Janet's Notebook
Stellar Thanksgiving Side Dishes That'll Have Guests Asking for Seconds

Cheesy Corn and Green Bean Casserole

Turkey may be the star of Thanksgiving, but it's the side dishes that are the real all-stars. From family-favorite recipes to twists on classic dishes, I've gathered a few stellar Thanksgiving side dishes.

Cindy Dozier's (Kansas, OK) Old Time Chicken and Dressing - Crock Pot Style is a recipe Cindy originally learned from her grandmother. "Still to this day, it is the same recipe we use every Thanksgiving," shares Cindy. "I sometimes crave this throughout the year, but it so time-consuming that I decided it was time to adapt it for everyday use."

After one bite, I could taste why Cindy didn't just want this at Thanksgiving. This dressing is almost a meal in itself! We baked up a batch of Cindy's cornbread and it's the perfect base for this moist dressing. By preparing this dressing in a crock pot it frees up space in the oven for other goodies, like Teena Hval's (Milwaukie, OR) Best Ever Sweet Potato Pudding.

This sweet potato side dish is destined to be on your Thanksgiving table. It's creamy, but not too sweet. I really loved the slight crunch from the crust. Best of all, it's easy to prepare which is essential during the holidays.

"This recipe calls for grated sweet potatoes and a food processor can be used for the potatoes," Teena points out. "Also this is easy to fix the night before." Recipes that can be prepared ahead of time are essential to a holiday dinner. With so much to worry about the day of, it's nice to have a recipe prepared and only have to reheat.

In my family, mashed potatoes are usually the first side dish everyone goes for. It sounds like in Colleen Barrett's (Crestview, FL) family they love their taters too.

"When my mother made these potatoes for the first time 25+ years ago at Thanksgiving one year, my first thought was 'Oh no, you ruined the mashed potatoes,'" reminisces Colleen. "Once we all tried them, though, the new dish was an instant hit and has been a tradition at all of our holiday tables ever since."

Carrots and dill make Mom's Deluxe Mashed Potatoes simply spectacular. Yes, it is unusual but, oh my, they are good. Make a batch and you're family will request these every year.

Thanksgiving isn't complete without cranberry sauce. This year, skip the can and make a batch of Liz Owen's (Checotah, OK) Holiday Cranberry Conserve. What's a conserve you're wondering? "Conserves are made with dried or fresh fruits, nuts and are cooked," explains Liz. "They have a very thick and chunky texture."

This cranberry conserve is sweet, tart and will be a great addition to your feast. With an occasional crunch from the pecans, this is a great substitution for traditional cranberry sauce. It'll be really good for your leftover turkey sandwiches too.

If you're looking for more of a traditional cranberry sauce, try KC Quaretti-Lee's (New Port Richey, FL) Whose Side Are You On Cranberry Sauce. It's delicious!

"When I started cooking for myself one of the first holiday meals I tackled was Thanksgiving and the cranberry sauce was my highest priority to investigate and make my own," says KC. "Over the years I have developed this easy cranberry sauce that's a continual crowd pleaser."

Fresh homemade cranberry sauce is really so much better than the canned stuff. I really liked the addition of apples and pears in this recipe - they added another layer of great flavor. This sauce is on the tart side and a nice alternative to a sweeter one.

Green bean casserole is a staple on any holiday table. Kelli Thomas (Ralston, NE) has a twist to hers - she sneaks corn into the casserole and uses crackers (rather than fried onions) for the topping.

Kelli's Cheesy Corn and Green Bean Casserole a great side dish for the holidays or a potluck any time of the year. The unusual combination of green beans and sweet corn pair perfectly with the creamy, cheesy filling. The buttery Ritz crackers are crunchy and a great topping. This may be a new tradition on your holiday table.

I hope you try at least one of these side dishes at your Thanksgiving feast. I guarantee guests will be asking for seconds. Happy Pinching!

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Rose Mary Mogan - Nov 16, 2016
If you have diabetics in the family you may want to try this Low Sugar version of Cranberry Sauce, made using Truvia Low Sugar (Truvia) Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce You will be surprised at how simple and easy it is to make. Hope you give it a try.
Teresa G - Nov 15, 2016
What a great line-up!
Rose Mary Mogan - Nov 15, 2016
In our house no matter the holiday we always must have Cukes N Sour Cream W Sweet Red Peppers & Onions it's a holiday tradition.