I love Thanksgiving dinner, it’s my favorite time of year, and my favorite meal of the year. I also think many others feel the same way, so to make Thanksgiving dinner even more special this year, add these savory side dishes to your Thanksgiving feast and everyone will rave! I’ve adapted these recipes from others I’ve found over the years and have fine-tuned them to suit my tastes. Both of these Thanksgiving dinner savory side dishes may be altered to suit your tastes.
Also, of these Thanksgiving dinner side dish recipes are full of fresh and colorful ingredients that will add a nice touch to your meal. So why not try something new this year?
Bartlet Pear, Granny Smith Apple & Hazelnut Dressing Thanksgiving Dinner Savory Side Dish Recipe:
1 cup apple or pear brandy (or substitute Apple Jack)*
1 cup Granny Smith apples (diced)
1 cup Bartlet pears (diced)
1/2 stick butter
1 large sweet onion, (or 2 small) minced
4 stalks celery (diced)
3 shallots (minced)
6 cloves garlic (minced or grated)
6 cups french bread (cubed)
4 tsp. fresh thyme (rolled and chopped)
4 tsp. fresh sage (rolled and chopped)
4 tsp. fresh marjoram (rolled and chopped)
3 eggs (beaten)
2 cups mushroom stock ( may substitute chicken, or vegetable stock)
1 cup toasted hazelnuts (roughly chopped )
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Gather ingredients and dice fruits and veges. You don’t have to remove the skin on the fruit unless you’d rather have it that way. Personally, I like the color the skin adds to the dressing and the extra vitamins the skin adds, just make sure they are cleaned well before using. While chopping, soak the apples and pears in Apple Jack or brandy about 10-15 minutes. Then add butter to deep skillet on med-high heat and saute shallots, onion, and celery for about 3-4 minutes, add garlic and saute for another minute. Next add the whole apple and pear mixture to the skillet, including the apple jack (or brandy). Cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated (about 6-8 min.). Set aside and cool. After mixture has cooled to touch, put the bread in a very large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, but only use just enough stock to moisten the dressing. Bake dressing in a large buttered casserole dish for about 45 min. to 1 hour, removing foil for the last 20 minutes to brown. Makes 12-16 servings.
The brandy is not necessary if you do not use alcohol in your recipes. I just like the flavor the apple jack (or brandy) adds to the fruit. If you are not using the alcohol, substitute chicken, vegetable or mushroom broth when called for (no need to soak the fruit in the broth first, just add when called for in the skillet).
Squash & Spinach O’Gratin Thanksgiving Dinner Savory Side Dish Recipe:
Delicata, Butternut or Banana Squash work best for this recipe (because of the ease of cutting them into thin sliced discs), but any type of squash will do if you don’t mind the pieces of squash cubed instead of sliced thin (like in O’Gratin Potatoes). This recipe makes enough for 12-16 people and may be halved or doubled.
5-6 pounds yellow squash (sliced into thin discs) (1 lb = 1 cup cooked)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Sea Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 TBL fresh thyme minced ( or 1 1/2 tsp. dried)
2 lbs. or 24 cups fresh spinach (or 2 boxes of frozen cooked spin., thawed, drained & squeezed of all water)
1 large onion, sliced
3 TBL. fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 TBL. dried)
3 cloves garlic minced
1 cup chicken broth or white wine (your choice)
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups light cream (or half & half)
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 TBL. freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1-1 1/2 cups coarse dry bread crumbs
2 TBL butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche*
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking dish or cookie sheet w/ olive oil; set aside. Peel and slice the squash into about 1/4-inch thick discs and remove seeds from slices and halve large slices. Arrange slices on baking dish or cookie sheet. Brush both sides of slices lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and 1 TBL fresh minced thyme. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Remove. Increase oven temperature to 475 degree F.
Meanwhile in a large pot or Dutch oven cook the spinach in lightly salted boiling water, half at a time, for 1 minute or until wilted. Drain and cool slightly; squeeze out excess liquid. Or use the frozen spinach, by thawing, draining and squeezing out all liquid. Coarsely chop the spinach; set aside.
In a deep dish (large) saute pan over medium-low heat, add 1-2 TBL. olive oil and saute sliced onions, salt, pepper, and thyme until onions are lightly browned, approximately 15 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another minute or so, add chopped spinach and broth (or wht. wine) and saute until liquid has almost evaporated (about 6-8 min.). Remove from heat.
Meanwhile heat light cream in a sauce pan, and whisk in flour (or cornstarch), cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, then stir in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and freshly grated nutmeg. Add sauce to spinach mixture, and stir until all is well coated. Spread spinach-onion-cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of a large prepared baking dish or casserole.
Next, prepare topping by mixing together melted butter, sour cream (or creme fraiche), cheeses and bread crumbs, season to taste. Arrange squash slices over spinach mixture and spread topping over the squash. Bake uncovered 10-15 min. or until squash is tender and topping is lightly browned. Let rest before serving. Serves 12-16.
Note: To make your own creme fraiche, in small bowl stir together 1/4 cup whipping cream (not ultrapasteurized) and 1/4 cup dairy sour cream. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 2 to 5 hours or until mixture thickens. When thickened, cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving time or up to 48 hours. Stir before serving.
Also, other types of squash may be used, see this great site for describing the different types;
I hope you enjoy these Thanksgiving Dinner savory side dishes at your family Thanksgiving dinner. Who knows, they could become a tradition! Also see Thanksgiving Day Drink Recipes for Both Kids & Adults; Super Cider, Pumpkin Smash Bombs, and Pumpkin Butterbeer (for the Kiddies)
Thanksgiving Side Dish Trivia
-Stuffing is called “stuffing” when cooked inside the turkey, chicken or goose or duck,and “dressing” is when it’s baked separately.
– 40 million green bean casseroles are consumed each year on Thanksgiving Day.
-More than 94% of Thanksgiving dinners include cranberry sauce.
-Stove Top stuffing was first sold in 1972 and sells more than 60 million boxes each Thanksgiving.
For more Thanksgiving Day Recipes and Trivia see foodreference.com.
Resources & More Reading:
My personal recipes
Also see Thanksgiving Day Drink Recipes for Both Kids & Adults; Super Cider, Pumpkin Smash Bombs, and Pumpkin Butterbeer (for the Kiddies)
Base recipe for dressing; http://homecooking.about.com/lr/stuffing_recipes/379275/1/
All about squash;http://whatscookingamerica.net/squash.htm
Thanksgiving Side Dish Trivia ; http://www.mahalo.com/best-thanksgiving-side-dishes
More Thanksgiving Food; http://www.foodreference.com/html/fthanksgiving.html