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There are certain things in life that don’t mix well when combined together: oil and vinegar, Republicans and Democrats, Yankees fans and Red Sox fans — just to name but a few. So, when Katzie Guy-Hamilton, executive chef and director of food and beverage at Max Brenner, tried to convince me how delicious chocolate can be when used in savory dishes, to say I was pretty doubtful would be an understatement of epic proportions.
Don’t get me wrong — I love chocolate. I just typically prefer mine served in dessert form. Something about chocolate and savory dishes sounded a bit contrived and gimmicky. Consequently, when I was invited to a tasting event to launch Max Brenner’s new menu I was adamant that I would stick to the sweet options.
"Just try it," said Guy-Hamilton, after I declined the savory options. "Chocolate has a place in a lot of dishes. It isn't always sweet. It's bitter and silky and adds a new flavor to traditional recipes," she said. And, she was correct. The dishes I tried were subtle and unctuous rather than tasting as if someone has melted an entire Hershey bar over the top. "Only a small amount of chocolate is used in each savory course — a little goes a long way," explained Guy-Hamilton. "And remember, dark chocolate isn't very sweet."
When I asked what flavors work particularly well with chocolate, she replied, "Coffee. Chestnuts. Fruits like pear and fig. Actually, all things that belong in a Thanksgiving feast!"
To prove her point, Guy-Hamilton has conjured up five Thanksgiving recipes, each incorporating chocolate, that you can offer up at your dinner. "Each dish has a base ingredient that goes well with chocolate," she said. "For example, Brussels sprouts and bacon are a natural pairing, as is bacon and chocolate, so we figured… why not combine all three?"
Click here for the Bacon and Chocolate Brussels Sprouts Recipe!
Bacon and Chocolate Cornbread Stuffing
Move over chocolate pie. Rich, creamy mousse is stealing the show this year.
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It is so important to have at least two vegetable dishes (other than salad and the pites) on the table. Not only does it create a nutritionally balanced meal, but it provides a culinary balance as well, plus I don’t feel so guilty having a second piece of pie if I have had plenty of vegetables.
Spanakorizo-Greek Spinach Rice
This is one of my most popular recipes on the site, and it’s no surprise. This dish is very comforting, with the spinach and rice melding together, it melts in your mouth. You of course can make this ahead of time. It is cooked on the stove top so it will not be taking space in the oven. One important point: make sure you use the right rice, otherwise you will not get the soft texture- I explain more about the rice in the recipe.
Make ahead: Cook one day before and refrigerate.
*Get the recipe here.
›Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan
Fasolakia- Greek Style Green Beans
This is a standard dish in our home, but it is also perfect for thanksgiving. Instead of a classic green bean casserole made with condensed soup, canned green beans and canned onions-how about this Mediterranean version? It has onions and green beans and you can add potatoes and carrots too. This also is a make ahead dish on the stove top and it tastes better the next day.
Make ahead: Cook 1 day before.
*Get the recipe here.
›Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan
Edna Frillmann's Warm Midwestern Potato Salad With Bacon
Edna Frillmann is the mother of my dear friend, WNYC radio editor and producer Karen Frillmann.
Edna grew up in a parsonage near Forestville, Michigan. She originally got this recipe from her mother-in-law Laura Frillmann, of Melrose Park, Illinois. This warm potato dish, seasoned with vinegar, sugar, bacon and bacon fat, was "a constant in my childhood," Frillmann recalls.
"I remember my mother was always asked to bring this dish to pot luck dinners at our church in Queens, New York. Our German-ness was synonymous with being Lutheran. My parents' lives, especially my mother’s, centered around the church calendar. She was a minister's daughter and then she married my father who was a minister of education in the Missouri synod Lutheran church. She would put this in her Corning Ware dish and it would sit proudly among the jello molds and casseroles."
- 4 to 5 medium white potatoes, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled and left whole
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1 medium onion (1/2 cup), chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Dash of ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup white or cider vinegar
- Place the potatoes in medium pot and cover with boiling water. Place over moderate heat, cover and boil potatoes, about 25 to 30 minutes, or until almost completely tender but still holding its shape. Drain well. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Slice potatoes into 1/4 inch-thick slices.
- Meanwhile, fry the bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towel retaining the bacon fat in the skillet.
- Cook onion in bacon fat over medium heat until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook until mixture is bubbly, about 2 minutes. Add water and vinegar to skillet with the onion mixture. Heat to boiling. Keep stirring and watch carefully. Boil and stir about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat. Add the warm sliced potatoes. Break bacon up and sprinkle on top. Stir and make sure potatoes are all coated. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm. Serves 4 to 6.
