Are you stressed about planning a holiday meal? One guest may be gluten-free, another shuns dairy-- and plenty of people are forgoing meat these days.
With different palates and diets, it can be difficult to strike the right balance in the kitchen.
Home cooks, have no fear-- we've compiled a list of 16 side dishes-- that also serve as appetizers-- to please any hungry crowd this Thanksgiving.
1. Focaccia Stuffing with Apples and Pancetta
All the other boring stuffings will be jealous when this one makes its debut on your holiday table! Herbs, citrus, nuts, pancetta and Progresso’s new Cooking Stock simmered with real bones, come together as an ensemble cast that will turn a humble side dish into the star of the show.
2. Tar Heel Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Pecans
North Carolina is the nation’s major producer of sweet potatoes, and while the spuds are cooked every way imaginable in the state, never are they more delectable than when cut into cubes, parboiled, fried in butter and brown sugar till beautifully glazed, and dredged in ground pecans.
3. Baked Rosemary Mushroom Polenta
Traditional polenta is spiced up with a little cayenne pepper and parmesan cheese, then topped with rosemary infused mushrooms. Even the most devout carnivores will be convinced after trying this deceptively simple holiday dish. This recipe comes to us from Trudy Slabosz of Veggie.num.num.
4. Jalapeño Cornbread Mac & Cheese
Warm, cheesy and perfect for spicing up the holidays. Take your macaroni and cheese game to the next level.
5. Pumpkin with Onion and Ginger
This is a recipe of pumpkin infused with various spices which have anti- inflammatory properties. The flavors of this dish are not very overpowering rather it feels very soothing on the palate.
6. Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
Keep it classic with this tried and true method of mashing potatoes. For the lightest, fluffiest texture, use a ricer but a food mill is the next best alternative. And yes, the type of potato you use does make a big difference.
7. Sauteed Wild Mushrooms
Esca’s Chef Dave Pasternack's sauteed wild mushrooms goes perfectly with pan-seared striped bass with roasted sweet potatoes.
8. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Serrano Ham, Manchego Cheese & Sherry
Upgrade your Brussels sprouts with this flavorful recipe that's salty, savory and just a little bit sweet.
9. Roasted Broccoli Soup with Peppers and Onions
One of the oldest 'super foods,' broccoli is rich in many vitamins and minerals that kids and adults need. This rich soup will make a satisfying, and colorful starter to any holiday feast.
10. Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberry Salad
For those who want to take a lighter approach this holiday season. Butternut squash is a good source of carotenoids, vitamins A, B6, C, and folate, and is also rich in phytochemicals This is a pretty salad that offers a colorful change of pace with its roasted squash, goat cheese, pecans, and cranberries.
11. Roasted Carrots with Harissa Sauce
Move aside pumpkins! While carrots are the often-overlooked stars of fall and winter vegetables, they come many vivacious colors and preparation styles. This dish features multi colored carrot varieties such as black midnight, red, orange and yellow. Add harissa yogurt to the mix and you've got a colorful, healthy side.
12. Butternut Tagliatelle, Mushroom-Pecan Ragout with Pine Nut Parmesan
With the quick rise in vegetarian/vegan trends, Executive Chef Scott Winegard of Matthew Kenney Cuisine created this delicious, healthy and veggie-focused dish. The Butternut Tagliatelle with Mushroom-Pecan Ragout with Pine Nut Parmesan is perfect for any palate whether your crowd consists of vegans or carnivores â€“ this plant-based dish is sure to keep guests pleased.
13. Butternut Squash Bruschetta
New York Style Chips puts a seasonal spin on a classic appetizer and top with butternut squash and almonds for the finishing touch.
14. Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage and Collard Greens
Add a little southern flavor to your holiday table with this delicious sausage- and greens-loaded stuffing featuring Progresso’s new Cooking Stock simmered with real bone.
15. Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon, Chestnuts and Sage
Bourbon adds a touch of smoky sweetness to liven up a tried and true holiday side staple.
16. Pumpkin and Beet Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing
Although pumpkin and beets might seem like an unlikely combination, I think you will be pleasantly surprised how well these two fall veggies go together," says Jodi Moreno of What's Cooking Good Looking. "The carrot ginger dressing pulls it all together beautifully. This is a fun and unique way to incorporate pumpkin into your menu at home.