Feast Your Eyes on the 11 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes

While the turkey often gets all the glory at Thanksgiving dinner, it's the side dishes that turn the turkey into a full meal.
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While the turkey often gets all the glory at Thanksgiving dinner, it's the side dishes that turn the turkey into a full meal. From creamy mashed potatoes and classic green bean casserole to roasted vegetables, cranberry sauces and buttery, flaky breads, the seemingly second-string dishes can indeed take the spotlight at your holiday feast. Below are Food Network's best-of-the-best side dish picks, the tried-and-true winners that will surely garner praise from your holiday guests.

The Only Mashed Potatoes You Need: Follow Tyler Florence's lead and boil your potatoes with a bay leaf to start imparting flavor from the very outset of cooking.

Ina Garten's Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts for Game Plan as seen on Food Network's Barefoot Contessa

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts: It takes only a handful of ingredients to make Ina Garten's fan-favorite Brussels sprouts, dressed up with salty pancetta for bold taste and a drizzle of balsamic for welcome tang.

Ree Drummond's Green Bean Casserole for Potluck Sunday as seen on Food Network's The Pioneer Woman

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The Pioneer Woman's Green Bean Casserole: Once you make the switch to Ree Drummond's from-scratch recipe, you won't miss the canned stuff. She bakes the bacon-studded green beans in a cheesy cream sauce before blanketing the casserole with breadcrumbs for texture.

Ree Drummond's Buscuits for Kidswap Sleepover as seen on Food Network's The Pioneer Woman

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The Pioneer Woman's Biscuits: Thanks to their powerhouse duo of shortening and butter, Ree's biscuits turn out both flaky and full of the rich butter flavor you crave.

Cran Classic

Cran Classic

Fruit in a White Dish

Perfect Cranberry Sauce: With a 5-star rating and nearly 100 fan reviews, Food Network Magazine's go-to cranberry sauce comes together with only a few ingredients, including a strip of citrus zest to brighten up the dish.

Sauteed Carrots; Ina Garten

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Sauteed Carrots: Ready to eat in only 15 minutes, Ina's herb-laced carrots are the ultimate in last-minute prep.

Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole: These cinnamon-scented sweet potatoes are whipped until smooth and then sprinkled with brown sugar-laced pecans for hearty crunch.

THE ULTIMATE POTATO GRATIN Tyler Florence Tyler’s Ultimate/Potato Dish Food Network Savoy Cabbage, Slab Bacon, Unsalted Butter, Garlic, Fresh Chives, Sea Salt, Pepper, Baking Potatoes, Heavy Cream, Parmesan Cheese

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

The Ultimate Potato Gratin: It's all about layering flavors in Tyler's top-rated gratin: He first fries the bacon, then sautes shredded cabbage in the bacon fat, and then layers that mixture with sliced potatoes made especially decadent with the addition of garlicky, cheesy cream.

Parker House Rolls; Bobby Flay

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Parker House Rolls: Perhaps the hardest part about making Bobby Flay's buttery, fluffy rolls is letting the dough take its time during a double-rise process, which will surely fill your kitchen with the warm scent of yeast.

Caramelized Butternut Squash; Ina Garten

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Caramelized Butternut Squash: Not just for soup, butternut squash turn tender and oh-so-sweet after Ina bakes it with a butter-brown sugar glaze.

02_StoveTopMacCheese_050.tif

02_StoveTopMacCheese_050.tif

Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Lynsey Fryers

©Con Poulos

Con Poulos

Three-Cheese Spirals: Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Parmesan form the base of the richly comforting cheese sauce in Food Network Magazine's next-level mac and cheese. This fast-fix recipe is made entirely on the stove, so you won't need to sacrifice any of the precious oven space come Thanksgiving.

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