Thanksgiving Side Dishes

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I have been receiving many requests for easy side dish ideas. Here I have complied 4 sides that will make the perfect addition to any menu! In this post, I will share the recipes for four Thanksgiving side dishes that can each be made in less than 25 minutes! I begin by sharing my favorite homemade cranberry sauce, the ultimate silky smooth mashed potatoes, garlic-parmesan green beans and roasted delicata squash! 


Cranberry Sauce

I start with the ever classic, cranberry sauce. If you plan to serve cranberry sauce, please do not use that stuff out of a metal jar. Its SO easy to make fresh and you won’t have that weird tin taste. 

I infused my cranberry sauce with orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and topped it with mint for freshness! 

cranberry sauce

Here is my recipe:

4.3 from 3 reviews
Cranberry Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 cups
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 nutmeg pod
  • ½ tablespoon fresh chopped mint
  1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, combined cranberries, sugar, water, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until mixture thickens.
  3. Remove cinnamon stick and nutmeg pod.
  4. Allow to cool completely and top with fresh mint.
  5. Enjoy!

Mashed Potatoes 

One of my favorite side dishes are mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes that are rich, creamy and smooth! I first learned about mascarpone while watching Giada DeLarentes on Food Network. She added them to her potatoes and I had to re-create them immediately. There are a few important steps to take with mashed potatoes.


4.3 from 3 reviews
Mashed Potatoes
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, for topping
  1. Boil potatoes until soft and tender
  2. Drain water off potatoes.
  3. Add in the butter, mascarpone, heavy cream. Using an electric mixer, mix the potatoes until smooth.
  4. Taste for salt and add additional to your liking
  5. Top with chopped chives, freshly ground black pepper and remaining butter
  6. Enjoy!

  1. Potatoes must be cooked properly. Inserting a knife into the center of the potato, it should come out easily and clean. 
  2. Be sure butter, mascarpone and cream are at room temperature. 
  3. Use a mixer to mash the potatoes, this ensures they are smooth and even throughout. 

thanksgiving side dishes

I mean look at this *drools over keyboard*

Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

With the oven being occupied with the turkey, a casserole and maybe some roasted sweet potatoes, I like to make veggie sides that can be made on the stove top. These are super easy, yet delicious green beans, that can replace a heavier side and provide a crisp, bright, side dish to the table. 

The key to making the perfect textured green beans, is blanching. This means placing the green beans in boiling water, then immediately immersing them in ice water to stop the cooking process. 


4.3 from 3 reviews
Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • ½ teaspoon malton flake salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
  1. Bring 5 quarts salted water to a rolling boil
  2. Prepare a bowl of ice water along side the pot
  3. Place the green beans into the water and boil for 3 minutes
  4. Remove the green beans from the boiling water and place immediately in the ice water
  5. Heat olive oil in skillet and sauté garlic
  6. Add the green beans to the skillet and heat for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat
  7. Top with parmesan
  8. Enjoy 🙂

Roasted Delicata Squash 

Delicata squash is great for many reasons. One being is you can eat the skin, making preparation very easy. For this dish, I sliced the ends off the squash, spooned out the seeds and roasted the squash. 

4.3 from 3 reviews
Roasted Delicata Squash
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 1 large delicata squash (2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • micro-greens for garnish, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut ends off squash and spoon out the insides.
  3. Slice squash into ¼ inch rings.
  4. Place on lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Roast until tender and golden, about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and top with pomegranate, goat cheese and micro greens
  7. Enjoy 🙂

delicata squash



Make any of these recipes? Put your own twist on them? I’d love to see! Tag me @AmandasPlate #CreateAmandasPlate 

I am so thankful for all of you who continue to read and support Amanda’s Plate! I appreciate that you trust in my recipes and make them in your homes for your loved ones! THANK YOU <3



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Beef Stew and Mashed Potatoes

What can be better than a tender, juicy beef stew that his been cooking all day and creating a beautiful aroma throughout your home?

This is not a weekday recipe for the working folk, as it takes several hours to prepare. But is perfect on a dark, rainy Sunday.

I prefer to eat this meal earlier than our normal dinner time, as it is very hearty.

I have also include the recipe for my mashed potatoes, as the stew was served over these potatoes. It’s a simple recipe really: potatoes and a ton of butter and a splash of cream :P.

Please make mashed potatoes from “scratch”. It takes 10 minutes and is SO much better tasting than that weird powder stuff.


Here is my recipe:

Makes 6 servings  Prep: 20 minutes   Cook: 2 1/2 hours


1 1/2 pounds stew meat

2 cups chopped onion (2 large onions)

1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (2 large carrots)

1 1/2 cups chopped celery (3 stalks)

2 cups chopped turnips (1 large)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups vegetable stock (or beef) *Low sodium

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)




1. In large stew pot, heat olive oil and butter on medium high heat. Once butter is melted add meat and sear on each side. Remove from pot.

stew beef stew

2. Add onion and garlic to the pot and cook until onions are translucent. Add in tomato paste, salt, pepper, thyme, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and vegetable stock. Add beef back in and turn heat to low. Place lid on pot and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

stew  stew stew


3. Add in carrots, celery and turnips. Allow to simmer for another 30 minutes, or until sauce as thickened and vegetables are cooked thru.



To make mashed potatoes:


4 large russet potatoes  (about 2 pounds)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup heavy cream

pinch of salt



1. Peel 4 large potatoes and chop into 1 inch cubes. Place in a large pot of boiling water.


2. Cook until potatoes are tender and slide off a knife that pierces thru it. Drain water.

3. Place potatoes back in pot and add in butter, heavy cream and salt. Smash with a potato masher until smooth. potatoesmashed potatoesI garnished the potatoes with thyme and a pat of butter.


4. Serve a large ladle of stew over mashed potatoes.

5. Enjoy 🙂



beef stew





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