An easy to throw together recipe that I made to accompany several meals over the Festive period this year. The trick for these roasted roots is to cook them en papillote (in a paper parcel) for the first 30 minutes - almost oven steaming them, before opening up the paper and allowing them to brown and go crunchy and crispy around the edges.
63 Thanksgiving Side Dishes Your Dinner Table Needs
Even the most delicious homemade turkey needs a partner in crime.
Even the most delicious homemade turkey needs a partner in crime.
Cooking with onions always make a kitchen smell like you know what you're doing these just so happen to be delicious, too.
Get the recipe at Tammy Circeo.
The secret ingredient in these "perfect" mashed potatoes? Cream cheese!
Get the recipe at Lauren's Latest.
Don't save apples for dessert &mdash in this recipe, they act as a sweet shell to a seriously savory stuffing. It's a totally fresh way to serve a Thanksgiving classic.
Get the recipe at Growing Up Gabel.
The flavor contrast between the sweet potatoes and the tart cranberries is so delicious, you'll forget you ever wrote quinoa off as a boring healthy food.
Get the recipe at Be Whole Be You.
Made from sweet (that honey drizzle!) and spice (cinnamon is a spice, guys) and everything nice, this is the best new way to eat squash.
Get the recipe at Peas and Crayons.
Keep your casserole dish in the cabinet and opt for these pre-portioned mini casseroles instead. The combination of the soft sweet potato rings and mash plus the crunchy pecan topping is way more original.
14 of Ina Garten’s Most Delicious Thanksgiving Side Dishes to Try
There’s one truth that any Thanksgiving aficionado can tell you: The best part of Thanksgiving dinner has nothing to do with the turkey. Why settle for meat that’s usually dry as a bone (unless you rely on some never-fail turkey tips) when a selection of scrumptious sides awaits your taste buds?
That’s right, other than dessert (we’re team pie every time), side dishes are the true stars of this feast. They give us the opportunity to sample all sorts of flavors and textures, from creamy root vegetable gratin to refreshing pear and blue cheese salad. We make it a point to make more side dishes than it seems possible to finish. Because guess what? They get finished every year no matter how many we make. It’s also nice to have leftovers in the fridge all week.
Of course, these aren’t just any sides. They’re recipes from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. No one is better at putting a gourmet twist on home cooking, and these memorable Thanksgiving recipes (paired with must-have kitchen tools and/or ingredients) are no exception.
A version of this article was originally published November 2018. It was updated in November 2020.
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Hy-Vee Recipes and Ideas
All the recipes and tricks we're thankful for in one easy guide.
In this guide.
To Cook or Not to Cook?
If you love to cook, we've gathered all of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes in this helpful guide. If not, let us do the cooking! Check out our variety of pre-made holiday meals that serve 2, 4, 6, or more, including brunch!
Thanksgiving Ingredients We Love
- Turkey Breast
The superfood we should all be stockpiling
Cranberries add a sweet-tart flavor to sauces, cakes, and drinks, to name a few. Make a simple spritzer by adding equal parts cranberry juice and club soda, then garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary.
Unopened bags of cranberries will last about 4 weeks in the fridge and up to a year in the freezer. That means you can make cranberry goodies all year long!
90+ Best Thanksgiving Desserts to End the Holiday Dinner Perfectly
Because there are few things we're more thankful for than dessert.
Sure, Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without certain dishes&mdashthere's almost always a turkey (give us all the turkey recipes!), and a bevy of Thanksgiving side dishes that include mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and more. But the meal isn't complete until the desserts hit the table. Because, in what is always a miracle of the season, everyone somehow manages, after stuffing their faces with&hellipwell, stuffing, to find enough space to pile in a few Thanksgiving desserts. And as the last part of the meal, you want them to be memorably good. So if you&rsquore in charge of bringing a few sugary palate cleansers to the family gathering this year, we encourage you to think outside the pie pan with decadent delights that are well worth the impending food baby.
Prepare for clean, crumb-less plates after serving any of these easy Thanksgiving cakes, Thanksgiving cookies, Thanksgiving cupcakes, and other creamy, chewy confections. There&rsquos no shortage of pumpkin desserts and apple desserts to satisfy any crowd, no matter your Thanksgiving menu, but you may want to shed the spotlight on some equally delicious fall desserts too. Think: no-bake cranberry cheesecakes or a pear frangipane tart. Can&rsquot pass up the opportunity to whip up something adorably festive for the kids' table and beyond? Say no more&mdashyour nearest and dearest will all love turkey-shaped Rice Krispies treats or mini Oreo balls. Whatever you decide to bake, double the batch, because these best Thanksgiving desserts are all too good to pass up after the meal.
