21 Easy and Delicious Fall Side Dishes

Baked Maple and Brown Sugar Butternut Squash

The Spruce


Fall is all about hearty, flavorful seasonal vegetables and warming spices. From saucy mushrooms and creamy casseroles to roasted root veggies and sweet squash, these easy, yet impressive side dishes will help make autumn dinners and celebrations extra delicious. Whether you're looking for something to go with a weeknight chicken dinner or celebration-worthy accompaniment to a holiday main, don't be surprised if you find yourself turning to these recipes again and again.

  • 01 of 21

    Cauliflower Gratin

    Cauliflower Gratin

    Laurence Mouton / Getty Images


    A traditional French gratin calls for covering vegetables in a white sauce, then browning the entire casserole under the grill. Potato is typically used, but those looking for a spin should try this elegant recipe featuring the more nutrition-packed cauliflower. A classic bechamel sauce is used, jazzed up for the season with just a little bit of fresh thyme.

  • 02 of 21

    Easy Roasted Carrots With Parsnips and Herbs

    Easy Roasted Carrots With Parsnips and Herbs

    James Ross/Getty Images


    Oven roasting brings out the sweetness of root vegetables in this incredibly easy recipe that comes together in about 45 minutes. Wonderfully homey and comforting, you can serve the roasted carrots and parsnips as an accompaniment to any roasted meats, from a simple weeknight chicken to show-stopping holiday turkey.

  • 03 of 21

    Candied Yams With Marshmallows

    Candied yams recipe

    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Candied sweet potatoes or yams with marshmallows are an American holiday tradition. This classic side dish flavored with brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger is traditional to serve with ham and will fill your kitchen with warming autumn aromas.

  • 04 of 21

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Cranberries

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Cranberries

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Here's a seasonal Brussels sprouts dish with flavors that will please the whole family. Roasted vegetables drizzled with olive oil are tossed with dried cranberries and pecans to form a nutritious and tasty side dish you could serve for the holidays or any time this fall.

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  • 05 of 21

    Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts


    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Skip the extra fat and mess of the deep fryer and air-fry Brussels sprouts. This delicious recipe flavors the vegetable with pepper, garlic chili paste, and honey for a flavorful side. It takes less than 30 minutes and is a brilliant addition to any meal.

  • 06 of 21

    Cauliflower Stuffing

    Cauliflower Stuffing

    The Spruce Eats / Anita Schecter

    Let cauliflower take center stage in your fall stuffing. A simple recipe that is not much different than the traditional dish, cauliflower stuffing offers all the favorite flavors and ease of preparation. Serve it during the holidays or add it to the weekend dinner table, it's a healthy and delicious option for any meal.

  • 07 of 21

    Cranberry Relish

    No-Cook Cranberry Relish

    The Spruce Eats / Jennifer Perillo 

    Fresh cranberry relish is a brilliant addition to the autumn dinner table and there's so much you can do with it. The no-cook recipe combines three ingredients in the food processor and is a perfect use for fresh cranberries (frozen fruit works, too). Use it as a substitute for cranberry sauce, serve it as a bread spread, or incorporate it into a seasonal salsa.

  • 08 of 21

    Sweet Potato Buns

    Sweet Potato Rolls Photo: Diana Rattray
    Recipe: Sweet Potato Rolls

    If you have a sweet potato and some buttermilk, you can make delicious sweet potato buns. It's a unique yeast bread recipe that's a fun challenge for any baker. They make excellent dinner buns and can be used for a small seasonal sandwich. Better yet, they freeze well so you can make them in advance of big holiday dinners.

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  • 09 of 21

    Instant Pot Butternut Squash

    instant pot butternut squash in a serving bowl
    Diana Rattray

    This basic recipe allows the butternut squash to stand on its own. Whether you plan to serve the butternut squash simply with a garnish of almonds, sugar, and cinnamon or need cooked squash for a soup, risotto, or casserole, this Instant Pot recipe makes it simple and quick, cooking the butternut squash in just three minutes.

  • 10 of 21

    Roasted Celery Root

    Roasted Celery Root

    The Spruce Eats / Elaine Lemm

    The humble celery root (or celeriac) is an often overlooked fall root vegetable. It gets new life in this roasted celery root recipe. A healthy side that's ready in 30 minutes, you can serve as is alongside any roasted meat, or add it to a vegetable soup or curry.

