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4 Simple Sides to Bring to Your Thanksgiving Feast

November 8, 2019

While turkey may be the main event, it's not really Thanksgiving without a cornucopia of delicious side dishes to complete the spread. If you're not one for planning ahead but need something other than a bottle of booze to bring to the festivities, these super simple side dishes are just what you need in your back pocket. Whether you're spending the Thanksgiving holiday with family or friends, in the company of carnivores or celebrating with the meat-averse, these easy Thanksgiving side dish recipes will please a crowd without you having to sweat it out over the stove for hours on end.


Herbed Sweet Potato Mash

The combination of salt and fresh savory herbs with the natural sweetness of the sweet potato is a real winner in this dish. This is perfect if you need to whip up a quick dish to bring over to a Thanksgiving feast and are short on time.

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp onion granules
  • ½ garlic granules
  • Several fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Several sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the sweet potatoes in a large pot for about 10 to 15 minutes or until they're nice and tender. Turn off the heat, drain them, and pop the sweet potatoes back in the pot. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mash until the mixture takes on a smooth texture.

Slow Cooker Smoky Pancetta Mac n' Cheese

Mac n' cheese always goes down a treat at a Thanksgiving dinner, and adding a little smoked pancetta to the dish is an easy way to jazz up this much-loved classic. Do yourself a favor and make your mac n' cheese in a slow cooker. It's much less work, which means you can spend more time doing more important things (like drinking) on Turkey Day. Don't eat meat? Skip the pancetta.

  • 1 12 oz pack of macaroni
  • 3 oz pancetta
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 ½ tbsp flour
  • 3 cups of grated cheese (sharp Cheddar is an excellent choice here)
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a splash of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and lightly fry the pancetta over a medium until it gets a little bit of color on it, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the pancetta. Put everything in your slow cooker and give it a good stir. Put your slow cooker on the low setting and cook it for about 2 to 2 ½ hours or until the macaroni is tender.

Orange Candied Carrots

Carrots are naturally a little sweet, and candying them takes this tasty veg to the next level. Adding a bit of orange juice gives the carrots a sweet-tart taste that's pretty hard to resist. Opt for fresh squeeze for the best flavor.

  • 1lb carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh sage, chopped to garnish

Steam the carrots for about 10 to 15 minutes or until they're tender. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the carrots, orange juice, sugar, and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the carrots are completely coated. Serve on a plate and garnish with a generous dose of sage.

Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap. It's true when they're boiled over otherwise overcooked, they can be rather unpalatable, but when roasted, the humble Brussels sprout takes on a rich nutty flavor that's actually quite delicious. With a squeeze of lemon and a hit of cayenne pepper, they're absolutely divine.

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons
  • ½ tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 4 to 5 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the Brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Drizzle them with a generous helping of extra virgin olive oil, then add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper and mix well. Spread the sprouts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast them about 20 to 25 minutes or until they take on the desired color. Be sure to shimmy them around occasionally for even roasting. Serve hot and add a little more lemon, if desired.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by Camille Berry for Knockaround.

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