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Nov 11, 2008 10:35 AM

Thanksgiving Vegetable sides

I'm tasked with providing my in-laws with some of the food for Thanksgiving. It's going to be a pretty big potluck...let's say 40-50 a ton of food is necessary. I need ideas for vegetable side dishes, I'm at a loss of ideas. My in-laws are simple people...ethnic/exotic ingredients are wasted on them...I've done glazed carrots and sauteed green beans for them in the past, but would like to try something different. I will be making mashed potatoes, too, so no potato ideas, please. Any of your creative yummy ideas would be much appreciated!

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  1. Brussel sprouts roasted with olive oil and garlic would be a colorful addition to the meal. Spinach salad with warm bacon dressing?

    2 Replies
    1. re: lhb78

      Or braise the brussel sprouts in cream-insanely rich but good, and very, very easy to do. Reheat well, too. (Simmer them in heavy cream until really tender, then add a bit of nutmeg).

      1. re: girlwonder88

        Or if your inlaws appreciate the classic green bean casserole, use that concept with brussels sprouts. It's actually very good.

    2. A dish I like to make is roasted and pureed carrots. It takes people by surprise. They look at it and think sweet potatoes and are always amazed by the flavor.

      Peel and coarsely chop chop your carrots, do the same with an onion. Place both in a heavy casserole with butter, some chicken stock and a sprig of thyme. Cover and roast until the carrots are tender and 99% of the stock has evaporated. Remove thyme sprig. Pour into food processor and puree. Season to taste with S&P

      The roasting brings out the sugars in the carrots and makes them very rich.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        Even easier: toss baby or sliced carrots in olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley, and roast at 350 F in a shallow pan for about 20 minutes or so til crisp-tender.

        I'm also bringing a side dish, and the hostess is "partial" to asparagus, so that's what I'm making, even tho it's out of season. Same basic prep, olive oil, S&P and thyme. I'll have some lemon-dill sauce on the side. I might do another sauce, like honey-mustard or tangerine, if my mood changes.

        1. re: rednails

          That may work but I really love my pureed carrots. A surprise and fab flavor.

          1. re: Candy

            I'll bet it's very good. Funny thing is, my hostess, a very dear friend. doesn't like anythig "mushy." So--no mashed potatoes, ever, and the pureed carrots wouldn't pass either. Last year I made roasted butternut squash, very simple (definitely not mushy) and she didn't like it either. I always make whole veggies when she comes, or I go to her house.

      2. Broccoli and/or cauliflower in a cream sauce. Big white mushrooms stuffed with a spinach and Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing and crumbled bacon filling, and maybe a sprinkle of cheese on top. Petit pois frozen peas with mushrooms (quarter the mushroom and sautee in butter until just cooked, yet plump and juicy).

        1. Buttered parsnips and carrots: Take equal quantities, peel and cut into 1/2 inch dice. (Since you're making a large quantity, larger would be ok, just cook longer). Simmer them together in plenty of water, drain and toss with a generous amount of butter, salt and pepper. The combination of parsnips and carrots is great, and a good choice for not-adventurous eaters, while still being a bit different.

          1. I am always a huge fan of any roasted vegetable - brussel sprouts are great, as is roasted chunks of buttercup squash. Also, Martha Stewart Living (Nov. 2008) has a recipe for Braised Red Cabbage that looks beautiful and the recipe seems both simple and flavorful.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hollywoodkitchen

              I plan to make a creamed spinach parsnip dish - pan braise then brown parsnips. make a cream sauce with roux and cream, add spinach to parsnips, barely wilt, add sauce and keep warm. hit the dish with some nutmeg in the sauce- sounds yummy in my head. I think this will keep if barely cooked and warmed in oven.

              roasted veggies are always a hit. splash with some herbs and balsamic vinegar in the roasting pan, scoop out and eat!

              we hardly do casserole veggies (cause i cannot add to the heaviness of the meal) and limited oven space. we always end up browning/sautee veggies with garlic. simple things like lemon oil/juice will dress up the beans or brownbutter for brussel sprouts nicely.