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Sara Hansen

Delicious Ideas for Thanksgiving Side Dishes on the Grill or Smoker

With the Thanksgiving holiday a couple of weeks away, you may be starting to think about what exactly you will be cooking. Often the biggest dinner of the year, there will probably be a whole lot of food involved. Of course, a whole turkey will be the centerpiece, but what about the sides? 

Chances are, you probably have some longtime Thanksgiving favorites, like green bean casserole or cranberry sauce. But, did you know that many favorite side dishes for “Turkey Day” can also be done on your outdoor cooker? You can easily elevate the flavor of almost anything with that smokiness you love.

In this article, we’ve put together some great ideas for Thanksgiving side dishes on the grill or smoker that you can try out this year:


Grilled Brie with Cranberry-Jalapeno Relish

If you are looking for an appetizer idea to keep everyone satisfied until dinner, this grilled brie makes a great option. The flavor medley of the grilled, savory cheese with the sweet and spicy relish makes for a delicious combo. Plus, it only takes 10 minutes to cook!


Smoked Cranberry Sauce

Speaking of cranberry, cranberry sauce is one of those must-have staples for any Thanksgiving dinner. But, this smoked cranberry sauce recipe from Traeger Grills puts a unique and deliciously smoky twist on a holiday favorite. For extra flavor, you can even add orange zest and vanilla extract. Make sure to use Cherrywood as your fuel source to impart a smoke that will complement the flavors of the sauce. 


smoked cranberry sauce | Thanksgiving side dishes on the grill | Thanksgiving sides on the smoker
Source: Traeger Grills


Smoked Cream Corn

For a smoky twist on a delicious and fresh vegetable option, check out this Smoked Cream Corn. The sweetness of the corn cuts through the smoke to offer an amazingly balanced flavor profile that goes very well with turkey. This recipe is easy to make and gives you another option for Thanksgiving side dishes that everyone will enjoy.


Roasted Hasselback Potatoes

It’s a must to have a starch as a Thanksgiving side. For that, these roasted Hasselback potatoes make a great choice for something different. These hearty and filling potatoes are loaded with butter and bacon and slow-roasted in your cooker. Once they’re done cooking, finish them with melted cheddar cheese and scallions for a delicious topping.


smoked potatoes | Thanksgiving side dishes on the grill | Thanksgiving sides on the smoker
Source: Traeger Grills


Smoked Mashed Potatoes

If you’re wanting the more traditional starch option for Thanksgiving dinner, check out these mashed potatoes from Char-Griller. This smoky twist on a classic will help satisfy the desire for a “stick-to-your-ribs” meal. These potatoes are simple to prepare and can slow smoke alongside other dishes on your cooker. Don’t be afraid to get creative with toppings to finish them off, like diced bacon, chives, and of course gravy.

Bonus Tip: Use the drippings from your smoked turkey to make homemade Turkey gravy to top the mashed potatoes with.


Smoked Sausage, Caramelized Onion, and Cornbread Stuffing

Another staple for many Thanksgiving dinners is stuffing. There are dozens of different varieties of stuffing. But this easy-to-make smoky version can be cooked on your grill or smoker and delivers a delicious combination of savory and sweet flavors.


smoked stuffing | Thanksgiving side dishes on the grill | Thanksgiving sides on the smoker
Source: Vindulge


Grilled Green Bean Casserole

For another twist on a traditional Thanksgiving classic, check out this grilled Green Bean Casserole recipe from Weber Grills. This casserole combines green beans, mushrooms, onion, and savory seasonings and is slow-cooked (still only 25 minutes) over the indirect heat side of your grill. You’ll have everyone coming back for seconds for sure.


This Year, Try Your Hand at a Few Thanksgiving Sides on Grill or Smoker

As you can see, there are a lot of great options to choose from when it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes on the grill or smoker. From savory sides to deliciously sweet desserts, you can cook plenty of different things to satisfy everyone this holiday. Try your hand at a few of them!

For even more holiday cooking info, make sure to check out our article on cooking Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner on the grill. And for any of your vegetarian guests, check out our article on a variety of meatless options you can also cook on the grill for them.

Are you cooking your sides on the grill this year? Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving side done in a smoker? Tell us about it below, we want to hear from you!

For more great backyard BBQ cooking you can do all year, check out our first-of-their-kind Championship Backyard BBQ Classes with some of the top competition Pitmasters and Grillmasters. You can learn a variety of different, delicious recipes, step-by-step with all of the insider info you need to know. Master your backyard cooking today!

Sara Hansen

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