12 Thanksgiving Day Sides

These are 12 of my faovirte side dishes. Perfect for Thanksgiving or any holiday!

Creamy Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients:
4 cups cooked sweet potatoes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 stick butter, melted

Topping:
1/2 stick butter, cubed
1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup mini marshmallows

Directions: Add cooked sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Add in eggs, butter and sugar to the bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix until completely smooth and lump free. (Note: you can use a spoon if you don’t have a hand mixer, it just may not be super smooth, and that’s ok.)

Next add the sweet potatoes to a oven safe baking dish. Top evenly with brown sugar and chopped pecans. Add the butter cubes over the top of the brown sugar. Bake in oven at 375° for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and brown. Lastly remove from oven and add the mini marshmallows on top and bake for another 8-10 minutes until they are soft but not melted. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Note: This can be made ahead of time and popped in the oven the day of. Just note you may need longer cook time since mixture will be refrigerator cold. You can also use canned sweet potatoes if you prefer, I’d just rinse them as they may add extra sweetness. Or instead you can just reduce the sugar in the potatoes.

Italian Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients:
1 lb ground Italian Sausage
1 loaf of white bread, cut into small cubes and toasted
1 stick butter, melted
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 large onion, diced
1-2 cup turkey or chicken broth
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Direction: Heat a medium sauté pan on medium high heat. Add in the Italian sausage and cook until browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Once cooked remove sausage from pan and drain on paper towel and set aside. Leave some fat in the pan to cook the veggies but drain the rest. Add in the garlic and onion and cook 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Next add in the chopped celery, sauté until slightly tender. Add in butter and let melt completely. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the sausage back to the pan and mix completely.

Add toasted bread cubes into a large baking pan or dish. (I use a disposable half try aluminum pan.) Mix the sauage mixture with the bread fully coating it.

If you are going to stuff some into a turkey, take half of the stuffing (or whatever fits) and add into the turkey cavity. Once you remove the turkey from the oven remove the stuffing and mix well with the remaining stuffing.

If you aren’t stuffing into a cavity, drizzle the stuffing with turkey or chicken broth. Add as much liquid as you like. This depends on if you like your stuffing on the wetter side or dryer side.

Add the stuffing to a 350° oven and bake until warmed through. About 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy.

Deliciously Easy Creamed Spinach

Ingredients:
1lb frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 1/2 cups half and half or heavy cream
1/2 cup shaved parmesan
1/4 cup+ 1T grated Romano cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 T flour or 2 t xanthan gum
2 t olive oil
1 t crushed red pepper flakes, optional
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Directions: Heat a medium sauté pan on medium high heat. First squeeze out all the extra liquid from the thawed spinach before putting into the pan. Add in the olive oil and let heat 1-2 minutes. Next add in the onion and garlic. Let cook until fragrant and slightly tender.

Next add in the cream and xanthan gum (or flour). Cook for 5-6 minutes on medium stirring often. The mixture should start to become slightly thicker.

Next add in the cheeses and mix until fully melted. Season with crushed red pepper, (if using) and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh cauliflower, cut in bite sizes pieces (or smaller, depending on preference)
1 stick butter, melted
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 slices cooked bacon or 4 slices prosciutto crispy
2 t almond flour, or 2 T white flour
1 t xanthan gum
3 T Romano cheese, finely grated
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup, heavy cream/milk/half and half
1 T garlic & herb seasoning, (See Amazon link below for what I use)
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1/4 cup bacon or prosciutto (crispy), optional (for the topping)

Directions: Preheat oven 375°. Steam or blanch the cauliflower till fork tender. (Note: do not overcook the cauliflower or it will be mushy.) Once cauliflower is fork tender, drain it and add to a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, add in melted butter, onion, garlic, almond flour, xanthan gum and garlic and herb seasoning. Whisk together.

