Top 7 Grilled Thanksgiving Side Dishes

You’ve already got an awesome turkey, now what?  

Add some extra flavor to your plate with these top Thanksgiving side dish ideas.  All of these recipes gives you about 4-6 servings.


1. Grilled Stout Staffing



½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 leek, white stalk removed, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 12 ounce bottle of stout beer, like Guinness
2 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
2 eggs, beaten
6 cups of dried bread cubes, approximately 1 - ½ square
¾ cup dried cranberries
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper


1. Preheat the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350F).

2. In a large cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat on either a stove top or side burner.  Add the leek and celery.  Cook until lightly brown, stirring occasionally, for approximately 8-10 minutes.

3. Add the bottle of beer, followed by the sage, parsley, chicken broth, and eggs.  If you want to do some quality control testing before pouring the beer, you certainly have my permission to do so. 

4. Turn off the heat and stir the contents of the skillet.  Add in the bread cubes, cranberries, salt and pepper.  Stir the bread into the liquid and combine evenly. 

5. Using indirect medium heat (350 F), grill the stuffing for approximately 30 minutes.  Remove and serve.





3.  Grilled Mashed Sweet Potatoes


2 medium/large sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp marshmallow crème
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg

For Topping
1 Tbsp white sugar (optional)
​½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)


1. Start by preheating your grill for 15 minutes with all the burners on high or the dampers all open.  Keep in mind that if it’s chilly outside, you may need to preheat for a few extra minutes. 

2. Brush your cooking grates clean and prepare your grill for indirect, medium heat.

3. Clean your sweet potatoes and slice them in half lengthwise.  Place them cut side down on the cooking grates and grill with the lid closed for 20 minutes.  This will give you some nice caramelization on the sweet potatoes and add that great grilled flavor.  Then, flip the potatoes and continue grilling them for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the middle pushes through easily.  Remove them from the grill, and let them rest for about 10 minutes.  At this point, you should be able to handle them, but they will still be hot so be very careful.  They didn’t invent the game “Hot Potato” for nothing. 

4.  Gently peel the skin off the sweet potatoes and put them in a bowl.  Mix in two tablespoons of butter and six tablespoons of marshmallow crème (both should melt into the potatoes as you mix), and mash the potatoes with a fork.  You can use a regular potato masher, but they should be soft enough that a regular dinner fork will whip them up nicely.  Stir in one teaspoon of cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg. 

5. Pour the sweet potato mixture into a small baking dish, cover, and store in the fridge overnight.

6. When you’re ready to reheat them, make sure that you pull the baking dish out of the fridge at least a half hour before you put them on the grill to let them come up to room temperature. 

7. Preheat your grill and prepare for indirect, medium heat.  Bake for 30 minutes, stirring about halfway through. 

8. Then, if you like your potatoes a little sweeter, mix a tablespoon of white sugar with a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the potatoes.  Close the lid, and continue to bake your potatoes for an additional 10 minutes. 

9. Remove them from the grill and enjoy! 



4. Hasselback Potatoes

1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
10 to 12 medium sized red potatoes
3 cloves of garlic
1 shallot, quartered
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Mix granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt and pepper together in small bowl and set aside.

2. Melt the butter or coconut oil and set aside.

3. For each potato:

  • Cut a ¼” slice off the bottom (this is used to make the potato stand flat).
  • Place the potato flat-side down in a shallow dish or serving spoon.
  • Carefully slice the potato in 1/8” segments. Do not cut through the bottom of the potato and use the dish/spoon as your depth gauge. 

4. Arrange the potatoes in rows in the foil pan.

5. Put the garlic and shallots in between the potatoes.

6. Drizzle the olive oil evenly over the vegetables.

7. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the vegetables.

8. Heat your grill to medium-high heat (350-450F) and setup the burners or coals for indirect cooking.

9. Place the foil pan over the indirect area.

10. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

11. Open the grill and brush a small amount of the melted butter or coconut oil on top of each potato.

12. Cover and cook for 20 more minutes.

13. Open the grill and brush more of the butter/oil on top of each potato.

14. Using a pair of tongs or a pair of grill mitts or gloves, carefully re-position the foil pan over the gas or coals.

15. Cover and cook for 15 more minutes.

16. Wearing grill mitts or gloves, carefully remove the potatoes from the grill and loosely cover with foil.

17. Let the potatoes rest 10 minutes before serving.

What you should have is row after row of golden, crunchy potato skin bursting with flavor. It should look like the folds of an accordion. Once you dig in, you’ll be rewarded with a perfectly tender and creamy, yet still firm, interior filled with the familiar earthy aroma and flavor of a baked potato.



