The Best Thanksgiving Sides

Easy Thanksgiving sides are the best Thanksgiving sides. I’ve said it before, but it’s really worth repeating because it’s one thing I truly believe in. Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year or taking your sides on the go to someone else’s place, the best Thanksgiving sides are ones that are easy to prepare without sacrificing great flavor. These are six of the best Thanksgiving side dishes that are stupidly simple to prepare so you can worry about the dozen other fires (some literal) you need to put out on the big day.

Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes will always make the list of the best Thanksgiving sides, but that doesn’t mean you have to make them from scratch to really do it right. And boy do you have options: We’ve got premade, instant, or frozen mashed potatoes to choose from for the best Thanksgiving sides to fit your needs. If you’re looking for something as close to the real thing without all the trouble, Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart would argue that Bob Evans premade potatoes are the way to go. They’re rich, creamy, potatoey, and all you have to do is heat them up in the microwave. When it comes to easy Thanksgiving sides, it doesn’t get easier than that.

Read the full ranking of the best premade mashed potatoes

Stove Top Traditional Sage Stuffing Mix

Stuffing is a mainstay on many Thanksgiving tables, but it’s surprisingly easy to mess up if you make it yourself. Sorry, grandma, but your recipe surely can’t compare to Stove Top’s Traditional Sage Stuffing Mix. This is one of the best Thanksgiving sides and it can be thrown together in about five minutes as long as you have an empty burner on the stove. Gwynedd found this mix to be fluffy, savory, and packed with herby flavor. A Thanksgiving side dish that’s delicious and easy as hell (just boil some water, mix, and fluff)? Move over, grandma. That’s an easy sell for the best Thanksgiving side dishes.

Read the full ranking of the best boxed stuffing

Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese

Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese may be missing one of the two title ingredients (it’s made with penne instead of macaroni), but they still crushed it when it comes to flavor, so we had to give them a spot among the best Thanksgiving sides. Mac and cheese may be a sleeper choice for best Thanksgiving side dishes, but I say hell yes to more carbs and dairy at the dinner table. Beecher’s makes this dish with their famous Flagship cheddar and a heavy dose of paprika—it’s unbelievably flavorful. And as for easy Thanksgiving sides? It doesn’t get much easier than popping this into the oven straight from the freezer. Plus, there’s a gluten free option that’s pretty much as good as the original, so everyone can enjoy.

Read the full ranking of the best frozen mac and cheese

Trader Joe’s Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit

When it comes to easy Thanksgiving sides, salad kits are the ultimate cheat code. No chopping vegetables. No rinsing and spinning your lettuce. Just cut open the bag, pour on the dressing, give it a good shake, and then dump it into a bowl and lie to everyone about having prepared it yourself from scratch. TJ’s Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish—it’s a crowd pleaser and it’s fancy enough for a special occasion. It comes with a bright, zingy dressing that will break up the monotony of the richer foods on the menu. It also comes with carrots and almonds for crunch, and parm for a nutty, salty punch.

Read the full ranking of the best Trader Joe’s salad kits

Glory Foods Seasoned Southern Style Cream Style Skillet Corn

The best Thanksgiving sides can come out of a can. You’ve got your jellied cranberry sauce, your canned yams, and, of course, canned corn. Okay, we’ll admit that serving regular ol’ canned corn at Thanksgiving dinner will make it look like you’re phoning it in, but this Glory Foods creamed corn isn’t your average canned corn. They call it “skillet corn” and it actually tastes like it was charred in a cast iron skillet. Plus, the plump, tasty corn kernels come in a sauce that’s akin to a savory broth. But don’t worry: This stuff is not watery like a lot of canned cream corn. If anyone at your Thanksgiving table doubts that canned foods can be among the best Thanksgiving side dishes, this will shut them up.

Read the full ranking of the best canned corn

Happy Harvest Yams

If you’re making candied yams or sweet potato casserole, we’re pleased to inform you that you can put away the peeler and dump out that industrial-sized stock pot of boiling water (just be careful, please). These canned yams from Aldi (which are actually sweet potatoes, but it’s a sweet potato, sweet po-tah-to sort of situation) are delicious and sweet and will make a side your guests will love. Mash these up with butter and a little cinnamon, or turn them into a full-blown casserole topped with mini marshmallows. Either way, you’ll be happy with the flavor these pack. Easy Thanksgiving sides can come from a can and still taste really good.

Read the full ranking of the best canned yams

About the Author

Vinz Karl

Vinz Karl is a freelance contributor to Sporked and self-proclaimed Guy Fieri superfan. He believes in breakfast supremacy and is on a never-ending mission to try every flavor of Oreo out there. Originally from the Midwest, Vinz now resides in Los Angeles, where you can find him going on hikes, checking out new restaurants, and preparing for his eventual casting on CBS's Survivor.

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