Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes | Midwest Living
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Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Memorable side dish recipes for Thanksgiving and other special occasions include sweet potatoes, dressing, soups, salads and more.

Mix-and-Match Bread Dressing

Whether you're looking to tweak your favorite dressing or create a new tradition, this method meets the challenge. Start with the basic recipe, then try one of the blends shown at left or craft your own custom dressing.
--Top right: Whole wheat bread anchors a mix of sweet potato, celery, almonds, apricots and sage.
--Left: Wild rice stands in for bread in this dressing studded with button mushrooms, celery, bacon, pecans, golden raisins and thyme.
--Bottom right: Sourdough bread cubes blend with cooked bulk Italian sausage, celery, dried cranberries, pine nuts and rosemary.

Mix-and-Match Bread Dressing

Tuscan Kale with Brown Butter, Pecans and Golden Raisins

The recipe makes more than enough of chef Anne Kearney's Spiced Pecans for this dish. Not to worry. They're fantastic for snacking or sprinkling on salad. Tuscan kale, sometimes called dinosaur or lacinato kale, has darker, smoother leaves than curly kale. It also has a more tender texture.

Tuscan Kale with Brown Butter, Pecans and Golden Raisins

Cauliflower Gratin

Tossing cauliflower with bread crumbs, Dijon, cheddar, herbs and almonds makes this humble veg holiday-special.

Cauliflower Gratin

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Orange zest, nutmeg and smoked paprika add layers of flavor to these tender biscuits.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Cranberry-Apple Sweet Potatoes

Mix pantry ingredients—canned apple pie filling, canned sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, apricot preserves, orange marmalade and chopped pecans—for a quick-and-easy side dish with a crunchy nut topping.

Cranberry-Apple Sweet Potatoes

Bourbon-Ginger Glazed Carrots

The carrots from chef Edward Lee’'s cookbook Smoke and Pickles are sweet, buttery—and, yes, boozy.

Bourbon-Ginger Glazed Carrots

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Quivey's Grove in Madison, Wisconsin, whips up this version of mashed potatoes that matches plenty of dairy richness with garlic, Parmesan, black pepper and green onion.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Southwest Corn Pudding

Buttery onions, cheddar and green chilies lace our stuffinglike pudding. Inspired by traditional skillet corn bread, this recipe works as a side or as a meatless main served with a salad or garlicky sauteed kale.

Southwest Corn Pudding

Harvest Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette

Walnut oil adds a nutty flavor to vinaigrette on this colorful salad from Clabber Girl Bake Shop in Terre Haute, Indiana. Add cooked chicken (or your bumper crop of leftover turkey) for a quick main dish.

Harvest Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette

Spiced Pumpkin Bisque

The Inn at Irish Hollow in Galena, Illinois, serves this creamy, curried soup throughout the fall and winter. You can make your own crème fraîche for the garnish, or use purchased crème fraiche or sour cream.

Spiced Pumpkin Bisque

Wilted Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

This recipe, from a Dearborn, Michigan, restaurant, dresses up a classic side-dish wilted salad. "I really enjoyed the addition of fresh mushrooms and hard-boiled eggs," notes a reviewer on our website. "I could easily make a meal of this."

Wilted Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

Lemony Green Beans

Garlic, shallots and lemon brighten crisp-tender beans. Save time by parboiling the green beans a day early.

Lemony Green Beans

Cinnamon Carrots with Maple Thyme Butter

These sweet oven-roasted carrots are a perfect complement to a holiday menu, but they're easy enough to be a weeknight side. This comfort food recipe comes from Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri.

Cinnamon Carrots with Maple Thyme Butter

Mix-and-Match Bread Dressing

Whether you're looking to tweak your favorite dressing or create a new tradition, this method meets the challenge. Start with the basic recipe, then try one of the blends shown at left or craft your own custom dressing.
--Top right: Whole wheat bread anchors a mix of sweet potato, celery, almonds, apricots and sage.
--Left: Wild rice stands in for bread in this dressing studded with button mushrooms, celery, bacon, pecans, golden raisins and thyme.
--Bottom right: Sourdough bread cubes blend with cooked bulk Italian sausage, celery, dried cranberries, pine nuts and rosemary.

Mix-and-Match Bread Dressing

Fruit Brunch Medley

Honey and lime add snap to this fruit bowl with Granny Smith and Delicious apples, red and green grapes, kiwi and dried tart cherries. Serve it at brunch or as a meal accompaniment.

Fruit Brunch Medley

Bacon-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Frying bacon in the skillet, then tossing sprouts and red onion in the drippings before roasting means you'll only dirty one pan making this elegant side dish.

Bacon-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Cranberry Chutney

Cranberries and apple simmer with red onion, ginger and mustard seeds for a spiced variation on traditional sauce. Try it on a sandwich with leftover turkey.

Cranberry Chutney

Chicken Artichoke Brie Soup

Bits of spinach and artichoke color this creamy chicken soup, perfect for a first course at dinner or alongside a sandwich for a holiday lunch.

Chicken Artichoke Brie Soup

Pappa’s Pear Stuffing

You can serve this hearty, fruit-studded dressing with roasted or grilled pork, poultry or ham. The recipe comes from the historical Story Inn in Nashville, Indiana.

Pappa’s Pear Stuffing

Roasted Root Vegetables

Parsnips, turnips, potatoes, carrots and onions are drizzled with honey and sprinkled with sage for fresh, sweet flavor. "I found this when it was first published and it has been part of every Thanksgiving since!" writes one of our website readers. "A lovely new tradition! The only dish I've ever taken that people ask me for the recipe."

