Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Thanksgiving Sides-Last-Minute Ideas

Have you’ve been asked to bring a side dish to a Thanksgiving gathering but are short on time? We’re here to help!

First, always ask the host how you can help or what you can bring so no one doubles up. Also bringing a side that doesn’t need cooking or minimal reheating when you arrive to not impose on the host’s kitchen is a great idea.

We suggest simple and quick-to-prepare side dishes that require minimal ingredients and cooking time. Examples could include a cranberry and orange salad, a quick sautéed green bean almondine, or a store-bought but beautifully presented fruit platter.

Check out the recipe below for a Cranberry Orange Salad that will be sure to impress your friends & family at your Thanksgiving get-together this year!

Cranberry & Orange Salad

a plate of food on a table


By Chef Mary Matthews

Serves 6, Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients for Cranberries

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 6 tablespoons dried cranberries

Ingredients for Vinaigrette

  • 3½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt & pepper

Ingredients for Salad

  • 6 cups mixed greens
  • 3 medium oranges (peel and white pith removed), segmented
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted optional


  1. In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice to a simmer. Remove from heat. Stir in the dried cranberries. Let stand until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain well; discard the soaking juice.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, orange juice, vinegar, Dijon, honey, and orange zest to blend. Stir in the soaked cranberries. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving).
  3. Place the salad greens in a large bowl. Add orange segments. Toss with the dressing. Sprinkle in the pecans; toss again. Serve and enjoy!