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Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

If you’re looking to cook up an unforgettable feast that will please even the pickiest palates this holiday, remember it’s all about what you serve on the side. Let’s admit it: some Thanksgiving side dishes are so mouthwateringly good that it’s tempting to skip the turkey altogether. While grandma’s recipe box might be the go-to for classic crowd-pleasers year after year, adding a few updated favorites to the menu will take your table to the next level this Thanksgiving.

01

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon and Honey

sweet potatoes HausOnThePrairie / Getty Images

Ingredients:

  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. On a roasting tray, line up the sweet potatoes in a single layer.
  3. Drizzle honey, oil, cinnamon, salt, and freshly ground black pepper over the potatoes.
  4. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender.
  5. Remove from oven, and drizzle with more olive oil before serving.
02

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon TheCrimsonMonkey / Getty Images

Ingredients:

  • 4 strips thick-sliced bacon
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts halved
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels, then chop roughly.
  2. Melt butter over high heat in the same skillet with bacon fat. Add Brussels sprouts and onion, and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, occasionally stirring, until vegetables are golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Transfer bacon back into the pan, and serve immediately.
03

Quick Cranberry Sauce

Quick Cranberry Sauce bhofack2 / Getty Images

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. bag cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 strip lemon or orange zest
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Empty bag of cranberries into a saucepan, transferring ½ cup into a small bowl.
  2. Add sugar, zest, and 2 tbsp water to the pan and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, occasionally stirring until the cranberries are soft and the sugar dissolves.
  3. Reduce heat, and stir in the reserved cranberries. Add sugar, salt, and pepper as needed.
  4. Allow sauce to cool to room temperature before serving.
04

Sauteed Carrots

sauteed carrots elikatseva / Getty Images

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. carrots
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1½ tbsp chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Peel carrots, and slice diagonally into ¼ inch slices until you have about 6 cups.
  2. Transfer carrots, ⅓ cup water, salt, and pepper into a large saute pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover the pan, and cook over medium-low heat for about 7 to 8 minutes, until carrots are softened.
  4. Add the butter, and saute for about one more minute, until the rest of the water evaporates and the carrots are glazed with butter.
  5. Remove pan from heat and toss with dill or parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
05

Mashed Potatoes with Mascarpone Cheese and Roasted Garlic

marscapone mashed potatoes bhofack2 / Getty Images

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 ½ cup whole milk
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • ½ stick butter, unsalted
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic, pureed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Transfer diced potatoes to a large saucepan and add cold water to cover along with 1 tbsp salt.
  2. Over high heat, bring to a boil, and cook until tender.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, combine milk, butter, and pureed garlic in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat.
  4. Run cooked potatoes through a food mill over a large bowl, then stir the milk mixture into the potatoes until combined.
  5. Fold in the mascarpone cheese, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Keep warm in a double boiler or bain-marie until ready to serve.
06

Dump-and-Go Corn Casserole

corn casserole minadezhda / Getty Images

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 6 oz. smoked ham, diced
  • 1 14.75-oz. can creamed corn
  • 1 8-oz. package corn muffin mix
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 ½ cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • Nonstick spray, for the baking dish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F, and coat a 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Combine whole-kernel and creamed corn, corn muffin mix, melted butter, and sour cream in a large bowl. Stir in the smoked ham and half of the chopped scallions until just combined, and pour into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake until golden brown, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle the cheddar evenly over the top, then continue to bake until 5 minutes until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.
07

Lemon-Maple Squash

roasted squash robynmac / Getty Images

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs. butternut squash, sliced into thick wedges, seeds removed
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place sliced butternut squash into a baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with ⅓ cup water, lemon zest and juice, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, and pour over the squash. Dot with butter.
  3. Bake 20 minutes, then flip the squash, and bake 25 more minutes until caramelized and tender, making sure to baste halfway through. Serve immediately.
08

Creamed Pearl Onions

creamed pearl onions wsmahar / Getty Images

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions
  • 1 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Thaw pearl onions, then saute in butter until golden, then add a little water at a time to deglaze.
  2. Add cream, reduce heat, and stir until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
09

Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Truffle Oil

spaghetti squash LauriPatterson / Getty Images

Ingredients:

  • 2 spaghetti squashes, split lengthwise, seeds removed
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp truffle oil
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Drizzle flesh of split spaghetti squash with olive oil and salt and pepper, then place cut-side down on a large baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until squash is tender and can be scraped with a fork into “spaghetti.”
  3. Allow to cool slightly, then use a large fork to scrape strands of spaghetti squash into a large bowl, making sure you roughly separate them as you go.
  4. Drizzle with truffle oil and sprinkle with parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently, and serve warm.
10

Oven-roasted Cauliflower

roasted cauliflower Lilechka75 / Getty Images

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower (approx. 2 lbs.), cut into bite-sized florets (approx. 8 cups)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, chopped garlic, and red pepper. Sprinkle with chopped thyme and salt, and toss again.
  3. Roast until tender and golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

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