When it comes to Thanksgiving, it’s no secret that sides stand out as the main event. There’s nothing better than digging into an all-star lineup of mashed potatoes, stuffing and green bean casserole — especially when it’s all dressed up with a little gravy.
This year, plate up one of our favorite Turkey Day recipes: the Neelys’ Old School Sweet Potato Soufflé. It dresses up the iconic casserole with salted cashews, mini marshmallows and shredded coconut. When the dish slides out of the oven and onto the table, the flavors are ultimately smooth, sweet and salty. And with looks like this, you can be sure that it won’t sit to the side.
While you’re at it, check out this fleet of stellar sides. That way, you know your soufflé will be in good company.
Talk to us: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Tell us in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag: #fallfest.
Get more Thanksgiving side dish recipes from family and friends
You’ve made it to the day before Thanksgiving, and by now you’re practically counting down the hours until T-Day, right? Even with all of the prep work that likely needs to be finished before tomorrow, the question of tonight’s dinner remains. While it may be tempting and admittedly easy to rely on pizza or takeout, if you’re planning on pulling off the ultimate Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, you can surely handle a no-fuss made-at-home dinner tonight, especially if that dinner is quick-cooking pasta.
One of the easiest meals to make in a hurry, pasta is endlessly versatile, and when you’re cooking for what’s possibly a houseful of extended family, simple, adaptable dinners are downright necessary. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite pasta recipes, each ready to enjoy in just 25 minutes or less.
Rich and comforting, Food Network Magazine’s Penne With Vodka Sauce (pictured above) is a top-rated pasta that’s packed with decadent ingredients. To prepare, sauté sweet shallots with fresh garlic and just a pinch of red pepper flakes, then add a splash of vodka, tomatoes and smooth heavy cream. Since the sauce will need to cook for at least 10 minutes after the vodka is added, the alcohol in it should cook off, and what will be left is a thick mixture just waiting to be tossed with noodles and nutty Parmesan cheese.
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Justin Warner doesn’t play by the rules. He eats jellyfish on Thanksgiving, serves cold-pizza terrine at his Brooklyn restaurant and writes rap songs about wine. But when Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay had to choose their teams of aspiring stars for the most recent season of Food Network Star, Justin’s unconventional approach caught Alton’s eye. Alton picked Justin for his group, and throughout the season Justin was a rebel, presenting wild combos like peanut butter–stuffed dates topped with seaweed. In the end, after 4.5 million viewers voted, Justin emerged as the winner. He says Alton’s guidance made all the difference. “It was a true mentorship,” Justin says. “Day one, Alton said, ‘No apologies.’ That’s how you win.”
Although Justin has been busy planning his new show (coming this fall), we managed to pull him aside for a quick Thanksgiving assignment: Come up with a fun new way to use leftover mashed potatoes. Justin took an old-fashioned candy idea and turned it on its head. Traditional mashed-potato candy is made with peanut butter, but Justin added umeboshi paste (Japanese plum paste) as a twist on peanut butter and jelly. Try the recipe (pictured after the jump).
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There are two absolutes at the end of Thanksgiving Day: a food coma that has you so stuffed you might not want to see a turkey again, and a seemingly endless array of leftovers that you have no idea what to do with. Luckily, Food Network can help you out with ideas for that last part. Every day this week we’re giving you a recipe that reinvents your turkey day leftovers in an easy, tasty and creative way that will actually have you excited about eating again.
Forget the same old cold turkey sandwich; try this sweet and savory version hot out of the oven. Jeff tosses sliced leftover turkey with a BBQ sauce made with cranberry sauce and serves it up on a hoagie roll with Fontina cheese and fried shallots.
Get the Cranberry BBQ Turkey Sandwich recipe
Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.
No Thanksgiving is complete with the classic green bean casserole. We know it’s hard to mess with a classic, so here are some simple tweaks to take the classic to a whole new level.
