When it comes to Thanksgiving meals, most people are traditionalists. More often than not, the menu at peoples’ Thanksgiviing meal will include roast turkey and all the trimmings. While this quite often translates as turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and peas or yams, many other traditional and not- so- traditional side dish menu ideas complement virtually any main dish, especially roast turkey.
Presented here are six quick, easy and delicious no- fail Thanksgiving menu side dish recipes. Enjoy.
A) Maple- Cinnamon Baked Butternut Squash As this Thanksgiving menu side dish roasts in the oven, it will impart a fragrant aroma that will make mouths water. When preparing this dish,it is important to periodically prick holes, or slits into the flesh of the squash before and as it bakes. This creates a ‘steaming’ effect, which helps cook the squash and the holes also allow the flavors of butter, maple syrup and cinnamon to permeate the squash.
Needed..two medium size butternut squash/ 3 Tablespoons of melted butter or margarine/ 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, divided/ 1/2 – 3/4 cup of maple syrup, divided
Cut each squash in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon or a gloved hand,scoop out all seeds and stringy flesh from cavities of squash. Place squash halves on a lightly- greased cookie sheet, or baking pan. Using a fork, poke many holes into surface, or flesh, of the squash. Rub 1/4 of cinnamon into each squash half. Pour equal amounts of maple syrup and melted butter or margarine over each squash half.If liquids ‘pool’ in cavity of squash, poke more holes, so that liquids can be absorbed. Bake at 375* for one hour, or until flesh of squash is soft and tender. If desired,’basting’, or adding more butter or syrup to squash while baking, may be preferred. Let stand for five minutes before serving.
B) Mashed Turnips Turnips are one of those foods that people generally either strongly like or dislike. For people who like turnips, this is the old- fashioned, or ‘classic’ way of preparing this Thanksgiving menu side dish favorite.
An old chefs- trick involves boiling an, or neutralize the natural bitterness and acidity common in turnips. The end result is a mellow and flavorful no- fail Thanksgiving menu side dish favorite.
Needed..One large turnip, peeled and diced/ two white potatoes, peeled and diced/ 1/4 cup of milk/ 2 Tablespoons of butter or margarine/ 3 /4 teaspoon salt/ 1 /2 teaspoon black pepper/ 1 teaspoon of sugar
In a large pot, cover peeled and diced turnips and potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook until vegetables are soft. (use a fork to test). Remove from heat and drain water. In a large bowl, or the cooking pot, add milk, butter, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together, just like preparing regular mashed potatoes. Some lumps are perfectly acceptable. Many people prefer mashed turnips to be slightly lumpy. Serve hot.
C) Peas and mushrooms with pearl onions
The name says it all. While this is not necessarily a ‘recipe’, more a combining of ingredients, this dish is quick and easy, colorful and delicious. The flavors in this dish are well- suited to a Thanksgiving menu. While the use of fresh, canned or frozen peas is up to each individual cook, the use of frozen peas is recommended, due to their firm texture and vibrant color.
Needed..Two cups of peas (preferrably frozen) / one 4 oz can of sliced mushrooms/ 3/4 cup pearl onions( jarred or canned) / 2 Tablespoons of butter or margarine/ 3/4 teaspoon salt/ 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cook peas until just soft and drain all water. In pan, or microwave-safe bowl, add mushrooms and pearl onions. Heat until all ingredients are hot, then add butter or margarine and salt and pepper. Servr hot.
D) Simple Succotash
Another classic Thanksgiving menu side dish idea, this no- fail dish involves nothing more than heating two cans of vegetables together. Sometimes, simplicity makes for the best eating.
Needed..one 16 oz can of corn/ one 16 oz can of lima beans/ 2 Tablespoons of butter or margarine/ 2 Tablespoons of milk/ 3/4 teaspoon salt/ 1 2 teaspoon black pepper
Heat all ingredients together and serve hot.
E) Sweet Potato Pie
For the sake of ease and convenience, the use of canned sweet potatoes is highly recommended for this no- fail Thanksgiving menu side dish recipe. If using canned, drain potatoes before mashing.
Needed..Two cups of mashed sweet potatoes/ 4 Tablespoons, plus 1 teasppon melted butter or margarine/ 3 /4 cup of milk/ 3 eggs/ 1 teaspoon vanilla/ 1 1 /4 teaspoons cinnamon/ 1 cup sugar(or equivalent sweetener)/ 1 9- inch baked pie shell ( available at most supermarkets)
In a large bowl, mash the potatoes by whichever method works. Add melted butter or margarine, milk and eggs. Mix until just blended. Stir- in vanilla, cinnamon,nutmeg and sugar. Mix until all ingredients are blended together. Add mixture to pie shell and bake at 350* for 50- 60 minutes. Let cool partially, before serving.
F) Three Bean Salad
Needed.. One 16 oz can green beans/ one 16 oz can kidney beans/one 16 oz can wax beans/ 1 /2 cup thinly- sliced onion/ 1 /2 cup vegetable oil/ 1 /2 cup apple cider vinegar/ 3 packets artificial sweetener(or 4 teaspoons of sugar)/ 3 /4 teaspoon salt/ 3 /4 teaspoon black pepper
Drain all three cans of beans. When slicing onion, keep slices small and thin. In a large bowl, combine beans and onion. Add oil, vinegar, sweetener,, salt and pepper. Toss ingredients gently, yet thoroughly. Refrigerate for four hours before serving.