These Thanksgiving casseroles will make the big day a whole lot easier.
The word casserole encompasses a lot of different recipes, but in general, it’s a baked dish that’s warm, comforting, and wonderfully satisfying.
Choose a few sides, like broccoli rice or turnips au gratin, and let them bubble away while you baste the bird and finish the pies.
Or maybe you need something vegetarian-friendly that doesn’t include turkey? In that case, you can’t go wrong with butternut squash mac and cheese.
Like slow cooker meals, these casseroles are easy to prepare and perfect for feeding a crowd.
Not only is this dish super colorful and loaded with texture, but it’s also full of festive flavors that will complement your Thanksgiving feast.
I like to use squash because it holds its shape a little better than sweet potato when roasted, but you’ll still get that sweet taste.
The apples will add a lovely note of crisp tartness, and then the bacon swoops in with just the right amount of salt.
It’s perfectly balanced and definitely won’t last long!
The best thing about this mashed potato casserole is that you can make it up to two days ahead.
So, if you have a bunch to do on turkey day, this will help to lighten the load.
It starts with simple mashed potatoes, but then you’ll add butter, sour cream, milk, bacon, and grated cheese.
Keep that in the fridge (covered) and pop it in the oven about half an hour before dinner.
This is like the low-carb version of the recipe above.
It has many of the same great ingredients, including cheese and bacon, only it’s full of cauliflower rather than potatoes.
Since cauliflower is so mild, you’ll use a blend of cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, garlic powder, and onion powder to bring it to life.
Other than broccoli and cheddar soup, I don’t think there’s a better way to serve these little green florets.
I happen to love the flavor of broccoli, but I know many kids will shy away.
But if you mix them with tender rice and plenty of cheese, I’ll bet they’ll reach for more.
It’s hard to describe the flavor of a turnip, but they’re a lot like potatoes in texture when cooked.
I find them slightly peppery, but I’ve also had them when they’re a little sweet.
In this dish, they’re be smothered in creamy, garlicky sauce and lots of cheese, so their natural flavor will be mellow.
No doubt you’ll have a few potatoes sides on the table, so it’s nice to have something a little different.
Do you like sweet potato casserole covered in marshmallows, or are you looking for something less sweet?
Don’t get me wrong, I love the stuff! But it can be overwhelming, especially when served with savory meats and veggies.
Instead, this recipe is still a little bit sweet and full of amazing buttery nuts.
When it comes to casseroles, you’ll want them to be as simple as possible.
After all, if you have to make a million elements before they hit the dish, it’s not really a casserole.
This super simple side dish uses half a dozen ingredients, most of which are ready to go right out of the package.
Even though you can use zucchini here, I highly recommend using summer squash if you can find it.
That stunning yellow will brighten up any table, and it’s so inviting too.
Of course, you could also use a mix of the two. For example, it would look terrific with alternating rows of green and yellow.
Brussel sprouts can be a hard sell, but when they’re covered in a creamy sauce and cheese, you won’t have to try too hard.
As for the grapes, I promise it’s not as crazy as it sounds.
They add color and a slight sweetness to the mix, which pairs so well with turkey and cranberry sauce.
I make this probably once a month for Sunday dinner. It’s light, sweet, creamy, and perfect with everything from chicken and pork to beef.
It’s got serious cornbread vibes, but then it’s also kind of like polenta and mashed potatoes.
Ok, I know it sounds a little out there. But I promise you won’t regret making this corn casserole, and it might even become a new holiday favorite!
French onion soup is deliciously rich and has a very intense broth to go along with all those onions.
The secret to making this as rich as possible is deep, dark, and meaty beef broth.
And since it’s also loaded with cheese on top, I don’t recommend trying to make this vegan with veggie broth, as that would leave you with a disappointing, mellow taste.
I’m a huge fan of adding veggies to pasta sauce whenever possible.
So my marinara is loaded with fresh tomatoes, roasted peppers, and a generous helping of carrots.
But this is such a clever little trick, and I’ll bet the kids won’t even know the difference.
It’s still silky smooth and lusciously creamy, but there’s also a hefty serving of nutrients in every single bite.
When they’re cooked right, mushrooms can be wonderfully meaty.
So, unlike soft mashed potatoes and tender stuffing, these will add another chewy-in-a-good-way element to your plate.
The trick is to sauté them first to help get rid of the excess moisture. If you skip this step, they’ll come out rubbery and slimy.
If you put a blob of wilted, sad spinach on my plate, I’ll smile and eat it because I’m polite, but I’ll secretly wish it was covered in cheese the whole time!
Truthfully, I do enjoy sautéed spinach when it’s full of onions and garlic. That said, you can’t beat creamed spinach.
Plus, this recipe also calls for artichoke hearts and cream cheese, so it’s more like a thick spinach and artichoke dip.
Cornbread should be a little firm but still tender and moist, which, unfortunately, many places get wrong.
I’m sure we’ve all eaten our fair share of tough and dry cornbread before, right?
