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5 classic Thanksgiving side dish recipes

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes.Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

You’ve nailed down which turkey recipe you’re going to follow and what you’ll make for dessert. But what about the sides? If you’re still mulling over which vegetables will earn a spot on your table this year, we’ve got some ideas. Check out these Globe recipes from recent years.

Make-ahead mashed potatoes

Globe contributor Sally Pasley Vargas understands “oven and stove acrobatics on Thanksgiving Day” and offers up a solution: make-ahead mashed potatoes. “A combination of Russet potatoes (dry and starchy) and Yukon Golds or Yellow Finns (creamy) produces ultra-creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes. . . . Make-ahead potatoes take the last-minute juggling out of the meal. First, add the butter to the hot potatoes to melt it, so it coats the potato starches and keeps the spuds from becoming gluey. Whisk in cream to lighten the potatoes and remove any large lumps. If you want impossibly smooth potatoes, pass them through a ricer. Once the potatoes are done, refrigerate them for up to three days and reheat in a saucepan, little by little, stirring them into hot milk or cream. You’ll have enough here for seconds on the big day, or for leftovers, which, we can all agree, is the ultimate perk for all your hard work.”

Find the recipe here.


Pan Stuffing with Almonds, Apricots, and Dates.Sally Pasley Vargas

Pan stuffing with almonds, apricots, and dates

Jill Gibson gives Thanksgiving stuffing a modern twist with almonds, apricots, and dates. “Use firm white sandwich bread, remove the crusts, and cut it into 1-inch cubes,” she writes. “Quickly toast them with almonds in the oven, then toss them with the classic pairing of onion and celery cooked in butter. Add generous amounts of coriander, rosemary, and parsley to amp up the flavors and complement the dried fruit and nuts. Pack the stuffing into a large baking dish, cover it with foil so it cooks through without losing any moisture, then lift off the foil to crisp the top. Stuffing is a forgiving recipe, so go ahead and make it moister or drier with the amount of chicken stock you add, or substitute vegetable stock for the vegetarians at the table.”


Find the recipe here.

Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup.Claudia Catalano

Glazed Brussels sprouts with maple syrup

Claudia Catalano says that “for nicely charred Brussels sprouts that still have some bite, sear them in batches in a hot skillet, then finish them in a winning combination of Asian fish sauce, maple syrup, and lime juice. Toss in a knob of butter, and the sweet, tart, and salty liquids will coat the vegetables in a delicious glaze. For a little crunch, top them with a shower of chopped roasted peanuts.”

Find the recipe here.

Sweet Potatoes Tikka Masala.Sally Pasley Vargas

Sweet potatoes tikka masala

From Globe recipe contributor Sena Desai Gopal comes this one for sweet potatoes tikka masala. She writes that it’s “a variation on the popular paneer tikka masala, or the version made with chicken, both from the Indian subcontinent. In the traditional dish, paneer, the fresh Indian cheese, or chunks of chicken, are marinated in spices and grilled or oven roasted until slightly crisp on the outside and soft inside. For Thanksgiving, use sweet potatoes cut into short or long wedges for a subtly spiced side that goes with everything on the holiday table.”

Find the recipe here.

xxsallyrec - Sally Pasley Vargas' recipe for green beans with hazelnuts and brown butter. (Sally Pasley Vargas)Sally Pasley Vargas

Green beans with brown butter and toasted hazelnuts

One more from Sally Pasley Vargas, in which brown butter, nuts, and lemon “take green beans from ordinary to splendid,” she writes. “To brown the butter, melt it in a pan that is light-colored so you can keep track of the color. After a few minutes, the water in the butter will evaporate as the solids begin to cook. Pull the pan off the heat as soon as the solids brown lightly and smell nutty to keep them from burning.”


Find the recipe here.

Chris Morris can be reached at christine.morris@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @morrisglobe.