By Merissa Principe

With Thanksgiving on the way, it’s time to bust out the roasting pan as America gets ready to serve up some gratitude this Thursday. Turkey may be the main attraction this holiday season, but you won’t be able to contain your excitement as you feast your eyes on these six easy show-stopping side dishes. Fresh ingredients and bold flavors make these simple ingredients stand out in the crowd as they’re accompanied by crispy bacon, melted cheese, and a pinch of spice. Your family will be yelling, “Encore!” as these sensational sides take you to the top of the charts this Thanksgiving Day.

Cheesy Brussel Sprout Casserole

Prep: 10 min
Cook Time: 50 min
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves 6

Ingredients

 

  • 2 pounds of Brussel sprouts, halved
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 1-1/4 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, stems removed
  • pepper to taste

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium stock pot, bring water to a boil. Clean, trim and halve the Brussel sprouts. Once your water has boiled, add the Brussel sprouts and cook for two minutes. Drain and blanch the sprouts in cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cool to the touch, drain and set aside.

In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk to combine and remove clumps.

Turn off the heat and add the milk, salt, cheese, mayo, garlic powder, rosemary, and pepper to the flour and butter mixture. Stir to combine until the cheese is fully melted.

In a baking dish, add the Brussel sprouts and cheese mixture. Toss to combine, garnish with extra parmesan for a crispy crust and bake for 40-50 minutes until the Brussel sprouts are tender. Serve warm.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Prep: 20 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min
Serves 10

Ingredients

 

  • 3 1/3 lbs russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp butter

 

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with salt over medium-high heat.

Peel and dice the potatoes into medium sized chunks. Add to boiling water and cook for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are tender or easily pierced with a fork.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, heavy cream and garlic powder over medium heat until simmering. Remove and set aside.

After 30 min, drain the potatoes and put back into the same pot. Add the garlic mixture, butter to the potatoes and mash with a hand mixer until creamy.

Serve immediately.

Green Onion and Bacon Creamed Corn

Prep: 20 min
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 min
Serves 6

Ingredients

 

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 6 slices of bacon, sliced 1-inch thick
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/4 cup of green onions, sliced 1/8 inch thick

 

Directions

To start, shuck corn and pull off silks. Run the corn under cool water to clean. In a large bowl, cut the corn off the cob with a sharp knife. Then with a spoon, scrape up the cob to get the “milk” of the corn.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the 1 1/2 cups of water to the mixture and whisk to combine.

Melt butter over medium-low heat in a deep skillet or pan, and add the corn and flour mixture. Then, let the corn cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a separate pan, cook the 1-inch sliced bacon on medium heat until crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Once crisp, remove to a plate and set aside.

Remove the grease, wipe clean, and heat the pan to medium-low. Add the tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and then add the diced shallots. Cook until tender and golden, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Once the corn has cooked for 40-45 minutes, add the bacon, shallots, and green onion. Stire to combine and serve warm.

Apple Kale Salad

Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 10 min
Total time: 25 min
Serves 6

Ingredients

 

  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup of dates, pitted
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup of finely grated Pecorino
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt. Add the thinly sliced kale to the oil mixture, tossing to coat, and allow to rest for ten minutes.

In the meantime, cut the apples into matchsticks along with the dates, into thin slivers. After ten minutes, add the apples, dates, almonds and cheese to the kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste, toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep: 10 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Total Time: 55 min
Serves 10

Ingredients

 

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of golden raisins
  • 1 tsp dark maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of allspice
  • 1/4 cup of dates, pitted and diced
  • 1/4 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows

 

Directions

In a large pot, bring water to a boil.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the sweet potatoes into large chunks and add to the pot of boiling water. Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork. Drain and in the same pot, add the milk and mash the potatoes with a hand mixer or immersion blender until creamy.

Add the raisins, diced dates, maple syrup and spices. In a baking dish, add the sweet potatoes and garnish with marshmallows and pecans atop the potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes, serve warm.

Mushroom Bacon Green Beans

Prep: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Total Time: 35 min
Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 lbs green beans, trimmed
  • 4 slices of bacon, sliced 1-inch thick
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) of cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 tsp plus 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Bring a large boiling pot of water to a boil and blanch the green beans for about six minutes until tender. Once boiled, remove the beans from the boiling water, drain, and submerge in ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled to the touch, drain and set the beans aside.

On medium heat, add the sliced 1-inch pieces of bacon to a pan and cook until crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Once cooked, remove the bacon from the pan onto a plate but keep bacon grease and any extra collected on the plate in the pan.

Add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the bacon grease, on medium heat, and sautee the cremini mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about six minutes. Once the mushrooms are tender remove to a plate and set aside.

On medium heat, add one teaspoon of olive oil in the same pan and cook the thinly sliced shallots, stirring occasionally, until tender. Next, add back in the beans and the mushrooms and cook for one to two minutes, tossing the mixture to coat the beans. Add back the bacon once the beans are ready and serve warm. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

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