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Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Recipes

WebMD Expert Column

No one wants to mess with the traditional green bean casserole or sweet potatoes typically served alongside the Thanksgiving turkey. But there might be a place at the feast for one or two new seasonal sides.

Some families like to give homage to the traditional recipes, while at the same time keeping things fresh by welcoming a couple new dishes to the celebration.

Thanksgiving Food Trends

Food is most definitely in right now. This year alone, a new food-centric cable network has sprouted and a popular but shuttered food magazine found new life as an iPad application, among other developments.

So use these recipes to give your Thanksgiving menu an update; we predict you’ll get plenty of gratitude.    

Give your brussels sprouts bacon, plus other savory ideas.

Your guests expect pumpkin pie – so surprise them with one of these delicious innovations.

Give your turkey a makeover (or two) and accommodate the vegetarians at your table with ease.

Here are a few new fall side dishes for you to consider. They'll all do well the next day, too, if you have Thanksgiving leftovers.


Brussels Sprouts and Bacon


8 cups trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts (quartered, if large), about 2 pounds

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped shallot (about 2 large shallots)

5 slices turkey bacon, finely chopped (6 slices center-cut bacon can be substituted, but then delete the olive oil)

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dried thyme can be substituted)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put Brussels sprouts in a large microwave-safe dish. Cover the Brussels sprouts with cold water and then use a lid to drain most of the water out of the dish. Cover the dish and microwave on high until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan and heat over medium-high. Stir in the shallot and bacon pieces over medium-high heat until onion is golden and bacon is browned and crisp (about 3 minutes).
  3. Reduce heat to moderate and stir in Brussels sprouts, thyme, and pepper and cook, stirring often, for a minute or two to blend flavors and allow flat edges of Brussels sprouts to brown.

Yield: Makes about 8 servings

Per serving: 135 calories, 8 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fat, 1.3 grams saturated fat, 3.2 grams monounsaturated fat, 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 6 grams fiber, 250 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 40%. Omega-3 fatty acids = 0.2 grams, Omega-6 fatty acids = 1.1

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