5 Thanksgiving Side Dishes to Make on the Stovetop (Not in the Oven)

updated Sep 12, 2019
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(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

If you’re cooking a holiday dinner, chances are there’s something big and impressive taking up most of your valuable oven real estate. This can make it tricky to manage the rest of the menu — especially if you’re responsible for all of the side dishes too. Stovetop dishes to the rescue!

All five of these recipes can be made on a stovetop burner — no oven required. Get your saucepans and skillets ready.

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

How to Keep the Side Dishes Warm

You can make one or two of these recipes right before dinner (everyone tends to gather in the kitchen anyway), or do all five and keep some warm in slow cookers or chafing dishes on a buffet. You know those divided slow cookers, or the ones that hold multiple crocks in one unit? This is the time to get them out of storage or borrow one from a relative.

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Prep a Day Ahead

With some prep work done the day before, this menu is not hard to pull off. The techniques are simple — no deep-frying or other high-wire antics are required for this homey, traditional meal. You’ll boil pots of regular and sweet potatoes, steam-fry skillets of green beans and Brussels sprouts, and cook a pot of stuffing right on the stove.

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

5 Stovetop Thanksgiving Sides

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

The Recipes

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Your Cooking Timeline

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

What to Do the Day Before

Thinly slice:

  • 3 large shallots
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts


  • 1 1/4 pounds green beans


  • 13 cloves garlic — leave 10 cloves whole, and mince 3


  • 3 medium yellow onions
  • 4 ribs celery


  • 1 (16-ounce) loaf crusty bread — spread out the cubed bread on a baking sheet and leave out overnight

Coarsely chop:

  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup walnuts

What to Do on Thanksgiving Afternoon

  • Make the whipped sweet potatoes. Keep warm in a slow cooker or covered dish in a warm oven for up to two hours.
  • Make the rustic garlic mashed potatoes. Keep warm in a slow cooker or covered dish in a warm oven for up to two hours.
  • Make the stuffing. Keep warm in a slow cooker or covered dish in a warm oven for up to two hours.

What to Do One Hour Before Dinner

  • Make the Brussels sprout hash. Keep warm in a slow cooker or covered dish in a warm oven for up to one hour.
  • Make the steam-fried green beans. Serve hot, straight out of the skillet.
(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Your Shopping List

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

To buy at the store:

  • Pancetta or bacon (2 ounces)
  • Green beans (1 1/4 pounds)
  • Brussels sprouts (1 1/2 pounds)
  • Cremini or button mushrooms (8 ounces)
  • Celery (4 ribs)
  • Shallots (3 large)
  • Red potatoes (2 1/2 pounds)
  • Sweet potatoes (2 1/2 pounds, about 3 to 4 large ones)
  • Fresh sage (1 bunch)
  • Fresh thyme (1 bunch)
  • Chopped pecans (1/2 cup)
  • Chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth (2 1/2 cups)
  • Crusty bread (1 pound loaf)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • Buttermilk or milk (not nonfat, 1/2 cup)
  • Walnut halves (1/3 cup)

From your pantry (check to make sure you have enough):

  • Yellow onion (3 medium)
  • Garlic cloves (13)
  • Butter (17 tablespoons)
  • Milk, not nonfat (1 cup)
  • Maple syrup (1/4 cup)
  • Sherry or cider vinegar (2 teaspoons)
  • Olive oil (1 tablespoon)
  • Salt
  • Pepper