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21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner plate napkin vase on white table

All of the Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes you will need for a successful dinner, everything but the turkey! Thanksgiving Dinner is the hardest of the traditional holiday dinner. It is a challenge to get all the side dishes prepared, cooked, and ready at the same time the turkey comes out of the oven. The key to a successful Thanksgiving dinner without losing your mind or being exhausted is to prepare ahead, have all your kitchen appliances working for you, and having a detailed written plan written out. 

Here are 21 easy traditional Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts.  Many can be made the night before, many you can prepare parts of the recipe ahead of time. 

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes. 17 recipes that we all love and remember from family childhood dinners and new modern favorites.   Made easy with simple ingredients and modern appliances for busy families.  Grab your copy right now to get a jump on holiday planning.

You are going to love these easy Thanksgiving Recipe to serve when you are hosting Thanksgiving or as a dish to take to your family’s events or a Friendsgiving.

The Recipe Card will take you directly to the post and recipe that has the full recipe and tips and hacks  🦃for an easy stress-free Thanksgiving. So make sure to click on the “make this recipe” tab. 🍁

1:  Traditional Green Bean Casserole Recipe for Christmas or Thanksgiving

In so many homes the classic green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup is traditional to serve the traditional green bean casserole for both Thanksgiving & Christmas. However, this quick & easy casserole is perfect for any family gathering as it is loved by young & old alike. So simple to mix together, and can be made the night before and kept refrigerated to be baked on the day of your dinner.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner green bean casserole

2: Cheesy Hash Brown Potato Bake Casserole Recipe

Cheesy hash browns potato casserole is a recipe that was handed down to me by a friend after we had attended a dinner party at her home. This hash brown casserole is a quick and easy, prepare ahead of time dish, that we have made for the holidays, family get-togethers, and graduation parties. It is a mix, dump, and bake recipe that never fails and is always a favorite of all our guests.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner hash brown casserole

3: Quick & Easy Corn Bake Casserole Recipe

Corn Bake Casserole is the new side dish for our family starting and around 1995.  Close friends bring this dish to dinners and our monthly card parties and it has been a hit. Corn Bake Casserole is a quick and easy dish that can be combined together ahead of time and put in the refrigerator.  Fluffy, creamy, rich, and delicious a favorite of kids. It is the second favorite to the green bean casserole and we now make it every Thanksgiving and Christmas.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner corn bake casserole

4: Homemade Fresh Cranberry Relish Recipe

Cranberry relish has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl when I used to help my mother make this side dish from scratch. I will not turn away any form of cranberry relish.  I love the canned cranberry relish and the gel relish and I love the fresh homemade cranberry sauce and relish.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner cranberry sauce

5: Handmade Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot

Handmade mashed potatoes are traditional for Thanksgiving the same as turkey and stuffing. They are also a favorite for many retro family meals like meatloaf. In my cooking experience, as a young wife, my mashed potatoes have gone through many transitions. Some years they come out light and fluffy other years they come out like wallpaper paste. But now that I use my Instant Pot exclusively for mashed potatoes with a food ricer they are perfect every time.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner mashed potatoes

6: Christmas & Thanksgiving Spiced Nuts Appetizer Recipe

Party guests will love this sweet, salty, spicy Christmas Spiced Nuts Appetizer Recipe. Every time I have served them they disappear and I have to hide them if I make them the day before.  The smell alone of the nuts roasting brings the family flocking to the kitchen. Make a large batch for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday party.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner spiced nuts

7.  Artichoke Dip Hot & Cheesy

Easy Hot Artichoke dip with crackers was all the rage in the 80s and 90s for any dinner party. I’m not sure where I got the first recipe from, but after it was served at our first New Year’s Eve party guests have been requesting it for every party after that. Artichoke Dip is quick & easy, it is a mix it, dump in a pan and bake recipe that will be the hit at any party or holiday celebration.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner artichoke dip

8:  Knorr Mix Cold Spinach Dip In A Bread Bowl

Classic Recipe for Spinach Dip Served In a Bread Bowl, Quick & Easy Ready In Just A Few Minutes! Super fun made in a round pumpernickel loaf a favorite appetizer in the 1070s. Your guest will love the flavor and the memories. 

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner spinach dip in bread bowl

9: Original Oven Baked Homemade Chex Mix

Your kids will beg you to make your version of this Chex™ Mix recipe every week. You can make my recipe or you can mix it up with your family’s favorite combination of cereal, nuts, and pretzels.  The combinations are endless.   Nothing beats making Chex™ Mix at home it is so delicious you will never buy it pre-made again.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner chex mix

10: Simple Sweet Moist Cornbread -Traditional Recipe or Quick Mix

If crisp fall air and beautifully changing colored leaves remind you of savory bubbling chili on the stove, fall chili reminds me of my Grandmother Mable Landfear’s cornbread. Her traditional recipe from the early 1900s is easy, most, and simple to mix together. When you have a house full of little ones, our favorite box mix will work just as well.  

