Pants feeling tight? We understand. We have your back. Here are some recipes for Thanksgiving sides that are on the lighter side but aren't lacking in flavor.
'thanksgiving sides' on Serious Eats
Soups aren't necessarily a Thanksgiving standard, but maybe they should be. After all, they can be made ahead of time and store well, and they give dinner a structured quality, which Thanksgiving could use, at least in my house where the feast always has a crazed, mad-dash-for-the-turkey kind of energy. We've gathered up some of our favorites: squash and apple soup, celeriac soup with gruyere, pistachio and parsnip soup, and more.
Green beans are an important staple of the Thanksgiving meal. Among all the beige-colored foods—turkey, potatoes, biscuits, and gravy—they're a necessary shot of color (same goes for cranberry sauce). If you feel like branching out from your usual casserole this year, check out these great green bean dishes.
Now that Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away, we're already planning the feast! All month we'll be bringing you some of our favorite recipes for Turkey Day sides, starting with these tasty brussels sprouts. Whether you opt to make yours rich and cheesy or simply seared with bacon, this once unfashionable veggie has been reclaimed, and it's a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving spread.
Every year we see articles on "how to spice up your stuffing" and every year they amount to adding pecans or cranberries or something not that spiced up at all. If you've ever wondered if there's more to stuffing beyond the family recipe, here's how you really spice up your Thanksgiving meal.
Turkey sandwiches are a Thanksgiving classic, but sometimes bread just isn't what you're looking for. Potato croquettes made of leftover mashed potatoes, filled with the classic sweet and savory combination of turkey and cranberry, are coated with breadcrumbs and fried until crisp.
—Chef Tom Valenti, excerpt from You Don't Have to Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook [Flickr: 3liz4]...
Whether you do an official cocktail hour or just want something festive to share with your fellow cooks in the kitchen, here are a few autumnal cocktails to help you celebrate Thanksgiving. A touch of ginger, a hint of apple, smoky liquor, tart cranberries...these drinks are a tasty start to Thanksgiving (and worth keeping on file for post-Thanksgiving parties.)
The classic Campbell's Green Bean casserole is a staple on many Thanksgiving tables. But there are easy ways you can upgrade the out-of the can version. If you're intimidated by the length and number of steps, bear in mind that you don't need to use the entire recipe. Try canned fried onions instead of frying your own. Or, to make it even easier, stick with two cans of cream of mushroom soup instead of making your own creamy mushroom sauce.
Corn's been out of season awhile now, but it's still a traditional side at some Thanksgiving celebrations, and was likely present at the first harvestime celebration feast in Plymouth. Whether in a creamy custard or casserole, corn dishes add a little more sweetness and richness to an already decadent meal.
We don't want non-meat-eaters to feel left out of the Thanksgiving hubbub here at Serious Eats. We've chatted a little about non-Tofurkey Thanksgiving dishes for vegetarians, and there's a vegetarian category on our recipes section, but here are a few more great-looking ideas from Serious Eats (and around the web) for meatless mains to be served Thanksgiving day.
Last week on the Weekend Cook and Tell we asked all of you to share your preferred Thanksgiving stuffing and dressing recipes and techniques for a challenge we called Stuffing Stories. Here's a look at some of some of our favorite ways to stuff the bird.
If you're thinking of buying gravy-in-a-jar, wait! This recipe is about as simple as it gets, and will give you results that are vastly superior to the store-bought sludge. To improve your gravy even further, just follow the simple guidelines...
Well the short and simple answer to the titular question can be found right here. Store-bought gravies just don't taste right. Sure, some of them have that nostalgic cafeteria appeal, but unless you're seriously trying to relive middle school, you're much better off making your own. With a few store-bought staples, it's surprisingly easy, and worlds better than anything you'd get out of a jar.
Is your Thanksgiving plan all mapped out? You've got mashed potatoes and bacon-studded brussels sprouts. You've thought about stuffing and dessert. But there's always room for one more delicious side dish, and these squash recipes may just tempt you to add a delicata, acorn, or butternut to your shopping list.
Note: dried or fresh fruits and nuts can be folded into the stuffing along with the bread cubes if desired in step 3. Stuffing can be prepared through step 3 and placed in greased casserole dish the day before. Remove...
Your Thanksgiving table has room for more liquids beyond gravy—serve soup! Squash, carrot, celery, fennel, mushrooms, potato, and more combine for creamy fall-themed soups. Many of these can be prepared ahead of time and reheated when T-day comes. Do you serve soup at your Thanksgiving dinner? If not, maybe you'll feel inspired after checking out these recipes.
Appetizers at Thanksgiving are a tricky business: a few small bites can be a great start to the celebration, but if you eat too much, you'll regret it when mashed potato time comes around.
The good news is that the dish is comparatively light for Turkey Day, and the spuds themselves cook beautifully. Essentially braised in vegetable broth and milk, they hold their shapes well and come out in creamy, tender little disk. The texture is a nice alternative to standard mashed potatoes, especially if you're serving multiple mushy sides.
Are you a rebel? Are you a dessert maverick? Do you dare serve something other than pie at Thanksgiving? If so, these recipes are for you, and they don't look half bad. There are plenty of ways to include autumn's signature flavors into desserts that go beyond the usual offerings.