Side dishes shine on Turkey Day

Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts.
Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The vegetables at a Thanksgiving feast are not just the sidekicks. They are a big part of the main act when you count the taste, texture, color, flavor and many preparation possibilities.

“Everyone knows the turkey doesn’t carry the feast solo,” says Jeanne Ambrose, editor of Taste of Home. “When people reach for second helpings, it’s usually the side dishes they want. It doesn’t take much to transform basic vegetables into the talk of the table.”

Your family might revolt when it comes to messing with the recipe for mashed potatoes or gravy, but vegetables are fair game for surprising creations. In fact, it’s a good idea to try at least one or two unexpected vegetable dishes; that is how new family traditions are born.


Serves 6 as a side.

TV chef and cookbook author Ree Drummond’s version was more labor-intensive and fatty. She used 8 ears of corn and scraped the cob to get the corn kernels. She baked them in 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 stick of salted butter. This is an easier version and has fewer calories.

1 (16 ounces) bag of frozen corn, thawed

2 small red bell peppers, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, diced

1 cup light cream

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 stick butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, add corn, red peppers, jalapeno and cream; mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste, and mix again.

Pour into a 9- by-13-inch baking dish. Dot with butter. Bake until bubbly, about 45 minutes.


Serves 5 as a side.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 garlic cloves, chopped small

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add cumin seeds; stir until lightly browned. Add garlic, salt and red pepper flakes, and cook for 2 minutes.

Turn off heat and toss in Brussels sprouts. Add brown sugar and lemon juice, and mix well.

Transfer vegetables to a baking tray, and bake for 18 to 24 minutes, until tender.