  • 11 of 21

    Sweet Potato Puree

    Sweet Potato Puree

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    When sweet potatoes are at their best, stock up. Transform the veggie into a basic sweet potato puree, enjoy some of it now, and freeze the rest to use within a few months. For a quick side, add seasonings like paprika or vanilla bean, or try fun combinations like maple chipotle or orange and ginger.

  • 12 of 21

    Butternut Squash Noodles

    Butternut Squash Noodles

    Anita Schecter 

    Spiralized butternut squash makes a tasty stand-in for noodles, especially when tossed in a creamy garlic and sage sauce. Butternut squash noodles are an easy side dish for grilled meat or seafood and other veggies.

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  • 13 of 21

    Air Fryer Baked Potatoes


     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Air fryer baked potatoes serve up the perfect balance of fluffy insides and crispy skin. Use russet potatoes for the best results, and rub them with olive oil and salt before you cook them to enhance the flavor and crunch. They cook in about 40 minutes and free up space in the oven.

  • 14 of 21

    Cornbread Pudding

    cornbread pudding topped with green scallions

    The Spruce Eats / Jennifer Perillo

    Cornbread pudding is a warm, inviting side dish that embodies a homecooked meal. This recipe uses frozen corn and cornbread mix to create a casserole with the perfect density. It bakes up in 30 minutes and is a great accompaniment to any main dish.

  • 15 of 21

    Duck Fat Fries

    Duck Fat Fries
    Elaine Lemm

    If you are looking for a little "extra" in your fries, try these duck fat fries. A staple in French bistro cuisine, they are crisp, golden, and delicately flavored from the duck fat, which is a perfect fat for deep-frying due to its high melting point. 

  • 16 of 21

    Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

    Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

    The Spruce Eats / Pete Scherer 

    When sweet potatoes are at their best, transform them into spicy sweet potato fries. The freshly cut fries are seasoned with paprika and cayenne, and you can easily adjust the heat to your personal taste. It's a fun, savory side, and an excellent companion to any main dish.

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  • 17 of 21

    Vegan Green Bean Casserole

    Vegan green bean casserole

    The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu

    Green bean casserole is a traditional Southern dish that's always welcome at the fall dinner table and is especially popular during holiday dinners. This healthier spin tweaks the classic preparation to make it vegetarian and vegan-friendly by removing any traces of dairy. It still gets the creamy texture we know and love, thanks to a sauce made from vegetable broth and vegan margarine. Of course, it's finished with the crunchy fried onion topping!

  • 18 of 21

    Baked Maple and Brown Sugar Butternut Squash

    Baked Maple and Brown Sugar Butternut Squash

    The Spruce


    This vibrant vegetable side has a wonderfully sweet and rich flavor, thanks to the butternut squash roasting in the oven with a glaze made from brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It's kid-friendly and makes a great side dish at holiday meals and family dinners, served with ham, sausages, or just about any meat of your choice.

  • 19 of 21

    Vegetarian Pumpkin Dumplings

    Easy vegetarian pumpkin dumplings

    The Spruce 

    Pumpkin is the quintessential fall ingredient. This fun and unusual recipe makes the most of the autumn squash's flavor and smooth texture when cooked down and pureed. You can easily use canned pumpkin as a shortcut if you're in a time crunch. Serve these cute little pan-fried dumplings as a unique side dish or appetizer at Halloween or even as a vegetarian Thanksgiving entree.

  • 20 of 21

    Braised Cabbage and Onions

    Braised cabbage

    Molly Watson


    Fall flavors come together beautifully in this flavorful plate of braised cabbage and onions. Serve the classic side with ham, corned beef, or pork for a traditional presentation and use leftovers to enliven sandwiches the next day. Pro tip: Using a kitchen mandoline (don't forget the hand guard!) or food processor makes it easier to slice the cabbage thinly.

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  • 21 of 21

    Mushrooms Bordelaise

    Mushrooms Bordelaise

    Night and Day Images/Getty Images


    Hearty and rustic, this classic recipe for mushrooms Bordelaise is exactly what you need for a traditional steak dinner. The earthy, rich mushrooms help enhance the savory flavors of any roasted beef and it's great mixed into mashed potatoes on your plate, too. Add a glass of red wine for the ultimate restaurant-worthy meal.