Because the Sides Are Really the Star – US 247 News


Are you Team Turkey, or Team Sides? My Thanksgiving happy place is all about gathering as many of my favorite side dishes as I can and throwing a big, buttery veg-and-carb-fest. It’s permission to eat both honey-roasted sweet potatoes and brown-butter mashed potatoes at the same meal without even a tinge of guilt. Thanksgiving comes but once a year; I believe in making the most of it.

This year Eric Kim has a new recipe to add to your spectrum of sides, a fresh take on the green bean casserole (above). He zhuzhs up the 1955 original, replacing the cream of mushroom soup with heavy cream and celery salt and swapping in frozen green beans for the canned. Crucially, however, he keeps the canned fried onions — because, as he sagely points out, they cannot be improved. You can find this recipe and plenty of other excellent sides in our comprehensive collection below.

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I didn’t intend my roasted honey nut squash and chickpeas with hot honey to be a Thanksgiving recipe, but it would make a perfect addition to the table, providing a protein-rich main course option for vegetarians, or an unexpected side dish for omnivores. Or else throw it together for dinner this week while you do your menu planning. Thanksgiving is more than a week away, after all.

Another meatless weeknight option: Jocelyn Ramirez’s crispy mushroom tacos pair crunchy, seared oyster mushrooms with an herby, acidic pico de gallo, all piled on warm tortillas.

Here’s something else to eat with your hands: Ligaya Mishan’s adaptation of Kathy YL Chan’s Hawaii-style garlic shrimp. Made from shell-on shrimp sautéed with garlic, butter, cayenne and paprika, it’s one of the most succulent meals you can make in 15 minutes, worth getting a little messy for (keep some napkins nearby).

For something more knife-and-fork appropriate, Jennifer Steinhauer’s recipe for weeknight lemon chicken breasts with herbs is the kind of classic, citrusy crowd-pleaser that’s especially welcome during this hectic time of year.

At dessert time, Samantha Seneviratne’s sweet and spicy pumpkin cookies — tender in the middle and crisp at the edges — will get you in the mood for pumpkin pie.

You do need a subscription to get the recipes. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now is the perfect moment before the true holiday cooking rush begins. For a limited time, your subscription is on sale for the first year! If you need any technical assistance, you can send an email to; the smart folks there are sure to help. And if you want to talk turkey with me, I’m at

  • Now ask yourself, are your knives ready for the chopping, slicing and carving workout they’re about to undergo? Here’s everything you need to know to sharpen them at home. Take some time to do this now and reap the benefits all holiday season long.