Thanksgiving dinner is all about the turkey. But let’s be honest – a Thanksgiving meal wouldn’t be complete without side dishes. Most of us think that they’re almost as important as the main dish. Obviously, buttery mashed potatoes are always on the side dish list, as well as some sort of green bean casserole (at least in my family). Those are great choices, but if you want to spice things up a little bit this year with something new and different, the Test Kitchen team is here to help! Here are a few of our favorite holiday side dishes to complement your turkey:
After 27 years, it’s time for a change. - By Mallory
Let me start off by saying that I am in no way abandoning green bean casserole as a Thanksgiving side dish. After having it at 27 consecutive Thanksgivings, I can’t just get rid of a classic. But, since we are having multiple Thanksgiving celebrations this year, I decided to try something new. One of our celebrations is a more “modernized” Thanksgiving meal – and that’s where this recipe for Warm Balsamic Green Beans comes into play. When I tried this in taste panel in the Test Kitchen, I literally could not stop eating it. I came back for seconds and thirds. The honey gives a hint of sweetness, while the balsamic vinegar adds a slight tang.
No more marshmallows! - By Samantha
Besides birthdays, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and this will be my first “married” Thanksgiving. Getting together around the table for a delicious meal and reflecting on all your blessings is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. This year I’m bringing a side dish, and I knew immediately I wanted to do something with sweet potatoes. I might be in the minority, - but I don’t particularly care for marshmallows on my yams. But, I do like the sweet/salty combo. Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes are perfect for that – no marshmallows in sight but still some sweetness from the Cinnamon Sugar Butter Spread. I’m planning to make the recipe at home the night before, but I’ll skip the last step of baking until the potatoes are heated through. I’ll save that for my parents’ oven!
Cheese + carrots + bacon = winning side dish on Thanksgiving. - By Cindy
Thanksgiving means tradition, and our family’s Thanksgiving feast always includes a special vegetable side dish. I have made it for years, and my mother made it before that. We have three sons who vie each year to be the first person to take a scoop of Cheesy Carrot & Bacon Bake. They seem to think that the first scoop has the most bacon, the most cheese, and the most crumbs. I’m not sure about that, but if it gets kids to eat vegetables, then I guess it’s ok. I encourage you to give this recipe a try.
Who cares about the turkey? - By Amber
For me, Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes. In fact, if someone forgot the turkey, I wouldn’t blink an eye (I usually take a small piece out of obligation and completely cover it in tart cranberry sauce). Out of all the side dish options, stuffing or dressing is by far my favorite. The traditional stuffing my family makes features sausage, wild rice (that’s Minnesota for you!), and bread cubes – it is amazing. As much as I love that family recipe, I really like to try new things, Kale and Sausage Sourdough Stuffing is my current obsession. It is perfect as a part of the standard Thanksgiving spread or as a side to roasted meats at other times during the cooler months. And the leftovers make for a delicious lunch!