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20 Easy Thanksgiving Sides & Snacks That Still Taste Impressive

Low effort, high payoff.

It's not too early to start thinking about your Thanksgiving menu. πŸ¦ƒ

And that includes the best part: side dishes and snacks! We're big fans of easy recipes that still deliver on flavor, with bonus points if they don't take up prime oven space. Here are several favorites β€” including hands-off options for your slow cooker, Instant Pot, or Air Fryer.

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1. Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

This creamy dip is equal parts savory, sweet, and tart β€” and goes perfectly with a pre-meal snack tray. You could also make it with baked brie instead of cream cheese.

Recipe: Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

2. Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts With Bacon

selfproclaimedfoodie.com

A key part of planning a stress-free Thanksgiving menu is stacking it with toss-and-go sides that basically make themselves β€” in appliances that *aren't* the oven.

Recipe: Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts With Bacon

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3. Biscuit Dough Garlic Knots

The easiest (and tastiest!) way to upgrade grocery store biscuit dough? Twist them into knots, sprinkle them with Parmesan and dried herbs, and bake.

Recipe: Buttermilk Biscuit Garlic Knots

4. Garlic-Butter Roasted Carrots

cafedelites.com

These roast in the oven β€” but for an optional finishing touch, pop them onto the stovetop for a few minutes so that the buttery sauce can thicken into a glaze.

Recipe: Garlic-Butter Roasted Carrots

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5. Cranberry Apple Sangria

Make a big batch in advance and let guests serve themselves β€” so you don't have to worry about playing bartender all night.


Recipe: Cranberry Apple Sangria

6. Creamy Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

The Crock Pot also doubles as a perfect warming station for these.

Recipe: Creamy Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

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7. Easiest 5-Ingredient Shortcut Stuffing

Joe Lingeman, thekitchn.com

The secret ingredient here is grocery store croutons (usually found in the bakery section), which allow you to skip the step of slicing and drying out bread.

Recipe: Easiest 5-Ingredient Shortcut Stuffing

8. 1-Minute Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

temeculablogs.com

This almost-instant sauce only needs 60 seconds of active time in the pressure cooker β€” and makes enough for eight people.

Recipe: Easiest Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

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9. Spinach & Apple Salad With Creamy Feta

Pre-mix everything except the apples the day or night before β€” then slice and add them right before dressing and serving. (That way, they won't brown!)


Recipe: Spinach & Apple Salad With Creamy Feta

10. Oven-Roasted Crash Hot Potatoes

Joe Lingeman / Via thekitchn.com

Thanksgiving confession: I think mashed potatoes are overrated. (Sorry!) Give me crispy, ultra-textured roasted potatoes any day. Like these, which are cooked, smashed, then roasted again β€” so you get plenty of nooks and crannies for butter and toppings.

Recipe: Oven-Roasted Crash Hot Potatoes

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11. Easy Winter Fruit Salad

gimmesomeoven.com

Just a few minutes of assembly β€” plus a quick toss of mint, lime juice, and honey.

Recipe: Easy Winter Fruit Salad

12. 10-Minute Garlic Mushrooms

cafedelites.com

The vegetarian- and Keto-friendly side dish comes together super fast and only needs one pan and a few pantry staples.

Recipe: 10-Minute Garlic Mushrooms

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13. Shortcut Sweet Potato Casserole With Candied Pecans

The shortcut here is using the slow cooker to do all the hard work of making the filling.

Recipe: Shortcut Sweet Potato Casserole With Candied Pecans

14. Green Beans Almondine

therecipewell.com

Almondine is just a fancy culinary word that means a dish topped with almonds. Here, that's stovetop green beans β€” which cook way faster than their casserole counterpart.

Recipe: Green Beans Almondine

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15. Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers

Don't be intimidated by Thanksgiving desserts. If you can unroll puff pastry and slice apples, you can make this.

Recipe: Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers

16. Air Fryer Shrimp Cocktail

Filed under: Appetizers That Everyone Will Love.

Recipe: Air Fryer Shrimp Cocktail

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17. Sheet Pan Crispy Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Joe Lingeman / Via thekitchn.com

Caramelized and crispy on the outside, sweet and tender on the inside. (And again, the oven does all the heavy lifting!)

Recipe: Sheet Pan Crispy Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

18. Crescent Roll Pumpkin Pie Twists

deliciouslysprinkled.com

These bake up in just about 10 minutes.

Recipe: Crescent Roll Pumpkin Pie Twists

19. Easiest-Ever Mac 'n' Cheese

If you've got a kids' table at your Thanksgiving dinner, you can never go wrong with a side of mac 'n' cheese.

Recipe: Easiest Stovetop Mac 'n' Cheese

20. Reeses Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies

crazyforcrust.com

Take your favorite easy cookie recipe, swap half the chocolate chips for Reeses Pieces, and feast! πŸͺ

Recipe: Reeses Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies

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