- Food and Cooking
Best Side Dishes Recipes with Turkey at Thanksgiving Meal or Any Time of the Year
What side dishes should you make with turkey for Thanksgiving dinner?
Thanksgiving is nearly here. You know you're going to make the traditional holiday turkey, but what kind of side dishes will you make? There are so many wonderful side dishes that complement the turkey. If you're like me, sometimes you enjoy the side dishes as much or more than the turkey itself.
I've gathered here some of my own favorite recipes for Thanksgiving side dishes, as well as those shared by my friends. Impress your friends and family by whipping up some creamy mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, tasty dressing, and homemade-like green beans. Don't forget the cranberry sauce and pumpkin recipes. We'll even share some vegetarian options here.
With the spread of delicious food you'll enjoy on your table this holiday season, you'll have plenty for which to be thankful.
Popular side dishes for Thanksgiving
There are many traditional and popular side dishes that people make--or buy--for Thanksgiving. Some of the most popular include foods such as potatoes, stuffing, green beans, corn, and breads. Oh, and don't forget the cranberry and pumpkin! Some kind of pumpkin dessert will probably be included in most Thanksgiving meals.
First, stick that turkey in the oven to cook for several hours while you work on your sides. I always go with the easiest way to cook a turkey in order to avoid being overwhelmed by that big bird.
How to Make Turkey Gravy
Gravy made from the turkey drippings is tasty and can be poured over everything--the turkey, the dressing, the potatoes. It's easy to make, too. Just save the drippings from the turkey and pour them into a pan. Add a few tablespoons of flour to mix with the drippings. Stir over medium heat, adding water to make a gravy of whatever consistency you prefer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy or Stuffing?
Do you prefer stuffing or potatoes with your turkey? Well, if you're like me, you want both. I love stuffing from the turkey or homemade turkey dressing with my turkey, with gravy slathered on top.
I make my own dressing by adding extra ingredients to dressing from a box. The boxed stuffing is tasty and becomes even tastier with added items such as turkey meat and bouillon, along with chopped onions and celery.
Creamy mashed potatoes are also a great side. Eat them right along with your tasty dressing. My garlic mashed potatoes include the potato skins along with garlic and sour cream to account for the creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture and taste.
How to Make the Classic Green Bean Casserole
Green Beans and Other Vegetables
Having a green vegetable--or even two--is a healthy way to round out your holiday meal. Green beans are a great complement to a Thanksgiving meal. Watch the video to learn how to make the traditional green bean casserole, or go for a simpler green bean recipe. I like to make mine with a mixture of frozen and canned green beans. With the spices added, along with a few cooking methods, the green beans come out tasting like homemade canned green beans.
There are other green veggies you can enjoy as well. What about a delectable broccoli with garlic dish? Or spinach and shallots for a change? Discover these and more ways to make green veggies. Have fun experimenting!
Add some yellow corn on the cob, too, if you're so inclined, to include another traditional Thanksgiving food. Boil or grill the corn for only about five minutes or so. I've found that not cooking corn on the cob too long leaves it with a nice sweet flavor and just a hint of crunch.
Sweet potatoes are popular enough to deserve their own section. Memories of intensely sweet sweet potatoes topped with meringue take me back to my childhood. I never really liked them that way, so I grew up thinking that I didn't like sweet potatoes. When I discovered that I could eat a plain sweet potato with butter, I quickly learned that I actually liked the things. Why add sugar to something that is already sweet?
I know that many do like the sweetened concoction, however. I do always try whatever dish I come across that has sweet potatoes in it. Consider the options:
Sweet potato casserole (My sister-in-law makes one of these with pecans that is really good!)
Sweet potato fries (Just cut them up and put them in the oven, with or without skins.)
Baked sweet potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes (These are my choice as not too much is added to change the original flavor!)
If you're making stuffing or dressing, you may not even want to also serve bread. However, there's nothing wrong with having both stuffing and bread, just as there is nothing wrong with serving both stuffing and mashed potatoes.
You can certainly buy some of those tasty little brown and serve rolls from the grocery store. If you really want to impress, though, try your hand at some homemade dinner rolls. Freshly made bread with butter is a complement to any meal.
Vegetarian Options for Thanksgiving
If you'd like some vegetarian options, there are some great ones out there. What about a vegetable lasagna or a cashew carrot chili? That certainly sounds intriguing! A vegetable nut loaf or sweet potato pumpkin soup sure sounds heavenly, too. Try these great vegetarian recipes whether you're a vegetarian or just want some great meatless recipes!
Turkey Recipes for Anytime
Pumpkin Dishes and other Desserts
Dessert is an integral part of any Thanksgiving meal. Pumpkin is always a great choice. You can of course make the traditional pumpkin pie, but there are other creative pumpkin options that you can try.
How about pumpkin soup and cream cheese brownies? Don't these sound just heavenly? I would certainly give thanks for those delightful creations. You could also whip up some chocolate chip pumpkin muffins for dessert or even for an easy breakfast with coffee or milk.
Another muffin idea are apple pumpkin muffins. Try a couple of these recipes, and have more than one dessert from which guests can choose.
What is Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dish?
Cranberry sauce, although a traditional side to a Thanksgiving meal, isn't popular with everyone. I wonder if the ones who don't like it, though, have tried homemade cranberry sauce. I grew up thinking that cranberry sauce came in a can, a jellied mold that had to be sliced (usually my job!). I liked, though, what the sweet, tangy flavor added to the meal. I especially liked how cranberry sauce tasted with dressing.
I fell in love with homemade cranberry sauce several years ago when I tried it at someone else's home on Thanksgiving. It's easy enough to make, too. Just buy a bag of whole cranberries and follow the instructions on the back. Voila! Homemade cranberry sauce is much better than the canned version. You owe it to yourself to try it if you haven't.
Enjoy selecting your side dishes for your Thanksgiving meal. There are many options from which to choose. Whatever you decide, have some fun in creating some delectable dishes!
If you're hosting, you might want to try this very helpful 7 day holiday food planning guide to get focused. It should certainly help you get ready for your holiday guests!