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Wow Your Guests With These Four Thanskgiving Side Dishes

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal State Chico chapter.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you might be questioning what dishes will be the perfect addition to the main course of turkey. There are so many options you could choose from, and it varies from family to family depending on what everyone’s taste buds enjoy! Here are a few unique Thanksgiving side dishes to impress all the family and friends who attend your feast. All of these recipes serve about 3-5 people so make as needed with how many guests you are serving!

Brussels Sprout Hash with Caramelized Shallots

This side dish is for those who love brussels sprouts. This delicious recipe is a great way to get your greens in on a hefty meal like Thanksgiving Day. 


  1. 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter, divided up evenly 
  2. ½ pound shallots sliced very thinly
  3. For this recipe we are going to need coarse kosher salt (if you don’t have it, don’t stress regular salt with suffice)
  4. 2  Tablespoons  of some apple cider vinegar
  5. 4 Teaspoons of sugar
  6. 1 ½ pounds of brussel sprouts, trimmed down and cut in quarters lengthwise
  7. 3 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (this is recommended but any oil you choose will do)
  8. 1 Cup of delicious water
  9. Grated parmesan


  • Melt your butter in a medium-sized skillet on medium heat, make sure to add your shallots, and sprinkle with your salt (coarse salt if you have it) and pepper. Sauté these until they are soft and golden brown, this will take about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add your vinegar and sugar stirring until glazed and brown, this should take about 3 minutes.
  • Take your brussels sprouts and throw them into a large pan over medium heat with heated olive oil. Sprinkle these with salt and pepper to your liking. Sauté the brussels sprouts until they are brown at the edges which should take about 6 minutes. Adding your cup of water and 3 tablespoons of butter, sauté more until the water evaporates and the brussels sprouts are tender and bright green (this should take another 3 minutes). 
  • Add shallots to the brussels sprouts, season with salt and butter to your liking, and sauté until satisfied.
  • When plated and ready to serve, add the parmesan on top for some extra flare!

Corn Casserole

Next, we’ve got a classic corn casserole, a delicious and semi-healthy dish that’s both spicy and sweet, adding a great addition to the array of traditional Turkey Day food! 


  1. 1 Package of frozen corn
  2. 1 Can of green Ortega chilis
  3. Half a sleeve of saltine crackers 
  4. ½ block of cream cheese 
  5. 1 Cup of butter (this is optional)
  6. 1 Bag of Mexican blend cheese
  7. Jalapenos (optional)
  8. ½  Cup of vegetable stock


  • Preheat oven 350°F
  • Take a baking pan and grease up with butter
  • Take 2 tablespoons of butter and melt in a pot, add cream cheese until melted, and add the corn and green chilis (jalapenos optional). Then, add these ingredients to the pre-greased baking dish. 
  • Add broken saltine crackers as well as salt, pepper, and chili flakes to your liking. Mix in half a bag of shredded cheese (Mexican blend) and the vegetable stock. Finally, add the remainder on top before placing into the oven for 30-40 minutes, waiting for the top to get that perfect shade of golden brown.

Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeño poppers are a wonderful side dish that can complement any meal. A Thanksgiving meal can be plain and boring, but this will add a hint of spice and comfort that will make your family and friends ask for the recipe for years to come. 


  1. Jalapeños (the bigger, the better)
  2. Block of cream cheese
  3. Bag of Mexican blend cheese
  4. Pack of ground beef (or other desired meat)
  5. Pack of bacon (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 400°F 
  • Cook your ground meat of choice (turkey, beef, or pork will all work for this) until it is about ⅔ of the way cooked
  • Once cooked, take your cream cheese and combine it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder as you please. Everyone’s preference is different so add as much or as little as you please. At this point you can also add shredded cheese in your mixture as well, up to ones preference.
  • Take your jalapeños and cut them in halves lengthwise, scooping out all the insides
  • Once the jalapeños are empty add your cream cheese filling inside until full
  • Take shredded cheese, I prefer the Mexican blend and sprinkle it on top of the poppers. 
  • This step is optional: If you’re feeling crazy, at this point you can take bacon and wrap it around securing it with a toothpick 
  • Pop your jalapeño poppers in for about 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown


My final side dish recommendation is the known and beloved cornbread. This side dish adds a great sweet option to balance many of the savory options a Thanksgiving meal provides. 


  1. 1 Cup of all-purpose flour 
  2. 1 Cup of yellow cornmeal or polenta 
  3. 1 Tablespoon of sugar (this is of course optional but adds such a great hint of sugary goodness to your side dish) 
  4. 2 Teaspoons of baking powder 
  5. ½ Teaspoon of baking soda
  6. ½ Teaspoon of salt
  7. 1 ½ Cups of buttermilk (also make sure to shake it up before measuring)
  8. 2 Eggs
  9. ½ Cup of soft unsalted butter
  10. Jalapeños (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to a whopping 400°F and grease your 9-inch baking dish with beautiful butter 
  • In a separate bowl add your main ingredients and mix the dry ingredients first (and jalapeños if you choose to include), then combine the liquid ingredients mixing well. 
  • Bake until your cornbread begins to become brown on top, checking if it is cooked all the way through by putting a toothpick in (if you pull the toothpick out and there is still wet batter on it, it is not cooked through). This will take about 20-30 minutes
  • Allow your delicious masterpiece to cool for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving to your guests

I hope these recommendations help you out this Thanksgiving! Happy Turkey Day.

Taylor Wagner

Cal State Chico '24

Taylor is currently a fourth year student at Chico State expecting to graduate in Spring 2024. She is an english education major with a double minor in creative writing and secondary language, she is also working towards her editing and publishing certificate as well. Taylor has been on the dean's list for five semesters at Chico and is also a current member of the greek organization Sigma Kappa. Taylor has many passions including the environment and writing! In her free time you will catch her hanging out with friends, making food, sitting down to read a book or working out. She loves staying active and meeting new people. Taylor is originally from Encinitas, California, a city in San Diego county. After college she hopes to become a high school English teacher. Yet, to begin that journey she wants to move back to her home base and get her teaching credential, then to a larger city shortly after to get her Masters.