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner corn bread

11: Easy Homemade Bread Machine White Bread The Best Sally Lunn Recipe

Easy Bread Machine White Bread Dough Recipe. Nothing makes a house feel like a home than having the smell of fresh bread baking. With our busy lives, you may not think you can have that warm fluffy bread ready for your family to eat. But you can with the convenience of a bread machine and a traditional bread recipe, you can serve your family fresh homemade bread where you control the ingredients.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner bread on brown paper bag

12:  Best Instant Pot Apple Butter Super Easy

Making apple butter using the Instant Pot is super easy. 4 Basic ingredients plus your spices and in less than an hour you have the most delicious spicy, fall smelling apple butter. Super easy homemade apple butter is an old fashioned favorite when applies are fresh from your local farmers market. A fun recipe to make with the kids and to use your spiralizer to make the peeling, coring and slicing quick and easy.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner apple butter in mason jars

13: Easy Quick Breakfast Overnight French Toast Casserole

A warm sweet protein packed ready to bake in the morning Easy Quick Breakfast Overnight French toast Casserole is perfect when you’re having family over for a long weekend. Warm and fluffy in the middle, crunchy & cinnamony with a touch of maple syrup on top.  At the first bite, you will find yourself back in the kitchen of your childhood with your mother making fresh French toast.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner french toast casserole

14:  The Best Streusel Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe

Streusel Cinnamon Coffee Cake is a soft and buttery cake topped with a crunchy sugar cinnamon topping.   Cinnamon Coffeecake will remind you of cinnamon rolls with none of the hard work.  You will also be able to close your eyes and smell & taste cinnamon toast, as you sip your coffee & or tea.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner coffee cake

15:  Classic Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Homemade pumpkin pie is a classic Thanksgiving dessert that brings back all the memories of family Thanksgivings of the past. Using can pumpkin puree, you can cut down the time while still adding all your own whole ingredients and all the love.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner pumpkin pie

16:  Pie Crust – Easy as Pie

I love a homemade pie crust.  I have had many a family member give me their recipe but this has been the quickest and tastiest that I have used through the years. Any time of the year there is a pie that reminds us of the season. So grab the flour, butter, salt & cold water and you will have a homemade pie crust for your favorite pie.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner pie crust

17: Watergate Salad Pineapple Pistachio Dessert

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner watergate jello salad

Serving a big bowl of fluffy pistachio Watergate Salad reminds me of Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the retro recipes in the 1970s.  But this creamy light delicious side dish (you could say snack dessert) refers to the Washington DC hotel and not the scandal of the nation. Rich, creamy, fluffy a super light dessert that the whole family will love.  If the kids do not like the actual nut in the dessert, you can make the recipe with leaving out the crunch nuts.

18: Cranberry Fluff

Cranberry Fluff is a perfect recipe for a side dish or dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It has the sweet taste of all the Cool Whip Fluff recipes with a little tartness of the cranberries. Add a cubed apple for a little crunch. The sugar-free instant Vanilla pudding holds the cranberries, pineapple, pecans, and apple to make a beautiful light red holiday dish.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner cranberry fluff

19: Easy Christmas Spritz Cookies

Christmas Spritz Cookies are a soft buttery, sweetened with sprinkles, Christmas cookie.  Spritz cookies are at traditional simple butter cookies from Scandinavia & German countries. The word spritz comes from the German work Spritzen which means “to squirt”. Spritz cookies are made by using a cookie press, that squirts out the cookie. I have tried 3 different ones and the electric cookie press that plugs in has lasted the longest and works the best.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner pizzelle cookies

20:  The Best Easy Christmas Cut Out Cookie Recipe

As soon as it is Thanksgiving we in our family get excited for Christmas. So excited that we make Christmas cookies for dessert at Thanksgiving dinner  If you want the excitement of Christmas started in your home just make a batch of cut-out cookies. Pull out the sprinkles, cookie cutters, and rolling pin and enjoy the huge smiles on your kid’s face.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner cut out cookies

21: Thanksgiving Day Planner Free Printable

Keep all these recipes in order and all your planning in one place with the Thanksgiving Day Planner.  It is totally free! Just check out the post sign up for updates and you will have instant access to the printable.  There is a special offer surprise when you join the Crafting a Family community.

21 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Successful Dinner Thanksgiving planner

Thanksgiving is a special day when we are able to share the goodness and blessings from our family to family members, friends, and neighbors. Take time to plan ahead, prepare ahead so you can enjoy the day, the meal and your family. Take the stress out of the day and add joy!

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