Quick Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and we’re all busily planning our menus. This is actually our first year having our own meal at home, as a family of four. I’m not a huge fan of the more traditional sides (pretty much any side that can be deemed a “casserole”).

There are a few staples like mashed fauxtatoes, stuffing/dressing, and some veg which I will likely keep on my menu this year. However, my husband and I disagree on cranberries. He loves them, and I have never been a fan of traditional cranberry jelly. So, I made him a deal – I told him I would make the cranberries he loves, but not from a can.

Growing up, we had pretty traditional Southern sides like green beans with bacon, collard greens, and mac and cheese. If I can be really honest, they aren’t exactly my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, I am a veggie gal unlike no other, but I dislike mushy vegetables. Plus, who wants to spend literally hours cooking a green bean? Not this girl.

So, I give you delicious Thanksgiving sides in 30 minutes or less.


Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (THM FP)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 10-12 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food


  • 1 12oz bag fresh cranberries
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 palmful (about 1 Tsp) ground coriander
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp orange extract*
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c Pyure or Gentle Sweet*
  • Pinch of pink salt


  1. In a large sauce pan, simmer the cranberries, water, sweetener, salt, and both zests over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer until cranberries begin to burst and the sauce thickens (about 5-7 minutes).
  2. Simmer until it reaches the desired consistency. Remove from the heat. Add the coriander and orange extract. Serve immediately.
  3. *NOTES: I used closer to 1/2 tsp of orange extract, because I like the flavor and it cuts the bitterness of the cranberries. You can always add more sweetener, if you like a sweeter sauce. I enjoy mine on the tart side, and my measurement reflects that.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food


  • 1 1-lb bag fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 c diced pancetta*
  • 1/2 c chicken or vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper


  1. Saute the pancetta over medium heat until it begins to crisp. Add the brussels sprouts, and continue sauteing until the brussels begin to soften.
  2. Add the chicken broth, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat until the sprouts are cooked, and the broth has evaporated. For crispy sprouts, keep sauteing another 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately.
  3. *NOTES: Pancetta is bacon’s Italian cousin. It renders the same as bacon, however isn’t smoked. If you prefer bacon, you can use that here instead.

What sides are on your Thanksgiving menu this year?


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