30+ Seasonal, Healthy Vegetarian Sides for Thanksgiving

Fill your Thanksgiving table with all of the colors of the season this year and balance out the indulgent dishes with something fresher and just a bit lighter.


Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. It’s a food lovers dream, really. An entire day dedicated to eating delicious food with family and friends without the pressure of gifts or any other responsibilities —what’s not to love?

To add to the excitement, we are hosting our first Thanksgiving this year! I’ve gotten more than a few skeptical looks when I’ve shared this plan since Thanksgiving is 10 days before my due date, but I figure it’s a nice distraction from all things baby and the discomfort that comes along with being 38 weeks pregnant. It certainly won’t be the same as the typical Gold Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle’s house, which can only be described as completely over-the-top, and is something we all look forward to each year. But we’re bringing a few of the traditions to our table and maybe will even start some new ones.

My mom, sister, and I have been planning our menu for weeks, and I know we will have more food than 12 people could ever eat. Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is about? I ordered a turkey from our local meat share, and am going to attempt to make my first-ever turkey (a little bold for Thanksgiving? Probably.), but Thanksgiving is really about the sides in my book. And there is little that makes me happier than a table filled with all of the colors of the season.

While there will be plenty of butter in our kitchen on Thanksgiving Day, it’s also nice to have some less indulgent, yet just as — or dare I say, more?— flavorful as some of the traditional dishes.

Whether you’re hosting or in charge of bringing a side, you really can’t go wrong with anything filled with vegetables. I promise — among all the buttery, creamy, salty, sugary dishes, having something fresh and little bit lighter to balance it all out is welcome. Need some inspiration? Here are over 30 seasonal vegetable side dishes from my fellow food-loving dietitians that will no doubt be a perfect addition to your table.

Root Vegetables

Roasted Chioggia Beet and Gorgonzola Salad from Sarah Gold Nutrition

Fall Panzella Salad from Food, Pleasure, and Health

Extra Gingery Roasted Rainbow Carrots from Sinful Nutrition

photo from Jenny Shea Rawn @ My Cape Cod Kitchen

photo from Jenny Shea Rawn @ My Cape Cod Kitchen

Simply Roasted Parsnips from Jenny of My Cape Cod Kitchen

Brussels Sprouts

Photo from Liz Weiss @ Liz’s Healthy Table

Photo from Liz Weiss @ Liz’s Healthy Table

Pecan Topped Slightly-Sweet Sweet Potato Casserole from Liz’s Healthy Table

Lightened Up Sweet Potato Casserole from The Gourmet RD

Maple Chipotle Whipped Sweet Potatoes from Sweet Cayenne

Roasted Butternut Squash and Potato Medley from Food with Judes

Sweet Potato Pie Bites from The Nutritionist Reviews


Fall Herb Roasted Delicata Squash from Sarah Gold Nutrition

Roasted Acorn Squash and Barley Salad from Grateful Grazer

Spaghetti Squash Gratin from How to Eat

Photo from Kara Lydon @ The Foodie Dietitian

Photo from Kara Lydon @ The Foodie Dietitian

Thanksgiving Stuffed Acorn Squash from The Foodie Dietitian

Stuffed Butternut Squash with Pears, Pecans, and Cranberries from Jean LaMantia

Roasted Butternut Squash with Pomegranate Sauce from Amy Gorin Nutrition

Spiced Squash Quinoa from Avocado Grove Nutrition

Black Rice Squash Bowl from Eat Real Live Well

Easy Pumpkin Soup from Jessica Ivey

Green Beans

Photo from Marisa Moore Nutrition

Photo from Marisa Moore Nutrition

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Almonds from Marisa Moore Nutrition

Cheddar Green Bean Casserole from Healthy Seasonal Recipes


Healthy Maple Cranberry Sauce from Sarah Gold Nutrition

Cranberry Pear Sauce from Triad to Wellness

Oat Cranberry Pilaf from Sharon Palmer


Photo from Meals with Maggie

Photo from Meals with Maggie