A grill is a time-crunched cook's best friend. Make these grilled side dishes to save the day—especially if your turkey is taking up all the spare room in your oven. It's time to make the holiday season a part of barbecue season, too. And what better way to celebrate this discovery than with a grilled feast for the day of overeating! Yes, it's time for a "grate" Thanksgiving. We already have the BBQ Thanksgiving menu ready, so prepare your grill!
Be sure to stock up on plenty of napkins for these six barbecue Thanksgiving recipes (they're messier than most):
See photos and learn more about each of these barbecue-inspired recipes, below.
Asparagus tastes delicious when grilled. And when it's mixed into a soup that's full of flavor and paired with grilled croutons coated in chile butter, it tastes even better! Start your barbecue Thanksgiving menu on a light, healthy note with this warm appetizer. Running short on time? It won't be a problem—this dish can be ready to serve in 30 minutes. Need it quicker than that? Bypass the grill and blanch the asparagus instead. Toast the baguette slices under a broiler for quick croutons.
Get the recipe: Grilled Asparagus Soup with Chile Croutons
If there's one thing that makes us want to gobble up more greens and veggies, it's eating them when they're grilled to perfection. As a Thanksgiving classic, green beans deserve a place on the dining table. But instead of the same old green bean casserole, spice things up this year on the grill and add a kick of jalapeño peppers and flavorful garlic. You won't regret adding this vitamin-packed side to your BBQ Thanksgiving menu (especially because this is a healthier Thanksgiving side dish than most casseroles).
Get the recipe: Grilled Green Beans
While we're on the veggie grilling train, let's take an unexpected tour. That's right: Grilled potatoes are totally a thing, and we're completely on board. To make grilled Yukon gold potatoes Thanksgiving-appropriate, we recommend mashing them with a bit of buttermilk, butter, and fresh chives. Then dig in to the creamy buttermilk flavor you're accustomed to with mom's mashed potatoes while savoring the fresh-off-the-grill flavor you love. This Thanksgiving mashed potato recipe will easily become the star of the show, barbecue Thanksgiving dinner or not.
Get the recipe: Buttermilk Mashed Grilled Potatoes
This turkey is for the true barbecue-lover—and diners who are seeking far-from-bland white meat. Although it's roasted and not grilled, it still has all the authentic spice-rubbed flavor you could want, balanced with a serving of festive cranberry-infused barbecue sauce (so no need to serve extra cranberry sauce on the side). Plus, cooking this BBQ turkey in the oven will give you a break from outdoor grilling. And since you're roasting turkey breast instead of a whole bird, this easy Thanksgiving turkey recipe is quicker than most, too.
Fan Rave: "Great rub, with just the right amount of sweet and heat. This was delicious, I will definitely make it again!" — Kristina Lopez
Get the recipe: BBQ Spice-Rubbed Turkey Breast
Rather than serving carrots raw on a crudite platter, try tossing these delectable root vegetables onto the grill for a healthy Thanksgiving side dish. Lightly season, then top these veggies with a delicious spiced yogurt. Steak rub and salt ensure it's savory and scrumptious. It's a perfect veggie dip for grilled carrots. (Sorry, ranch.) Sprinkle with some pistachio nuts for extra crunch factor, and you've got carrots like you've never tasted them before.
Tip: Make sure you buy plain Greek yogurt rather than vanilla so this side can skew salty/savory rather than sweet.
Get the recipe: Grilled Baby Carrots
You didn't know dessert could be grilled? It can—and it tastes amazing! Skip the baking this year without sacrificing the sweets. This apple crisp is prepped, packaged in foil, then cooked on the grill. To make this dessert even yummier, top with a Porter-Toffee Sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's almost like Thanksgiving apple pie, but much, much tastier.
Tip: To make the Porter-Toffee Sauce outdoors, simply follow the instructions and use a small saucepan on your grill grates or grill side burner rather than on the stove top.
Get the recipe: Grilled Apple Crisp with Porter-Toffee Sauce