First, start with the classic version
When your whole family is gathered around a juicy turkey, mounds of mashed potatoes and slice after slice of pie, it’s easy to be thankful for the holiday. But when you have to actually get to that moment and brave the busiest travel day of the year, feeling grateful is a little harder. Relieve some of that stress by taking along Food Network’s On the Road app, a perfect traveling companion for Thanksgiving weekend.
On the Road helps turn a long stretch of highway into an eating adventure by finding Food Network-recommended restaurants nearby. If your kids are hollering for a bathroom break, why not use it as an excuse to stop off somewhere featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives? If you’re visiting family in a new town, check out the city guides to get acquainted. Or if you just want to make all the traffic melt away and dream of the weekend of great eating to come, our guides to America’s greatest pies and the best football stadium food can help you do just that.
Download On the Road today!
Having a hard time deciding what pie to make for Thanksgiving dessert? Take a departure from the traditional and try Food Network Magazine’s Pumpkin Spice Cake With Chocolate-Pecan Filling from page 112 of the November issue (pictured above). We took our favorite parts of pumpkin, pecan and chocolate pies and layered them together to make this centerpiece cake.
Not a chocoholic? Skip the chocolate glaze and opt for this easy pumpkin cream cheese frosting instead:
Beat together 1 pound room temperature cream cheese, 1 stick room temperature unsalted butter, 1/3 cup pumpkin purée, 1/4 cup carrot baby food, 1 teaspoon each vanilla extract and orange zest, and 1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg on medium-high in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer) until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Adjust the speed to low and add 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar, in batches, until the frosting is smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before frosting your cake. (Cake can be frosted and refrigerated up to 2 hours before serving.) Enjoy!
What happens when nine Food Network stars come together in the kitchen around the holidays? If you guessed a whole lot of cooking, eating and drinking, then you are correct. This afternoon, Alex Guarnaschelli, Alton Brown, Aarón Sanchez, Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Jeff Mauro, Rachael Ray, Ree Drummond and Sunny Anderson will gather in Food Network Kitchens for Thanksgiving Live!, Food Network’s annual call-in show, to answer all of your Turkey Day questions and cook up a holiday feast from start to finish. Want to see what’s on the menu this year? Take a peek at the recipes below, and be sure to catch the show from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Cocktails and Appetizers
Alton’s Concord Grape Royale
Aarón’s Hot Punch (Ponche)
Jeff’s Maple Perfect Manhattan
Sunny’s Fruity Limoncello Spritzer
Rachael’s Ginger Snap
Ree Drummond’s Holiday Bacon Appetizers
Get all the recipes
The weekend is finally here: Food Network’s annual Thanksgiving Live! is going live in just one short day. Just in time for the big feast, on Sunday at 12 pm/ET, Rachael, Giada, Bobby, Aarón, Alex, Sunny, Ree and your host, turkey master Alton Brown, will be on hand to answer your Thanksgiving questions live on-air. What do you want to know? Ask your question here.
The best Thanksgiving appetizer: Watch the Thanksgiving Live pre-show on FoodNetwork.com at 11:30 am/ET Sunday. We’ll have exclusive interviews with Food Network chefs as they head into the kitchen to answer your questions.
Stick with us during the live show and then go to FoodNetwork.com during commercials. Jeff Mauro will be featuring viewers’ tweets (don’t forget to use hashtag #ThanksgivingLive), taking more questions and — knowing Jeff — I’m sure the ultimate Thanksgiving leftover sandwich is coming your way too.
See what Fall Fest contributors are bringing to the table and tell us what you would bring to the table on Twitter by using the hashtag: #pullupachair.
Cocktails, Appetizers, Salads and Breads:
Haute Apple Pie: Apple Jack
Cooking With Books: Spiced Couscous and Walnut Salad
Mooshu Jenne: Honey Bacon Potato Pops
Food For My Family: Roasted Beet and Lacinato Kale Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Super Seeded Cornbread
Keep reading for side and dessert recipes