Add the butter mixture with the cauliflower and mix well, slowly pour in heavy cream. Fold in the Romano cheese and shredded cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add to an oven safe casserole dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until bubbling and edges are starting to brown. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Top with crispy bacon or prosciutto. Enjoy!

Note: If you don’t have garlic and herb seasoning you can substitute with 1 t garlic powder, 2 t parsley, 1 t dill. This recipe can easily be made ahead of time. You can make and refrigerate for a few hours or even over night. Just add an extra 15-20 minutes to the cook time.


Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:
4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 t salt
2 t olive oil

Directions: Preheat oven 375°. Slice the sweet potatoes but don’t fully cut through. You can use chop sticks or straws to put on the bottom of the potatoes to keep the knife from going all the way through. Cut as far down as you can without cutting all the way through. Using your fingers try and separate the slices slightly.

Add sweet potatoes to a foil covered baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. (Note: the cooking time will vary depend on the size.)

In a small bowl add in melted butter, light brown sugar and salt. Mix well. Once potatoes are done, remove from the oven and brush with the brown sugar mixture. Trying to get in between each of the slices. Top with chopped pecans and place back into the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and pour any left over butter over the top of the sweet potatoes. Serve & Enjoy!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:
3lbs potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened, cut into chunks
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk or half and half
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1 t salt
1 t pepper

Directions: Boil potatoes in salt water until fork tender. Remove from the pan and add to a large mixing bowl.

Add in the butter and cream cheese and beat using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add in the sour cream and continue to beat.

Then add the milk to the beaten eggs and slowly add to the bowl while beating. Beat until the potatoes are light and fluffy, there should be no large lumps and potatoes should be smooth. Lastly, using a spoon stir in the chopped onion and season with salt and pepper. Adjust season to your taste.

Add to a deep casserole dish or oven safe pan. Spray pan with cooking spray. Refrigerate potatoes for at 8-12 hours or overnight.

Once ready to make, bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes. The top will be slightly golden in color. Let sit 5 minutes. The potatoes will be pipping hot. Enjoy!

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Ingredients:
1 lb asparagus
6-8 slices prosciutto
1 T olive oil
2 t salt
2 t pepper
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder

Directions: Preheat oven 400.  Chop the bottom 2 inches off the asparagus.  Bundle 5-6 stalks of asparagus together and wrap with a slice of prosciutto. (You can make the bundles bigger or smaller)

Drizzle the bundles with olive oil and season with the salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Bake in the oven for about 12-18 minutes. (Time depends on the temp of the oven and also how you like the asparagus cooked) If you prefer the asparagus to be cruncher, cook for about 12-13 minutes, if you prefer it softer cook 17-18 minutes.  By this time the prosciutto will be crispy! Enjoy!

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Ingredients:
32 frozen hashbrowns, thawed (Diced or shredded)
1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
8-10 oz cheddar cheese (I like a little more)
1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup corn flake crumbs*
1 small onion, diced
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
2 t salt (more to taste)
2 t pepper (more to taste)
2 t Garlic & Herb Seasoning (see Link below)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl add the hashbrowns, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cheddar cheese, diced onion, and all the seasoning and half the melted butter.  Mix very well.  Making sure you get all the potatoes coated.  Add the potato mixture to an oven safe bowl.  Evenly top with the corn flake crumbs.  ( I add more, because I love the topping.)  Drizzle the last half stick of melted butter over the topping.  Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until the top is slightly golden in color.  Let sit a few minutes, and serve hot.

Note: If you use the diced hasbrowns you may need to cook slightly longer.  I notice that sometimes the hashbrowns are bigger making it take longer to cook. I prefer the shredded ones for this recipe, however when I took the pictures most recently I was only able to get the diced.  Also, you can use more butter if you like. I like to use less since there is no real purpose for all the extra fat.  It taste just as good. Some extra ingredients that would be fun and give it a nice kick would be cooked bacon goat cheese, ricotta or maybe diced jalapeños.  If you can’t find corn flake crumbs, just buy a box of the cereal and crush them up or put in a food processor.  You want them to be pretty fine, like consistency of breadcrumbs.

