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.

Buffalo Shredded Chicken (Crockpot Recipe)

This shredded buffalo chicken recipe is so easy to make in the crockpot! The meat is so versatile you can use this meat so many ways. I actually made for my brother as he loves buffalo chicken. It can easily be used to make a buffalo chicken sandwich or wrap. You can eat on it’s own or top it over rice and noodles or you can also make into enchiladas. If you love buffalo wings this recipe is for you. To keep a little less fattening I didn’t add any liquid dressings like ranch or blue cheese. I used low fat cream cheese. It comes out so delicious!!

Crockpot Buffalo Shredded Chicken

Ingredients:
4lb chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2-3 cups Buffalo wing sauce
1 Ranch packet seasoning
8 oz reduced cream cheese, cut in cubes

Directions: Add a crockpot bag liner to your crockpot. (See link below for what I use from Amazon) Add in your chicken breasts. Using half the seasoning packet of Ranch sprinkle both sides of chicken. Let cook on low 2 hours.

After the 2 hours add in and cover the chicken breast completely with buffalo sauce. Let cook another 2-3 hours on low until the chicken is fully cooked. (Note: It may be less, or more time depending on the thickness of the breasts, Mine were pretty thick.)

Remove chicken from the crockpot and add to a large bowl. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken completely.

Add chicken back into the crock pot and add in the chunks of cream cheese and mix well. Sprinkle on the rest of the ranch seasoning. Let cook another 15-30 minutes until the cream cheese is completely melted. Mix well. Remove from crock put and enjoy. Serve however you like. This recipe is also great for the freezer.

Shredded Beef Tacos

I love making shredded beef for tacos or burritos. It’s simple to make and comes out so tender in a pressure cooker. I personally use a pressure cooker vs an Instant Pot. However, this recipe will reflect the Instant Pot!

This beef is even great just on it’s own, in a salad, in a taco, burrito or even in a wrap. It freezes wonderfully as well! Give it a try!

Shredded Beef Tacos

Ingredients:
Meat:
3-4 lb chuck roast, excess fat trimmed
2 T olive oil
3 C beef broth (or water)
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
2 t cumin
2 t chili powder
2 t paprika
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1 medium onion, quartered, optional
2 jalapenos, quartered, optional

Taco:
6-8 taco shells, hard or soft
8 oz queso fresco, crumbled

Optional toppings:
diced onion
sour cream
cilantro
avocado
salsa

Direction: Mix all above seasonings into a bowl. Fully season the beef roast on both sides. Turn the pressure cooker to saute. Add in 2 T of olive oil. Make sure the the pressure cooker is ready.

Sear the roast on all sides about 3-4 minutes. Don’t forget the edges! You are looking for a nice brown exterior. Once browned, add in the beef broth and onion and jalapeno, (if using.) This will cook for 60-70 minutes, depending on the size. Let the pressure release naturally.

Once pressure is released, remove roast and put on a large cutting board or large bowl and shredded using 2 forks. I skim the fat off the top of the liquid inside the pot and add the juices to the meat. This give is a nice rich flavor.

Warm tortillas and assemble the tacos. Add a few spoonfuls of beef and then your desired toppings. My go to toppings for anytime I make steak or beef tacos is always, queso fresco, onion, cilantro, & sour cream. Yum! Enjoy!!

Note: This meat is great frozen. It freezes very well. You can put in a freezer safe container with some of the juices.

Instant Pot Shredded Beef

I love making shredded beef for tacos or burritos. It’s simple to make and comes out so tender in a pressure cooker. I personally use a pressure cooker vs an Instant Pot. However, this recipe will reflect the Instant Pot!

This beef is even great just on it’s own, in a salad, in a taco, burrito or even in a wrap. It freezes wonderfully as well! Give it a try!

Instant Pot Shredded Beef

Ingredients:
3-4 lb chuck roast, excess fat trimmed
2 T olive oil
3 C beef broth (or water)
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
2 t cumin
2 t chili powder
2 t paprika
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1 medium onion, quartered (optional)

Direction: Mix all above seasonings into a bowl. Fully season the beef roast on both sides. Turn the pressure cooker to saute. Add in 2 T of olive oil. Make sure the the pressure cooker is ready.

