Thanksgiving Recipes: 7 Tasty Side Dishes

By Patti Plummer

Thanksgiving is a holiday about being thankful for all the good things in our lives, and what better way to celebrate that happiness than by serving family and friends a bountiful feast, complete with all their favorite dishes—plus some new ones.

Here are seven Thanksgiving side dish recipes guaranteed to become Turkey Day must-haves after just one taste.

Holiday Brat Stuffing

Serves 12Brat sausage stuffing Thanksgiving side dish recipe

1 package (19 ounces) JOHNSONVILLE® Brats, casings removed
1/2 cup butter
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
12 cups unseasoned bread stuffing, cubed
1 tsp. rubbed sage
2 tbs. poultry seasoning
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown and cook crumbled sausage until no longer pink. Drain. Remove from skillet; set aside. In the same skillet, melt butter and sauté onion, celery and green pepper until tender.

In an extra large mixing bowl, combine sausage, vegetable mixture, bread stuffing and seasonings.
Add eggs and broth; toss gently. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into a buttered 3 to 4 quart baking dish.
Cover with foil and bake at 325° for 60 minutes.

Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer, it should read 165°F when done.

Recipe and image courtesy of Johnsonville Sausage

Root Vegetable Chipotle Cheddar Gratin
By Chef Brandt Evans

Root Vegetables Chipolte Cheddar gratin potato thanksgiving recipeServes 8

1 large butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, halved, seeded
2 large sweet potatoes (about 3/4 pound each), peeled
1 medium rutabaga (about 2 pounds), peeled, halved
2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar Cheese*
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
*Or use a Wisconsin Chipotle Cheddar or Chipotle Jack Cheese.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a mandoline, slice squash and potatoes lengthwise 1/8 inch thick. Slice rutabaga crosswise 1/8 inch thick.

Spray 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange half the potatoes in dish, overlapping slightly; add layer of cheese (half the cheese). Season with salt and pepper. Top with half the rutabaga and squash, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Repeat layering. Pour broth over all.

Cover tightly with foil; bake 1 hour until vegetables are almost tender when pierced. Remove foil and pour cream over gratin. Bake 30 minutes longer, uncovered, until liquid has thickened.

Preheat broiler. Mix panko crumbs and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over gratin. Broil 3 inch from heat 2 minutes or until golden, rotating for even browning. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.

Recipe and image courtesy of ©2013 Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.

Cheddar and Hickory-Smoked Bacon Cornbread

By Chefs Duskie Estes and John Stewart Zazu Restaurant, Sonoma, CA

Cheddar hickory smoked bacon cornbread Thanksgiving recipeServes 6 - 8

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese, preferably aged, grated
8 ounces bacon, diced small, fried until fat is rendered and drained
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup corn oil
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray 9-inch square baking dish or cast iron skillet with nonstick spray. In medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, cheese, bacon, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine milk, oil, and eggs. Add to cornmeal-flour mixture and stir just until blended. Do not overmix.

Pour into prepared baking dish and bake until golden and springs back when touched, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Recipe and image courtesy of ©2013 Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.

Sweet Potato Fries with Guacamole

Sweet potato fries with guacamole Thanksgiving side dish recipeServes 4

4 medium-size sweet potatoes or yams (about 1-1/2 pounds), peeled, cut into long sticks, 1/4-inch wide*
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
2 large ripe fresh Hass Avocados, seeded and peeled
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced, more or less to taste
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450° F. Spray 2 (12”x17”) baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, toss sweet potato sticks with oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, the chili powder and crushed red pepper (if using) until thoroughly coated. On prepared baking sheets, spread sweet potatoes in a single layer. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, with a fork, mash avocado with lime juice, jalapeño, green onions and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Serve sweet potato fries warm with guacamole for dipping.

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Recipe and image courtesy of the Hass Avocado Board

Baked Potato with Cranberry Dip

Baked potato with cranberry dip Thanksgiving side dish recipeServes 4

4 large floury potatoes (each 300 g)
6 tbs. olive oil
40 g dried cranberries
1 ripe avocado (e.g. Hass)
1 tbs. lemon juice
250 g cottage cheese

Wash potatoes and dry them. Rub each potato with 1 tablespoon of oil and salt and lay them on a baking tray. Bake them in a preheated oven at 180 degrees (convection heat is not recommended) on the bottom third of the oven for 1 ½ hours.

15 minutes before the end of the baking time, prepare the cranberry dip. Coarsely chop up the cranberries. Cut the avocado in half, remove the core and scoop out the fruit flesh with a spoon. Cut the fruit flesh into ½ cm sized cubes and immediately mix them with the lemon juice. Mix the avocado, cranberries and 1 tablespoon of oil into the cottage cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Take the potatoes out of the oven, cut them lengthwise and push them slightly apart. Spread the cranberry dip over the potatoes. Sprinkle the rest of the olive oil on top and serve.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Cranberries from the USA

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Frizzled Ham

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with ham Thanksgiving recipe vegetableServes 8

6 slices ham, (about 3 ounces), cut in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
1 3/4 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, outer leaves removed
1 large orange
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. unsalted butter
2 cups shallots, thinly sliced (8 to 10)
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar, OR white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Working in batches, place the Brussels sprouts in the feed tube of a food processor fitted with a thin slicing disk and slice. (If you don’t have a food processor with a thin slicing disk, thinly slice the Brussels sprouts by hand.) Zest the orange, then squeeze 1/4 cup of orange juice (save any remaining orange for another use). Set Brussels sprouts, orange zest, and orange juice aside.

In a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisped and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer ham to a plate and set aside.

Add the butter to the pan and melt over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Stir in the Brussels sprouts. Stir in the orange zest and orange juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until Brussels sprouts are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pine nuts and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl, top with the ham, and serve.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board. For more information about pork, visit

Ham and Peas with Mint and Tarragon

Ham and peas with mint taragon Thanksgiving recipe vegetableServes 4 - 6

4 ounces ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 cups peas, fresh or frozen
3 tbs. unsalted butter, (1/2 stick), cut into 4 to 6 pieces
1/4 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped plus sprigs for garnish
2 tbs. fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped , plus sprigs for garnish
Salt and pepper

Bring a medium saucepan of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the peas and cook until tender, 3 to 8 minutes depending on the size of the peas.

Drain the peas, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the peas and cooking water to the saucepan. Add the ham, butter, mint, and tarragon, stirring until the butter melts. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a bowl, garnish with the mint and tarragon sprigs, and serve.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board. For more information about pork, visit

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