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Splendid Sides: 4 amazing sides to add to your Thanksgiving Feast

Everyone has their favorite dishes for the big Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s always fun to try something new, so we asked our editorial staff to submit that “must-have” recipe that their families demand yearly. Why not try a new “splendid side?”

Erika’s Rutabaga Mash

  • 3 pounds rutabagas, peeled and diced into 1″ chunks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 T. butter
  • Dash of nutmeg and chopped pecans for garnish, if desired

Cook diced rutabaga chunks in boiling salted water, (as you would mashed potatoes), until very tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Mash with a large fork or potato masher and mix in cream. Run through a food mill (or push through a medium seive) to remove fibrous pieces. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Top with butter, nutmeg and pecans to serve.

Susan’s Brussels Sprouts with Sherry and Bacon

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, washed
  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 5 T. cream sherry
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut a tiny “x” in the bottom of each brussel sprout, about 1/8″ deep. Drop into boiling salted water and cook for 1-3 minutes, depending on the size. Drain off water and cover with ice to stop the cooking and cool completely. Cut each brussel sprout in half. Pat dry with paper towel.

In a 12″ fry pan, cook the chopped bacon and shallots over medium heat until crispy. Add sherry and brussel sprouts and cook for 2 minutes, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Freedom’s Big Sky Butternut Squash Soup

(She got the recipe from the chef who made it on her honeymoon in BigSky Montana, and she makes it every year to commemorate their time together. The family fights over bringing home the leftovers!)

Serves 4-6


  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 c. diced Vidalia onions
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 3-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 t. Tumeric
  • 1 t. Apple Pie or Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Salt, White Pepper, and a dash of cayenne, to taste
  • 1 quart Heavy Whipping Cream,
  • Fresh Sage Leaves, or Chives for garnish

In a heavy bottomed 5 qt. pot, sweat chopped onions in whole butter over low heat until onions are clear.
Add diced butternut squash and continue to sweat until semi-soft.

Add enough broth just to cover the squash in the pot and allow squash to continue to cook until mushy/soft
When nice and mushy soft, PUREE in a blender or food processor, or with an immersion blender until smooth. (Be careful–mixture will be extremely hot!)

Add back to pot, and add most of the UN-Whipped whipping cream, (but hold a little back to whip for your garnish) and season with salt and pepper. Stir frequently and continue to heat on low to prevent burning!

Add 3 cups of the whipping cream into the pot.

Take the remaining whipping cream you have left and whip it until firm- do not add sugar- and set aside for serving.

Serve in a bowl with a swirl of the whipped cream, and a leaf of fresh sage, or chives- or both!


Note: You can experiment with seasonings in this recipe, using curry or dried sage or nutmeg, for variations.

Nancy’s Zucchini Muffins

Makes 2 dozen.
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (heaping)
  • 1/4 tsp allspice (heaping)
  • 1/4 tsp cloves (heaping)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Mix all of the above ingredients dry together in small bowl.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3 cups of grated zucchini (packed)
  • 1 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
In medium bowl mix sugar, eggs, vanilla, applesauce, and oil.
Add zucchini, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. (This resting time pulls the moisture out of the zucchini).
Mix in dry ingredients until blended. Put in greased muffin tins and bake 25 min at 350 degrees.