Still Figuring Out Your Thanksgiving Menu? These Lightning-Fast Sides Are Here for You

Not every holiday dish needs to take hours in the oven

By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on March 29, 2021

Skip the headache of days-long Thanksgiving recipes prep. Follow our quick guide to lightning fast Thanksgiving recipes so you can put dishes on the table in no time at all. For more detailed recipes and menus, see Saveur's Complete Guide to Thanksgiving here »

Cranberry Relish

This bracingly tart relish, from Matthew Jennings of Townsman in Boston is the perfect foil for a rich Thanksgiving spread. Whole pieces or orange flesh and peel add texture to balance the creamy smoothness of mashed potatoes and cornbread dressing. The best part is it comes together in no time at all. Get the recipe for Cranberry Relish »

Butternut Squash Pepe Soup

Chef Pierre Thiam's take on this classic autumn soup uses Scotch bonnet chiles for spice and nutmeg for warmth. In Senegal, a similar soup is said to prevent hangovers, so you'll find hawkers selling it outside the bars late at night. Use your favorite type of pumpkin or other fall squashes to substitute for the butternut in this recipe, if you like. For a vegan soup, substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock. Get the recipe for Butternut Squash Pepe Soup »

This gluten-free grain, a type of millet, provides a wonderfully nutty backbone to a salad of sweet dates and carrots, and crunchy roasted peanuts. Get the recipe for Fonio Pilaf with Dates, Carrots, and Peanuts »

Crunchy cashews coated with maple syrup and sesame seeds, and a boldly piquant dressing of Shanxi vinegar, add texture and verve to the classic kale salad from chef Cara Stadler of Tao Yuan in Brunswick, Maine. This vinaigrette is sharper than most, so if you prefer less acidity, add up to 1/4 cup more vegetable oil. Get the recipe for Kale and Apple Salad

This spin on a popular Sichuan stir-fry—with bacon, ginger, and garlic; garnished with sliced chestnuts—swaps traditional cauliflower for Brussels sprouts. Get the recipe for Wok-Fried Brussels Sprouts and Bacon with Crispy Chestnuts »

Fragrant with star anise, chiles de árbol, and cilantro, these mushrooms brown to a crisp on the outside while remaining tender inside. Get the recipe for Maitake Mushrooms with Red Chiles and Cilantro »

Bittersweet satsumas, a citrus fruit native to Louisiana, brighten these pickled shrimp, which chef Justin Devillier of New Orleans' La Petite Grocery spikes with Korean chile flakes. Substitute tangerines or any orange-related citrus and crushed red chile flakes, if necessary. Get the recipe for Pickled Shrimp with Satsuma »

Potato and Rutabaga Gratin

Earthy rutabagas and aged Gruyère add intrigue to a classic potato gratin. Get the recipe for Potato and Rutabaga Gratin »

Szarlotka is Polish for apple pie, and that's exactly what this two-ingredient highball tastes like. It's a match made in heaven—the unfiltered apple juice teases out Zubrowka's spicy notes. Get the recipe for Polish Apple Pie Cocktail (Szarlotka) »

The secret to this simple dish is to use the best quality bacon available. Delicious and straightforward, you can whip this dish together quickly while keeping the oven available for other jobs. Get the recipe for Fingerling Potatoes with Bacon »

Crispy pancetta, peppery arugula, and sweet sautéed shallots give a fall spin to panzanella. Get the recipe for Autumn Panzanella Salad »

Puréed Carrots with Orange and Ginger

Cookbook author Leah Koenig's family always served puréed carrots as part of their Jewish holiday repertoire. This version, from her forthcoming book The Modern Jewish Cookbook (Chronicle, 2015), gets amped up with ginger, garlic, and bright citrus. Get the recipe for Puréed Carrots with Orange and Ginger »

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