What Side Dishes Pair Well With Turkey?

Turkey is a classic centerpiece for many holiday dinners, but finding the perfect side dishes to accompany this delectable bird can sometimes be a challenge. Fear not, because we have got you covered! From creamy mashed potatoes to tangy cranberry sauce, we will explore a variety of tantalizing options that will take your turkey feast to the next level.

Whether you’re looking for traditional favorites or innovative twists, this article will guide you through the vast array of delicious side dishes that pair exceptionally well with turkey. So get ready to enhance your holiday table with these mouthwatering accompaniments!

The Perfect Mash: Choosing the Best Potatoes for Your Turkey Feast

Choosing the Right Potato Variety

When it comes to making mashed potatoes, choosing the right potato variety is crucial. While all potatoes have their own unique qualities, some are more suited for mashing than others. The best potatoes for creating that perfect, creamy texture are generally the starchy or all-purpose varieties.

Russet potatoes, for example, are a popular choice due to their high starch content, which results in light and fluffy mashed potatoes. Yukon Gold potatoes are another great option, with their buttery flavor and creamy texture.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, so feel free to experiment and find the potato variety that suits your taste.

Traditional Mashed Potatoes with Butter and Cream

The classic mashed potatoes recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients: potatoes, butter, cream, and seasoning. Start by peeling and boiling your potatoes until they are fork-tender. Then, drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.

Add in a generous amount of butter and cream, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy, using a hand masher or a potato ricer for best results.

For an extra touch of indulgence, sprinkle some chopped fresh herbs like parsley or chives, on top before serving. These traditional mashed potatoes are the perfect complement to your succulent turkey.

Garlic Infused potatoes

If you’re looking to add a little extra flavor to your mashed potatoes, try infusing them with garlic. Start by simmering a few cloves of peeled garlic in milk until they become soft and fragrant. Then, mash your boiled potatoes as you normally would and gradually add the garlic-infused milk, along with butter and cream.

The result is a heavenly blend of creamy mashed potatoes with a subtle garlic twist. This aromatic side dish will elevate your turkey feast to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Chives

For the cheese lovers out there, cheesy mashed potatoes are an absolute must-try. Begin by preparing your mashed potatoes according to your preferred method. Once the potatoes are smooth and creamy, fold in a generous amount of shredded cheddar or Parmesan cheese.

The heat from the potatoes will melt the cheese, creating a luscious and gooey texture throughout. Finish off this cheesy delight with a sprinkle of fresh chives for a burst of color and added flavor. These cheesy mashed potatoes will surely steal the show at your Thanksgiving table.

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Cranberry Creations: A Twist on the Traditional Sauce

Classic Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest

The classic cranberry sauce is a staple on Thanksgiving tables, and for good reason. It’s tangy, sweet, and adds a burst of vibrant color to your plate. Making your own cranberry sauce is a breeze. Simply combine fresh or frozen cranberries, sugar, and water in a saucepan.

Add a hint of orange zest to brighten up the flavors. Simmer the mixture until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens. Allow it to cool before serving. This classic cranberry sauce pairs perfectly with roasted turkey, adding a refreshing contrast to the richness of the meat.

Spiced Cranberry Relish

If you’re looking to spice things up a bit, try making a spiced cranberry relish. This relish is bursting with flavor and adds a delightful kick to your Thanksgiving meal. Start by pulsing fresh cranberries, orange zest, and sugar in a food processor until coarsely chopped.

Then, transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in some freshly grated ginger, ground cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for that extra zing. Let the flavors meld together in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. This spiced cranberry relish adds a bold and unique twist to the traditional cranberry sauce, taking your turkey feast to new heights.

Cranberry Chutney with Apples and Pecans

If you’re looking for a more complex and texturally diverse cranberry accompaniment, cranberry chutney with apples and pecans is the way to go. Start by sautéing diced apples and chopped pecans in a saucepan until they become tender and fragrant.

Then, add in fresh or frozen cranberries, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Let the mixture simmer until the cranberries burst and the chutney thickens.

This cranberry chutney adds a delightful sweetness and crunch to your turkey, making it a truly memorable addition to your Thanksgiving meal.

Savory Stuffing Sensations: Beyond the Basic Bread

Traditional Herb Stuffing

When it comes to stuffing, the traditional herb stuffing is a timeless favorite. Start by sautéing onions, celery, and garlic in butter until they become soft and fragrant. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cubed bread, the sautéed vegetables, and a generous amount of fresh herbs like sage, thyme, and rosemary.

