6 EASY Thanksgiving Day Side Dishes

By Chef Vincent Tropepe

Potato Leek Au Gratin


  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole milk
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • 3 Large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Stone ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 oz Blue cheese
  • 6 oz Grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 oz Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 lb Leek, white and light green portions, washed and sliced into 1/4 inch rings
  • 2 lb Russet potatoes (3-4 medium), peeled and cubed into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp Minced fresh chives

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish or a large cast iron skillet with butter.
  2. In 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks, stirring until leeks are completely coated. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the milk, cream, blue cheese, garlic, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper and simmer 
  3. In a large bowl mix the gruyere and parmesan cheese.
  4. Layer one third of the potatoes in the baking dish or skillet. Pour one third of the leek mixture over the top. Sprinkle one third of grated cheese and 1 tbs on chives. Repeat to make two more layers reserving the last laying of chives.
  5. Cover Au Gratin with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove cover and continue baking until potatoes are completely tender when poked with fork and the crust is golden brown, about 30 more minutes. Allow to sit for 15 minutes after removing from oven. Garnish with reserved chives and serve.

Ginger Acorn Squash with Pistachios


  • 2 Acorn squash, seeds removed and sliced into half moons (as shown in the picture above)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios, chopped
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Arrange the cut acorn squash on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Brush both sides of the cut squash with olive oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping the squash every 10 minutes, until nearly soft when pierced with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the mirin, brown sugar, grated ginger, sesame oil, tamari sauce, and rice vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-low heat.
  4. Whisk the water and miso together in a small bowl and add it to the saucepan. Cook for 1 minute longer, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. When the squash is nearly cooked through, brush the sauce over the top of each cut squash.
  6. Place the squash under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until it just begins to brown.
  7. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle the toasted pistachios and sesame seeds over the top.

Creamy Brussel Sprouts with Mushrooms


  • 1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 4 Tbsp Olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt, divided
  • 2 Large Shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 1 lb Wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles or hedgehogs, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup Dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, toss to coat. Spread the Brussels sprouts out in an even layer and season with salt. Roast until tender and browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. While the Brussels sprouts are roasted, heat canola oil in a small skillet until 2 inches deep. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, thinly slice shallots. Test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a small piece of shallot. The oil should sizzle. When the oil is heated enough drop shallots in the oil, stir a few time and they should slowly separate. When they have turned golden brown, remove them with a metal slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  4. Heat a 12-inch skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 3 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden-brown and tender and the mushroom liquid (if any) has evaporated, 5 to 8 minutes. 
  5. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and add the wine. Cook until the wine reduces reduced to 1/4 cup.
  6. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan followed by the heavy cream. Stir in a few grinds of pepper and continue to cook, stirring gently until the cream thickens and coats the vegetables. About 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately topped with fried shallots.

Herb Rolls


  • 136 count bag of dough, rolled into balls
  • 2 Stick butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp Dried rosemary, crushed in your hand
  • 1 Tbsp Dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Dried thyme
  • 6 Cloves garlic, minced
  1. In a small saucepan melt butter over low heat and add in herbs and garlic. Cook on low until just melted and very fragrant, careful not to brown.
  2. Working with one roll at a time, roll the frozen dough in the herb butter and set in a greased pan about 2” apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 4 to 5 hours, until rolls double in size. 
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. 
  4. Remove rolls from oven and brush with any remaining melted butter and top with flaky salt. Serve warm.

Roasted Beets & Citrus Salad

How to Roast Beets

If you’ve never roasted beets before, it couldn’t be easier. I roast the beets whole and peel them after they’re cooked, so no chopping is necessary. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil with a drizzle of olive oil and generous pinches of salt and pepper.
  3. Place the wrapped beets on a baking sheet and roast until they’re fork-tender. Mine usually take 35-60 minutes – the time will depend on the size and freshness of your beets.
  4. Unwrap the beets and set them aside to cool.
  5. When they’re cool to the touch, rub off the skins. I like to do this step under running water for easy cleanup!


  • 6 to 8 small or medium red or yellow beets
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 large navel orange
  • Sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste
  • Handful of watercress leaves, or arugula or microgreens
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Flaky sea salt, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Place each beet on a piece of foil and drizzle generously with olive oil and pinches of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Wrap the beets in the foil and roast on a baking sheet for 35 to 60 minutes, or until soft and fork-tender. The time will depend on the size and freshness of the beets. Remove the beets from the oven, remove the foil, and set aside to cool. When they are cool to the touch, peel the skins. I like to hold them under running water and slide the skins off with my hands.
  • Use a citrus peeler to peel long strips around the orange, avoiding the white pith. Grated zest would work here also. Slice ¾ of the orange into segments and reserve the remaining ¼ wedge for squeezing.
  • Slice the beets into 1” wedges or chunks and place them in a bowl. If you’re using red and yellow beets, place each color into separate bowls so the red beets don’t stain the yellow beets.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and sherry vinegar, then add the lemon juice, orange juice squeezed from the remaining wedge, and a few pinches of salt and pepper and toss. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Taste before serving and season with more salt (flaky sea salt, if using) and pepper or more vinegar (for more tang), orange, or lemon juice, as desired.
  • Serve on a platter with the orange segments, watercress, and citrus curls.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon

How to Roast Cauliflower

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. Don’t go any lower with your oven temperature here – a hot oven will create nice browning and crispy edges on your florets.
  2. Wash your cauliflower and dry it thoroughly. The dryer it is, the better it will brown in the oven.
  3. Break the head into bite-sized florets – I like to break mine with my hands rather than cutting it with a knife. This way, I get prettier florets!
  4. Drizzle the florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper, toss to coat, and spread them into an even layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. 
  5. Roast in your preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until browned around the edges.
  6. Use in salads, soups, curries, pizzas, and more, or season to taste with more salt and pepper and enjoy as-is!


  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for roasting
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, for sprinkling
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Break the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread evenly onto the baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned around the edges.
  • Season to taste with more salt and pepper and toss with lemon zest and parsley. Or keep it plain and use it in any recipe that calls for roasted cauliflower.


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