green Thanksgiving centerpiece

Yes the turkey and the stuffing steal the show, but we all need to man up and put some vegetables on our plate for Thanksgiving dinner. Make the greens stand out by serving them in beautiful bowls like these Copper and Brass Louise Bowls.

Here are nine recipes that will have you excited to put some green on your plate and save a few calories for dessert!


Don’t ever boil green beans again! Roasted green beans are far more flavorful and can develop an appealing crunchy texture. This recipe includes Parmesan and a few minutes of broiling at the end to make the beans extra crispy.
Photo: Green Beans / Dashing Dish


This recipe from Food & Wine takes an unusual choice of greens and makes them festive for Thanksgiving with the addition of crispy fried shallots.
Photo: Mustard Greens / Beverly Hills Farms


Sweet peas with prosciutto are a delightful addition to your Thanksgiving table. This recipe can be made with fresh or frozen peas, whichever you have on hand.
Photo: Peas / Saveur


These Brussels sprouts are extraordinary. If you thought you didn’t like Brussels sprouts, try this recipe out and report back. Adapted from Momofuku, these roasted sprouts in a fish sauce vinaigrette are completely addictive.
Photo: Brussels Sprouts / Food52

5. KALE, you sneaky devil

Kale is always showing up on farm-to-table menus—in fact, it’s hard to find a restaurant that doesn’t serve kale at this point.  But this Obama family favorite is worth trying; if it’s good enough for Thanksgiving at the White House, it’s probably going to impress Aunt Millie.

Bonus: Kale AND Brussels Sprouts! A great way to get two vegetables into one side dish, this kale and Brussels sprouts salad has crunchy almonds and a tangy dressing.
Photos: Kale / Washington Post; Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad / Bon Appétit


With a cup of cream and a cup of Parmesan, this Ina Garten spinach dish hardly counts as a vegetable. But it does contain three packages of frozen spinach and is absolutely delicious. It’s a frequently requested Thanksgiving favorite, and if you make it once a year you don’t need to feel guilty.
Photo: Spinach / Food Network


This may be the most beautiful vegetable I’ve ever seen. In fact, unless you’d told me it was edible, I probably wouldn’t have even tried. A member of the cauliflower family, romanesco is delicious and I haven’t met anyone who wasn’t fascinated by its geometrical appearance.
Photo: Romanesco / It’s a Veg World After All


Add some heat to your Thanksgiving plate with roasted broccoli with garlic and chile. This is so simple it barely counts as a recipe and it goes great alongside turkey and stuffing.
Photo: Broccoli / Gourmet


Refer to Mark Bittman’s helpful asparagus flow chart to figure out the perfect asparagus dish for your Thanksgiving menu. Grilled or roasted, asparagus is great with a creamy sauce or aioli.
Photo: Asparagus / New York Times

Related video: Our Favorite Vegetable-Based Thanksgiving Recipes

Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
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