Luckily, this Jiffy cornbread mix takes all the guesswork out of the picture and leaves you with a perfect side dish every time.
Known across the pond as a “swede,” this root veggie is in the turnip family, only it’s usually overlooked come dinner time.
They taste like a blend of cabbage, turnip, and potatoes, and, like potatoes, they have a yellow color when cooked.
I find these to have a slightly more unique flavor than turnips, but they’re very similar and just as delicious.
I have to admit that I usually only serve carrots as a side when they’re covered in a sweet and butter glaze.
When I saw this recipe, I thought, “How haven’t I thought of that before?”
You’ll make a simple roux with flour, salt, mustard, pepper, and milk, to which you add plenty of cheese.
Cover the carrots and bake them under a buttery Ritz cracker crumble.
Wild rice is considered healthier than white, as it’s full of protein and antioxidants.
I like it because it has a better texture and it looks more colorful on the plate.
This recipe is very similar to the one above; only it doesn’t include a heavy cheese sauce in the middle.
Instead, it just has a layer of Gruyère and mature cheddar cheese on top, which is more than enough, thanks to their bold taste.
Remember what I said about casseroles being easy? Well, other than chopping an onion and pepper, all you need to do here is open a few cans and stir.
Between the peas, pimentos, water chestnuts, and mushroom soup, this is bursting with crunch and fresh flavors.
Also, this recipe uses frozen peas. So, you could use a veggie medley instead if you want more color.
Sweet potato, marshmallow, and pineapple? Believe it or not, they’re a match made in heaven.
I talked a little above about sweet potato casserole being too sweet (and that’s coming from someone with a serious sweet tooth).
But this recipe uses tart pineapple to add a lovely fruitiness to the mix that also cuts through the sugar just right.
Cheese is one of my biggest weaknesses and is the reason I could never go full vegan.
As much as I agree with cutting down on meat and dairy products, there’s no way I could give it up entirely.
And since it’s the holidays, it’s time to indulge! So why would you make plain old mash when you can make this cheesy dish instead?
I used a blend of super mature white cheddar and Gruyère, which is a little nutty, kind of smoky, and melts like a dream.
If you plan to serve mash, stuffing, and roasted veggies with your turkey, consider adding sides with varying textures to help balance everything out.
I started this by roasting the potatoes since they’re frozen and full of moisture. That way, when you add the soup, it won’t be watery in the end.
Also, be sure to bake uncovered so the top will crisp up.
How amazing does this dish look? Those colors and crunchy strips just scream, “Eat me!”
You’ll use sweet potato, parsnips, and beets, though feel free to use radishes or even blue potatoes if you can find them.
I found some vibrant golden beets that looked amazing in the mix.
Just keep in mind that this is specifically a root vegetable gratin because they all typically cook at the same pace.
So you can’t add, say, peppers, as they’ll just turn to mush.
It might not be vegan, but this is a terrific vegetarian option to serve at your next Thanksgiving dinner.
Start with a familiar base of onions and garlic, then incorporate peppers and mushrooms and cook until most of the juices have evaporated.
After that, you’ll add tomatoes and herbs to finish the sauce, and finally, stir in some lightly sauteed eggplant.
This looks a little like a veggie lasagna with all those lovely zucchini layers and juicy tomatoes.
There’s also a yummy layer of cream cheese, milk, basil, ground nutmeg, and lots of cheese on top.
One clever way to cut down on dishes and save space in the oven is to combine two fan-faves into one easy casserole.
Basically, you’ll make your go-to stuffing recipe and then just mix it with mashed potatoes.
Another option would be to layer them, so you’ll get more distinct flavors.
Vegetable pie is excellent for something vegetarian/vegan, as it’s easy and filling. Plus, you can serve it to everyone as a side to go with the turkey.
For those of us with little patience to play around with pastry, crumble tops are a lifesaver.
I use them on all of my pies because they’re a cinch to whip up and take little to no effort to make pretty.
Since this is a savory pie, you’ll mix crushed Ritz crackers with bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, pepper, thyme, and butter.
Leeks have such a pleasant onion and garlic taste and they’re lightly sweet, too. Not to mention, their light green color helps them to stand out in any dish.
This casserole is a spin on the classic potato au gratin as it uses a similar cheesy sauce. But then there are all those tender leeks in the mix, too.
Remember to slice and soak the leeks, as dirt can easily get caught up in the layers.
If you want a festive dessert that’s a breeze to make and sure to be a crowd-pleaser, look no further than this apple fritter casserole.
Like I said before, who has the patience to play around with pastry all day?
Instead, you make a similar apple filling with spices and sugar, then top it off with canned crescent rolls.
Tender vanilla cake + dreamy white chocolate mousse + tart cranberry compote = one helluva Thanksgiving dessert.
Feel free to save time and use a boxed cake mix. Nobody will know, I swear!
That said, this recipe is vegan, so if you want it to stay that way, I suggest following what’s written as it uses soy milk and coconut cream.
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