The Only 5 Thanksgiving Sides Recipes You'll Ever Need

cranberry sauceAlthough I fancy fancy food, I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. I mean, don't get me wrong, you can make your maple bacon walnut cinnamon vanilla glazed turkey, but just be sure to have the sides -- the classic sides -- to boot.

You know the ones I'm talking about. The sides that you'll find no matter where you go for Thanksgiving dinner, be it a friend's, your in-laws', or, gulp, out to eat. You need those sides. Even if you don't like them, because, screw the turkey, the sides are Thanksgiving!

So, here's a handy-dandy list of five side dishes that really should make their way to your table come Thursday. I mean, seriously, how could one leave out the cranberry sauce (even if it's from a can)?

Cranberry Sauce. (See what I did up there?) Now, I'm not a huge fan of cranberry sauce -- particularly when it comes out of a can, which is what I grew up on -- but if I didn't spot a pile of crimson jiggly stuff on the Thanksgiving table, I might die. Seriously. 

Green bean casserole. It's a classic. It's got the delicious crunchy things on top. And for God's sake, we need to eat at least one thing on Thanksgiving that isn't meat or starch.

Sweet potato casserole. What's better than one casserole? Two casseroles! And they're both made from vegetables. Win-win. Even if one is a delicious, carb-filled mess made with, if you're lucky, marshmallows -- it's still a vegetable.

Mashed potatoes. I mean, did I even need to list this? Mashed potatoes are beyond "essential" on Thanksgiving; they're, like, life or death.

Pumpkin pie. No, it's not a side, but it could be if you wanted. To be honest, I was going to list "stuffing" as the final crucial Thanksgiving side, but I mean, stuffing is another one that supersedes "essential." And, after all, it's part of the turkey. Sort of. So, yeah, pumpkin pie. Doesn't matter if you buy it, bake it, or unfreeze it. It's a must. And so is the whipped cream that goes on top. Booya!

What sides do you have to have at Thanksgiving dinner?


Image via doortoriver/Flickr

dinner, family meals, food, holiday entertaining, thanksgiving