Corn Casserole

Ingredients:
1 box Jiffy Corn muffin Mix
1 15.25 oz can of corn
1 14.75 oz creamed corn
2 eggs, beaten
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup sour cream

Directions: Preheat oven 350.  In a bowl add in the box of Jiffy, cans of corn, eggs 1 cup of sour cream and melted butter.  Mix till fully incorporated.

Spray a 10 inch pie pan with cooking spray.  Add in the corn mixture and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.  Let set at least 5 minutes before eating.

Note: This can be made a day in advanced and just bake when ready to make it.  It reheats very well.  I serve on the nights I make tacos or enchiladas, but any day is a good day.

Blue Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients:
4 large russet potatoes
¾ cup sour cream
5 T melted butter
½ cup crumbled blue cheese (more or less depending on taste)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Directions: Clean potatoes and poke holes in the top with a fork so the steam is able to escape. Bake potatoes in oven at 375° for 1 and ½ or 1 hour and 45 minutes. To make sure potatoes are done, you’ll want to stick a fork in them to make sure they go in easily without too much pressure.

Once cooked, remove potatoes from the oven and let cool till you are able to work hold them. Easily slice off the tops of the potatoes and scoop out the insides and add into a medium bowl. You will want to leave very little potato inside so the potatoes will hold their shape. Don’t go to deep as to tear the potato skin.

In the bowl of the potatoes add in sour cream, melted butter, blue cheese and season with salt and pepper. Mash with a fork to remove any lumps. You can also use a hand mixer if you’d like the really smooth and whipped texture. Once all mixed together you want to scoop the potato mixture back into the potato skins.

Place back in the oven at 375° for 30 minutes. Let sit a few minutes once you remove from the oven. So they can set. These are also great to make ahead of time. You can make the night before and put in the refrigerator until ready to use. Just add another 15-25 minutes cooking time as the potatoes will be cold when you bake them.

You can completely omit the potatoes skins all together if you are making for a large crowd. Just put the potato mixture into a deep oven safe dish and bake.

Buttery Garlic Portobello Mushrooms

Ingredients:
16oz sliced Portobello mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T olive oil
3 T butter
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t dried parsley
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Directions: Heat a large sauté pan on high heat. Add in olive oil and let heat 1-2 minutes. Add in garlic and cook 2 minutes mixing constantly. Don’t let the garlic brown.

Next add in the mushrooms and cook several minutes. In order to get a golden mushroom you need to cook the mushrooms to the point where the liquid is completely gone. This will take a while. Probably about 15-20 minutes. You will need to stir every couple minutes.

Once the liquid finally starts to evaporate you will need to cook another 7 minutes or so to get the golden brown color on the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms start to get golden add the butter and mix a few times as the butter melts. Season the mushrooms with garlic and onion powder and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Fake Out Keto “Potatoes” (Radishes)

Ingredients:
1 lb radishes, cleaned and cut into 1/2s or 1/4s depending on size)
2 T olive oil
2 t salt
2 t pepper
2 t Garlic & Herb Seasoning (See Things I buy on main page)
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1 t dried parsley

Directions: Preheat oven 400°. In a small bowl mix together the oil with the seasoning. Add in the radishes and mix well. Make sure to fully coat the radishes. Add to a baking sheet and roast in the oven 25-35 minutes (depending on size) The radishes are done with they are fork tender and golden in color. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and serve.

Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

There is nothing more comforting than a nice bowl of soup. This chicken enchilada soup is full of flavor and is relativity healthy. I actually use no butter at all. Cheese just goes on top and it’s full of some delicious veggies.

Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

Ingredients:

Chicken:
1.5 -2 lbs chicken breast
1 cup jarred salsa (red any spice level)
1/4 cup water
1/2 packet low sodium taco seasoning

Soup:
15 oz can black beans, no salt (drained and rinsed)
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 10 oz can mild red enchilada sauce
1/2 packet low sodium taco seasoning
2 T tomato paste
10 oz can Rotel with green chilies, no salt added
1 cup frozen corn
1 medium onion, diced
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Toppings:
avocado
sour cream
cheese
cilantro
onions
jalapeños
tortilla strips or chips

Directions: Add chicken to crockpot. Sprinkle with half the taco seasoning. Top the chicken with the 1 cup of salsa. Add in 1/4 cup of water and cook on low 3-4 hours or until the chicken is tender enough to shred. Once chicken is done remove and shredded using 2 forks.

Next Add the chicken back to the crockpot and add in the rotel, corn, black beans and onion and mix well. Next add in the chicken broth, the rest of the taco seasoning and cilantro. Then next mix in the tomato paste and let cook for 2 hours. After 2 hours add in the red enchilada cause and let cook another hour.

To serve add to soup bowl and top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Note: I cook for longer to build the flavors and give it a stronger taste. You don’t need to do that. Once the chicken is cooked you can really just add the rest of the ingredients and cook for like another hour or 2. This soup is healthy and great to freeze! I you have cooked chicken, just add that with all the ingredients to crockpot and let cook.

Crispy Skin Chicken Thighs

One of the main proteins I get asked about is chicken. It seems like the world can never get enough chicken recipes! This one is beyond simple to make! It’s just some seasoned up chicken thighs, baked in the oven and the chicken comes out crispy and juicy. Here ya go!

Crispy Skin Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t oregano
2 t parsley
2 t paprika
2 t chili powder
2 t salt
2 t pepper

Direction: Preheat oven to 400°. Place the chicken in an oven safe baking dish or a rimmed baking sheet. Pap the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. (This will help the skin get nice and crispy.) In a small bowl mix together all of the above spices. Evenly season the chicken thighs with the seasoning blend. Place in the oven 45-55 minutes. Chicken is cooked when juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 165°.

Note: The cook time depends on size of the thighs. If you are using boneless you would need to reduce the cooking time. See my Favorite Amazon item link at the top of the page for my internal thermometer.

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

This chicken recipe is a super healthy take on a gyro. It’s made with marinated chicken with Greek yogurt and herbs. The good thing about this is you can put anything else you’d like in the pita. Below I gave a few options. This particular one I made I put feta cheese, onion, tomato and kalamata olives. Yum! This comes out really delicious. It’s super simple to make and great for left overs. This chicken is great even on a salad. The marinade really makes it!

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients:

Chicken:
6 chicken breasts, diced
2 T olive oil
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 lemon juice and zest
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1 t dill
2 t oregano
1 t parsley

Directions: In a medium mixing bowl add the above ingredients except the chicken. Mix well to incorporate. Next add in the diced chicken and mix to make sure all the chicken is coated. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Tzatziki Sauce
1 1/2 cups cucumbers, grated
1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 T extra virgin Olive Oil
1 T dried dill, (2 T fresh)
1 T lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 t salt

Directions: Once cucumbers are grated wrap in a towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Do this until most of the excess moisture seems to be removed. Add to a bowl. Add in all the above ingredients. Mix well. Place in the refrigerator to let the flavors marry. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Save for later.

Gyro Extras:
Pita bread
Onions
Tomato
Kalamata Olives
Feta Cheese
Cucumbers
Lettuce
Peppers

Directions: Heat a large non stick skillet on medium high heat. Once heated, add in the chicken. Make sure the chicken is completely flat and not overlapping. Turn the pan up to high. Let the chicken cook 3-4 minutes and then mix and let cook another 3-4 minutes. In order to get the nice coloring of the chicken you may need to drain any excess liquid. Sometimes the marinade produces to much liquid. If that happens, just drain out the liquid and that will help the chicken brown and get crispy.

