These recipes are vegetable side dishes that can be made ahead of time and reheated. Although they are very basic, they are appropriate for any Holiday gathering. The vegetable casserole is a safe side dish, because it has so many vegetables. Even if someone else brings traditional green bean casserole, it is still something different. Mashed potatoes are great because they are becoming very popular.
Multi Vegetable Casserole
This is a variation of traditional green bean casserole.
- 1 (8oz.) package frozen green beans
- 1 (8oz. package California mix frozen vegetables
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 small can dried onions
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 small can dried onions
- Allow frozen vegetables thaw out.
- Pour cream of mushroom soup into bowl.
- Gradually add milk, stirring before adding more, so that it blends well with soup.
- Mix in soy sauce and pepper.
- Spread mixture into square casserole.
- Bake at 350 degrees until liquid starts to bubble.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle dried onions on top.
This casserole can be prepared ahead in either of two ways:
- It can be prepared up the point of baking, kept refrigerated and baked on Thanksgiving Day.
- It can be completely baked, cooled, kept refrigerated and re-heated. Add dried onions to top when ready to serve.
Old-fashioned Homemade Mashed Potatoes
People used to eat homemade mashed potatoes several times a week. Therefore, they were not a popular side dish until recently. Now that most of the mashed potatoes that we eat come from frozen dinners, dried instant potatoes in restaraunts, or Boston Market, old-fashioned mashed potatoes is becoming a very popular Thanksgiving side dish.
- 8 medium potatoes
- 1 cup milk
- 1 T. real butter (optional)
- Black pepper to taste
- Cooking Potatoes
- Peel and rinse potatoes. Cut large ones in half.
- Cover with water and bring to a boil in saucepan with cover on.
- Lower heat, but continue to boil for 20 minutes.
- Drain water.
- Mashing Potatoes
- With potatoes still in saucepan, cross cut potatoes with two knives until pieces are smaller.
- Add a small amount of milk and mix with electric beater.
- Continue to add small amounts of milk and mix with beater so that potatoes are not lumpy.
- When potatoes are smooth and creamy but still stiff (can be spooned out and stand up), stop adding milk. Some milk may be left over.
- Add butter (optional) and pepper to taste, and mix one last time.
- Serve in serving dish or in a warmer, such as a crock pot.
If you do not have an electric beater, simply use a lot more elbow grease. Mash your potatoes with a potato masher, a large pestle (if you have a mortar & pestle) or a large spoon. Your potatoes will not have as smooth a texture as the ones mashed with the electric beater, but they will be more authentic and old-fashioned and will taste just as good.
You will be surprised to find that mashed potatoes are often much more popular than fancy dishes, because we are so deprived of simple comfort food. Mashed potatoes can be made ahead, but milk should be added and mixed in as they are reheated to retain the smooth texture.
Simple and Easy Side Dishes for Thanksgiving
A side dish does not have to be exotic or fancy for Thanksgiving. Easy dishes that can be made ahead are perfect. On Thanksgiving the emphasis is on old-fashioned comfort food and traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Just be sure only to eat the “comfort fare” once or twice a year.