Let vegetables steal the show with these scrumptious, seasonal, and meat-free Thanksgiving dishes, from hearty sides like soy braised kabocha squash or a sweet potato and kale gratin, to savory main courses like spiced vegetable patties or a multilayered eggplant and goat cheese terrine.
Broccoli Rabe with White Beans and Preserved Lemon
The bitter bite of broccoli rabe is tempered by creamy cannellini beans and brightened by salty preserved lemon. A quick and pretty 1-pan side dish, this is easy to scale up for a crowd; unlike softer, more watery greens, rabe retains plenty of volume after cooking. Look for greens with healthy-looking stems and dark green florets.
Get the recipe for Broccoli Rabe with White Beans and Preserved Lemon »
Get the recipe for Charred Carrots with Lovage Sauce and Hazelnuts »
This rosemary-accented crema de auyama—Dominican cream of pumpkin soup—is the perfect Thanksgiving treat.
Braising—with a healthy dose of soy—is one of our favorite ways to bring out the texture and flavor of winter squash.
Thinly sliced potatoes and onions are baked in a rich cream sauce in this classic crowd-pleaser from Canada’s Prince Edward Island.
Get the recipe for Old-Fashioned Scalloped Potatoes »
Sherry vinegar balances the richness in the cream sauce for this Thanksgiving staple from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, California. A riff on the American classic, this recipe swaps the green beans for slender French-style haricots verts and the canned mushroom soup for a from-scratch mushroom cream sauce. The whole thing then gets a topping of crispy shallots before baking.
Get the recipe for Haricots Verts Casserole »
Kugel—the creamy egg noodle casserole that’s a staple of Jewish holiday cooking&dmash;gets a Midwestern topping of cornflakes in this Thanksgiving side dish.
This fragrant recipes involves a few ingenious methods for infusing the herb’s brisk flavor into the mash.
Get the recipe for Sage Mashed Potatoes »
In Crete, boureki is a rich, layered dish typically consisting of potatoes and squash, often topped with a generous amount of cheese before baking. Boureki may be eaten at room temperature, but it is especially irresistible when the cheese is still warm.
Get the recipe for Layered Pumpkin and Cheese Gratin Squares (Boureki) »
Toasted cumin seeds, mint, and lime juice intensify the sweetness of simple baked root vegetables.
Get the recipe for Cumin-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips»
With warming notes of curry and cinnamon, this hearty vegetable curry is perfect for a cozy meal.
Get the recipe for Pumpkin-Chickpea Curry »
Crispy baked kale, sweet roasted squash, and peppery arugula and watercress are combined with pumpkin and pomegranate seeds in this colorful salad.
Get the recipe foFall Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale Chips, and Pomegranate Seeds »
Creamy baked yams mashed with butter, lime juice, and honey make an easy, bright autumn side dish.
Ginger-spiced green beans make a light and simple side dish.
Get the recipe for Green Beans with Sesame Sauce »
Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Labneh
Shallots are quick-pickled and sautéed with green beans in this refreshing side.
This simple, satisfying side rounds out any Thanksgiving dinner.
This colorful side is unbelievably simple, requiring only radishes, olive oil, thyme, and salt and pepper.
Roasted Radishes »
This light, Lebanese lentil salad is flavored with lemon juice, cumin, allspice, and parsley.
In this simple, elegant salad, the spicy flavor of thinly sliced raw kale is offset by creamy Pecorino cheese, bright lemon, and sweet-tart dried currants.
Sweet Vidalia onions, grown in and around the namesake Georgia city, turn even sweeter when roasted with a savory herbed bread crumb topping.
Roasted Vidalia Onions with Herbed Bread Crumbs »
An aromatic combination of spices elevate the humble sweet potato oven fry to something truly special.
Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Honey Fries with Curry-Honey Sauce »
Moroccan Carrots with Aleppo Pepper and Mint
A garnish of fried mushrooms and a drizzle of spiced mint butter adds elegance to a simple pureed vegetable soup.
Tossing crisp-fried brussels sprout leaves in a spicy Thai-flavored dressing spiked with yuzu juice, sesame oil, and Sriracha enlivens the old standby vegetable.
Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad
This sophisticated take on cranberry sauce, laced with spices and plenty of fresh ginger, gets a boost from chopped celery and tart apples.
Get the recipe for Cranberry-Ginger Chutney »
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini
Maple syrup enhances the sweetness of this simple sweet potato mash.
Get the recipe for Maple Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes »
Earthy rutabagas and aged Gruyere add intrigue to a classic potato gratin.
Get the recipe for Potato and Rutabaga Gratin »
Eastern spices like cumin and cardamom bring bright notes to this earthy, pleasantly chewy pilaf.
Get the recipe for Spiced Wheat Berry Pilaf »
This sweet potato casserole is an especially festive, over-the-top take on the Thanksgiving classic, topped with a crisp pecan crumble and dotted with marshmallows.
Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble »
Kohlrabi, with its turniplike flavor, takes well to a slow simmer on the stove with chicken stock, butter, and thyme.
Get the recipe for Butter-Braised Kohlrabi »
A lightly-spiced and creamy cabbage casserole is baked with a crunchy breadcrumb and Parmesan topping.
Get the recipe for Red Cabbage Gratin »
Jalapeños and cilantro punch up classic cornbread.
Packed full of glowing winter produce—sweet roasted beets, tart pomegranate seeds—this lentil salad makes a colorful addition to the winter table.
Get the recipe for Lentil Salad with Beets and Pomegranate »
Ginger, chile powder, fennel seed, and turmeric add complex flavor to these tender collards.
Get the recipe for Kashmiri Collard Greens (Haak) »
Frying whole spices to release their flavor–a technique known in many parts of India as baghar–is crucial to developing the flavors in this simple dish of cauliflower and tomato.
See the recipe for Curried Cauliflower with Tomatoes »
Luscious pearl onions are rendered complex by curry powder and Tabasco.
Get the recipe for Curried Creamed Onions »
This creamy, savory preparation brings out Brussels sprouts’ natural sweetness.
Creamed Brussels Sprouts »
Walnuts, apple, and sliced beet add crunch and flavor to this wintertime salad.
Don’t limit traditional pie spices—clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg—to the dessert table. In this cheesy, rich gratin, the spices take a savory note alongside kale, sweet potatoes, and sharp white cheddar.
It’s not hard to love North Indian saag paneer—meltingly soft spinach strewn with chunks of mild fresh cheese—especially when scooped up with hot flatbread.
Saag Paneer (Spinach with Fresh Indian Cheese) »
This stuffing gets its sweet-spicy flavor from chiles, fennel, prunes, and cumin.
Get the recipe for Oaxacan Stuffing »
It’s rare that we encounter spaghetti squash
not shredded into its eponymous noodle-like threads. But kept intact, it reveals a beautifully yielding texture and a savory, subtle flavor that’s perfectly offset by a rich walnut-miso glaze.
Inspired by the briny flavors of veal piccata, this elegant side dish is simplicity itself: blanched green beans tossed in a vinaigrette of capers, bright lemon, and a beautiful olive oil.
Get the recipe for Green Beans with Lemons and Capers »
Feta, red onion, and mint are a classic combination; tossed with snappy green beans they make a salad of surprising complexity.
Lime and jalapeño punch up this fresh, no-cook take on cranberry sauce.
See the Cranberry Salsa recipe »
Shredded Brussels sprouts, tossed with pecorino, walnuts, and lemon, is a bright and fresh salad for any Thanksgiving spread.
Get the recipe for Brussels Sprouts Salad »
Honey makes for a more flavorful glaze for carrots than sugar does. In this dish, orange zest keeps the sweetness from becoming cloying.
See the recipe for Orange and Honey-Glazed Carrots »
Notoriously bitter and tough, broccoli rabe becomes mellow and supple when cooked slowly in a bath of water and olive oil.
Get the recipe for Cime di Rapa Fritte (Slow-Cooked Broccoli Rabe) »
These Brussels sprouts, inspired by classic South Indian curry dishes, retain a hint of bite in the center, while the garam masala and onion add a sweetness that offsets the sprouts’ flavor nicely.
Get the recipe for Curried Brussels Sprouts »
In this salad, a chile-infused honey compliments the spicy radishes and gives the green beans some sweet heat.
Get the recipe for Green Bean and Radish Salad »
Wild rice adds a toasted nuttiness to this dish, and breaking it up in a food processor allows the rice to cook at the same rate as the polenta. Cookbook author
Amy Thielen advises to scrape the corn cobs with the back of a knife after you grate the kernels to extract as much of the corn liquid as you can. Get the recipe for Polenta with Corn and Wild Rice »
Celery root (along with a bit of grated grana padano cheese) adds a deep, earthy backbone to this potato recipe. It’s a tweak even a diehard traditionalist can love.
Get the recipe for Whipped Potatoes with Celery Root »
Carrots are roasted before being topped with crunchy pistachios and a sweet fig vinaigrette in a simple salad from Eli and Max Sussman’s
Classic Recipes for Modern People (Olive Press, 2015). Get the recipe for Carrot and Pistachio Salad »
Fragrant orange flower water, called zhaar in Morocco and made from the blossoms of bergamot orange trees, perfumes this delicate salad, in which sweet citrus is offset by spicy radish.
Get the recipe for Orange and Radish Salad »
Switch up your classic risotto with nutty spelt, sweet beets, and horseradish for that extra kick.
Get the recipe for Spelt Risotto with Beets and Horseradish »
Rutabagas are the star in this autumnal twist on the well-known Sicilian eggplant relish.
Get the recipe for Rutabaga Caponata »
Nutmeg and savory—two seasonings commonly found in 19th-century stuffing recipes—add subtly sweet and herbal notes to this dish.
Get the recipe for Classic Stuffing »