The Real Thanksgiving Treat: Side Dishes
Ok, we are going to talk some real talk right now. Are you coming to Thanksgiving with the turkey on your mind or are you pumped up for the side dishes? Right….the side dishes, baby! Oh my goodness, all those baked casseroles are calling my name. We talked about the Thanksgiving curveball last week and how it’s a must to shake up the holiday a bit. But, let’s not get crazy. We need some comfort and tradition. What is Thanksgiving without stuffing and mashed potatoes, you know what I’m saying?
Well, this girl right here does NOT make her own stuffing! Nope! Pass the Stove Top right on over here. Why reinvent the wheel? Stove Top is the bomb and no one can tell me otherwise!
However, I do make everything else from scratch and we go allllll out on Thanksgiving. Cranberry Sauce, Autumn Harvest Salad (appetizer!), Artichoke Gratinata, 4 Cheese Scalloped Potatoes, and the list just goes on and on. Let’s start with a few of my ultimate favorites.
- 3 packages of steamable broccoli florets, steamed 1 minute less than stated on the package
- 1 1/2 cans Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 6-oz. container of French’s Crispy Fried Onions
- Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the broccoli (be sure not to add the water in the steamable bags), a little more than 1 cup of the cheese, the cream of mushroom soup, and 3/4 of the container of the fried onions. Mix well.
- Add the broccoli mixture to a large casserole dish and spread evenly. Top with the remaining onions and cheese.
- Bake covered for 30 minutes until hot in the middle and the cheese on top is melted. When there’s 10 minutes left of cooking time take the cover off.
Make Ahead: This dish is completely make ahead. Complete Steps 1-2, cover and place in the fridge. Remove 30 minutes before ready to cook. Bake according to the Step 3 above at 350.
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1, 5 lb. bag of red skinned potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 stick plus 3 tablespoon of butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
- Lots of salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350. Cut the top off of the garlic head, keeping the whole thing in tact. Take a piece of aluminum foil and place the garlic in the middle, cut side up. Drizzle the whole thing with the olive oil and salt and pepper it up. Don’t be stingy with the S&P. Roast in the oven for at least an hour until the garlic cloves are super soft. If you are making the garlic ahead of time, keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use.
- Put the cut potatoes into a large stock pot and fill the pot with cold water until the potatoes are covered about a half inch over. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the potatoes are boiling you might want to lower the heat to medium high. The potatoes have a tendency to boil over and create a mess.
- The potatoes are done when they are very soft all the way through, with no hardness left at all. Any hardness left will become a hard chunk in your potatoes and you don’t want that. Drain the potatoes and add into your stand mixer bowl or a mixing bowl for beating with a hand mixer.
- Add the milk, butter, and lots of salt and pepper (you should be able to see specks of black pepper throughout). Squeeze the roasted garlic into the mashed potatoes, mushing up any larger chunks of garlic. You can use all or just some of the garlic depending on they level of garlic flavor you’re looking for.
- For those with a stand mixer, using a whisk attachment, starting on low, begin to let the potatoes mix. Once the milk is incorporated (you will be wearing milk if you turn the speed right up in the beginning), turn the speed up to medium high and let it run for at least 5-7 minutes. Taste test the potatoes throughout the mixing process. Does it need more salt and pepper? Maybe they need a little more milk for moisture. Potatoes are different and might need a little adjusting. Turn the mixer back on and mix for another minute with any additions you made. Transfer to a pretty serving bowl…you’re done!
MASHED SWEET POTATOES
- 6–8 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into uniform 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup sugar or to taste
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2-3/4 cup of whole milk (start with a half and see if its creamy enough)
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup flour
- Add the potatoes to a large pot, fill with water, and bring to a boil. When potatoes are very soft, drain and transfer to your mixing bowl.
- Add all of the ingredients with the exception of the topping ingredients. In your stand mixer or with a hand mixer, starting on low so you’re not covered in milk, and going to medium high, beat all the ingredient until the potatoes are super creamy, at least 5-7 minutes or more. Taste test to see if it needs anything (more milk, a little more salt, more cinnamon).
- While the potatoes are mixing, butter the sides and bottom of a large baking dish (11×7 is good). Pour the completed mashed potatoes into the pan and smooth the top.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Clean out the mixing bowl (or grab another one), and add the butter, brown sugar and flour. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, mix the ingredients together and keep your eye on the crumbles. If they start getting big, shut off the mixer. The bigger they get, the quicker they will come together to form one big ball.
- Sprinkle the potatoes with the crumbs and bake for 30 minutes until heated through. If the topping browns too quickly, add aluminum foil to cover the top. Enjoy!
Make ahead!: This entire dish can be made ahead of time and sit in your fridge for two days, covered, until ready to cook. The only part you are going to leave out is the actual cooking of the casserole. Leave out on the counter for at least an hour before cooking.
I will be hosting a live prep for Thanksgiving guide on Sunday, November 24th on Instagram so make sure you follow me @whatcha_cooking_good_looking to get the full details of my no stress Thanksgiving prep!
Tiffany Cohen runs the food blog Whatcha Cooking Good Looking? and is a Food / Product Photographer and Recipe Developer. She is a wife and mom of two little guys. She lives in Oakdale and loves to support local businesses and people in her community doing great things!