Turkey may have the throne, but it’s the sides that rule Thanksgiving, especially when you don’t want to be beholden to days (weeks? months?) of leftover turkey. It’s rich casseroles, bright and tangy cranberry sauce and vegetables of all kinds prepared in all sorts of ways that get us excited about the holiday.

Start by making a list of what you need on your table and what you could do without. For me, that’s cranberry sauce, green beans and something involving corn. For others, that may mean extra-rich mac and cheese or cornbread or stuffing or a tray full of crispy Brussels sprouts. Of course, if you must have it all, you may need to shrink some recipes — luckily, ours have a scale feature!

Read on for sides for any size gathering.

Red Wine Cranberry Sauce, pictured above. Three ingredients, two optional additional ones. For those who prefer a sauce to the jellied fun of the canned stuff, this super simple sauce packs a lot of flavor. If you’re not into using wine for cooking, use pomegranate juice instead.


Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Slaw With Oranges. Crispy roasted sprouts are certainly delicious, but you could also shred them into a refreshing, crunchy slaw. Bonus: This would make a great addition to leftovers sandwiches.


French’s Green Bean Casserole With From-Scratch Mushroom Sauce. Ditch the can of cream-of-mushroom soup and make your own simple mushroom sauce for this classic casserole. But keep those French’s Fried Onions.


Patti LaBelle’s Mac and Cheese. LaBelle once served Elton John this mac and cheese, and boy are we jealous. But you too can have this incredibly decadent mac and cheese at your own home!


Greek Mixed Greens Pie With Phyllo Crust. If you’re looking for a creative way to serve up greens, why not put them into a savory pie? Cheese, greens and crispy phyllo make a hearty side. But of course, we’ve listed simpler ideas here, too.


Sheet Pan Cornbread Dressing. Take cornbread, then spread it across a sheet pan to get all the crispy, crunchy bits of your dreams.


Scalloped Root Casserole. Root vegetables of all kinds sliced thin and roasted in this elegant casserole make quick work of humble veggies. From carrots to beets and more, roots in all forms are a colorful addition to the table.