From stuffing to mashed potatoes, holiday accompaniments are just as important as the main dish.
Far from its overcooked cafeteria-line incarnation, cauliflower takes well to sophisticated flavors and roasts wonderfully. The high heat of this recipe makes cooking fast, but is also necessary for the pretty and tasty browning of the cauliflower's surface. If you want a crunchier texture, add a tablespoon or two of panko at the end with the Parmesan and lemon.
There's something incredibly comforting about this dressing―the fluffy corn bread combined with sweet apples and smoky spiced sausage just warms you to the core. It's great with turkey and all the trimmings, or reheated for a post-Thanksgiving snack.
A crunchy browned cheese topping conceals a hearty, sweet squash-and-onion combination here. Serving individual gratins in single-serving ramekins makes for a more impressive presentation than one large casserole, and the individual servings cook faster as well.
Add tangy zest to a mild-flavored classic with this recipe. It has the quintessential rich-and-creamy texture of mashed potatoes, while adding visual appeal with skin-on red potatoes and taste appeal with sour cream, buttermilk, and herbs.
In Mexico, copas de frutas (fruit cups) are popular street food. They typically consist of fresh fruit sprinkled with lime juice and chili powder and are the inspiration for this jewel-colored fruit salad. Jicama (pronounced HEE-kah-mah), also known as a Mexican potato or turnip, tastes like a cross between an apple and a potato and adds crunch to the salad.
Roasting kale is amazing—the leaves turn from a dusty dark green to dark emerald with brown-tinged curly edges that crunch. This vegetable side is delicious served hot from the oven; the leaves lose their crisp texture as the dish stands.
The nutty, almost smoky flavor of wild rice pairs beautifully with game birds and other poultry. Bright bits of dried cranberries, fresh herbs, and sliced carrot give this side dish definite curb appeal.
Braise the Brussels sprouts and toast the bread-crumbs up to a day ahead. Before serving, add cooked, crumbled bacon to the toasted breadcrumb mixture, and then sprinkle the mixture over the sprouts. Broil 3 minutes or until golden and thoroughly heated.
You don't need butter and cream to make wonderfully creamy mashed sweet potatoes. Heart-healthy olive oil adds flavor and silkiness without saturated fat.
Lots of tastes and textures to sample as you travel around your plate—that's our idea behind having lots of sides. Start the journey with this rustic stuffing.
The salty richness of bacon, ham, or other cured meats round out the bitterness of Brussels sprouts, turning the oft-reviled veggie into something transcendent. The addition of sweet pearl onions and honey just adds another dimension on top of that. The flavor of capocollo, made from pork shoulder, is very similar to prosciutto or Serrano ham; you can substitute either if necessary.
Haricots verts are tiny, fresh French green beans. If you can’t find them, substitute regular fresh beans, which you’ll need to cook a few minutes longer. You can also use white wine vinegar instead of Champagne, if necessary.
If you want to get a jump on this recipe, cook the Broccolini four minutes, plunge it into ice water, and refrigerate. Separately prepare the compound butter, and chill it. Then finish cooking the Broccolini in the skillet, and toss it with the butter just before serving.
Be sure to purchase a crumbly wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano for this super quick potato side dish. The salty flavor will give just the right bite to these melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes.
Peppery mustard greens and slightly bitter escarole combine with raisins and pungent garlic for a tasty green veggie side. If you can’t find mustard greens or escarole, you can make this dish with fresh spinach.
Bake potatoes up to two days ahead, and fill with stuffing. Cover and refrigerate. Before serving, let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano, and bake.
We tested with Fuji apples and love the sweet-tart contrast with the bitter Brussels sprouts. Leave the red skin on for a pretty contrast, or peel the apple, if you prefer.
This is an easy and versatile side dish. The polenta is topped with a quick sauté of wild mushrooms (or use exotics, like shiitake and oyster, if wild are not available). If you replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth, this side dish can serve four as a vegetarian entrée. Garnish with sage sprigs.