To assemble the gyro warm the pita slightly. You can either warm in the oven in foil or the microwave wrapped in paper towel. Add the tzatziki sauce to the pita and top with a few spoonful of chicken. Next top with your favorite toppings. I personally like onion, you can use white or red, tomatoes and some kalamata olives, add some crumbled feta and enjoy!

Note: This chicken is great frozen. You can freeze any extra for another meal. Use any toppings you like to make the gyro delicious to you.

Chicken Francese

This chicken francese recipe is a pretty simple and basic recipe. I love a recipe that has simple ingredients. I enjoy making this and serving with a nice chunk of crusty bread for dipping in the juice. This is a great week night meal. It doesn’t take long to make and it’s sure to please the family!

Chicken Francese

Ingredients:
6 boneless & skinless chicken breast,
3/4 +2T cup all purpose flour
3 eggs
2 T water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lemons, 1 sliced, 1 juiced
1 1/2 cup chicken broth, low sodium
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 T butter
2 T flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt
pepper

Directions: Put the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound chicken breast to about 1/4 inch thick. Add 3/4 cup flour to a shallow bowl/dish. Add in the flour and season with salt and pepper, mix together. In another shallow bowl/dish add in the eggs and water and beat together. Heat a large saute pan on medium-high heat. Add in the oil.

Dredge the chicken breasts into the the flour mixture on both sides, then dip in egg mixture to full coat. Make sure to let the excess egg drips off. Add to the heated oil and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden and then flip and cook 2-3 minutes. Complete this with all of the chicken breasts. Remove the chicken when done and set aside.

Add half of lemon slices to the pan and let cook until it becomes fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the butter and let melt slightly. Add in the 2 T of flour and whisk. Add in the chicken broth, wine and juice from lemon and mix well. Let simmer 4-5 minutes until lightly reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the chicken back to the pan and let simmer about 3-minutes on low to warm the chicken through. Serve with sauce and slice of lemon on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish. Enjoy!

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

This recipe is 2 amazing dishes mixed into one.  It’s pasta and enchiladas.  This pasta is a great fusion of 2 favorites in my opinion.  It’s simple to make.  You can remove the chicken to make a vegetarian dish and you can add any veggies you have on hand.

This recipe calls for cooked chicken.  I’ve done it 2 different way.  I’ve used a rotisserie chicken that I just removed the chicken from the bone and diced up.  I’ve also made salsa chicken in the crockpot.  (Check out that recipe under crockpot on the table of contents)  Either way is completely fine.  The chicken just needs to be fully cooked.

This is definitely a quick weeknight recipe.  Perfect for left over chicken and can be put together rather quickly and the results are delicious!  Give it a try, let me know how you like it!

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Ingredients:
1lb chicken, cooked and diced or shredded
1 lb pasta, I use penne
1 28 oz can red enchilada sauce
15 oz container part skim ricotta cheese
6 oz cheese
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 T cilantro, chopped
1 T taco seasoning
2 t salt, optional
2 t pepper, optional
2 T olive oil

Optional Toppings:
sour cream
green onion
avocado
cheese
chives

Directions: Boil water for pasta.  Don’t forget to season water with salt.  Cook pasta according to package.  While water is boiling and pasta is cooking. Heat a medium sauté pan on medium high heat.  Add in the oil and let heat 2 minutes.  Next add in the onion and pepper and let cook 3-4 minutes.

Add the cooked chicken into the pan and mix well.  Next pour in the enchilada sauce.  Season with the taco seasoning and salt and pepper if using.  Let cook for 5-6 minutes.  Stir in the cheese until it’s fully melted.

Next remove from heat and stir in the ricotta cheese and cilantro.  Add in cooked pasta and mix well.  Serve immediately with your favorite taco toppings.  Enjoy!

Note: My picture is topped with a dollop of sour cream, avocado, chives, onions and cotija cheese.

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