Need some Thanksgiving side dish recipes?
You have probably already figured out how to cook your Thanksgiving turkey (if not, there are plenty of recipes online, but here's a hint: it's just as simple as this 5-Minute Baked Chicken Recipe!), but maybe it's the Thanksgiving side dish recipes you're stuck on. I've shared a bunch of my favorites below, and PLEASE share yours in the comments — especially let us know which of your recipe ideas are simple and can be made-ahead, because we all want to de-stress our holiday, right?!
Thanksgiving side dish recipes:
- Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing – this one can be made ahead and ready to stuff the turkey with the next day or just bake in a buttered dish. Notice the new picture! ***This post also has info on cooking a turkey and other Thanksgiving meal prep info.
- Here is the BEST Cranberry Gelatin recipe, or here's a Fermented Cranberry Relish – this is so good that even those who aren't huge cranberry fans will love it. Also can be made-ahead.
- Mashed potatoes can be made ahead and thrown into the crock pot to keep warm. In case you don't know how to make them, it's easy — amounts are not exact because it depends on how much you're making and your own tastes: Clean 1-2 potatoes per person (depends if you have big eaters, if you want leftovers, how much other food you'll have, etc.), cut the bad spots off, and rinse under hot water. Cut into smaller chunks and drop into boiling water and cook 'til they're very soft. Strain out the water, and throw in about 4-8 Tablespoons of butter and if you'd like, 8 ounces or more of cream cheese, some sea salt and pepper to your taste (I like a lot for flavor), then use your masher and start mashing. If it's too thick, add a little milk and keep mashing until it's creamy. You don't have to use those extra ingredients, really just milk or some broth to make them creamier, but I like to use all of that so they're dreamy. Do serve with gravy of course! Or butter and sour cream, yum. Notes for future reference: 8 # of potatoes FILLS a 6 quart crock pot. About 11# fills an 8 quart pressure cooker, but it was too full to pressure cook, so I just added water almost to the top and boiled it right in there (on saute) with my multi-function pressure cooker (don't turn it up too high and keep an eye on it so it doesn't boil over and make a mess, trust me…). Then after straining, I mashed it in there too, added the extras (some butter, cream cheese, sea salt and pepper), and used the slow-cook feature to keep warm until serving — still only one pot dirtied! (If you're making less potatoes for a smaller crowd, just use this recipe for making fast and easy pressure cooker mashed potatoes. And here are the 10 best ways to use your pressure cooker!) ***NOTE TO SELF ON AMOUNTS: when hosting my family, we do NOT need 2 huge batches of mashed potatoes, just one is plenty!
- Here's how to make gravy: Remove the meat (cover with foil to keep it hot) and pour the juices into a frying pan on the stove. Bring to a slow boil. In the meantime mix together 3/4 cup flour with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, then add enough water to make it a little bit thick, but still pretty easy to whisk. (I've read that adding the salt to the flour like that first helps prevent lumps.). Start adding a little of the meat juices, a ladle-full at a time (about 1/3 cup or so, doesn't have to be exact) and keep whisking. Do this with 3-4 ladles full of juices or so, then take this mixture and pour the whole thing into the pan with the rest of the meat juices, and keep whisking. (Doing it this way warms up the flour mixture and prevents lumps when you pour the whole thing into the pan with the juices.) Start taste-testing as you add herbs like parsley and more seasonings like onion powder or garlic powder, a little at a time, and more sea salt and pepper until it's dreamy. Some use arrowroot flour or organic cornstarch, but I haven't experimented with that much yet.
- Homemade applesauce is a nice side dish with turkey.
- Green Bean Casserole with homemade crispy shoestring onions – a real food version! Can be made-ahead and ready to bake later.
- Stuffed Acorn Squash – can be made ahead and bake later.
- Or here's how to make basic baked squash: cut a butternut squash in half long-wise. Clean out the seeds into the trash with a spoon and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in the oven. Bake at 350* until the flesh is soft, at least an hour, maybe longer. Let cool, then scoop the cooked squash out with a spoon into a bowl. Mash it up with a masher, then stir in some melted butter (2-4 Tablespoons or so) and a little organic sugar or real maple syrup (2 Tablespoons or so) and some salt and pepper to your taste. Spoon into a buttered baking dish and keep in the fridge until 30 minutes or so before you want to serve it. Bake 'til hot, serve with more butter, maple syrup, and salt and pepper if desired.
- Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts – a favorite around here, holiday or not. Can get it ready ahead of time, so you just need to roast them.
- For those of you that were thinking ahead and got some healthy tallow for frying, are you going to deep fry your turkey in it for a healthy frying oil?
- Here’s a good fall recipe for you: Kelly’s Organic Squash Bisque.
- Grain-free pumpkin cream cheese bars – can be made-ahead.
- Pumpkin pie ice cream would make a great turkey-day dessert! Can be made-ahead.
- Stags Antler Cookies which make a great Thanksgiving cookie recipe! Can be made-ahead.
Healthy Turkey Leftover Ideas:
- Keep your turkey bones! Health benefits of bone broth and How to make bone broth/freeze it, etc.
- There are tons of chicken recipes at this main dish recipes post that you can use leftover turkey in instead!
- Here's one: Creamy Parmesan Herb Turkey Tetrazzini — Plan Ahead for Turkey Leftovers!
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