Gruyère's nutty, earthy flavor is a nice match for subtle cauliflower, and crisp breadcrumbs add texture. Substitute broccoli for the cauliflower, if you prefer. You can prepare all the elements for the dish a day ahead, if necessary. Refrigerate the sauce, the cauliflower, and the breadcrumb mixture separately, and simply assemble before baking.
If you want to make the potatoes ahead, chill them and reheat just before serving, adding extra liquid to desired consistency. Stir in the chives just before serving. For a nice presentation, sprinkle additional chives over the top.
Peel away the outer leaves from trimmed fresh Brussels sprouts, reserving the leaves and centers. This technique shortens the cook time and makes a nice presentation.
This recipe sounds, looks, and tastes sophisticated. With an elegant balance of flavors―tart Champagne, salty Parmesan, bitter radicchio, and sweet onion―it will impress at any meal, whether a weeknight family dinner or a fancy New Year's Eve buffet.
It seems like just about every family has a signature stuffing (or dressing) recipe, based on one of a wide variety of grains. This recipe uses nutty wild rice, along with tart-sweet dried fruit and plenty of classic sage, creating an inspired side that might just become a new tradition in your home.
About 15 minutes is all it takes to put together this flavorful―and healthful―dish. It's got all the meaty flavor of bacon and tender crunch of fresh green beans with only 46 calories and 1.11 grams of fat per serving.
Completing the triumvirate of stuffing styles, this bread-based version takes advantage of sourdough's tangy chewiness for structure and taste, while adding the unexpected flavors of earthy mushrooms, subtly sweet pears, and licorice-like tarragon.
View Recipe: Sourdough Stuffing with Pears and Sausage
Soft, mild camembert cheese adds the same creaminess to mashed potatoes that butter and cream do, but it also brings in a sophisticated tangy, distinctly cheesy flavor. Any young, soft cheese can be used in this recipe―try your favorite brie, or even a creamy chévre.
You can easily double, triple, or quadruple this small-yield recipe to feed more hungry holiday dwellers. A few simple ingredients turn carrots into a star side dish.
Simple roasted Brussels sprouts get a big flavor boost from one simple addition: salty pecorino Romano cheese, which punctuates the traditional fall veggie dish with meaty umami notes. You can also use subtler Asiago or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, if you prefer. Quarter the larger sprouts so they are about the same size as halved smaller ones, and spread them in a single layer in two different roasting pans so they brown nicely and evenly.
This speedy, simple stovetop dish saves you oven space and can be prepared at the very last minute and then brought to the holiday table. Roma or plum tomatoes are the best choice this time of year.
Here’s a crowd-pleasing side that’s easy on the pocketbook: just 67 cents per serving! If money is no object, consider finishing with a flourish of white truffle oil.
This delicious yet budget-friendly dish comes to $1.15 per serving. Look for a poultry herb blend in the produce section—one package contains all the herbs you need. Slice leeks and swirl them around in a big bowl of water to wash.
Prepare polenta through step 2 up to two days ahead. Before serving, let the dish stand at room temperature one hour, cut polenta into triangles, and toast them at mealtime. Pork sausage gives them a wonderfully familiar, stuffing-like flavoring.
Who knew instant potato flakes could be the basis of such an amazing dish? It's really something of a faux-fflé--technically not a soufflé, but you get the same puff-tacular results without even having to whip egg whites.
Prechopped veggies and precooked bacon and eggs help you pull this charmingly retro dish together in a flash. You can assemble the salad, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Refrigerated presliced potatoes slash tons of prep and cook time. The combo of Gruyère and Parm-Regg cheeses is delicious, but you can use all one type if you prefer.
This side is ridiculously easy and goes into the oven in only 10 minutes, thanks to sweet canned yams. To boost flavor and add richness, we counter the canned spuds with luscious crème fraiche; chunks of almonds bring big crunch.
Here's a faster, fresher take on green bean casserole that's done all on the stovetop--one less thing to try to work into oven rotation on the big day. Although we use fresh beans and make our own creamy sauce, we've kept the French-fried onions (arguably the best part of traditional green bean casserole). To speed prep, you can purchase bags of fresh, pretrimmed green beans from the produce section.