Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Side dishes make the whole meal…lets be honest. Below are my favorite recipes. I did not include the basic vegetables or a stuffing recipe. Why no stuffing…because I am a redneck and I still believe nothing beats stuffing out a box. Judge me all you want!

Cranberry Sauce

1 package of fresh cranberries
1 18oz jar of raspberry preserves
2 cans of mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup of orange juice

In a medium saucepan, bring the cranberries, orange juice and raspberry preserves to a rapid boil and stir well.
Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 7-8 minutes while stirring often until thickened.
Skim the foam from the surface with a large spoon as needed.
Add the drained mandarin oranges and crush with a masher. Make sure to stir to incorporate thoroughly.
Allow the sauce to simmer for another 2-3 minutes and remove from the heat.
Let the sauce cool slightly and transfer to a serving dish. The sauce can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Corn Pudding


5 large eggs (room temperature)
1/3 cup butter (melted and cooled)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup half and half
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of nutmeg
15.25 ounces white shoepeg whole kernel corn, drained (1 can)
29.50 ounces cream-style corn (2 cans)
Preheat oven to 400 Degrees fahrenheit.

Spray a flat 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add melted butter and sugar.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and cornstarch until smooth.
Stir the cornstarch/milk mixture into the egg mixture.
Add the vanilla extract and dash of nutmeg.
Stir in the drained corn and creamed corn. Blend well.
Pour mixture into prepared baking pan.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is browned and the center is set.

Mashed Potatoes

5 pounds potatoes (I use half Yukon Gold, half Russet potatoes)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
fine sea salt
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
toppings: chopped fresh chives or green onions, freshly-cracked black pepper
Cut the potatoes. Feel free to peel your potatoes or leave the skins on. Then cut them into evenly-sized chunks, about an inch or so thick, and transfer them to a large stockpot full of cold water.
Boil the potatoes. Once all of your potatoes are cut, be sure that there is enough cold water in the pan so that the water line sits about 1 inch above the potatoes. Stir the garlic and 1 tablespoon sea salt into the water. Then turn the heat to high and cook until the water comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high (or whatever temperature is needed to maintain the boil) and continue cooking for about 10-12 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of a potato goes in easily with almost no resistance. Carefully drain out all of the water.
Prepare your melted butter mixture. Meanwhile, as the potatoes are boiling, heat the butter, milk and an additional 2 teaspoons of sea salt together either in a small saucepan or in the microwave until the butter is just melted. (You want to avoid boiling the milk.) Set aside until ready to use.
Pan-dry the potatoes. After draining the water, immediately return the potatoes to the hot stockpot, place it back on the hot burner, and turn the heat down to low. Using two oven mitts, carefully hold the handles on the stockpot and shake it gently on the burner for about 1 minute to help cook off some of the remaining steam within the potatoes. Remove the stockpot entirely from the heat and set it on a flat, heatproof surface.
Mash the potatoes. Using your preferred kind of potato masher (I recommend this one in general, or this one for extra-smooth), mash the potatoes to your desired consistency.
Stir everything together. Then pour half of the melted butter mixture over the potatoes, and fold it in with a wooden spoon or spatula until potatoes have soaked up the liquid. Repeat with the remaining butter, and then again with the cream cheese, folding in each addition in until just combined to avoid over-mixing. (Feel free to add in more warm milk to reach your desired consistency, if needed.)
Taste and season. One final time, taste the potatoes and season with extra salt if needed.
Serve warm. Then serve warm, garnished with any extra toppings that you might like, and enjoy!