Thanksgiving 2022 MAINS & SIDE-DISHES “MY FAVORITE RECIPES” – plus NEW: Delicata Squash Bake with Parmesan Breadcrumbs
Thanksgiving is upon us ~ One of my favorite times to cook delicious food for friends and family.
Here are my best-loved dishes to cook ~ classics with healthy twists!
Main Dishes and Sides: (Next week Appetizers, Soups and Desserts!)
Your New Thanksgiving Side Dish! Sweet & Nutty Delicata Squash layered with a Zesty Cider Reduction and Topped with Sourdough-Parmesan-Thyme Breadcrumbs that bakes up Crispy & Golden.
The cider-honey-butter mixture infuses the squash for a delectable zesty flavor.
Yes ~ can be made a few days in advance! Pairs well with all your Thanksgiving Mains.
Thanksgiving Recipes Start Here!
I’ve got you covered with well-tested, fabulous and inventive recipes for your celebration!
As you are shopping, prepping and cooking this year keep this mind – the rewards of cooking for yourself (and family & friends) is paramount!
Dishes made at home tend to be more nutritious (without too much salt or preservatives) when you cook for yourself, you control the ingredients you use.
How to cook the perfect turkey, stuffing and gravy. I have developed this recipe after years in the kitchen. You will use this recipe over and over again! Basting the bird with pomegranate and pineapple juice will produce a finished turkey with a glowing, yet subtle mahogany color. And, the acid in the juice cuts down on the gamey essence of the turkey.
I like to start roasting the turkey breast side DOWN. Later, after turning it breast side up, you will not have a soggy bottom of the turkey!
Look no further… your need to make this! Just the most magnificent gravy – with a deep, rich mahogany- brown color, and luscious flavor. The Method: Aromatic roasted vegetables on the bottom of the pan, with the addition of herbs and marsala wine produce a rich fabulous gravy. The gravy takes the starring role in a Thanksgiving meal.
It’s all about the “SIDES!!” Punch it up a notch this Thanksgiving with these delicious, creative recipes.
How amazing are these potatoes? They can be made days ahead and reheated. What I love about this recipe – besides it’s gorgeous presentation is they are not heavy, but light and creamy. But no cream in the recipe. Just the right amount of milk & butter… but not too much. Garlic adds depth and flavor – an awesome recipe for special occasions.
Not too difficult: Purple (Peruvian) Mashed Potatoes are simple layered with Yukon Golds Mashed Potatoes in a deep Soufflé Dish. (This one is perfect, 4″ high!)
These “fanned” sweet potatoes simply bake in the oven with a syrupy, maple glaze. Tuck garlic in the crevices and sprinkle with fresh rosemary. I love adding a touch of grated, aged gouda cheese on top – your Thanksgiving company will scream”YUM!” These delicious potatoes just look fancy – but are actually easy to pull together.
My Family Favorite: A beautifully sticky glaze that’s not too sweet. Cook yams, peel, slice and layer in a casserole with an Apple Cider Cinnamon Glaze. Broil until lightly blackened around the edges. Not too sweet… THE TRICK: reduce fresh apple cider.
These are a weekly staple in my house.
Serve them too for Thanksgiving – everyone loves these!
Seasoned, Roasted and Tossed in Garlic, Butter and Parsley.
French Green Beans are special for the holidays – I always serve them on Thanksgiving.
The perfect veggie side dish for Thanksgiving and the Holidays!
Full of color & flavor – can be made early in the day. Haricot Vert Beans are longer and thinner than American green bean varieties – they’re also more tender (a younger bean) and flavorful than comparably sized traditional green beans. I like to quickly sauté the beans ~ let them blacken a little, then cook on low heat until tender. VEGAN.
Sauté Haricot Verts in a hot skillet to blacken the edges. Add Garlic Chips, Shiitake “Bacon”, Toasted Almonds, Pomegranate Seeds and Zesty Za’atar Seasoning. Beautiful flavors and colors ~ the radishes take on a magenta hue when cooked. VEGAN.