Roasted Root Vegetables

Make-Ahead Pumpkin Cornbread

Masa harina, a fine corn flour, gives this bread light texture and corn flavor. Store in refrigerator up to 2 days before your meal, then reheat just before serving.

Make-Ahead Pumpkin Cornbread

Autumn Fruit Salsa

Here's a refreshing holiday salsa from Mackinnon's Restaurant and Gourmet Catering in Northville, Michigan. Serve the pear and veggie mixture with blue corn chips.

Autumn Fruit Salsa

Sausage-Wild Rice Casserole

Pork sausage and wild rice blend with onion, mushrooms and water chestnuts in an easy-to-make casserole. Add 2 cups cubed, cooked chicken or turkey to make it a main dish.

Sausage-Wild Rice Casserole

Champagne-Poached Pear Salad

Dried cranberries and toasted walnuts accent this elegant fruit salad from Courtright's Restaurant in Willow Springs, Illinois. Finish the plate with Brie coated with bread crumbs.

Champagne-Poached Pear Salad

Cranberry-Orange Relish

Cranberry-Orange Relish, from chef Richard Fisher of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota, goes well with meats such as turkey and pork.

Cranberry-Orange Relish

Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Pecans

Toasted pecans and melty marshmallows top whipped sweet potatoes in this classic holiday side dish.

Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Pecans

Cranberry-Pear Chutney

This delicious sweet-and-sour relish sparkles with the flavor of fresh cranberries and Asian pears. Make it up to five days ahead of your holiday meal.

Cranberry-Pear Chutney

Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey-Rum Dressing

Mint, lime juice, rum and honey bathe the fruit in fresh flavors. Serve it as a holiday side dish or an easy fruit for brunch or breakfast.

Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey-Rum Dressing

Browned Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Feta

Give Brussels sprouts a fresh taste with this colorful side dish. The trick to preserving the vegetables' mild flavor is to avoid overcooking.

Browned Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Feta

Pumpkin Parsnip Bisque with Hazelnut Toasts

Puree wintry vegetables like potato, leek and parsnip into a velvety soup. Don't skip the crisp, buttery dippers. They're delicious dunked in the soup.

Pumpkin Parsnip Bisque with Hazelnut Toasts

Orange-Glazed Baby Carrots

Need a side dish in a hurry? Just melt together butter and orange marmalade, and toss with tender steamed carrots to create this super-easy side.

Orange-Glazed Baby Carrots

Butternut Squash and Apple Salad

Sweet squash and apple pair with sharp Gorgonzola and tangy dressing in this autumn salad from Black Star Farm in Suttons Bay, Michigan. The dressing calls for verjus, a tart pressed grape juice. You can order verjust online or find it as specialty stores, but wine vinegar makes a good substitute.

Butternut Squash and Apple Salad

Veggie Cheese Chowder

This easy soup combines colorful veggies—corn, chopped green or red sweet pepper and sliced celery—with cream and three types of cheese products for a pretty, flavorful dish.

Veggie Cheese Chowder

Cranberry Cashew Salad

Sliced apples, roasted cashews and dried fruit combine with mango chutney, spinach leaves and curry for an exotic, fresh-tasting salad. The recipe comes from the New Albany (Ohio) Cooking with Friends community cookbook.

Cranberry Cashew Salad

Gingered Pumpkin Soup

Maple syrup adds sweetness to Gingered Pumpkin Soup, which makes a creamy side dish or appetizer.

Gingered Pumpkin Soup

Calico Corn Bread Dressing

Homey corn bread meets woodsy sage, thyme and shitake mushrooms. Carrots and apricots add color and sweetness.

Calico Corn Bread Dressing

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad

Apples, dried cranberries and grapes meet crunchy celery and wheat berries in this festive holiday salad tossed with apple-cinnamon dressing.

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad

Cheesy Broccoli Bake

Packaged chopped broccoli and cheese spread combine in this classic, creamy side dish.

Cheesy Broccoli Bake

Gourmet Onions

Sprinkle sauteed onions with Parmesan cheese for a festive touch.

Gourmet Onions

Persimmon, Blood Orange and Pomegranate Salad

A colorful burst of fresh flavor is worth the time it takes to peel and section or slice fruit for this holiday salad. If you're in a rush, use 2 to 3 cups jarred, drained, sectioned citrus fruit in place of the four oranges.

Persimmon, Blood Orange and Pomegranate Salad

Chipotle Smashed Potatoes

This rich side dish casserole, perfect for entertaining, has both yellow and sweet potatoes as well as cream cheese, butter, sour cream, bacon and canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. 

Chipotle Smashed Potatoes

 

Brined Brussels Sprouts with Lemony Mushrooms

Salty brine boosts the flavor of these petite vegetables. Then they're skillet-roasted and tossed with seasoned mushrooms to make a tasty side dish for meat or chicken.

Brined Brussels Sprouts with Lemony Mushrooms

Costa Rican Hearts of Palm Salad

Mix avocado, papaya and olives with hearts of palm for an exotic, colorful salad. Hearts of palm look like white asparagus without the tips and taste like artichoke.

Costa Rican Hearts of Palm Salad

Pumpkin-Currant Scones and Best Potato Rolls

Pumpkin blends with spices such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in fragrant Pumpkin-Currant Scones from Cafe Latte at Victoria Crossing in Saint Paul. Another holiday bread your guests will love: Best Potato Rolls from Lucia's Restaurant in Minneapolis. Our recipe for the potato rolls also gives a variation for Garlic and Rosemary Knots pictured at left.

Pumpkin-Currant Scones

Best Potato Rolls

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