksgiving table.“ Steven Tomlinson, co-author, Agricola Cookbook and resident farmer of Great Road Farm, Agricola's 112-acre sustainable farm in Skillman, NJ


Roasted Cauliflower with a Coconut
Susan Volland

Roasted Cauliflower with a Coconut "Butter" and South Indian Spices
"Coconut oil is tinged golden with turmeric and loaded with browned shallots, fresh curry leaves, and black mustard seeds. Fans of Indian ingredients love it, but it's also inviting to those who shy away from the strong aromas and spices sometimes associated with curries. Best of all - it's a dish that fits into almost any diet: vegetarian, vegan, kosher, gluten free, and low carb, I have two different friends who tried it out during the holidays last year and both raved - saying they would make more this season because it disappeared too quickly." Susan Volland, Mastering Sauces


Curried Sweet Potato Mash by Stefanie Sacks
Stefanie Sacks

Curried Sweet Potato Mash
“The good old mashed potato. Toss in some heavy cream, butter, salt, and pepper and you have the heart attack special on a silver platter. While I must say that I adore the white potato, the sweet boasts far better nutrition, especially when anti- inflammatory curry takes center stage. So try this mash as it adds a splash of color and culinary creativity to the more pedestrian potato. And is one of my go-to sides for Thanksgiving.” Stefanie Sacks, What the Fork Are You Eating?