5. Cider-Glazed Veggies

1 ½ pounds parsnips
1 ½ pounds carrots
1 large sweet onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt
¼ cup apple cider
¼ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon good-quality maple syrup

1. Peel and cut vegetables into 1-inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss parsnips, carrots and onion with the olive oil until the vegetables are well coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Bring cider, broth, butter and maple syrup to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until reduced by half and syrupy, about 10 min. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Prepare grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350 to 450 degrees). Preheat a perforated grill pan for 10 minutes.

4. Spread the vegetables onto pan in a single layer. Grill with the lid close as much as possible, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables and tender and lightly charred.

5. Transfer veggies to a bowl, toss with the apple cider glaze and serve immediately.



6. Grill Brussels Sprouts

olive oil
coconut oil
kosher salt
black pepper
crumbled bacon
fresh garlic cloves


1.  On charcoal over medium heat I baste the vegetables in beef stock every 20 minutes.

2.  After 60-90 minutes, I let them rest covered and finish with a little more salt (smoked sea salt works best).

They are green, but still vibrant. They melt in your mouth, but still have substance. They taste like Brussels sprouts, but without the bitterness.

And the smell -- the smoky, salty, nutty aroma is proof enough to put more than just a polite serving of one on your plate. When my 8-year old son, empty plate in hand, turned to me and said, “Daddy, can I have seconds?” I knew I was on to something.


7.  Smoked Gravy 


2 quarts apple juice
1 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 turkey, 10 to 12 pounds, fresh or defrosted

½ cup melted unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
4 small chunks apple wood or 4 small handfuls apple wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

Reserved pan liquid plus enough chicken stock to make 4 cups of liquid
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 equal pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose fl our
⅓ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


1. In a large pot combine the brine ingredients. Stir vigorously until the salt has dissolved.

2. Remove the neck and giblets from both ends of the turkey and reserve in the refrigerator for the gravy. Cut off and reserve the wing tips for the gravy, too. If your turkey has a trussing clamp, leave it in place. Do not truss the turkey. Rinse the turkey, inside and out, with cold water.

3. Partially fill a cooler with ice. Open a large, sturdy plastic bag in the cooler. Place the turkey, breast side down, in the bag. Carefully pour the brine over the turkey and then add 3 quarts of cold water. Press the air out of the bag, seal the bag tightly, close the lid of the cooler, and set aside for 18 to 24 hours.

4. Prepare a half circle or crescent-shaped fire for low heat. Remove the turkey from the bag and rinse it, inside and out, with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine. Lightly coat the turkey with some of the melted butter. Season with the pepper.

5. Pour the chicken stock into a sturdy, 9 x 13-inch roasting pan. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the reserved turkey neck, giblets, and wing tips. Place the turkey, breast side down, in the roasting pan.

6. Place the roasting pan in the center of the cooking grate. Position the pan so the turkey legs face the charcoal. Drain, then add 2 wood chunks or 2 handfuls of wood chips to the charcoal. Cook the turkey over indirect low heat (300˚F to 350˚F), with the lid closed, for 1 hour, and monitor the turkey's temperature closely. 

7. After 1 hour, to maintain the heat, add 10 to 12 unlit charcoal briquettes to the lit charcoal, using long-handled tongs to tuck the unlit charcoal between the lit charcoal. Drain and add the remaining wood chunks or chips to the charcoal. Carefully turn the turkey over in the pan so the breast faces up. Continue to cook the turkey over indirect low heat, with the lid closed, for a second hour.

8. At the end of the second hour, baste the turkey all over with the remaining butter. If any parts are getting too dark, tightly wrap them with aluminum foil. Once again, add 10 to 12 unlit charcoal briquettes to the lit charcoal to maintain the heat. Continue to cook the turkey over indirect low heat. The total cooking time will be 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 175°F in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone) and 165°F in the breast. Note: The internal temperature will rise 5°F to 10°F during resting.

9. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board, loosely cover with foil, and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, make the gravy.

10. Strain the pan liquid through a sieve into a large fat separator and discard all the solids. Add enough chicken stock to equal 4 cups of liquid. Place the roasting pan over a stovetop burner set to medium heat. Add the butter and flour. As the butter melts, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until the mixture turns the color of peanut butter, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 4 cups of the reserved pan liquid (but not the fat) plus the wine. Bring the gravy to a boil, whisking frequently to dissolve the lumps. Lower the heat and simmer the gravy for a few minutes or until it reaches the consistency you like. If the gravy gets too thick, add more chicken stock a little at a time and simmer until it reaches the right thickness. Turn off the heat. Add the parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.