Delicious Thanksgiving sides

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d put together a little post with 10 ideas for Thanksgiving side dishes. I’ve ignored plenty of holidays on this blog–Halloween, for example, went by completely unremarked. And last year I don’t remember sharing a single Thansgiving-friendly recipe when November hit. It’s not even like I’ve fallen off the bandwagon, because to fall off it means you were on it at some point.

And I never claim to have been on any bandwagon, at any time.

So I’m trying to change–not too hard mind you (no pie-filled week like Tracy, no pumpkin-alicious recipes like Sarah), but the least I could do is put together a few of the delicious sides that have happened on this blog in the past. None are exactly traditional, but I think they’d be quite lovely if you’re looking for a little something different this year!

First up!

1. Roasted carrots with feta and parsley–my favorite thing is the roasty sweetness of the carrots. My other favorite thing is the salty, magical feta. And my other favorite thing is that it couldn’t be easier. The steps can be broken down as follows: roast. Toss. Consume.

2. Brussel sprouts!

Shredded. Pan-fried with bacon and nutmeg and a squirt of lemon juice at the end. You may remember this recipe from the cooking class I taught with my friend Cassia earlier this year–and for me, the brussel sprouts were one of the highlightiest highlights of that meal. This little pile of greens would go so well with a big hunk of turkey–if you’re of the turkey persuasion, that is. I’m more for the roasted chicken myself.

3. Creamy Parmesan orzo with asparagus! How I love that stuff.

4. This roasted potato and green bean salad that I LOVE (and I don’t break out the caps for just any old thing). It’s sweet and tangy and mustardy, with just the right amount of bitey vinegar on the tongue. I’ve made it twice, and eating it again would make so very happy.

5. A fruit salad with all fresh fruit (and lotsa berries, though that’s not exactly seasonal at this time), topped with a minty honey lime dressing.

6. Mushrooms drowning in melted fontina. *groan*

And it’s another super easy dish (score)!

7. Divine creamed corn. Easy, delicious, and not-from-a-can.

And all the food bloggers said. . . Amen.

Or at least this food blogger did.

8. Roasted green beans. They are so, so, so good. And you just toss them in the oven and let the heat do the work!

They truly are finger-lickin’, just as I dubbed them in the recipe.

9. Israeli couscous with spiced sweet onions, cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of cilantro.

It’s so colorful! The red and green reminds me of Christmas. And of course, it’s as tasty as all get out.

10. I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention one of the more traditional dessert type things which can also function as a Thanksgiving side–très Americain

Jello! With berries. And cool whip. And I’m not apologizing, either.

I mean, I can’t exactly apologize after what happened last year:

It was devoured by a pack of hyenas.

I mean . . . a pack of sisters. Right.

So! Do tell all. Have you all already planned out your Thanksgiving menus? Or–for my Canadian friends–were your Thanksgivings full of deliciousness and new culinary heights? Or old but still heighty culinary heights? And for my international friends, does the sight of Jello completely disgust you, or do you understand how necessary it is to the American soul?

27 thoughts on “Delicious Thanksgiving sides

  1. Jennifer Beach

    I heart brussel sprouts!

    This year I’m making a red kuri squash soup with apples and onions. I’m also making pies: apple and…?

  2. Becky

    Today our friends who had invited us for Thanksgiving found out that their renovations to their home will not be done in time for them to comfortably host. So we are having them here instead. Now to find a menu… I think I’m going to try your carrot dish… I love cooked carrots and I also love easy. My husband will be preaching for two services on Thanksgiving and I’m playing the piano so easy will be very good after all that. Thanks for the help!

  3. Suzie

    The creamed corn and the roasted potato and green bean salad both spoke to me. Really, “you need me” “you need me in your life now”. I love food that talks to me 😉
    We don’t have a traditional Thanksgiving, it’s been rigatoni, burgers and steaks, chicken mozzerella to pot roast. Though I do miss the traditional. I get a turkey from work each year and usually cook that with all the fixings in January (to get rid of those winter blues). Oh, and jello is one sweet thing I will eat!

    1. Jenna Post author

      I love that your Thanksgiving is non-traditional and that you move the turkey up to January! It’s all about who you’re eating with anyway, and Thanksgiving preparations (when you go traditional and when you go all out) can certainly cause some stress. I’m blessed NOT to have been the main cook/hostess for the past few years–and THEN I fully enjoy the traditional aspect. =)

  4. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef

    mmmm pumpkin! love these ideas. i hope to be able to host thanksgiving or christmas next fall, since our living situation will (fingers crossed) probably change by then and we’ll have the space to do so. for now, i’m content to just contribute dessert and cranberry sauce at my in-laws. 🙂

  5. Veronica Miller

    I’m saving that potato and green bean salad! Thanksgiving dinner (lunch, really) is always at my in-laws house and usually a lot of Den’s extended family joins us. We usually spend the night so I can help my MIL with all the cooking and prep b4 ppl show up but I’ll be working until after midnight so we’ll have to just show up along with everyone else (they live two hours away). I’m brining the pumpkin pie (one of the few desserts I dislike but I make a good one, or so I’m told), some corn pudding supreme, maybe a layered salad (it’s good for potlucks b/c it’s pretty and has the dressing on top already), and I always bring the cranberry sauce. I think I’m the only one that eats it too. 🙂 Hope yours is a happy and, of course, thankful celebration! I hope you’ll be seeing your family.

    1. Jenna Post author

      I would eat your cranberry sauce! I love that stuff. And yes, we’ll be with Adam’s parents, brother and aunt and uncle (and 2 cousins) so it should be lots of fun!

  6. Skippymom

    We are going to do the standards because otherwise the pilgrims would string of Mom – so that includes Turkey with oyster dressing, homemade gravy, yeast rolls [you get the idea] but instead of sweet potato casserole I am going to make sweet potato stuffed granny smith apples. I found the recipe here:

    They are so pretty and the mix sounds delicious. I can’t wait. Plus I am adding in your carrots with feta/parsley [thank you!] Gosh those look good. I LOVE carrots.

  7. Kimby

    Jenna, I’m bookmarking this post — it was like reading a favorite cookbook! (Speaking of which, you really ought to consider publishing one!. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Hi Reem! I’m with you on the deliciousness of the mushrooms in particular–nothing beats mushrooms and cheese!

  8. Monica

    I’m with you on the bandwagon thing, I never seem to get around to sharing recipes before the holidays. Thanks for these side dishes, those are something I usually don’t pay attention to and I definitely bookmarked a few!

  9. Joanne

    Tradition seems irrelevant in the face of all this good food! Plus I’d much rather have each and every one of these than my parents’ tradition of Stouffer’s from a box. Yuckers.

  10. Tracy

    My menu is pretty much planned, although I haven’t made much except pie yet. 😛 I’m loving that roasted potato salad though and thinking I may have to make room for it in our feast!

  11. Twinky

    It ALL looks so good…. NEXT YEAR I will do Thanksgiving here and cook up a storm. In the meantime, it’s down to AJ’s in Sheboygan where I will provide the cranberry-orange relish and a fruit salad. Have a lovely time with all the Plaiss’s.

  12. Food Jaunts

    I am overloaded with Thanksgiving right now. I’ve been plotting for weeks and considering it’s also end of the quarter/finals week I’ve been going like a maniac. I must, must, must try that Potato and Green Bean side though – it looks divine.


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