I think it’s safe to say the best part of the holidays is the amount of good food surrounding good company, am I right? I’m at that age in between being too young to really help make too much food and a full adult (I’m just not there, lol) to host an entire Thanksgiving, but I do LOVE to help.
I’ve become a professional ‘sides and appetizers’ chef, and I love trying out new recipes. I’ve been testing out some new ones and wanted to share a couple that I’ll personally be bringing for Thanksgiving. After that, I’ll to share a few other ideas that look delish and simple! Since people have so many dietary preferences these days, I’ve chosen some to fit most needs. I hope that’s helpful! If you’re open to it, share your favorite recipes in the comments – I’d love to hear!
Here’s What I’m Bringing To The Table
image via Cafe Delights
Appetizer: Garlic Butter Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Parmesan
I mean, what’s a Thanksgiving without a potato right? I’m personally more of a sweet potato gal, but this would probably work fine with regular too. These would be fun to make with kids too since you get to smash. Plus, butter. Lots of butter. Here’s the recipe.
Side Dish: Pepper Jack Mac n’ Cheese
I’m a BIG cheese fan, so some sort of mac n’ cheese is always on my mind. But this year, I wanted to spice it up a bit – literally. My family loves spicy things, so I’ll be bringing this Pepper Jack Mac Recipe It’s definitely a bit heavier than some light sides or apps, so it’s great to serve with dinner as a main side. It’s a vegetarian dish, but pretty sure adding some crumbled bacon to the top would be a super yummy touch. (see the end of the article for the recipe!)
Other Ideas : Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers
- Vegan & Gluten-free: Apple Cranberry Stuffin (looks SO good), Spinach Dip
- Vegetarian: Spinach Puffs, Fried Goat Cheese Balls with Honey (I mean…)
- No dietary restriction: Cranberry Brie Bites (super quick/easy), Honey & Garlic Smokies
Other Ideas : Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Vegan: The Best Damn Vegan Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans w/ Lemon-almond Pesto
- Vegetarian: Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes (love this twist), Southern Cornbread
- Gluten-free: Winter Squash Agrodolce (dying to try this!), Paleo Stuffing
- No dietary restriction: Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts (would be sweet enough for kids), Sweet Potato Gnocchi
OK, I’m officially hungry and ready for the holiday! Might have to test some of these recipes out, you know for SCIENCE.
What dishes are you bringing this year?
Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese
- 3 Cups Macaroni (I prefer elbow)
- 6 Tbsp. Butter
- 4 Tbsp. Flour
- 1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Tsp. Pepper
- 3 Cups Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
- 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 2 1/2 Cups Milk
- Salt To Taste
- Cook macaroni in boiling water until al dente. Drain Pasta and set aside in a bowl.
- Preheat the over to 350 degrees.
- Under medium heat, melt butter and garlic powder in a large skillet.
- Gradually, mix in flour, salt, and pepper. Whisk for a smooth consistency.
- Stir in milk and sour cream. The consistency will begin to thicken.
- Then stir in cheeses until melted. Putt aside about 1/4 cup of pepper jack to sprinkle over.
- Add the macaroni to the cheesy mixture and mix well.
- Pour into a glass dish and sprinkle the remainder cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 20-24 minuted until the cheese has thoroughly melted.
- While baking, melt 2 tablespoons over medium heat and pour in 1/2 cups of bread crumbs.
- Stir until golden brown and sprinkle over pasta when done.
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