Slowly incorporate some turkey or vegetable broth into the mixture until it reaches your desired level of moisture. Transfer the stuffing to a baking dish and bake it until it becomes golden brown and crispy on top. This classic herb stuffing brings a comforting and flavorful element to your turkey feast.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

For a Southern twist on stuffing, try making cornbread and sausage stuffing. Begin by preparing a batch of cornbread, either from scratch or using a mix. Once the cornbread is cooled, crumble it into a large mixing bowl. In a skillet, cook some crumbled sausage until it is browned and cooked through.

Remove the sausage from the skillet and set it aside. In the same skillet, sauté onions, celery, and garlic until they become tender. Combine the cornbread, sausage, sautéed vegetables, and a mixture of chicken broth and beaten eggs in the mixing bowl.

Transfer the stuffing to a baking dish and bake until golden and crispy. This cornbread and sausage stuffing adds a hearty and flavorful element to your Thanksgiving spread.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffing

For a gluten-free option or just a unique twist on stuffing, wild rice and mushroom stuffing is a great choice. Start by cooking wild rice according to package instructions until it becomes tender and fluffy. In a skillet, sauté a mix of mushrooms, onions, and garlic until they are cooked through and slightly caramelized.

Combine the cooked wild rice, sautéed mushrooms, chopped fresh herbs, and vegetable or chicken broth in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake until it develops a delicious golden crust.

This wild rice and mushroom stuffing provides a satisfying and earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with your Thanksgiving turkey.

Green Bean Galore: Fresh Takes on a Classic Side

Green Beans Almandine with Toasted Almonds

If you’re looking for a simple yet elegant way to serve green beans, green beans almandine with toasted almonds is a perfect choice. Begin by blanching the green beans in boiling water for a few minutes until they are tender-crisp. Drain the green beans and set them aside.

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In a skillet, melt some butter and toss in the blanched green beans. Add a handful of sliced almonds and sauté until the almonds become golden and fragrant. Finish off by sprinkling freshly squeezed lemon juice over the green beans and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

This green bean dish adds a refreshing and nutty element to your Thanksgiving spread.

Balsamic Glazed Green Beans

For a dish that balances sweetness and acidity, balsamic-glazed green beans are a delightful choice. Start by blanching the green beans in boiling water until they are tender yet still retain their bright green color. Drain the green beans and set them aside. In a skillet, heat some olive oil and sauté minced garlic until it becomes fragrant.

Add the blanched green beans to the skillet, and drizzle balsamic vinegar over them. Cook until the balsamic vinegar reduces and coats the green beans with a mouthwatering glaze. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. The balsamic-glazed green beans bring a tangy and slightly sweet element to your Thanksgiving side dish lineup.

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions

No Thanksgiving feast is complete without the classic green bean casserole. Begin by blanching the green beans in boiling water until they are tender yet still retain a slight crunch. Drain the green beans and set them aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream of mushroom soup, milk, a splash of soy sauce, and a sprinkle of black pepper.

Add the blanched green beans to the mixture and stir until they are evenly coated. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with crispy fried onions. Bake until the casserole becomes bubbly and the onions turn golden brown. This green bean casserole is a beloved and comforting addition to any Thanksgiving spread.

Roasted Roots: A Symphony of Seasonal Vegetables

Honey Glazed Roasted Carrots

Carrots are a classic choice for roasting, and when glazed with honey, they become truly irresistible. Start by preheating your oven to 400°F (200°C). Peel and trim the carrots, then place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle honey over the carrots, making sure to coat them evenly. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over the carrots for seasoning.

Roast in the oven for about 20–25 minutes, or until the carrots are caramelized and tender. The honey glaze adds a touch of sweetness that perfectly complements the savory flavors of your Thanksgiving turkey.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon are a more indulgent take on this often underrated vegetable. Begin by preheating your oven to 425°F (220°C). Cut the Brussels sprouts in half and toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Spread the Brussels sprouts out on a baking sheet, making sure they are in a single layer.

Cut the bacon into small pieces, then scatter the bacon over the Brussels sprouts. Roast in the oven for about 20–25 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts are tender and the bacon is crispy. The smoky and salty flavors from the bacon elevate the Brussels sprouts, making them a standout side dish alongside your turkey.

