Be honest — if you have to choose your favorite thing about a Thanksgiving table, it might have more to do with the dishes sitting around the turkey than with the esteemed bird itself. Sure, we love a perfect roasted turkey and all the resulting leftovers, but nothing comes close to your family’s famous mashed potatoes smothered in gravy or your grandma’s cranberry dressing. If you don’t already have an arsenal of family secrets at your disposal, or you’re just looking to stir things up a bit this year, we’ve got you totally covered. We’ve gathered up the most indulgent and tastiest takes on the classics so your star turkey will have plenty of company on the table this year. Mix yourself up a fall cocktail and start making that grocery list.


1. Pumpkin, Butternut Squash and Gorgonzola Bread Pudding: This special dish is everything we love in a holiday recipe. It’s full of seasonal produce, it’s decadent and it makes a perfect breakfast the following day. Enjoy! (via Climbing Grier Mountain)


2. Baked Sweet Potatoes With Maple-Meringue Topping: If marshmallows are feeling a little too basic, check out this meringue topping. We’re not sure if this counts as a veggie or a dessert, but we’ll take it either way. (via Katie at the Kitchen Door)


3. Harissa, Broccoli, Spinach and Wild Rice Casserole With Crispy Prosciutto: This dish could be a complete meal in itself. It’s loaded with green veggies, gorgeous wild rice and crunchy nuts and rounded out with savory prosciutto. Top it all off with a healthy serving of gouda and gruyere. This recipe is special enough for the holiday table, but you’ll probably want to work it into your regular meal rotation too. (via Half Baked Harvest)


4. Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad With Bacon and Pecorino: This one is hitting all the right notes — crunchy, crispy, salty and savory. It also holds up well, so you can prepare it and even dress it a few hours in advance. The dressing will soften the veggies and bring it all together. (via Sugar and Grace)


5. Wild Rice Stuffing With Turkey Italian Sausage, Hazelnuts and Cranberries: Using whole grains in your stuffing adds extra depth of flavor. It’s so good you’ll want to eat it straight from the pan — gravy optional. (via Cooking for Keeps)

Browned Butter and Sage Squash 3

6. Squash With Browned Butter and Sage: Nutty browned butter plays perfectly with the earthiness of baked squash. Pomegranate seeds add a welcome pop of color. (via This Is How I Cook)


7. Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad With Apples, Hazelnuts and Brown Butter Vinaigrette: Raw Brussels sprouts can be delicious when they’re very fresh and thinly sliced. This salad is a fresh complement to all of those more hearty side dishes. You can clean and prep your sprouts a day ahead to save precious kitchen time on the big day. (via The Kitchn)


8. Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce: If you’ve never tasted homemade cranberry sauce, then now is the time. It’s so simple to prepare, and your entire house will smell divine. This is another one of those dishes you can go ahead and make a day or two ahead of time. (via Gimme Some Oven)


9. Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad: A fresh green salad is a breeze to throw together and a great way to incorporate all of those fall flavors and colors. Try persimmons or pears in place of the apples if you can find them in your area. (via Creme de la Crumb)


10. Crispy Sweet Potato Roast: It may take a bit of effort to prep your sweet potatoes like this, but if you’re brave enough to tackle it, the rest comes together in a snap. For extra flavor, serve it with an herbaceous salsa verde, as suggested in this recipe. (via Smitten Kitchen)


11. Sausage and Pear Stuffing: Forget about that dried-out packaged stuff and try your hand at homemade stuffing. This one is the perfect balance of savory and sweet. (via Martha Stewart)


12. Extra Buttery Mashed Potatoes: Never underestimate the power of the potato. It’s a simple dish, but when done right it can tie the whole meal together. Your guests won’t care if the turkey is dry as long as they have creamy potatoes to cover it with. The secret ingredient in this recipe is herb-infused whole milk… and a generous helping of butter, of course. (via Bon Appetit)


13. Brussels Sprout Gratin: Sturdy Brussels sprouts get bathed in milk and gruyere and baked with pancetta until tender. It’s basically the best thing that ever happened to a vegetable. (via Simply Recipes)

14. Loaded Skillet Toasted Green Beans: Just because they’re traditional doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Pair your green beans with tempting toppings like toasted nuts, caramelized shallots and feta cheese. (via How Sweet It Is)


15. Parker House Rolls: Homemade bread is one of the simplest ways to elevate a meal, and these herbed Parker House rolls are a great place to start. Make another batch the following day for the most delicious turkey sandwiches. (via Williams-Sonoma)


16. Harissa and Maple Roasted Carrots: We love the way these multicolored carrots add vibrancy to the table. Harissa is an unexpected but perfect flavor addition. (via The Bitten Word)

Roasted-Cauliflower-Beet-and-Farro-Salad-3-e1423457317561 copy

17. Roasted Cauliflower, Beet and Farro Winter Salad: A hearty grain salad is a healthy alternative to some of the more traditional sides. It also gives vegetarians something a little more interesting than bread and potatoes to put on the plate. Not that we’re complaining about bread and potatoes… (via Joy the Baker)


18. Sweet Potato Casserole With Pecan Crumble: Everyone’s favorite part of this classic dish is always the marshmallow topping. Take it to a new level with this crumble situation. It’s basically dessert for dinner. (via Saveur)

Do you have a favorite recipe that must make an appearance at Thanksgiving every year? Tell us in the comments below!