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Thanksgiving Dinner Side Dish Ideas Made Simple

By Edited May 15, 2016 0 0
Thanksgiving Dinner Side Dish Recipes

Once you have decided what your rough Thanksgiving dinner menu is going to look like and you have taken loads of notes for the various steps then you have to decide just what side dishes you will want to make or have other people bring as their contribution to your Thanksgiving meal. It may take an entire day for your turkey to roast for Thanksgiving dinner. Because of this, you then have to coordinate the various steps to complete the various side dishes so they are all ready to serve for Thanksgiving dinner at the same time.

More Than One Kind Of Potato Recipe? Does It Really Exist?

Many traditional Thanksgiving dinner meals that are served on Thanksgiving day include several types of potato dishes. These may include sweet potatoes in different recipe ideas and also Russets that are scalloped or mashed with gravy. Often at the end of the Thanksgiving dinner the host and the helpers are quickly ladling leftovers into various zip lock bags and covered containers. So when accessing your potato side dish options stick to two basics which will take long enough to prepare anyway. Choose an easy mashed potato recipe or a scalloped potato recipe if you have oven room and one sweet potato recipe only. Of have someone bring one to the dinner instead and reheat it before serving.

Choose Fall Vegetables That Are Easily Available And Tasty

Often people who are planning a Thanksgiving dinner menu overdo with elaborate dishes that use exotic ingredients to impress the in-laws or relatives. This doesn’t make sense as the ingredients might break the budget and often they have to be ordered online then shipped to you. Instead choose locally available vegetables like winter beets and turnips for a good tasting Thanksgiving dinner winter salad of beets and turnips which makes a hearty first course and the vegetables can be prepared in advance before adding the romaine lettuce to the recipe.

Stuffing Or Dressing – Which One To Have For Thanksgiving?

Since stuffing a turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner will make the turkey longer to be ready you should consider serving dressing instead. One of the problems of stuffing is that when it comes time to stuff the bird there is not enough cavity space in the bird for enough stuffing to serve all of your guests. So instead, if you have room in the oven, prepare this part of your Thanksgiving dinner separate from the turkey. And many dressings can be made in advance and reheated with no taste loss when ready to serve.

Salads And Their Varieties – So Many Too Choose From

Salads seem to be derigueur for Thanksgiving dinner and if you are going to pass around a salad bowl make sure you have made up the salad dressings in advance so you don’t have to worry about making them up on the big day. Also salad greens can be washed, dried and put into a sealable baggie and into the refrigerator in advance until ready to assemble. However you can also use something a bit different for Thanksgiving dinner like Belgian endive as part salad part appetizer. Belgian endive is eaten raw and is the perfect little container for cheese spreads or vegetable dips that are also easy finger foods to eat or graze on before the actual meal. 

Soup Too?

The French consider stocks to be the basis of all cuisine and if you are planning to serve a soup for Thanksgiving dinner then you certainly a make up some stock well in advance as soup stock is best made in big batches with some for the freezer. But if you are making a soup you will need a lighter soup as the side dish as you don’t want to serve your guests who are already stuffed with a hearty soup more food than they can consume for Thanksgiving dinner. So for a soup side dish choose something like a Miso soup base with vegetable julienne instead of heavy potatoes and meats. Or pass on the soups and concentrate on vegetable side dishes instead. 

Biscuits? Bread? Rolls? Cornbread?

Of course you must serve some form of bread for Thanksgiving dinner. This is an excellent side dish to have one of the guests bring because that way it arrives already plated, hopefully and may just require a quick warm up. If you plan to serve something like cornbread as the side dish you certainly can make it a day in advance of the Thanksgiving dinner and reheat it. But if you are including a corn bread dressing then don’t serve more cornbread. Most bakeries have an assortment of rolls available around Thanksgiving which only require reheating then plated and served so consider that. Or serve warm sliced French bread with butter.

Using Pre-Made Or Canned Ingredients For Quicker Side Dishes

For an easy to serve side dish for Thanksgiving dinner choose one of the many creamed spinach recipes which uses those frozen 10 ounce boxes of chopped spinach. The recipes use few ingredients and the spinach is already cleaned and chopped. You can combine butter, flour, evaporated milk, 2 boxes of frozen spinach cooked and drained, salt, pepper and grated nutmeg which makes a really good Thanksgiving dinner quick side dish using frozen ingredients. This recipe can be made in advance and reheated too. If you add other great seasonings or ingredients no one will know you took this short cut at all.

How Many Is Too Many?

When you are considering your Thanksgiving meal you also must note how many people you are expecting. It is too easy to plan and prepare too many side dishes. Don’t forget there are still appetizers like bowls of salted nuts and crudités and desserts also. Although desserts are another dish that is a good choice for guests to bring you will still need to consider just how much food you will really have. There really is a point where there is just too much food to really enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner and stay healthy too.

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