Make Unusual Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Edited by Rebecca M., Eng, Lynn, Robbi
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. It's a day to give thanks for all our blessings, as well as the official beginning of the Christmas season. But while everyone cherishes the time honored dishes that are served along with your roasted turkey, sometimes it's nice to switch things up a bit. There are many out of the ordinary side dishes that can be served along with your sweet potatoes and candied yams, and they will fit right in with your traditional harvest meal. Who knows, you may love them so much that they become a new part of your Thanksgiving traditions.
Butternut Squash and Orzo
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced (1 teaspoon prepared)
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into bite sized cubes (about 4 cups)
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly chopped sage (1 teaspoon ground)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cup orzo
- 5 cups water or broth (or mixed) for cooking orzo
- 1Add garlic and saute for one to two more minutes.Place olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add onion and saute until onion becomes translucent, stirring occasionally.
- 2Add cubed squash and stir.
- 3Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes or until squash is just fork tender. Do not overcook.Add chicken broth, wine, and sage.
- 4While squash is cooking, bring 5 cups of water or broth to a rolling boil in a large saucepan.
- 5Add orzo and boil for around eight minutes stirring frequently.
- 6Add salt and pepper to taste.When orzo is tender, drain thoroughly and stir into the squash mixture along with Parmesan cheese.
Garnish with a few leaves of fresh sage or sprinkle with parsley.
Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries and Pecans
Sometimes it seems that sweet potatoes are done to death around the holidays. Even if you love them, too much of a good thing can become tiresome. This delightfully different side dish combines the natural sweetness of the potatoes with tart cranberries and adds the texture of chopped pecans. With just a touch of brown sugar, this combination breathes new life into an old favorite.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1Preheat oven to 375 F / 190 C
- 2Place butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat.
- 3Sprinkle salt and pepper over top.Add cinnamon, allspice, and sweet potatoes to skillet and turn to coat evenly with oil.
- 4Add more oil or butter if needed.Reduce heat and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until sweet potatoes begin to soften.
- 5Add the cranberries and brown sugar and turn to evenly coat.
- 6Transfer to a large, oven safe casserole dish or a 9x13 baking pan.
- 7Cover and place in oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork tender.
Tips and Hints
If the cranberries are a bit too tart, sprinkle an extra Tablespoon of brown sugar over the top before baking. It will melt over the top and create a glazed look. For sweet potatoes with a hint of orange, add a few well drained Mandarin orange segments as you saute the mixture.