Thanksgiving 2014 “Thanksgiving Spread” photo by David Goehring, 2007. Photo: Flickr/CreativeCommons

Forget turkey! What’s a proper Thanksgiving dinner without the perfect side dishes? Sides can seem like a burden for those cooking and preparing a holiday dinner, but not this year: We've assembled five of the best side dish recipes from big names like Campbell’s, McCormick, and even stars from the Food Network to help your holiday cooking go better. Here are five quick and easy Thanksgiving Day side dish recipes for 2014:

Green Bean Casserole

Don’t forget to make this holiday meal staple this Thanksgiving. This recipe serves 12 and takes 40 minutes to make.

Ingredients: 2 cans of Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (the 98 percent fat free version also works), 1 cup of milk, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1/3 teaspoon of pepper, 8 cups of cooked and cut string beans, 2 2/3 cups of French’s French Fried Onions.

How to: If your green beans are not already cooked, start by boiling them until tender. Next, stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper and 1 1/3 cups of your French’s onion into a 3-quart casserole pan. Cook the mixture for 25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (You’ll know it’s done when it’s bubbling.) Stir the mixture one more time and top it off with the remaining French's onions. Bake the mixture for another 5 minutes or until the onions are browned. Then serve.

(Looking for something a little less traditional? Check out 5 other green bean casserole recipes here.)

Mashed Potatoes

Give your potatoes a kick this holiday by making Food Network star Alton Brown’s Creamy, Garlic Mashed Potatoes. This recipe takes a total of 50 minutes to prepare and cook and yields 10 to 12 servings.

Ingredients: 3 ½ pounds of russet potatoes, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 cups of half-and-half, 6 garlic cloves, 6 ounces of Parmesan cheese.

How to: Start with the most tedious part of this recipe, peeling the potatoes. After all the skins have been removed, dice each potato into equal-size cubes. Place the cubes into a large saucepan, cover them with water and add the salt. Bring the pan to a medium-high heat, allowing the water to maintain a “rolling boil” until the potatoes are fully cooked. Drain the potatoes.

In a separate pan, heat the half-and-half and the (crushed) garlic, and allow it to simmer. After suffienciently heated, add the sauce and the Parmesan cheese to the potatoes. Mash all ingredients together. Allow to sit for several minutes before serving.

Sweet Potatoes and Marshmallows

Give your vegetable-loving guests a sweet treat this Thanksgiving by topping your sweet potatoes with some melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows. This recipe, courtesy of, will take 35 minutes to make and results in 8 servings.

Ingredients: 3 (15-ounce) cans of drained sweet potatoes, ¼ cup of butter/margarine (melted), ¼ cup of packed brown sugar, ½ teaspoon of salt, 15 large marshmallows.

How to: Start off by placing your sweet potatoes in a 2-quart, glass baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the melted butter/margarine over the top of the potatoes and sprinkle in the brown sugar and salt. Top the mixture with the marshmallows. Place the dish in an oven heated at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 30 minutes. The dish is ready when the marshmallows are lightly browned.

Cranberry Sauce

A turkey dinner isn’t complete without a side of cranberry sauce. Whether you love or hate this fruity side dish, it’s a menu must-have if you’re hosting Thanksgiving. This recipe results in 2 cups/8 servings.

Ingredients: 1 pack of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, ½ teaspoon of grounded cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.

How to: Start by mixing the sugar and water in a medium-sized saucepan at a medium-high heat. After it comes to a boil, add in the cranberries (already rinsed and drained) and cinnamon. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes on a medium-low heat. You’ll know it’s done cooking when the cranberries burst and the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla. Cover the sauce when it hits room departure. This side dish is best served cold, so be sure to leave ample time for it to cool in the refrigerator before serving. 

Stuffed Mushrooms

Add a little variety to your vegetables this Thanksgiving by serving your mushrooms stuffed. Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe for stuffed mushrooms yields 28 pieces and takes just 35 minutes to make.

Ingredients: 28 large white mushrooms, ½ cup Italian-style dried bread crumbs, ½ cup of grated Pecorino Romano, 2 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon of mint leaves, 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.

How to: Start off by mixing your desired amount of salt and pepper, Romano cheese, garlic (peeled and mince), parsley, mint, and 2/3 tablespoon of olive oil in a mixing bowl. On a large, sprayed baking sheet, lay out the 28 mushrooms, remove their stems, and fill them with the mixture. To help the mushrooms brown, drizzle the remaining olive oil over them before placing the sheet in the oven. Cook the mushrooms for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Happy Thanksgiving! Make sure to add your favorite holiday side dish recipes in the comment section below.