Thanksgiving is upon us… and if you’re anything like us you’re somehow still not quite ready for the big day. There are the main dishes like turkey, mashed potatoes and yams that you’re probably already on top of, but maybe you need a couple other things to fill the table out. If this sounds like you, don’t worry—we’ve collected a list of simple recipes you can still make to round out your big dinner that are easy to make. Here are the 10 best last-minute Thanksgiving recipes.
1. Sautéed Carrots
Although we typically think of carrots as a fairly uninteresting side dish (or something to dip in a sauce of some kind), this recipe for sautéed carrots puts these veggies front and center—and the results are so delicious. Fortunately, it’s also very easy to make.
2 pounds of carrots
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh dill
1. Peel your carrots and cut them diagonally into quarter-inch slices.
2. Throw your carrots into a large pan with 1/3 cup of water, salt and pepper.
3. Bring it to a boil before covering the pan and cooking it over medium-low heat for seven to eight minutes.
4. Add butter and sauté it for another minute until the water evaporates. Toss so that the carrots are coated with butter.
5. Turn the heat off and toss with dill. Add salt and pepper and serve.
2. Baked Hush Puppies
If you’re from the South or you love Southern food, you know just how good a fresh batch of hush puppies can be. As it turns out, they’re also really easy to make and they go perfectly with the rest of your Thanksgiving food. With just a little effort, you can whip up a batch for yourself. Here’s how you do it.
2/3 cup of yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/3 cup of milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and grease up a muffin tin with non-stick spray.
2. Get out a medium bowl and mix together your cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
3. In another bowl, mix your onion, milk, eggs and butter.
4. Fold the egg mix into the flour mix until it’s just moistened.
5. Scoop a tablespoon of batter into each of the muffin tins
6. Bake the tray for 10 minutes or until each hush puppy is firm to the touch and golden brown.
3. Half-hour Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are great in a casserole but they’re also delicious simply mashed up and served in a bowl. If you need one last side dish to fill out your table that takes no time to make, this half-hour version of this recipe is just the ticket. Here’s how you make it:
3 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 stick of butter
1 sliced banana
1 orange, juiced and zested
1 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1. Boil your potatoes until they’re soft. When they’re ready, drain them and set aside.
2. Put the pot back on the stove top over medium heat.
3. Add butter and bananas and cook for five minutes.
4. Add your orange juice to the pot and cook for another minute (keep the zest aside).
5. Add your potatoes to the pot along with the stock and sugar.
6. Mash everything together and season with nutmeg, salt, pepper and orange zest.
7. Once it’s all mixed together, take it off the heat and serve.
4. Cranberry Chili Sauce
In our experience, cranberry sauce is something that can be kind of hit or miss at Thanksgiving. Fortunately, we have a simple cranberry sauce recipe that adds some pizzazz to the final product that the whole family is going to love. If you make this once, you’re sure to add it to your Thanksgiving repertoire for years to come. Here’s how you do it:
1 cup of sugar
4 cups of cranberries
1/4 cup of grated orange zest
2 dried chili peppers
2 dried ancho chilis, stemmed and seeded
1. Put your sugar and a cup of water in a medium saucepan over high heat.
2. Bring it up to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves.
3. Add your cranberries and bring it back up to a boil.
4. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes
5. Add your orange zest as well.
6. In the meantime, bring a cup of water to a boil over medium heat.
7. Add your chilis and simmer it all for about five minutes before turning off the heat.
8. Move the chilis to a blender with a slotted spoon and blend them until they turn into a paste; add some water as necessary.
9. Put the chili paste in the cranberry sauce and add some salt, stirring it up.
5. Corn Casserole
Although corn usually appears at the Thanksgiving table in one form or another, this corn casserole is a creative and delicious way to do it. As with all the other recipes, this one is super easy to throw together and tastes great. Here’s how you do it.
1 can of whole corn, drained
1 can of creamed corn
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar
1 cup of yellow cornmeal
1 cup of sour cream
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup of chopped chives
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Add your whole corn, creamed corn, egg, cheddar, cornmeal, sour cream, butter, chives, sugar, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and pepper to a bowl. Stir until it’s well-combined.
