5 Best Fall Side Dishes – Homey, Comforting Recipes!

Fall Foods on a blanket outside with pumpkins, leaves
Overwhelmed by choice this Thanksgiving? Use this guide to the 5 best fall sides on any dinner table!

Some of us Autumn enthusiasts long for that first yellowing of the leaves that line our streets. That initial sign is how we know the best time of year is coming! And, for better or for worse, we can now start planning all our favorite holiday recipes, particularly, fall side dishes.

Fall side dishes often carry the bulk of any Thanksgiving table. They are so popular that they are even ranked higher than turkey in terms of importance on the Thanksgiving table. Even vegetarians and vegans come and stay for the sides on Thanksgiving, which is a growing trend amongst Millennials and Gen Z. There is something beautiful about making a huge plate merely of 6-8 different sides!

With that said, here are the 5 best fall side dishes, at least in my opinion, with their accompanying recipes!

Country Cornbread Stuffing

Stuffing; you either love it because it’s delicious or hate it because you’re gluten-free and almost all stuffing recipes contain bread made from wheat. Oh, how badly you want to be able to eat bread like everyone else. No? Just me?

At any rate, make a cornbread stuffing as a fall side dish this year. You can guarantee that it is gluten-free, but it will be so delicious that no one will miss the wheat. I like to go for a sweet and savory stuffing to really tantalize the taste buds. This one contains bacon, apples, and lots of fresh sage.


  • 1 batch gluten-free cornbread, crumbled (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 3 ribs celery, diced small
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, cored and diced small
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped sage
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1-2 cups turkey stock
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 cup roasted chestnuts
  1. Crumble your cornbread and spread on a large sheet tray. Allow to dry out for 2 hours at room temperature.
  2. Cook your bacon. Remove from the grease and reserve 2 tablespoons.
  3. Cook the onion and celery in the reserved bacon grease until translucent over medium low heat. Once cooked, add the apples and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the veggies, dry cornbread crumbles, bacon, sage, rosemary, 1 cup of stock, honey, cayenne, and chestnuts. Mix well until all ingredients are homogenous.
  5. Transfer to a deep baking dish or stuff your bird with the mixture. If baking in a dish, bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until browned on top. If cooking in your bird, cook the turkey until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F within the breast and 175 degrees F in the leg.

Corn Pudding

Pudding can mean many different things, depending on what part of the world you are from. In this case, Corn Pudding is one of the best fall side dishes due to its wonderful, sweet corn flavor. You can use fresh, canned, or frozen corn for this recipe, making it as easy as possible.

A fluffy corn batter is assembled and added to your best baking dish. As it cooks, the pudding puffs up and becomes light and fluffy due to the whipped egg whites. Try it for yourself and have it become your new side staple! Find the recipe here.

Kapusta (Sauerkraut with Bacon)

Unless you are from Eastern Europe, I’d assume not many folks know what Kapusta is. Literally, it translates to “cabbage” which is exactly what this recipe begins with. Kapusta is one of the staple fall side dishes on my table, and it has been since before I was born.

My family’s Kapusta starts with crisp bacon and onions, cooked until golden, before adding flour, sauerkraut, and its pickling liquid. The result is a smooth and luscious sauerkraut in a gravy-like sauce with bits of salty bacon!


  • 1 lb. thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 large Vidialia onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 package prepared sauerkraut
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cook your bacon and onions over medium heat in a large stockpot.
  2. Once browned, add the flour and make a roux. Cook until the roux is golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, drain the kraut from its packaging liquid. Soak in water. Drain but reserve the soaking liquid.
  4. Add about 2 cups of soaking liquid to the pan and whisk vigorously to prevent lumps. Then, add the drained kraut.
  5. Mix until homogenous. Allow to cook over low heat for 5-10 minutes or until the cabbage has reached your preferred doneness. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.
  6. Serve hot. Note that you do not need to add additional salt to this dish!

Mashed Potato Casserole

Mashed potatoes are found on any fall dinner table. They are easy, an American staple, and soak up all that fabulous gravy. But why not dress them up with even more fabulousness?

Mashed Potato Casserole combines fluffy riced potatoes, finished with a crunchy topping of fried onion strings, Parmesan cheese, and fresh rosemary. This texture bomb is smooth, crisp, and cheesy all at the same time! Click here for the recipe.

Warm Green Bean Salad

Green beans are often highlighted in casserole form with cream of mushroom soup. However, they are so much more versatile than that! I like to serve green beans slightly differently on Thanksgiving since you are experiencing many of the same flavors within the meal, such as sage, poultry seasoning, nutmeg, etc.

In my Warm Green Bean Salad, I mix blanched green beans, blistered cherry tomatoes, roasted cashews, and a balsamic dressing that comes together within minutes. The vinegary burst of flavor contrasts the rest of your rich fall side dishes.


  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed and steamed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup roasted cashews, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, julienned
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  1. Steam your green beans until al dente. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt.
  3. Blister the tomatoes until they just barely begin to pop. Turn off the heat.
  4. Add the cashews, balsamic, garlic paste, and basil. Toss to combine.
  5. Serve hot with more cashews as garnish and dollops of goat cheese on top.

If we are lucky enough to have a good meal with our loved ones, we are rich in experience. This fall season, share food with your loved ones, even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving! A large meal with those you love can better your mental health, especially in times of darkness at 5pm.

Happy eating!