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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Pearl Jones; Design: Kitchn
Recipe Review

5 Thanksgiving Vegetables You Can Cook in a Butter Bath

published Nov 26, 2019
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Butter bath cooking might be our favorite technique of 2020. The idea is super simple: Boil your vegetables in milk and butter-infused water, and they suddenly go from bland boiled sides to the star of the plate. We loved butter bath corn so much this summer that we were inspired to give the butter bath treatment to some of our favorite Thanksgiving vegetables.

Butter bath vegetables are one of the easiest sides you’ll make this fall. You’ll just add a generous amount of butter, some milk, salt, and your favorite seasonings to your boiling water; cook your favorite vegetables until just tender; drain; and serve.

Easy Butter Bath Vegetable Sides with 4 Simple Ingredients

  • Water: You need just enough to cover the vegetables. Most of the recipes below call for between 2 to 4 cups.
  • Butter: Grab a stick of unsalted butter (yes, the full thing!) for making butter bath vegetables. Most of it will be left in the butter bath, so don’t worry about the vegetables being greasy.
  • Salt: Again, be as generous with the salt as you are with the butter and your reward will be flavorful vegetables at the table.
  • Milk: Milk enhances the sweetness of the vegetables. We like to use whole milk here, but whatever you’ve got on hand works well.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Pearl Jones; Design: Kitchn

Maple-Mustard Butter Bath Brussels Sprouts

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup milk, 1 stick unsalted butter, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Carefully add 2 pounds trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts. Reduce the heat to medium and boil until the Brussels sprouts are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the sprouts (you can save the butter bath for other veggies) and toss with 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 2 teaspoons maple syrup

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Pearl Jones; Design: Kitchn

Cinnamon Butter Bath Sweet Potatoes

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup milk, 1 stick unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Carefully add 2 pounds peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (4 cups). Reduce the heat to medium and boil until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 17 minutes. Drain and toss with more butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon, or drain and mash with 1 cup of the cooking liquid. 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Pearl Jones; Design: Kitchn

Garlicky Butter Bath Broccoli and Cauliflower 

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 cup milk, 1 stick unsalted butter, 4 cloves minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Carefully add 1 pound each broccoli and cauliflower florets (from 1 large head each). Reduce the heat to medium and boil until the broccoli and cauliflower are tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and serve. 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Pearl Jones; Design: Kitchn

Dilly Butter Bath Petite Carrots 

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup milk, 1 stick unsalted butter, 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Carefully add 1 pound peeled petite carrots. Reduce the heat to medium and boil until the carrots are tender, 12 minutes. Drain and toss with 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon finely chopped dill

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Pearl Jones; Design: Kitchn

Parmesan Butter Bath Green Beans 

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup milk, 1 stick unsalted butter, 4 cloves of smashed garlic, 1 (1×3-inch) Parmesan cheese rind, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Carefully add 1 1/2 pounds trimmed green beans. Reduce the heat to medium and boil until the beans are tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and serve immediately. 

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