Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving is a fabulous holiday for Foodies since the celebration is all about Family and Food.  The Thanksgiving Dinner is the one holiday meal where the side dishes often outshine the main event so I thought this was a good week to share some of my family’s favorite recipes as well as a few tried and true Taste & Technique dishes.
Chef Kathleen Sanderson will be teaching a Homestyle Thanksgiving class this week that features a few of these recipes.  For more information click HERE

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
This is a great dish to help avoid the last minute hassle of mashing the potatoes just before serving.  Our family has been using it for years because it’s an easy recipe to have someone other then the host prepare and bring warm and ready to eat!
8 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 – 3 oz packages cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
¼ cup chopped chives
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. garlic salt
½ cup butter or margarine
2 Tb. chopped parsley

Boil and drain potatoes.  Beat potatoes and mash well.  Add all other ingredient except paprika and parsley.  Pour mixture into greased baking dish.  Sprinkle with paprika and parsley to garnish.

Make a day ahead. 

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Sweet Potato Casserole
While this traditional casserole is a little too sweet for some adults it’s a great way to get the kids to eat their sweet potatoes.  


2 ¼  pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup half and half
¾  cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Cooking spray

1 ½  cups miniature marshmallows
½  cup all purpose flour
¼  cup packed brown sugar
¼  tsp salt
2 Tb chilled butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To prepare potatoes, place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.nReduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until very tender.  Drain, cool slightly.

Place potatoes in a large bowl.  Add half and half, brown sugar, salt and vanilla.  Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Add eggs, beat well (mixture will be thin).  Scrape mixture into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

To prepare topping, sprinkle miniature marshmallows over top of casserole.  Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with knife.  Combine flour, ¼ cup sugar and ¼  tsp salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Stir in pecans, and sprinkle over potato mixture and marshmallows.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Pecan Corn Bread Stuffing
Stuffing is a staple on the Thanksgiving table and there are loads of great recipes, but this simple one by Chef Kathleen Sanderson is a sure winner.

8 Tbsp. sweet butter, divided
2 cups minced Sweet onion
1 cup diced celery
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
½-2/3 dried cranberries or cherries
1/3 cup shredded sage or 1 tsp. dry rubbed
1 x1 lbs. Pkg. Cornbread Stuffing Mix
1 cup toasted chopped pecans

2-3 Tbsp. chopped parsley

In a skillet heat 2 Tbsp. butter. Add onions and celery and saute 3-4 minutes. Add chicken broth, remaining butter, cranberries and sage; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1-2 minutes.

Place corn bread in a large bowl. Add onion/stock mixture, pecans and parsley. Adjust seasoning. Place stuffing in a 2-3 qt. oven to table casserole. Stuffing can be made up to this point, 1 day in advance.

Place stuffing in a pre-heated 375-degree oven (while turkey is resting) and bake 25-30 minutes to heat through. Serve with turkey and all of the trimmings.

Cranberry Apple Relish
I discovered this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine and love how it’s a combination of sweet and tart.
1½ cups chopped peeled Granny Smith apple (about ½ pound)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white grape juice or apple juice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries.

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thick (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally.    Cool completely before serving.

Taste & Technique Tip: This recipe can be made up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Autumn Vegetable Medley
The chefs at Sickles Market created this recipe and I convinced them to share it with me!
2.5 lb. Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch dice
2.5 lb. Acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch dice
1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1.5 lb. tart apples, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1.5 cups maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. allspice
1/4 lb. pecans, coursely chopped
1 pinch salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, spread on sheet pans sprayed lightly with non stick spray.  Bake in a 350˚ oven until just tender and lightly browned, about 30-40 minutes.  Serve immediately or cool and store up to a week in the refrigerator.

Roasted Harvest Vegetables
Here’s a much simpler and lighter version of roasted vegetables by Chef Kathleen Sanderson
1/3  cup Olive oil
2 Large Sweet onions cut into 6 chunks
1 ½ lb. Parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
8-10 cloves garlic
Kosher Salt, Cracked pepper
1/3 cup chopped parsley

Pre-heat oven 425 degrees.

In a bowl toss together olive oil, onion, carrots, parsnips, garlic salt and pepper. Transfer to single layer on a sheet pan and oven roast for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Transfer vegetables to oven-to-table casserole, sprinkle with parsley and adjust seasoning, heat through and serve.

Brussel Sprouts with Radicchio & Pancetta
In my house we call these Aunt Mary’s Brussel sprouts but they actually came from the Williams Sonoma kitchen.  They are delicious and made even better by the fact that my sister is alway the one to make them!

1 1/2 lb. brussels sprouts

6 oz. pancetta, diced
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 head radicchio, about 8 oz., trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh marjoram
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cut or pull off any dry outer leaves from the brussels sprouts. Trim away any brown spots and slice off the dry stem end. Using a food processor fitted with the slicing blade, shred the brussels sprouts. Set aside. 

On the stovetop, heat an oval copper roasting pan or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook the pancetta until crispy and golden brown, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a small bowl. Pour off the fat from the pan and discard, then wipe out the pan with paper towels. 

Set the pan over medium heat and warm the olive oil. Add the brussels sprouts and stir to coat with the oil. Cook until the brussels sprouts begin to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir again, then add the radicchio, marjoram and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the 1/4 cup broth. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and adding more broth as needed, until the brussels sprouts are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the pancetta and stir to incorporate. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. 

Transfer the brussels sprouts to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8. 

Make-Ahead Tip: Trim and slice the brussels sprouts and radicchio and dice the pancetta up to 1 day in advance. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you have a chance to try some of these recipes;
Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving and lots of fun in the kitchen together!