Five Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

If you're anything like me, you may still be looking for just one or two more recipes to round out your Thanksgiving table. Or perhaps you've been asked to bring a dish, but are having trouble deciding. Here are 5 easy Thanksgiving side dish ideas that only take about 20 minutes or less of active time, and which are guaranteed to be hit with your guests. Click on the recipe names to get the recipes.

1. Curried Couscous with Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
This perfect Fall side dish is the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and spicy. The dressing and couscous each take only a couple minutes to prepare, and the squash just requires that you chop it and toss into the oven for about 20 minutes or so until tender (you don't even need to peel anything!). The results are incredible and since the dish can be served both hot or at room temperature, it's an ideal choice for bringing over to a friend's house. Don't like or have couscous? You can substitute quinoa, brown rice, or even orzo (just prepare according to package directions and then proceed with the recipe).

2. Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts Hash
This is THE dish to make for those people who claim they don't like brussels sprouts. Shredded brussels sprouts are cooked over high heat with sauteed onions and crisp bacon, and then tossed with tangy yogurt and reduced balsamic vinegar for an absolutely incredible side dish that people will go crazy for.

3. Creamy Parsnip and Carrot Puree
This alternative to mashed potatoes is so easy to prepare, but the results are incredible. The delicate, creamy almost floral flavor of the parsnip pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the carrots for incredibly elegant dish that will impress all of your guests. This dish can be made a few days in advance and reheats easily in the microwave or in a pot with just a little bit more broth or cream added to keep it moist.

4. Sweet Blue Cornbread
I don't know about you, but I LOVE cornbread on Thanksgiving. It just goes so perfectly with all those other great flavors on the table--and is so nice for scooping up extra gravy. This delicate, sweet cornbread recipe is made with stone ground blue cornmeal, which you can find at most specialty stores or even well-stocked supermarkets like Whole Foods. It adds a little twist to a classic dish. (If you can't find blue corn, you can of course just use regular yellow cornmeal.)

5. Sweet Potato Gougeres with Cheddar and Jalapeno
If you're REALLY looking to impress, why not throw together a batch of these gougeres. Delicate cheesy puffs with plenty of sweet potato flavor and just a hint of spice. These would be great served before dinner with a glass of champagne, or can even be served along with the big meal in place of biscuits or dinner rolls.

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