3. Pour everything into a baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
6. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
While some of these recipes are pretty creative, this one is a tried and true classic. If you’ve filled your table with a bunch of other interesting dishes, chances are there’s room for this one in there somewhere as well. Trust us: you won’t be disappointed. Here’s how you make it:
5 pounds of Russet potatoes, chopped into chunks
2 cups of milk
2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
3-5 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of butter
2 teaspoons of salt
1. Drop your potatoes, milk, broth and garlic in a slow cooker with the garlic on top.
2. Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook for four to five hours on high or seven to eight hours on low.
3. When the time is up, mash everything up and stir in your salt, butter and sour cream.
4. Add salt and pepper as necessary and enjoy!
7. Roasted Pumpkin Hummus
Even if you’ve used pumpkin in some other form already, this pumpkin hummus recipe is one of the most unique ones we’ve come across (and serves as an amazing dip). If you want a light snack before dinner or just a tasty side dish, this is definitely one worth trying out. Here’s how you do it:
1-2 cloves of roasted garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of water
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup of pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon of minced rosemary
1. Roast your garlic in a saucepan with olive oil for 15 to 20 minutes on medium-low heat.
2. Blend all the ingredients until they turn smooth (except for the rosemary).
3. Adjust the oil or water as necessary before stirring in the rosemary.
4. Serve the dip with crackers, chips, fruit or veggies.
8. Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Although we don’t always think of Brussels Sprouts as a Thanksgiving food, this recipe just might change your mind. If you were looking for a veggie side dish to round out your dinner table, this simple recipe should do the trick. Here’s how you make it:
1 1/2 pounds of halved Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons of dijon mustard
3 minced cloves of garlic
1/8 teaspoon of white pepper
1. Put your sprouts on a baking pan.
2. Mix your oil and garlic before drizzling it over the sprouts. Toss them to coat.
3. Bake the tray at 450 for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn them over halfway through.
4. In a saucepan, mix together your cream, mustard, pepper and salt.
5. Bring it to a gentle boil and cook for one to two minutes until it thickens.
6. Pour over the sprouts and serve.
9. No Bake Apple Pie
Nothing says Thanksgiving dessert better than apple pie does… but for whatever reason, sometimes we run out of time to make one from scratch. Fortunately, we have a delicious no-bake version of the same recipe that you can whip up in no time. Here’s how you make it:
1 package of lemon gelatin
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 3/4 cups of water
5 medium apples, peeled and sliced
1 package of vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup of chopped nuts
1 graham cracker crust
1. Mix together your gelatin, cinnamon, nutmeg and a cup and a half of water in a saucepan.
2. Add apples as well and bring everything to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat and cover the pan, simmering for about five minutes or until the apples are tender.
4. In a side bowl, combine your pudding mix and the rest of the water.
5. Stir the pudding mix into the apple mix, cooking it uncovered for a minute. Stir periodically throughout.
6. Take everything off the heat and stir in your nuts before pouring it into the crust.
7. Refrigerate it all for two hours before serving—top it off with whipped cream!
10. Spicy Sweet Potato Soup
Last but not least, this spicy sweet potato soup is a great way to mix up a familiar Thanksgiving ingredient. Unlike some of the other sweet potato recipes, this one is very easy to throw together and is sure to add some zing to your meal. Here’s how you do it:
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons of curry powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ginger
1/4 teaspoon of allspice
1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
6 cups of chicken broth
salted pumpkin seeds (optional)
1. Get out a slow cooker and throw in your sweet potatos, onion, red pepper, curry powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, lemon zest, pepper and chicken broth.
2. Close the lid and cook everything on low for six to eight hours.
3. When it’s done, puree the soup.
4. Put the soup back in the slow cooker and heat through. Top with pumpkin seeds and serve!
Even though the big day is upon us, there’s still time to come up with some great ideas at the last second. For the most part, these recipes all use ingredients you may already have around the house (or ingredients you were planning on getting anyway)—and most can be made in very little time. Even if you’ve got most of your dinner figured out, these dishes are definitely worth a try. Did you make any of these recipes? Which was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
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