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

For a touch of sweetness and natural caramelization, try making maple-roasted butternut squash. Start by preheating your oven to 425°F (220°C). Peel and cube the butternut squash, removing the seeds and fibrous center. Toss the squash cubes with melted butter, pure maple syrup, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Spread the butternut squash out on a baking sheet in a single layer.

Roast in the oven for about 25–30 minutes, or until the squash is tender and lightly browned. The combination of maple syrup and warm spices brings out the natural sweetness of the butternut squash, making it an inviting and comforting addition to your Thanksgiving menu.

 

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Sweet Splendor: Innovative Sweet Potato Dishes

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

The classic sweet potato casserole with marshmallows is a beloved Thanksgiving tradition for many. Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Peel and cube the sweet potatoes, then place them in a large pot of boiling water. Cook until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender, then drain and mash them in a large mixing bowl.

Add melted butter, brown sugar, a hint of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt to the mashed sweet potatoes. Mix until well combined, then transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Top with a generous layer of mini marshmallows and bake in the oven for about 20–25 minutes, or until the marshmallows are golden and bubbly.

This classic sweet potato casserole balances the natural sweetness of the potatoes with the gooey and toasted marshmallow topping.

Candied Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

If you’re looking for a more sophisticated approach to sweet potatoes, try making candied sweet potatoes with pecans. Begin by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into rounds or half-moons. In a saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together until it forms a syrupy consistency.

Arrange the sweet potato slices in a baking dish and drizzle the butter and brown sugar mixture over them. Sprinkle a generous amount of chopped pecans on top.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 20–25 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender and caramelized. The combination of sweet caramelization and crunchy pecans creates a delightful contrast in flavors and textures.

Sweet Potato Souffle with Brown Sugar Crumble

For a show-stopping sweet potato dish that will impress your guests, try making sweet potato soufflé with brown sugar crumble. Begin by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). Peel and cube the sweet potatoes, then place them in a large pot of boiling water.

Cook until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender, then drain and mash them in a large mixing bowl. Add melted butter, brown sugar, pure vanilla extract, and a splash of orange juice to the mashed sweet potatoes.

Mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, prepare the brown sugar crumble topping by combining flour, brown sugar, chopped pecans, and melted butter. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to a baking dish and sprinkle the brown sugar crumble over the top.

Bake in the oven for about 25–30 minutes, or until the soufflé is puffed up and the crumble is golden brown. This sweet potato souffle is a decadent and unforgettable addition to your Thanksgiving feast.

Gravy Greatness: Crafting the Ultimate Turkey Companion

Classic Turkey Gravy with Pan Drippings

No turkey feast is complete without a rich and flavorful gravy made from the pan drippings. Start by transferring the cooked turkey to a carving board and letting it rest. While the turkey is resting, place the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat.

Add some flour to the pan drippings and whisk until it forms a smooth paste. Slowly pour in chicken or turkey broth, whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Continue cooking and stirring until the gravy thickens to your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

This classic turkey gravy brings all the savory flavors of the turkey together and enhances every bite of your Thanksgiving meal.

Giblet Gravy with Sautéed Onions and Herbs

For a more flavorful and textured gravy, try making giblet gravy with sautéed onions and herbs. Begin by simmering the turkey giblets (neck, heart, and gizzards) in a pot of water until they become tender. Remove the giblets from the pot, chop them into small pieces, and set them aside.

In a separate pan, sauté diced onions and minced garlic in butter until they become translucent. Stir in some flour to create a roux, then gradually whisk in chicken or turkey broth.

Add the chopped giblets, along with a handful of fresh herbs like sage, thyme, and parsley. Continue cooking and stirring until the gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. This giblet gravy adds depth of flavor and a unique texture to your Thanksgiving turkey.

Mushroom and Red Wine Gravy

For a more sophisticated twist on traditional gravy, try making mushroom and red wine gravy. Start by sautéing sliced mushrooms in butter until they become golden brown and tender. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set them aside. In the same pan, melt some butter and whisk in flour to create a roux.

Slowly pour in the red wine, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens. Gradually add chicken or vegetable broth, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Stir in the sautéed mushrooms and let the gravy simmer until it reaches your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

This mushroom and red wine gravy add a rich and sophisticated flavor profile to your Thanksgiving turkey.

Happy Cooking!

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