Thanksgiving Sides Sure to Take a Central Focus This Year

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With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to start gathering recipes and planning the menu for the big day. A few items are a given – the turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce – and many of us rely on tried and true recipes we’ve perfected over the years. Perhaps some of your recipes have even been passed down through generations of your family.

In addition to these essentials though, there’s always room for a few extra side dishes and a little experimentation for adventurous cooks. Vegetables are a great source of creativity at Thanksgiving. Rather than a simple steamed vegetable seasoned with a little butter, salt and pepper; Thanksgiving vegetables are served up fully flavored and baked in elaborate casseroles.

If you’re searching for some new vegetable recipes for this year’s feast, here are a couple recipes sure to earn some praise: an autumn squash casserole and a flavorful kale with garlic and bacon. How could you go wrong with squash and brown sugar or kale and bacon?



Autumn Squash Casserole


Makes 8 servings













3 pounds buttercup squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
¼ cup butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Dash white pepper
1 ½ tablespoons butter
6 cups apples, peeled and sliced
¼ cup white sugar
1 ½ cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted



Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place squash in saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook about 15 minutes, until squash is tender. Drain.
Mash squash with ¼ cup butter, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, salt and white pepper.
Heat 1 ½ tablespoons butter in a large skillet over low heat. Stir in sliced apples, and cover with white sugar. Cover and cook on low heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spread apples in a 3-quart casserole dish. Layer squash over apples.
Combine cornflakes, pecans, ½ cup brown sugar, and melted butter. Sprinkle over squash.
Bake about 15 minutes.





   Kale with Garlic and Bacon

Recipe from

Makes 8 servings

















2 ½ pounds kale (about 4 bunches)
10 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups water


Remove tough stems and center ribs from kale.
Stack kale leaves, a few at a time, and roll lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips.
Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
Save 3 tablespoons of bacon fat, and pour out the rest. Cook garlic in bacon fat about 30 seconds.
Add kale, and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Turn with tongs while cooking.
Add water, and simmer, partly covered, about 60 to 10 minutes. Kale should be slightly tender.
Toss with bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste.





Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a Dallas resident and freelance writer who enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics from cooking and home design to the mortgage industry. When she’s not writing, she’s often either experimenting in the kitchen or pursuing artistic endeavors such as painting, sewing and jewelry-making.



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