Sear the roast on all sides about 3-4 minutes. You are looking for a nice brown exterior. Once browned, add in the beef broth and onion (if using.) This will cook for 60-70 minutes, depending on the size. Let the pressure release naturally.

Once pressure is released, remove roast and put on a large cutting board or large bowl and shredded using 2 forks. I skim the fat off the top of the liquid inside the pot and add the juices to the meat. This give is a nice rich flavor.

This meat can be served up with potatoes or noodles, your favorite veggie side or a salad. Or tacos & burritos!

Polenta Bites with Pulled Pork & Ricotta

I’m always looking to try new food creations and that’s exactly how this came to be.  Yes, it’s another pulled pork recipe.  Who doesn’t like pulled pork?  This can very easily be made with bbq chicken as well.

While I was in culinary school we made polenta often.  I will tell you right now, I haven’t made it in years.  I cheated in this recipe and actually bought an organic polenta I found in a roll at the store.  When I was shopping and came across it, I just had to buy it and give it a try.  Hey, it is organic.  I’m sure it’s not the greatest since it’s in a roll, duh! However, sometimes you just need to give something a try.  It worked out perfectly for what I was wanting to use it for.

This recipe is pretty simple and would be PERFECT for a small dinner party.  I’m not adding my pulled pork recipe but if you need it, check it out in my previous blogs.  This is simply going to be giving directions on how to crisp up this rolled polenta  and assembling.  The flavors in this recipe are amazing. From the creamy ricotta to the heat from the pulled pork and the jalapeño this is one delicious bite of food.

Polenta Bites with Pulled Pork & Ricotta

Ingredients:
Polenta roll, sliced 1/2 inch slices
4 T butter
1 T Olive Oil
3/4 cup ricotta
2 jalapeños, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cups cooked pulled pork

Directions:  Heat a medium sauté pan over high heat. Add in half the butter and olive oil and heat 2 minutes.  Add in sliced polenta and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.  Next add in the remainder of the butter and oil and flip the polenta and cook for another 4-5 minutes.  You can cook longer to your preferred the polenta cake crispier.  Remove the polenta cake and place on paper towel.

To Assemble:  Add a spoonful of ricotta over the polenta, then top with a spoonful of pulled pork next add the sliced jalapeño and diced onions.  You can add more bbq sauce to the pork if you like it saucier.  Sever and enjoy immediately.

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Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Happy October everyone!  The summer has come to an end and it’s finally my favorite season, fall.  I love the crisp in the air, the sleeping with the windows opened and the warm and cozy comfort dishes.

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking just haven’t gotten the time to get the recipes down and posted. Life got in the way a little. I’ve been dealing with my dog, Coco who has some eye issues so that’s been the most important thing lately.  It’s been a long last several weeks.  In case you didn’t know I’m a huge dog lover.  I have 2, both rescues.  Peanut and Coco.  I can’t say it enough, RESCUE! Please!  🙂

Ok, I got side tracked, back to the food!  I have previously shared my pulled pork recipe.  Take a look at that blog post to get my recipe.  This is just an easy dish that is perfect for leftovers.   This would also be a cool item for a potluck.  All you need is to add the pulled pork (No sauce) to a crockpot, put your toppings in a bowl and everyone could make their own stuffed potatoes. I’ve only ever used sweet potatoes.  It’s perfect with the tanginess of the pulled pork, but I love a good baked potato so I’m sure this would come out just as good! How cool would a stuffed potatoes bar be, am I right folks?

Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:
8 oz cooked pulled pork
2 large sweet potatoes, cooked
– Favorite BBQ Sauce, to taste
1 jalapeño, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced

Assembling directions: Cut sweet potato in half, don’t go all the way to the ends, (this will help keep the goodness inside) Add in pulled pork, top the meat with BBQ sauce, sliced jalapeños and diced onion and serve.

Note: There is no end to the other toppings you could do. When I make my pulled pork sandwiches I top the pork with a creamy coleslaw (see pulled pork recipe for my coleslaw) That would be delish on top of this stuffed sweet potatoes.

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