Thanksgiving dinner is delicious, but it can also be overwhelming to prepare. Whether you are cooking for a crowd or need an easy side dish to share with your host, check out these simple recipes that are sure to be a hit at any Thanksgiving table.

Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish Suggestions

Cranberry Sauce (with 3 ingredients)

You can make a simple cranberry sauce by combining water, sugar, and cranberries. It takes less than 20 minutes to make this side dish, and if you have sugar in your pantry, the only thing you need to buy is a bag of cranberries.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Skip the complicated sweet potato casserole and make these basic candied sweet potatoes instead. After boiling the potatoes and removing their skins, all you need to do is slice them and reheat them on the stove in a mixture of butter and brown sugar.

Broccoli Cheese (Rice) Casserole

For this recipe from Rachael Ray, combine cream of mushroom soup. milk, mustard, broccoli, and cheddar cheese in a casserole dish. Top with buttered bread crumbs and bake for 30 minutes. To turn this into a broccoli cheese rice casserole, add 2 cups of cooked rice to the mixture before baking.

Fried Apples

Peel and thinly slice apples, then pan-fry them in plenty of butter. When they start to soften, add lots of cinnamon and sugar (I use both brown and white). Continue cooking, mixing well, until a syrup forms and the apples reach your desired consistency.

Even Easier Side Dish Options

If you don't know how or have time to cook, you can still contribute some great additions to the Thanksgiving table. A few ideas:

  • Volunteer to bring the wine or appetizers. It's easy to pick up an assortment of cheeses or a nice bottle of wine.
  • Be in charge of the stuffing, then stock up on several boxes of Stove Top. In my opinion, it tastes better than homemade stuffing anyway.
  • Stop by a local bakery and choose some freshly baked rolls. If you really want to impress, serve them with a flavored, gourmet butter.
  • Buy pre-made side dishes. Many stores offer elaborate Thanksgiving menus, and you can also purchase the items a la carte.
  • If you purchase your side dishes, take them home and transfer them to your own serving bowls. Unless you have a reputation as a terrible cook, everyone will assume you made them yourself!

What is your easy, go-to Thanksgiving side dish?