Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Everything but the Turkey!

Image Courtesy Charles M. Schulz
Image Courtesy Charles M. Schulz
Image Courtesy Charles M. Schulz

Most Thanksgiving meals revolve around the main meat dish. Turkey, ham, chicken and even sausages can star as the main course. Everyone’s looking for interesting side dishes to add to their usual favorite selections. In this posting, I’m highlighting side dishes and other accompaniments to your main course.

My husband and I like to try different dishes for our Thanksgiving menu each year. We prefer not to eat the same exact meal over and over. This year, we might smoke a turkey breast or a whole duck in our outdoor smoker instead of roasting a whole turkey in the oven. Or roast the turkey breast or whole duck in the oven. A couple of years ago, we featured roasted duck as our main meat dish. Our dinner guests were smitten with the crispy skin and succulent duck meat.

Usually, we offer a nibble or two to our guests prior to dinner to squash those hunger pangs. Try some of these selections:

Cinnamon Pecans
Hubby’s Chicken Liver Pate
Elegant Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche on Endive Spears
Mini-Toasts with Roast Beef, Brie and Onion Jam
Smoked Whitefish Mini-Toasts
Fig Almond Cheese Nibbles

Some really nice salads that fit with the Thanksgiving theme are:

Pretty Pear Salad with Goat Cheese and Cinnamon Pecans
Healthy Quinoa Salad with Salmon, Cucumber, Cranberries and Walnuts
Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts
Autumn Harvest Super Grains Salad
Apple Chopped Salad with Toasted Pecans and Goat Cheese
Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cranberries and Apricots

Soups are a great way to fill up a hungry crowd.

Velvety Butternut Squash Soup
Roasted Corn and Crab Chowder
Creamy Broccoli Soup with Sharp Cheddar and Bits of Ham
Roasted Sweet Potato Butternut Pumpkin Soup
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Soup

Tasty sides to the main dish that go great on the plate include:

The Food Lover’s Mac and Cheese
Sage Apricot Pecan Cornbread Dressing
Easy Mashed Potatoes
Chive Mashed Potatoes
Sinful Potatoes au Gratin
“TV Dinner” Peas and Carrots
Rosemary Creamed Corn
Braised Red Cabbage

And for an alternative to traditional canned cranberry sauce:

Cranberry Compote with Cinnamon and Calvados

To complement your pie selections, here’s two tasty desserts:

Very Berry Crumble
Nutella Napoleons

And of course, here are a few libations to enjoy:

Autumn Cherry Pie Cocktail
Festive Blood Orange Martini
Spiced Apple Martini (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2013)

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