Thanksgiving Side Dish and Dessert Recipes

Featured Article, Food, Hometown Cooking
on November 6, 2012
Mark Boughton Photography/Styling by Teresa Blackburn

Side dishes and desserts often steal the show from the holiday turkey. These recipes for creamy mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, beet salad and pumpkin pie prove the point.

Does your family love mashed potatoes? Take them to a new level by adding celery root and the Italian-style cream cheese known as mascarpone for a savory, slightly sweet flavor. Does cornbread dressing always make an appearance on your holiday table? Pump up the texture with canned hominy and add pizzazz with green chiles and roasted red peppers. Update your standard tossed green salad by adding roasted diced beets and toasted walnuts to the mix. The vinaigrette is sweetened with a bit of honey and puréed raisins. If you’re pressed for time, roast the beets and whirl together the vinaigrette up to three days in advance. For the finale, nothing beats pumpkin pie, and this recipe elevates a plain-Jane version with the addition of a super- easy cinnamon-pecan topping that’s sprinkled on just before the pie is done. Serve the pie on its own or provide a creamy counterpoint with a dollop of slightly sweet whipped cream.

These stellar dishes are so simple, they’ll leave you plenty of time to tackle that other, more expected part of your dinner—the big bird.