The perfect side dish for late summer ~ early fall. Carrots caramelize with the figs with a delectable just-sweet-enough glaze… all roasted in one pan. Here is a colorful, balanced side-dish that excites the palate rather than weigh it down. The perfect combination of roasted veggies & fruits with nuts, herbs and a zippy (well….zesty!) glaze. A Vegan recipe.
Brussel sprouts will cook quicker when cut in fourths, with each edge caramelizing a bit. Candied Pecans are a snap to make and add a touch of crunch and sweetness to the vegetable! Make the day of your feast.
The perfect Cranberry Sauce – chunky, tart-sweet and loaded with fresh pineapple and a touch of ginger… the only cranberry sauce I make! Can be made any in advance.
A simple and bold chestnut stuffing with a great well rounded flavor.
Just the right amount of dried fruit, veggies and tarragon. Try different varieties of breads to produce unique textures.Loving all these flavors!
A simple and yummy cornbread, with fresh corn kernels which is gluten-free adaptable. Bakes up high; tender inside with a little crunchy exterior. If cornbread is not in your Thanksgiving stuffing – add some to your table!
Of course, add some honey butter to slather on!
A Few Words About Organizing for the BIG Day:
- Shop for non-perishable foods & goods NOW! (Avoid long lines; might need to visit multiple stores.)
- Make Broth for your Turkey… I do not used canned.
- Write detailed lists for shopping.
- Write a TIMELINE; This really helps me! I get a big pad and write columns for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thanksgiving Thursday. And a column for whatever you can make ahead and freeze.
This really organizes what you will have time for each day ~ let’s keep it stress free!
- Asks your guests about dietary restrictions: Be ready for Gluten Free, Nut Free, Vegan, Keto…
- Shop at Farmers’ Markets!!! Ask farmers what will be available the week of Thanksgiving. Stock up on winter squashes, cheeses, honey…
- Review recipes you will be making – make sure you have the right baking & roasting pans.
- Take a deep breath ~ you can do this! Make it enjoyable and enjoy the process.
Here’s to a healthy & festive Thanksgiving,
Also see: Thanksgiving Appetizers, Soups & Desserts – I’ve Got You Covered!
And with Added Salads: Thanksgiving Overview: What to Cook Right Now & NEW Sautéed Spinach with Pine Nuts & Lemon
Delicata Squash Bake with Cider Reduction and Parmesan Bread Crumbs
Delicata Squash Layer:
- 2 1/2 pounds delicata squash about 2- 3, 3" wide 8" long
- 1 1/4 cup fresh apple cider preferably without preservatives
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/4 cup fresh sourdough bread crusts removed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (can use part olive oil)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic peeled, finely grated (or minced)
- 1/2 cup parmesan reggiano cheese grated
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves coarsely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. In a small skillet, heat cider, butter and honey until the butter has melted, stir to combine.
- Wash and dry the squash. Cut squashes in half, lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds. Rounded side up - cut all into 1/2" slices (half moons.) Add the squash in rows - 3 wide into the pan, overlapping them a little (see photo.) Pour the cider mixture over all and sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
- Cover tightly with heavy foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and place the dish back into the oven and cook until the liquid had reduced and syrupy, and the squash is just cooked through with slightly golden edges. Remove from the oven. HINT: The syrupy liquid adds a ton of flavor and continues to infuse the squash.
- While the squash bakes make the bread crumbs. Add 1" pieces of sourdough bread to a small food processor (I do in 2 batches) and pulse until medium sized crumbs, not too fine.
- Melt butter in a 3-4 cup bowl in the microwave (can do in a pot as well), add the breadcrumbs and quickly mix to coat. Add the garlic, parmesan cheese, thyme and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt. Add in an even layer over the cooked squash.
- Return to the oven and cook until the bread crumbs are lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs.
Hints for Reheating:
- Bring the casserole to room temperature. Cover with heavy foil, reheat in a 350 degree oven until cooked through. Uncover foil and cook until the bread crumbs are crispy. Can be made up to 2 days before serving.