27 Thanksgiving Side Dishes For A Mouthwatering Holiday Dinner
Bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts. Honey butter pumpkin biscuits. Potato roast. Need we say more? These sides might just become the best parts of your Thanksgiving meal.
We all love potatoes, but consider surprising and impressing your guests by adding this creamy fall pasta from Heather Cristo to the mix. It has a bit of everything in it: the crunch of Brussels sprouts and the salty goodness of bacon, balanced by the sugary raisins.
When potatoes are a must, these baked mushrooms from A Farmgirl&rsquos Dabbles are perfect vehicles for getting more potatoes on your plate, along with the savory goodness of wild rice and cheese.
Getting your vitamins is a pretty easy sell when you toss veggies in delicious maple syrup and cinnamon. This recipe from Marla Meredith will satisfy dinner guests with a sweet tooth, as well as gluten-free and vegan diets.
This dish from The Beeroness looks gorgeous, uses ale and potatoes and it's vegan. Can you believe it? All you have to do is layer and brush slices of potatoes in a simple herb and olive oil mixture and pour in the ale. Save the leftovers and fry up an egg for a comforting breakfast the next day.
This grilled take on green beans will impress any guest &mdash and you don't need to tell them it only took you twenty minutes. This dish from The Bitter Side of Sweet combines hard-to-resist phyllo dough and feta cheese with green beans that sure beat anything coming out of a can.
You can satisfy picky eaters and refined palates alike with these baked sweet potatoes from A Beautiful Plate. Cayenne and chili powder give them some kick, while the cumin and paprika make them a great fall side (especially with tomorrow&rsquos turkey sandwiches).
This recipe has all the goodness &mdash and colors &mdash of fall, tied together with a sweet balsamic and orange juice drizzle. Bonus: You can make this dish from Cooking On The Weekends a day ahead of time.
Rainbow carrots are indisputably gorgeous, and this recipe from Cookie + Kate uses their aesthetic to its full advantage. With this tasty dish of crème fraîche, dried farrow, ground cumin, garlic, pumpkin seeds and chili powder, among other seasonal ingredients, your dinner guests will have never been so happy to eat their veggies.
Plain ol' corn is for week nights, not festive holiday celebrations. Instead, bake this incredible casserole-style corn pudding from Basil & Bubbly that takes on a fancy, soufflée-like texture.
Cranberry sauce from a can? Pfft, you can do far better than that. Whip up this flavorful sauce by Rachel Cooks for a tart complement to your more savory side dishes.
Naturally, you need some bread to dunk in that delicious gravy, in addition to the turkey and ham. These homemade rolls from Taste of Lizzy T's are a soft, homey addition to any salad, soup or main dish.
If you're a fan of texture, a crispy potato roast will appeal to your taste buds, not to mention wow your dinner guests. Create this dish from Joyously Domestic with thyme and red pepper flakes for an extra kick at your Thanksgiving table.
This delicious Thanksgiving side dish is a holiday staple that can be made ahead of time and simply warmed up for dinner ("phew," said every hostess, ever). The casserole from Stuck On Sweet is easy to make and you can even adapt it to make it healthier &mdash but really, who's watching their diet on Thanksgiving?
You've probably had butternut squash before, but if you haven't added goat cheese and fresh rosemary, you're missing out on rich flavor and a slight piney taste. This mashed squash from Recipe Runner is a festive (and colorful!) alternative to mashed potatoes.
Have a vegetarian in your family? This dish by Circus Gardener is a brilliant en-liue-of-turkey option for the non-carnivores at the table &mdash but everyone will love its nutty, fresh flavor.
If you want to spend less than an hour on a side dish but look like a total cooking pro, try this carrot recipe by The Cookie Rookie. A tablespoon of honey adds a sweet touch to this healthy vegetable, while balsamic vinegar gives it an attention-grabbing bite.
Get a little fancy with your classic mashed potatoes with this nom-worthy dish from Life Currents. Top with Asiago or Parmesan for an incredibly textured side dish that's crunchy on the outside but creamy on the inside.
This tasty salad makes a fresh Thanksgiving side dish, but you'll probably want to pack these greens for lunch throughout the rest of the year. Make this salad from Snappy Gourmet with ripe pears, pecan halves, crumbled blue cheese and baby spinach for a tasty side dish that makes you feel a little less guilty about those three apple pie slices you're about to devour.
We're pretty sure by now that quinoa is never going out of style, and your holiday dinner is no exception to that. Create this cranberry quinoa salad from Peas & Crayons for a crunchy sweet addition to your spread.