3 Thanksgiving Sides Everyone Can Easily Master

published Nov 1, 2018

Stressed about hosting the big dinner? Don’t be. They’re just simple, homey recipes that you can totally master. Kitchn and OXO sent Faith Durand, our editor-in-chief, into two newbie hosts’ home to prove it. In four episodes, we’ll send you into Turkey Day more excited and confident than ever before. Today we’re talking about everyone’s secretly favorite part of the meal, the sides…

Close your eyes. Picture a Thanksgiving table. What do you see? Is it a big turkey surrounded by a dozen casseroles, platters, and other side dishes?

OK, now open your eyes. Back here in reality, people really just expect three classic dishes to support the main star: potatoes, stuffing, and something cranberry-y. Like you, Emily and Jorge were sweating the side-dish scope before they were visited by Faith, Kitchn’s editor-in-chief. She popped out of the internet and into their Atlanta home with three of her favorite recipes and a handful of tools to make cooking them simple.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

And it gets even better: All of these sides are really easy to make. So easy, that after you make them once, you probably won’t need the recipe to make them the next time.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

You’re busy enough on T-day, so put your slow cooker to work! Faith’s recipe for slow cooker mashed potatoes not only frees up some stovetop space, but also keeps your taters warm for as long as you need until the turkey’s done. Get a good Potato Masher for this one. OXO’s has a super comfy handle, and its mashing part won’t get all gunked up. The only way you can mess these potatoes up is by forgetting the butter — and if there’s one thing you will never forget, it’s the butter.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

All you need for this one is some basic equipment (knife, Squeeze & Pour Silicone Measuring Cups, a good Utility Cutting Board, Glass Baking Dish) and some bread, butter, and flavor. The thing about stuffing is that every single recipe is a variation on a theme. You’re just roasting bread with butter, broth, salt, and spice to create a dish that hits every taste bud and every texture bud (is that a thing?). Once you have the basics down, consider it a blank canvas. You could go sweeter by adding some apples and dried cranberries, or get savory with spicy sausage. The only real question to answer: Why do we make something so delicious only for Thanksgiving?

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

This sauce is so basic — in the best possible way. If you grew up with the canned stuff, we know that that’s a thing. But hear us out. The real thing is the simplest Thanksgiving side to make and makes such a big splash. You just simmer cranberries, sugar, water, and orange peel until they magically come together to form a flavorful jelly. Of course, like the stuffing, you can dress up this cranberry sauce with a few extra flavorings: star anise, cloves, cinnamon, or even whiskey all work well here. OXO’s Triple Timer will serve you well as you tackle this side while also working on the rest of the meal. It runs three timers, each with a different chime, so you know what’s what.

You’ve already got the turkey, and now you have three sides that slay. See? This meal is actually pretty manageable. All that’s left are the pies and some tips for making the whole meal come together. And what luck! There’s Faith at the doorbell now…

This post is sponsored by OXO and was created by the Kitchn Creative Studio.
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